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38x30CL vs. 8.5X42 EL? (1 Viewer)

I have the 8x30 CL, and love them. They perform as well as my 10x42SLC I bought in 1994 in low light. I love that they keep flying birds in focus better than the 10x42, for quick viewing. But I'm thinking of upgrading to the 8.5x42 EL. Is it going to gain me much? I love that the so much depth is in focus with the 8x30 CL. Will I lose that with an 8.5x42?
 

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Welcome to the forum. I assume you have the older Swarovski 8x30 CL versus the newer model 8x30 CL B but this will apply to either. I am surprised by the fact that you feel the 8x30 CL performs as well as your 10x42 SLC in low light. The 10x42 SLC has a bigger exit pupil and higher magnification which should make it outperform the smaller 8x30 CL especially in low light. The 8x30 CL will have better DOF than the 10x42 SLC because DOF is determined solely by the magnification with lower magnifications having better DOF. A lower magnification with better DOF will help you keep flying birds in focus better and the lower magnification of 8x will give you a bigger FOV which also will make it easier to follow flying birds. That being said upgrading to a Swarovski 8.5x42 EL would be a big upgrade from your 8x30 CL and you would notice a big difference in the quality of your view and the bigger glass will be much better in low light also. You would not lose much DOF going from the 8x30 CL to the 8.5x42 because it is only a .5 x increase in magnification.
 
Welcome to the forum. I assume you have the older Swarovski 8x30 CL versus the newer model 8x30 CL B but this will apply to either. I am surprised by the fact that you feel the 8x30 CL performs as well as your 10x42 SLC in low light. The 10x42 SLC has a bigger exit pupil and higher magnification which should make it outperform the smaller 8x30 CL especially in low light. The 8x30 CL will have better DOF than the 10x42 SLC because DOF is determined solely by the magnification with lower magnifications having better DOF. A lower magnification with better DOF will help you keep flying birds in focus better and the lower magnification of 8x will give you a bigger FOV which also will make it easier to follow flying birds. That being said upgrading to a Swarovski 8.5x42 EL would be a big upgrade from your 8x30 CL and you would notice a big difference in the quality of your view and the bigger glass will be much better in low light also. You would not lose much DOF going from the 8x30 CL to the 8.5x42 because it is only a .5 x increase in magnification.
Thanks. That's helpful.
 

bkdc

Well-known member
The 8x30 CL WB is fantastic for its size. The original CL has some big flaws which were addressed with the newer model. The small eye cup does not offer the same forgiveness as any of the ELs including the 8x32 EL. If you are stepping up from the original CL to the 8.5x42 EL you will see obvious improvement with very little loss of depth of field. You will see a huge improvement in viewing comfort.
 

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