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Swarovski 15x56 HD vs Swarovski 12x50 SV

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Old Thursday 22nd October 2015, 19:08   #1
bockos
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Swarovski 15x56 HD vs Swarovski 12x50 SV

I want to ask which ot these two binos is preffered for high power binocular? What is the diffrence in clarity, clearness, brightness and resolution? I know that new 15x56 HD is better than the older version, but how 15x56 hd is compared to 12x50 SV? thanks!
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Old Friday 23rd October 2015, 00:11   #2
NDhunter
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I have not tried either model, but I am sure they are very good, and you would be
very pleased with either one. From what I have gathered, they are both at the very top.

Your question, may also have to do with which power to get. I have both 15 and 12X binoculars.
The 12X can be easily used handheld, the 15X binoculars are only good handheld for very short
use, they do need to be tripod mounted.
The reason is because it is very hard to hold a 15X optic steady.

I think you need to try some out before you buy.

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Old Friday 23rd October 2015, 00:38   #3
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That being said, this newer 15x56 is really well balanced, with a magnesium body verses the prior aluminum body. It can be hand held for a bit longer periods but, yes, you'll still need a tripod adapter extended viewing.
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Old Friday 23rd October 2015, 04:45   #4
m31m45
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I used to have the 12x50 SV and it is an excellent binocular. The only issue I had is I wear glasses and never felt the eye relief was really what Swarovski stated. I had to press my glasses against the eyepiece to get the full view. Also 12 was just a little too high a magnification to hand hold but seemed a bit on the low side for mounting on a tripod. I decided to get the 15x56 SLC HD and just received them last week. Although hand holdable for a short while they really shine on a tripod. The eye relief is good and a sharp view the entire fov.
Although I could not compare them side by side I feel that for my main use, scanning lakes and ponds for birds, I prefer the 15x56. Also the 15x puts it near spotting scope magnification but with the benefit of binocular vision with 2 eyes.
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Old Friday 23rd October 2015, 08:11   #5
Dale Forbes
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Originally Posted by m31m45 View Post
I used to have the 12x50 SV and it is an excellent binocular. The only issue I had is I wear glasses and never felt the eye relief was really what Swarovski stated. I had to press my glasses against the eyepiece to get the full view. Also 12 was just a little too high a magnification to hand hold but seemed a bit on the low side for mounting on a tripod. I decided to get the 15x56 SLC HD and just received them last week. Although hand holdable for a short while they really shine on a tripod. The eye relief is good and a sharp view the entire fov.
Although I could not compare them side by side I feel that for my main use, scanning lakes and ponds for birds, I prefer the 15x56. Also the 15x puts it near spotting scope magnification but with the benefit of binocular vision with 2 eyes.
just to clarify, the way we measure eye relief is exactly as it is stated in the norm and we basically just copy-paste that number in to our technical specifications lists (but product management will obviously go through the list to make sure that the number of significant figures makes sense within that context).

on a purely personal note, I love the extra detail the 12x50 gives me, especially because it comes in a relatively small and portable format, and there is nothing like it for distant raptors or birds out on the steppes/desert/prairies/savannas. Nevertheless, I can also see how the 15x56 would really shine in the situations like m31m45 mentioned where they are used for scanning from a tripod.
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Old Friday 23rd October 2015, 18:49   #6
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I would say, it is possible to feel the 1mm difference between stated eye relief of 8,5x42 and 12x50.
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Old Friday 23rd October 2015, 19:21   #7
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I use these 2 quite often , the 15x for raptorwatch.
The new 15x is a lot better than the older one and gives much more contrast and sharpness.
The 12 x is fantastisch as well , but a bit too heavy and shaky for regular birding.In that case I would prefer the 10x50 or the 42 or even 32 objectives
The only drawback for the new 15x is very low glare résistance which can be pretty disturbing.
You can easily see orange coloured halos which is not the case with the 12
Overall I prefer my SLC bind over the EL ones I have
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Old Friday 23rd October 2015, 21:35   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Forbes View Post
just to clarify, the way we measure eye relief is exactly as it is stated in the norm and we basically just copy-paste that number in to our technical specifications lists (but product management will obviously go through the list to make sure that the number of significant figures makes sense within that context).

on a purely personal note, I love the extra detail the 12x50 gives me, especially because it comes in a relatively small and portable format, and there is nothing like it for distant raptors or birds out on the steppes/desert/prairies/savannas. Nevertheless, I can also see how the 15x56 would really shine in the situations like m31m45 mentioned where they are used for scanning from a tripod.
Not sure I understand what Dale is saying about eye relief but I was just making a comment that to me the ER does not quite feel like what Swarovski states. I know it depends on the person and the glasses. My 8.5x42 Swaros are fine at an ER of 20 so the 12x50 at an ER of 19 should be OK but they feel a lot less. Both are fantastic binoculars and it really depends on the end use as to what works best for you. I am not a rich person but have a passion for optics and birding. If I could have afforded to keep both the 12X Swaros and 15X SLC I would have. Since I already own the 8.5 Swaros the 12X trying to hand hold just did not cut it. The 15X on a tripod or monopod used for what I do most, looking at lakes, ponds, swamps, etc. made more sense. I am fortunate to have the 8.5X for general hand hold viewing and the 15X when I want to go farther out. If needed I can then go to my spotting scope so I have the complete range of magnification covered. To me it boils down to either your main use if you only have one binocular or what best compliments the other optics you have and use on a regular basis.
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Old Friday 23rd October 2015, 21:59   #9
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Originally Posted by m31m45 View Post
My 8.5x42 Swaros are fine at an ER of 20 so the 12x50 at an ER of 19 should be OK but they feel a lot less.
Maybe the smaller EP (4.2) of the 12x50's might be a reason for the visual differences you're describing?
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Old Saturday 24th October 2015, 20:58   #10
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I agree with M31M45 about the ER of the SV 12x50:
I intended to purchase one but after trying it outside the shop I decided against it because I had to press hard against my spectacles to get the full FOV which surprised me considering the stated 19mm...I believe from my experience that the actual ER of the 12x50 is closer to 15mm, there is a big gap between the 12x50 and the 10x50 (I tested both), more than 1mm for sure.
Also I saw more CA than expected and the binocular did not feel so well balanced. To be honest I felt a bit disappointed and I did not buy it.
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Old Sunday 25th October 2015, 15:42   #11
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Is the 10X50SV better at controlling CA than the 12X50 ?

Thanks Robert



Quote:
Originally Posted by plc22 View Post
I agree with M31M45 about the ER of the SV 12x50:
I intended to purchase one but after trying it outside the shop I decided against it because I had to press hard against my spectacles to get the full FOV which surprised me considering the stated 19mm...I believe from my experience that the actual ER of the 12x50 is closer to 15mm, there is a big gap between the 12x50 and the 10x50 (I tested both), more than 1mm for sure.
Also I saw more CA than expected and the binocular did not feel so well balanced. To be honest I felt a bit disappointed and I did not buy it.
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Old Sunday 25th October 2015, 16:25   #12
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Is the 10X50SV better at controlling CA than the 12X50 ?

Thanks Robert
Yes it is, I did not see any CA in the 10x50, when I tried the 10x50 the view was so much easier and comfortable, I did not expect that at all just by the slight decrease in magnification. Optically I had the sensation of observing through different instruments. The 10x50 is "direct" whereas the 12x50 is more "hard work".
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Old Sunday 25th October 2015, 16:41   #13
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Wink Yes?

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Originally Posted by SuperDuty View Post
Is the 10X50SV better at controlling CA than the 12X50 ?

Thanks Robert
Hi Robert,

I haven't had the opportunity to put these two side by side, but was able to work the 12x50 SV (out of the 10x50's) for a couple of hours at Cabelas in direct comparison to the 10x42 SV's. To me, they compared very equally in color, sharpness, brightness and detail, with a tad more resolution (due to the higher power). Since the unfavorable lighting and environment glassing didn't challenge potential CA, I didn't see any issues...if they exist at all.

Now, during these past 3 months under very diverse and challenging conditions with the 10x50SV's, I've yet to induce or witness Any CA issues that would change my mind about the prowess of these top quality optics. I could go on and on, but this thread is about a different topic...later!

Stay Thirsty My Friend... !

Ted
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Old Sunday 25th October 2015, 16:44   #14
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Yes it is, I did not see any CA in the 10x50, when I tried the 10x50 the view was so much easier and comfortable, I did not expect that at all just by the slight decrease in magnification. Optically I had the sensation of observing through different instruments. The 10x50 is "direct" whereas the 12x50 is more "hard work".
Well Stated!
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Old Friday 30th October 2015, 13:51   #15
bockos
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Thank you all of us for this detailed information! I know that 10x50 is the best swarovision and is in different league of 12x50 and 15x56, but I wonder which of 12x50 sv and 15x56 hd will give memore pleasing, brighter, clearer and detailed view. And is it true that 12x50 sv is sharper than 15x56 hd?
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Old Wednesday 11th November 2015, 07:36   #16
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Thank you all of us for this detailed information! I know that 10x50 is the best swarovision and is in different league of 12x50 and 15x56, but I wonder which of 12x50 sv and 15x56 hd will give memore pleasing, brighter, clearer and detailed view. And is it true that 12x50 sv is sharper than 15x56 hd?
You cannot have pleasing, brighter clearer and more detailed view at the same time, and "pleasing" is very subjective...by the way all these binoculars are very sharp.
If you prefer a very bright, "punchy" but also easy and confortable view, get the 10x50. If you need more power to do deep and see more details get the 15x56, just forget about this 12x50 which is disappointing in my opinion, the 15x56 can be held more steadily at 15x than the EL at 12X and will show you much more.
To me it would either be the 10x50 EL or the 15x56 SLC HD depending on your needs.

Last edited by plc22 : Wednesday 11th November 2015 at 07:44.
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Old Wednesday 11th November 2015, 07:43   #17
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Since the unfavorable lighting and environment glassing didn't challenge potential CA, I didn't see any issues...if they exist at all.
Ted
Yes they do exist, I for myself had the opportunity to test both the 10x50 and the 12x50 outside a shop on a sunny day in typical challenging views (antennas and building edges against the bright sky) and whereas the 10x50 showed no CA at all, the level of CA in the 12x50 was slight but noticeable.
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Old Thursday 4th February 2016, 20:17   #18
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I personally think the HD is a new marketing scheme. My guess is there are possibly some new coating on the glass, but the glass should be the same
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2016, 07:46   #19
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I personally think the HD is a new marketing scheme. My guess is there are possibly some new coating on the glass, but the glass should be the same
I just briefly checked with our technical engineer responsible for the new SLC and essentially nothing is the same as the older model. There might possibly be a washer somewhere in the bridge that was the same, but otherwise everything is different.
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Old Saturday 20th February 2016, 15:38   #20
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This might be a little off topic here, but not too much.

The current issue of Gray's Sporting Journal, VOLUME 40 ISSUE 7, now on the newsstands has a short, positive review of the Meopta MeoStar B1 15x56 HD in its GRAY'S BEST section. It is based largely on a cost/performance analysis. It sells "in the neighborhood of $1600.00 retail." ...... "For pure usability, it would be hard to imagine a better binocular of this class. Optically, of course, it is up there with the big European names."

Bob
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