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Help picking new Swarovski binoculars (1 Viewer)

Hello! For birdwatching I currently own a Swarovski EL 8.5x42 FieldPro and Kowa 883 Spotting Scope. My wife and daughters often use an inexpensive Nikon Aculon T01 10x21, or share my binoculars.

I'm looking to purchase an upgrade from the Nikon and I'm considering these models:

CL Companion 10x30 Wild Nature
CL Companion 8x30 Wild Nature
CL Pocket 10x25 Wild Nature
CL Pocket 8x25 Wild Nature

While I'd love to get the EL 8x32, I feel they'll be more than my family needs and I prefer something a bit lighter for my daughters. I want something more compact that I can also use on the go or to put into a backpack.

Hoping to get some input to narrow down my choices.. I suspect the 8x magnification will have less shake for my daughters (both under 10). I won't have the opportunity to try them for myself as I'll be ordering online.

Many thanks!
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I always go back to 8x versus 10x because even though 10x will show you more detail 8x is easier to hold steady and since you are shaking less you probably won't realize much resolution advantage with a 10x. Also, 8x has a wider FOV, it is brighter in low light and has better DOF which is advantageous for birding especially when using your binoculars close in and in forested woodlands. I have found the CL Pocket binoculars to finicky and dark in low light for full time serious birding and a 30 mm is about as small as I would go, so I would choose the CL Companion 8x30 Wild Nature from your choices. For a full time serious birding binocular I actually prefer at least an 8x42 which you already have. The Swarovski EL 8x32 would be a better binocular than any of your choices for full time birding and will have considerably better optics than even the CL Companion 8x30 Wild Nature. I think your daughter could handle the EL 8x32, as well as the CL 8x30. There is not that much difference in size but a big difference in performance.
 
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jan van daalen

Well-known member
One thing to take into consideration is the fact that the pocketline has a successor and the former will be on the market with serious discount.
The changes for this model are pure cosmetical.

Jan
 

tenex

reality-based
Some people find double hinges like the Pocket's too fiddly, and their field of view is narrow. The Companions are nicer, and Nikon HGs may also be worth considering... and if EL was in your price range you should look at 32mm Leicas which are very compact (I've used them for 20 years). 8x vs 10 is a very long story, but both require learning to aim and compensate for shaking, with 10x only slightly harder in my opinion (25%). So it's largely about whether you observe in low light (8x gives larger exit pupil) or view at considerable distances (10x helps).
 
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Paskman

Registered User
Supporter
Get the CLs, they are much smaller than the ELs, but don't give up that much to them in the real World. As a pair for hiking, dog walking etc they are without peer๐Ÿ‘
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Modest Hero,
I have used the EL 8x32 for years now with very great pleasure and no complaints whatsoever. If you are going to make a choice: compare the CL 8x30 and the EL-SV 8x32 next to each other, so you can make your own choice.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Get the CLs, they are much smaller than the ELs, but don't give up that much to them in the real World. As a pair for hiking, dog walking etc they are without peer๐Ÿ‘
IMO there is a big difference in the EL 8x32 and the CL 8x30. The EL 8x32 is not as near as finicky for eye placement and has a much bigger FOV with tack sharp edges. I think it is worth the 4 oz. weight penalty to carry the EL 8x32. There is a big difference in price though which could play a big part in your decision. I know if somebody was giving me either a CL 8x30 or a EL 8x32 it wouldn't be very hard for me to make a decision which pair to take. I would take the EL 8x32 every time. Sometimes people convince themselves the CL 8x30 is as good as the EL 8x32 because it is a $1000 more expensive when it reality there is no way it is as good optically. I really can't see how 4 oz. would be a deciding factor in which binocular to buy. Neither one is pocketable so what is 4 oz. Negligible IMO.
 
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sillyak

Well-known member
I think the CL 8x30 would be a better pick over the EL 8x32. Smaller, lighter, cheaper and perfectly adequate.

For a serious birder the optics in the EL are worth it. For a casual user I think the Companion is perfect.
 

willisoften

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The EL 8x32 are not my first choice but I never faff about with eye placement, and the view is nice, I kind of rediscovered mine on another thread. I have two issues with them:
  1. I detest the pin fitting neck-string thingy. Not a deal breaker but if I could break the knees of whoever thunk of it I'd skip with a happy heart. Ruined a nice pair of binos. Of course if your hobby is knots, bends and hitches, happy scouting!
  2. I'm not big and my IPD is 6cm or so, this makes the barrels close together - coupled with outsize stubby broad hands I'm constantly changing grip, my hands run into each other.
They are however lovely!
 

Paskman

Registered User
Supporter
Thank you all! I'm narrowing my choices between the CL 8x30 and EL 8x32 and presently leaning towards the EL.
If you have the 8.5x42 like me, then definitely get the CLs. Your don't need the ELs, if you are on a serious buyers walk you will take the 42s. Otherwise the CLs are great and the 4oz does make a difference, as does the size ๐Ÿ‘
 

nzwild

Well-known member
The EL 8x32 are not my first choice but I never faff about with eye placement, and the view is nice, I kind of rediscovered mine on another thread. I have two issues with them:
  1. I detest the pin fitting neck-string thingy. Not a deal breaker but if I could break the knees of whoever thunk of it I'd skip with a happy heart. Ruined a nice pair of binos. Of course if your hobby is knots, bends and hitches, happy scouting!
  2. I'm not big and my IPD is 6cm or so, this makes the barrels close together - coupled with outsize stubby broad hands I'm constantly changing grip, my hands run into each other.
They are however lovely!
Get some standard lugs (they are made for the FP system) and you can use a conventional strap system.
 

nzwild

Well-known member
I think the CL 8x30 would be a better pick over the EL 8x32. Smaller, lighter, cheaper and perfectly adequate.

For a serious birder the optics in the EL are worth it. For a casual user I think the Companion is perfect.

Try both, you may prefer the CL or may think the EL is worth the extra size and weight. Its going to be a personal preference, a bit like SLC42 vs EL42.
CL could easily be your favourite of the two and you already have the awesome 8.5x for extended viewing.
 

willisoften

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I bought the ELs new In Australia in the new swanky box, but I didn't pack the box home. My sister used the box to send goodies home the following Xmas but while the chewy fruit pythons and Sasafras fizzy lolly selection, not to mention the Toilet Duck Lozenges were extremely good, I can't find those fittings. I did find a pack of cinnamon melts.
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
I bought the ELs new In Australia in the new swanky box, but I didn't pack the box home. My sister used the box to send goodies home the following Xmas but while the chewy fruit pythons and Sasafras fizzy lolly selection, not to mention the Toilet Duck Lozenges were extremely good, I can't find those fittings. I did find a pack of cinnamon melts.
They are free of charge available at any Swarovski dealer.

Jan
 

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