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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 05:15   #1
Masio
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swarovision 10x42/10x50

I want to buy my new swarovison binocular for hand held usage for observing small butterflies and birds and I am in dilemma which to choose swarovision 10x42 or 10x50. Despite the closer focus is there any advantages in 10x42 model? Is there much difference in brightness and clarity? And is the resolution and the detail the same in the both bins?
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 06:04   #2
denco@comcast.n
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The 10x50 will always outperform the 10x42 at the expense of being heavier because of the bigger aperture. The 10x50 will be brighter especially in low light and because of it's bigger AFOV will have more wow factor than the smaller binocular. In my opinion a bigger aperture binocular like the 10x50 SV will always have more clarity, resolution and detail than the 10x42 also because you don't have as many optical aberrations around the edge of the objective. You could say you are looking through more of the "sweet spot" of the lens because it is bigger. Another BIg advantage of the 10x50 SV over the smaller 10x42 is the bigger exit pupil. That extra 1mm makes a HUGE difference in eye placement comfort and don't let anybody tell you it doesn't. It is like going from an 8x32 to an 8x42. I had both of these binoculars and there is no question the 10x50 SV is the superior binocular optically and performance wise. You just have to decide if that extra performance is worth carrying the extra weight. For your usage of looking at some butterflies and small birds the 10x42 would serve you well. You might even consider an 8x42 because you can hold it steadier and it sounds like you are not going to be observing at great distances where the 10x magnification would be helpful but remember the 10x will allow you to see more detail if that is what you want. But at the end of the day if you can hold the heavier binocular and you want the best optics get the 10x50 SV. I feel it is the best binocular Swarovski makes and it is also one of the best astronomical binoculars also even besting the Fujinon 10x50 XTR.

Last edited by denco@comcast.n : Monday 21st August 2017 at 07:32.
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 08:18   #3
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If you are particularly interested in butterflies etc. the 8.5x42 might serve you best amongst the EL range with its better close focus. When out birding with my EL 10x50s, I usually find it's easier to carry a second pair of smaller close focussing bins than try and back up far enough to get a butterfly in focus with the 10x50s!

To beat the close focus of the 8.5x42 EL model by a meaningful amount you'd need to look at something like the RSPB HD 32mm (either the 6.5x or 8x) or the Leica Trinovid HD 8x32. All three will focus to 1m. They are all a step or more down in image quality from the ELs but are also much cheaper.

For really close focus, nothing beats the Pentax Papilio II 6.5x21 (~50cm) but image quality reflects the much lower price point and smaller objectives.

Hope that helps,

James
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 08:37   #4
kabsetz
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I second James's recommendation of the 8.5x42 for butterflies and other close range viewing. There's another reason for this than just close focus, though, and that is the better depth of field that comes with lower magnification. This matters when a butterfly is flying at close range, since they tend to fly rather erratically.

All of these are superb binoculars. Another fine contender would be the 8x42 Leica Noctivid.

Kimmo
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 10:41   #5
Robert Wallace
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I would strongly advise against 10 x binoculars for looking at butterflies (pace Simon King). I own and use a pair of Swarovski 8x32s and Zeiss 10x42 SFs. For butterfly watching 8x are significantly better with wider field of view coupled with better depth of field. Remember also that butterflies are normally seen in relatively good light and relatively close up compared to birds. Few butterfly specialists that I know from my local natural history society use binoculars with large objective lenses.
Despite the technical arguments about better light gathering, improved resolution, easier eye placement etc.etc about large objectives, the key question is "are they fit for purpose"?
Also 8x in my experience are better for bird watching in woodland as are 7x.
Best of luck with your decision making.
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 16:23   #6
Theo98
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Originally Posted by Masio View Post
I want to buy my new swarovison binocular for hand held usage for observing small butterflies and birds and I am in dilemma which to choose swarovision 10x42 or 10x50. Despite the closer focus is there any advantages in 10x42 model? Is there much difference in brightness and clarity? And is the resolution and the detail the same in the both bins?
Welcome to BF!

I currently own the wonderful EL 10X50 SV and have used in the past both the 10X42 SV and 8.5X42 SV's. For your intended use, I also recommend the 8.5x42 SV. Compared to the 10X50 SV, the 8.5x42 offers almost half the close focus distance (1.5m), it has an "equal" EP width (4.94mm), is 18m wider FOV (133m), has 164g less weight and due to the lower power, will offer a deeper in-focus DOF with less bino shake.

Overall, the EL 8.5x42 SV is a fantastic balance of power, performance, stability, superior glass and ease of view for birding and butterflying observations. I already own the 10X50 SV and use it primarily for raptor study, long distance nature and lunar\astronomical viewing. However, if I had to own just one SV for your intended uses, the 8.5x42 would be my primary optical instrument!

Ted
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 18:12   #7
james holdsworth
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I would strongly NOT recommend any of the mentioned Swaro binoculars for butterflies, if birding is also part of the equation. The focus speed and resultant number of required revolutions from near to far is much, much too slow to go frequently from bugs to birds. Many will poo-poo this view but just try a pair in the field for awhile, going quickly from near to far and back and you will soon realize the amount of cranking required.

I have several friends with 8.5 Swaro's and all lament the slow focus and find them awkward for bugs to birds. Great binos but not the best choice here - there are many others with quicker focus but I wont' try to sell you on any here - there are many threads on the subject.
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 22:59   #8
Masio
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Thank you very much for all of us for the great help. I will take some time to think what to choose.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 03:42   #9
Bill Atwood
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Originally Posted by james holdsworth View Post
The focus speed and resultant number of required revolutions from near to far is much, much too slow to go frequently from bugs to birds. Many will poo-poo this view but just try a pair in the field for awhile, going quickly from near to far and back and you will soon realize the amount of cranking required.
+1!!!
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 22:06   #10
Alexis Powell
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Originally Posted by james holdsworth View Post
I would strongly NOT recommend any of the mentioned Swaro binoculars for butterflies, if birding is also part of the equation. The focus speed and resultant number of required revolutions from near to far is much, much too slow to go frequently from bugs to birds. Many will poo-poo this view but just try a pair in the field for awhile, going quickly from near to far and back and you will soon realize the amount of cranking required.

I have several friends with 8.5 Swaro's and all lament the slow focus and find them awkward for bugs to birds. Great binos but not the best choice here - there are many others with quicker focus but I wont' try to sell you on any here - there are many threads on the subject.
Agreed. I have nothing against Swarovski and use the 8.5x42 EL SV regularly for birding, but when it comes to butterflies+birds, the focus of the Zeiss 8x32 FL that I use is _much_ better, and I know the same can be said for the Zeiss x42 FL models and the Zeiss 8x32 Conquest. Swarovski needs to consider variable ratio focus (like the Pentax Papilio) to make the close focus limit of the 8.5x42 EL useful.

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