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Need pocket bino, is the Swarovski 8x20 B N a good buy? (1 Viewer)

sillyak

Well-known member
I want a bino to slip in my pocket, toss in a backpack or keep on my belt for walking the dog, backpacking, climbing ect. I intend to use this binocular A LOT.

I have top notch 10x42s for birding, but I want something small, light and discreet for activities where optics aren't the main focus.

My budget is $500 USD so I was looking at Leica Trinovids or a Monovid. I was debating back and forth between a monocular or small binocular. I like the super small and light concept of a monocular; but, I think a binocular under 4" and 8 ounce or under would be fine.

Then I saw a used Swarovski 8x20 B N pop up locally for $350 USD. The guy sent me pictures, he has the box case and papers, they look absolutely mint. Serial # has it as a 2007 build, he says he never really used them and they look like it.

Is this a good buy? They seem like they fit my needs as they are under 4" and weigh 7.6 oz. Would it be better to just buy new Trinovids? Ultravids are out of my budget and the new Swarovski pockets are bigger and heavier (12 oz or so) even if they were in my budget.
 
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NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I have that one, and I like it. You would find it very good for your needs. The price is fair if
it is the very good condition you mention.

I also have an 8x20 Trinovid and the Ultravid. They are all very good, so take your pick and price point.

Jerry
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi sillyak,

A 2007 model has:
- Swarobright i.e. dialectric prism coating, that was on the 8x20’s by late 2001
- but not the latest update to the anti-reflective coatings that was introduced in 2009
So the image may be slightly yellow - but not overly so

Last production was in early 2013, when the original Pocket 8x20 was replaced by the 8x25 CL

Gijs van Ginkel did a test of pocket models in 2005 which includes a unit that would be similar to yours
(see ‘Compact kijkers 2005’ at: https://www.houseofoutdoor.com/verrekijkers/verrekijkers-testen-en-vergelijken/ )
And as can be seen the 80 to 87% transmission is going to be adequately bright for most uses

So if the price is right, it sounds like a good buy
And remember that Swarovski's after sales service is generally the best


John
 

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sillyak

Well-known member
Thanks for your responses NDHunter and John.

John I used "the way back machine" to look at Swarovski's website in 2006 and is says Swarobright and P-Coating on prisms, I assume P coating is phase corrected?
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi again sillyak,

Yes. Phase coating predates Swarobright, it was on the Pocket model from their introduction in 1989


John
 

gunut

Registered Offender
what years or year did they produce the ones with the crystals in the covering....my wife has one....
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi gunut,

Swarovski Optik produced various special editions of the 8x20 Pocket models, with the Crystal models having the most bling

They differed from regular production in having crystals embedded in the black material covering the main body
There were 3 versions:
- Nabucco, with black crystals
- Tosca, with clear crystals
- Idomeneo, with gold crystals

The first 2 had a silver coloured carry case, and silver coloured fittings on the black leather neck strap
The Idomeneo had a gold coloured case, and gold coloured fittings

The box labels prominently featured an additional number (887646, 887647 and 887648 respectively), which was presumedly a stock number for Swarovski Crystal retailers
(see the images of an Idomeneo model from a 2018 eBay listing by leejc8136)

And the names of course refer to 3 classic operas

- - - -

The Crystal models were numbered in the regular Pocket sequence, with the numbers that I’ve seen ranging from #E7613 16613 to #E7927 41790
- so from early 2006 to mid 2009 (the first 2 numbers indicate the year, add 1930; the next 2 numbers the week of the year, from 01 to 52)


John
 

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gunut

Registered Offender
thanks John;
Wifes must be an early 2006 Tusca E76131662x.....picked it up LN used a few years ago...no box with regular Swarovski nylon strap and Swarovski nylon zipper case....she likes it....
 
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NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
thanks John;
Wifes must be an early 2006 Tusca E76131662x.....picked it up LN used a few years ago...no box with regular Swarovski nylon strap and Swarovski nylon zipper case....she likes it....

OK, now be truthful, you bought it and use it yourself......;)

Jerry
 

gunut

Registered Offender
the sparkle does sort of bring out my eyes though....:eek!:

no really they are hers....I have a pair of the cobra skin Leitz 8x20...we take them to plays, concerts, ect.....
 
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sillyak

Well-known member
I bought the binocular in question.

I really like it, it's so tiny.

Eye placement is a little finicky without practice, but I expected that with the small exit pupil. Optical and mechanical quality is great.

I'm a little disappointed that the new Swarovski pocket binoculars went away from such a small size and weight.
 

gunut

Registered Offender
once you get used to it you will really like it.....great optics, build quality, nice and compact....
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Wrong Graph in Post #3!

Well clearly there was a spectacular failure in quality control on my part - I posted the wrong graph from Gijs' article in the above post

Apologies for that

The correct graph is below . . .


John
 

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elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Having used these older pocket Swaros for 25 yrs. (8x and 10x) I should point out that they are rather delicate instruments and should be used accordingly. With continued use the thin layer of paint over the bridge easily scrapes off, and the ends of the objective tubes are easily scratched or dented. My advice is to keep them in their cordura case, which is provided with a belt loop. Also place a thin layer of padding at the bottom of the case to minimize hard impacts.

Ed
 

Elkhornsun

Well-known member
10x25 Pocket Mountain are my favorite bino

I do a lot of photography and often have a camera with a telephoto lens and also want binos as well. The 10x25 CL Pocket Mountain are what I use. They are compact enough to fit inside a jacket pocket or inside my photo backpack and the 10x helps with the 25mm objectives in low light to see detail. I also have the 8x25 version but I prefer the 10x as they provide more details to ID a subject.

At 12 ounces I do not consider them heavy by any means. I tried the Ultravid 8x20 binos but the light reduction with them provides half as much light as a 10x30 and a fourth as much light transmission as a my 10x43 binos. There comes a point where the binos no longer serve their purpose.
 

sillyak

Well-known member
I've had these for 6 months or so and used them almost daily. I really really like them. I have experimented with hand positioning, and with the right position they are extremely stable and comfortable to use. They are very sharp, although they do have noticeable CA. In daylight my pupils are smaller than 2.5mm, so the image is just as bright as full sized binos, they get noticeably dimmer, faster than full size, once the sun sets. It is just awesome that you can have quality binoculars in such a tiny, lightweight package. I am trying to find a simplistic neoprene case that has a tighter fit than the factory case. I did find a Pelican case that fits perfectly for when hard protection is needed.

I really wish Swarovski made a new pocket with ED glass for better CA control. One with the form factor of these guys. The new pockets are 50% more weight and significantly larger.
 

leonardo_simon

Well-known member
I've had these for 6 months or so and used them almost daily. I really really like them. I have experimented with hand positioning, and with the right position they are extremely stable and comfortable to use. They are very sharp, although they do have noticeable CA. In daylight my pupils are smaller than 2.5mm, so the image is just as bright as full sized binos, they get noticeably dimmer, faster than full size, once the sun sets. It is just awesome that you can have quality binoculars in such a tiny, lightweight package. I am trying to find a simplistic neoprene case that has a tighter fit than the factory case. I did find a Pelican case that fits perfectly for when hard protection is needed.

I really wish Swarovski made a new pocket with ED glass for better CA control. One with the form factor of these guys. The new pockets are 50% more weight and significantly larger.
Which bins are you referring to pls?
 

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