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Leica vs Zeiss vs Swaro vs LX... :) (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
that doesnt change the fact that swaros are secondrate. :)

The EL 8.5x42 are the best bins I have ever used, optically and ergonomically, though I must say that I have not yet tried the Leica HD; I have heard great things about the Leica HD, including that the exterier lenses do not fog up.

I also have the Nikon LXL 8x32. Though the Els are optically superior to the the Nikons, the Nikons have the best rubber armoring of any bins I have ever held.

I do not believe that any of the top bins are second-rate, and after buying any of the top bins most persons would be very pleased with his/her purchase.



Registered User
Always entertaining to bring out the blindly loyal swaro crew. Pun there. :)
Hey, I'm not blindly loyal...I have EL's, Ultravids, and LXL's...(Long story involving the occasional coincidence of Internet Shopping, a Credit Card to hand, and a bottle of nice Rioja...seems to bring out the Idiot Shopper in me...). Thanks for your assessment, though. Each of the above three has features that I love, a bino that combined all would be wonderful but doesn't exist.

John M Robinson

Well-known member
Like Sancho said; I'm a Leica guy and the Ultravids were the best for me, but not by much and it wasn't the optics that tilted me toward Leica. There are things I like better about the 8.5x42 EL. I believe all of our eyes, faces and the way we percieve visual through bins is so different that designing a binocular that works best for everybody is impossible, so we should couch our reviews with that in mind.

I didn't perceive your original post as a slam on Swaro or Leica, but your followup post do seem that way, at least toward Swaro.


Well-known member
OK Steelie,

I tried Leica UVs (10x42), Leica BN 8x42, Zeiss FL 10x42, Nikons 10x42, and Swaro 8.5x42. The optics were all great but my ranking is:

Leica BN - v. close second
Leica UV

Beauty is in the eye of the holder. Swaros are no more over rated than the rest. In the end its down to personal preference.

All the best


John M Robinson

Well-known member
"Trinovids over Ultravids?"

I can only guess, but it might be that he prefered the 8x42 over the 10x42 and the eights happened to be in a Trinovid, which is optically very similar to a pre HD Ultravid.


Active member
The 8.5x42 swaros are a concession which I am not willing to accept. Too big… I can like the 8x42 leicas much better.


I own both the Leica UV HD 10x42 and the Zeiss FL 10x32. The Leicas are without a doubt a work of art and the optics are superb, and I can't imagine anyone being unhappy with them. At the risk of starting another argument, I have to say that I prefer the Zeiss however.

I could argue that the Zeiss weigh less and are easier to carry. I could argue that the Zeiss are more compact, or that they have a wider field of view than the Leicas. I could argue that they also have a closer focus. I could argue that you get more bang for the buck. All of these things would be true and relevant.

But aside from all that I preferred the optics of the Zeiss because in the field they seem every bit as sharp, with no apparent CA. The Leicas gave me a problem with that -- not a deal breaker by any means, but enough of an annoyance that I reach for the Zeiss when I need the extra power of a 10x. Maybe I got lucky but my Zeiss 10x32 are sharp as a tack and remain so when viewing away from center.

I haven't done a comparison test at dusk, perhaps the Leicas would win that battle although I have no complaints when viewing with the Zeiss in poor light.



Active member
Wanted to update all, ultravids came back from Leica, they had barrel issues from the start that are now fixed. At present day i would have to move them to the #1 spot... they seem just as bright as the zeiss in a much smaller package with better ergos.

captain vallo

Well-known member
Well well, what a subjective review .. dare I say almost deliberate in its attempt to offend those with preferences

we all have our favourites which can sometimes influence opinions for the wrong reasons (jealousy, damn I made the wrong choice, etc) but to dismiss stuff because it feels cheap or poorly built is weak analysis at best. (why not discuss the materials they are made from and their advantages)

I have owned all but one of the top 4 makes and my current favourites are Swarovski EL's .. why because they were made to fit my hands totally subjective because they all have their strengths and weakness optically and aesthetically.

I am looking to buy some 8x32's so I spent best part of a day looking at and through almost every top and middle (and some lesser eg Vortex) binocular.

It was a dreary miserable rainy day in Warwickshire .. perfrect for viewing.

First I sort them in order of how I perceive the view in brightness, sharpness etc etc. THen I resort them in handling, ergomics etc. Then resort again in costs.

So on this day (In short) I loved the Zeiss Victorys and the Swaros but the EL's lose out on cost so will probably buy the Zeiss. However I found Zeiss's cheaper stable mate, the Conquests could not even compete either optically or in form with many of the mid range top quality brands (eg minox, vortex, pentax). As a matter of interest,the Leica BR's I used had the most horrible focussing 'stutter' (which I was advised was a recurring issue with them).

~I suppose my ideal binocular from the day would be the optics of the Victory's, the form of the EL's, the weight of the Leica and the price of the Vortex's.
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Well-known member
Dude, how come everybody is trashin' my 8x30 Conquests?

I love those little buggers!


The first page of this thread was hysterical! My wife peeked in the room and asked why I was laughing at the computer.


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