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Old Sunday 9th April 2017, 22:00   #1
dmcharg
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8x25 CL vs 8x32 EL Field Pro Review/Comparison

Thought i would share some thoughts regarding the Swarovski 8x25 pocket CL and Swarovski 8x32 EL Field Pro.

I have owned the 8x25 for over a year. Overall these little binoculars have really impressed me. I have already posted a short review on here so will not repeat. I purchased these for long hikes and mountain biking when portability is critical and carrying anything larger just isn’t possible, for this purpose these little binoculars are perfect. When i first got these i was surprised how bright they were and the eye relief is excellent which is good as i wear glasses.

Initially i was considering buying the Swarovski 10x50 EL Field pro but before making the purchase i decided to try out all EL field pro models - 8x32, 10x32, 8.5x42, 10x42 and 10x50. It was certainly an interesting experience, quite simply they are all fantastic but then given the price i would certainly hope so. As much as i love higher power i.e 10x i simply can’t hold them steady enough to really get the benefit so that immediately ruled out the 10x models. The other factor is size, weight and how the binoculars feel in my hand, in this regard having tried all of them i just kept coming back to the smaller form factor of the 8x32, they just felt perfect in my hands, well balanced, not too heavy or big. In terms of eye relief i found the 8x32,8.5x42 and 10x50 to be the most comfortable when wearing glasses but the pocket CL is still very good.

Compared to the 8x25 pocket CL the 8x32 is certainly a good bit bigger and its not something i am ever likely to put in my pack when doing a very long hike or mountain biking. The 8x32 are definitely brighter and for sure they offer a more immersive/brighter view. The focus on the 8x32 has a little more friction than the 8x25 which is butter smooth and i have kind of got used to its small size, the focus wheel on the 8x32 by contrast is much bigger but still excellent. One of the big benefits of the 8x32 is that i don’t need to keep adjusting the inter pupil distance something which i have got used to with the pocket CL.

The pictures don't really fully convey the difference in feel of both of these binoculars when in your hands, the 8x25 feels much smaller. The 8x25 have no eyepiece or objective covers and the strap is considerable lighter/smaller making the 8x25 feel more portable and compact.

The new strap and covers on the 8x32 are definitely better than the pocket CL’s which has none :-( but i tend to keep them in the small pouch so its not a big issue for the pocket CL. I found it a little awkward to fit the strap on the 8x32. I thought the objective covers would annoy me flapping around but they work perfectly.

The rubber eyecup covers on the 8x32 are a little tight fitting but i am sure over time they will loosen up.

In terms of image quality, all of the models are really excellent and i couldn't tell any difference in terms of pure IQ, other factors i feel were far more important i.e size, weight, magnification, field of view. I didn’t experience any rolling ball effect with any of the models. When you switch back and forth between both binoculars you can definitely notice the difference in field of view and brightness.

On my first outing with the 8x32 i was lucky enough to come across some deer and it was such an immersive view, boy do deer have good hearing, even the slightest movement they spot you and you really notice they pick up every sound. I also wandered into some woods were it was a little darker and i could certainly notice the difference in brightness between the two.

In summary, if portability and small size is the absolute most important thing then the 8x25 are considerably smaller and fit easily in a jacket pocket. There is no doubt about it the 8x32 offer a more immersive view, the additional brightness and fov definitely have more of a wow factor. In the end i didn't feel like i was giving up anything with the 8x32 compared to bigger models but of all the models it just felt the most comfortable for me. For shorter hikes/walks where i won't be carrying anything else and i want to do some bird watching etc i will take the 8x32, for extended hikes or mountain biking i will always put the little 8x25 in my pack. The brightness of the view in the 8x32 really is quite remarkable and i can't imagine how swarovski can make them any better.
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Last edited by dmcharg : Sunday 9th April 2017 at 23:01.
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Old Tuesday 11th April 2017, 02:18   #2
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I thought that was a really nice read!

I have to agree with your comments about the SV 8X32. It's probably the best 32mm binocular out there. I have found that in the vast majority of situations the added weight and bulk of the 8.5X42 SV is simply not needed for the small optical advantage.

BTW....deer will usually smeller you before they hear you!
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Old Sunday 30th April 2017, 05:48   #3
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Thanks very much for the comparison. I'm considering the Swarovski and Leica compacts and am leaning toward the Swarovski 8x25s vs the 10x after looking through them at the store. Even though I like the idea of more power, I was able to acquire the picture much faster with the 8x and they felt nice in my hands. I haven't gotten a hold of the Leicas yet but of course they are always toted as one of the best. I looked through some Trinovid compacts many years ago and was blown away...8x, 10x, Swarovski, Leica???...so many decisions!
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Old Monday 1st May 2017, 08:24   #4
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You can't go wrong with the Swarovski 8x25 CL. They are not cheap but they are a really excellent portable binocular.
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Old Monday 1st May 2017, 08:34   #5
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Having used the Swarovski 8x32 Field Pro now for a few weeks i must say this binocular really is outstanding. The brightness and the clarity of the view really are something else. Its not just bird watching, these binoculars are simply outstanding for panning distant landscapes. The focus is easing up a little and becoming smoother which i guess is to be expected with time. I have used the 8x25 and 8x32 side by side now for a good few weeks and you know its really surprising just how the 8x25 hold their own against the bigger 8x32. I plan on keeping both as like i mentioned above for long hikes where i will also be carrying a camera the 8x25 is much smaller and will easily fit in bag.
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Old Monday 1st May 2017, 15:08   #6
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Originally Posted by dmcharg View Post
Having used the Swarovski 8x32 Field Pro now for a few weeks i must say this binocular really is outstanding. The brightness and the clarity of the view really are something else. Its not just bird watching, these binoculars are simply outstanding for panning distant landscapes. The focus is easing up a little and becoming smoother which i guess is to be expected with time. I have used the 8x25 and 8x32 side by side now for a good few weeks and you know its really surprising just how the 8x25 hold their own against the bigger 8x32. I plan on keeping both as like i mentioned above for long hikes where i will also be carrying a camera the 8x25 is much smaller and will easily fit in bag.
DMC,

Wonderful write up and comparative review, thanks!

I have the 8x32 SV and had the 8X25 CL pocket (regret letting it go). I can understand your enjoyment and satisfaction with both as I also consider each top views and handling in their respective competitive field of optics!

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Old Thursday 4th May 2017, 21:33   #7
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It's funny ... Saw a deer this morning too. I was able to sneak closer behind some big trees. What a joy and silent freedom. The old Dialyt is pretty stunning in those situations.

And then it went ... A dog came along from the other side, chuck is right. First they smell you, then they pick up movement and sound.

By the way ... Would love a EL 8x32, do they still have problems with flare, veiling glare in the last field pro version ? Thx
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Old Friday 5th May 2017, 00:46   #8
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Originally Posted by Riverstalker View Post
It's funny ... Saw a deer this morning too. I was able to sneak closer behind some big trees. What a joy and silent freedom. The old Dialyt is pretty stunning in those situations.

And then it went ... A dog came along from the other side, chuck is right. First they smell you, then they pick up movement and sound.

By the way ... Would love a EL 8x32, do they still have problems with flare, veiling glare in the last field pro version ? Thx
Any issues like that with the EL 8x32 SV, are very overblown in my opinion.
Most users will be very pleased.

It is the best 8x32 available.

Jerry
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Old Friday 5th May 2017, 02:01   #9
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Any issues like that with the EL 8x32 SV, are very overblown in my opinion.
Most users will be very pleased.

It is the best 8x32 available.

Jerry
Perhaps I'm nit-picking, but "best" really depends on your preferences and requirements. The SVs are not best for me, and that has little to do with glare. My Zeiss FLs are the best 8x32s for me - and I did look around. Others may prefer the SVs, some perhaps Leica or Nikon or supposedly 'non-alpha' offerings.

...Mike
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Old Friday 5th May 2017, 03:05   #10
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Perhaps I'm nit-picking, but "best" really depends on your preferences and requirements. The SVs are not best for me, and that has little to do with glare. My Zeiss FLs are the best 8x32s for me - and I did look around. Others may prefer the SVs, some perhaps Leica or Nikon or supposedly 'non-alpha' offerings.

...Mike
Mike:

I suppose you can tell I am just playing around a bit.

But I can tell you have not spent much time with the Swarovski.

Jerry
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Old Friday 5th May 2017, 04:57   #11
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But I can tell you have not spent much time with the Swarovski.
Jerry: quite so, but it wouldn't make a difference. My FLs are 2cm shorter and 1cm narrower than the SVs. And they're still almost too large to meet my physical size requirement. Which isn't negotiable. So I had the SVs pretty much crossed off the list before I even started, along with quite a few others. (In fact, I tried to aim for a much lower price-point - but one way or another I couldn't hit, which is how I ended up with the FLs. If other small similar-format bins had fewer optical sins, or if I could cope with the ER of the Ultravids, I might have decided differently.)

Like I said: different people, different priorities.

...Mike
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Old Friday 5th May 2017, 14:41   #12
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Any issues like that with the EL 8x32 SV, are very overblown in my opinion.
Most users will be very pleased.

It is the best 8x32 available.

Jerry
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfunnell View Post
Perhaps I'm nit-picking, but "best" really depends on your preferences and requirements. The SVs are not best for me, and that has little to do with glare. My Zeiss FLs are the best 8x32s for me - and I did look around. Others may prefer the SVs, some perhaps Leica or Nikon or supposedly 'non-alpha' offerings.

...Mike
I agree with both of you... I do know that the SV 8X32 is the best 32mm birding binocular I'VE had. It's one of the few 32mm's that doesn't give up adequate eye relief. I can see how size might be an issue tho. It's not a compact 32 for sure. It's about the same size as some of the smaller 42mm but still pretty light, about the same weight as the FL 8X32. It actually feels lighter than it is. I'll say it's the best optics one can get in a 21 ounce binocular!
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Old Wednesday 24th May 2017, 01:39   #13
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I had a chance to see and use the 8x32 EL this past week and to say I was impressed is an understatement. Did not compare to anything else and am pretty sure they aren't three times the binoculars my 8x32 Conquest HD or 8x32 Nikon SE binoculars are but damn, I *really* want a pair.
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Old Wednesday 24th May 2017, 13:52   #14
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In the final count, my EL 8X32 SV is one of the main reasons I let my CL 8X25 pockets go!!!

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Old Wednesday 24th May 2017, 15:57   #15
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If the flare/glare issue affects you the way it did me, which was to render the binocular useless at times, its far from overblown, I`v had zero flare issues with the 42mm, regardless of its other talents I would`nt swap my 42mm for a 32mm for all the proverbial tea in China.
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Old Wednesday 24th May 2017, 16:06   #16
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I owned one of the early production units of the 8x32 SV and had glare issues. I switched to a more recent pair that I have now owned for about a year. Using them every day and in all sorts of weather conditions from Patagonia to China to Morocco - no glare issue! I also own a pair of 10x32 SVs - no glare issue!
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Old Wednesday 24th May 2017, 17:06   #17
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I bought a 8x32SV last August with the intention of taking it to Africa. A couple of days dealing with the poor glare control of this binoc, I promptly sent it back for a refund. It is a terrible characteristic of an otherwise great glass.
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Old Wednesday 24th May 2017, 18:08   #18
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A very schizophrenic binocular!
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Old Thursday 25th May 2017, 18:02   #19
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Perhaps I'm nit-picking, but "best" really depends on your preferences and requirements. The SVs are not best for me, and that has little to do with glare. My Zeiss FLs are the best 8x32s for me - and I did look around. Others may prefer the SVs, some perhaps Leica or Nikon or supposedly 'non-alpha' offerings.



...Mike


Good point, people do see things differently.

I looked through the FL 8x32 and the colors appeared cooler, almost a blue tint to my eyes. I also struggled to get full field of view, maybe just the wrong ergonomics for my facial characteristics.

I really enjoy my 8x32 ELSV and I haven't been able to recreate the glare some have issues with.
Swarovski makes some great binos for sure.
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Old Monday 2nd October 2017, 17:39   #20
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Right now I have the chance to compare the 8x32 to the 8,5x42 FP models for a few days. After day one I can say the 42 EL controls glare better ! That veiling glare is still there but never in the center and way less than with the 32 EL. It is really just a thin line arround the edges. The 32 shows glare almost till the center.
With both binos different eyeplacement helps a bit but I can't eliminate it completely. I'd say the glare with the 42 is no big deal, the 32 did surprise me with the veiling, I read a lot in the birdforum about this and it's true.

The good thing is I really spent half the day trying to reproduce the veiling glare. Overcast day, looking arround the sun which was pretty low later on right into dark branches and dark forrest. Even though I tried to bring the bins to their limits I had an absolute blast with them.

These are two wonderful binoculars ! The glare with the small one is a bit on the edge but I also think that it will be way less present under normal use. At least I hope so because the 32 is darn nice to hold and quite cheaper. I can't decide ...
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Old Wednesday 4th October 2017, 23:07   #21
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It's funny ... Saw a deer this morning too. I was able to sneak closer behind some big trees. What a joy and silent freedom. The old Dialyt is pretty stunning in those situations.

And then it went ... A dog came along from the other side, chuck is right. First they smell you, then they pick up movement and sound...
Deer have incredible smell. Red deer, in particular, can scent you from several kilometres away. You must always approach wild deer from downwind i.e. have the breeze in your face. It's the first thing a deer hunter learns.

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Any issues like that with the EL 8x32 SV, are very overblown in my opinion.
Most users will be very pleased.

It is the best 8x32 available.

Jerry
I sold my SV 8x32's as I didn't particularly like the large size and ergonomics and even though it was a 2015 model it still had glare issues. Much prefer the Leica Ultravid HD Plus and the Zeiss Victory 8x32 FL. However, being primarily a deer hunter and nature, birdwatcher secondary to that, my requirements are probably different to a straight out birdwatcher.
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Old Thursday 5th October 2017, 01:44   #22
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You guys are starting to sound like a pack of Dennis... (but Dennis isn't singing this tune anymore)!!

dmcharge, if portability is an issue... say hiking most all day... and you will be glassing heavily and frequently over many hours... which one would you lean toward??? (For me, the 8x32; however if not glassing much then the 8x25... curious how others feel about it).

CG
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Old Thursday 5th October 2017, 20:58   #23
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The thing is: someone stated that the EL 32 advantages outweight the glare issues it has. Today I had it with me again in the woods. It is light, a dream to hold, great depth of field and FOV and furthermore an outstanding ease of view. The glare and veiling doesn't bother me that much, actually if I had never read about it in here I still would think it's just normal.
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Old Friday 6th October 2017, 05:19   #24
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River stalker, totally agree, they are super light compared to 42mm binos. As the tubes are smaller they are easier to grip and steady. I also have had no problems with glare. They are actually better then the CL's for glare. Was only bought last month if other people was wondering which batch I am using.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 22:54   #25
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You guys are starting to sound like a pack of Dennis... (but Dennis isn't singing this tune anymore)!!

dmcharge, if portability is an issue... say hiking most all day... and you will be glassing heavily and frequently over many hours... which one would you lean toward??? (For me, the 8x32; however if not glassing much then the 8x25... curious how others feel about it).

CG
In this case i would most likely take the 8x32 because i was intending to do a lot of observing using the binoculars. The 8x25 i use for more occasional viewing when i want something i can just stick in the jacket pocket.
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