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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 21:19   #1
batvenci
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swarovski 8x32 vs 8.5x42

I am very curious about the differences in clarity, wow and 3D image between the two binoculars. I read that swaro 8.5x42 is not very three dimensional, is the same true for 8x32? What is the difference in resolution and brightness? Thanks!
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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 22:09   #2
Alexis Powell
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If only because of its higher magnification, the 8.5x will reveal more detail. Brightness wise, I think you will find the 8.5x brighter as soon as the light is low enough that your pupil dilation makes its larger exit pupil relevant. The 8x32 SV is said to have more issues with contrast against the light, but I've had little experience with it. The older 8x32 EL, which I have, performs extremely well in tricky back-lit, patchily-lit etc situations.

I've not met a roof-prism bin that shows much 3D, since the objectives tend to be close together compared to most porros, and these Swarovski models are no exception to that. They do have superb resolution (very little astigmatism, coma, etc) center to edge along with very little field curvature, so if those qualities make you interpret the view as flat, then they'll be very flat. I experience no such effect.

I don't know how to measure or to subjectively assess "wow", so I'll not comment on that.

--AP
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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 22:51   #3
Pileatus
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Originally Posted by batvenci View Post
I am very curious about the differences in clarity, wow and 3D image between the two binoculars. I read that swaro 8.5x42 is not very three dimensional, is the same true for 8x32? What is the difference in resolution and brightness? Thanks!
Both are great bins...we have these models in the SV format.
The 8X32 has slightly more eye relief than the 8.5X42 resulting in a true walk-in-view for anyone encumbered by eyeglasses. The wow effect is immediately obvious. The 8X32 SV FOV is also expansive.

The relatively small, lightweight 8X32 SV is a very impressive binocular. The one we have is deadly sharp across the field of view and every bit as good as its larger siblings. Color, contrast and DOF are all pleasing to the eye.

I use an 8.5X42 and 10X50 SV, a 7X42 Ultravid and an 8X32 SE and caution against dismissing the 8X32 SV because of its stature. For some reason, I find my 8X32 SE and the 8X32 SV have the most comfortable views of all the bins I've owned and/or used.

The 8.5X42 has a little more magnification reach and better light gathering capability for low light conditions due to the 42mm objective. The 8X32 SV, however, is quite good in low light and many would never notice the difference.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 02:07   #4
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I had them both and one big difference that wasn't mentioned is the bigger exit pupil in the 8.5x42 SV makes for easier eye placement than the 8x32 SV. For me that was a huge difference between the two. The bigger aperture binocular is less finicky to use.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 01:21   #5
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I find eye placement on the 8X32 SV to be better than most bins I've used, including our other SV's. And, the focus is silky smooooooth. Generalizations based on aperture, objective, FOV, etc. can be very misleading. The 8X32 SV is a real masterpiece...not perfect but pretty close.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 04:36   #6
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I have never had a Swarovski with a silky smooth focus and I think I have had at least 6 or 7 of them. I think you got lucky. The 8x32 SV does have good eye placement for an 8x32 owing to the fact it uses less baffling than some other alpha's but it does show more flare because of it. The 8.5x42 SV with it's bigger 5mm exit pupil is even better though as our most 42mm's. For me that is one big advantage of a 42mm.

Last edited by denco@comcast.n : Tuesday 12th September 2017 at 04:56.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 06:47   #7
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Both my SV`s had smooth focus, my FPro is as good as anything.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 07:08   #8
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With the fieldpro model Swarovski fixed the old focuser problem. On the three fieldpro units i've tried the focuser is smooth with same resistance in booth directions. Much better than my older swarovision 10x50.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 12:19   #9
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Originally Posted by denco@comcast.n View Post
I have never had a Swarovski with a silky smooth focus and I think I have had at least 6 or 7 of them. I think you got lucky. The 8x32 SV does have good eye placement for an 8x32 owing to the fact it uses less baffling than some other alpha's but it does show more flare because of it. The 8.5x42 SV with it's bigger 5mm exit pupil is even better though as our most 42mm's. For me that is one big advantage of a 42mm.
Dennis,

Have you tried the 8.5x42 field pro yet? Based on reports here ever since the FP version came out the focus seems to be greatly improved. Also, based on reports the 8.5 doesn't have the glare issues of your old 8x32 SV. It's a nice compromise between your current 8x and 9x and could be the ultimate all around bino for you knowing how much you used to love the SV.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 13:07   #10
Alexis Powell
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Dennis,

Have you tried the 8.5x42 field pro yet? Based on reports here ever since the FP version came out the focus seems to be greatly improved. Also, based on reports the 8.5 doesn't have the glare issues of your old 8x32 SV. It's a nice compromise between your current 8x and 9x and could be the ultimate all around bino for you knowing how much you used to love the SV.
Based on my experiences, I think Swarovski made improvements to the EL focus somewhere along the line even before FP came out. I don't think Dennis has tried an EL since those improvements were implemented.

--AP
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 15:04   #11
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Based on my experiences, I think Swarovski made improvements to the EL focus somewhere along the line even before FP came out. I don't think Dennis has tried an EL since those improvements were implemented.

--AP
I`d agree, my 32mm SV was one of the very last pre Field Pro and was buttery smooth, there was a difference in tension but not in smoothness, my FP has all but imperceptible tension difference.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 17:42   #12
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Based on my experiences, I think Swarovski made improvements to the EL focus somewhere along the line even before FP came out. I don't think Dennis has tried an EL since those improvements were implemented.

--AP
Alexis .... I agree. I purchased two pre Profield EL models during the close out sale that was the result of the introduction of the Profield change during the fall of 2015. Both were made in 2015 and the focus mechanisms show the same smoothness in the Profield models I have tried. I still feel some small amount of stiction even in new models, but they are a vast improvement over what was available for years in the EL and also the SLC. I also noticed the improvement in store and show demos during the last year of the pre Profield models.

As far as Dennis's statements on the Swaro focus, he now says he "never had a Swarovski with a silky smooth focus". However if you go back to his past posts during his 8X32 EL SV days one will find multiple posts where he said his Swarovski EL SV had a "buttery smooth" focus. I never realized till now there is s difference between silky smooth and buttery smooth.

One factor the OP should take into consideration in comparing the 8X32 and 8.5X42 EL SV models is rolling ball. In my case, I can detect a small amount in the 8X32 under certain viewing conditions but not to the point where it is an issue for me. This was with demos as I do not own one. Rolling ball was quite noticeable to me with the 8.5X42 to the point that I would not be able to adjust to it. So either try it first or make sure you can return it if there is a problem. Some members have reported to being extremely sensitive to rolling ball, some do not see it at all and then there are those like me who are in between.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 18:26   #13
denco@comcast.n
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I just can't believe Swarovski made a major change in the focus in the new Field Pro models. They are just too conservative of a company and I don't think they ever admitted they had a problem with the focus on the older ones. But I will try the newer models when I get a chance. None of my Swarovski's had the buttery smooth focus of my Zeiss's, Canon's, Maven's, Tract's or Nikon's. Big reason I quit buying Swarovski's. Why put up with a less than perfect focus on a $2K binocular when the other alpha's have comparable optics with a superb focus. I think most will agree Swarovski's focus is NOT as smooth as Zeiss or Nikon's.

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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 21:45   #14
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I have an EL Range 10X42 Field Pro and the focus is smooth with maybe the very tiniest more tension in one direction than the other.
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Old Wednesday 13th September 2017, 09:07   #15
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As far as Dennis's statements on the Swaro focus, he now says he "never had a Swarovski with a silky smooth focus". However if you go back to his past posts during his 8X32 EL SV days one will find multiple posts where he said his Swarovski EL SV had a "buttery smooth" focus. I never realized till now there is s difference between silky smooth and buttery smooth.
I do believe Dennis gave it his higher of the two ratings, calling the SV focuser buttery, since we all know woven silk, although smooth has noticeable grain to it. Great to know that it was the "best of the best" when he owned it.

My 8X32SV FP has a fantastic focus, similar in feel/quality to my 8x32FL and previously owned 8x42FL.

Back the the tread topic, Although I don't own it and never have, I think if I could only have one binocular, it might be the 8.5x42SV. Because I have many binoculars, I find the 8x32SV's overall image and viewing comfort so good that 90% of the time I can get away with its smaller exit pupil and slightly lower magnification, for most casual uses. I'll always go for the smaller, lighter glass if I don't have to give up much (if anything) in the way of image, to carry it. If I need a 10x, I do prefer a 42mm keeping that exit pupil roughly the same.
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