The New Champs: Introducing the 14x52 and 10x52 NL Pure

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The New Champs: Introducing the 14x52 and 10x52 NL Pure

Late in the last century (1999 to be precise), Swarovski rocked the western hunting world with the introduction of the first 15x56 SLC. The sleek design and optical superiority combined with 15x magnification helped establish Swarovski’s dominant reputation among serious hunters. There have been a few optical upgrades to the original that helped retain its undefeated heavyweight champion in the optics world. Since the introduction of the 12x50 EL and the more recent 12x42 NL Pure, we western hunters have been begging for “a new 15.”

It has arrived! Introducing the Swarovski 14x52 NL Pure.

The Real Power

The first question you might have is, “Why 14x and not 15x?” First, the actual magnification of the binocular is closer to 14.5x–so pretty dang close to 15x. Unlike many companies, Swarovski refuses to exaggerate or misrepresent their products in any way. It would have been convenient to just call it a 15–nobody would ever know, but that is not their company culture.

While the 14x52 will get all the initial attention, the 10x52 is a spectacular product and is a heavy-hitter in its own right. A wide field of view is a great selling feature, but it can come at the cost of edge-to-edge clarity and depth of field. The Swarovski engineers kept the field of view in the 10x52 to 390’ at 1000 yards and delivered an image quality your eyes will love for hours on end.

The Big Questions

Size matters. I used to carry my 15x56 SLCs in my pack and a pair of 10s on my chest. When the 12x50 ELs were introduced, I carried only them in a bino harness to save the weight. When I heard about the new 14s, I knew I would need to rethink my system, that is, until I held them. The 15x56 measures 7.6” x 5.5” and weighs 42.3 ounces, while the new NLs are 6.9” x 5.2” weighing in at 36 ounces. It was almost impossible to fit the 15x56 in a chest rig, and the weight around my neck was always a problem for me. But the new NLs fit a standard large harness just fine, and the weight is not an issue. More importantly, I can hand-hold the 36-ounce NLs substantially longer than the heavier SLC 15s, which means I could stick with a one-binocular system on many hunts.

The next big question is: How do they compare? The 15x56 is an amazing optic, but the difference was obvious from the start. The field of view (FOV) is 279 feet, compared to 234 feet at 1000 yards, with better edge-to-edge clarity which translates into 20% more useable FOV. This is the most substantial improvement, in my opinion. The image appears brighter and the resolution sharper. I use vague terms like “appears” for a reason, as these binoculars are both so good that we are talking about 1-3%, and some would argue that the human eye cannot perceive changes that subtle. However, the improved image quality combined with the greatly increased FOV adds up to a big advantage.

Swarovski finally designed a new tripod adapter system! The unique front-locking design is robust and provides a solid fit. The adapter has an Arca-Swiss base and is threaded to accommodate a tripod plate. As of now, this adapter is the only mounting option, but the Outdoorsmans team is already working on an option that would allow you to use their adapter, so you won’t have to pack multiple pieces.

The final question is how much will this much performance cost me? The 14x52 will hit the market at $3499 and the 10x52 at $3449.


When Swarovski introduced the NL Pure 42mm series, it raised the bar as the best in the industry. I could go on with flowery language, describing the optical qualities of the new NLs, but trust me, they are spectacular and a welcome addition to the NL family. The consumer demand will outstrip the supply for a long time. Get yours on order with the Outdoorsmans as soon as possible! You will have plenty of time to save up the money or clear some space on the credit card.


Chris Denham

On top of being one of the stars of one of the most popular hunting shows on television, Chris is the "War Chief" of a tribe of incredible people that work for Wilderness Athlete, Outdoorsmans, and Western Hunter. Chris has been hunting, guiding, writing, and more importantly, thinking about hunting the West harder than anyone else for decades. He's seen it all, done most of it, and has a great story about it. Chris lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona but spends months criss-crossing the highways and trails of the mountain West each year.

When he's not giving glassing seminars or filming for the TV show, he's tinkering with gear, advocating for both hunters and wildlife, or towing around an Airstream camper. Aside from that, he's a gardener and a sipper of fine bourbon.

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