• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Comparative review - Swarovski CL B 8x30 vs Kowa Genesis 8x33 vs NL Pure 10x42 (1 Viewer)

E_S

Active member
United States
Agreed, the optics are superb, easily a step up from the other two.

Funny that you had that experience. Mine was somewhat of an opposite of yours. The optics on the CL are nice, especially the wide sweet spot, but I would not call the them "easily a step up above Genesis." The Genesis has a wider view (yes, not as flat and sharp to the side, but sharp enough to spot movement), suppresses CA much better, and has slightly better contrast. Overall, while viewing with Kowas I had very "peaceful" and "relaxing" experience that was rather a step up from CLs, even if I were to ignore the eyecup issue. In the end, I would rate both as equal optically because the sweet spot size does matter at times. Of course, I am a harsh critic of CL ergonomics, but I am willing to grant they suit some people here.
 
Last edited:

Rg548

Retired Somewhere
United Kingdom
Funny that you had that experience. Mine was somewhat of an opposite of yours. The optics CL are nice, especially the wide sweet spot, but I would not call the them "easily a step up above Genesis." The Genesis has a wider view (yes, not as flat and sharp to the side, but sharp enough to spot movement), suppresses CA much better, and has slightly better contrast. Overall, while viewing with Kowas I had very "peaceful" and "relaxing" experience that was rather a step up from CLs, even if I were to ignore the eyecup issue. In the end, I would rate both as equal optically because the sweet spot size does matter at times. Of course, I am a harsh critic of CL ergonomics, but I am willing to grant they suit some people here.
Yeah, I guess that's why we all end up with different bins.
Those Kowas just didn't work for me, and the Conquest 32's just didn't live up to the hype to my eyes. I expected more given the reports here.
But the CL's were def a notch up to my eyes, and, it appears i'm in the minority here, but they worked ergonomically too, even with my daft sized hands.
Great we've got the choices we have.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Funny that you had that experience. Mine was somewhat of an opposite of yours. The optics CL are nice, especially the wide sweet spot, but I would not call the them "easily a step up above Genesis." The Genesis has a wider view (yes, not as flat and sharp to the side, but sharp enough to spot movement), suppresses CA much better, and has slightly better contrast. Overall, while viewing with Kowas I had very "peaceful" and "relaxing" experience that was rather a step up from CLs, even if I were to ignore the eyecup issue. In the end, I would rate both as equal optically because the sweet spot size does matter at times. Of course, I am a harsh critic of CL ergonomics, but I am willing to grant they suit some people here.
I agree with you about the Genesis having the more "peaceful and relaxing" view, and that it has better contrast/snap due to the almost total lack of CA.

But there's something impressive about how the Swaro CL is basically perfectly corrected (other than CA) almost to the edge. When you compare to the Kowa, which has that circus funhouse mirror distortion zone part-way out due to the attempt to "flatten the field", or even the SV EL, it's pretty impressive how the little CL, the sweet spot is like 90%+ of the FOV and other than CA there's almost no visible degradation anywhere. Plus it's very easy to dart your eye around the FOV (which is what I mean by forgiving eye placement / eye box despite my hatred of the eyecups).

I wouldn't call the CL a "step up" optically vs the Genesis, and would agree that the CL optics are basically equal overall (both great, just a notch behind the very best and with different strengths and weaknesses). Overall of course I greatly prefer the Genesis, mostly for ergonomic reasons but also for the wide, clean FOV with awesome microcontrast / no CA.
 

safaridreaming

Well-known member
Not judging anyones opinion, but I thought the 8x30CL B was superb for a small compact bin. I have huge hands, and found them perfectly useable, even preferring them to both the Kowa and Conquest. Agreed, the optics are superb, easily a step up from the other two.
Funny how we all rate stuff differently. I was SO impressed with them!
I agree entirely with this comment. The only reason i gave mine up is to go back to EL32’s As my main bin…. But they fit my face and large hands perfectly and optics are beautiful for the price range.
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
I drew this diagram which (hopefully) makes it very clear what can be somewhat difficult to explain in words.

Makes sense, having glasses might make things it a bit easier, still not giving great support, the diameter of the eye cup is definitely a factor that can affect usability.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top