Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 12:50   #1
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,009
After a year with an 8.5x42 SV FPro.

I`m not approaching this as a review, rather my experience Birding with my SV through four seasons over the last twelve months.

Shortly after purchasing them I popped down to Plymouth to try and see the Lesser Grey Shrike that had been found at Mount Batten, the SV did not disappoint, the bird was flitting around in some scrub popping out into view fleetingly, the light was challenging and I had to look towards a bright Sun, compared to my previous 32mm SV which would have proved useless in such conditions the FP 42mm excelled, in fact glare control is very good, better than my UVHD+ or Meopta B1 in my experience, its not totally immune but 99% of the time its simply not an issue.

Winter presented another good week in north Norfolk, the extra half power proved invaluable spotting Scoters in large flocks of the coast, the SV also did a brilliant job resolving the plumage on a Glaucous Gull tucking into a dead Herring Gull at Titchwell, equally at home following the huge flocks of Knot from the hide at Snettisham. Always bright and contrasty in the low Winter light.

Spring found me at Yarner wood on Dartmoor, I had a good day seeing Lesser spotted Woodpecker, Pied Flycatcher and Wood Warblers. It was while chasing the WW that it impressed me the most, they were flitting around quite high up overhead, but contrary to much commenting here the focus was smooth and perfectly judged for me, the fov made following the Warblers easy and the light gathering ability and beautiful colour and contrast made the day a complete joy.

Summer found me up at the Mull of Galloway where the SV really captured the stark white plumage on Kittiwakes, also the bright colours on a couple of Puffins floating on the Sea.

The SVFP has been my constant companion this last twelve months, it has performed faultlessly in all weathers and all sorts of challenging light to the extent nothing I`v tried since is going to tempt me out of them, on my example the focus is wonderful, the bridge tension perfect, the armour the best ever to me, the FP strap system ingenious, all in all a complete all round Birding tool which has yet to present any weak area.

John.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 15:03   #2
Alexis Powell
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA
Posts: 2,656
Anyone who tried the 8.5x42 SV in past and didn't like them try them lately?

I feel the same way about my late-vintage pre-FP Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Swarovision [I bought them after the FP was available, my motivation being partly their significantly discounted price, but mainly their conventional strap lugs since I'm not a fan of the FP design]. It seems, from my experience and hard-to-evaluate anecdotal reports on Birdforum, that the 8.5 SV was tweaked a bit over its production, even though no versions were officially recognized before the FP. I tried the SV several times over the years, but never did they satisfy like these do. Have my standards or did my eyes and brain change, or were the SV significantly improved over the years? The buttery-smooth focus (very similar feel to a perfect Zeiss FL) is certainly an improvement. Why don't I detect rolling ball and the infamous Absam ring (both still detectable with very very deliberate viewing) when using these? I've not had issues with either distortion from the first day I used these, whereas I easily saw them when I tried the SV in the past, and I'm still bowled over by both effects any time I look through my Nikon 10x42 Venturer LX/HG. I'd be interested in reports, from anyone who tried the SV early on or mid-production and didn't like them (and who does not use the SV or SF and has thus not acclimated to them), of whether the FP (or late pre-FP) gives a different first impression.

Previously, depending on the main type of birding/conditions of the day, I variously used Swarovski 8.5x42 EL early production original version, Leica 8x42 Ultravid, Swarovski 8x32 EL original mid-vintage, or Zeiss 7x42 BGATP. Now, the 8.5 SV replaces them all quite effectively. The EL SV late production pre-FP are the first birding bins that I've used that don't call attention to themselves with any inadequacies [Doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, but that is the way that my critical mind works, and is my highest praise] of optics, ergonomics, or build quality.

Could they be improved at all? For birding, they do about as well as anything I've tried against the light, but better contrast under those conditions is the area that I could stand to see improvement; it is the only way they ever fail to deliver for me while birding. However, in my case, my eyeglass lenses, not the bins, might be the weak link for achieving significantly better performance in those conditions. Reports of the Leica Noctivid performance in this regard are intriguing. I haven't tried them yet. I think the focus position and maybe the lack of flat field of the Noctivid might be too irritating. Moderately better Zeiss HT is too irritating with its off-axis astigmatism. I'd also like to see the SV improved for insect watchers by using variable-ratio focus. As it is, the excellent close focus limit makes the SV usable in a pinch, but they are too slow to work well for birding+butterflying or dedicated butterflying.

--AP

Last edited by Alexis Powell : Sunday 3rd September 2017 at 16:38.
Alexis Powell is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 19:26   #3
ailevin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis Powell View Post
<snip>
The EL SV late production pre-FP are the first birding bins that I've used that don't call attention to themselves with any inadequacies [Doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, but that is the way that my critical mind works, and is my highest praise] of optics, ergonomics, or build quality.
<snip>

--AP
I like this description. While there is no perfect binocular, and certainly no binocular that is perfect for every person, some binoculars present a package where there is little or no distraction from what you are viewing. I have tried using the term "transparency," but that is misleading because it implies I am only referring to the optics. What you describe is more like functional transparency, where one is able to pay complete attention to the scene and forget about the instrument. While specifications and detailed performance measurements may be indicators, they do not seem sufficient to define this sort of transparency.

Alan
ailevin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 19:53   #4
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,009
Alan I notice what you are describing when I go out with my Meopta B1, by any standards a pretty decent binocular, but I find it annoys me for the first 20 mins or so after mainly using the SV, I have to reacquaint myself with it, where as the SV never gets in the way and always feels just right on return.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 22:06   #5
sako
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis Powell View Post
....[I bought them after the FP was available, my motivation being partly their significantly discounted price, but mainly their conventional strap lugs since I'm not a fan of the FP design]....
The FP models come with an alternative conventional strap lug that is simple to change over. I had reservations about the new FP strap design before using them but now prefer it over the normal flat strap design. Very easy to adjust and best of all it doesn't twist.
sako is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 22:26   #6
Alexis Powell
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA
Posts: 2,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by sako View Post
The FP models come with an alternative conventional strap lug that is simple to change over.
Yes, I know that a conventional strap of one's choice can be attached to the FP models with the alternative lug, but my main gripe with the FP is the way the lug bumps out in a place that isn't good for my preferred grip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sako View Post
...and best of all it doesn't twist.
Can you explain more about not twisting? My secondary gripe w/the FP lug design is that (as far as I know, but perhaps I am wrong--so please inform) it allows the strap to rotate 360 degrees at the lug. The Pentax Papilio allows such rotation, and it drives me crazy. I end up with lots of twists in the strap that I don't get with a regular strap attached to regular lugs.

I'm a fan of simple mid-width neoprene straps. I don't like dangly ends and fiddly bits, so I remove most, or sometimes all of buckle sliders and connectors, and sew the ends of the strap to secure them.

--AP
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	5_ELSV_DSC03525_v2.jpg
Views:	117
Size:	47.3 KB
ID:	638444  
Alexis Powell is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 23:06   #7
Lightbender
Lightbender

 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 4
Torview,
may I ask - how do you personally rate the optical qualities of your 8.5x42 against your previous SV 8x32 (apart from the mentioned difference under backlight condition)?
Lightbender is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 4th September 2017, 04:08   #8
fazalmajid
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis Powell View Post
I'm a fan of simple mid-width neoprene straps. I don't like dangly ends and fiddly bits, so I remove most, or sometimes all of buckle sliders and connectors, and sew the ends of the strap to secure them.
I also purchased a new-old-stock per-FieldPro SV EL 8.5x42 to get the conventional lugs. As for avoiding loose ends, you can use this technique to avoid them:
https://www.wired.com/2014/02/proper...rap-technique/

That won't work with the slightly strange SV straps, but third party ones for sure.

Last edited by fazalmajid : Monday 4th September 2017 at 04:10.
fazalmajid is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 4th September 2017, 05:25   #9
adhoc
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Anon.
Posts: 226
Quote:
The EL SV late production pre-FP are the first birding bins that I've used that don't call attention to themselves with any inadequacies...of optics, ergonomics, or build quality.
Quote:
I like this description. While there is no perfect binocular, and certainly no binocular that is perfect for every person, some binoculars present a package where there is little or no distraction from what you are viewing. I have tried using the term "transparency," but that is misleading because it implies I am only referring to the optics. What you describe is more like functional transparency, where one is able to pay complete attention to the scene and forget about the instrument. While specifications and detailed performance measurements may be indicators, they do not seem sufficient to define this sort of transparency.
Quote:
Alan I notice what you are describing when I go out with my Meopta B1, by any standards a pretty decent binocular, but I find it annoys me for the first 20 mins or so after mainly using the SV, I have to reacquaint myself with it, where as the SV never gets in the way and always feels just right on return.
John (Torview), do you feel this same way with your Leica Ultravid-Plus 7x42? The reason this is addressed only to you is that I know you have that model (and I am thinking of getting it). Thanks!
adhoc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 4th September 2017, 08:33   #10
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightbender View Post
Torview,
may I ask - how do you personally rate the optical qualities of your 8.5x42 against your previous SV 8x32 (apart from the mentioned difference under backlight condition)?
Any comment will be purely from memory so I`m not sure how useful I can be, but, I`m pretty certain my FP model has better contrast, a very slightly warmer colour tone, not as greenish as an SF, but closer to that approach than previous models, I don`t see RB in my 42, I did see it in my 32, although I`m not troubled by it.

Not having both at the same time I`v not compared them, however I did put several 42mm SV`s of the same period against my 32mm when I had it and thought the view was very similar re contrast, colour and RB.

Oh, I see much more of what I term 3d in the 42mm, i.e, spatial separation between objects.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 4th September 2017, 08:37   #11
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by adhoc View Post
John (Torview), do you feel this same way with your Leica Ultravid-Plus 7x42? The reason this is addressed only to you is that I know you have that model (and I am thinking of getting it). Thanks!
Hi adhoc, I have to say I recently sold the 7x42, I barely picked it up after getting the SV, this really surprised me as I still rate it as an all time great, but I just grabbed the SV every time I went out, and thats pretty much everyday as I always take a bin when I go out with my dog Ben.

I keep the Meopta because sometimes its nice to have a smaller and less valuable optic along for the day.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 00:32   #12
sako
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis Powell View Post
Can you explain more about not twisting? My secondary gripe w/the FP lug design is that (as far as I know, but perhaps I am wrong--so please inform) it allows the strap to rotate 360 degrees at the lug. The Pentax Papilio allows such rotation, and it drives me crazy. I end up with lots of twists in the strap that I don't get with a regular strap attached to regular lugs.

--AP
Yes the FP strap (if you can call the heavy chord a strap) rotates 360 degrees at the lug however, it's not a lateral rotation. By that I mean the strap will, if forced, only rotate vertically or parallel to the binocular body. The strap itself is quite stiff and the rotation fairly stiff also. I've never had the FP strap twist yet. It's very easy to lengthen or shorten if necessary.

I find the Field Pro strap an improvement (although not huge) over the traditional flat style arrangement. Personally don't find the FP attachment point to protrude any further than it does on my other pre FP Swaro. I do have fairly small hands though.
sako is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th September 2017, 15:01   #13
chill6x6
Registered User
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 832
Thanks John for that... I agree for most situations the 8.5X42 is hard to beat. At times I have wished for a little more FOV when an 7X42 or SF 8X42 came in handy....other than that....

BTW....focusing issues are largely overplayed aren't they?

If it still came down to ONE binocular....this would be it.
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 7th September 2017, 22:04   #14
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,009
Hi Chuck,

Yes they`ve gradually ironed out any weaknesses to produce a true champion.

John.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th September 2017, 22:12   #15
Gilmore Girl
Beth
 
Gilmore Girl's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northeast
Posts: 2,487
Torview,

You've abandoned your 7x42 leaving me the only oddball left

Glad you like your 8.5 so much and getting good usage. The SV's are all wonderful. I particularly
like the little 8x32 SV.
Gilmore Girl is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 8th September 2017, 11:06   #16
Patudo
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: London
Posts: 112
I've used my brother's 2016 8.5x42 SV Fieldpro (purchased late December 2016) on several occasions and each time come away thinking I should sell all my other binoculars and get this. It excels at extreme distance where the 8.5x offers a small yet still noticeable increase over 8x while still being able to be held very steady and the optics seem to have outstanding clarity and resolving ability. The most demanding situation in my birding is keeping track of a distant peregrine at an altitude of 2,000 feet or more that has become a flickering dot and/or is disappearing on part of its circles. The 8.5x42SV.FP does this superbly making me feel that what the only limits to what I can observe are those of my own vision. The image comes easily to my eyes and observing for long periods of time is a pleasure, with little eye fatigue. My brother believes this is a combination of the 5mm exit pupil and field flatteners - I suspect the former probably has more to do with it than the latter. On my recent visit to Birdfair I was glad to have this to compare side by side with other alphas and although the Zeiss SFs were extremely impressive and superior in some respects eg. field of view the SV.FP was equal in outright image quality (sharpness, contrast, colour rendition, brightness). It really is a superb product. Outstanding optical performance by any measure and the build quality gives great confidence, more so IMO than some competitors. This binocular is to my mind the modern day equivalent to the great classics of the past eg. Dialyt 10x40.

Last edited by Patudo : Friday 8th September 2017 at 11:08.
Patudo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 8th September 2017, 15:26   #17
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilmore Girl View Post
Torview,

You've abandoned your 7x42 leaving me the only oddball left

Glad you like your 8.5 so much and getting good usage. The SV's are all wonderful. I particularly
like the little 8x32 SV.
GG I have, but trust me it was a wrench, but although I recently picked up an ATS65HD for a bargain price, the simple truth was it was`nt getting any use, and they more than covered that expense, and I don`t like keeping things that don`t get used however much I like them.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 00:53   #18
sako
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by chill6x6 View Post
...If it still came down to ONE binocular....this would be it.
Chuck, I recently tried the Noctivid 10x42 which I thought provided the most beautiful view of any alpha I've ever owned or used. I'm considering buying a pair (possibly the NV 8x42) so it's interesting to see your above comment regarding the SV 8.5x42 as I know you own the Noctivid 10x42.

I will give the SV 8.5x42 another look (it's been a while) because I value your very experienced opinion.
sako is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 02:33   #19
Gilmore Girl
Beth
 
Gilmore Girl's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northeast
Posts: 2,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torview View Post
GG I have, but trust me it was a wrench, but although I recently picked up an ATS65HD for a bargain price, the simple truth was it was`nt getting any use, and they more than covered that expense, and I don`t like keeping things that don`t get used however much I like them.
I totally understand that. I've sold bins for the same reason.
The SV's are great and at one time I came close to buying the 8x32.
Gilmore Girl is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 02:56   #20
chill6x6
Registered User
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilmore Girl View Post
Torview,

You've abandoned your 7x42 leaving me the only oddball left
You don't have to worry about that....I've used a UVHD+ 7X42 and a Meopta B1 7X42 most of the summer around home. The Meopta is nice but the Leica is really the cat's meow...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sako View Post
Chuck, I recently tried the Noctivid 10x42 which I thought provided the most beautiful view of any alpha I've ever owned or used. I'm considering buying a pair (possibly the NV 8x42) so it's interesting to see your above comment regarding the SV 8.5x42 as I know you own the Noctivid 10x42.

I will give the SV 8.5x42 another look (it's been a while) because I value your very experienced opinion.
I WILL agree....the Noctivid is pretty awesome. Could very well be my favorite 10X42. The SV is at it's best as a binocular for a one-binocular person. One never has to make the choice between 8X and 10X, just get the SV 8.5X42. For up close or dense woods...I'd rather have a SF 8X42 or even better a UVHD+ or FL 7X42. For open areas I'd rather have a 10X. But for ONE binocular....it's probably the best bet. It doesn't hurt it's built like a tank AND the best factory support!
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 03:55   #21
adhoc
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Anon.
Posts: 226
I think that the 8.5x magnification is the main reason for the appeal of this model over other alphas. Very probably they will catch on and catch up! The Kowa Genesis 8.5x44 is heavier and has a smaller field of view.
adhoc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 04:46   #22
Jack Speer
Registered User
 
Jack Speer's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 44
I've been looking at this binocular for quite some time. I have several friends at the local birding group who have let me try theirs for entire birding sessions and I've always enjoyed using it. Eagle optics closing was a small blessing in disguise because I was finally able to purchase my own for less than $2000, from an authorized dealer no less. They arrive sometime next week. I am getting antsy.

Jack
Jack Speer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 04:53   #23
Jack Speer
Registered User
 
Jack Speer's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 44
I also wanted to say that I wrestled with getting the 8.5x42 or the 10x50. I've seen a common opinion that if a bird cannot be identified with an 8x, then it cannot be identified with a 10x. But surely there is a range that is too far for 8x, but not too far for 10x right?

In the end I chose the 8.5x because it seemed like the safer option, especially since I'd already tried it many times and there are no more returns with eagle optics. Maybe I will try a nice 10x someday, but comments that the 8.5x is a good all arounder have quieted the little voices in my head asking for more power (for now).

Jack
Jack Speer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 13:49   #24
Pileatus
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 2,346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Speer View Post
I also wanted to say that I wrestled with getting the 8.5x42 or the 10x50. I've seen a common opinion that if a bird cannot be identified with an 8x, then it cannot be identified with a 10x. But surely there is a range that is too far for 8x, but not too far for 10x right?

In the end I chose the 8.5x because it seemed like the safer option, especially since I'd already tried it many times and there are no more returns with eagle optics. Maybe I will try a nice 10x someday, but comments that the 8.5x is a good all arounder have quieted the little voices in my head asking for more power (for now).

Jack
I have the 8.5X42 and the 10X50 SV's. The 8.5 was the "right" choice for a superb all-purpose bin. The 10X is heavier and produces more handshake but...

There's a group of high flying raptors unseen by naked eye. You scan, find them and the 8.5 tells you they are probably small accipiters (Sharp-shinned) and perhaps one or more American Kestrels mixed in. You can't tell for sure; they are too distant. The 10X50 reveals a handful of sharpies along with two adult male kestrels. The 10X makes a difference but not as often as one would imagine.
Pileatus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 15:23   #25
jgraider
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Texas
Posts: 1,052
And if we are "picking nits", the 10x50 has that special "wow" factor that the 8.5x doesn't have. IMHO of course.
jgraider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
EL 8.5X42 Non HD SuperDuty Swarovski 42 Sunday 10th April 2016 17:59
New 8.5x42 ELs Jaffnut Swarovski 20 Friday 23rd September 2011 02:51
First Look at the New 8.5x42 EL henry link Swarovski 31 Saturday 16th January 2010 13:03
41 year Old Razorbill and 31 year Old Curlew - Record Breakers rockfowl Birds & Birding 0 Saturday 12th July 2008 11:16
Good year/Bad year in the South-East paulwfromtheden Birds & Birding 11 Saturday 14th July 2007 11:31

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.25966907 seconds with 35 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 06:54.