• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Nomenclature and model confusion HD, WB etc (1 Viewer)

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
On the subject of SLC models, I am confused by some of the nomenclature.

In Roger Vine's Scope Views review of the 10x42 he calls it HD. Looking at his photos his binoculars look identical in badging and accessories (except for the green case) to the new one I bought this week in the modern looking box and with the latest carry case - a design shared with the EL carry cases. His review example looks modern as it does not have the degrees printed on the focuser, just the SLC 10 x 42 designation, same as on mine.

On the labelling stuck to the box there is no mention of HD.

Somewhere I read a comment (Tobias Mennle possibly) wondering if his review sample was less sharp than a presumably previous HD design.

Can anyone -- John Roberts? -- help? I am very pleased with mine anyway but it would be good to know that is the same model as the review I read in Scope Views.

Tom
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Tom,

Swarovski has a sense of continuity in the naming of many of it’s products i.e. building on existing favourable associations,
and probably none more so than with the use of the SLC designation (though it’s building a similar tradition with the EL/ EL SV/ EL Field Pro series)
I’ve previously posted about Swarovski’s use of various letters in their naming conventions at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=3842195

- - - -

In terms of functional optical differences for the SLC’s:

A) The first series went from 1985 with the introduction of the 8x30 SLC, all the way to 2013 with the last of the original x56 series
see my post earlier today at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=388403

During that time, the only change to the optical hardware, was in 1989 with the Mark II versions of the 7x30 and 8x30
see post #9 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=380550
Though of course there were significant upgrades over time to all the models in terms of the optical firmware - the various coatings


B) The second series of SLC’s started in 2010 with the all new x42’s, which introduced HD glass on SLC marked models
- the models were referred to as the 8x42 HD and the 10x42 HD, and were so marked on the focuser cap

When they were modified in 2013 (with the change to the RA and the focuser) the HD designation was dropped from the literature and the focuser cap
- although there was no change to the optical design or composition i.e. HD glass is still used

And yes, the model in Roger Vine's review is the 2013 version, as indicated by the RA and the focuser marking (and the box label indicates late 2015 production)


The x56 SLC models introduced in 2013 also have HD glass, along with uniquely for Swarovski, Abbe-Koenig prisms

- - - -

And more generally, Swarovski uses:
- W to indicate a wide field of view, and
- B to indicate long eye relief


John
 
Last edited:

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hi Tom,

Swarovski has a sense of continuity in the naming of many of it’s products i.e. building on existing favourable associations,
and probably none more so than with the use of the SLC designation (though it’s building a similar tradition with the EL/ EL SV/ EL Field Pro series)
I’ve previously posted about Swarovski’s use of various letters in their naming conventions at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=3842195

- - - -

In terms of functional optical differences for the SLC’s:

A) The first series went from 1985 with the introduction of the 8x30 SLC, all the way to 2013 with the last of the original x56 series
see my post earlier today at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=388403

During that time, the only change to the optical hardware, was in 1989 with the Mark II versions of the 7x30 and 8x30
see post #9 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=380550
Though of course there were significant upgrades over time to all the models in terms of the optical firmware - the various coatings


B) The second series of SLC’s started in 2010 with the all new x42’s, which introduced HD glass on SLC marked models
- the models were referred to as the 8x42 HD and the 10x42 HD, and were so marked on the focuser cap

When they were modified in 2013 (with the change to the RA and the focuser) the HD designation was dropped from the literature and the focuser cap
- although there was no change to the optical design or composition i.e. HD glass is still used

And yes, the model in Roger Vine's review is the 2013 version, as indicated by the RA and the focuser marking (and the box label indicates late 2015 production)


The x56 SLC models introduced in 2013 also have HD glass, along with uniquely for Swarovski, Abbe-Koenig prisms

- - - -

And more generally, Swarovski uses:
- W to indicate a wide field of view, and
- B to indicate long eye relief


John

Thank you very much, John. And just to be absolutely certain: no further optical or other changes since Roger's 2013 version? I.e. mine is identical in all ways apart from carry case & the box label style. Item purchased this week and boxing labelling & case same style as other contemporary Swarovskis e.g. latest EL Field Pros.

Tom
 

dries1

Member
John,

If you don't mind me asking, what do/did you do for your career. The information you are able to obtain is impressive, and I for one cannot thank you enough for all the info you have provided.

This one below esp.

"And more generally, Swarovski uses:
- W to indicate a wide field of view, and
- B to indicate long eye relief"
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Andy,

I don't have a scientific background. I spent my working life in law administration and law enforcement, though not as a sworn officer
Both placed a high value on the ability to think critically/ analytically about what was in front of me
(one of the better things about working with police officers, was that we'd see and understand the same things - both the meaning and implications of what was being presented to us)

And in relation to my knowledge about Swarovski's optics:

. . .

As I’d say if under oath:
‘I’m not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the optics industry. Nor have I ever had any contact with Swarovski Optik, or it’s current or former employees, or associates’!

Around 5 years ago I had a renewed interest in binoculars, initially the Nikon EII’s and then the Swarovski Porro’s
Looking around the ‘net, I was surprised at how little detailed basic information was available about the Swarovski's
It soon became clear that much of the information was ambiguous, incomplete or contradictory (and that much was from a few sources and then increasingly garbled in repetition)

My interest in the Porro’s led in turn to Swarovski’s other binoculars, and from there to the rest of the Swarovski products
And in the long run, a lot of the things I’ve worked out about the binoculars were only possible by studying the full product line

In some ways Swarovski’s products were relatively easy to research:
- they’re popular and most have been in production for long periods, so there’s usually a large number of units
- they often go for long periods without external changes, and there is information available about other changes
- most have visible serial numbers (and there's also numbers on the packaging), and since 1991 all numbers include a dating component, and
- the ‘net provides access to a much larger number of specimens than even the most dedicated collector could possibly acquire

As I’ve recounted before, I went through a tedious initial period of searching sales and other sites, downloading images and sorting them into serial number order
And after a while patterns emerged and I could starting compiling and refining tables

So all the information that I’ve acquired is from public sources. And with the exception of a few books and magazines, all the information is from the ‘net (99.9%+)
I’m somewhat surprised at how successful I've been

. . .


As Suitcase says in the later Jesse Stone films ‘The information’s out there, you just have to let it in’


John
 
Last edited:

tenex

reality-based
This one below esp.

"And more generally, Swarovski uses:
- W to indicate a wide field of view, and
- B to indicate long eye relief"
These have long been industry standard designations on binos. I think it's a minimum 60* AFOV for "W"? And "B" is Brillenfreundlich, eyeglass-friendly, though if there is a minimum ER for that it's probably paltry by modern standards.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi again Tom (post #3),

There’ve been no official changes to the SLC since 2013, so yours is the current version of the latest model

However (uh oh!), there’s always a caveat. As with any product, engineers are always wanting to tweak designs for a variety of reasons, including:
- it’s in their basic nature (Hey, wouldn’t this be a better shape on this part?)
- feedback from when units come in for servicing (either a part is a cause of problems, or a pattern of wear indicates an incipient problem)
- sources of materials may change, necessitating changes in processing, or
- a production change may offer a quicker/ easier/ cheaper way to achieve the same end

Swarovski like any other major manufacturer, may periodically make unannounced - and unobservable - minor production changes
And since we don’t know about such things we can’t consider them (and if they don’t have an adverse effect, do they really matter to users?)

In contrast, the most obvious unannounced changes that we do become aware of are things like:
- eyecups (shape and comfort, precision of operation or number of locking positions)
- focuser action (when there are palpable differences to things such as speed or smoothness, or to slack or effort), and
- lens coatings (when there are observable changes to reflection colours)

In relation to the last, since the main Swarovski lines all have high transmission, any changes are likely to be very minor in terms of observable, let alone significant, effect


John
 
Last edited:

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hi again Tom (post #3),

There’ve been no official changes to the SLC since 2013, so yours is the current version of the latest model

However (uh oh!), there’s always a caveat. As with any product, engineers are always wanting to tweak designs for a variety of reasons, including:
- it’s in their basic nature (Hey, wouldn’t this be a better shape on this part?)
- feedback from when units come in for servicing (either a part is a cause of problems, or a pattern of wear indicates an incipient problem)
- sources of materials may change, necessitating changes in processing, or
- a production change may offer a quicker/ easier/ cheaper way to achieve the same end

Swarovski like any other major manufacturer, may periodically make unannounced - and unobservable - minor production changes
And since we don’t know about such things we can’t consider them (and if they don’t have an adverse effect, do they really matter to users?)

In contrast, the most obvious unannounced changes that we do become aware of are things like:
- eyecups (shape and comfort, precision of operation or number of locking positions)
- focuser action (when there are palpable differences to things such as speed or smoothness, or to slack or effort), and
- lens coatings (when there are observable changes to reflection colours)

In relation to the last, since the main Swarovski lines all have high transmission, any changes are likely to be very minor in terms of observable, let alone significant, effect


John

Thank you, John. I am in awe of your thoroughness and dedication! As well as of my new SLC 10x42 WB (think I got the designation right there).

Another question for later; nothing at all important: is it unusual to find this sort of apparent anomaly: the SLC 10x42 is lighter than the 8x42, and the 15x56 is lighter than the 8x56 (the 10x56 is as a result the lightest of those three 56s)? Does it mean something unusual is going on in the optical or mechanical design?

Just curious!

Best wishes,

Tom
 

dries1

Member
Thanks John for the response, and it is a pleasure to have you here providing some great reading while under "house arrest" er, quarantine.

Andy W.

Tom,

Regarding the larger SLCs X56. The SLC 15X56 has an extra lens in each barrel (13 total) they have a flat field, more so than the 10X56 SLC (12 total). I don't really know about the 8X56. I am not sure about the SLC 42s, it could be another reason for the weight difference.

Andy W.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Tom (post #8),

As in many other industries, inventory management is a huge concern for optics manufacturers
In Swarovski Optik’s 70th Anniversary video it’s stated that they manufacture around 9,500 different parts for their product range,
see here: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=375640
And presumedly they also order in a huge range of additional parts:
- both standard pattern items like screws and washers
- along with specialised items such as rubber armour mouldings
So even with computerised inventory management and Just In Time supply practices, their on-hand inventory at any time must be enormous

Consequently, when a company designs something like a series of binoculars with a particular objective size, it tries to use as many common parts as possible
In relation to the optics, one common way is by using shared objective lenses and prisms, and varying the magnification by eyepiece construction


In relation to the current SLC’s, we know:

A) Weights
As you indicated, from Swarovski’s spec sheet we can see that:
• the 8x42 is 30 g (1 oz) heavier than the 10x42, and

• the 8x56 is 30 g (1 oz) heavier than the 10x56, and the 15x56 is fractionally heavier (5 g) than the 10x56
Also, as Andy indicates the 15x56 has one more lens per side than either the 8x or 10x versions

Usefully, Erik Bakker of Cloudy Nights has measured all three of the x56 models and confirmed the listed weights,
see post #8 at: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/444644-the-new-swarovski-slc-56s-under-the-stars/


B) Eye Lens Diameters
See the attached images, that show the 8x42 eye lens has a slightly larger diameter than the 10x42:
- the first from an eBay listing by 4187kirky
- and the second from a listing by cmann6001

And Erik has also provided a photo showing the eye lenses of all three of the x56 models. As can be seen the 8x56’s is considerably larger than the other two
(from post #20 at the above link)
Roger Vine indicates that the 15x56’s eye lens is about 1 mm smaller in diameter than that of the 10x56,
see: http://www.scopeviews.co.uk/Swaro15x56SLCHD.htm


So although we don’t know for sure, it’s reasonable to assume that in the SLC’s, magnification is varied by changing the lenses in the eyepiece assemblies
Other indications consistent with this are:
- the variations as to eye relief, and
- if the 15x56 had an additional objective lens, it would presumedly be significantly heavier


John
 

Attachments

  • SLC (06:2015).pdf
    433.9 KB · Views: 21
  • SLC 8x42.jpg
    SLC 8x42.jpg
    181.4 KB · Views: 31
  • SLC 10x42.jpg
    SLC 10x42.jpg
    90 KB · Views: 34
  • SLC x56 Eye Lenses.jpg
    SLC x56 Eye Lenses.jpg
    93.9 KB · Views: 40
Last edited:

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hi John,

Post no.10

Very interesting overview of stock control management and the need to standardize and share parts wherever possible. I hadn't stopped to think of that and I can see how important a consideration that is.

The practice of varying eyepieces while sharing objective lenses was something I had come across. Probably from reading Henry Link's thoughts on his favourite, the 8x56 Victory FL by Zeiss.

Seeing the photos of the 42 and 56 SLCs there in your post set me wondering if you have these yourself: in particular the 42s, as I've been so impressed by the 10x42 SLC, which as you know I've only had now for a few days. I'm wondering if you have experience with the 8x42 SLC at all / as well. The 10 is giving me a viewing experience that possibly beats anything I've tried before, in terms of my pleasure in use, colour appearance, and sheer ease of view. It's useably sharp to all intents and purposes out to the edge too. All the more of a pleasant surprise as the smaller SLCs tend to get a bit of a damning with faint praise in the shadow of the ELs, or so it seems.

We are certainly spoilt for choice!

Tom
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Tom,

I don't have any hands-on/ eyes-on experience with the 8x42, though others should be able to offer meaningful comments


John
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top