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Zeiss or Swaro?

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Old Monday 5th August 2019, 14:22   #26
Vespobuteo
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I would take the Swarovski 8.5x42 before the HT 10x42, any day, or night. But since you seem happy with the 8x32 Ultravid, why bother with any of the heavier bins? The wise thing is probably to stick with the Leicas. Still excellent bins.
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Old Tuesday 6th August 2019, 01:31   #27
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Kiwimac,

You got the right bin, IMO. I have both the 8.5x42 EL FPro and the 10x42 HT. If I had to choose one, it would be the swaro. The HT are really great at 10x and very bright, but I do prefer the EL's view. I do not notice so much the 8x5 to 10x difference except at long range. There's also less fiddling with the EL's focus compared to the 10x (depth of field). I got the HT for about US$1200 (NZ$1800) used, so that sold it for me for 10x. But if I were paying close to full price and choosing between them, the EL's would be for me.

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Old Tuesday 6th August 2019, 13:37   #28
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Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
I would take the Swarovski 8.5x42 before the HT 10x42, any day, or night. But since you seem happy with the 8x32 Ultravid, why bother with any of the heavier bins? The wise thing is probably to stick with the Leicas. Still excellent bins.
After 12 years, the technology and design moves on. The UVs have been through two changes since mine - HD then HD Plus. I have not found the IPD to be perfect for me either - it took me a long while to get a setting in which the two eyes were making one images with no dark ring intruding.

I just think it's time for a change. If I like the ELs, the UVs will get sold to fund part of their cost and in due course, I might get a smaller pair of pocket size bins such as the CL perhaps.

They should arrive tomorrow, so weather permitting I will try and get down onto the nearest birding location (that isn't my 10 acre back yard) to see what they can do.
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Old Tuesday 6th August 2019, 19:19   #29
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[quote=Vespobuteo;3878935].... But since you seem happy with the 8x32 Ultravid, why bother with any of the heavier bins?............QUOTE]

I notice that there is something about a x42 that exceeds a x32. The view is what I would call fuller or more immersive. I have both a Zeiss FL 8x42 and 8x32, and while both provide superb viewing, the larger one (x42) creates a special "WOW" impression whenever I compare.

So the smaller model is meant to serve whenever I do want to carry less weight, but for most occasions I keep using the heavier one.
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Old Tuesday 6th August 2019, 19:34   #30
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After 12 years, the technology and design moves on. The UVs have been through two changes since mine - HD then HD Plus. I have not found the IPD to be perfect for me either - it took me a long while to get a setting in which the two eyes were making one images with no dark ring intruding.

I just think it's time for a change. If I like the ELs, the UVs will get sold to fund part of their cost and in due course, I might get a smaller pair of pocket size bins such as the CL perhaps.

They should arrive tomorrow, so weather permitting I will try and get down onto the nearest birding location (that isn't my 10 acre back yard) to see what they can do.
Yes, technology moves on, even though it's in rather small steps when it comes to binoculars, I'm sure they will be a noticeable step up.

Tell us what you think when you tried them.
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Old Tuesday 6th August 2019, 19:51   #31
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Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
.... But since you seem happy with the 8x32 Ultravid, why bother with any of the heavier bins?............QUOTE]

I notice that there is something about a x42 that exceeds a x32. The view is what I would call fuller or more immersive. I have both a Zeiss FL 8x42 and 8x32, and while both provide superb viewing, the larger one (x42) creates a special "WOW" impression whenever I compare.

So the smaller model is meant to serve whenever I do want to carry less weight, but for most occasions I keep using the heavier one.
Yes, I can agree with that. Smaller bins will be more of a compromise. But not everyone will take the extra weight and cost.
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 01:17   #32
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Yes, I can agree with that. Smaller bins will be more of a compromise. But not everyone will take the extra weight and cost.
"I notice that there is something about a x42 that exceeds a x32. The view is what I would call fuller or more immersive. I have both a Zeiss FL 8x42 and 8x32, and while both provide superb viewing, the larger one (x42) creates a special "WOW" impression whenever I compare."

It is kind of funny but I think in the Swarovski's it is the exact opposite. The 8x32 SV has a fuller, more immersive view than the 8.5x42 SV IMO. The smaller 32mm creates more of a "WOW" impression with it's bigger FOV . That is a big reason I prefer the SV 8x32 over the bigger SV 8.5 x42 another is weight and size.

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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 06:37   #33
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I much prefer to use binoculars that have a large exit pupil as I find that they are more comfortable in use.
I have an old Japanese classic vintage 7 x 35 porro that I use very often despite its having old glass and old style coating.
The newer binoculars do give a superior view however ---- there is no denying that fact.

There is always a compromise to be made somewhere LOL.

Cheers.
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 07:23   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
"I notice that there is something about a x42 that exceeds a x32. The view is what I would call fuller or more immersive. I have both a Zeiss FL 8x42 and 8x32, and while both provide superb viewing, the larger one (x42) creates a special "WOW" impression whenever I compare."

It is kind of funny but I think in the Swarovski's it is the exact opposite. The 8x32 SV has a fuller, more immersive view than the 8.5x42 SV IMO. The smaller 32mm creates more of a "WOW" impression with it's bigger FOV . That is a big reason I prefer the SV 8x32 over the bigger SV 8.5 x42 another is weight and size.
It might be the AFOV that is a contributing factor in this issue of 'Wow' (not a factual wow, but the subjective one....) ;-)

I think a wide AFOV can be immersive, regardless of the TRUE fov, imho. A wide, immersive effect is the equivalent of sitting closer to a movie screen, and the narrow AFOV is like sitting in the balcony. Same FOV, but you're further, perceptually, from the screen.

The Leica Trinovid HD 8x32, and the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42, both have fairly narrow AFOV, to my eyes (nor do they have exceptionally wide fields in their class anyways..) 'Balcony views'

On the opposite end of the spectrum, both the SF 8x42, and Noctivid 10 x 42 have immersive views to my eyes, even though the Noctivid FOV is smaller than either the Conquest or the Trinovid. The effect seems much more reliant on the relationship of eye relief and AFOV.

-Bill
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 11:19   #35
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So they arrived this morning.

Lovely packaging. They are what in the US seems to be 'the field pro package' but here it is the only way they come.

Not as heavy as I was expecting, although a much bigger instrument than the Leicas. Lovely build, lovely feel in the hand. Focus knob could be a few mm further forward (or longer) for my hands in a perfect world but not a deal breaker by any means.

The view?

Amazing. I had no idea just how marked the pincushion distortion was in my Leicas until I tried them side by side with these. All of a sudden I noticed straight edges (fence posts and that sort of thing) were actually bent - something I had just not seen. The Canon 15x50 IS that I have also has field flattener lenses, but I have never really used that side by side with the Leica because it is a whole different device - very good in many ways, portability not being one of them.

The ELs were brighter and had a more pleasant view all round. I took them for the last dog walk of the day, as the light was failing, and was frankly amazed at the detail I could still see very clearly through the ELs that the naked eye simply stood no chance (and I have better than 20/20 due to LASIK last year) of seeing. Our paddock gate, a wooden one, was vaguely discernable (very vaguely) as a lighter grey rectangle in the dimness. Through the ELs I could count the bolt heads holding it together!

The overall package is nice - the new strap is just fabulous. Swarovski should licence that system to camera makers. The lack of belt loops on the field case is an omission IMV but a tiny quibble.

Design seems very good. Excellent eyecups (much better than the UVs), love the dioptre adjustment system (I had blended LASIK so my left eye sees close and my right eye sees far. A challenge for a bino without good adjustment!).

One oddity I did notice - or at least, I think I noticed it - relates to the view in bright light with a light colour overall scene.

I was adjusting the IPD and I swear that I noticed a ring around the outer edge of the view circle that was somehow not the same as the main area. I cannot really describe what the difference was - perhaps "hazy" might be approximately correct.

It was not a really obvious thing, did not appear to be there on darker scenes and could well be my eyes, my technique or something else I do not know about. I could not even swear blind it was actually there!

Anyone experienced such a thing?
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 11:40   #36
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Originally Posted by Kiwimac View Post
One oddity I did notice - or at least, I think I noticed it - relates to the view in bright light with a light colour overall scene.

I was adjusting the IPD and I swear that I noticed a ring around the outer edge of the view circle that was somehow not the same as the main area. I cannot really describe what the difference was - perhaps "hazy" might be approximately correct.

It was not a really obvious thing, did not appear to be there on darker scenes and could well be my eyes, my technique or something else I do not know about. I could not even swear blind it was actually there!

Anyone experienced such a thing?
Hi,

that's the famous Absamring, so named because the swarovski's are made in Absam Austria.
Occurs in some observation situations, but I have not really noticed that in my 8,5x42er!

Congratulations to the Swarovski, my glass for the island!

Andreas
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 11:43   #37
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Hi,

that's the famous Absamring, so named because the swarovski's are made in Absam Austria.
Occurs in some observation situations, but I have not really noticed that in my 8,5x42er!

Congratulations to the Swarovski, my glass for the island!

Andreas
Ah, so it's "normal" then?
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 12:01   #38
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"The Absam ring occurs when you push it too far with the edge definition. It seems to be a kind of wave in the position of the image plane.

Without image field flattening, the intermediate image, which is produced by the lens, is not on a surface, but on a curved image shell - this is just the image field curvature, a well-known aberration. If you focus on the center of the image, the vertex of this image shell is in focus and the object appears in focus. Beyond the center of the image, however, this shell increasingly bends away from the focal plane and the image appears out of focus. Usually it is possible to keep about 50-60% of the image reasonably sharp (depending on the accommodation capacity of the observer), further out the star points will soon be washed out.

The Bildebnungslinse (also Smyth lens) is placed in front of the intermediate image, and it gives the image shell with an additional curvature in the opposite direction, so that it ideally becomes almost flat. Of course, this does not work perfectly, but then you can achieve a sharp picture up to 80-90% towards the edge. The Fujinon FMT-SX, or the old Swarovski EL were examples of this performance class.

Here, the Smyth lens has actually reached its limits. Recently, however, one tries to drive the game a little further: edge sharpness at any price! A two-piece Smyth group is bent in such a way that the image shell intersects the same focal plane not only in the center, but also at the edge, so that both the image center and the image edge appear sharp. However, this does not succeed in keeping the image completely flat on this plane over the entire visual angle range: the intermediate image lies with the vertex on the focal plane, then slowly moves away from this plane with increasing visual angle, at around 80% a turning point to reach and then turn back to the focal plane.

The absam ring is then the area in which the intermediate image is at a maximum distance from the focal plane before it is bent back. At the same time, the distortion of the image also changes in such a way that it switches from a slightly pincushion distortion (0-80% viewing angle) to a barrel-shaped distortion (near the edge of the image), which can give the impression of the globe effect when panned."

Holger Merlitz


Yes, it is normal!

Andreas
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 13:18   #39
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"The Absam ring occurs when you push it too far with the edge definition. It seems to be a kind of wave in the position of the image plane.

Without image field flattening, the intermediate image, which is produced by the lens, is not on a surface, but on a curved image shell - this is just the image field curvature, a well-known aberration. If you focus on the center of the image, the vertex of this image shell is in focus and the object appears in focus. Beyond the center of the image, however, this shell increasingly bends away from the focal plane and the image appears out of focus. Usually it is possible to keep about 50-60% of the image reasonably sharp (depending on the accommodation capacity of the observer), further out the star points will soon be washed out.

The Bildebnungslinse (also Smyth lens) is placed in front of the intermediate image, and it gives the image shell with an additional curvature in the opposite direction, so that it ideally becomes almost flat. Of course, this does not work perfectly, but then you can achieve a sharp picture up to 80-90% towards the edge. The Fujinon FMT-SX, or the old Swarovski EL were examples of this performance class.

Here, the Smyth lens has actually reached its limits. Recently, however, one tries to drive the game a little further: edge sharpness at any price! A two-piece Smyth group is bent in such a way that the image shell intersects the same focal plane not only in the center, but also at the edge, so that both the image center and the image edge appear sharp. However, this does not succeed in keeping the image completely flat on this plane over the entire visual angle range: the intermediate image lies with the vertex on the focal plane, then slowly moves away from this plane with increasing visual angle, at around 80% a turning point to reach and then turn back to the focal plane.

The absam ring is then the area in which the intermediate image is at a maximum distance from the focal plane before it is bent back. At the same time, the distortion of the image also changes in such a way that it switches from a slightly pincushion distortion (0-80% viewing angle) to a barrel-shaped distortion (near the edge of the image), which can give the impression of the globe effect when panned."

Holger Merlitz


Yes, it is normal!

Andreas
Well, thanks for that! Some serious detail there.

The overall view is so good that unless I really look to the far edges, it's not noticeable.

The EL is greatly impressive so far. I can't imagine the Noctivids would have been better, just different.
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 16:35   #40
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Congrats on the EL, had mine for 3 years now, like it more now than when it was new.
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 19:24   #41
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Interesting? explanation from Holger Merlitz about the Absam ring and yet Canon have done a better flat field in their new Image Stabilised range according to Henry Link, who also knows what he is talking about.

Perhaps the next incarnation of Swarovisions will incorporate the absence of an Absam ring.
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 23:44   #42
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I took them out this morning with the dogs and spent some time refining IPD and grip etc, as well as being continually astonished by the overall performance.

I have a vague feeling that I might (note - might) find the ergonomics of the SF better, but not to the tune of NZ$1000 better. I may call the dealer and ask them to have a go at twisting the arm of the Zeiss supplier just to see whether they are prepared to sharpen their pencils. If they are, I would probably see whether the dealer was prepared to send me a pair to try just out of interest.

If they won't do any of that, I will keep these - they are 99% perfect for me, I just think the focus wheel placement and design on the SF looks like it would be better in the hand.
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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 00:07   #43
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Originally Posted by Kiwimac View Post
I took them out this morning with the dogs and spent some time refining IPD and grip etc, as well as being continually astonished by the overall performance.

I have a vague feeling that I might (note - might) find the ergonomics of the SF better, but not to the tune of NZ$1000 better. I may call the dealer and ask them to have a go at twisting the arm of the Zeiss supplier just to see whether they are prepared to sharpen their pencils. If they are, I would probably see whether the dealer was prepared to send me a pair to try just out of interest.

If they won't do any of that, I will keep these - they are 99% perfect for me, I just think the focus wheel placement and design on the SF looks like it would be better in the hand.
Congrats on your purchase, you have done very well, and you are correct
the Zeiss SF is better in hand, and has a wider FOV. But you were already
advised on that above.

Enjoy your new binocular in good health.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 00:41   #44
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If you can try the Swarovski 8x32 SV also. You MIGHT like it better. Smaller, lighter and a more immersive, bigger FOV. than the SV 8.5x42. It's got more "WOW" factor.

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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 05:02   #45
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[quote=wdc;3879650]
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It might be the AFOV that is a contributing factor in this issue of 'Wow' (not a factual wow, but the subjective one....) ;-)

I think a wide AFOV can be immersive, regardless of the TRUE fov, imho. A wide, immersive effect is the equivalent of sitting closer to a movie screen, and the narrow AFOV is like sitting in the balcony. Same FOV, but you're further, perceptually, from the screen.

The Leica Trinovid HD 8x32, and the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42, both have fairly narrow AFOV, to my eyes (nor do they have exceptionally wide fields in their class anyways..) 'Balcony views'

On the opposite end of the spectrum, both the SF 8x42, and Noctivid 10 x 42 have immersive views to my eyes, even though the Noctivid FOV is smaller than either the Conquest or the Trinovid. The effect seems much more reliant on the relationship of eye relief and AFOV.

-Bill
Bill,

i don't understand complicated technical matters, like "which end of a hammer works?", but it seems to me you are making a good point here on the contribution of Apparent FOV to the "wow" factor.

My current understanding based on this thread and others: A larger linear or true FOV will show a larger part of the world but a larger AFOV can show a more enjoyable or immersive image that also "appears" larger than one might expect given the linear FOV.

For example, I have several different 10x32s all of which have FOV of @ 360'. But one of the models must have a smaller Apparent FOV, the visible image being surrounded by a thick black ring ("tunnel effect?"). This causes the image to appear much smaller to me than 360' and is much less enjoyable than the others. Toward the other end of the spectrum, the SW 12x50 EL has a 300' FOV but must have a relatively good Apparent FOV (63 degrees) as the overall scope of the image to me looks surprisingly more expansive than 300' would suggest, i.e. I don't think the 12x50 "wow" effect is due only to the 12x mag and otherwise excellent optics alone.

Mike
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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 05:42   #46
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Hi Mike, Yes, its the tunnel effect that I'm describing. As an eyeglasses wearer, I am always trying to find a sweet spot that shows me the entire field of view, but also makes it as perceptually as wide as possible, with a minimum amount of the black ring. Ideally, that edge is right near the perceptual edge of my FOV. Thats why these devices are so 'personal' in a sense. Manufacturers are unwittingly creating an ergonomic/visual prescription for an individual, even though they are mass produced. Its no surprise that binoculars don't work for everyone. Twist up eyecups, and generous IPD settings certainly help, but perhaps there are even other variables that could be offered to the consumer to tweak or dial in....

-Bill
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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 01:06   #47
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Followed up with the dealer re Zeiss.

They won't budge on the price, which is NZ$1,000 more than the ELs, so they lost the sale.

The dealer said "Well, the distributor has to make a margin so they can't discount."

I replied "They make no margin at all unless they actually sell something...regardless of the percentage!"

Apparently that is beyond their comprehension, so the ELs are staying.

I took them down to Onoke Spit yesterday. Not a lot of birdlife down there at this time of year - black swans, black shag, pied shag, goldfinch, mallards, Paradise duck and various gulls were observed. In nesting season there are Caspian Terns there as well.

The binoculars proved excellent. My only wish would have been to be able to suddenly jump from 8.5 to 40 or 50 times magnification...! Clear, bright and sharp. The strap attachment design is a thing that should be mentioned a lot more too - it really improves the overall experience.

Doubtless Swarovski will extract another NZ$5,500 from me sooner or later for a spotting scope. And maybe some CL Pockets too...!
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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 01:26   #48
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Followed up with the dealer re Zeiss.

They won't budge on the price, which is NZ$1,000 more than the ELs, so they lost the sale.

The dealer said "Well, the distributor has to make a margin so they can't discount."

I replied "They make no margin at all unless they actually sell something...regardless of the percentage!"

Apparently that is beyond their comprehension, so the ELs are staying.

I took them down to Onoke Spit yesterday. Not a lot of birdlife down there at this time of year - black swans, black shag, pied shag, goldfinch, mallards, Paradise duck and various gulls were observed. In nesting season there are Caspian Terns there as well.

The binoculars proved excellent. My only wish would have been to be able to suddenly jump from 8.5 to 40 or 50 times magnification...! Clear, bright and sharp. The strap attachment design is a thing that should be mentioned a lot more too - it really improves the overall experience.

Doubtless Swarovski will extract another NZ$5,500 from me sooner or later for a spotting scope. And maybe some CL Pockets too...!
Enjoy the bino. It is a fine instrument. The CL is lovely too hahaha
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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 12:09   #49
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I took them out this morning with the dogs and spent some time refining IPD and grip etc, as well as being continually astonished by the overall performance.

I have a vague feeling that I might (note - might) find the ergonomics of the SF better, but not to the tune of NZ$1000 better. I may call the dealer and ask them to have a go at twisting the arm of the Zeiss supplier just to see whether they are prepared to sharpen their pencils. If they are, I would probably see whether the dealer was prepared to send me a pair to try just out of interest.

If they won't do any of that, I will keep these - they are 99% perfect for me, I just think the focus wheel placement and design on the SF looks like it would be better in the hand.
Congrats to the new bins!

Ergonomics might feel a bit more intuitive on the Zeiss SF but I think you will adapt to the Swaros.

As you say, no bins are 100% perfect and superior in all aspects. To me the Swaro EL SV was the best choice after testing out Zeiss SF, Leica Noctivid and the EL:s.

The weak spot with the Swaros:s might be stray light control in some extreme situations. The Noctivids are better in that aspect but they have more CA and the ergo is different (placement of focus wheel closer to nose, and less spacing between barrels to get a grip).

Strange pricing btw. In Europe the Swaros are usually more expensive, and the Noctivids are even more so.

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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 14:58   #50
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Doubtless Swarovski will extract another NZ$5,500 from me sooner or later for a spotting scope. And maybe some CL Pockets too...!
I have a pair of 8x32 ELs. but wanted something a little smaller to take with me where I wouldnt normally take the ELs so bought a pair of CL pockets & I have to say for the size they are really impressive & would be a great match for your 8.5x42 ELSs.
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