Today Nocs Provisions is proud to introduce the Pro Issue 8x42 and 10x42 binoculars, the first of this size in the Nocs Provisions line. We sit down with Chris McKleroy, CEO, on the development of the new Pro Issue.
Why did Nocs make a 42mm binocular?
We created the 42mm aperture Pro Issue binocular for our people- the customers and fans (and random internet haters) who asked for it. At Nocs - customer service is a role that everyone in the company does to some degree at some point to understand who our people are, what they like, and what they don’t like. And overwhelmingly, from the Naturalists to Facebook ad comments to emails to Instagram DM’s, we received requests to create a 42mm binocular. When we set out to create a brand originally, we never thought we’d make a full size binocular; there were plenty in the market already. What we didn’t know at that point is that serious optics users, from birders to hunters to field scientists, would end up embracing the Nocs brand and values we stand for and how we do things differently. We’re honored that they take us seriously. We made this for them.
Was it a hard decision?
At Nocs we got our foothold in the optics market by creating a high quality, compact binocular. Prior to launch, in the market, there were plenty of small, cheap, poor performing binoculars, and also plenty of large, high quality binoculars that were bulky and heavy. Ultimately, we didn’t want to bring either of those on a weekend adventure - so we built the Standard Issue as a response - high quality optics and features traditionally found on larger binoculars, yet in a compact 25mm aperture size. The decision to make a full size 42mm aperture binocular was easy. Our customers asked for it, and we listen to our customers. The hardest part was defining the performance level and specification of the product. Looking at our product line and our pricing, it might seem obvious to create a $130 8x42 product - having a product line that ranges from $75-$95, this would fit right in. The problem was, 42mm binoculars in this range are perceivably the same or even poorer than the Standard Issue 8x25. We set the bar high with that product, which ultimately challenges many mid range 32mm and 42mm products. So we had to go back to the drawing board, testing a ton of products along the way, to define exactly what we’d be willing to produce. That led us to this Pro Issue spec, which ultimately is defined by a massive field of view, phase coated prisms, and a super easy to use intuitive interface. We figured if we were going to make a “big” binocular, it might as well be proportionally “better” in optics to really set itself apart from the Standard Issue. Ultimately, we only want to make things that our customers love - the type of stuff that gets great reviews and has our people sharing the product with their friends.
Who is the Pro Issue for?
The Pro Issue is for amateurs and professionals alike - people who really spend a lot of time glassing and with great intent. The Standard Issue is a great set of bins for someone who might want a simple, lightweight solution, and a bit more casual. The Pro Issue is for people who are on a mission to see a lifer, who take their time outdoors glassing seriously, the kind of people who are up at first light or dusk on the search. They are fit for professional lifeguards, firefighters, and forest service, as the product quality of the Pro Issue is to par or above the benchmarks for what defines the standards in their industries.
What sets the Pro Issue apart?
The super wide field of view that is crisp and color correct from edge to edge is what sets it apart. Its as if the binocular just disappears from your peripheral view when glassing with these, which is the type of experience you get in binoculars 3x the price. Unlike any of other Nocs Provisions Optics, the Pro Issue’s prism is phase coated, which makes for an extremely bright and sharp image. The optics are broadband fully multi coated in our most premium formula, resulting in accurate color representation no matter the time of day. The Pro Issue was designed in tandem with our manufacturing partner, which is how we are able to provide optics that rival those that cost 2-3x the price.
What inspired the design?
Frankly, the design of the product was a replication of the award winning form of the Standard Issue to meet the scale of a full size binocular. We did go back to the drawing board for the design of the Pro Issue, designing and testing and printing new variations of designs, yet ultimately settled on the familiar look that sets Nocs apart. We’re happy with how this design dissipates impact, fits in the hand and provides grip for one handed viewing, and when out of hand, how it beautifully reacts to light.
Why make both an 8x and a 10x?
This was an interesting process. It is not that “bigger” is “better,” but rather, we wanted to create for unique customer uses. The 10x magnification creates a more zoomed in image, which is great for tracking something that is stationary, however this does come with a slight trade off in brightness and field of view. So the 8x magnification has a super wide field, incredible light gathering capacity, and is better for tracking objects in motion, for those moments when the bird you are glassing decides to take a zig zagging flight through the canopy or that cheetah jumps out from under an acacia.
What were the challenges in producing this?
Ultimately the challenges were in translating our specification from engineering to manufacturing and dealing with the 1000’s of decisions that need to be made along the way. Dealing with some supply chain issues along the way as well, which just caused for scheduling delays in the prototyping and assembly. Frankly, we’ve had a pilot run of units in the hands of some of our naturalists (and in our own teams hands) and have been pretty hard on them the last few months - they’ve been holding up incredibly well. Regardless we are on our toes to learn from our customers use in the field. 0
Last words on it?
We are so stoked to be able to create and continue to create and give back. We’re humbled that we’ve found people out there who dig what we are doing. And we’re especially stoked to continue to offset our carbon emissions and give back to the community along the way. This year were expanding our reach of partners that we support via 1% For the Planet and are really excited about helping make an impact with social justice, outdoor access and supporting the next generation of young naturalists.
Shout out to the Nocs Factory Team for helping make this a reality and shout out to the Nocs Naturalists that tested the product to make sure it was up to snuff.