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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2004, 11:56   #1
Don Tom
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Info on older 8x30 Habicht SLCs

Hi Folks,
I have just purchased a pair of (I think) first generation SLCs, in very good optical condition. Does anyone know if this model had phase correction coatings to the roof prisms?
My previous bins are Canon 8x32WP, and are brighter than the Swaros (observed by looking at the moon), but are inferior in contrast, weight, ergonomics etc. I know there is a lot of genuine technology in optic design, but low light performance, waterproofing and weight are probably the most important factors to me in the chosen magnification.
I'm considering buying a pair of Zeiss Dialyt 7x42, what waterproofing do they have? From what I can find out, they are only splashproof, would that mean they are not Nitrogen filled?
Thanks for any help you can give.

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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2004, 13:15   #2
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The very first 8X30 SLC, introduced in the mid 80's was not phase coated and was not waterproof. A few years later a Mark II version came out the was phase coated and water proof. The different versions look virtually identical except the Mark II model had a flat optical element added in front of the objective for waterproofing. Focusing in this binocular is done by moving the objective, so if you see a moving objective with no fixed element in front of it you have the first version.

The Zeiss 7X42 Dialyt was not designed to be completely water proof. I beleive Zeiss decided it was water resistant enough to be called water proof in their advertising about 5 years ago, but I don't think they actually changed anything about it. Some one else may know better.

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Old Wednesday 4th August 2004, 02:16   #3
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Swaros are MKIIs

Thanks Henry,
You couldn't have made that simpler, mine are MKIIs. I have been agonising over whether to keep them or use them to trade up to a brighter pair. But the phase coating settles it, I'll keep them. They were the bargain of (my) century, NZ$50 (about GPB12)! Most of my hunting will be daylight work, and I've come to realise that a smaller exit pupil means squat to my eyes in daylight, even when dealing with shadowed areas.
I'll also save up for a pair of 10x42 Leica Geovids for NZ alpine hunting: how did they manage to drop 400g off the previous model!
WRT to the Zeiss Dialyt 7x42s: why haven't Zeiss realised they had a great product ergonomically, optically and aesthetically (wow, did I spell that?) and "focus" on improving the mechanics to make them fully waterproof, rather than bringing out new series that (IMO) are ugly as sin?
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Old Friday 6th August 2004, 23:22   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Tom
Thanks Henry,
You couldn't have made that simpler, mine are MKIIs. I have been agonising over whether to keep them or use them to trade up to a brighter pair. But the phase coating settles it, I'll keep them. They were the bargain of (my) century, NZ$50 (about GPB12)! Most of my hunting will be daylight work, and I've come to realise that a smaller exit pupil means squat to my eyes in daylight, even when dealing with shadowed areas.
I'll also save up for a pair of 10x42 Leica Geovids for NZ alpine hunting: how did they manage to drop 400g off the previous model!
WRT to the Zeiss Dialyt 7x42s: why haven't Zeiss realised they had a great product ergonomically, optically and aesthetically (wow, did I spell that?) and "focus" on improving the mechanics to make them fully waterproof, rather than bringing out new series that (IMO) are ugly as sin?
Holy Moses. Assuming they are collimated, you did indeed get a bargain. I always thought the 8x30 SLC was a nice little binocular if waterproofing and compactness were of importance.
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Old Sunday 8th August 2004, 01:16   #5
Don Tom
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Originally Posted by Leif
Holy Moses. Assuming they are collimated, you did indeed get a bargain. I always thought the 8x30 SLC was a nice little binocular if waterproofing and compactness were of importance.
Thanks Leif,
They are perfectly in line. Got them from a Cash Converters that didn't have a clue. Tried to sell me another model they import from China! Even got them to knock 10% off. Sometimes I can't help myself, my wife is Chinese, and loves to bargain.
Had them with me on a walk with my brother and our kids in their backpacks yesterday. Torrential rain. We brewed coffee under a Kauri tree, and were visited by a Pied Fantail. Appreciated the 8 ft focus, as the fantail landed on the raincover over my sons pack as he slept in a corner!
Also spotted some woodpigeons. The eyepiece and objective covers are great on this model. And the compactness is great, they fit easily in the chest pockets on most jackets. I'll never go back to a sub compact now.

TOM
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Old Monday 9th August 2004, 20:14   #6
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I have a pair of SLC mark IIs that I bought about 8 years ago secondhand. They cost about 33.3 recurring times as much as yours! I bet there's loads of Cash Converters near me, so I'm going to hang out in Camberwell, Brixton, Streatham etc. Perhaps not.

I agree they are little gems. I find they give the Leica 8x32 BN a run for their money. The image isn't as sharp at the edges but I like the warm colour bias. I had a mouldy looking thing freeriding on one of the prism surfaces recently but Swarovski sorted it out with no fuss or charge. Fantastic service.

Are the SLC mark IIIs much better?
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Old Thursday 19th August 2004, 10:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Tom
Hi Folks,
I have just purchased a pair of (I think) first generation SLCs, in very good optical condition. Does anyone know if this model had phase correction coatings to the roof prisms?
My previous bins are Canon 8x32WP, and are brighter than the Swaros (observed by looking at the moon), but are inferior in contrast, weight, ergonomics etc. I know there is a lot of genuine technology in optic design, but low light performance, waterproofing and weight are probably the most important factors to me in the chosen magnification.
I'm considering buying a pair of Zeiss Dialyt 7x42, what waterproofing do they have? From what I can find out, they are only splashproof, would that mean they are not Nitrogen filled?
Thanks for any help you can give.

Don Tom
I have used a pair of 7x42BGATs for deer stalking for 7years. In that time they have been in torrential rain for periods of up to 4 days from dawn till dusk. Take it from me they are waterproof and do not fog! This experience is mirrored by 2 friends who have used them for 10 years each.
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Old Monday 9th March 2009, 01:02   #8
moe-jiller
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[quote=henry link;193655]The very first 8X30 SLC, introduced in the mid 80's was not phase coated and was not waterproof. A few years later a Mark II version came out the was phase coated and water proof. The different versions look virtually identical except the Mark II model had a flat optical element added in front of the objective for waterproofing. Focusing in this binocular is done by moving the objective, so if you see a moving objective with no fixed element in front of it you have the first version.

Henry link, this 2004 forum traffic was what google gave me when I searched for Habicht SLC. Perhaps you, or some else on the forum can help me. I have a SLC Mark11 8x30WB purchased new in 10/1993. After a 15 year sabatical I am getting back into Birding and wonder if the quality and glass technology in these glasses is still competitive with current (mid range cost)2009 products. Among the consideration is my 60 + eyes. ajm

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Old Monday 9th March 2009, 20:37   #9
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Hello Moe-Jiller,

Welcome aboard BirdForum. Regarding your question about the SLC Mk11 8x30WB, it is still an excellent and very competitive optic for birdwatching, and in some respects was never surpassed. Having also owned one since 1993 (and still using it), let me make the following suggestions if yours hasn't been used for a long period.

Shine a flashlight into the objectives and see if the tubes are dead black, as they should be, or have grown crystals over the years. Some of the original Mk IIs grew crystals due to a chemical interaction with the nitrogen. This was so in my case, but Swarovski was very quick to replace the necessary parts. Swarovski will also repair any leaks that may have developed to the seals, which they also did in my case. All under warranty, of course.

Assuming your 8x30 SLC is in top working condition, I would put it up against any birding binocular marketed today, with the one reservation that it is not quite as bright due to coating "improvements." Even here, however, there is room for debate since some of the mellow characteristics of the old Mk II have been sacrificed in the process. Of course, for those who never experienced it nothing is lost.

Incidentally, the winged eyecups can still be obtained from Swarovski, and I'd recommend getting an extra pair just in case. Also treat your current eyecups to a good drink of ArmorAll before folding them, if you now use eyeglasses.

Other than that, ... you're all set.

Happy birding,
Ed
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 02:20   #10
moe-jiller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
Hello Moe-Jiller,

Welcome aboard BirdForum. Regarding your question about the SLC Mk11 8x30WB, it is still an excellent and very competitive optic for birdwatching, and in some respects was never surpassed. Having also owned one since 1993 (and still using it), let me make the following suggestions if yours hasn't been used for a long period.

Incidentally, the winged eyecups can still be obtained from Swarovski, and I'd recommend getting an extra pair just in case. Also treat your current eyecups to a good drink of ArmorAll before folding them, if you now use eyeglasses.

Other than that, ... you're all set.

Happy birding,
Ed
Ed - since the forum traffic above I sent my 8x30WB SLC Mark II pair in for a complementary review/repair. Swarovski returned a SLC Mark III. Do you have any comment about the switch and the Mark III in general? I am not concerned about the switch. I just have not found a definitive review on the Mark III. The Mark III does not appear to be a current model. Thanks in advance ajm
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 05:16   #11
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Wow, that's a pretty good deal! No, I don't know of studied comparisons between the Mark II and III, but it's a fair guess they come out positive. Maybe someone else can comment specifically. What is your impression of the optical or mechanical differences?

Ed
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2009, 01:51   #12
moe-jiller
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Field evaluation in early May. For now we have to watch the rain fall in the Houston area. If there is good news it is possibly that after all the rain the fresh batch of mosquitos should be big enough to spot with the new binoculars. Ed - I PMed you:) ajm
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Old Thursday 25th June 2009, 08:23   #13
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Service/ Repair

Hi Gentlemen,

I wish I lived in the USA at the moment! I have just logged on after a long hiatus, about to ask a question about sending these binoculars back to the Swarovski factory in Austria for service.

I am living in Qatar in the Middle East now, so it is a bit closer than New Zealnd for this. I have ended up with 2 pairs of these little gems (MKI & MKII), but they both have the crystals formed that Ed describes. They seem to suffer from flaring issues more currently, possibly due to the crystals.

I'll let you know how the servicing goes, likely to take place in September.

Cheers, Tom
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Old Thursday 25th June 2009, 20:14   #14
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Hello Tom,

My bet is that they'll correct the problems to your satisfaction. Yes, the crystals do scatter light inside the binocular, which will reduce image contrast significantly.

Thanks for the post.
Ed
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