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EL 10x42 casing deterioration.

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Old Thursday 23rd July 2020, 21:17   #76
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They were nibbled by an albatross too and one point which put a couple of holes in the armouring!
Probably Wandering then? Quite a bite. We've visited SGI and used to greatly enjoy all the reports from Bird Island staff on the website, which were unfortunately dropped several years ago leaving the newsletter primarily of interest to philatelists. Glad to hear from you. What an amazing place to "work".
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Old Thursday 23rd July 2020, 21:48   #77
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I bought a pair of EL 8x32 in September 2012. I had to have the casing replaced in October 2015 and December 2017. The casing is disintegrating by the day at the moment and will need to be replaced again, but I’m not sure if the Swarovski factory is up and running again. I find them to be excellent binoculars and they do a great job in replacing the casing, but being without them for a month every two years is hardly a satisfactory situation. I use them virtually every day and the only time they’re in the case is when I’m travelling.
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Old Thursday 23rd July 2020, 22:43   #78
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Wow, you guys have un-peeled (pun) a previously un-heralded problem with Swaros.
Good job though.

After watching an "unboxing" vid on the new NL, I noticed the maintenance soap and hand brush. I suspect this a reflection of the culmination of all the problems logged with Swaro armor?


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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 01:32   #79
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Wow, you guys have un-peeled (pun) a previously un-heralded problem with Swaros.
Good job though.

After watching an "unboxing" vid on the new NL, I noticed the maintenance soap and hand brush. I suspect this a reflection of the culmination of all the problems logged with Swaro armor?


Rob
It's why I'm tempted to keep my distance from the new NL (despite how promising it seems to be, from an optical standpoint).

I've owned the previous EL 'FieldPro', with the 'soft touch' rubber armouring, and I couldn't help babying it. The EL WB (model which came before the fieldpro) had better rubber armouring in my opinion.

Binoculars shouldn't have to be cleaned with a soap and brush to remain in good condition, for f*cks sake. If they're designed for serious field use, they should also be constructed in a way that reflects their intended use.

I've got a pair of old Zeiss porros (60 odd years of age) and the rubber armouring is still going strong.

Are the manufacturers today building status symbols/'toys', or are they building 'tools'?

I think Leica is a step above the rest as far as build quality is concerned. But, to be frank, they're all losing their footing in that area.
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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 06:21   #80
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It's why I'm tempted to keep my distance from the new NL (despite how promising it seems to be, from an optical standpoint).

I've owned the previous EL 'FieldPro', with the 'soft touch' rubber armouring, and I couldn't help babying it. The EL WB (model which came before the fieldpro) had better rubber armouring in my opinion.

Binoculars shouldn't have to be cleaned with a soap and brush to remain in good condition, for f*cks sake. If they're designed for serious field use, they should also be constructed in a way that reflects their intended use.

I've got a pair of old Zeiss porros (60 odd years of age) and the rubber armouring is still going strong.

Are the manufacturers today building status symbols/'toys', or are they building 'tools'?

I think Leica is a step above the rest as far as build quality is concerned. But, to be frank, they're all losing their footing in that area.
I don't think there are any problems with Swaro armour in general. There might be a few rare cases due to extreme usage. Those binoculars obviously had very heavy usage by the look of them with all the wear even on the magnesium and the armour deteriorated probably from a combination of factors like sweat, possible contaminants like sun screen, insect repellent and most importantly being exposed to UV light. Some older binoculars like your Zeiss porros and the Leica Trinovid BN's probably did have tougher armour, but they were not near as comfortable to hold and use so there are trade-offs when it comes to armour. It is a probably a good idea that Swarovski is including a soap and brush because it probably will extend the life span of the armour if you clean off contaminants once in a while especially if used under harsh conditions. I wouldn't avoid the new NL's because of a few isolated cases of armour deterioration because I think you will be missing out on a great binocular and most likely you will never have a problem with the armour. Swarovski deserves praise for replacing the armour at no charge because I don't think many manufacturers would go that extra mile to do that.

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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 07:08   #81
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Wow, you guys have un-peeled (pun) a previously un-heralded problem with Swaros.
I (and others) have been saying this for years on this forum. Older Trinovids were the biz, as they had ultra durable armour and it was wrapped around the body in a way that didn't leave too many weak points (where rubber could peel of or tear). Newer Swaro, Zeiss, Leica,... all have specific problems with intensive use. Most on this forum will never use their binoculars intensively. They will recommend certain top alpha binoculars but have very little experience with intensive use and thus cannot say anything relevant about durability.

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I don't think there are any problems with Swaro armour. ...
You have a topic with pictures showing problems with Swaro armour. Are you in a state of denial?

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Swarovski deserves praise for replacing the armour at no charge because I don't think many manufacturers would go that extra mile to do that.
You want to know a little secret? Free of charge doesn't exist, at least not when a company wants to make some profit. Swaro's service is a good thing but it's paid through the premium price of their products, and at that price, one shouldn't expect free service but rather a non-faulty product.

When I buy an expensive Mercedes-Benz I won't praise them for treating rust on my 3-year old car for free or including anti-rust products in the sale of the car. It shouldn't rust in the first place!
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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 07:36   #82
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Well it depends on your circumstances.

If you're spending months or years in the bush (day in, day out)...are you really going to cart around multiple bars of soap to wash your fancy binos? Can you imagine the mountainmen or naturalists of old doing that? Giving their binos a massage and pedicure.

It's perhaps a reflection of how disconnected Western Society has become from the land. People just don't spend as much time in the 'wop wops' as they used to, and when they do (even on a professional basis) it's typically for shorter durations. Because of this, our tools have decreased in quality and become more disposable.

Most modern outdoor epuitment isn't built to last. It may be comfortable/ergonomic. It may be flash. It may be fashionable. But it's not meant to take a licking and keep on ticking.

Posting your binos to the manufacturer for repair or refurbishment may be out of the question if you live in a very remote area.

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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 08:03   #83
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You want to know a little secret? Free of charge doesn't exist, at least not when a company wants to make some profit. Swaro's service is a good thing but it's paid through the premium price of their products, and at that price, one shouldn't expect free service but rather a non-faulty product.
This is absolutely right and the pics of those Swaros are horrific. Sun block, insect repellent, sweat, and UV light from the Sun are part of life in the open air and products as expensive as Swaros should be capable of resisting their effects.

However having said all of that, just as I argued years ago that the problem with EL focusers could not be all that common, or EL would not have become the best-selling premium bino, so today I conclude that there cannot be that many ELs with armour falling apart for exactly the same reason.

It does make one wonder what caused such awful deterioration of those ELs in the pics, and I am not hinting that the owners might have done 'something wrong' with them.

And what constitutes 'intensive' use of binos? Holding them in your hands for longer than other owners or grabbing them suddenly more frequently than other owners?

About 4 times per year I take my SFs to the west of Scotland for 3 weeks at a time, usually North Uist on the Western Isles, Islay in the Inner Hebrides and Ardnamurchan on the mainland extreme west coast. During visits we usually experience every kind of weather and we don't hide in our cottage, we are out every day and my SFs get hours of sunlight, hours of rain, hours of sea-spray, and because I take macro photos I often lie down on wet ground (often on sheep or goose poo which in some sites is hard to avoid), seaweeds, rocks sometimes toothed with sharp barnacles, and I don't always remember to take off my binos or put them inside my jacket. They get banged against rocks while we explore coasts or stalk otters, occasionally get covered in wind-blown sand (though I always try to get them inside my jacket in these conditions).

This seems like intensive use to me but maybe its not. Point is the SFs don't have a mark on them and the armour is fine. I am not saying that to hint that Zeiss armour is better than Swaro armour and I have already explained I don't believe that the Swaro armour problem can be very common, but what I am doing is asking, what more can you do to use binos more intensively than this that can wreck bino armour?

Lee
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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 13:57   #84
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I've always thought bins would be better clothed in some kind of hard plastic or polycarbon type material, some types of textured rubber always seem to claw sweat etc and make the bins feel soapy and tacky.

Also the fact that after cleaning the outer armouring certain textures can hold onto lint etc from drying cloths etc...ever tried running a cleaning wipe over eyepieces/body etc without being left with lint all over the place?

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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 15:37   #85
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I (and others) have been saying this for years on this forum. Older Trinovids were the biz, as they had ultra durable armour and it was wrapped around the body in a way that didn't leave too many weak points (where rubber could peel of or tear). Newer Swaro, Zeiss, Leica,... all have specific problems with intensive use. Most on this forum will never use their binoculars intensively. They will recommend certain top alpha binoculars but have very little experience with intensive use and thus cannot say anything relevant about durability.


You have a topic with pictures showing problems with Swaro armour. Are you in a state of denial?


You want to know a little secret? Free of charge doesn't exist, at least not when a company wants to make some profit. Swaro's service is a good thing but it's paid through the premium price of their products, and at that price, one shouldn't expect free service but rather a non-faulty product.

When I buy an expensive Mercedes-Benz I won't praise them for treating rust on my 3-year old car for free or including anti-rust products in the sale of the car. It shouldn't rust in the first place!
The older Trinovids probably did have tougher armor but it was a much harder plastic like material and not near as comfortable as some of the softer more pliable armor on the newer binoculars like the Swarovski's. All this exemplifies is a few rare cases of what can happen to binocular armor with extreme usage, contaminants and UV light. I agree Swarovski's warranty is paid through their premium prices but their product is not faulty. Even if you take a Mercedes and sit it next to the salty air of the ocean and don't ever wash it is going to rust. Without proper care any binocular will deteriorate. Be it a Swarovski or any other brand.

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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 19:43   #86
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Comparing the prices of the Swarovski models with those from Zeiss and Leica I don't see any price tag issue.
I do see a significant "we take care of you" difference between these brands. Shouldn't the .....warranty is paid through premium prices.... count more for the other two and isn't there only one brand who makes that true?

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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 19:48   #87
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About 4 times per year I take my SFs to the west of Scotland for 3 weeks at a time, usually North Uist on the Western Isles, Islay in the Inner Hebrides and Ardnamurchan on the mainland extreme west coast. During visits we usually experience every kind of weather and we don't hide in our cottage, we are out every day and my SFs get hours of sunlight, hours of rain, hours of sea-spray, and because I take macro photos I often lie down on wet ground (often on sheep or goose poo which in some sites is hard to avoid), seaweeds, rocks sometimes toothed with sharp barnacles, and I don't always remember to take off my binos or put them inside my jacket. They get banged against rocks while we explore coasts or stalk otters, occasionally get covered in wind-blown sand (though I always try to get them inside my jacket in these conditions).

This seems like intensive use to me but maybe its not. Point is the SFs don't have a mark on them and the armour is fine. I am not saying that to hint that Zeiss armour is better than Swaro armour and I have already explained I don't believe that the Swaro armour problem can be very common, but what I am doing is asking, what more can you do to use binos more intensively than this that can wreck bino armour?

Lee
Impressive testimony indeed. I'm sure I'm not the only person who would be interested in seeing a photo of your intensively used yet unmarked SFs?
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Old Friday 24th July 2020, 20:17   #88
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Intensive use, to me, is - everyday, in all climes, for years and years. I now live near the Huron shore, so my bins get really hammered - very hot, very cold, very wet and lots of sand and blown grit and hours of use everyday.

Ill let you know how my regulars fare after a few more years. I have yet to find an eye-cup design that doesn't get gritty, hard-to-use when it gets sand in it...

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Old Saturday 25th July 2020, 11:58   #89
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Impressive testimony indeed. I'm sure I'm not the only person who would be interested in seeing a photo of your intensively used yet unmarked SFs?
Impressive? Not sure about that, certainly not compared with professionals such as James and Alexis, but here are the pics.

SF10x42: a grey 2015 model having done 273 days in the West of Scotland during April to November.

SF8x42: a black 2017 model having done 105 days in the West of Scotland during April to November.

The third pic shows the typical coastal terrain where they were used.

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Old Saturday 25th July 2020, 21:57   #90
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Further to my earlier posting. I have previously had Zeiss, Bausch and Lomb and Nikon binoculars and had no problems with deterioration of the armouring which clearly points to a problem with the Swarovski binoculars. I have used Swarovski scopes for the last 18 years and have had no problems with the armouring. Obviously scopes have less wear and tear than binoculars, but the armouring seems to be of a more durable material compared to the binoculars.
I’ve had to pay for the postage and insurance when returning my binoculars for repair about 25 each time.
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Old Sunday 26th July 2020, 04:37   #91
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I have had a lot of different Swarovski's over the last 20 year's and I have used them a lot and I have never had trouble with the armour. Here are some pictures of some used Swarovski's on Ebay and I don't see anything that looks like the binocular's in this thread! (And no these haven't had the armour replaced because I asked them)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-E...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/SWAROVSKI-8...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-E...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-O...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-O...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-S...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-S...temCondition=4

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Old Sunday 26th July 2020, 18:00   #92
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I have had a lot of different Swarovski's over the last 20 year's and I have used them a lot and I have never had trouble with the armour. Here are some pictures of some used Swarovski's on Ebay and I don't see anything that looks like the binocular's in this thread! (And no these haven't had the armour replaced because I asked them)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-E...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/SWAROVSKI-8...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-E...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-O...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-O...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-S...temCondition=4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Swarovski-S...temCondition=4

Lol, most of yours were sold within months....
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Old Sunday 26th July 2020, 20:22   #93
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Lol, most of yours were sold within months....
No, I had many Swaro's for years without any armour problems and many of these Swaro's on Ebay are over 10 years old and still look fine. My point is I think this kind of case deterioration is not that common and it would not cause me to not buy a Swarovski if I liked the binocular otherwise.
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Old Sunday 26th July 2020, 20:27   #94
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Do we really know what chemicals/mixture of chemicals and conditions were allowed to permeate the armor over time, and the amount of UV on top of that. I do not, so I really can't say the armor of Swarovski is poor.

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Old Tuesday 28th July 2020, 01:34   #95
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Do we really know what chemicals/mixture of chemicals and conditions were allowed to permeate the armor over time, and the amount of UV on top of that. I do not, so I really can't say the armor of Swarovski is poor.

Andy W.
Andy: I agree, the photos of the armor issue is very bad, as the owner had abused the binocular.
There is nobody that could cause that kind of damage without intent. It is evident that it is not the binocular but the abuser.

It looks like they were dragging the binocular behind a vehicle on a gravel road....

I would not believe some of the photos from the dupes on these prior photos, they were trying to cause damage....

Jerry

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Old Tuesday 28th July 2020, 09:45   #96
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You cannot honestly say the armor if Swarovski is poor COMPARED to the current products offered by e.g. Zeiss and Leica, because I have seen the same issues.

I can say though:
1. I have never seen this with any classic Trinovid (ignoring the comments about that armour being less comfortable, it was at least very durable); So the armor is poorer than it could be;
2. this happens with all of the top binoculars these days, and it seems e.g. Swarovski is more than happy to fix it for free, rather than improve their armor. So the trade off is in favour of keeping the armour.

But let that not be an argument to say that Swarovski (or any other top manufacturer) is fault-free, that this kind of problems aren't out there (as some suggested) and top bin manufacturers shouldn't improve their products if possible (also from a cost-efficient point of view).
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Old Tuesday 28th July 2020, 13:21   #97
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You cannot honestly say the armor if Swarovski is poor COMPARED to the current products offered by e.g. Zeiss and Leica, because I have seen the same issues.

I can say though:
1. I have never seen this with any classic Trinovid (ignoring the comments about that armour being less comfortable, it was at least very durable); So the armor is poorer than it could be;
2. this happens with all of the top binoculars these days, and it seems e.g. Swarovski is more than happy to fix it for free, rather than improve their armor. So the trade off is in favour of keeping the armour.

But let that not be an argument to say that Swarovski (or any other top manufacturer) is fault-free, that this kind of problems aren't out there (as some suggested) and top bin manufacturers shouldn't improve their products if possible (also from a cost-efficient point of view).
Hi Temmie,

You are absolutely right, but don't you think that if any of them could improve the armoring, so that it wouldn't happen, they would?
These mfrs are optic geeks, not rubber geeks so they depend on third parties.
Maybe they should consult Durex.....

Jan
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Old Tuesday 28th July 2020, 15:17   #98
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You cannot honestly say the armor if Swarovski is poor COMPARED to the current products offered by e.g. Zeiss and Leica, because I have seen the same issues.

I can say though:
1. I have never seen this with any classic Trinovid (ignoring the comments about that armour being less comfortable, it was at least very durable); So the armor is poorer than it could be;
2. this happens with all the top binoculars these days, and it seems e.g. Swarovski is more than happy to fix it for free, rather than improve their armor. So the trade off is in favour of keeping the armour.

But let that not be an argument to say that Swarovski (or any other top manufacturer) is fault-free, that this kind of problems aren't out there (as some suggested) and top bin manufacturers shouldn't improve their products if possible (also from a cost-efficient point of view).
I think the older Trinovids armour was tougher but it was much harder and not as comfortable in the hands. The consumer probably likes the softer more pliable armour more on the newer binoculars like the Swaro FP so the manufacturers are just responding to consumer demand. I think Swarovski would rather replace the armour and sell more binoculars in the long run. The new FP Swaro appears to have a softer armour than the older EL so it is likely it is not as durable. I imagine it is very difficult to formulate an armour that has all the qualities everybody wants including hand comfort and feel yet be able to survive years of use exposed to chemical contaminants, acidic sweat and UV light from the sun. It will be interesting to see what the armour on the new NL is like and if it is different from the FP.

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Old Tuesday 28th July 2020, 15:24   #99
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temmie, post 96,
When I was working as a volunteer for the Dutch Birding Association, one day a Swarovski representative came along with different armor material and he let the customer handle it, they could give their opinion about it in order for Swarovski to make the best choice. I have used top class binoculars of diffferent brands: Leitz, Swarovski and Zeiss in tropical forests, in the mountains, in the desert, in cities and none of them ever had armor problems. Sometimes a DEET user came along and that destroyed every armor and Swarovski has perhaps for that reason added a brush and soap with the new NL's. That is speculation from my part, but it would not surprise me considering that Swarovski used to have consumer panels as advisors for new products.
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Old Tuesday 28th July 2020, 15:29   #100
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I imagine it is very difficult to formulate an armour that has all the qualities everybody wants including hand comfort and feel yet be able to survive years of use exposed to chemical contaminants, acidic sweat and UV light from the sun.
Normal human sweat is neutral to only moderately acidic. My own sweat is very acidic due to me being diabetic. It is so acidic that it will eat holes in metal spectacle frames and some watch bracelets. Thanks to two opticians explaining this I now wear titanium spectacles and watches.

Despite this I have not seen any signs of acid attack on the armour of Meoptas, Opticrons, Kowas or Zeisses.

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