Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

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.

My Review of a 8x32 EL; 8x30 SLC NEU and a 8x30 CL (all brand new bino's)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 44 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Thursday 18th August 2011, 22:50   #1
stephen b
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: mckenzie valley, oregon
Posts: 659
My Review of a 8x32 EL; 8x30 SLC NEU and a 8x30 CL (all brand new bino's)

Note:- Advance notice- this is a long review-


This is a review of the 3 binoculars that Swarovski makes in the 30 and 32 mm size- The 8x32 EL, the 8x30 SLC NEU and the new 8x30 CL. This is not the highest level of binocular that Swarovski makes. That category is reserved for the recently released, just this year- the Swarovision and the SLC HD. But these are the best that Swarovski offers in 30 and 32 mm at this time.

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020003.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020004.jpg

I am reviewing newly purchased binoculars. The 8x32 EL and the 8x30 SLC had a manufactured date of 2010 and the CL was manufactured in 2011. This a personal review that is based on my personal empirical observations using my eyes and my hands. No specialized instruments were used -other than a tripod/-viewing platform.

I tested the binoculars by viewing from the second floor and my back deck of my house. From this point, I have a view across the Mckenzie River Valley here in Oregon. I can look across the valley and see the hillside across at about 2.5 miles in distance. So I can see from 1 ft to 2.5 miles +. I have a wide variety of items to focus on to test a binocular for- FOV, image sharpness, clarity, image color saturation and rendition and also contrast. These include tree trunks, bare branches and foliage on evergreens and deciduous trees and grasslands and rock formations across the valley. There is an active logging operation going on across the valley. I can view the river down below with a beaver den along one bank. I can observe a # of different birds from small song birds to Osprey's, Turkey Vultures, Blue Herons, ducks, geese, etc.

Here is a couple pics:

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020001.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020002.jpg

All of this gives me a wide variety of color and contrast to test the image quality of a binocular. Along with this, I have a # of different specific focal points that I use in this setting to regularly focus on to use as reference points. I looked at the binoculars during all times of day and different lighting conditions including bright and low light and cloudy and sunny conditions.

Some Basic specs on the binoculars:

8x32 EL

Price: $1639 (on sale from reg. price of $1929
FOV 420 ft. at 1000 yds.
Weight 21.9 oz
Eye Relief 15mm
close focus 7 ft.

8x30 SLC NEU

Price: $849 (on sale from reg. price of $1149
FOV 408 ft. at 1000 yds.
Weight 20.8 oz
Eye Relief 15mm
close focus 13 ft.

8x30 CL

Price: $929
FOV 372 ft. at 1000 yds.
Weight 17.6 oz
Eye Relief 15mm
close focus 9.8 ft.

Observations and review:

I will first give a summary of where I ranked these in a few basic categories and then will give a discussion and summary.

Ergonomics (fit and overall handling)

Rank order- 1. EL 2. CL 3. SLC

Build "Sturdiness "robustness" if you will

Rank order- 1. SLC 2. I would say tie with the EL and CL

Focus (Knob and use)

Rank order- 1. EL 2. CL 3. SLC

Diopter (position, build ,use)

Rank order- 1. SLC 2. EL 3. CL

Eye relief

Rank Order- All Equal- all listed at 15mm and all was adequate for me and my glasses

FOV

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

Optic Image Quality:

A. Sharpness/ clarity

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

B. Resolution of detail (using my eyes)

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

C. Brightness (summary of all times day- so includes low light)

Rank order- All were pretty good in this test-
1. EL 2. a tie- SLC and CL

D. Image Colors- (True Rendition and Saturation)

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

E. Image Contrast

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

F. Image "Sweet Spot" size

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

G. Edge to edge sharpness/ performance

Rank order- 1. SLC 2. EL 3. CL

H. CA (Chromatic Aberration) ** Footnote- I do not have a problem with CA myself and I did look for this and found a little here- minor. The EL was a little worse at the edge compared to the other 2, but this very well might be due to its large FOV. In the cent none of them were a big problem. The SLC NEU seemed to control CA very well and the CL did a good job also.

Rank order- To me- All 3 binoculars overall tie as far as the center axis with the SLC and the CL having a slight edge over the EL in regards to edge CA.


My Final overall Ranking of these 30 and 32 MM Swarovski binoculars. This is in regards to my overall Optical and Mechanical summary review.

1. 8x32 EL

2. 8x30 SLC NEU

3. 8x30 CL

Discussion and summary opinion:

This discussion will mostly focus on the new 8x30 CL binocular; as the 8x30 SLC NEU and the 8x32 EL have been out for a while and have been used & reviewed quite a bit. They (the SLC and EL) are about at the end of their run as models. In fact the SLC NEU in any configuration has stopped production and IMO it is only a mater of time that the same can be said about the 8x32 EL- since all other EL's are no longer made and have been upgraded by the Swarovision. Hopefully in a matter of time there will be a 8x30 SLC HD and a 8x32 SV- but who knows.

So to get started with my opinion and explanation of my rankings above- first of all it was my opinion that the EL was quite a bit better than the other 2 and to me that makes sense. I have tested the SLC and the EL in this size before and that was my conclusion then and it is the same thing I found with these samples. I know that Swarovski has said in the past (and I have had their techs tell me the same thing) that the glass and the coatings are the same- only difference is the housing. But, that is just not what testing bears out. I have had a rep from one of the big optic sellers (who does and has had a # of Swarovski's) tell me that there was a definite difference in the resolution between the EL and the SLC. That is what I also found to be true over the last few days with these samples.

The 8x32 EL is considered by many to be one of the all time great 8x32's. I certainly would have to say that it is in that category. It may be debatable (in whose eyes and hands) as to which optic maker makes the best 8x32 (Swarovski; Zeiss; Leica: Nikon- etc.)- but the Swaro 8x32 EL is right in the thick of that discussion. It just has a wonderful ergonomic feel- great FOV and great sharpness and color rendition. It is certainly near the top of the heap. With my testing- I found it to be simply the superior one of these 3.

As far as specifics with my testing- I will start with ergos and fit- build quality. First of all- these are Swarvski's- so they are all well built. The EL has the best fit and feel. The SLC NEU the most sturdy feel and solid build. The CL is nice for its light weight and if you have small-med. hand size, you can wrap your hands around a good part of the barrel's. If your hands are large- then that might not be as much the case. Mine are (M)- but thick so I wear (L) gloves and I had no problem getting a good amount of the barrel wrapped with my hands on the CL.

Even though they are all well built there are a couple negatives. For some people they can not get use to the focus knob location of the 8x30 SLC NEU and is a real concern for some people. Some people say that the CL has put it back in the "right" place. Well I have owned a SLC in this size since 1994 and the focus knob location has never been a problem for me. In fact when wearing a hat while hunting, or in bad weather- I find the forward focus a good thing since the hat does not get in the way of the forward focus knob location. But for it to work well- the focus has to be smooth enough to be able to operate easily with the ring or little finger. I have never had a problem with 2 different 7x30 SLC's that I have owned - and it was never a problem right from the start. A friend has had a 8x30 SLC for years and it was not a problem either. But.... I do not know what the deal is with the last 3 8x30 SLC NEU's that I have examined? The focus knob on all of them have been stiff out of the box- enough so that forget about pinky finger focusing- but the ring finger is even not the easiest for fine delicate focusing. I can get it done- but it is much more of a chore than my "smooth as fine olive oil" focus on my 7x30 SLC. Maybe with time the knob on the 8x30 SLC NEU would loosen up; I know someone that sent back a brand new one to Swaro to smooth out that focus, and he said it came back better. Well enough on that.

Only problem that I have with the EL as far as build (besides that it might not be as sturdy as the SLC's IMO) is the "plastic" feeling focus knob. I much prefer the rubber type one on the SLC's. They are less slippery in wet weather. Oh, and another thing- I do not care for the diopter adjustment on the EL's being under that focus knob. I much prefer the diopter adj. on the SLC's.

CL and the build- it also has that plastic type of focus knob. And here is what I do not understand- it does not even have a locking diopter! The location on the (R) eyepiece is fine- but why could they not build a locking diopter. Swarovski has been doing that for eons and even the cheaper companies usually puts them on there bino's. It seems to stay in place well enough- but time could tell on that.

So now down to the optics of the new CL's, and "where the glass meets the sky" (similar to "where the rubber meets the road"- but tailored to optics) ;^)

In comparing all 3 of these- even though the 8x30 CL has a nice feel and are fairly bright- The first thing that you notice right away is the lacking FOV. It is especially apparent when you have all 3 of these and look at them side by side. It happens no matter what order that you look at the scale of the FOV. The EL's 420 ft. seem great and the SLC's 408 ft seems pretty good and you still notice it being less than the EL though. And then when you pick up the CL with its 372 ft FOV- you go- "Whoa- that really seems constricted and tunnel like". When you go back up the ladder so to speak from the CL to SLC and on to the EL- your eyes and mind (at least mine did) goes- "that seems much better" and on to the EL- "Oh, that is quite nice". The CL's 372 ft to me was much more of a constricting view- even when compared to my 378 ft for my 7x30 SLC. In fact I was shocked that there were only 6 ft different in the specs. The 7x30 SLC's 378 ft- does not seem in my apparent (to my eyes) FOV to be that much different than the 408 of the SLC- at least to me- but the CL's seem to be way less that the SLC NEU. With the CL's you seem to really notice the black outline of the barrel- and with the others it was not the case.

As far as edge to edge sharpness- all were not bad, but the SLC NEU had the least amount of fall off and tended to just nicely "feather" if you will to its final edge. The EL edge was maybe slightly more apparent- and this might have been because the sweet spot center is so big, I noticed a more prominent edge for it when compared to the gentle feathered edge of the SLC NEU.

The CL surprised me- in that especially since it has a smaller FOV than the SLC NEU- and I would have expected because of that, that its edge to edge would be better than the SLC. But.... it was not! The edge of the CL was more noticeable than the edge of the SLC NEU.

Also concerning edge qualities- my 1999 7x30 SLC has a better edge to edge sharpness than all 3 of these. I know it has just a 378 ft FOV-, but it has a very sharp edge to edge sharpness within that FOV. I read somewhere where the eye piece design of that 7x30 SLC- had a flatter field than the 8x30 SLC of its day.

Image qualities: The El was the best here. The SLC NEU was a step behind as far as resolution- even though the colors seemed quite a bit the same. A lot has been noted in the past by others about these 2- so I am going to get right on to how the optics in the CL were.

The CL was a definite step behind the EL- that was apparent right away. It was also a step behind the SLC. The colors were not as quite as sharp and especially the clearness and resolution of detail. The contrast was not as good either.

I have some real good items to look at to test these things. One is some bare branches at the top of some Cottonwood trees along the river. There a couple of them that stick up in groups of 3-5 and it is similar to looking at antlers. With the EL esp. and with also the SLC- it was easier to distinguish the separate ones. With the CL the detail was not as fine. Same thing when looking at other foliage and bark on trees and also looking at fine contrast difference between grassy hillsides and rocks with similar colors across the valley. With this test of detail, colors and contrast- it was easily apparent that the EL- it was simply the best, no question. It was also apparent that the SLC NEU was better at this that the CL's. The color and contrast of the rocks, trees, grass etc., etc, and sharpness was better with the SLC.

**** a thing I did notice when comparing all 3- the coatings on the outside of the EL and the SLC NEU looked identical. The CL's were not as dark, or were not the same green color. What this means, I do not know- but it was apparent. Also looking down on the inside of all 3 barrels, one thing stood out. The CL's had a much different baffling rings that surrounded the inside and were prominent when looking inside the barrels. This was not the case when looking down the SLC's or the EL's. What this means, again I am not sure.

I went into this testing with an open mind and eyes. I know that I had some theories before hand and posted some of those. And I had already been told by a dealer that in his opinion- the CL was a step optically behind the SLC NEU. But.... when I tested these- I put all that behind me and had open eyes. I spent probably 3-4 hours over the course of 3 days testing these and going back and forth. And some things were just always there. I would be extremely surprised if I had 10 people testing the CL and the SLC for pure optic qualities to have any one of them tell me that the CL was better than the SLC NEU. It was that apparent. And not to mention the CL even being anywhere close to the 8x32 EL; that is just not the case!

*** side note - The CL was to me not near as good with clarity and fine detail as my 1999 7x30 SLC. Even with its (CL) 8x- it did not do as good with sharpness and fine detail as the 7x30. The CL's had nice color and were bright, but they lagged behind with the sharpness, clarity and contrast. The difference was somewhat surprising to me. I went back and forth with them over all 3 days. Also as can be imagined- the 7x30's had a better overall depth of field, but... they also to me had a much more pleasing- relaxed view. Plus on top of all that- my 7x30 SLC has a much better edge to edge sharpness when compared to the CL.

Now IMO- my 7x30 SLC's are superb? When I sent them in last year to Swaro to have the hinge tightened up and to check on the possibility of getting the EZ clean lens- this is what Melissa from SONA wrote back to me:

"...When you called you asked for the new lenses with the EZ to clean coatings , unfortunately the glass is not available for 7x30 SLC’s, they have been discontinued. According to the technician, your lenses are in almost perfect condition....."


**** also on another side note- the 8x30 CL's were not near as good optically as my 8x32 Pentax DCF ED's. But that is a whole other discussion.
______

So where does this leave the CL?- To me, exactly where Swarovski had targeted and planned for them to be. A lightweight sub-midsized, lower tier (for them) bino compared to their HD's and The SV. These allow someone to get into the Swaro line at a lower tier/ price point than their other ever increasing higher priced top tier ones. These will compete with other mid level binos and will give someone the ability to have a Swaro bino without spending close to 2K.

Here is a link to the somewhat cheesy video about the CL's on the Swarovski website (BTW- the main emphasis of the video is on the CL's lightweight and small size):

http://swarovskioptik.com/en_us/prod...s_cl-companion

in the website's video- one of the quotes is:

" This is a great introductory binocular for the consumer who hasn't had the chance to kind of jump into the Swarovki family, so to speak"... "so for those people who have, you know, never stepped into the Swarovski family"....


They were not making a brand new mouse trap and have it have all the greatest features and then charge half of their upper tier. These CL's do not defy the laws of physics or economic sensibility. Would I have liked a 17 oz. non- ED/HD small FOV 30 mm glass to be as good as one with HD and one that costs twice as much? As Sarah Palin would say- "You Betcha"

They (Swarovski) will probably either upgrade the 8x30 SLC NEU or the 8x32 EL at some point in time to the next tier of HD's/ SV's and then they will certainly cost more.

Last edited by stephen b : Thursday 18th August 2011 at 23:56. Reason: added bold highlights and italics and added a section on edge sharpness that I left out
stephen b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 18th August 2011, 23:25   #2
stephen b
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: mckenzie valley, oregon
Posts: 659
I added a note about the edge to edge sharpness that I failed to include in the original post
stephen b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 18th August 2011, 23:55   #3
karmantra
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 407
Field test of small Swarovskis

Excellent review! By the way Stephen, I live in Central Oregon, and the only 'optics' store is Wholesale Sports in Bend, and its optics availability is quite limited.
I have a '97 Mark III 8x30 SLC that has been a fantastic bino for years, and recently bought a new pair of 8x30 SLC Neu for a bargain price of $715, mainly because I was afraid that I would never have the chance to replace my Mark IIIs. I was tempted by the 8x30 CLs, but the non-lock right-side diopter was a turn-off, and I am one of those rare creatures that prefer the front focus on the smaller binos. Again thanks for the detailed review!
karmantra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 19th August 2011, 05:57   #4
ronh
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Alamos, NM
Posts: 1,966
Stephen,
Around here, that passes for fine literature. Thanks for such good reporting of your impressions.

You must be thinking, why bother for an 8/7 enlagement?
Ron
ronh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 19th August 2011, 06:08   #5
stephen b
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: mckenzie valley, oregon
Posts: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronh View Post
Stephen,
Around here, that passes for fine literature. Thanks for such good reporting of your impressions.

You must be thinking, why bother for an 8/7 enlagement?
Ron
Ron,

Thanks.

Regarding your comment:

"You must be thinking, why bother for an 8/7 enlagement"?


I think I know what you mean by that??..... but before I comment- please elaborate or clarify exactly what you mean.

-Stephen
stephen b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 19th August 2011, 06:50   #6
stephen b
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: mckenzie valley, oregon
Posts: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by karmantra View Post
Excellent review! By the way Stephen, I live in Central Oregon, and the only 'optics' store is Wholesale Sports in Bend, and its optics availability is quite limited.
I have a '97 Mark III 8x30 SLC that has been a fantastic bino for years, and recently bought a new pair of 8x30 SLC Neu for a bargain price of $715, mainly because I was afraid that I would never have the chance to replace my Mark IIIs. I was tempted by the 8x30 CLs, but the non-lock right-side diopter was a turn-off, and I am one of those rare creatures that prefer the front focus on the smaller binos. Again thanks for the detailed review!
Thanks-

The 8x30 SLC NEU is really to me the best buy of these 3 that I tested. If I did not already have the nice 1999 7x30 SLC (and you are right concerning the mid- late 90 SLC's as being very good!) and the Pentax 8x32 DCF ED- then I would maybe seriously consider keeping the 8x30 SLC NEU.

But it would merely be too much of a duplicate for me. I did think and am still somewhat thinking hard about it- since these are the last 8x30 SLC's to be made.

But what I think I am really waiting for- is to see what kind of forward move Swarovski is going to make with this size of bino. But, even at that, I will compare what I have now and decide if I want to spend the what is sure to be close to 2K to upgrade above what I already have.

That is one other reason that makes your super bargain price of $715 for the SLC NEU- such a deal.

I think there is a very good reason that Swarovski instructed their dealers to clear out their old 8x30 SLC NEU stock before the new CL's arrived. Stated simply- the SLC NEU is optically better- and I do not think Swaro wanted that comparison done.

This is a quote from Doug at Cameraland in a post on a thread concerning the CL's over on 24 Hour Campfire:

"The SLC was discontinued 3 months or more ago. They wanted them all sold out and cleared out when the CL's started to be shipped"


____***** Regarding your quote above:

"I was tempted by the 8x30 CLs, but the non-lock right-side diopter was a turn-off,".....


I thought the same thing when I first examined them ( the CL's). I at first started trying to pull up the diopter adjustment ring to unlock it as you would with most models that have the diopter located there in that position (My Pentax ED is like that). When I finally realized that it was not a locking diopter at all, but just a turn and hope it holds type one- like the more inexpensive bino's- I thought to myself- "You have got to be kidding me!" Yes that was a turn-off. Not sure what it says about why on earth they did that- but it was a turn-off none the less.


Cheers,

Stephen

Last edited by stephen b : Friday 19th August 2011 at 07:09.
stephen b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 19th August 2011, 08:33   #7
DMKSlater
Registered User
 
DMKSlater's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,048
Blog Entries: 2
Excellent review Stephen, my girlfriend is just away to upgrade her bino's and was thinking of the CL's but I have been trying to persuade her to go for the EL's. This review will give her food for thought. Many thanks.

Dave
DMKSlater is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 19th August 2011, 11:13   #8
gulf1263
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: southcentral Alaska
Posts: 212
My Review of a 8x32EL: 8x30 SLC NEU and a 8x30CL

Hi Steven:
Nice review, pretty much matches my experience.
Took my 8x32 EL's out today and watched the Loons and Ducks (No I wasn't in Washington, DC.) out on the lake.
they gave great views and are easy to use.
Sounds like you have the binocular disease also.
Comments on CA.....
If any one wants to see lots of CA, come to New Mexico or Arizona, you will be richly rewarded with abundant color fringing, purplies and all matter of exotic affects and effects (Wow man, the colors).
Again, thanks for the review.
Art
gulf1263 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 19th August 2011, 11:28   #9
NoSpringChicken
Registered User
 
NoSpringChicken's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: East Norfolk
Posts: 26,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMKSlater View Post
Excellent review Stephen, my girlfriend is just away to upgrade her bino's and was thinking of the CL's but I have been trying to persuade her to go for the EL's. This review will give her food for thought. Many thanks.

Dave
I see Sherwoods have the 8x32 EL on special offer at 1199 at the moment. That's 'only' 409 more than the CLs. Tell her to hurry and make her mind up.

Ron
NoSpringChicken is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 19th August 2011, 11:38   #10
NoSpringChicken
Registered User
 
NoSpringChicken's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: East Norfolk
Posts: 26,120
That is an excellent and beautifully written review Stephen. I found it to be an engrossing read, which is something I thought I would never say about a binocular review. It seems to confirm what I suspected about the CLs. They are an entry level Swarovski product, which look very neat, are undoubtedly well made and perform well, if not up to the standard of the top models. They bear the legendary Swarovski name, are relatively affordable and will sell by the bucket load.

Ron
NoSpringChicken is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 19th August 2011, 13:09   #11
NDhunter
Registered User
 
NDhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ND
Posts: 4,164
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen b View Post
Thanks-

The 8x30 SLC NEU is really to me the best buy of these 3 that I tested. If I did not already have the nice 1999 7x30 SLC (and you are right concerning the mid- late 90 SLC's as being very good!) and the Pentax 8x32 DCF ED- then I would maybe seriously consider keeping the 8x30 SLC NEU.

But it would merely be too much of a duplicate for me. I did think and am still somewhat thinking hard about it- since these are the last 8x30 SLC's to be made.

But what I think I am really waiting for- is to see what kind of forward move Swarovski is going to make with this size of bino. But, even at that, I will compare what I have now and decide if I want to spend the what is sure to be close to 2K to upgrade above what I already have.

That is one other reason that makes your super bargain price of $715 for the SLC NEU- such a deal.

I think there is a very good reason that Swarovski instructed their dealers to clear out their old 8x30 SLC NEU stock before the new CL's arrived. Stated simply- the SLC NEU is optically better- and I do not think Swaro wanted that comparison done.

This is a quote from Doug at Cameraland in a post on a thread concerning the CL's over on 24 Hour Campfire:

"The SLC was discontinued 3 months or more ago. They wanted them all sold out and cleared out when the CL's started to be shipped"


____***** Regarding your quote above:

"I was tempted by the 8x30 CLs, but the non-lock right-side diopter was a turn-off,".....


I thought the same thing when I first examined them ( the CL's). I at first started trying to pull up the diopter adjustment ring to unlock it as you would with most models that have the diopter located there in that position (My Pentax ED is like that). When I finally realized that it was not a locking diopter at all, but just a turn and hope it holds type one- like the more inexpensive bino's- I thought to myself- "You have got to be kidding me!" Yes that was a turn-off. Not sure what it says about why on earth they did that- but it was a turn-off none the less.


Cheers,

Stephen
Stephan:

Very nice review, and well done. Good of you to post the pics showing how
the sizes compare also. I have been using the CL, and the smaller size is
one advantage to make them close to a compact in size. As far as the diopter
I think it is a good idea. Mine is set at zero, as in my other quality binoculars, and I should not have to move it. It is very firm and I am thinking it will not move in use.
Sometimes simpler is better, as I have had binoculars that have had trouble with the center focuser, diopter adjuster. I had an EL that had to be sent in
for service just because of that.
I don't think you can go wrong with any of these 3 binoculars you tested.

Jerry
NDhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 19th August 2011, 15:59   #12
WiscTJK
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 208
Very nice review Stephen.

I am just envious of the view off your back deck! That is beautiful.

I imagine you would see quite a few birds right from your house - nice!
WiscTJK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 00:50   #13
mooreorless
Registered User
 
mooreorless's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntingdon,Pa.
Posts: 3,558
Great review Stephen! Great pictures, they really show the size difference very well. I have a feeling I would really like the CL, esp. if offered in 7.:)
mooreorless is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 03:14   #14
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen b View Post
Note:- Advance notice- this is a long review-


This is a review of the 3 binoculars that Swarovski makes in the 30 and 32 mm size- The 8x32 EL, the 8x30 SLC NEU and the new 8x30 CL. This is not the highest level of binocular that Swarovski makes. That category is reserved for the recently released, just this year- the Swarovision and the SLC HD. But these are the best that Swarovski offers in 30 and 32 mm at this time.

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020003.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020004.jpg

I am reviewing newly purchased binoculars. The 8x32 EL and the 8x30 SLC had a manufactured date of 2010 and the CL was manufactured in 2011. This a personal review that is based on my personal empirical observations using my eyes and my hands. No specialized instruments were used -other than a tripod/-viewing platform.

I tested the binoculars by viewing from the second floor and my back deck of my house. From this point, I have a view across the Mckenzie River Valley here in Oregon. I can look across the valley and see the hillside across at about 2.5 miles in distance. So I can see from 1 ft to 2.5 miles +. I have a wide variety of items to focus on to test a binocular for- FOV, image sharpness, clarity, image color saturation and rendition and also contrast. These include tree trunks, bare branches and foliage on evergreens and deciduous trees and grasslands and rock formations across the valley. There is an active logging operation going on across the valley. I can view the river down below with a beaver den along one bank. I can observe a # of different birds from small song birds to Osprey's, Turkey Vultures, Blue Herons, ducks, geese, etc.

Here is a couple pics:

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020001.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020002.jpg

All of this gives me a wide variety of color and contrast to test the image quality of a binocular. Along with this, I have a # of different specific focal points that I use in this setting to regularly focus on to use as reference points. I looked at the binoculars during all times of day and different lighting conditions including bright and low light and cloudy and sunny conditions.

Some Basic specs on the binoculars:

8x32 EL

Price: $1639 (on sale from reg. price of $1929
FOV 420 ft. at 1000 yds.
Weight 21.9 oz
Eye Relief 15mm
close focus 7 ft.

8x30 SLC NEU

Price: $849 (on sale from reg. price of $1149
FOV 408 ft. at 1000 yds.
Weight 20.8 oz
Eye Relief 15mm
close focus 13 ft.

8x30 CL

Price: $929
FOV 372 ft. at 1000 yds.
Weight 17.6 oz
Eye Relief 15mm
close focus 9.8 ft.

Observations and review:

I will first give a summary of where I ranked these in a few basic categories and then will give a discussion and summary.

Ergonomics (fit and overall handling)

Rank order- 1. EL 2. CL 3. SLC

Build "Sturdiness "robustness" if you will

Rank order- 1. SLC 2. I would say tie with the EL and CL

Focus (Knob and use)

Rank order- 1. EL 2. CL 3. SLC

Diopter (position, build ,use)

Rank order- 1. SLC 2. EL 3. CL

Eye relief

Rank Order- All Equal- all listed at 15mm and all was adequate for me and my glasses

FOV

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

Optic Image Quality:

A. Sharpness/ clarity

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

B. Resolution of detail (using my eyes)

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

C. Brightness (summary of all times day- so includes low light)

Rank order- All were pretty good in this test-
1. EL 2. a tie- SLC and CL

D. Image Colors- (True Rendition and Saturation)

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

E. Image Contrast

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

F. Image "Sweet Spot" size

Rank order- 1. EL 2. SLC 3. CL

G. Edge to edge sharpness/ performance

Rank order- 1. SLC 2. EL 3. CL

H. CA (Chromatic Aberration) ** Footnote- I do not have a problem with CA myself and I did look for this and found a little here- minor. The EL was a little worse at the edge compared to the other 2, but this very well might be due to its large FOV. In the cent none of them were a big problem. The SLC NEU seemed to control CA very well and the CL did a good job also.

Rank order- To me- All 3 binoculars overall tie as far as the center axis with the SLC and the CL having a slight edge over the EL in regards to edge CA.


My Final overall Ranking of these 30 and 32 MM Swarovski binoculars. This is in regards to my overall Optical and Mechanical summary review.

1. 8x32 EL

2. 8x30 SLC NEU

3. 8x30 CL

Discussion and summary opinion:

This discussion will mostly focus on the new 8x30 CL binocular; as the 8x30 SLC NEU and the 8x32 EL have been out for a while and have been used & reviewed quite a bit. They (the SLC and EL) are about at the end of their run as models. In fact the SLC NEU in any configuration has stopped production and IMO it is only a mater of time that the same can be said about the 8x32 EL- since all other EL's are no longer made and have been upgraded by the Swarovision. Hopefully in a matter of time there will be a 8x30 SLC HD and a 8x32 SV- but who knows.

So to get started with my opinion and explanation of my rankings above- first of all it was my opinion that the EL was quite a bit better than the other 2 and to me that makes sense. I have tested the SLC and the EL in this size before and that was my conclusion then and it is the same thing I found with these samples. I know that Swarovski has said in the past (and I have had their techs tell me the same thing) that the glass and the coatings are the same- only difference is the housing. But, that is just not what testing bears out. I have had a rep from one of the big optic sellers (who does and has had a # of Swarovski's) tell me that there was a definite difference in the resolution between the EL and the SLC. That is what I also found to be true over the last few days with these samples.

The 8x32 EL is considered by many to be one of the all time great 8x32's. I certainly would have to say that it is in that category. It may be debatable (in whose eyes and hands) as to which optic maker makes the best 8x32 (Swarovski; Zeiss; Leica: Nikon- etc.)- but the Swaro 8x32 EL is right in the thick of that discussion. It just has a wonderful ergonomic feel- great FOV and great sharpness and color rendition. It is certainly near the top of the heap. With my testing- I found it to be simply the superior one of these 3.

As far as specifics with my testing- I will start with ergos and fit- build quality. First of all- these are Swarvski's- so they are all well built. The EL has the best fit and feel. The SLC NEU the most sturdy feel and solid build. The CL is nice for its light weight and if you have small-med. hand size, you can wrap your hands around a good part of the barrel's. If your hands are large- then that might not be as much the case. Mine are (M)- but thick so I wear (L) gloves and I had no problem getting a good amount of the barrel wrapped with my hands on the CL.

Even though they are all well built there are a couple negatives. For some people they can not get use to the focus knob location of the 8x30 SLC NEU and is a real concern for some people. Some people say that the CL has put it back in the "right" place. Well I have owned a SLC in this size since 1994 and the focus knob location has never been a problem for me. In fact when wearing a hat while hunting, or in bad weather- I find the forward focus a good thing since the hat does not get in the way of the forward focus knob location. But for it to work well- the focus has to be smooth enough to be able to operate easily with the ring or little finger. I have never had a problem with 2 different 7x30 SLC's that I have owned - and it was never a problem right from the start. A friend has had a 8x30 SLC for years and it was not a problem either. But.... I do not know what the deal is with the last 3 8x30 SLC NEU's that I have examined? The focus knob on all of them have been stiff out of the box- enough so that forget about pinky finger focusing- but the ring finger is even not the easiest for fine delicate focusing. I can get it done- but it is much more of a chore than my "smooth as fine olive oil" focus on my 7x30 SLC. Maybe with time the knob on the 8x30 SLC NEU would loosen up; I know someone that sent back a brand new one to Swaro to smooth out that focus, and he said it came back better. Well enough on that.

Only problem that I have with the EL as far as build (besides that it might not be as sturdy as the SLC's IMO) is the "plastic" feeling focus knob. I much prefer the rubber type one on the SLC's. They are less slippery in wet weather. Oh, and another thing- I do not care for the diopter adjustment on the EL's being under that focus knob. I much prefer the diopter adj. on the SLC's.

CL and the build- it also has that plastic type of focus knob. And here is what I do not understand- it does not even have a locking diopter! The location on the (R) eyepiece is fine- but why could they not build a locking diopter. Swarovski has been doing that for eons and even the cheaper companies usually puts them on there bino's. It seems to stay in place well enough- but time could tell on that.

So now down to the optics of the new CL's, and "where the glass meets the sky" (similar to "where the rubber meets the road"- but tailored to optics) ;^)

In comparing all 3 of these- even though the 8x30 CL has a nice feel and are fairly bright- The first thing that you notice right away is the lacking FOV. It is especially apparent when you have all 3 of these and look at them side by side. It happens no matter what order that you look at the scale of the FOV. The EL's 420 ft. seem great and the SLC's 408 ft seems pretty good and you still notice it being less than the EL though. And then when you pick up the CL with its 372 ft FOV- you go- "Whoa- that really seems constricted and tunnel like". When you go back up the ladder so to speak from the CL to SLC and on to the EL- your eyes and mind (at least mine did) goes- "that seems much better" and on to the EL- "Oh, that is quite nice". The CL's 372 ft to me was much more of a constricting view- even when compared to my 378 ft for my 7x30 SLC. In fact I was shocked that there were only 6 ft different in the specs. The 7x30 SLC's 378 ft- does not seem in my apparent (to my eyes) FOV to be that much different than the 408 of the SLC- at least to me- but the CL's seem to be way less that the SLC NEU. With the CL's you seem to really notice the black outline of the barrel- and with the others it was not the case.

As far as edge to edge sharpness- all were not bad, but the SLC NEU had the least amount of fall off and tended to just nicely "feather" if you will to its final edge. The EL edge was maybe slightly more apparent- and this might have been because the sweet spot center is so big, I noticed a more prominent edge for it when compared to the gentle feathered edge of the SLC NEU.

The CL surprised me- in that especially since it has a smaller FOV than the SLC NEU- and I would have expected because of that, that its edge to edge would be better than the SLC. But.... it was not! The edge of the CL was more noticeable than the edge of the SLC NEU.

Also concerning edge qualities- my 1999 7x30 SLC has a better edge to edge sharpness than all 3 of these. I know it has just a 378 ft FOV-, but it has a very sharp edge to edge sharpness within that FOV. I read somewhere where the eye piece design of that 7x30 SLC- had a flatter field than the 8x30 SLC of its day.

Image qualities: The El was the best here. The SLC NEU was a step behind as far as resolution- even though the colors seemed quite a bit the same. A lot has been noted in the past by others about these 2- so I am going to get right on to how the optics in the CL were.

The CL was a definite step behind the EL- that was apparent right away. It was also a step behind the SLC. The colors were not as quite as sharp and especially the clearness and resolution of detail. The contrast was not as good either.

I have some real good items to look at to test these things. One is some bare branches at the top of some Cottonwood trees along the river. There a couple of them that stick up in groups of 3-5 and it is similar to looking at antlers. With the EL esp. and with also the SLC- it was easier to distinguish the separate ones. With the CL the detail was not as fine. Same thing when looking at other foliage and bark on trees and also looking at fine contrast difference between grassy hillsides and rocks with similar colors across the valley. With this test of detail, colors and contrast- it was easily apparent that the EL- it was simply the best, no question. It was also apparent that the SLC NEU was better at this that the CL's. The color and contrast of the rocks, trees, grass etc., etc, and sharpness was better with the SLC.

**** a thing I did notice when comparing all 3- the coatings on the outside of the EL and the SLC NEU looked identical. The CL's were not as dark, or were not the same green color. What this means, I do not know- but it was apparent. Also looking down on the inside of all 3 barrels, one thing stood out. The CL's had a much different baffling rings that surrounded the inside and were prominent when looking inside the barrels. This was not the case when looking down the SLC's or the EL's. What this means, again I am not sure.

I went into this testing with an open mind and eyes. I know that I had some theories before hand and posted some of those. And I had already been told by a dealer that in his opinion- the CL was a step optically behind the SLC NEU. But.... when I tested these- I put all that behind me and had open eyes. I spent probably 3-4 hours over the course of 3 days testing these and going back and forth. And some things were just always there. I would be extremely surprised if I had 10 people testing the CL and the SLC for pure optic qualities to have any one of them tell me that the CL was better than the SLC NEU. It was that apparent. And not to mention the CL even being anywhere close to the 8x32 EL; that is just not the case!

*** side note - The CL was to me not near as good with clarity and fine detail as my 1999 7x30 SLC. Even with its (CL) 8x- it did not do as good with sharpness and fine detail as the 7x30. The CL's had nice color and were bright, but they lagged behind with the sharpness, clarity and contrast. The difference was somewhat surprising to me. I went back and forth with them over all 3 days. Also as can be imagined- the 7x30's had a better overall depth of field, but... they also to me had a much more pleasing- relaxed view. Plus on top of all that- my 7x30 SLC has a much better edge to edge sharpness when compared to the CL.

Now IMO- my 7x30 SLC's are superb? When I sent them in last year to Swaro to have the hinge tightened up and to check on the possibility of getting the EZ clean lens- this is what Melissa from SONA wrote back to me:

"...When you called you asked for the new lenses with the EZ to clean coatings , unfortunately the glass is not available for 7x30 SLC’s, they have been discontinued. According to the technician, your lenses are in almost perfect condition....."


**** also on another side note- the 8x30 CL's were not near as good optically as my 8x32 Pentax DCF ED's. But that is a whole other discussion.
______

So where does this leave the CL?- To me, exactly where Swarovski had targeted and planned for them to be. A lightweight sub-midsized, lower tier (for them) bino compared to their HD's and The SV. These allow someone to get into the Swaro line at a lower tier/ price point than their other ever increasing higher priced top tier ones. These will compete with other mid level binos and will give someone the ability to have a Swaro bino without spending close to 2K.

Here is a link to the somewhat cheesy video about the CL's on the Swarovski website (BTW- the main emphasis of the video is on the CL's lightweight and small size):

http://swarovskioptik.com/en_us/prod...s_cl-companion

in the website's video- one of the quotes is:

" This is a great introductory binocular for the consumer who hasn't had the chance to kind of jump into the Swarovki family, so to speak"... "so for those people who have, you know, never stepped into the Swarovski family"....


They were not making a brand new mouse trap and have it have all the greatest features and then charge half of their upper tier. These CL's do not defy the laws of physics or economic sensibility. Would I have liked a 17 oz. non- ED/HD small FOV 30 mm glass to be as good as one with HD and one that costs twice as much? As Sarah Palin would say- "You Betcha"

They (Swarovski) will probably either upgrade the 8x30 SLC NEU or the 8x32 EL at some point in time to the next tier of HD's/ SV's and then they will certainly cost more.
That is the best review I have ever read on Bird Forum! Nice. That is just the type of review I like. Nice pictures also. Beautiful country. I agree with your FOV opinion but not necessarily everything else about these three excellent binoculars but that is a matter of opinion. I like the diopter control on the CL. I think it is simple and it works very good without moving. I just compared the Zeiss 8x32 FL, Swarovski 8x32 EL, and the Swarovski 8x32 EL in Cabellas very quickly and the EL and the Zeiss FL definitely have the FOV advantage. What surprised me is that the 8x32 EL for my eyes was better than the Zeiss FL. I have never directly compared the two before. It makes me wonder if they haven't improved the EL in the last year or two. The EL had the smoothest focus I have ever seen on a Swarovski also but I think it was an exceptional sample. The CL has the small size advantage and is an exceptional binocular for the money. For me though I still like my 8.5x42 SV for just incredible optics. Great review though.

Last edited by [email protected] : Saturday 20th August 2011 at 04:55.
denco@comcast.n is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 03:33   #15
ronh
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Alamos, NM
Posts: 1,966
Stephen,
I just mean you sound quite happy with your 7x30 already. There is little to be gained by buying one of these, other than the magnification increase. The 7x to 8x step is noticeable, but, with no exciting quality increase to go with it, maybe not worth $1-1.5K. As a practical matter, owning a great 7x30 already, I think you need a 10x42 worse than you need an 8x30.
Ron

Last edited by ronh : Saturday 20th August 2011 at 03:37.
ronh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 04:21   #16
stephen b
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: mckenzie valley, oregon
Posts: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMKSlater View Post
Excellent review Stephen, my girlfriend is just away to upgrade her bino's and was thinking of the CL's but I have been trying to persuade her to go for the EL's. This review will give her food for thought. Many thanks.

Dave
Dave,

Thanks,

If she (you) have the coin for the EL's- I would go that route- the CL's are not even close IMO.
_______________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSpringChicken View Post
That is an excellent and beautifully written review Stephen. I found it to be an engrossing read, which is something I thought I would never say about a binocular review. It seems to confirm what I suspected about the CLs. They are an entry level Swarovski product, which look very neat, are undoubtedly well made and perform well, if not up to the standard of the top models. They bear the legendary Swarovski name, are relatively affordable and will sell by the bucket load.

Ron
Ron,

Thank you.

And yes, the CL's are, although well made- they are an entry level bino for Swarovski and that seems to be a first for them. Up until this point it seems Swarovski was always improving their line and line-up and even though this is a brand new line for them I am sure they will continue to improve this line of bino's in the future to. I think they are exactly what they planned for and intended for them to be. They are a very smart company and they have a projected niche for these and a target audience for them and I believe they will do very well with them.

___________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
Stephan:

Very nice review, and well done. Good of you to post the pics showing how
the sizes compare also. I have been using the CL, and the smaller size is
one advantage to make them close to a compact in size. As far as the diopter
I think it is a good idea. Mine is set at zero, as in my other quality binoculars, and I should not have to move it. It is very firm and I am thinking it will not move in use.
Sometimes simpler is better, as I have had binoculars that have had trouble with the center focuser, diopter adjuster. I had an EL that had to be sent in
for service just because of that.
I don't think you can go wrong with any of these 3 binoculars you tested.

Jerry
Jerry,

Thanks.

Yes, -The small size on these is very nice. And you are right- you really cannot go wrong with any of these. Each one does serve a little bit different purpose and for possibly different users. Unless of course you just want all of them. For about the price of a new car- you can have the whole Swaro line up. Actually it would be a pretty nice car

As far as the diopter adjustment, I am sure the diopter design will be fine. I guess I was just surprised. But the good thing about having a Swaro- if you ever have a problem- just send it in and they will fix it. I, like you, had a problem with a used 8x32 EL a # of years ago. When I bought it, it had the diopter setting geared all the way to only being able to adjust it in the (+) settings-would not go at all into the (-) ones. Sent them in the SONA and of course they came back perfect.

Enjoy your CL's
stephen b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 04:29   #17
stephen b
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: mckenzie valley, oregon
Posts: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiscTJK View Post
Very nice review Stephen.

I am just envious of the view off your back deck! That is beautiful.

I imagine you would see quite a few birds right from your house - nice!
Thank you,

We do feel really blessed to live where we live. And yes, we do see a wide variety of birds from right around the house. From small song birds to a ton of waterfowl in the winter. Also Eagles right down by the river in the trees in the winter. In the summer, we see a # of Osprey every day. It really is very nice.

__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooreorless View Post
Great review Stephen! Great pictures, they really show the size difference very well. I have a feeling I would really like the CL, esp. if offered in 7.:)
Steve,

Thank you.

Yes, I would love to see a 7x in any of these. As I posted on another thread today- Imagine a 7x32 Swaro SLC HD- now that would be a dream and I guess I can only dream about that- because I do not see that happening.


Cheers,

Stephen
stephen b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 04:40   #18
stephen b
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: mckenzie valley, oregon
Posts: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
That is the best review I have ever read on Bird Forum! Nice. That is just the type of review I like. Nice pictures also. Beautiful country. I agree with your FOV opinion but not necessarily everything else about these three excellent binoculars but that is a matter of opinion. I just compared the Zeiss 8x32 FL, Swarovski 8x32 EL, and the Swarovski 8x32 EL in Cabellas very quickly and the EL and the Zeiss FL definitely have the FOV advantage. What surprised me is that the 8x32 EL for my eyes was better than the Zeiss FL. I have never directly compared the two before. It makes me wonder if they haven't improved the EL in the last year or two. The EL had the smoothest focus also but I think it was an exceptional sample. The CL has the big size advantage and is an exceptional binocular for the money. For me though I still like my 8.5x42 SV for just incredible optics. Great review though.
Dennis,

Thank You for the nice comments.

When we are discussing optics of this quality and the ones you mention in your post; we are talking about just that- quality optics from great companies and each one of us will see something different in them and will make the choice that best fits our needs and desires. It is wonderful, really to have so many fine choices today.

But, like with a lot of things in life- It is just sometimes the desires are greater than our needs.

Dennis, As far as your 8.5x42 SV goes- that right there fills up a big plate of optical desire. That is one fine binocular!

Enjoy your fine optics,

Stephen
stephen b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 05:15   #19
stephen b
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: mckenzie valley, oregon
Posts: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronh View Post
Stephen,
I just mean you sound quite happy with your 7x30 already. There is little to be gained by buying one of these, other than the magnification increase. The 7x to 8x step is noticeable, but, with no exciting quality increase to go with it, maybe not worth $1-1.5K. As a practical matter, owning a great 7x30 already, I think you need a 10x42 worse than you need an 8x30.
Ron
Ron,

I thought that is what you meant; just wanted to clarify.

Yes, I do feel as if there is not a lot to gain for me by going to a 8x Swaro right now, since I have the 7x30 SLC that I am happy with. And plus, I have a really great Pentax DCF ED- that only either the Swaro EL or another expensive quality 8x32 will beat. And I am just not sure if I would want to spend almost an extra $1000-$1500 on top of the difference of price of the Pentax ED and that upper tier. It is a BIG jump in price- for only a little, and I mean only a little optical gain.

As far as a 10x in anything; I am just one of those people that does not do well with any 10x unless it is on a tripod or from a window mount on a car. They just give me fuzzy spell unless they are rock solid. I know that I hold them steady enough- I think it is just my eye focus, or brain focus- I do not know. Last year I tried a 10x35 Nikon E II and it gave me almost HA's looking through them. At that point- I realized that no more trying a 10x for me.

Although I do have a very nice late 80's Very rugged Celestron 10x40 "Safari" type that is bomb proof. It has very good center resolution and will handle any weather. I use these from a tripod, or a window mount. For that application- they are great.

So for now, except for the 10x40 Celestron just mentioned- this is my hunting/ birding bino line-up: (I also do have some old B&L and Swift porro's-, but they do not really see hard use):


http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020008.jpg

*** (6x30 Leupold Yosemite; 7x30 Swaro SLC; 8x32 Pentax DCF ED; 8x42 Leupold Cascade porro- all H2O proof- which is important for where I live, and what I mainly use them for)

and I also use at times a couple small reverse porro's:

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...c/P1020010.jpg

***(Bushnell 6x25 Custom Compact; B&L 7x26 Custom)- but not the Swaro CL in the middle- that one at this time is not going to be in my permanent stable.

So as I mentioned in the post above about desires and needs- I really have all that I need now, or for that matter in the future; even though my desires may not feel the same way

Cheers

Last edited by stephen b : Saturday 20th August 2011 at 05:25.
stephen b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 15:01   #20
Jonathan B.
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
...I just compared the Zeiss 8x32 FL, Swarovski 8x32 EL, and the Swarovski 8x32 EL in Cabellas very quickly and the EL and the Zeiss FL definitely have the FOV advantage. What surprised me is that the 8x32 EL for my eyes was better than the Zeiss FL. I have never directly compared the two before. It makes me wonder if they haven't improved the EL in the last year or two. The EL had the smoothest focus I have ever seen on a Swarovski also but I think it was an exceptional sample.
[QUOTE: denco on 21 September 2010] "I had a Swarovski 8x32 EL and I hated it."--stated at the time that the Zeiss FL was the world's greatest binocular.

The EL is better than the FL in a few regards, including--in my experience--resolution (by a hair), ergonomics, and focus speed. The FL focuses too fast, but it does display less CA than the EL. My EL is more than four years old and has a superior focus action. There have been no changes to the bin since mine was made (except for Swaroclean), the focus action was the same when I bought it as it is now, and mine is not an exceptional example.

The only roof-prism bin I have owned that has a smoother focus mechanism is the SLC 7x30, which I have said here repeatedly is a fine overall bin, despite its limitations. I am glad to see Stephen B. give it some coverage.
Jonathan B. is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 21:07   #21
KorHaan
Forum Member

 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Hilversum, The Netherlands
Posts: 1,235
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen b View Post
Dave,










As far as the diopter adjustment, I am sure the diopter design will be fine. I guess I was just surprised. But the good thing about having a Swaro- if you ever have a problem- just send it in and they will fix it. I, like you, had a problem with a used 8x32 EL a # of years ago. When I bought it, it had the diopter setting geared all the way to only being able to adjust it in the (+) settings-would not go at all into the (-) ones. Sent them in the SONA and of course they came back perfect.

Enjoy your CL's


And I was thinking you'd need a click-stop arrangement on the center diopter to keep it firmly locked at all times! You mean even the EL's diopter design isn't to be trusted?!

Had the same thing with Zeiss 7x42 FL, and with cheap Chinese roofs 8x42 as well: diopter under, resp. at rear, of the focuswheel went berzerk.

I choose separated focuswheel/diopter rings from now on. Never ever had a problem with diopter rings even on cheap porro's! Diopter adjustment should be on the ocular!

Nikon f***ed up by putting the diopter adjustment under the central focus wheel in the EDG's, instead of copying the trustworthy design of the L XL's, and what happened? People having to send back their expensive bins to have them fixed. Buy a Rolls/Royce and go back to the garage to have new gears installed because the old ones have left you stranded on the freeway?!

And even IF you haved them fixed - how long will they last?
Something to think about, I reckon.

My heavy 2 cts.

Best regards,

Ronald
KorHaan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 21st August 2011, 00:10   #22
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan B. View Post
[QUOTE: denco on 21 September 2010] "I had a Swarovski 8x32 EL and I hated it."--stated at the time that the Zeiss FL was the world's greatest binocular.

The EL is better than the FL in a few regards, including--in my experience--resolution (by a hair), ergonomics, and focus speed. The FL focuses too fast, but it does display less CA than the EL. My EL is more than four years old and has a superior focus action. There have been no changes to the bin since mine was made (except for Swaroclean), the focus action was the same when I bought it as it is now, and mine is not an exceptional example.

The only roof-prism bin I have owned that has a smoother focus mechanism is the SLC 7x30, which I have said here repeatedly is a fine overall bin, despite its limitations. I am glad to see Stephen B. give it some coverage.
Surprised they didn't make any improvements. Are you sure about that? I don't remember my EL being that good. it seemed like the sweet spot was bigger on the EL also. Just sometimes different binoculars work better for different people.
denco@comcast.n is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 21st August 2011, 00:42   #23
Jonathan B.
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Surprised they didn't make any improvements. Are you sure about that? I don't remember my EL being that good. it seemed like the sweet spot was bigger on the EL also. Just sometimes different binoculars work better for different people.
Well, I do have to be completely honest. I did not always think my EL was as sharp as it is. I had it for well over a year, and possibly over two years, before I finally struck on the perfect diopter setting, which on my sample is +1/3 from zero (one click stop positive from zero). Since then I have had a very hard time telling its resolving power from my SE. In fact I think they are equal. The SE is brighter and has more contrast, so I still consider it superior, and its 3-D view is unmatchable by any roof-prism bin. But as a birding and even butterflying bin, and as a lightweight and compact bin on long treks, the EL is quite versatile. I did not compare the size of the sweet spots between the EL and FL on the occasions when I was able to A-B for a long time, because I was concentrating on other things. I think the FL has very fine optics, but its fast focus is a turnoff for me. Of all the bins I have used, the focus on the SE is my favorite, because I can dial in a perfect focus.
Jonathan B. is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 21st August 2011, 01:30   #24
stephen b
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: mckenzie valley, oregon
Posts: 659
I have a couple of comments/ clarifications regarding the diopter ADJ. of the 8x32 EL and the 8x30 CL.

** first to answer or clarify to Ronald comment below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by KorHaan View Post


And I was thinking you'd need a click-stop arrangement on the center diopter to keep it firmly locked at all times! You mean even the EL's diopter design isn't to be trusted?!


......I choose separated focuswheel/diopter rings from now on. Never ever had a problem with diopter rings even on cheap porro's! Diopter adjustment should be on the ocular!........


My heavy 2 cts.

Best regards,

Ronald
Ronald,

The diopter adj. on the 8x32 EL (like all EL's) is under the center focus ring-> you pull the ring cover out (toward the obj. end) and then turn the focus wheel to adjust the diopter setting. It does have click stops and is a fairly fine tuned adjuster; there are numbers from 1-3 (+) and (-) and between each # there are three separate click stops. So between the #1 and #2 there are 3 click stop settings. So you can fine tune it pretty well.

The problem that I have and I agree with you- I do not like having the diopter setting system under the focus wheel. When I had a problem with the EL that I had at one time- the focus knob would not turn the diopter at all in one direction; it would go to 0 (mid-line) but would not go further into the (-) settings- which I needed for that set. I much prefer how the SLC's are- where you push in the focus knob and then turn it and release- sturdy and fairly fool proof.

I also like the diopter setting on the oculars; my Pentax ED is like that- just pull it up and turn it to desired setting and then push back down--> easy and secure.

__________________________________

Now on to the Swaro CL diopter. I pulled it out and had another look at it before typing this. Here is the rub with the CL's diopter- not only does not have a locking mechanism- it does not even have any click stops, as in none, nada! It only has a pressure plate type system to keep it in place. So with out a locking diopter, over time that pressure system could possibly loosen up. Maybe a locking system was going to add a 1/2 oz and they axed it -Now I am aware that was a bit of sarcasm

It seems fairly tight pressure; but....and I only tried this just now after reading your post and before typing this--> I can hold them in my hands like you would hold them to look through them and with the side of my index finger (just distally from the first joint, where the finger joins the hand), I can apply pressure and move the diopter. And it is not too hard to do so. So I think the possibility of the diopter to move is greater than I originally thought.

Last edited by stephen b : Sunday 21st August 2011 at 01:36.
stephen b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 21st August 2011, 01:36   #25
NDhunter
Registered User
 
NDhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ND
Posts: 4,164
Stephan:

Just read your post about the diopter on the CL. I am wondering, do you need to fiddle
with the diopter much when using your binoculars? For me, I set them once and forget it.
The CL diopter on the right ocular, is very firm, and I do not think it will move on its own.

I am thinking you are worrying much about nothing.

Jerry
NDhunter 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
Review: 8x30 EII, 8x30 E, 8x32 SE henry link Nikon 37 Thursday 13th March 2014 12:41
Swaro SLC 8x30 vs Pentax ED 8x32 DCF ED walternewton Binoculars 8 Monday 18th April 2011 02:08
Please help me choose between the Meopta 8x32 and the Swaro 8x30(SLC) Mike_Calabas Others 17 Saturday 16th January 2010 15:52
Slc 8x30 Or 8x32 El TREEBUG Swarovski 6 Wednesday 24th October 2007 22:11
SLC 8x30 or EL 8x32 erikschupp Swarovski 42 Friday 11th May 2007 17:14

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.41945410 seconds with 38 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 01:03.