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Zeiss or Swaro?

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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 22:19   #51
Vespobuteo
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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.
Depends on how much effective eye relief you need. I guess you don't wear glasses?

The 8x32 SV is very nice also but IMO the glare handling is worse than the 8.5x42.

The 8.5x42 SV might not have the most immersive view, but for birding I set resolution, edge sharpness, color rendition and contrast first. When it comes to difficult ID:s the SV gets the job done.
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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 23:38   #52
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I don't see much difference in glare handling, resolution, edge sharpness, color rendition or edge sharpness between the SV 8.5x42 and the SV 8x32 in the field under 99% of the situations I bird in. Both the SV 8.5x42 and SV 8x32 will show a little glare in tough lighting situations. 99% of the time the smaller glass will get the job done and a the end of the day your not as tired. I have used them both a lot and almost all the time I grab for the SV 8x32. The bigger FOV ,smaller size and weight and better handling almost always wins me over. I am pretty sure that is why most birders prefer the 32mm format because they provide 99% of the view for 25% less weight and size and for most daylight birding it is all you need. The only reason I see to get the SV 8.5x42 is if you do a lot of low light birding or wildlife viewing and in that situation I prefer a 10x40, 10x42, 10x50 or 12x50 which have better Twilight Factor and will show more detail. If you only have ONE binocular for daytime and low light the SV 8.5x42 would be a better choice but I would RATHER have an SV 8x32 or any high quality 8x32mm or 8x30mm for normal daytime birding ESPECIALLY when you are doing a lot of hiking and close in birding and a good quality 10x40, 10x42, 10x50 or 12x50 for low light birding and distant wildlife viewing from a static position when you are probably not going to be hiking as much. That is what I have found works best for me. You have the correct tool for the job. The SV 8.5x42 is a good all-rounder but it is not as good as having and 8x32 AND a 10x50 or 12x50. My daylight birding binoculars are the SV 8x32, Habicht 8x30, Nikon 8x30 EII and the Nikon HG 8x30 which are all under 22 oz. and then when it's starts getting darker I pull out the Habicht 7x42(22 oz.), Habicht 10x40( 23 oz.) and the Swarovski SV 12x50(34 oz.) in that order. Having a mix of porro's and roof's let's me choose if I want a 3D view or flat field also. If you like Swarovski SV's the PERFECT combination for you would be the 8x32 SV for daytime birding and hiking and the 12x50 SV for low light birding and wildlife observing used in a more stationary manner. That is what I have. So for only $5K you have the perfect combo!

Last edited by [email protected] : Saturday 10th August 2019 at 16:51.
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Old Saturday 10th August 2019, 10:56   #53
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I don't see much difference in glare handling, resolution, edge sharpness, color rendition or edge sharpness between the SV 8.5x42 and the SV 8x32 in the field under 99% of the situations I bird in. Both the SV 8.5x42 and SV 8x32 will show a little glare in tough lighting situations. 99% of the time the smaller glass will get the job done and a the end of the day your not as tired. I have used them both a lot and almost all the time I grab for the SV 8x32. The bigger FOV ,smaller size and weight and better handling almost always wins me over. I am pretty sure that is why most birders prefer the 32mm format because they provide 99% of the view for 25% less weight and size and for most daylight birding it is all you need. The only reason I see to get the SV 8.5x42 is if you do a lot of low light birding or wildlife viewing and in that situation I prefer a 10x40, 10x42, 10x50 or 12x50 which have better Twilight Factor and will show more detail. If you only have ONE binocular for daytime and low light the SV 8.5x42 would be a better choice but I would RATHER have an SV 8x32 or any high quality 8x32mm or 8x30mm for normal daytime birding ESPECIALLY when you are doing a lot of hiking and close in birding and a good quality 10x40, 10x42, 10x50 or 12x50 for low light birding and distant wildlife viewing from a static position when you are probably not going to be hiking as much. That is what I have found works best for me. You have the correct tool for the job. The SV 8.5x42 is a good all-rounder but it is not as good as having and 8x32 AND a 10x50 or 12x50. My daylight birding binoculars are the SV 8x32, Habicht 8x30, Nikon 8x30 EII and the Nikon HG 8x30 which are all under 22 oz. and then when it's starts getting darker I pull out the Habicht 7x42(22 oz.), Habicht 10x40( 23 oz.) and the Vortex Razor 12x50(28 oz.) in that order. Having a mix of porro's and roof's let's me choose if I want a 3D view or flat field also. If you like Swarovski SV's the PERFECT combination for you would be the 8x32 SV for daytime birding and hiking and the 12x50 SV for low light birding and wildlife observing used in a more stationary manner. So for only $5K you have the perfect combo!
Intrusive glare is easier to avoid (by moving the bin around a bit) with a larger exit pupil, there is more distance to baffling etc. A 8x32 will be affected more in those conditions.

Carrying two bins on the same day seems a bit awkward as I often face both daylight and low light during the same day when birding, and the 8.5x42 works good enough in low light, a 8x32 is more of a daylight bin. My 7x42 FL is even better under demanding light conditions like viewing close to a low sun, in the winter time etc. so I've already got that area covered. A 12x50 for more stationary use might be helpful but in those cases I really prefer a small scope with more magnification. But a 12x bin you could pull out of your hat when ever needed would be useful.

The perfect bin for all occasions is yet to be seen. The perfect combo of bins would be very personal and depend on what type of birding you do etc.
I think my 7x42 FL, 8.5x42 SV + a 65mm scope got it covered for me, mostly.

But would I buy another bin (just for fun & variety) it would probably be a Leica...

Last edited by Vespobuteo : Saturday 10th August 2019 at 12:21.
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Old Saturday 10th August 2019, 16:55   #54
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i agree with you about glare being better with a larger exit pupil. I never carry two bins. It is either an 8x32 or 8x30 for day light(SV, HG, EII or Habicht and then when it get's darker or I want more detail at longer distances I go to the 12x50 SV. I agree about the 7x42 being good under demanding light and they also control glare well but I use a Habicht 7x42 for that because it only weighs 23 oz. and has very high light transmission. I use my 12x50 SV's a lot observing birds and wildlife at greater distances and in lower light conditions. They work great in Yellowstone National Park for example spotting Wolves in the early morning and late evening. I recently traded the Vortex Razor's 12x50's for the Swarovski SV 12x50's because even though the Swarovski's are 6 oz. heavier they are a little better optically with a bigger FOV and have sharper edges. The 12x really helps with detail at distance. I have tried Leica's including the Noctivid and I think they are good but a notch down from Swarovski's IMO. I do like the saturated colors in the Leica's and I have had many different models. A lot of the older model Leica's like the BR or BN are just as good optically as the newer Ultravid HD-plus and they are less expensive on the used market. I do have the Leica Ultravid HD 8x20 now for a compact and it is very good.

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Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 09:26   #55
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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.
Yes, NZ pricing is often odd. We usually have to put up with 'distributors' in the middle, who add zero value as far as I can see. The dealers ought to be able to log on to the manufacturer and order stock direct. A distributor clips the ticket, inflating prices simply to receive goods from the factory, repack in smaller quantities and send to retailers. Stupid.

I am a professional photographer and I see this with camera gear all the time. My favoured dealer actually buys memory cards in bulk from B&H and resells them because the price is less than 50% of what the official Sandisk etc prices are in NZ...!

Another thing is the lack of some products. The genuine Swarovski cleaning kit is not available in NZ because minimum order quantities are too high!

I was told that Swaro build their binoculars in the USA from parts to avoid some tax or other which adds to their price. I am not sure whether that is actually the case. Ours just ship from Austria direct.

I've been out and about with the ELs some more and they continue to impress. The CA control is very good and leagues ahead of my Leica Ultravids, which will add purple and/or yellow auras along things like distant ridgelines against the sky etc. Brightness and resolution are much better too.

I was looking at a rabbit this evening and beyond the point when I could no longer discern it even as a darker blob on the front lawn 60 metres away, I could tell which way it was facing and son on through the ELs.

Earlier in the day, one of the three raptor species in NZ, the Australasian Harrier, was hunting over the vineyards next door, so I was enjoying a very clear and crisp view of that!
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Old Monday 12th August 2019, 01:13   #56
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Swarovski binoculars built in the USA?

Picking up on the query by KiwiMac in post #55

Since 2009, some lines of telescopic sights are assembled in the USA by Swarovski Optik North America
They're assembled from parts manufactured by Swarovski in Austria and subjected to final quality assurance by SONA
And both the units and the packaging are clearly marked 'Assembled in USA' (vs 'Made in Austria')

n.b. no other products have been/ are assembled by SONA - so confusion about the sights would seem to be the basis for what KiwiMac was told

Of course SONA also services most Swarovski binocular lines, including doing extensive parts replacement where required - so in some instances rebuilding rather than building



John

Last edited by John A Roberts : Monday 12th August 2019 at 08:05.
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Old Wednesday 14th August 2019, 07:55   #57
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A quick report on the winged eyecups, which I fitted yesterday.

Although they appear a bit Heath Robinson in execution, they work fantastically well and improve the view/ease of use a good deal, for me at least.

Ideally I would have preferred fully manufactured replacement eyecups like the OEM but with the wings instead of the rubber bumpers as it would have been neater than the actual solution but nevertheless it does work.
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Old Wednesday 14th August 2019, 11:16   #58
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Swarovski binoculars built in the USA?

Picking up on the query by KiwiMac in post #55

Since 2009, some lines of telescopic sights are assembled in the USA by Swarovski Optik North America
They're assembled from parts manufactured by Swarovski in Austria and subjected to final quality assurance by SONA
And both the units and the packaging are clearly marked 'Assembled in USA' (vs 'Made in Austria')

n.b. no other products have been/ are assembled by SONA - so confusion about the sights would seem to be the basis for what KiwiMac was told

Of course SONA also services most Swarovski binocular lines, including doing extensive parts replacement where required - so in some instances rebuilding rather than building



John
What is most interesting in that is that the warranty differs between Here in NZ (and perhaps elsewhere, I do not know) and the USA.

We get 10 years. I believe the USA gets lifetime. Given the two products are identical, it is difficult to see any justification for that differential treatment of consumers.

Mind you, binocular warranties have reduced. Leica used to be lifetime. Then when I bought mine 12 years ago the warranty was 30 years. Now it is 10.
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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 02:31   #59
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What is most interesting in that is that the warranty differs between Here in NZ (and perhaps elsewhere, I do not know) and the USA.

We get 10 years. I believe the USA gets lifetime. Given the two products are identical, it is difficult to see any justification for that differential treatment of consumers.

Mind you, binocular warranties have reduced. Leica used to be lifetime. Then when I bought mine 12 years ago the warranty was 30 years. Now it is 10.
I would not be too anxious about the warranty, even though they may state 10 years. Swarovski will support for many years beyond that, Zeiss does very well, and Leica is doing better.

I have experience with all of these. This is in the US, where we often get
special attention it seems.

Jerry
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Old Friday 23rd August 2019, 08:42   #60
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I would not be too anxious about the warranty, even though they may state 10 years. Swarovski will support for many years beyond that, Zeiss does very well, and Leica is doing better.

I have experience with all of these. This is in the US, where we often get
special attention it seems.

Jerry
Just enjoy the special attention that you get in the U.S.A. , here in my country guarantees and warranties are a big joke , if you purchase anything you are more often than not completely on your own .

Cheers.
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Old Saturday 24th August 2019, 06:07   #61
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Just enjoy the special attention that you get in the U.S.A. , here in my country guarantees and warranties are a big joke , if you purchase anything you are more often than not completely on your own .

Cheers.
Yea, but we don't have any elephants or lions. Every country has it's pluses and minuses.
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Old Saturday 24th August 2019, 22:37   #62
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Africa is very big, how do you know that 42za lives in a region where there are lions and elephants?
Unfortunately, these animals are becoming increasingly rare and are therefore no longer found throughout Africa.
In the US, wolves and bears are not everywhere!

Andreas
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Old Saturday 24th August 2019, 23:46   #63
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Africa is very big, how do you know that 42za lives in a region where there are lions and elephants?
Unfortunately, these animals are becoming increasingly rare and are therefore no longer found throughout Africa.
In the US, wolves and bears are not everywhere!

Andreas
Wolves and bears are in Yellowstone National Park and I will be there Monday binoculars in hand. Probably the Habicht 10x40 W.

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