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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 08:38   #1
Super Dave
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8x20, 8x25, 8x32 size comparison

I picked up a demo 8x25 CL-P from Midway USA recently and I am blown away by the quality of the image.

I have always travelled with my Leica Ultravid 8x20 but I think the extra weight of the Swaro 8x25 will be worth toting along. It gives a very pleasing, big, bright view. I have only done some quick casual comparisons and the 8x25 view is as pleasing as the Zeiss 8x32 T*FL to my eyes.

Look at the size difference of the 8x25 vs 8x32 in the case. It seems over half the size of the 8x32. That's doable in a small pack.

Swarovski really knocked this one out of the park. If I could only keep one it would be the 8x25.

Check one out if you get a chance.

Dave
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 11:45   #2
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The CL's view is really nice. If size matters the most, I'd be tempted to own one. Your size comparison images show there's a lot to be gained when going with compacts. But the image also shows the compacts in their collapsed state, not quite ready for use. With the cases, size difference is even more pronounced.
The FL is rugged enough to use without a case, whereas the CL appears a bit more delicate.
I had a 10x32 FL but later I changed for the Meostar 8x32, which is every bit as rugged, has wonderful ergonomics and a view that holds its own.
Despite my big hands, the Meopta's handling is superior to mostly anything out there.
I also noticed that you omitted a competitor named Nikon Monarch 7 (or Kite Lynx HD 8x30 which is very similar) They are sized in-between the CL and the FL, handle like a binocular should and have a big, bright view. More than once I've looked at the CL, but in the end I found the Meopta small enough and I don't have to sacrifice ruggedness and FOV for small dimensions. YMMV, and the CL is a jewel. Enjoy!

//L
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 14:44   #3
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If I want to travel as small as possible I often carry my 8x25 CL Compact in a Nikon case made for their 10x25 LX L Premier. The strap won't fit in with it but you can't have everything.

Bob

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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 14:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
If I want to travel as small as possible I often carry my 8x25 CL Compact in a Nikon case made for their 10x25 LX L Premier. The strap won't fit in with it but you can't have everything.

Bob
Knowing you have owned the LX L (did you also have the 8x20?), would you say the CL is vastly superior to the Nikon?

//L
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 15:27   #5
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I agree with you on the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P. It has been the best compact I have found for me and I have tried them all. If you like the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P you will really like the new Swarovski 8x30 CL. If you want a case that you can fit the strap in with the 8x25 CL-P binoculars try this Lowepro Dashpoint 20. The Swarovski case is too tight for the strap. It is just like the Swarovski case only a little bigger.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 16:58   #6
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I'll be interested in the CL when I'm confident that they aren't being made with loose hinges anymore and they redesign the focus knob to be easier to operate under all conditions (e.g. while wearing thick gloves). The Zeiss FL has beautiful focus operation, and with its minimum of 5 feet works better for butterflies.

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...With the cases, size difference is even more pronounced. The FL is rugged enough to use without a case...
Yes, the case for the FL is ridiculously proportioned. Instead, I use the leather zip case for Leica 8x32 BN. It's a perfect "skin" fit over the bin, with medium width neoprene strap folded between the barrels so it all goes inside. A neat little packing "cube" when it's all done.

--AP
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 17:45   #7
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Very interesting guys. We all have different needs and expectations.

I live across a US Marine Air Base and all kinds of cool stuff comes and goes. Right now we have a NASA ER-2 flying out of the base doing research on the volcano and reefs. The ER-2 is the civilian version of the U2 spy plane. With my spotting scope I can watch the pilot get in the cockpit...

The 8 powers are not strong enough and the only thing I really use them for is travel. The Swaro has hit the sweet spot for my needs being reasonably small and providing a great view.

Take care,
Dave
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 18:20   #8
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Quote:
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I live across a US Marine Air Base and all kinds of cool stuff comes and goes. Right now we have a NASA ER-2 flying out of the base doing research on the volcano and reefs. The ER-2 is the civilian version of the U2 spy plane. With my spotting scope I can watch the pilot get in the cockpit...

Take care,
Dave
How neat is that! Nice one Dave!

Chris
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 18:49   #9
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Time for my afternoon swim.

A.W.
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Old Friday 16th February 2018, 00:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looksharp65 View Post
Knowing you have owned the LX L (did you also have the 8x20?), would you say the CL is vastly superior to the Nikon?

//L
No I didn't own the 8x20 LXL. My 8x20 is the older Leica 8x20 Trinovid which I like to have with me when I need a binocular that is unobtrusive like at a concert or just to have with me for general use. I would say that the 8x25 CL Compact is superior to it in a number of ways except portability; Hinge stops and better coatings come to mind.

I expect that the 10x25 CL Compact would also be better than the Nikon 10x25 LXL simply because its eye cups fit my eyes much better and also because the Nikon 8x20 LXL and 10x25 LXL have been unchanged for a long time.

Bob
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Old Friday 16th February 2018, 00:41   #11
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OK thanks Bob!

//L
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Old Friday 16th February 2018, 01:32   #12
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Next up, please post a performance and user preference of this size mentioned.

Bigger is better..!

Jerry
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Old Friday 16th February 2018, 07:41   #13
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I have a Zeiss Victory 8x20 which replaced a Leica double hinge folding bino that I never got on with. The Victory has been my 'desk' bino for some years, sitting next to my PC monitor and has given me great views of birds through the window. But I took it downstairs to give it a clean and by a set of household circumstances too trivial to relate it ended up downstairs for a week and I grabbed an 8x32 to take its place in the meantime. Well the ease of viewing and field of view mean that the Vic is now relegated to 'folding bino' duties when I need something discrete. Meanwhile the 8x32s are just so much better and hardly take up much more room on the desk top.
My conclusion is that for me folding binos are best just doing what folding binos can do and other bins can't: fold into a pocket and go to places where having a bino around your neck would seem even more odd to other folks than they do already.

Lee

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Old Friday 16th February 2018, 22:47   #14
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Lee:

I agree with your thoughts, well explained.

Jerry
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Old Saturday 17th February 2018, 18:00   #15
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I spent years in search of a compact that didn't feel like a "compromise" compared with a mid-size and I've decided that there isn't one, for me anyway. I still have four compacts (Swaro 8x25 CL, Leica 8x20 UV, Bushnell 7x26 Custom, and an old Olympus Tracker 8x25). The Swaro is really the only one that gets used these days. It shines on occasions when I'm not really birding--but you never know what might show up. Two days ago I was walking along the river when a Peregrine Falcon unexpectedly showed up. Glad I had the Swaro along. It's also my go-to bino for trips to the city.

I only have three 8x32's these days (Zeiss FL, Swaro SV, Sightron Blue Sky) and I think any one of those is an overall easier and better view than the Swaro 8x25. But they're all just big enough that I wouldn't carry one around with me all the time "just in case."

The new 8x30 CL might convince me to carry more than a compact. I haven't had a chance to see one yet.
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Old Monday 19th February 2018, 16:44   #16
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I spent years in search of a compact that didn't feel like a "compromise" compared with a mid-size and I've decided that there isn't one, for me anyway. I still have four compacts (Swaro 8x25 CL, Leica 8x20 UV, Bushnell 7x26 Custom, and an old Olympus Tracker 8x25). The Swaro is really the only one that gets used these days. It shines on occasions when I'm not really birding--but you never know what might show up. Two days ago I was walking along the river when a Peregrine Falcon unexpectedly showed up. Glad I had the Swaro along. It's also my go-to bino for trips to the city.

I only have three 8x32's these days (Zeiss FL, Swaro SV, Sightron Blue Sky) and I think any one of those is an overall easier and better view than the Swaro 8x25. But they're all just big enough that I wouldn't carry one around with me all the time "just in case."

The new 8x30 CL might convince me to carry more than a compact. I haven't had a chance to see one yet.
The new 8x30 CL is the first 30mm semi-compact binocular I have seen you could use as a full time birding binocular. It will hold it's own compared to most 32mm's. It is definitely easier to use then the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P but not as compact and I have them both. I have been comparing the new Swarovski 8x30 CL to the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 which most agree is an excellent 32mm for the money and it is hard to decide which is better. They are very close. The Conquest HD has a slightly bigger FOV but the Swarovski has slightly sharper edges. Of course the 8x30 CL is more compact and lighter in the hand. Either one is excellent IMO.
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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 14:13   #17
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The new 8x30 CL is the first 30mm semi-compact binocular I have seen you could use as a full time birding binocular. It will hold it's own compared to most 32mm's. It is definitely easier to use then the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P but not as compact and I have them both. I have been comparing the new Swarovski 8x30 CL to the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 which most agree is an excellent 32mm for the money and it is hard to decide which is better. They are very close. The Conquest HD has a slightly bigger FOV but the Swarovski has slightly sharper edges. Of course the 8x30 CL is more compact and lighter in the hand. Either one is excellent IMO.
Thanks, Dennis. I'm interested because my wife and I travel a lot and I'm in charge of the optics, which I won't put in a checked bag. Just too many disasters over the years. So we're talking two binos and a small scope (Nikon ED 50) in a carry-on every time we fly. I try to avoid full-size binos if I can, but the 8x25 CL is a bit of a compromise and the 32mm FL and Sightron don't quite measure up either. I should just buy another 32mm SV, but it would be nice to save about $1k as well.

Mark
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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 15:46   #18
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I think each of us will have our own personal sweet spot for this.

For me it has been the 8x32 and recently it seems to be becoming the 8x30.

You go with what works for you... simple enough!

CG
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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 16:06   #19
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I think each of us will have our own personal sweet spot for this.

For me it has been the 8x32 and recently it seems to be becoming the 8x30.

You go with what works for you... simple enough!

CG
That is how I feel. I think what it is is binocular performance is improving with better coatings and glass so the smaller apertures like the 32mm's and now the 30mm's and even the 25mm's are equal to the older 42mm's in brightness in resolution in most birding situations. You soon reach the realization of why carry a big old heavy binocular when a compact light one will do the job. Also, we have a lot of sunny bright days in Colorado due to our high altitude. It depends on you geographical location too. If you live in the Amazon jungle it is different.

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