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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

EL 10x42 casing deterioration. (1 Viewer)

Addendum: Claiming this is the "most environmentally friendly" armour is surely a joke. If you take into account that some/many(?) binoculars (and presumably scopes) will have to be sent back to the factory for repairs, I doubt this is more environmentally friendly than some decent armour that doesn't break down.
Yes, I called this out and this was their reply:
"thank you for your honest feedback.
We will forward it to your responsible product department."

The only way is for more customers facing this problem and potential customers who are concerned with this issue, to write to Swarovski about it.
 
Jos Stratfort, post 285,
I use my Swarovski NL 8x32 on an almost daily basis and the 8x32 EL's were also very intensively used for quite a few years. None of these binoculars have given me any trouble with their armor.
Gijs van Ginkel
Gijs, your defence of Swarovski does not surprise me. This does not change however that numerous persons are experiencing real issues with the armour, quite a number after a fairly short time of owning them. Also note it is Swarovski themselves that provided the comment that armour may deteriorate if the binocular is used frequently - would be absolutely laughable if folk hadn't paid 2000 euro plus.

Couple this with the service problems that Swarovski has faced over the last couple of years and I would say the company is shooting itself in the foot - from a reputation for best in the class with impeccable service to something considerably less ... still optical excellence yes, but a shoddy degree of durability, essentially a product not designed for the conditions it is used.

As for 'legendary' service record, I'd rather have a product that doesn't need to be returned to have a defective armour replaced, potentially having to wait months for the privilege and, depending on where you are in the world, needing to pay quite a lot to send it in.
 
Does deterioration apply to my Swarovski 7x42 SLC B ("Neu") and the Swarovski SLC 8x42 HD (manufactured 2010-2013)? 🤔
 
Jos Startford, post 288,
Since my experiences are statistacally not impressive at all, I asked Jan van Daalen (House of Outdoor) , (who sells all brands for quite a few years now) and his answer was: statistically I find no difference between the three brands, I get in absolute sense more Swarovkis for repair, buth the amount of sales of this brand in his shop is much much higher compared to Leica and Zeiss.
Gijs van Ginkel
 
Dennis, post 291,
I have never sold any binocular not from Leica, Nikon, Meopta, Swarovski, Zeiss or any other brand, I have to earn my money as a scientist and I am very happy with it.
Gijs van Ginkel
 
I don't think they will be att the factory any long time, a couple of weeks maybe. The rest of the four months the package will be floating around the seven seas.

I sent some scopes for service att kahles, it took 2 weeks excluding shipping.
 
It’s possible there is a run or a lot of material , maybe in a serial number run that had some issues. I’ve had experience with over a dozen NL’s and EL’s over the last two years and have not seen or handled one binocular that had an issue with the covering. Nor has anybody in my observing sphere who use Swaros mention this issue. Myself and others I know have had issues with Zeiss SF and conquest plastic eyecups, spacing on the rubber the body, Nikon MHG leatherette lifting, Kowa Genesis seams separating and a few older Leica’s with some very dry sticky focusers.

BirdForum is a very large group of users and I’d bet that this is a very small number that had this issue. I’ve had nothing but exemplary service from Swarovski (only can speak for Swaro in the states) in the last few years. They answer the phone, will send shipping labels for optics if not to old and will turn around the item in much less time that stated. I cant say that for all the other manufactures except Vortex. I currently have a 7x42 Habicht sent in for a service, which I’m told is going back to Austria , quoited 8-12 weeks, let’s see how that goes.

I wouldn’t hesitate for a second buying another Swaro NL or EL.

Paul.
 
Just because you didn't have a problem with the armour on your EL's or NL's doesn't mean there isn't a problem with the armour. There are many people that have had problems with pictures to prove it, and perhaps you don't use your binoculars as much as they did. Swarovski themselves admitted they have a problem with the armour coming off, so the problem does exist and it is real.
Dennis I think you need to re-read my post.
Even if it is a small number, it is a serious problem because it shouldn't be happening on a $3000 pair of binoculars when $500 Vortex's don't seem to have a problem with their armour. I have never seen cases of armour peeling off the binocular like that on a Zeiss or Leica.
Dennis I think you need to re-read my post.
If I was buying a new alpha level binocular, I would look elsewhere until this problem is solved. I wouldn't want to be sending my binocular in for service a couple of years down the road for 4 months and paying the shipping and customs, and then you are stuck without your binoculars for 4 months.
You wouldn’t be holding on to the binoculars that you bought long enough for any peeling to take place. You’d be posting every day for weeks how good and how well-built the specific Binocular is, then a few weeks later they’ll be up for sale. A couple of weeks after the sale you’ll be posting all the issues you had with them 🤭✌🏼🙏🏼.
 
It’s possible there is a run or a lot of material , maybe in a serial number run that had some issues. I’ve had experience with over a dozen NL’s and EL’s over the last two years and have not seen or handled one binocular that had an issue with the covering. Nor has anybody in my observing sphere who use Swaros mention this issue. Myself and others I know have had issues with Zeiss SF and conquest plastic eyecups, spacing on the rubber the body, Nikon MHG leatherette lifting, Kowa Genesis seams separating and a few older Leica’s with some very dry sticky focusers.

BirdForum is a very large group of users and I’d bet that this is a very small number that had this issue. I’ve had nothing but exemplary service from Swarovski (only can speak for Swaro in the states) in the last few years. They answer the phone, will send shipping labels for optics if not to old and will turn around the item in much less time that stated. I cant say that for all the other manufactures except Vortex. I currently have a 7x42 Habicht sent in for a service, which I’m told is going back to Austria , quoited 8-12 weeks, let’s see how that goes.

I wouldn’t hesitate for a second buying another Swaro NL or EL.

Paul.
Yes, all those problems with other brands is real, but with Swarovski it’s a batch problem.
 
Does deterioration apply to my Swarovski 7x42 SLC B ("Neu") and the Swarovski SLC 8x42 HD (manufactured 2010-2013)? 🤔
I doubt it, but we really don't know... and not all recent units seem to get it quickly either. There must be unusual contributing factors (acidic sweat, skin lotions, "tropical conditions") or just bad batches of plastic, a problem they really should have sorted by now. Very embarrassing either way of course, and no net eco-benefit.
 
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A four-month turn around time on repairs is ridiculous, and so is having to pay for the return shipping and customs fees. Vortex will send you a free shipping label to return your binoculars, and they will send you a new pair the next day, no questions asked. Swarovski should send you a new pair of binoculars for no charge if the armour deteriorated to that point. Swarovski is not very responsive to customer email anymore, either. I have sent them emails lately, and they don't respond for days. They used to respond the next day.
Re Vortex, not so for international customers, who need to ship them to the UK at own cost. Return shipping is covered by Vortex. Not too different from the supposed top-tier service from Swarovski :p
 
Jos Startford, post 288,
Since my experiences are statistacally not impressive at all, I asked Jan van Daalen (House of Outdoor) , (who sells all brands for quite a few years now) and his answer was: statistically I find no difference between the three brands, I get in absolute sense more Swarovkis for repair, buth the amount of sales of this brand in his shop is much much higher compared to Leica and Zeiss.
Gijs van Ginkel
Perhaps that is the case for the market that he serves. But that still does not invalidate the actual experiences of those who face this problem (which should not happen for the supposed best binoculars in the world), which may be from different parts of the world with different climates than Europe.
 
It’s possible there is a run or a lot of material , maybe in a serial number run that had some issues. I’ve had experience with over a dozen NL’s and EL’s over the last two years and have not seen or handled one binocular that had an issue with the covering. Nor has anybody in my observing sphere who use Swaros mention this issue. Myself and others I know have had issues with Zeiss SF and conquest plastic eyecups, spacing on the rubber the body, Nikon MHG leatherette lifting, Kowa Genesis seams separating and a few older Leica’s with some very dry sticky focusers.

BirdForum is a very large group of users and I’d bet that this is a very small number that had this issue. I’ve had nothing but exemplary service from Swarovski (only can speak for Swaro in the states) in the last few years. They answer the phone, will send shipping labels for optics if not to old and will turn around the item in much less time that stated. I cant say that for all the other manufactures except Vortex. I currently have a 7x42 Habicht sent in for a service, which I’m told is going back to Austria , quoited 8-12 weeks, let’s see how that goes.

I wouldn’t hesitate for a second buying another Swaro NL or EL.

Paul.
Good for you! Perhaps Swarovskis can only be used in the cooler climes.

I have 2 pairs of Swarovski ELs coming apart at the same time. A friend's EL from a different batch altogether as well. Seen several EL FPs in the wild with cracking rubber and even one with rubber completely removed by the user.

If this was happening to a low-end binoculars brand, perhaps reasonable - but this is routinely happening to top-tier optics while cheap binoculars' armour are fine.

No shipping label either. Swarovski told me to pay for shipping to Absam. Not sure why they gave you a shipping label when their policy is apparently:

"We ask for your understanding, that we are not able to take over shipping costs.
The repair shipments from the customer to the repair center/ country distribution are always taken by the customer - also in Europe."
 
My 2017 era 12x50 EL, both barrels have cracked armor.

I really hope they do not replace it with the same thing.


OCIhyae.jpg
 
Let me add another data point to the discussion: my Swaro 8.5x42 SV, bought in 2011.

As can be seen from the metal parts, it has had a lot of use. But no problems whatsoever with plastic armour! I never use DEET and almost never use sunscreen (I use sun gloves instead to protect my hands), so not much chemical exposure. But my bins have had TONS of UV exposure!

I have backpacked/hiked a lot with these bins around my neck, often in areas with very high UV exposure. For example the full Arizona trail (2 months, much of it desert), The full Pacific Crest Trail (5 months, fierce sun almost every day and often high elevation), a total of 8 weeks in Nepal mostly at very high elevation, 3 months hiking in Australia / Tasmania (depleted ozone layer). 2 Months Ecuador (very high elevations), 2 months Ethiopia (high elevation), etc etc... (Also many other travelling and of course on top of that the regular birding and hiking in England and Scotland).

The point I want to make is that in all these cases, the bins were exposed the entire day, because I almost never put them away in my backpack. So that is many hours of exposure in areas with sometimes insane UV exposure (like deserts and high mountain ranges).

So my conclusion is that
1) At least the armour of the older Swaro (pre FP?) is very durable.
2) It is not deteriorated much by UV

View attachment 1507204


I've had a 2007 era 8.5x42 EL. Looked like new after a decade of use. No problems with anything whatsoever.
Now my 2017 12x50 is a disaster armor-wise.. optically stunning but this is absurd for a set that retails for what, $3600 these days?

Sending them in for repair. Does anyone know if they changed the formula for their armor?
I do not want to deal with this issue 3 years down the road.
 
Hi etc,

According to the most recent known correspondence from SONA, from last month,
the RA formula and process were changed in 2018 (see the second last para):

Here is another response from Swarovski concerning the armor issues.

"Good Afternoon Dennis,

Thank you for your inquiry! You have several questions here, so I'll try to break a response down by question.

*When did you change to a biodegradable armor? The Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) armoring was introduced in 2011 with the introduction of the EL 32 in Swarovision. This armoring does not contain plasticizers or UV/Ozone Protection Agents, is skin-friendly, low-allergy, and biodegradable. Initially, the TPU being used was made from recycled plastics. This material has been selected in line with our high quality and environmental standards.

*Why wasn't it tested for durability before being used on your binoculars? The armoring was tested for durability. In most climates, most users will never see an issue, and there are tens of thousands of binoculars with this armoring that are issue free. The environmental and use factors that affect this armoring are intensive/constant use, particularly in tropical climates. As an example, a birder in Washington State may never see these wear patterns, while a birding guide in Costa Rica leading tours daily is more likely to see them. Wear is accelerated by the use of DEET, and can be decelerated by cleaning the armoring as a preventative measure. (50/50 simple green mixture on armoring)

As of 2018, armoring no longer uses TPU made from recycled plastics, and the production process treats the material more gently to make it less susceptible to breakage. Our North American offices are happy to reskin our binoculars in this band of products at no charge, and the flaking of the armoring has no impact on the air tight integrity or waterproofing of the unit.

Of course, we are constantly working to improve our production methods and materials, however there are no other announced changes to the armoring at this time.

Best Regards,

David Eickelmann
Customer Service


SWAROVSKI OPTIK North America
2 Slater Road
Cranston, Rhode Island 02920
United States
Tel. +1 800 426 3089
[email protected]
SWAROVSKIOPTIK.COM"


John


p.s. But also see SGBirder's comment in post #302 below!
 
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