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7/8x42 ultravid hd+ vs swarovski el42? (1 Viewer)

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I can't imagine a flagship Leica model NOT being durable. The Noctovid hasn't been around long enough to know for sure, but Leica has decades of history with the Trinovids and then Ultravids being fairly bulletproof.

I've also had a friend who's EL had the disintegrating armor problem, but I would consider that an aberration as Swaro also has decades of well earned reputation for making durable binoculars.

At this price level the build quality and durability should be superb from any brand. Nothing is perfect, so there will always be issues that crop up here and there with focusers, eyecups, broken seals, etc. At that point, the differentiating factor isn't the durability, it's the SERVICE the company provides to rectify the occasional problems that do occur.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Regarding the 7x, a narrow AFOV is a pet peeve of mine. The EDG is at the lower limit but still acceptable to me. The HD+ AFOV is quite nice. For accurate color rendition in varying light levels and conditions the SV 8.5 does best.

That's why I've been wary of the 7x42 EDG, the flat field restricts what is already a lesser AFOV inherent to the lower magnification. Despite having the same approximate real FOV, the 7x42 UVHD doesn't feel restrictive at all, almost certainly due to the curved field design.

The 8x42 EDG has close to the same FOV as the 7x42, 403' vs 419', but should have a significant AFOV advantage. The FOV gap between the 8x42 UV and the 7x42 UV is larger (420' vs 389').
 

mbb

Well-known member
This thread seems to show that, at that level of quality (EL, UV, Noctivid...), personal taste and priorities are most important for choosing one on another binocular and that you cannot go wrong with any of them , at least in the 7-8x42-range, even considering veiling glare (as opposed ro the EL 8x32, reading more extremes regarding veiling glare: from ’no problem, best binoculars’, to ‘sometimes juste unuseable’ ).
Regarding service, I have only read great comments about Swarovski and more of a variation regarding Leica (from bad to great/perfect), whatever might be the cause of this variation).
I guess I really need to find a way to test and compare them, amd that price and support/service might define the final choice...
 

Patudo

Well-known member
In your example Patudo, you state 'what my eyes would expect to see at distance.". Given that I am assuming that what you are viewing is a bit distant and if so, does the fact that you are comparing a 10x42 to a 8x32 in itself account for some coloration differences as the 10 will just naturally be closer up than the 8x, thus the colorations different?

I feel (this is with the naked eye) that red objects, and also pinks/yellows, seem to lose their intensity of colour beyond a certain distance - similar to how if you take a photograph of a distant red object the colour isn't as clean and intense as if it were say 10 or 15m away. This effect is lessened (though still evident) when conditions are clear and visibility is good, and vice versa. When viewing such objects with the EL or FL I feel the extent to which the colour "comes back" due to magnification accords well with what I expect to see (very subjective I know). With the NVD the reds/pinks seem more pronounced than I would expect them to be - not screamingly so, but enough that its effect is apparent. This happens with closer targets too. I remember having a really good look at a spotted dove using the 10x42 NVD and thinking that the breast of this very familiar species (if you've spent time in Singapore) looked more rosy in the binoculars than in real life. I don't find this to be an "issue" - I quite like a saturated image myself in photography, in part because I feel cameras seldom capture just how intense the colours of a game fish, for instance, can be - and adjust image saturation accordingly. It's probably not a bad thing for reds/yellows etc to stand out more, especially on grey dreary days. But as far as dead-on colour accuracy is concerned, I think the SF, FL and EL, are closer (to my eyes) than the NVD.

Your perception (far more important than mine or anyone else's) may differ though! One thing Birdforum really has showed me is how different folks quite literally see things differently. I didn't realize until I checked that my own left and right eyes show colour differently - my left eye very slightly more greenish and my left eye very slightly favouring red.
 

bkdc

Well-known member
more important to me is the durability , is the Noctivid 10x42 more durable then the EL 10x42, i think for the rubber cover this is already true, i have read about and seen about covers from the EL that where destroyed after a few months... ...

Swaro EL and Noctivid are of similar build quality. I wouldn’t worry about armor. Swaro is more likely to replace the armor and return a new looking binocular if you send your binocular in for service down the road.both feel tougher than Zeiss. Swaro has nicer eye cups. Leica has a nicer focus knob. I do prefer the Noctivid objective cover to the Fieldpro. But this is not a critical issue.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Thanks for your reply, i'm not too picky over flat field vs curved but sometimes feel i'm missing a little extra snap in the colours/contrast department...I feel the same about swaro scopes so maybe it's just how I percieve their glass/colour balance compared to others.

Maybe the swaro has a bias towards brightness over contrast and colour saturation, almost as if the image is slightly over exposed and 'straight from the camera' without any levels tweaks!!

Matt
Hi Matt,

I have a Leica UVHD Plus 7x42 and also some Swarovski EL and SLC binoculars and don't share in your lack-of-levels-tweaks experience — even less so with the 8 and 10x42 SLC which are very contrasty indeed with the curved field style of the Leica. And having used Zeiss AK glass which is famous for its brightness I'd say that there is no problem there either. But it's how you see it that matters, and it can take a while to be absolutely sure even then.

On the other hand some feel that Leica colours are larger than life and regardless of whether one likes that or not it could be that which gives your colours more 'strength' of some kind when using the Leica. Maybe?

Best wishes,

Tom
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Could you tell a bit more about your experience with one versus the other?
I have an Ultravid HD 8x32, which I really like, for its ergonomics, size, optics, including its great handling of difficult light (not talking about low light levels, but about situations that would cause glare/veiling/reflections/... in other binoculars).
Looking for addition, to complement the UV 8x32 for when there is less light (dusk/dawn/or even almost night) while not being too big or heavy, the UV 7x42 HD(+) and the EL 8,5x42 are two contenders I’m considering if I can find one at a good price second hand. Therefor I am following this thread and am very interested in your experience with both, comparing both and having really used both in the field.
Did you notice a significant difference in brightness (Swaroski has a bit higher transmission, but smaller exit pupil) or contrast or handling of difficult light?
Hi mbb, just to say I have 7x42 UVHD plus and SV FP 8.5 x 42. They are both wonderful but different. The thought I'd like to share is that if you are used to the dinky, compact size of the Leicas you may find the 7x42 much easier to hold for longer comfortable viewing (a) because it's 7x whereas 8.5x is halfway to 10 and (b) because despite the double bridge design I find the 8.5x SV FP is nothing like as comfortable or 'Ergo Concept' as say a Zeiss Victory SF. (The 8x32 SV FP is another matter and a perfect handler in my view.)

Personally I find the definition of the 8.5x Swaro better than the 7x Leica even though comparison between different magnifications slightly muddies the attempt to compare. It could always be that this is a result of my perception of colour and/or my Leica specimen is not quite up to scratch.

I'll leave the brightness comparison to others; to me once you've used a Zeiss with AK nothing else compares!

Best wishes,

Tom
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
I have been on a huge optics update/search of late, and learned a ton in the process. Probably the most important as others are saying, is that there is no substitute for deciding yourself. Another thing I'll add, which is very unfortunate but true, is that sample variability is a very real thing. I've come to the conclusion that when you have a unit that really works, you want to hang onto it.

It is hard to make generalizations about brands and colors, as they change over time. One thing I will definitely say is that Zeiss has gotten worse of late - I find their latest coatings (which show up on the last FLs) to shift unacceptably to green.

All that being said, I find the veiling glare on Swaros to be too much of a thing. Also, I just some 7x42 UVHD+s last month. I had them out for a full day of birding yesterday, and it is safe to say they are sublime. Just an absolute pleasure to look through. They show you the whole scene. Handling and compact x42 size is great, not too heavy.
 

matt green

Norfolkman gone walkabout
Thanks for all the contributions everyone, lots to take into consideration!

I briefly checked my EL32 this afternoon while its awaiting a new owner, having adjusted the bridge to a wider ipd distance I may have discovered one reason why they never felt quite in my hand, having quite close set eyes I rely on a close ipd distance which may effect balance/handling..maybe why I've decided to opt for a 42mm or even a compact porro.

The swaro EL opened up feels much more secure in the hand, closed up to accommodate my tight ipd they just feel too small and 'lost' in the hands!!

In the meantime i'll continue to use a 17 year old nikon monarch 8x36!

Matt
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I'm with you there -- my IPD is relatively narrow (around 61-62mm) and for this reason I've never gotten along with "open bridge" binoculars. When the bridges get that close, especially when the tubes are thicker, it largely negates the ergonomic advantage of of the open bridge design.

My preference is for a reasonably wide central or "high" bridge, and some open barrel towards the end for my pinky and perhaps ring finger to fall into. Among 32mm binoculars, the Kowa Genesis is just about dead nuts perfect in terms of hand-hold comfort for me. I also like the high bridge and contoured barrels of the 32mm EDG. The UVHD 7x42 feels wonderfully balanced to me, but as with the other 42mm Ultravids, if I could change one thing it would be shorten the bridge to create a bit more open barrel towards the objective end.
 

NZbinodude

Well-known member
I like Swarovski binoculars for what they offer. The resolution is excellent, the edge to edge sharpness and ergonomics are second to none, and sample consistency is top notch. To many people, this is enough to seal the deal...and that's great.

But binoculars are a personal thing. Alas, I don't get along with Swaro binos as much as I'd like to. And I really want to, because the after-sales service is fantastic, and they feel great in the hand.

I've been lucky to own a couple of Swarovski EL's (8.5x42's), an NL Pure (10x42), and a CL Mountain Pocket (10x25). Unfortunately, I've experienced glare and slightly subdued images with them all. I attribute this to my facial geometry and Swarovski's weak stray-light baffling.

The stray light, combined with the flat-field design, left the images through the Swaros looking a little dull to my eyes. And I use that term VERY loosely, because we are discussing alpha glass after all.

I've had a few Leica Geovids (perger porro prism/10x42's), and while they aren't meant to be as good as alpha non-ranging binoculars, the contrast, center sharpness, and stray light control was so good that that I actually preferred the images through the Geovids compared to the Swarovski binos I had.

If somebody gave me a Swarovski bino, I could very easily use it for the rest of my days and be satisfied. What we're dealing with here is the luxury of choice. And if being fussy is on the agenda, I'll steer towards Leica for the increased contrast & better stray light control.

I'm now swinging between a 7x42 Ultravid HD+, or an 8x42 Noctivid. If I go with the 7x, I'll be sure to report on my observations.

Life's good! :)

Good luck OP.
 
Last edited:

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
What we're dealing with here is the luxury of choice. And if being fussy is on the agenda, I'll steer towards Leica for the increased contrast & better stray light control.



Good luck OP.
I agree with this.... 'luxury of choice' is well put. And optics are all 'up to the personal tastes of the individual'... Agreed there too. Of the big three (Swaro, Zeiss and Leica)...have you looked at the Zeiss? I know I did prior to buying a Noctivid and came to the conclusion I like the Leica first, SF second, Swaro Last (...just because I am not a Swaro fan, nothing against the bin though).

When it comes to Luxury, it would be interesting to see how people define it. I know I value ergonomics as much as I do the optics, so my 'luxury' is hand placement, the tactile feel of the rubber coating eye placement, and even accessories come into play. Is this a binocular that I want to carry around with me for hours? Do I dream of never putting it down when in the field? Do my hands reach for it as I watch a TV show.... That is luxury.

Contrast...coloration via view etc...that is optics. Together they equal my personal taste.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
nzbinodude, post 31,
I hava used Swarovski binoculars for around 30 years now. The SLC's 7x30, 8x30, 8x42, 10x42 and 8x56 and the EL's 8,5x42 and 10x42. and the Habicht 7x42 Not any of them showed a sign of glare/internal reflections at my journeys in the mountains of North, central , and south Europe, southern Africa, central Asia, the Himalayas, Japan and across water surfaces in different parts of the world, so I must be very lucky.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
nzbinodude, post 31,
I forgot somthing: if you like Leica a lot it may be a nice choice to use the Leica Geovid 2000 with Perger prisms, realy excellent binocular.. They have Perger prism (modified porros) an open hing and as a consequence they have a perfect handling comfort, I like them better then the Noctivids. I know that it is a rangefinder but you can use it as conventional binocular.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
nzbinodude, post 31,
I hava used Swarovski binoculars for around 30 years now. The SLC's 7x30, 8x30, 8x42, 10x42 and 8x56 and the EL's 8,5x42 and 10x42. and the Habicht 7x42 Not any of them showed a sign of glare/internal reflections at my journeys in the mountains of North, central , and south Europe, southern Africa, central Asia, the Himalayas, Japan and across water surfaces in different parts of the world, so I must be very lucky.
Gijs van Ginkel
Gijs,
That's quite a resume! Add me to the list of lucky ones!
 

tenex

reality-based
Not any of them showed a sign of glare/internal reflections at my journeys...
Of all the issues discussed in this forum where personal experience differs, it's this that surprises me most. I'd imagine that most of us observe in varied enough conditions to notice this if it's really a problem with a particular model. It leaves me wondering whether we're describing the same thing, or applying terms in the same way.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Especially since glare/flare (unlike other subjective things people disagree about) can be assessed objectively. You can have controlled test conditions and take a photo of the exit pupil, and it will be there or it won’t.
 

mbb

Well-known member
Of all the issues discussed in this forum where personal experience differs, it's this that surprises me most. I'd imagine that most of us observe in varied enough conditions to notice this if it's really a problem with a particular model. It leaves me wondering whether we're describing the same thing, or applying terms in the same way.
I have also wondered about this and have to admit that terminology is confusing here. There is a post somewhere where someone listed different definitions, I think further differentiating glare/flare/veiling..., but I don’t know who or where on this binoculars-forum anymore. It would have to be looked up again. I remember it was still a bit confusing but such a reference post or article, which would need to be supported with the addition of illustrations by means of real pictures taken through the binoculars would be a valuable ‘sticky thread’ at the top of the binoculars forum section. Maybe such a reference post or article already exists.
It certainly depends enormously on the viewing conditions, as e.g. the Kite Lynx HD 8x30 is very good in general and the Swarovski Habicht 8x30 can be tremendous and has given me one of my most enjoyable and stunning observe-with-binoculars afternoons ever, but their optical performance can break down in situations where the Ultravid HD 8x30 stays strong. ( « Break down » might sound harsh, but that has really occurred to me with the Habicht 8x30, while I happily had the UV to take over.)
I cannot speak of any of the binoculars listed above by Gijs as I have no field experience with any of them. They all have very good reputations in general, from what I have read.
But I can imagine some people to encounter the weaknesses of some binoculars more often than others (based on their use of the binoculars in different conditions) and also to be more or less tolerant for it (personal taste, priorities,...).
 

tenex

reality-based
Still wondering about this, I'm curious whether some cases of ("veiling"?) glare may result from light around the oculars or reflections off the eye, and therefore depend on facial anatomy or eyeglasses, leading to different experiences with the same binocular. All the more reason to try to specify what the effect is and where it's coming from.
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
I think Henry has established, mechanically and really without any subjectivity, why certain binoculars discussed here show glare. Saying that you or I never experience the effect doesn’t change that.
 

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