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Curio 7x21 v Uvid 8x20 personal review (1 Viewer)

gweller

Well-known member
adhoc, post 18,
In our test of the Curio, published on the WEB-site of House of Outdoor I found no glare, perfect color reproduction, see also our measured transmission spectrum and very bright sparkling images.
Gijs van Ginkel
Gijs, have you had a chance to compare the Curio to the Kowa Genesis XD 8x22? I wonder how good the little Kowa is??
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
@b-lilja A very nice write-up. I'm a 7x fan, and I've always wished my 8x20 Ultravids were a 7x20, and that my 8x32 Ultravids were a 7x32!

At first blush, after its "just right 7x21 size, the Curio's best improvement over the Ultravid are the screw-up eyecups - this is a feature that improves on the one little gripe I have with the 8x20 Ultravid and its push-down/pull-up eyecups.

An observation and question for you - the ocular cover (rainguard) for the Curio looks useless in the field for actual use. It appears to only really work when the binoculars are folded for storage, which seems rather pointless. This is in contrast with the Leica's single-fit eye cups which actually work well when the binoculars are in use, or in storage. I really require an ocular cover in the field, and am wondering, since you have both the Ultravid and Curio, if you'd see if the Ultravid ocular covers fit the Curio?

Also, do you happen to have a digital scale you could weigh the Curio's with its neck strap and ocular cover?

Kind Regards - Brad
Brad pinged me and asked for a response, and I thought I would report out that I don't have the rainguard for the Ultravid - so can't answer the question. I don't use rainguards - I just find they get in the way.
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
Also wanted to add that after a bit of use, I note that the plastic valence on the underside is not fitting 100% snugly. I don't have a good feeling about its longevity. Still, what a view! I'm just going to use them and come what may.
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
Yep, that's the culprit. Didn't like its plasticy sound, now I really don't like it now that it's slightly loose - I "clicked" it back into place, not 100% snug.

In spite of, I STILL love them. But I will probably baby these bit more than I would my Uvid 8x20s.

And it's really hard to know how tough the internals are - that is really the bottom line.
 

Mac308

Well-known member
Would add, there's some irony that the very part stamped with the "great" designer's name is causing issues. I doubt it really took a recognized designer to come up with a quality build that could easily have been sourced in house? But I suppose, "where's the marketing genius in that? Dunno. But, along with thier optical gimmiks, this is the sort of disappointing QC/fragility issues I have come to expect from Swarovski. Too bad - I really think a 7x21 with alpha glass is the "ultimate" compact binocular. I don't care who's name is on it as long as it works.
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
A small thing - but I really appreciate the stainless steel (vs plastic on the Uvid) eyelets on the Swaros..,
While I think the Uvid diopter/button thing is cool and interesting, you have to catch an internal gear just right to engage the diopter adjustment - meaning it's not totally precise and somewhat fussy.
The Swaro screw up/down eye cups are just phenomenal - how is it that Swaro has this so nailed down and noone else does? The Uvids are decent. but require supplemental o-rings to stop them at the right location. I mean, come on, can't everyone figure this out?
Mac's post brought my attention to the steel eyelets on the Leica, but I can see how someone might mistake the black coating as indicative of plastic.

I really like the locking diopter adjustment on all of my Leicas and while I don't have any trouble with it on the 8x20, I wish they'd been able to implement the pull-out style as the larger ones have.

Also wish the Ultravid had the screw-out eyecups and am curious about your o-ring solution. Guess I'll have to make a trip to the hardware store, as I'd really rather that they would stay in the locked out position.
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
Sorry to fall off on this discussion --

Glad to know the Leica eyelets are metal! Not surprising.

Re o-rings - yes, it's just a trip to the hardware store. I like mine halfway up. Not sure I would want an ugly stack at full extension.
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
Re o-rings - yes, it's just a trip to the hardware store. I like mine halfway up. Not sure I would want an ugly stack at full extension.
I put on the tightest fitting o-rings I could at the store today. Started with one size that was hard to put on, then went down two more sizes to where it was almost impossible and I was fighting with the binoculars in front of the o-rings at the store until I succeeded!
Hopefully it works for keeping them in place better.
8C4B7345-96E5-483F-B086-BE94BF35A1A9.jpeg
 

postcardcv

Super Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I took my first look through the Curio and was blown away by both the image and the ease of use. My compact up to now has been the 8x20 Trinovid which give a great view but I have never found to be super comfortable. I have compared them to the Ultravid which is better but couldn't justify the cost of changing for the difference. The Curio is a different beast. I assume because of the 3mm exit pupil and the in the hand feel they just come so easily to my eye (I find getting the Trinovids just right is a hassle). If there had been stock at the shop I probably would have come home with the Curio but they didn't so I have a little longer to think. The Trinovids are just as compact and easy to carry but I think I will end up with the Curio as I know I will reach for them so much more.
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
Just a quick additional note based on a full day of extensive use yesterday.

Hiked up Mount Townsend in the Olympic range (Washington State, USA) yesterday with these around my neck. Mixed day of clouds, with clearing at the end. Mount Townsend is known for its panoramic views of the range, Vancouver Island/Victoria, San Juan Islands, the Puget Sound, Seattle, etc.. Stunning in every direction.

These little bins were so fantastic all day long. No bother around the neck while hiking with pack. Quick, clear, gorgeous resolved view, steady. Everything you could want.

The ultimate test was looking back towards our neighborhood in Seattle, 28 miles away, and seeing the four story retirement home near our house, about 200 feet long, clearly visible.

Flocks of Horned Larks (one 100+), Townsend's Solitaires, Hermit Thrushes, Yellow Rumped Warblers, all at 6200' summit ridge - gorgeous.

These of course lack the extra special depth of full size bins - I would never say they are equal - but they are so good for what they do. The ability to have them at hand all day long - going up 3000' vertical - is not something I would likely do with full size bins.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Just a quick additional note based on a full day of extensive use yesterday.

Hiked up Mount Townsend in the Olympic range (Washington State, USA) yesterday with these around my neck. Mixed day of clouds, with clearing at the end. Mount Townsend is known for its panoramic views of the range, Vancouver Island/Victoria, San Juan Islands, the Puget Sound, Seattle, etc.. Stunning in every direction.

These little bins were so fantastic all day long. No bother around the neck while hiking with pack. Quick, clear, gorgeous resolved view, steady. Everything you could want.

The ultimate test was looking back towards our neighborhood in Seattle, 28 miles away, and seeing the four story retirement home near our house, about 200 feet long, clearly visible.

Flocks of Horned Larks (one 100+), Townsend's Solitaires, Hermit Thrushes, Yellow Rumped Warblers, all at 6200' summit ridge - gorgeous.

These of course lack the extra special depth of full size bins - I would never say they are equal - but they are so good for what they do. The ability to have them at hand all day long - going up 3000' vertical - is not something I would likely do with full size bins.
Which binocular were you using ?
Jerry
 

Wolf Beam

Well-known member
Lovely binos. Tried them out recently. A flaw though. The close focus of 2.5 m makes them not so suitable for allround nature observations. Mainly for birding and not for butterflies and dragonflies et c. A pity. I hope there will be a second version with a close focus of 1.5 m or less. Till then I stick to other binos.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Wolf Beam,post 38,
We measured a close focus of 2,2 m for the Curio, but there are not many compacts that have a shorter close focus, so you have to look for the Pentax Papillio probably to solve that problem.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

PW42

Active member
United Kingdom
Lovely binos. Tried them out recently. A flaw though. The close focus of 2.5 m makes them not so suitable for allround nature observations. Mainly for birding and not for butterflies and dragonflies et c. A pity. I hope there will be a second version with a close focus of 1.5 m or less. Till then I stick to other binos.
The UV 8x20 focuses significantly closer than the Curio although it does not quite get to 1.5m - between 1.6m & 1.7m on my pair.
 

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