Swarovski NL Pure 10x42
Introducing the new flagship binoculars from Swarovski Optik: the NL PURE series. With wider actual and apparent fields of view, edge-to-edge sharpness, great eye relief and a uniquely constricted ergonomic barrel grip, the NL PURE are designed to immerse you in your viewing experience. The NL PURE 10x42 shares other design features with its 8x42 and 12x42 siblings, such as pin-sharp resolution and perfect color fidelity. Amazingly for a 10x, it has the same field of view as the Classic EL 8.5x42 SV! And the 6.6-foot close focus should meet the needs of any full-size 10x user.
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Best binoculars i have ever owned. Quick and easy ordering.
I pre-ordered the NL Pure binoculars in August and picked them up in early September. I just finished testing them against my current alpha glass: Zeiss 8x32 Victory FL's. Several categories were tested and here are the results: Resolution - was compared by using a 1951 USAF resolution chart. The NL's resolved 2 smaller groups than the Victories, as might be expected by a quality 10x vs an 8x. No surprise here. Close focus - was measured using a tape measure extended away from the binoculars and placed just below the objective. The measured close focus was 5-feet 10-inches which was closer than the stated close focus of 6.2-feet. In both measured and stated close focus, the NL's barely edged out the Victory's. Field of View - I tested field of view (FOV) with and without glasses (which I usually wear). I measured FOV by stretching a tape measure perpendicular to and 20-feet from where I was standing. The NL Pure's field FOV was 26-inches at 20-feet with and w/out glasses (e.g. eye relief is sufficient). The FOV of the Victory's was 30-inches w/out glasses and 28-inches with glasses (e.g. eye relief not quite sufficient for me). So the Victory's edged out the NL's but only by 2-inches at 20-feet with my glasses! Eye relief - on the NL's was sufficient for me to see the entire field of view. In fact, I keep my eyecups at one click above closest setting and I can still see the entire field stop. The NL’s have 6 click stop settings for the eyecups. With the Victory's, the eye relief is 2.5mm less (15.5 vs 18) and with glasses, I can't quite enjoy the entire FOV. Brightness - seemed equal to me, or at least I could not perceive any difference. Edge-to-edge flatness - was amazing for the NL's, but almost as good for the Victories. Flare/glare - Here is the one category where I can say the Victory were better than the NL's. I tested glare/flare by looking at an object perpendicular to the sun, and then scanning closer and closer to the sun until the binocular barrels showed flare. I was able to look more toward the sun with the Victory's than the NL's. But the glare of the NL's was not excessive and we don't want to look too close to the sun anyway. Focus - is another area where some might consider the Victory's to be better. But I don't believe this to be so and I will tell you why. It takes a little more than one complete turn (approximately 400 degrees) to go from close stop to infinity stop on the Victory's but almost twice that (1-3/4 turns) on the NL's. That would make it seem like the Victory's are much faster. Technically, from stop to stop, they are. However, the useable rotation from about 10-yards to infinity on the NL's is little more than half a turn, so a bulk of the rotation is to get to very close focus. As far as smoothness of focus, I believe the NL is smoother and the focus knob is better (perfectly) positioned for my index fingers and one-handed use. Depth of field - was measured by extending a measuring tape in front of the objective lens and then seeing how many inch markings on the tape were very clear at a distance of 6-feet. The Victory's had 10-inches of tape very clear while the NL's showed 12-inches of tape in excellent focus. Ergonomics - I love my Victory's BUT once you hold the NL Pure's, you will experience a level of comfort that you have never felt before. They are not light at 30-ounces, (the Victory’s are just under 20 oz.), but the NL’s are perfectly balanced and are simply a pleasure to hold. View - The view is simply the crispest, most comfortable and fatigue-free view I have ever experienced. There is one thing I will need to get used to though. Even though the NL's have a FOV that is the same as many 8x binoculars, they are still 10x and side to side motion is increased by 25% over 8x glasses. So birds flying side to side seem very fast and sometimes are a challenge to track. Practice should (hopefully) take care of this. Before I finish, I need to say in this review that I still love my Zeiss Victory’s. I do not want to appear that I am bashing them in any way. They are excellent in every respect and to this day remain among the best mid-sized binoculars on the market. However, I truly believe that the new Swarovski NL Pure's have set the new standard in premium optics, better than everything that has come before them.