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EL 8.5x42 Mk1 vs new kids on the block (1 Viewer)

Rotherbirder

Well-known member
This EL was made in 2002 and belongs to the first generation of EL without HD lenses nor SWAROVISION coatings.

A worldwide warranty for defects in material and/or workmanship is guaranteed for 30 years from the date of fabrication.

If the optics are unmarked and they look OK inside (use a torch from the objective-end) I'd be tempted. As you say, the 2002 EL has a 30-year warranty (most new binoculars - Swarovski included - have a 10-year warranty only), so this leaves you with 12-years remaining. With a clean and re-armour courtesy of Swarovski, they should be a good buy.

RB
 

[email protected]

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PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
I would buy these brand new Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 on eBay UK for £679.00 before I would buy the Swaro.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Zeiss-Co...335148?hash=item214d08adac:g:7lwAAOSwPfhbkpPa

Dennis, in case you hadn't noticed your suggested purchase is for a 32mm as opposed to the thread about a 42mm, so possibly somewhat muddies the advice proffered. Several agreements that for the money, these are a favourable purchase but that's down to the OP now.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
johnnyboyc, post 18,
If my money convertor was wrong and it should be 792 euros I would go for the Swarovski. If there is anything the matter that Swarovski has to repair, it will be done free of charge as far as I know, and in that case the decision is made fast for me. Personally I would not follow Dennis advice to buy the 8x32 Conquest, but you wanted a 42 mm anyhow, so that is a non-discussion.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Dennis, in case you hadn't noticed your suggested purchase is for a 32mm as opposed to the thread about a 42mm, so possibly somewhat muddies the advice proffered. Several agreements that for the money, these are a favourable purchase but that's down to the OP now.
What concerns me about the 1st generation EL is the slower focuser. I remember having one and I never did like it for birding. If he could get focuser changed by Swarovski it would probably be ok.
 

jonnyboyc

Well-known member
johnnyboyc, post 18,
If my money convertor was wrong and it should be 792 euros I would go for the Swarovski. If there is anything the matter that Swarovski has to repair, it will be done free of charge as far as I know, and in that case the decision is made fast for me. Personally I would not follow Dennis advice to buy the 8x32 Conquest, but you wanted a 42 mm anyhow, so that is a non-discussion.
Gijs van Ginkel

HI Gijs,

It is actually 742 Euros = £675, so hopefully that makes it even better.

I am definitely starting to lean towards the Swarovskis.

As I am looking for these also to use for casual astronomy, I don't think the 8x32 Zeiss would have a big enough objective
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
The original EL is a very good binocular, and I've owned the 2002, and also the late model 2009 version.

I would look around a bit more, as Gijs mentioned the newer models, I believe 2005 had a faster focuser speed and that is a good thing.

The later models did have updated coatings along the way, I saw how the later one was brighter.

So, don't be in a rush, they are out there, so I would keep shopping. I really like the 8.5x42 EL, they really are the "universal distance viewer", that is how Swarovski marketed them. The size is a great combination, a bit over 8X and less than 10X.

Jerry
 

jonnyboyc

Well-known member
Thanks for everyone's advice over the last couple of days.

I ended up passing on the Swaros.

Instead I managed to pick up a nearly new (2 x trips) set of Vortex Razor HD 8x42 for £599.

They seem to get excellent reviews and with the VIP lifetime no-fault warranty, seem to be a good purchase.
 

[email protected]

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Supporter
Thanks for everyone's advice over the last couple of days.

I ended up passing on the Swaros.

Instead I managed to pick up a nearly new (2 x trips) set of Vortex Razor HD 8x42 for £599.

They seem to get excellent reviews and with the VIP lifetime no-fault warranty, seem to be a good purchase.
Good choice. I think you will like the Razor's and you got a good deal on them. It has excellent glare and CA control and is similar to the Swarovski NL in ergonomics with the tapered optical tubes. The Vortex warranty is excellent.
 
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jonnyboyc

Well-known member
Good choice. I think you will like the Razor's and you got a good deal on them. It has excellent glare and CA control and is similar to the Swarovski NL in ergonomics with the tapered optical tubes. The Vortex warranty is excellent.

Here is a picture of the exact set I bought
 

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jonnyboyc

Well-known member
I emailed Vortex:

Good morning Jonathan and thank you for taking the time to reach out!

This is a great question and while I sincerely apologize about any misleading information, I did not know that the video from the Japan models was still in place. They had been manufactured in Japan for a long time, until a couple of years ago, the manufacturing plant had switched locations to China. We still do all of the designing, engineering, testing, development etc... and while the binoculars are now made in China, they are our best model of Razor HD's that we've produced with superior corrective phase coatings that allow for more light transmission, resolution, clarity, contrast, as well as reduced chromatic aberration. So while they did used to be made in Japan, they are technically now manufactured in China. Again, I do apologize for any inconvenience and misleading info, I will have our webpage team dive into this to make sure that there is no more old/non-updated information around.

I hope I could help. Should you have any questions or need anything at all, at any time, please do not hesitate to be in contact with me.

Have a great day.

All the best,

Wyatt Cole
Vortex Optics | Sales & Technical
One Vortex Drive
Barneveld, WI 53507
800.426.0048 ext. 2305
www.VortexOptics.com
 

Rotherbirder

Well-known member
Good choice. I think you will like the Razor's and you got a good deal on them. It has excellent glare and CA control and is similar to the Swarovski NL in ergonomics with the tapered optical tubes. The Vortex warranty is excellent.

I think you're referring to the Razor UHD here Dennis, so not the binocular that the OP went for.

RB
 

jonnyboyc

Well-known member
Further info from Vortex


Wyatt Cole (Vortex Optics)
Oct 27, 2020, 5:32 AM CDT

Hi Jonathan,

Like I mentioned below, the newest models that are manufactured in China are the most superior Razor HD model yet, optically, they're the best ones so far. I can personally guarantee you that where an optic is manufactured, has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the product. Those binoculars cost over $1,000, they have a lot of designing and engineering put into them, that's part of what you pay for with a more expensive optic, on top of the advanced optical system. The country of origin for optics does not designate where they fall optically. The phase coatings and optical system will be why they are superior or inferior.

Also, nowhere on the Razor HD binocular page in either of our two product videos do we mention that they are manufactured in Japan, now, you can barely see the 'Made in Japan' on the base of the eyepiece though it isn't even in focus as the camera didn't even shift its lens focus to the eyepiece.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Wyatt Cole
Vortex Optics | Sales & Technical
One Vortex Drive
Barneveld, WI 53507
800.426.0048 ext. 2305
www.VortexOptics.com
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Further info from Vortex


Wyatt Cole (Vortex Optics)
Oct 27, 2020, 5:32 AM CDT

Hi Jonathan,

Like I mentioned below, the newest models that are manufactured in China are the most superior Razor HD model yet, optically, they're the best ones so far. I can personally guarantee you that where an optic is manufactured, has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the product. Those binoculars cost over $1,000, they have a lot of designing and engineering put into them, that's part of what you pay for with a more expensive optic, on top of the advanced optical system. The country of origin for optics does not designate where they fall optically. The phase coatings and optical system will be why they are superior or inferior.

Also, nowhere on the Razor HD binocular page in either of our two product videos do we mention that they are manufactured in Japan, now, you can barely see the 'Made in Japan' on the base of the eyepiece though it isn't even in focus as the camera didn't even shift its lens focus to the eyepiece.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Wyatt Cole
Vortex Optics | Sales & Technical
One Vortex Drive
Barneveld, WI 53507
800.426.0048 ext. 2305
www.VortexOptics.com
Vortex really took the time to answer your question completely. They sound very confident that MIC binoculars are every bit as good as MIJ and I tend to agree as long as the manufacturer overs sees the production and monitors the quality which Vortex probably does. Some lower end MIC binoculars in my experience have had sketchy quality control in the past.
 

jonnyboyc

Well-known member
Vortex really took the time to answer your question completely. They sound very confident that MIC binoculars are every bit as good as MIJ and I tend to agree as long as the manufacturer overs sees the production and monitors the quality which Vortex probably does. Some lower end MIC binoculars in my experience have had sketchy quality control in the past.

Have you tried them Dennis?

What did you think?
 

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