Binoculars review

Swarovski NL Pure 10x42

Swarovski NL Pure 10x42
29 December 2020
On July 1st 2020 Swarovski Optik presented their new series of binoculars called NL Pure (NL standing for Nature Lover). It comprises of three roof prism models with the following parameters: 8x42, 10x42 and 12x42. As it befits the top-of-the-range series of a renowned producer they are supposed to offer all the best: excellent optics joined with high quality anti-reflection SWAROTOP and SWARODUR coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces (minimizing losses of light to 0.2% on one surface) and reflexive dielectric SWAROBRIGHT coatings on one of surfaces of roof prisms system.

A truly intriguing shape of binoculars' contoured barrels, with untypical indentations in area where you usually place your hands to hold the instrument, sticks out at once. The producers explained that the location of roof prisms had been deliberately changed (they were rotated relative to each other) in order to allow such a profile of the binoculars' barrels. As a result it became more comfortable and safer to hold, ensuring a firmer grip.

Fields of view of the new binoculars are the second, very interesting thing. The 8x42 model features a field of view as wide as 9.1 degrees, the 10x42 instrument's field of view is 7.6 degrees and the 12x 42 binoculars feature a field as wide as 6.5 degrees. Construction of such wide angle eyepieces that, additionally, are supposed to correct properly optical aberrations up to the very edge of the field and assure you a comfortable eye relief, amounting to 18 mm, needs without doubt a complex optical system. Despite that complexity Swarovski claims that the overall transmission of their new binoculars reaches a very high level of 91%.

Buyers get in the box: caps for objective lenses and a joined cap for eyepieces, a strap, a very stylish case with its own strap, a soap and brush cleaning kit and a mcrofibre cloth. The product comes with a 10-year warranty period of the producer. You can also buy a special forehead rest for 129 Euro which is supposed to stabilize the binoculars during long observations.

  • Lornetka Swarovski NL Pure 10x42
  • Lornetka Swarovski NL Pure 10x42
  • Lornetka Swarovski NL Pure 10x42
  • Lornetka Swarovski NL Pure 10x42
Manufacturer data


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Distribution / Sales:

Hubertus Pro Hunting
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Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 42 133/1000(7.6o) BaK-4/roof 18 mm 850 g 12700 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   42+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  42+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 9.98+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 89.2+/- 1% 17/25.0
Chromatic aberration Practically zero in the centre; visible on the eddge but a tad lower than medium. Slightly higher level than in the case of the 12x42 model. 8.3/10.0
Astigmatism Negligible. 9.1/10.0
Distortion Distance of the first curved line from the field of view centre compared to the field of view radius: 81% ±4% 10/10.0
Coma Appears in a distance of 60% from the field of view centre, then increases slowly and then it starts to decrease and is between low and very low on the edge. 7.5/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV Sharp images practically to the very end of that huge field of view. 10/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Negligible. 4.5/5.0
Whiteness of the image Excellent. Almost flat transmission curve with a very shallow dip near 520 nm but also very high transmission reaching 90% for the blue part of the spectrum. 4.9/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 - Internal reflections - Left Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 - Internal reflections - Right
Some reflections near the pupil.
Housing Very solid but slimmer than the EL series instruments. Indentations made after turning the prisms fit your hands very well so this instrument is a joy to hold and to look through. Objectives are hidden inside the casing over 1 cm deep. Visible traces of glue on the rubber armour that spoil a bit the esthetics. Rubberized eyecups are comfortable around your eye sockets; they have four detention stops. Binoculars produced in Austria. 7.8/8.0
Focusing Compared to the EL series the focusing screw changed a lot. Now it is covered by the bridge and behind you find a small joystick for dioptre correction. It looks and performs better than in case of the predecessors, with a higher resistance (but it remains perhaps a tad lower than in the 12x42 model we've tested) but everything moves as it should. Characteristic for other Swarovski devices you have to turn the screw a lot – its focus throw amounts to an angle of about 700 degrees. 5/5.0
Tripod You can buy a special brand name adapter. 2/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 55.9 to 74.2mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 2.0 meters. 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 75.5 degrees according to the simplified formula and 66.9 degrees according to the tangent formula. 17.5/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 7.57 ± 0.04 degrees and it was, within the margin of error, in accordance with official specifications. A huge field of view for this class of equippment. 8/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Interior of the tubes is dark, matt and ribbed in some places. Bottoms near the prisms are also dark and matt. The edge of the case surrounding the focusing element is a bit too bright. Additionally, when the focusing element moves towards the prisms and eyepieces, it reveals an internal tube which is equally bright but quite matt. We don't have any reservations concerning cleanliness inside the binoculars for a change. We didn't find any specks of dust or dirt on the optics. 4.2/5.0
Left: Right:
Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 - Vignetting - Left Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 0.67%, OR: 0.05%
Prisms quality High quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Green-yellow-purple on the objective lenses, green-yellow on the prisms, pink-green-yellow on the eyepieces. Low intensity 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 10 4.5/6.0
Final result
167.6 / 190 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.


  • solid, stylish and handy casing,
  • very wide field of view,
  • good transmission level, in accordance with official declarations,
  • excelllent colour rendering,
  • sharp images across the whole field of view,
  • sensational correction of astigmatism,
  • slight chromatic aberration,
  • very low distortion with a good control of the rolling-ball effect,
  • low coma on the edge of the field of view,
  • good blackening and cleanliness inside the tubes,
  • coatings of excellent quality,
  • negligible brightness loss on the edge of the field of view,
  • high quality prisms made of BaK-4 glass.
  • price?

To be honest, after our NL Pure 12x42 test, I didn't expect anything significantly different from the 10x42 model. Firstly, such a renowned producer as Swarovski Optik shouldn't have any slip ups in their flagship series of binoculars. Secondly, 10x and 12x models have a slightly different construction of the eyepiece but their objectives, focusing element and prisms remain the same. Thirdly, the 10x42 model had even bigger chances for a better performance because its eyepiece features a slightly narrower apparent field of view so it is a bit easier to correct on the edges.

Of course even if I didn't expect any surprises in a form of notably different results than these of the 12x42 model, I still wanted to test the NL Pure 10x42. Firstly, surprises do happen from time to time and nothing is set in stone. Secondly, during first months after the release the 10x42 model enjoyed the greatest popularity so I knew its test would be popular as well.

Leica Ultravid BR 10x42 BL and Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 W B

Overall the Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 W B didn't let us down. In practically all testing categories the results of that pair of binoculars are excellent, very similar to the performance of the 12x42 model. What's more, the parameters of the tested binoculars are in full accordance with these officially declared by the producers, transmission values included.

Does the tested pair of binoculars have any flaws? Nothing serious to be sure. Still, if you take a closer look you might notice some problems concerning the performance against a really bright light and an interesting coma results – its level is not the highest near the very edge of the field but it reaches its maximum a tad closer to the centre. The price might be also considered a flaw by some potential buyers. A sum of almost 13 000 PLN makes this instrument out of financial reach of the majority of binoculars fans in Poland. Still, it must be noticed that the prices of top-of-the-range pairs of binoculars of the best producers have gone up lately; times when you could buy even top-of-the-range models for 5000- 6000 PLN have passed and most likely won't return. By they way, it's a pity binoculars don't constitute a part of the inflation basket composed by Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS)...

To sum up, undoubtedly the Swarovski NL Pure 10x42 W B is an outstainding pair of binoculars and it fully deserves the first place of our 10x42 binoculars ranking.