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EL 10x42 casing deterioration.

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Old Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 10:57   #26
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Originally Posted by RobMorane View Post
I remember reading on a forum that the use of sunscreen (so having that type of chemical residus on hands after application) was deteriorating Binos rubber armor.
I used to work in an industry that used different rubbers as a major product component and compatibility of different oils with different rubbers was a major issue. Some oils make some rubbers shrink because the oil draws a component out of the rubber, while some other oils can make rubbers swell because a component in the oil invades the rubber chemically. In either case the rubber not only changed its size and shape but also its physical characteristics making it useless at performing its function.

As a result, I always wash my hands of any kind of oily substance before handling binos. Its worth noting that Swaro has called the EL's armour 'plastic' which may have other strengths and weaknesses compared with rubbers.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 12:43   #27
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Originally Posted by John A Roberts View Post
Hi again BW (post #18),

If I’m wrong on all counts, then I’m wrong - and I have no problem with accepting that

My comments were about what appeared to be the situation, based on observation of other Swarovski EL’s and EL SV's

Since your binocular is demonstrating something not seen before than that is very interesting,
and it would be useful to know if Swarovski provides any more information about the deterioration when they replace the covering

Your photo also appears to show scratch marks on the magnesium which is again not usual,
so if there is an additional issue with the magnesium coating that would also be of interest to many


John
If you look at the original post, you'll see that it's not something that hasn't happened before. I posted precisely because it had been brought to my attention by one of the few people I had dicussed it with that the very same thing had happened to his, so not only not unique, but given the small number of people I spoke to, the fact that it had happened to someone else suggests that it may not even be rare.
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Old Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 12:45   #28
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It always bothers me when people chime in on a story and tell someone "how it really is" when the story teller has done their honest best to tell their story accurately. This happens a lot on forums I've found.
To me your story with accompanying photograph sounded quite plausible and was reinforced in the wording of the response from Swarovski. No doubt you're using your binoculars a lot (the worn, smoothed off areas back to bare metal alone suggest frequent use) but you said you don't abuse, or subject them to damage. In my view those cracks look more like stress fractures from the degraded rubber rather than impact (I don't suppose you focus with your right hand do you? This may be why the left side is failing before the right as it has been the area of most grip forces. Just a theory.
Anyway speculations aside, I won't be the "armchair foreman" that looks at your job and says it'll only take half an hour. And that said I hope you get a reasonable result from Swarovski.
I do focus with my right hand and the spilts only appeared after the rubber became very slack.
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Old Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 12:51   #29
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Originally Posted by RobMorane View Post
I remember reading on a forum that the use of sunscreen (so having that type of chemical residus on hands after application) was deteriorating Binos rubber armor.
I wouldn't disagree with that, which is why if I've applied Deet in the morning I immediately wash my hands to ensure there is no residue before picking up my bins, camera, or even my walking sandals.

Sunscreen isn't a problem with me. It's naughty I know in this day and age, but I hate the stuff and don't use it, except when my wife gets insistant and slaps some on my nose whether I want it ot not. I don't know if it's to do with it blocking the pores, but I've found in the past that sunscreen often results in painful spots.

If I'm getting too much sun, I cover up.
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Old Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 15:13   #30
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
Tenex

I am not sure it is quite fair to call this absurd. The armour on a binocular isn't a permanently installed component, it is required to be removable for servicing and repairs. As a result of wear and tear during use of the bino and/or damage resulting from removal from the bino, armour often needs to be disposed of, and therefore it seems quite responsible for it to be biodegradeable.

Lee

Lee,

The coverings on Swarovski binoculars are hardly "bullet proof."

I recall reading an article some years ago about getting a Swarovski binocular totally refurbished. It was written by a woman who published a popular Birding magazine.

The owner dropped off her binocular in person at Swarovski USA in Rhode Island where it was picked up in person by the woman who managed the refurbishing section. The first thing the manager did with it was tear the covering off it with her fingernails!

Bob

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Old Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 16:41   #31
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Lee,

The coverings on Swarovski binoculars are hardly "bullet proof."

I recall reading an article some years ago about getting a Swarovski binocular totally refurbished. It was written by a woman who published a popular Birding magazine.

The owner dropped off her binocular in person at Swarovski USA in Rhode Island where it was picked up in person by the woman who managed the refurbishing section. The first thing the manager did with it was tear the covering off it with her fingernails!

Bob
LOL yes Bob, I remember that too!

Lee
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Old Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 23:56   #32
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Here is another issue I had a friend who played tennis and his tennis racket handle always deteriorated quicker than his wife's, it turns out his pH of his sweat was slightly more acidic.
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Originally Posted by RobMorane View Post
I remember reading on a forum that the use of sunscreen (so having that type of chemical residus on hands after application) was deteriorating Binos rubber armor.
Good calls there. Atypical deterioration of camera coverings has also been attributed to sweat, sunscreen, even fingernails.

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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
I am not sure it is quite fair to call this absurd. The armour on a binocular isn't a permanently installed component, it is required to be removable for servicing and repairs. As a result of wear and tear during use of the bino and/or damage resulting from removal from the bino, armour often needs to be disposed of, and therefore it seems quite responsible for it to be biodegradeable.
In what percentage of cases will this actually occur? (I'm sure one would vastly overestimate based on BF posts.) In any case it's just possible that there are more significant things to worry about in saving the earth, starting with population growth.

Last edited by tenex : Thursday 3rd October 2019 at 00:00.
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Old Thursday 3rd October 2019, 00:01   #33
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Good calls there. Atypical deterioration of camera coverings has also been attributed to sweat, sunscreen, even fingernails.


In what percentage of cases will this actually occur? (I'm sure one would vastly overestimate based on BF posts.)
Attributed by whom? If a camera covering hasn't been tested against the effects of being touched by hand, it's a pretty crap camera covering and a pretty crap manufacturer.

PS My Canon cameras are still in good shape.

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Old Thursday 3rd October 2019, 00:09   #34
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Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
The owner dropped off her binocular in person at Swarovski USA in Rhode Island where it was picked up in person by the woman who managed the refurbishing section. The first thing the manager did with it was tear the covering off it with her fingernails!
Similar, from Eagle Optics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y42S4nhHbt0
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Old Thursday 3rd October 2019, 07:52   #35
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The frequency of acidic sweat in the population is fairly high because it is a side effect of diabetes and I have this. Estimates put this at 6% or the UK population and almost 10% of USA. Just to give you an idea of its effects my sweat used to eat holes in metal spectacles frames until I switched to titanium frames a few years back.

Lee

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Old Thursday 3rd October 2019, 07:54   #36
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The frequency of acidic sweat in the population is quite high because it is a side effect of diabetes and I have this. Just to give you an idea of its effects my sweat used to eat holes in metal spectacles frames until I switched to titanium frames a few years back.

Lee
Sounds like a super power to me Lee.
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Old Thursday 3rd October 2019, 07:58   #37
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In any case it's just possible that there are more significant things to worry about in saving the earth, starting with population growth.

Well, I absolutely agree with you on that, but I don't think even Swarovski can influence that factor.

Lee
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Old Friday 4th October 2019, 00:03   #38
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This thread grabbed my interest, as my brother has an 8.5x42 SV FP purchased Christmas 2016. It's his regular birding binocular and since the lucky devil is retired, he uses it a lot. Between January 2017 and September 9th this year he's logged at least 404 trips in the UK alone, not counting days when I was with him and not counting trips abroad (several trips to Spain, including a couple of the places the OP has visited, and twice to Singapore). Average session would be around 3 hours and the binoculars would be in hand for most of that time, being used to scan constantly for raptors. He does take very good care of his gear, but that's a good chunk of usage.

I blagged it off him earlier and took some snapshots (attached). The only real evidence of wear is some smoother areas where the binocular has been hand-held. Hopefully the replacement armouring fitted to the OP's binocular will hold up similarly well.

NB. the thought occurred to me that the OP's binocular would look very chic indeed if re-covered with leatherette!
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Old Friday 4th October 2019, 19:17   #39
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Well, I absolutely agree with you on that, but I don't think even Swarovski can influence that factor.
With chemicals that are known to impair reproduction? Perhaps they can!
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Old Friday 4th October 2019, 22:11   #40
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Well, I absolutely agree with you on that, but I don't think even Swarovski can influence that factor.

Lee
Replacing Karlie Kloss with someone less attractive in their advertising might help! ...

Last edited by Troubador : Tuesday 8th October 2019 at 17:08.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 12:35   #41
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It rather looks like your bins are suffering from a phenomenon well known to collectors of G-Shock watches, which they refer to as "resin-rot". The exterior protective armour and the wrist straps of most G-Shock watches is also made out of PU rubber, and over the years it also breaks down - becoming waxy and brittle, and in severe cases, just crumbles off the watch. This generally happens after a number of years (depending on use and exposure to light, heat, skin oils and acids, etc.) - but it can be quite variable. For vintage G-Shock collectors this can be a real issue, as replacement resin bezels and straps are often no longer made, and new old stock spares may be on their way to breaking down.

Hopefully, your's is an isolated example and Swarovski will be able to replace your armour at no cost to you, and they will maintain supplies of replacement armour for very many years to come (I hope so - I also have a pair of EL-FPs). I don't think dealing with this issue would be unique to Swarovski - I think Leica, Zeiss and very many other manufacturers use PU rubbers in their armour. They must all face similar environments and contaminants - and be required to be reasonably durable.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 13:42   #42
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Just received this from Swarovski.

'We will repair your product free of charge. We will start the repair work shortly and let you know as soon as your product has been repaired and shipped to you.'
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 13:42   #43
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PU plastic will crack from sun exposure over time. This happens with handbags using PU.
I have a small Cole Haan bag with leather exterior, but PU (fake leather) interior. The care card instructs
not to expose to direct sunlight. They're talking about the PU no doubt. The cheaper all PU exterior bags you
find at Kohls crack after a while. PU is cheap and is supposedly biodegradable compared to other rubbers/plastics.
I doubt previous Swaro model bins used PU and doubt Leica , Zeiss and others used PU. If so the cracking would be seen a lot more and would be a common experience. Seems Swaro was forced to switch to PU plastics with their newer models.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 13:49   #44
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I doubt previous Swaro model bins used PU and doubt Leica , Zeiss and others used PU. If so the cracking would be seen a lot more and would be a common experience. Seems Swaro was forced to switch to PU plastics with their newer models.
I remember in the promotional brochures for the Leica Trinovid BA (or maybe BN) they mentioned that the armour was made from polyurethane (PU) rubber. That must've been some time in the early 1990s, I think. Much, I suspect, depends on the other compounds (platicizers, stabilizers etc.) that are put into the mix - one kind of PU rubber can have very different properties from another, even if they look similar.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 13:57   #45
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I remember in the promotional brochures for the Leica Trinovid BA (or maybe BN) they mentioned that the armour was made from polyurethane (PU) rubber. That must've been some time in the early 1990s, I think. Much, I suspect, depends on the other compounds (platicizers, stabilizers etc.) that are put into the mix - one kind of PU rubber can have very different properties from another, even if they look similar.
That's interesting and a little surprising. Bags made with PU don't seem to have a strong rubber smell like new bins. Maybe that's the other stuff mixed in ... just a guess on that.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 14:10   #46
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Let's hope the new armouring lasts a tad longer than the previous, wonder of they will respray / recoat the metal parts where it wore away. Swaro' continue to portray the highest after sales customer service. Look forward to some images of the repair before you "gently" take them out into the field.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 14:12   #47
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I remember in the promotional brochures for the Leica Trinovid BA (or maybe BN) they mentioned that the armour was made from polyurethane (PU) rubber. That must've been some time in the early 1990s, I think. Much, I suspect, depends on the other compounds (platicizers, stabilizers etc.) that are put into the mix - one kind of PU rubber can have very different properties from another, even if they look similar.
Just looked in the Ultravid booklet and it only states "rubber armored ".

btw , PU is plastic and not rubber. I always thought most armor on bins that smell like rubber are just that. So I'm wondering if the Ultravid is rubber (no PU). I m thinking so since the booklet states rubber and not plastic.

If anyone has a recent Swaro field pro let us know if it had the typical strong new rubber smell or not. If not then it should be all PU plastic and makes sense it cracked from direct sun exposure over time on the car seat.

I may ask Leica to clarify about the armor. I'll post here their reply.

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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 14:46   #48
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Attributed by whom? If a camera covering hasn't been tested against the effects of being touched by hand, it's a pretty crap camera covering and a pretty crap manufacturer.
FWIW there are reports among Nikon camera users of rubber bodied cameras 'sweating' making them unpleasant to handle. From memory this was more due to poor or prolonged storage than use, Google will tell.

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I recall reading an article some years ago about getting a Swarovski binocular totally refurbished. It was written by a woman who published a popular Birding magazine. Bob
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Just received this from Swarovski. "We will repair your product free of charge. We will start the repair work shortly and let you know as soon as your product has been repaired and shipped to you."
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Swaro' continue to portray the highest after sales customer service.
And not only the multi-billion euro Swarovski juggernaut.

The first class Leupold warranty has to be worth a mention. I've posted this before and there's no harm in repeating it here : about five years ago I dropped a line to Leupold asking if they could date the year of manufacture from the serial number of a binocular unit.

Their reply was, and I quote “My screen is not showing a year of manufacture, but it is coming up as an authentic Leupold bino. Return it to us asking for it to be returned as close as possible to "factory condition". We'll do so and ship them back to you on our dime”.

That for a long discontinued entry level line. Their warranty is still the same.

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Old Wednesday 9th October 2019, 16:04   #49
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Just looked in the Ultravid booklet and it only states "rubber armored ".

btw , PU is plastic and not rubber. I always thought most armor on bins that smell like rubber are just that. So I'm wondering if the Ultravid is rubber (no PU). I m thinking so since the booklet states rubber and not plastic.

If anyone has a recent Swaro field pro let us know if it had the typical strong new rubber smell or not. If not then it should be all PU plastic and makes sense it cracked from direct sun exposure over time on the car seat.

I may ask Leica to clarify about the armor. I'll post here their reply.
Leica US responded and said the armor on the Ultravid is not rubber and is completely synthetic of unknown material. I guess Leica Germany knows the exact material. It certainly could be PU (polyurethane).
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Old Wednesday 9th October 2019, 20:35   #50
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Just looked in the Ultravid booklet and it only states "rubber armored ".

btw , PU is plastic and not rubber. I always thought most armor on bins that smell like rubber are just that. So I'm wondering if the Ultravid is rubber (no PU). I m thinking so since the booklet states rubber and not plastic.
I wouldn't get too hung up over the rubber/plastic differentiation. True, PU is distinct from natural rubber, which is produced from latex - chiefly sourced from the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis tree. Natural rubber can be chemically treated in many ways to produce a range of rubber materials from something as soft and stretchy as latex gloves, to very hard materials which can be machined and engraved (hard rubber was frequently used for fountain pen barrels and caps (and even wind instruments) in the 1920s and 30s - it was known as ebonite). Car tyres are an example of a material somewhere in between.

Similarly, polyurethane resins can be formulated to give materials of a similar range of hardnesses - from something soft and squishy to something with the hardness of wood. Many of the more resilient forms of PU resin are referred to in industry as PU rubber - because of their (natural) rubber-like properties. This link will illustrate: https://www.mbfg.co.uk/polyurethane-rubbers.html

There are a whole range of synthetic "rubbers" out there available to industry - silicone, nitrile, neoprene, butyl, Viton... Take your pick: http://www.industrialrubbergoods.com...ic-rubber.html

Each kind of material has its advantages and weaknesses - and a good industrial designer will select the best material (be it of natural or petroleum origin) to suit the task in hand.

Last edited by MandoBear : Wednesday 9th October 2019 at 20:37.
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