12x42 NL Owners Step Inside

Schaaf

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2014
Messages
969
Location
Fort Peck, MT
Guys, I’m looking at the 12x42 as a do it all binocular. For those of you that have it- Does it replace a 10x42 or 8x42 and 15x56 combo or have you felt like you still need the 15x on a tripod? If I made the swap I would use my 8x33 Minox for the 10% of hunting I do in real thick timber.

Let me know your thoughts.
 

HuntHarder

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2014
Messages
1,430
Location
Phoenix, Az
I went from 10x42 EL HD's to the 12x42 NL's. Here in Az 90% of my glassing is done from a tripod. I have owned the 15x swaro's 3 times and all 3 times I just do not like them as much as my 10's or 12's. The 12's are really bright and the extra 2x is very noticable.

2 weeks ago I was in North Dakota hunting WT and that is the first time I would have rather had my 10x. The 12's are just a little harder to stabilize hand holding. I think I will pick up a pair of cheaper 8x at some point and be set. The 12x NL's are absolutely amazing imo.
 

Spiral Horn

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
607
To me a 12x binocular is like a universal car part. It will work for many situations but here is usually a better fit for all of them. 8/10x is better all-around and a 15x is better from a tripod.

To be completely fair I did contemplate buying a 12x NL for some long distance viewing - but most of the time I’m without a tripod - just don’t think I’d be able to hold a 12x steady enough.
 
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Browninglover1

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
293
Location
Northern Utah
I have 8x32 EL, 10x32 EL, 12x42 NL Pure and 15x56 SLC HD.

The 12x NL is a beautiful optic with razor sharp resolution and amazing color rendition. FOV is quite large for a 12x but the optic suffers from “black outs” when I hand hold them. I’m assuming this is due to a relatively small exit pupil and if my eyes don’t stay line up perfect I get some issues. The problem is pretty much non existent on a tripod.

For my big game hunting this year I took the 12x exclusively and they worked great. I reached for my 8x when hunting coyotes for the larger FOV.

Do I think the 12x work great as an all around bino for big game? Sure do. Do I still want a set of 8x for certain situations? Yes. Will my 15x56 and 8x32 combo ever get used again? Probably not.
 

wyosteve

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
1,149
Location
cheyenne
I’ll echo what Browning said. I sold my 10x42 ELs for the 12 NLs and am glad I did. However I still have my 8x 32ELs for certain situations. I have the forehead rest and have no issues handholding the 12s steady.
 

.270

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
306
Location
TX
I fortunately haven't been able to look through a pair of 12s NL. My good friend, while guiding coues deer this fall, looked through his clients pair of 12s NL. He is going to sell his swaro 15s and get the 12s nl. The field of view is what really sold him on them.
 

dreamingWest

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
351
I plan to own 42mm NLs some day. But I can't decide which mag I want. Equally torn between all 3. I hope to finally get my hands on them during the trade show season.
 

PredatorSlayer

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
385
Guys, I’m looking at the 12x42 as a do it all binocular. For those of you that have it- Does it replace a 10x42 or 8x42 and 15x56 combo or have you felt like you still need the 15x on a tripod? If I made the swap I would use my 8x33 Minox for the 10% of hunting I do in real thick timber.

Let me know your thoughts.
This is going to be an unpopular opinion I am sure, but I spent a week behind the NL pures on an elk hunt and I was unimpressed. My buddy bought those and I ran them next to my Santian HD 15x56’s and didn’t once feel like I wanted to upgrade. In fact one evening in low light he tells me there is an elk under a tree a couple thousand yards away. I pull up my santiams and clearly see its a rock.
 

Steve O

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
2,072
Location
Michigan
Spent a ton of time comparing my 12 NLs to my 10-15 Duovids (which I always found just as good as 15SLCs I compared to). Never thought I would let the Duovids go but the NLs do everything better. I don’t have any of the issues mentioned. And while I love my Leupold rifle scopes I’m not going to run out and trade my NLs on on any or their binoculars or spotters 🧐
 

willfrye027

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
1,239
I came to the same conclusion as steveO. I used the nl 12s for somewhere between 30-40 days scouting and hunting mule deer. Previously used duovid 10-15 and loved them. The NLs are my go to now. I also compared them head to head with the 12x50 ELs and they are significantly better. The more I used them, the more stable they felt in the hand and the less blackouts I experienced. I can’t live without them now and the duovids are pretty much out of the optics quiver for me. For still hunting timber, they do fine, but I will bring my 8x32 mavens for that if possible. I did not feel like I missed anything with the 12s compared to 15s and had more FOV, less weight/bulk, and overall more pleasant viewing experience.
 

Steve O

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
2,072
Location
Michigan
And I will also add I used my 10x42 ELs 10 times as much as my Duovids and they are gone as well because the NLs do everything better than they do…
 

MaraviaDave

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
140
Location
Alaska
I’ve had 8.5x EL, 12x EL and 15x SLC.

I used to use the 12’s on back pack hunts and for everything else, I’d carry 8.5’s and 15’s….along with an ATX 65 or ATX 95 spotting scope.

Now, I carry the 12x NL’s exclusively, as my neck and tripod binoculars.

Also, I no longer carry 15’s. Instead, I carry the BTX module. The weight penalty is an extra 7 ounces compared to carrying 15’s…..but, I get the ability to glass with both eyes at 30 - 35x.

From my perspective this has been the most versatile setup, at a reasonable weight, with the best glass in each magnification class.
 

6.5x284

Senior Member
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
358
Location
Seattle, WA / Thompson Falls, MT
I tried to and ended up with 8x and 12x NL. To me it wasn’t usable as a hand held really. I think the 12x NL can replace 15x SLC HD though. I used them side by side extensively this year and will be selling my 15’s. For some trips I’d only bring the 12x where I was tripod focused (think sheep hunt or a backpack hunt with a spotter as well), but no way I wouldn’t own something as steady as those 8x as well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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mxgsfmdpx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
1,894
Location
Central Arizona
I may regret it but I'm honestly leaning towards staying with my 8x42 Zeiss Victory RF, Meostar 15x56, and the Kowa 774 for the arsenal.
This is what I do now as well. 8x50 range finding bino in the harness (Meoptas) and Swaro SLC 15s in the top of my pack.
 

HuntHarder

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2014
Messages
1,430
Location
Phoenix, Az
I may regret it but I'm honestly leaning towards staying with my 8x42 Zeiss Victory RF, Meostar 15x56, and the Kowa 774 for the arsenal.
Don't let anyone talk you out of it. I would suggest that you try the NL's out tho. Their resale value is pretty high. I would pick up a pair and if you do not think they accomplish what you need, sell them.
 

HuntInWild88

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
1,021
Location
Mountain Home Idaho
I love my 12nl's but I will say if I havnt looked through them in several hours. The first time I looked back through them when I take them away from my face it takes my eyes a second to re-adjust to the real world.
 
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