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Do you consider the SLC to be an Alpha binocular? (1 Viewer)

Gray C

Newbie birder
I have the 8 x 42 SLC and I love it. I have looked through an EL 8.5 x 42 and found very little difference in the clarity, sharpness, brightness etc. Yes, there's a bit more clarity at the outer edges but the SLC does have a very large sweet spot, so this makes very little difference to my eyes

OK I accept that the NL is in a different league.

Your thoughts ladies and gents?

In my opinion the SLC is an alpha, not a sub alpha binocular, in every way
 
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Canip

Well-known member
The SLC, esp. the 8x42, is for me clearly an „alpha“ (I actually prefer premium) binocular, and I included it in a 2015 comparative review of several premium binoculars, see
https://www.juelich-bonn.com/jForum/read.php?9,426194
(sorry, in German)
but of course, „premium“ and „alpha“ are in the eye of the beholder (see separate thread here in the forum about what „alpha“ is supposed to mean), and many may not put the SLC into the premium category.

Canip
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
'Oh my goodness Steven, look at that poor soul over there with his beta glass, flaunting it as if it were an alpha...that is sooo appalling...'

lol. The only appreciable difference between the SLC and EL is the field flattener in the EL. SLC should theoretically be brighter. Yes Alpha even if the other Alpha's don't want to let it in.
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
No, I don't consider an SLC an alpha. Alphas are the TOP binoculars or flagship binoculars from the top manufacturers. I only consider the EL, NL, Noctivid, EDG and SF an alpha. An SLC is clearly Swarovskis 2nd tier binoculars. I have had many SLC, EL and now NL Swarovskis and when I went from the SLC to the EL I was always glad to back to it because there is just that extra level of performance with the bigger FOV, sharper edges and especially, better contrast that were immediately noticeable to me. If you are going to spend that much money anyway in my opinion you might as well get the best.

So according to your logic, the EL's just got bumped out of Alpha class with the release of the NL? The NL is clearly now Swaro's TOP binocular, and you just stated only "top or flagship" units allowed. Correct?
 

PeterPS

MEMBER
Canip was right, alpha is a misnomer for high quality binos.
If we call them alphas then there can only be one alpha. But if we call them premium binos then both NL and EL as well as SLC can be considered in the premium class.
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
Canip was right, alpha is a misnomer for high quality binos.
If we call them alphas then there can only be one alpha. But if we call them premium binos then both NL and EL as well as SLC can be considered in the premium class.

Agree and "like" :t:
 

Uhu74

Well-known member
I have the 8 x 42 SLC and I love it. I have looked through an EL 8.5 x 42 and found very little difference in the clarity, sharpness, brightness etc. Yes, there's a bit more clarity at the outer edges but the SLC does have a very large sweet spot, so this makes very little difference to my eyes

OK I accept that the NL is in a different league.

Your thoughts ladies and gents?

In my opinion the SLC is an alpha, not a sub alpha binocular, in every way

I've had the SLC 8X42, El8x32sv, El10x50, and now the NL10X42, and I consider the SLC definitely an alpha bin.
There are few things which I regret in life, but I do regret the day I traded the SLC for the EL8x32.

Gijs
 

tenex

reality-based
SLCs are definitely "alpha/premium" quality, not a different class like Conquest. I wouldn't trade mine for an EL, or anything else. (Especially since there is no EL 56...)

P.S. I simply don't understand the length at which people will debate this "alpha" question. There's another whole thread running on it right now. Some kind of insecurity, or...?
.
 
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chill6x6

Well-known member
I have the 8 x 42 SLC and I love it. I have looked through an EL 8.5 x 42 and found very little difference in the clarity, sharpness, brightness etc. Yes, there's a bit more clarity at the outer edges but the SLC does have a very large sweet spot, so this makes very little difference to my eyes

OK I accept that the NL is in a different league.

Your thoughts ladies and gents?

In my opinion the SLC is an alpha, not a sub alpha binocular, in every way

Quite frankly, it doesn't matter. I've never thought the SLC was any LESS of a binocular than the EL. The SLC is BETTER in some ways than the EL and of course the EL betters the SLC in some ways. Nothing more than different strokes for different folks.

The SLC, esp. the 8x42, is for me clearly an „alpha“ (I actually prefer premium) binocular, and I included it in a 2015 comparative review of several premium binoculars, see
https://www.juelich-bonn.com/jForum/read.php?9,426194
(sorry, in German)
but of course, „premium“ and „alpha“ are in the eye of the beholder (see separate thread here in the forum about what „alpha“ is supposed to mean), and many may not put the SLC into the premium category.

Canip

AGREE! The SLC is most DEFINITELY a premium binocular..

Canip was right, alpha is a misnomer for high quality binos.
If we call them alphas then there can only be one alpha. But if we call them premium binos then both NL and EL as well as SLC can be considered in the premium class.

^^^^^This

SLCs are definitely "alpha/premium" quality, not a different class like Conquest. I wouldn't trade mine for an EL, or anything else. (Especially since there is no EL 56...)

P.S. I simply don't understand the length at which people will debate this "alpha" question. There's another whole thread running on it right now. Some kind of insecurity, or...?
.

Me either. Many binoculars offer the user a premium experience for sure. You know, I never even HEARD the term "alpha" binocular until I came to BF. So if the term wasn't important in my previous fifty years it probably isn't that important now.
 

wdc

Well-known member
These are all beer drinking arguments, with various rationales that each have some degree of purpose, perhaps even merit!

I think of the phrase "capo di tutti capo", 'Father of all fathers"... Does that apply?

In regards to this topic, perhaps it should be "Splitting hairs of the already splitted hair"...

One opinion on this thread implies that if a binocular 'is' an Alpha, if the same manufacturer makes a different model with some incremental improvements, then the old one is, by default, out of the club. It can only be the best one by that manufacturer. This position promotes the idea that one must be compelled to upgrade every time this happens, otherwise, YOU JUST CANT BE IN THE CLUB... end of story. Otherwise, whatever optics you've got, it just isn't the best. Sorry brother...go big or go home....

Of course, imho, this is complete and utter hooey, but it does jive very well with Alexis Powell's insightful comments in the 'other' alpha thread.

Speaking of fathers, I spent about 5 hours sitting with my father today. He's 99 years old, on hospice, in a care facility in the town I live in. As his 2nd floor room is next to an open field, and there's a row of Maple trees alongside the building, I opened the blinds and pulled open the window to let some light, fresh air, and bird song into the room. While he was sleeping, in between a few, semi-lucid chats I had with him... I listened and watched the birds that came around. I could hear Crows, Scrub Jays, Bewick's Wrens, and Chickadees from time to time.

I know you're all thinking... 'What binocular did you use?' ;-)

Well, I used a Nikon MHG 8x30 that I happen to prefer to the Swarovski CL 8x30, even though it was not as well reviewed on Allbinos. Oops. I studied a few crows that landed in the tree, before gliding across the field to join their noisy compatriots, and went squawking off en masse. Also a female House Finch that stayed awhile amongst the large, browning leaves, which at first glance, I thought might be a Pine Siskin, until I got a clear view of the beak.

I have to say that at no time did I wish I had brought an 'alpha' binocular, and that the view would have been so much better, and worth the extra cost, if I had. It just didn't cross my mind.

-Bill
 

wdc

Well-known member
Many binoculars offer the user a premium experience for sure. You know, I never even HEARD the term "alpha" binocular until I came to BF. So if the term wasn't important in my previous fifty years it probably isn't that important now.

Thank you Chuck.
 

Gray C

Newbie birder
Didn’t the NL negate the OP’s question by the OP’s own observation?I accept that the NL is in a different league.”

As of September 2020 it turns out there is only one Alpha after all.


Ok, I perhaps should have used the term premium or upper tier or something similar

All I was asking is do you consider the SLC to be in the "Premium Club", up there with the rest of the best?

P.S. I didn't notice there was a similar thread running on this subject. I wouldn't have started this one if I had seen it.
 
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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
I have the 8 x 42 SLC and I love it. I have looked through an EL 8.5 x 42 and found very little difference in the clarity, sharpness, brightness etc. Yes, there's a bit more clarity at the outer edges but the SLC does have a very large sweet spot, so this makes very little difference to my eyes

OK I accept that the NL is in a different league.

Your thoughts ladies and gents?

In my opinion the SLC is an alpha, not a sub alpha binocular, in every way

I absolutely agree. And to my eyes it remains focused and sharp right out till nearly at the edge. It also handles beautifully (and personally I like the focuser and the greater amount of turning needed to change focus over a given distance compared with the EL and other comparable standard bins). Though I am very impressed by the EL's abilities I think I prefer the SLC and though some will say the design is tawdry, to me it is a well shaped, handy size; the form fits the function nicely and I get a clear, saturated view with great contrast and rendering of shadow detail right across the image circle. Alpha not alpha minus and I can't fault it. Don't notice glare either; well there must always be occasions for glare I suppose but it compares very favourably with ELs and other alphas.

(Addition re 'alpha'.. I see premium as another good term but don't really see any difference... I take alpha loosely to mean giving a very good performance indeed in lots of ways - optically, handling-wise, weight, ruggedness. I.e. premium.. Actually I think we can overthink these terms; we know what they are usually taken to mean. So to me a Zeiss Dialyt is still an alpha because it ticks all those boxes for me, even if it is long superseded by successor instruments.)

Tom
 
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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
These are all beer drinking arguments, with various rationales that each have some degree of purpose, perhaps even merit!

I think of the phrase "capo di tutti capo", 'Father of all fathers"... Does that apply?

In regards to this topic, perhaps it should be "Splitting hairs of the already splitted hair"...

One opinion on this thread implies that if a binocular 'is' an Alpha, if the same manufacturer makes a different model with some incremental improvements, then the old one is, by default, out of the club. It can only be the best one by that manufacturer. This position promotes the idea that one must be compelled to upgrade every time this happens, otherwise, YOU JUST CANT BE IN THE CLUB... end of story. Otherwise, whatever optics you've got, it just isn't the best. Sorry brother...go big or go home....

Of course, imho, this is complete and utter hooey, but it does jive very well with Alexis Powell's insightful comments in the 'other' alpha thread.

Speaking of fathers, I spent about 5 hours sitting with my father today. He's 99 years old, on hospice, in a care facility in the town I live in. As his 2nd floor room is next to an open field, and there's a row of Maple trees alongside the building, I opened the blinds and pulled open the window to let some light, fresh air, and bird song into the room. While he was sleeping, in between a few, semi-lucid chats I had with him... I listened and watched the birds that came around. I could hear Crows, Scrub Jays, Bewick's Wrens, and Chickadees from time to time.

I know you're all thinking... 'What binocular did you use?' ;-)

Well, I used a Nikon MHG 8x30 that I happen to prefer to the Swarovski CL 8x30, even though it was not as well reviewed on Allbinos. Oops. I studied a few crows that landed in the tree, before gliding across the field to join their noisy compatriots, and went squawking off en masse. Also a female House Finch that stayed awhile amongst the large, browning leaves, which at first glance, I thought might be a Pine Siskin, until I got a clear view of the beak.

I have to say that at no time did I wish I had brought an 'alpha' binocular, and that the view would have been so much better, and worth the extra cost, if I had. It just didn't cross my mind.

-Bill

Exactly!
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
The higher we comes in quality the more subtle the perceived quality difference becomes. Last year I got the opportunity to compare Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42 to Swarovski SLC 8x42. The SLC has wider FOV and is more comfortable in the hand. But I had very hard to detect a difference in sharpness and image quality. If I didn't already buy the Conquest HD I would get SLC. Especially taking in consider that the price of Conquest HD has raised 50-60% since 5 years ago when I bought it and now is almost the same price as SLC.
 

Kevin Conville

yardbirder
Canip was right, alpha is a misnomer for high quality binos.
If we call them alphas then there can only be one alpha. But if we call them premium binos then both NL and EL as well as SLC can be considered in the premium class.

Right.

I've never liked, nor used, the term alpha as it pertains to optics. It's overly simplistic, for one thing. And as Peter states above, misused.
Language can and should be a powerful tool. Too bad so many of us don't have a better command of it.
 

dries1

Member
alpha

Right.

I've never liked, nor used, the term alpha as it pertains to optics. It's overly simplistic, for one thing. And as Peter states above, misused.
Language can and should be a powerful tool. Too bad so many of us don't have a better command of it.

Kevin,

Not many can write as well as you.

Andy W.
 

wdc

Well-known member
For many posting here English can impressively be a second or third language. This is an erudite group who have an exceptional command of language. ‘Alpha’ is frequently used in this community across language backgrounds (run a search), and while everyone has the right not to like it, stating a distaste for the term as a revealer of people struggling with language does not reflect a thing beyond ignorance based arrogance.

I'm not even sure Kevin meant what you're implying, but I suppose he should speak for himself. I appreciate that folks from all over world post here, even if English is not their first language. Its the ideas, observations, and humor that generally are well communicated, and worthwhile to read. I can think of a few exceptions (the Italian Denco, who I think was banned from the forum...)

Seems ok to debate the meaning of the term, whether we agree or disagree, or don't even like the term. Its a forum. That's what we do here.

Happy Friday anyways. (probably Saturday elsewhere...)

-Bill
 

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