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Differences between 2003/2008 SLC binoculars? (1 Viewer)

BudsBoy

Member
United States
I have a 2003 SLC 8x50 and will be receiving a 2008 SLC 7x42 soon.
Are there features/coatings that changed between those years?
I'm wondering if there will be room for both of them, and if not, which one will prevail . . .
Thank you
 
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mbb

Well-known member
From reading around a bit on this forum, from people knowing much more about it than I do, it seems like the difference in coating shouldn't be big: Swarovski seems to be known to improve their coatings gradually and 'silently' over the years, but with also some known, more distinct/important evolutions at specific times (2000 and 2009?) as summarized by John A. Roberts here (post number 3):

I have never tried the binoculars you are mentioning myself. (Could it be that you meant the 7x42, or 7x50, instead of 7x45? The 7x42 is one that I was looking around for some time ago, but I have never heard of a Swarovski SLC 7x45.). Purely based on the info from the link above and the specs of those binoculars, I think the differences in specs (FOV, closest focussing distance, weight) and ergonomics (personally) will largely outweigh potential differences in coatings between these Swarovski's of the same series without any major coating switch in between (according to the above mentioned post).

Please share your experience with them both! It is always interesting to here from people with actual 'hands on' experience with different models at the same time.
 

BudsBoy

Member
United States
Thanks for the reply M - Yes - I meant 7x42.
Looking forward to taking both out in the winter forest for a "hands on" comparison.
 

mbb

Well-known member
Thanks for the reply M - Yes - I meant 7x42.
Looking forward to taking both out in the winter forest for a "hands on" comparison.
You're welcome!
This link might interest you: Testrapport Swarovski SLC
It's in Dutch, but I guess Google Translate can help. It contains a review of the different models of that series from that period.

I would love to try the 7x42. In the end, I was lucky to find a Zeiss FL 7x42 last year, which I really like, use a lot, and don't plan on replacing. The Swarovski's weight was making me hesitant, but still, if I had found the Swaro first, I might have ended up with that one instead, who knows... (But no reason to switch for the moment.)
There are quite some posts to find about both those 7x42 here on Birdforum, but not about the 7x50 I think (or actually I have never realy looked into that model).
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
x50 SLC MODELS

Hi BB,
For a lot more info than you need! (and hopefully of general interest to some) . . .

Offerings
The x50 SLC line was introduced in 1997 in 7x50, 8x50 and 10x50.
The latest 7x50 that I’ve seen dates from June 2009 (#D7923 79855); the latest 8x50 from July 2007 (#D7727 60834), and;
the latest 10x50 from December 2010 (#D8050 88642).
(In contrast, the original x56 line continued until 2013, when it was replaced by the all new x56 design that’s still in production)

And for comparison, MBB has provided a link in post #2 above that gives details about the various x42 SLC’s.


Coatings
In comparing a 2003 unit to a 2008 one - if you were to do a direct comparison by stacking one on the other - you’d probably see that the image of the latter was both slightly brighter and slightly more neutral in colour (less 'warm'). However, whether the difference would be significant in use is highly unlikely.

For a rough idea of transmission differences, see a graph from Gijs comparing three 8x30 SLC units: a pre-Swarobright one from 1998; a Swarobright coated one from 2003, and; a nue/new one from 2005. As can be seen there’s at the most a 5% transmission difference between the last two.


Optical Construction
I) Objectives
The objectives of the x50’s and x42’s have the same number of lenses. However, they are in a different order.
The x50’s have an initial doublet, followed by a single focusing lens; while the x42’s reverse the sequence.

See two images from Swarovski. The first from a 2000 catalogue shows what may be the 10x50. See Henry’s comments in post #246: The new 8x30 CLl's
And the second from a 2005 catalogue is of a 7x50.

For ease of comparison, see a 7x42 image that’s in addition to the one in the link provided by MBB.


II) Eyepieces
The x50’s have a simpler eyepiece of 4 lenses in 3 groups, in a 2, 1, 1 sequence (vs the x42’s use of 5 lenses in 3 groups in a 2, 1, 2 configuration).

On the three x50 models, magnification is varied by altering the shape, thickness and spacing of the lenses. However, the details of the differences are not particularly clear in the two images from Swarovski.

Fortunately, there are a number of images of actual x50 units that have been cut open to show the optical construction. The problem is that many seem to be inaccurately marked as to whether they’re 7, 8 or 10x.

Jan has indicated that a specialist German firm does the work for most companies (using a high pressure water jet?). The units may have been stripped of removable parts before shipping off for cutting, and then reassembled on return. So perhaps the miss marking occurred when the focuser knobs were reattached?


For the details of the three different eyepieces, see a cropped/ composite image, that presumedly correctly shows from left to right:
the 7x50, the 8x50 and finally the 10x50.
The first part is from a full length image at: Swarovski Optik
The second is from a 2014 eBay listing from canadiansportsoptics
The third is from a full length image from JG at: A new Swarovski NL Pure? - Page 10 - Binoculars - Cloudy Nights
(as JG indicates he obtained the image from a vendor, and after discussion we agreed that based on it's proportions the unit is a x50 one)

And also see a full length view of what should be the 8x50. It’s from a 2020 eBay listing by ffordesphotographic.


Specifications
Finally, for a comparison of features see a page from a 2005 catalogue that includes the SLC lineup.


John
 

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BudsBoy

Member
United States
Hi BB,

For a lot more info than you need! (and hopefully of general interest to some) . . .

A) The x50 SLC line was introduced in 1997 in 7x50, 8x50 and 10x50.
The latest 7x50 that I’ve seen dates from June 2009 (#D7923 79855); the latest 8x50 from July 2007 (#D7727 60834), and;
the latest 10x50 from December 2010 (#D8050 88642).
(In contrast, the original x56 line continued until 2013, when it was replaced by the all new x56 design that’s still in production)

B) As indicated by MBB in post #2 above, the link that he's provided gives various details about the x42 SLC’s.

- - - -
Coatings
In comparing a 2003 unit to a 2008 one - if you were to do a direct comparison by stacking one on the other - you’d probably see that the latter was slightly brighter and the image slightly more neutral. However, whether the difference would be significant in use is highly unlikely.

For a rough idea of transmission differences, see a graph from Gijs comparing three 8x30 SLC units: a pre-Swarobright one from 1998; a Swarobright coated one from 2003, and; a nue/new one from 2005. As can be seen there’s at the most a 5% transmission difference between the last two.

- - - -
x50 Optical Construction
I) Objectives
The objectives of the x50’s and x42’s have the same number of lenses. However, they are in a different order.
The x50’s have an initial doublet, followed by a single focusing lens, while the x42’s reverse the sequence.

See two images from Swarovski. The first from a 2000 catalogue shows what may be the 10x50. See Henry’s comments in post #246: The new 8x30 CLl's
And the second from a 2005 catalogue is of a 7x50.

For ease of comparison, see a 7x42 image that’s in addition to the one in the link provided by MBB.


II) Eyepieces
The x50’s have a simpler eyepiece of 4 lenses in 3 groups, in a 2, 1, 1 sequence (vs the x42’s use of 5 lenses in 3 groups in a 2, 1, 2 configuration).

On the three x50 models, magnification is varied by altering the shape, thickness and spacing of the lenses. However, the details of the differences are not particularly clear in the two images from Swarovski.

Fortunately, there are a number of images of actual x50 units that have been cut open to show the optical construction. The problem is that many seem to be inaccurately marked as to whether they’re 7, 8 or 10x.

Jan has indicated that a specialist German firm does the work for most companies (using a high pressure water jet?). The units may have been stripped of removable parts before shipping off for cutting, and then reassembled on return. So perhaps the miss marking occurred when the focuser knobs were reattached?


For the details of the three different eyepieces, see a cropped/ composite image, that presumedly correctly shows from left to right:
the 7x50, the 8x50 and finally the 10x50.
The first part is from a full length image at: Swarovski Optik
The second is from a 2014 eBay listing from canadiansportsoptics
The third is from a full length image from JG at: A new Swarovski NL Pure? - Page 10 - Binoculars - Cloudy Nights
(as JG indicates he obtained the image from a vendor, and after discussion we agreed that based on it's proportions the unit is a x50 one)

And also see a full length view of what should be the 8x50. It’s from a 2020 eBay listing by ffordesphotographic.

- - - -
Specifications
Finally, for a comparison of features see a page from a 2005 catalogue that includes the SLC lineup.


John
Thank you so much.
Just what I was hoping for . . .
 
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