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Swarovski - odd business policy - near point

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Old Monday 6th July 2020, 22:12   #101
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Hello Ed,

Doug did not quote any source, so perhaps he was speaking from his own business experience. Of course, the biggest "game" in New York is the Norway rat. When Cameraland was located on Lexington Avenue, he may have had business from the suburbs and New Yorkers do travel to the woods for truly big game. Gijs certainly sells high priced optics to those who go on safari, even photo safaris.
On the hand, I did meet a "varmint" hunter who was not about to shell out anything resembling a high priced glass.

Perhaps Jerry has a better source for his statement.

Stay safe,
Arthur
As far as Doug goes, he promotes and is a sponsor selling his optics on many different websites. I know he is on at least 5 that I frequent, and these are
not birding sites. An internet seller has to push his products wherever there are customers.

Hunters know and appreciate fine optics, just as much as birders. Brightness and clarity are very important.

Most sporting goods stores that I know of, cater to outdoorsmen, many of them hunters.

Jerry
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Old Monday 6th July 2020, 22:14   #102
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Notwithstanding Swarovski’s reason for increasing the minimum focus distance of the EL x42's to 3.3 m,
the effect is that now all of their other standard roof prism models are listed as focusing closer, with the exception of the SLC x56’s!

- 1.9 m for the EL x32’s
- 2 m for the NL x42’s (and 2.6 m for the 12x)
- 2.5 m for the CL x25’s
- 2.8 m for the EL x50’s
- 3 m for the CL x30’s
- 3.2 m for the SLC x42’s
But 3.9 m for the SLC x56’s (and 5 m for the EL Range x42's)

So a somewhat strange state of affairs


John


p.s. in terms of paper specifications and marketing, a minimum focus of 3m for the EL x42's would have seemed to have been a much better number to try for,
both in relation to rest of the Swarovski line and the EL's Zeiss and Leica counterparts

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Old Monday 6th July 2020, 22:28   #103
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Arthur,

So when I bought my (original) 8x42 SLC-HD from Doug several years ago he included this hat in the box. That made me a customer for life, but he still didn't know whether I was using them for birding or hunting. The previous binocular I bought in the Lexington store was an 10x42 SLC WB, which was very popular among hunters although I only used it for birding.

Be well,
Ed
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Old Monday 6th July 2020, 22:37   #104
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So, for Mr. Forbes or whomever might really know--what are the actual focus speeds (number of turns from close focus to infinity) for both the revised EL and the new NL Pure?
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Old Monday 6th July 2020, 22:46   #105
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I think the dealer knows who the majority of buyers of their product are, a minute # of members on here who buy from them is insignificant.

Andy W.
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Old Monday 6th July 2020, 22:48   #106
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Hello Ed,

Doug sold me four binoculars and never gave me a hat! Maybe buying a Zeiss or a Meopta did not put me over the bar.

Stay safe,
Arthur
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Old Monday 6th July 2020, 22:53   #107
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Hello Ed,

Doug sold me four binoculars and never gave me a hat! Maybe buying a Zeiss or a Meopta did not put me over the bar.

Stay safe,
Arthur
Doug used to include a cap, and a while back even a package of coffee in the
box, I have experience, both Swaro. and Nikon.

Jerry
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Old Monday 6th July 2020, 23:06   #108
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So, for Mr. Forbes or whomever might really know--what are the actual focus speeds (number of turns from close focus to infinity) for both the revised EL and the new NL Pure?
If the downgrade of the SLC-HD is an example, the number of rotations, rack to rack, were decreased, but the focusing speed from 3m to infinity also decreased. So, it wasn't just a loss of short focus, it was also a loss of responsiveness. I suspect the same will happen with the new ELs.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 00:19   #109
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Hello Jerry,

The same was told to me by Doug at Cameraland, in NY. Doug also told me that hunters respect bird watchers opinion of optics.

Stay safe,
Arthur

That is one of the biggest reasons I'm here. Hard core birdwatchers know their stuff optically, and know why the believe what they believe. This place is a great source of information and a wealth of knowledge and most people here are willing to help a guy that's not so well informed. That being said I(and this is no knock on birdwatchers, or anyone else for that matter), the most informed optics junkie may not know diddly squat about manufacturing or marketing. I'm one who believes the optics makers and marketers have to know what products and configurations sell the best, and that's what they will offer. Who can blame them?
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 01:53   #110
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I purchased my last Swarovski binocular in December 1997... a 7x30 SLC. I wanted to love the EL Swarovision and was completely willing to purchase a pair, but the Swarovski compromise with the Holy Optical Triangle left them completely unusable for me (rolling ball).

While I think Swarovski is capable of building fine binoculars, I think they’re into marketing and gimmicks over practical optics for the Everyman. Too bad.

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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 07:16   #111
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It's not really an odd business policy; competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.

One Sunday afternoon, we're relaxing after lunch with two seasoned barristers, the phone rings.
My good friend answers... "Oh hello, she's asleep upstairs, she'll call you back, bye".
I look at him, glance at his wife sat opposite, then back at him.
He smiles wryly at me..."Everybody lies"
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 13:54   #112
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I'm curious to know what might happen to the 32's close focus, a model recently heavily discontinued yet still apparently retains its original close focus of 1.9m.

Maybe swaro already has a prototype nl pure 8x32 with 1.0 close focus, or sufficient for the el32 not to steal its thunder when/realised.

Eitherway, all this talk of close focus has really made me think and realize how important it is regarding my own personal use, at the height of lockdown our small courtyard garden pond was especially important watching various insect life and tadpoles slowly evovling into froglets!

Matt
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 16:09   #113
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I too like close focus and is one of the requirements I have when looking at a bin....but how about the Papilio? I am not one to talk as I was considering purchasing and after playing around with it my eyes were a bit bothered if I look thru it extensively, but.... I am rethinking that decision as it does have a purpose. If I had a garden like you do Matt, ....walking around it would be a blast with the Papilio. Even if you have a binocular at 2m close focus or even1.5....you are still way shy of what that Papilio can do. Ever thought of that? ....

What might be the best up-close binoculars? For one, I know the Leica Trinovid 8x32 is 1m....Which Swaro gets close to that? Borrowing from John he stated:
- 1.9 m for the EL x32’s
- 2 m for the NL x42’s (and 2.6 m for the 12x)
- 2.5 m for the CL x25’s
- 2.8 m for the EL x50’s
- 3 m for the CL x30’s
- 3.2 m for the SLC x42’s
But 3.9 m for the SLC x56’s (and 5 m for the EL Range x42's)

So....are any of those really close yet? I think not.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 16:51   #114
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For sure, Swarovski will have a 32mm NL Pure nearing completion of development and testing if not already to go into production but I doubt that there will be a x 12 on offer. Certainly many birders and naturalists use a 32mm binocular these days. We've already seen a member cancel his pre order of a Zeiss SF 32 in favour of the new Swaro'.

And being a very successful business, they will most likely follow suit in regard to the close focus set up on the EL 32s, saving some costs along the way.

What a dilemma for those looking to upgrade their alpha binos this Autumn / Winter. And what ever came of a new Leica 32mm Noctivid.......... perhaps cancelled or shelved given this year's developments by the top two alpha brands. Could we cope with 3 new 32mm alpha binoculars later this year?

Troubador:[/b] Have sales of Noctivid met your expectations, and can we expect a 32mm Noctivid at some point?

Herr Albrecht: When it comes to direct comparison, for example at the Birdfair at Rutland Water, we are glad that many birdwatchers choose the Noctivid. And for sure a 32mm Noctivid would be an attractive addition to our range, to fulfil the market demand for a compact 32mm model.

Apologies for veering slightly off topic
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 17:22   #115
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Swaro is surely approaching the limits of what is feasible with unboosted optics, a frontier Nikon has staked out with their WX.
Imho, the NL provides insufficient tangible improvement versus the old EF and consequently had to be priced too low. Therefore, the EL had to be cheapened to maintain a full palette of market offerings.
If the NL could have justified a $4000+ price point, there would have been no need to change the EL product line.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 17:43   #116
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Swaro is surely approaching the limits of what is feasible with unboosted optics, a frontier Nikon has staked out with their WX.
Imho, the NL provides insufficient tangible improvement versus the old EF and consequently had to be priced too low. Therefore, the EL had to be cheapened to maintain a full palette of market offerings.
If the NL could have justified a $4000+ price point, there would have been no need to change the EL product line.
I don't know there are a lot of improvement's on the new NL. A way bigger FOV, better ergonomic's with the slimmed down tubes for a more comfortable grip and a smoother,faster focuser that is better positioned, forward weight distribution so the binocular's feel lighter and last but not least the game changing head rest for a more stable view. The EL's were already close to being perfect but the NL's could be the most perfect binocular's available. Easily worth the difference in price IMO. Where else are you going to find an 8x42 binocular with a 480 foot FOV WITH sharp edges? The new Swarovski NL has all the improvement's on the new Zeiss SF PLUS a much bigger FOV WITH sharp edges, better ergonomic's with the slimmed down tubes and the ground breaking head rest plus you get the best warranty and service support in the industry all at about the price of the SF. What more could you ask for?

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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 19:02   #117
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Well, 20% is a pretty significant price reduction, and there's no such thing as a free lunch - something has got to give, and in this case it's been close focus (as it would appear has happened in the past with SLCs, no doubt Mr Roberts will have chapter and verse).

I appreciate the passionate arguments voiced here by those who, it appears, so regularly use their binoculars on targets closer than 3.3m, but it surely must be the case that the great majority of ELs spend 99% or more of their working lives focused beyond 3.3m, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if 90% or more of EL users hardly ever use their binoculars at less than 3.3m. Close focus would therefore seem to be the most obvious area to economize in. If Swarovski's business strategy demands that economies have to be made in the EL range, I would rather buy an EL with a longer close focus than one made "outside Austria" (ahem), or one with a narrower field of view. Indeed, if Swarovski decided to offer two EL versions - one with a shorter close focus but costing 20% more - a good many folks would probably go for the long close focus version.

Given that it's still possible to buy close focusing ELs, those who consider that quality to be so essential, and who need their next binocular to be an EL, should probably grab one now while they still can (and probably get a decent discount into the bargain). Guys like nodd, of course, already have close focusing ELs. If I had one I'd sit back and gloat in the knowledge that I had the ultimate EL variant!
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 19:28   #118
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I appreciate the passionate arguments voiced here by those who, it appears, so regularly use their binoculars on targets closer than 3.3m, but it surely must be the case that the great majority of ELs spend 99% or more of their working lives focused beyond 3.3m, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if 90% or more of EL users hardly ever use their binoculars at less than 3.3m. Close focus would therefore seem to be the most obvious area to economize in.
I can't fault your logic Pat with regard to EL but I find it intriguing that Swarovski insist on providing its most expensive bino with the closest focus and it would seem against all logic that they would insist on endowing NL with a feature of no market importance.

I wonder if the strategy of the threat of a longer close focus in the future is a way of boosting EL sales in the short term before NL comes fully on stream.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 19:29   #119
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Well, 20% is a pretty significant price reduction, and there's no such thing as a free lunch - something has got to give, and in this case it's been close focus (as it would appear has happened in the past with SLCs, no doubt Mr Roberts will have chapter and verse).

I appreciate the passionate arguments voiced here by those who, it appears, so regularly use their binoculars on targets closer than 3.3m, but it surely must be the case that the great majority of ELs spend 99% or more of their working lives focused beyond 3.3m, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if 90% or more of EL users hardly ever use their binoculars at less than 3.3m. Close focus would therefore seem to be the most obvious area to economize in. If Swarovski's business strategy demands that economies have to be made in the EL range, I would rather buy an EL with a longer close focus than one made "outside Austria" (ahem), or one with a narrower field of view. Indeed, if Swarovski decided to offer two EL versions - one with a shorter close focus but costing 20% more - a good many folks would probably go for the long close focus version.

Given that it's still possible to buy close focusing ELs, those who consider that quality to be so essential, and who need their next binocular to be an EL, should probably grab one now while they still can (and probably get a decent discount into the bargain). Guys like nodd, of course, already have close focusing ELs. If I had one I'd sit back and gloat in the knowledge that I had the ultimate EL variant!
Patudo I am glad I got my EL’s when I did even if they did cost a it more.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 19:34   #120
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Well, 20% is a pretty significant price reduction, and there's no such thing as a free lunch - something has got to give, and in this case it's been close focus (as it would appear has happened in the past with SLCs, no doubt Mr Roberts will have chapter and verse).

I appreciate the passionate arguments voiced here by those who, it appears, so regularly use their binoculars on targets closer than 3.3m, but it surely must be the case that the great majority of ELs spend 99% or more of their working lives focused beyond 3.3m, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if 90% or more of EL users hardly ever use their binoculars at less than 3.3m. Close focus would therefore seem to be the most obvious area to economize in. If Swarovski's business strategy demands that economies have to be made in the EL range, I would rather buy an EL with a longer close focus than one made "outside Austria" (ahem), or one with a narrower field of view. Indeed, if Swarovski decided to offer two EL versions - one with a shorter close focus but costing 20% more - a good many folks would probably go for the long close focus version.

Given that it's still possible to buy close focusing ELs, those who consider that quality to be so essential, and who need their next binocular to be an EL, should probably grab one now while they still can (and probably get a decent discount into the bargain). Guys like nodd, of course, already have close focusing ELs. If I had one I'd sit back and gloat in the knowledge that I had the ultimate EL variant!
To be honest with all the improvement's on the new NL why would you mess around buying the older model EL when for a few hundred dollar's you can have all the improvement's of the NL and the NL probably won't depreciate as much as the older EL model either. it is going to be in demand for quite awhile. Once the NL is out the EL is going to depreciate much faster, especially if people get word they increased the close focus.

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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 19:39   #121
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It will be interesting interesting to see some unbiased comparisons to between the EL and close focus EL Field Pro when the NL become available.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 19:58   #122
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...
I wonder if the strategy of the threat of a longer close focus in the future is a way of boosting EL sales in the short term before NL comes fully on stream.

Lee
Gee, Lee, do you really think they'd do that?

Ed
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 20:50   #123
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I appreciate the passionate arguments voiced here by those who, it appears, so regularly use their binoculars on targets closer than 3.3m, but it surely must be the case that the great majority of ELs spend 99% or more of their working lives focused beyond 3.3m, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if 90% or more of EL users hardly ever use their binoculars at less than 3.3m.
Despite the vocal pronouncements of several folks here, I for one don't need a short focus distance. I'd very much prefer binoculars without it, and without the optical compromises short focusing distances always entail, and without the ever increasing weight of such do-everything-binoculars.

I find it pretty sad that more and more manufacturers concentrate on including all sorts of "features" like a close focusing distance, very large fields of view, sharpness to the very edge of the field of view and so on, that make it more and more difficult to achieve the best possible image quality in the centre where it matters most.

And I find it more than just sad that the one feature that has a huge impact on the amount of detail a binocular shows, namely image stabilisation (real image stabilisation, not that gimmicky headrest Swarovski would like everyone to buy at a ludicrous price) seems to be ignored by all the main manufacturers, except Canon.

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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 21:19   #124
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Despite the vocal pronouncements of several folks here, I for one don't need a short focus distance. I'd very much prefer binoculars without it, and without the optical compromises short focusing distances always entail...
I agree with this - I would rather the cost of reducing short focus be spent on wider field of view, better edge performance () or other optical aspects that make more difference to me.

Having said that, I realize others (possibly many others) may use their close focus much more extensively than I do, indeed, may even consider 3.3m to be too short. How often we use our binoculars to the limit of their close focus, and what the ideal close focus distance should be, probably deserves to be the subject of a new thread entirely, instead of being submerged into the wider discussion about NLs and ELs. I thought about starting one, but there already is one.

I, in all honesty, find the center performance of modern alphas stunningly good - I think this is why edge sharpness and now field of view have been steadily improved, since on-axis sharpness is already so good (and seems to have been for many decades, if my 1950s era porros are anything to go by). Given that, I welcome improvements in field of view and edge performance, which are both desirable qualities to me; and being a glasses wearer, I'm glad that modern designs now deliver fields of view comparable to those of the great old classics of the past to those like myself.

My own experience, though, very much agrees with yours in relation to image stabilization showing more detail. I would be very grateful for your thoughts on Canon's performance compared to the Zeiss 20x60S mechanical stabilizer I asked in a post on another thread: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...3&postcount=89.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2020, 21:59   #125
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I don't know there are a lot of improvement's on the new NL. A way bigger FOV, better ergonomic's with the slimmed down tubes for a more comfortable grip and a smoother,faster focuser that is better positioned, forward weight distribution so the binocular's feel lighter and last but not least the game changing head rest for a more stable view. The EL's were already close to being perfect but the NL's could be the most perfect binocular's available. Easily worth the difference in price IMO. Where else are you going to find an 8x42 binocular with a 480 foot FOV WITH sharp edges? The new Swarovski NL has all the improvement's on the new Zeiss SF PLUS a much bigger FOV WITH sharp edges, better ergonomic's with the slimmed down tubes and the ground breaking head rest plus you get the best warranty and service support in the industry all at about the price of the SF. What more could you ask for?
I entirely agree that the NL offers real improvement, most notably the increased FoV but also in ergonomics. My only point is that these were only enough to justify a modest price increase over the EL, so Swaro made the business decision to despec the EL to avoid having two nearly equally priced alphas.
Had Swaro been able to make the NL dramatically better than the EL, they could have shifted the entire price structure upward, with a preeminent NL at around $4000, the EL at around $3000 and the CL somewhere below that.
Achieving that was impossible, so they repositioned the EL by subtracting features, a very painful decision, as Dale has already noted.
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