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Winning comparison points for 8.5x42 EL SV or F/Pro against 8x42 NL-P ? (1 Viewer)

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
As part of a rigorous downsizing evaluation so that I get back more to birding instead of messing with instruments (!), I got sidetracked into some wondering about the following, now that some of you have had good time to settle in with your new NL Pure(s), and I'm hoping some of you are doing that having come from good experience with the 8.5 EL SV and/or Field Pro. Here goes:

Comparisons that I have seen have been drawn up more to show the advantages of the new bin, but I'd be interested to read who can list some clear or subjective advantages of their 8.5 SV / Field Pro (apart from lower price). I'm thinking here of the version before they strangled the near focus, i.e pre-Legend. I happen to very much like my 8.5 — one reason being that for me as a 'sevens' man the 8.5x magnification adds just significant extra reach which I find steadier than 10x (apart from a 10x32 Zeiss FL I have, which is a nice compact yet top flight bin).

I have tried an NL 8x42 but more out of curiosity than a wish to spend more money. (I have to say I liked it, a lot.)

Thank you in advance,

Tom
 

BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
I had tried thee 8.5 x 42 EL FP but returned it, primarily because it felt bulky and poorly balanced towards the objective end. To be honest, I didn't have the FP version with close focus, which also bothered me a lot. Perhaps, if it had close focusing, I would have kept it. I did like its 8.5 extra reach over just an 8x binocular, but not enough to put up with its ergonomics. It does weigh a bit less than the NL, but the balance negates that difference. I ended up with the 8x42 NL, which I love. It's great ergonomics, exceptionally wide FOV, clear, color neutral optics with no CA, made it a clear choice for me. However, if I had the close focus version of the 8.5 EL that you own, and never tried the NL, I probably wouldn't consider the 8 x 42 NL.

But you did try it, and did like it a lot. So, only you can answer if you wish to make the change, regardless of the cost. If you do, perhaps you should consider the 10x42 NL, which has the same FOV as your 8.5 EL, but gains in magnification, instead of losing as with the 8x42 NL. With the head rest, and better ergonomics, you will be surprised that your clearer view will be as steady as with the El, you currently own.
 
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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
I had tried thee 8.5 x 42 EL FP but returned it, primarily because it felt bulky and poorly balanced towards the objective end. To be honest, I didn't have the FP version with close focus, which also bothered me a lot. Perhaps, had it not, I would have kept it. I did like its 8.5 extra reach over just an 8x binocular, but not enough to put up with its ergonomics. It does weigh a bit less than the NL, but the balance negates that difference. I ended up with the 8x42 NL, which I love. It's great ergonomics, exceptionally wide FOV, clear, color neutral optics with no CA, made it a clear choice for me. However, if I had the close focus version of the 8.5 EL that you own, and never tried the NL, I probably wouldn't consider the 8 x 42 NL.

But you did try it, and did like it a lot. So, only you can answer if you wish to make the change, regardless of the cost. If you do, perhaps you should consider the 10x42 NL, which has the same FOV as your 8.5 EL, but gains in magnification, instead of losing as with the 8x42 NL. With the head rest, and better ergonomics, you will be surprised that your clearer view will be as steady as with the El, you currently own.
Thanks for your input and thoughts, BabyDov. I'm not planning to go for an NL at the moment but from my couple of in-shop trials over the last year or two (pre-pandemic and then more recently when things started to reopen) I know how very good it is for balance, view, colour, image quality and so on. However I am not finding the 8.5x a struggle so I suppose it was just interesting to see if anyone who tried the NL actually preferred their existing 8.5 (or 10) x EL SV/FP after all. I haven't found the GE/rolling ball aspect a problem personally. Interesting to hear that the head rest works well; I know from my brief tries that the sculpted barrels and balance are very favourable to handholding with the 8x.

Tom
 

BabyDov

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
I can't imagine anyone binocular shopping with no price restraints, would prefer the 8.5 EL or a 10 EL over the 10x NL.. The 10 El lacks the FOV and close focus of the 10 NL, not to mention the lack of better ergonomics, when you compare them.. In fact, I don't think there is anything the EL does better than the NL, except perhaps comparing the 8.5 El's better magnification to the 8 NL's ,since there isn't a 8.5 NL.

On the other, hand it is easy to imagine why anyone who already owns an EL, like you, might not consider a change. Up until when the NL's were introduced, the EL's were state of the art. You were proud to own one and still can be proud to own one. Furthermore, the improvements in the NL's by no means, made the EL's obsolete, even though Swarovski may eventually discontinue making them, should the recently discontinued 32El be a precedent. It's not hard to imagine that many EL owners will continue using their binoculars for many years to come.
 

jcnguyen09

Well-known member
For me the optical quality of NL is a step up from previous EL series. The color rendition is not much different but the 3-D effect is much better on the NL series. Eye relief is also better in the NL than the EL although it's listed 2 mm less: 18mm for NL , 20mm for EL. And of cause the FOV and AFOV on NL is substantially wider.
 

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