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SLC range to be discontinued by Swarovski! (2 Viewers)

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
In comparison the SV'S had a more 'crystalline' view - bright reds and blues at the extremities of the visible spectrum and a more neutral colour balance (whereas the SLC was ever so slightly warm - muddy).

I wonder if anyone else has this S-P SLC vs SV colour rendition impression ? Apart from the ergos it was the thing that put me off as much as anything else about the SLC ......

Hi Chosun,

are there any differences in color between the SLC 42 and 56 models?

I use the SLC 8x56 and I don't know of any binoculars that show a more neutral color representation, not even the EL's.
Colors are of course always a bit subjective, but the SLC shows exactly the same colors that I see with the naked eye.

Andreas
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hi Chosun,

are there any differences in color between the SLC 42 and 56 models?

I use the SLC 8x56 and I don't know of any binoculars that show a more neutral color representation, not even the EL's.
Colors are of course always a bit subjective, but the SLC shows exactly the same colors that I see with the naked eye.

Andreas
I've used the 56mm SLC's a few times. The first time was in comparison to the 42mm SLC. I remember being distinctly a bit underwhelmed - thinking what is all the fuss about with these A-K 56's?. They weren't 'muddy' like the 42mm, but on that occasion they didn't really sparkle either. I didn't notice as much of the 100% reflecting prism 'clarity' that I thought I would. I can't really explain it - it was fairly average viewing conditions. I had a distinct preference for the 10x50 SV that was also on hand - that had a wonderful crystalline view with punchy colours at the extremes of the spectrum and great microcontrast.

The few times I have used them since (mostly 10x56) , years later, under varied conditions from dull to bright to low light, I have noted much better 'clarity'. Colours were more saturated than before, very life-like and clean. You really can't beat that 100% reflecting prism (A-K, Porro I, II, Perger, etc) - 'clarity'. It just transports you to the view. I could see what all the 'Wow' fuss was about. I think in the central part of the view it was one of the best views I've ever seen through a binocular - clearly out-pointing the 12x50 SV that was on hand for comparison (which admittedly I was having trouble holding steady).

I think the great plus of the 56mm SLC are those A-K prisms - what's not to like - brightness + clarity ...... it's just the weight really. I imagine they'd make really nice supported astronomy binoculars in 10x or 15x, or wildlife/bird viewing if you had a decent rest.

A good thing that the A-K 56's are going to continue I think - a real halo model for Swarovski.






Chosun :gh:
 

tenex

reality-based
When the SLC were again revamped in 2013, they lost the close focus lens element as a cost saving measure which theoretically made them optically brighter than before.
I assumed the change was only mechanical; I haven't seen anyone else mention a "close focus lens element" or the loss of it in the SLC 42, or presumably now also in the EL Legend. Can anyone else confirm this?
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
I assumed the change was only mechanical; I haven't seen anyone else mention a "close focus lens element" or the loss of it in the SLC 42, or presumably now also in the EL Legend. Can anyone else confirm this?

I remember reading it in a review on the HD's. Optics4Birding I believe.
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
https://www.optics4birding.com/swarovski-slc-hd-binoculars-review.aspx

...The new SLCs have slimmer ocular tubes and are slightly shorter. This, along with the use of magnesium chassis beneath the armoring, contributes to a real difference in weight: the new SLCs are 3-5 oz. lighter than the old ones. Swarovski also significantly upgraded the glass and coatings in the new SLCs, improving the optical performance across the board. The focusing system was redesigned, and the diopter adjustment mechanism was made intrinsic to the focus knob...
...The HD version of SLC binoculars have been discontinued. The new SLC binoculars have the same quality optics although the close focus is now 10.5ft. and they are slightly brighter because the close focus lens element was removed.

Pardon me if that info is not correct, and it very likely is not if that is the only mention of it that anyone here has heard. I'd put my faith into the knowledge here before a single online retailer's review.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
That's interesting, can you outline some of these? The game-spotting situations that hunters need their binoculars to perform in, the terrain, distances, weather conditions, etc, are of real interest to me, as you guys are fundamentally doing a similar job (trying to spot wildlife). I've heard it said that birders are more nitnoidal about their optics - and that's supposedly part of the reason why hunters use Birdforum as an info source - but I really don't see why hunters shouldn't be every bit as demanding. Maybe it's because you have other essential kit to obsess over as well as binoculars.

Obsession birders show over binoculars is nothing compared to to the far more relentless nit picking that goes on in hunting optics forum about scope sights. The common thread seen in both is somebody wanting to get a good budget model, to somebody with the same nit picking about is Swarovski better than Zeiss. Sound familiar? The same type of discussion carries into binoculars. As you become more serious about either hunting or birding, the more serious you become about picking the perfect bit of kit for your collection of gear.

There is a noted outdoor writer, mostly hunting, but has written a couple of optics book, who recently had an article dealing with the Pursuit of Perfection. His take is mainly there is nothing that is perfect and you will never find perfection. We seek because we wish to find something that will change our life, which is unlikely to happen. That is something I agree with. We can seek but may never find.
 
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eitanaltman

Well-known member
Pardon me if that info is not correct, and it very likely is not if that is the only mention of it that anyone here has heard. I'd put my faith into the knowledge here before a single online retailer's review.

I have no personal knowledge, but Gijs has published transmission measurements of both the SLC-HD and the SLC WB.

The HD measured 89% at 500nm and 92% at 550nm

The WB measured 88% at 500nm and 91% at 550nm

So there's no appreciable difference in the center of the visual spectrum, and if anything the HD transmission is slightly higher.

However, when you look at the full graphs (attached) you can see that while the HD indeed has slightly higher peak transmission in the middle, the newer WB has a flatter graph with less falloff on the extremes as you approach the deep blue and deep red zones, so I would bet the color is a hair more neutral, whereas the HD looks a bit more warm/yellow. Or maybe not, it's pretty close! Close enough that I wouldn't consider brightness difference as a factor.

I don't know nearly enough about optics to assess the validity of the impact on the removal of that single element, but I am suspicious that it's not super relevant and some of the variance is just newer coatings. Gijs has also shown that "Swarobright" has gotten better over the years in comparisons of similar Swaro models of different vintage (for example check out his comparison of various 8x30 SLC models).
 

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mbb

Well-known member
Beginning in 2010 the SLC line was upgraded to new HD fluoride glass, the same as EL's lineup and also received the same coatings as the EL.
...
The 2010+ SLC HD and WB are considered by most to have better optics than any SLC's prior.

Thank you Eitan and John for the very valuable information!
I didn’t know about the optical redesign and glass upgrade from 2010 and thought the update was mainly mechanical (lighter chassis).
I was thinking that maybe an SLC NEU from 2009 would have got the new Swaro coatings that I thought Swarovski released in 2009 and be optically near identical to the newer ones.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
One thing I can tell when looking into the objective end of both the current SLC WB and the previous SLC HD....there's no doubt the SLC WB is designed for easier, less expensive production. The SLC HD definitely looks more "hands-on."
A LITTLE bit of a weight difference....SLC WB- 28.0oz.. SLC HD- 29.3oz. I also think the HD is a handsome binocular. Optically and mechanically I can't really tell a difference.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure how anyone can pick up either and say there is anything less than a view that is among the best. Both have a central image that is least as good as anything I've viewed. For sure the armoring holds up as good as about anything. My 1999 10X42 model has been out of it's case most of its life. I used to be a big hunter and traveled all over the western USA, Texas, Canada...you get the picture and THAT was my ONLY decent binocular. It is well used! Today, it looks about as new.

The SLC is for sure a classic and really compares favorably with about everything. It will be a great binocular for many years to come!
 

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Xlr8n

Well-known member
One thing I can tell when looking into the objective end of both the current SLC WB and the previous SLC HD....there's no doubt the SLC WB is designed for easier, less expensive production. The SLC HD definitely looks more "hands-on."
A LITTLE bit of a weight difference....SLC WB- 28.0oz.. SLC HD- 29.3oz. I also think the HD is a handsome binocular. Optically and mechanically I can't really tell a difference.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure how anyone can pick up either and say there is anything less than a view that is among the best. Both have a central image that is least as good as anything I've viewed. For sure the armoring holds up as good as about anything. My 1999 10X42 model has been out of it's case most of its life. I used to be a big hunter and traveled all over the western USA, Texas, Canada...you get the picture and THAT was my ONLY decent binocular. It is well used! Today, it looks about as new.

The SLC is for sure a classic and really compares favorably with about everything. It will be a great binocular for many years to come!

Agree. If the EL is as near perfection as anyone has been able to produce thus far, then the SLC is right on it's heels, only in a more traditional manner.
 

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
One thing I can tell when looking into the objective end of both the current SLC WB and the previous SLC HD....there's no doubt the SLC WB is designed for easier, less expensive production. The SLC HD definitely looks more "hands-on."
A LITTLE bit of a weight difference....SLC WB- 28.0oz.. SLC HD- 29.3oz. I also think the HD is a handsome binocular. Optically and mechanically I can't really tell a difference.

...

What I find extremely frustrating is that Swarovski appears to have never published a cutaway drawing of the newest SLC WB that would allow us to see the "simplification" of the focusing mechanism. But that's just the nerd in me talking.

Since you have the two models, I think you'll also find that the SLC-HD has a faster focusing speed from 10ft. to infinity, which one can either like or dislike.

Ed
 
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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
My own opinion (arrived at only in the last couple of years with the SLC 56) is that binos of this size simply give a beautiful, easy, comfortable view in every circumstance, with their large exit pupil. In 8x of course one starts to have that already with 42mm, though there are still a few enchanted by 8x56, who comment on improved daytime image quality from stopping down a large objective. So I suspect what Chuck is saying (and I would agree) is that weight is absolutely the only reason most wouldn't use 50 or even 56mm for daily birding, and there are other uses for binos too.

Tenex,

I remember that is what I am almost certain Chuck meant when he first wrote that. At the time I was keen to buy my first 10x bins and after trying 10x42 SLC and 10x50 EL FP I went for the EL. Generally I find it perfectly handholdable as it almost seems 42 size in build, but the SLC is much more compact still. They are both so good I have kept both and will wait till I've had more experience over another year or two till deciding which or whether at all to sell. So at the time I didn't take Chuck's advice and I now know the SLC is so good that I wouldn't be going out to get the 50 subsequently, had I started with the 42. To be honest both are absolutely first class as well as interestingly different - flat field vs. mild pincushion, etc etc. For handling (as distinct from weight) I find the 42 SLC design a bit more comfortable but I am pretty good at adapting to any binocular shape in practice.

Tom
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
I can relate....I too envisioned I'd buy myself a set of new SLC's for a retirement gift when the time arrived (only 53 now)... but upon standing at the optics counter at Cabela's last weekend, I contempated the thought of them going away forever...they ony had one set left....I then experienced an overwhelming moment of greed, distress, panic, and excitement....and I bought them on the spot! :king:

Have you had a chance to use them and what do you think? I keep telling myself how lucky I was to buy a new pair sight unseen during lockdown, mail order; at the time I felt quite gullty but they tick all my boxes and the guilt has gone.

Would be very interested in your findings...

Tom

PS: sorry, I realize you already answered! But any further experiences still welcome...
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
The thing that really struck me though (apart from the field curvatures) was that the colour rendition of the SLC's seemed 'muddy' - particularly in relation to the SV's. So much so that I'm not sure they have the same level of AR coatings. In comparison the SV'S had a more 'crystalline' view - bright reds and blues at the extremities of the visible spectrum and a more neutral colour balance (whereas the SLC was ever so slightly warm - muddy).

I wonder if anyone else has this S-P SLC vs SV colour rendition impression? ... ...

... ... As far as the intricacies of the SLC-HD's field curvature go - if there is something special there, it's a bit lost on me.


Chosun :gh:

Chosun,

This interested me as only yesterday I was again looking through my 8x42 SLC and marvelling at the view. My own impression -- I am early sixties and do not wear glasses for binocular use -- was practically identical to Ed's (elkcub), and this before seeing your post or remembering about it. To me the view till so close to the edge that you are to all intents and purposes already there gives very good definition. I find the SLC image very high contrast and with excellent blacks. My perception is that the image is warmer where I find the 8.5 x 42 EL FP a little cold and uninspiring. I.e. the two bins bracket either side of neutral to me. The SLC view feels more luxuriant, to use another SLC user's term. I'm deliberately not using technical language but subjective impression, and of course tastes are different. Your term 'muddy' makes me think of underexposed photographs. I certainly don't find that; in fact to me the SLC view really sings.

I also know what Ed means about the field curvature; the SLC to me feels 3D and immersive without sacrificing outer field sharpness. Also it has a very nice out of focus background. I'd agree the EL has slightly higher definition (but I'd say not deal-breaker obvious at all) whereas the SLC view appeals to me more. It was when I saw how the SLC rendered the blacks and browns in blackbirds and thrushes and the blacks and blue-black sheen in jackdaws that I absolutely fell in love with them as I always think that to show the detail in a deep black object is a real test of a lens or binocular.

Hope this helps in some way.

Tom

I should mention that I do have 8 and 10x42 SLC WB (i.e. most recent non-close focus, new in 2020) and 8.5 and 10x50 EL WB Field Pro (most recent close focus pre-Legend, new in 2019) so have had enough experience to form a comparison view in like for like conditions. Findings are much the same between the 10s.
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Chosun,

This interested me as only yesterday I was again looking through my 8x42 SLC and marvelling at the view. My own impression -- I am early sixties and do not wear glasses for binocular use -- was practically identical to Ed's (elkcub), and this before seeing your post or remembering about it. To me the view till so close to the edge that you are to all intents and purposes already there gives very good definition. I find the SLC image very high contrast and with excellent blacks. My perception is that the image is warmer where I find the 8.5 x 42 EL FP a little cold and uninspiring. I.e. the two bins bracket either side of neutral to me. The SLC view feels more luxuriant, to use another SLC user's term. I'm deliberately not using technical language but subjective impression, and of course tastes are different. Your term 'muddy' makes me think of underexposed photographs. I certainly don't find that; in fact to me the SLC view really sings.

I also know what Ed means about the field curvature; the SLC to me feels 3D and immersive without sacrificing outer field sharpness. Also it has a very nice out of focus background. I'd agree the EL has slightly higher definition (but I'd say not deal-breaker obvious at all) whereas the SLC view appeals to me more. It was when I saw how the SLC rendered the blacks and browns in blackbirds and thrushes and the blacks and blue-black sheen in jackdaws that I absolutely fell in love with them as I always think that to show the detail in a deep black object is a real test of a lens or binocular.

Hope this helps in some way.

Tom

I should mention that I do have 8 and 10x42 SLC WB (i.e. most recent non-close focus, new in 2020) and 8.5 and 10x50 EL WB Field Pro (most recent, new in 2019) so have had enough experience to form a comparison view in like for like conditions. Findings are much the same between the 10s.

Tom, thanks for reporting your experience and impressions. In the world of field preferences and colour rendition preferences, there really are no wrong answers - only different ones. We each have our own level of distortions in our eyes, and glasses too. Performing Holger Merlitz's Distortion Tests can be a very informative exercise for an individual - relative to their field perceptions and preferences.

I agree that it's the subtleties in the blacks and darker colours that can help separate the great from the good. One bird that very subtley does this for me under varied lighting conditions is our Dollarbird. Besides that they are just a joy to watch and listen to.

I would not classify my use of the term 'muddy' (to convey my perceptions) the way you have - as underexposed. To me underexposed would be like in the photographic sense - a general darkening, and loss of colour 'lustre' - reduction or inability to capture the dynamic range of a scene.

To my way of thinking, my term 'muddy' would be looking at a perfectly neutral yet vibrant and clear colour reproduction print of a scene, with any 3-D present in the scene if that helps - but it is the colour aspect that is most important - and then spilling your weakly brewed straight tea all over the print. Providing the whole scene as a weakly warm tint of reality and seemingly the impression of some loss of detail. As I've said before, I also found the colours at the extremities of the spectrum a little 'muted' in comparison to the SV. This makes them appear a bit more 'natural' you could say, whereas the SV's colours are really vibrant - particularly so on the 10x50 SV.

This (SV) to me seems a little bit more realistic, in that if you could transport your eyeball 10x closer in distance to the actual subject you would indeed see those vibrant colours. Having said that though, I feel I can always detect some S-P dielectric mirror coating shenanigans. I know you're not supposed to be able to tell the difference between 100% totally internally reflected, and the 98-99% over the spectrum of a dielectric mirror, but I reckon I can, it's almost intangible, but real to me nevertheless. There you go. BB duly stacked. I am indeed a wonder of nature !

I find that an A-K, or Porro I, II, etc, 100% internally reflecting prism does away with this 1-2% funky town aspect of the view, and neutral coatings allowing, provides that wonderful quality to the view that I like to call 'clarity', others may term it transparency, and that's fine too. The x56mm SLC's have this 'clarity' quality, and a pretty neutral (though muted) colour rendition. They are my several latest experiences of the x56's. Oddly enough, as I mentioned, my first ever experience of the big SLC's (a 10x56) had that weak tea tint. Not 'muddy' tea tint like the 42's, but like the kind that my Nan used to make - where she would take 1 used tea bag and brew a big pot to be drunk by 8 people !

One other thing I have to say about the way the SV's strike me, and that is that the two formats that really Wow me are the 8x32 SV - which is truly remarkable for what it can do with a 4mm exit pupil, and the 10x50 SV which gives the most 3-D view of any S-P roof I have ever seen. The rest of the range I'm a bit 'meh' about (8.5x42 SV gets an honorable mention I suppose). Interesting too, that I can hold the hand filling 10x50 SV absolutely rock steady - one of the best ever. Yet with the 12x50 SV I was like a dog sh*tt*n razor blades - very nervous and uncomfortable ! Perhaps the 10x is just my limit, or the several hours I spent with the Zeiss SF beforehand with their contrived hands forward positioning totally r**ted my dodgy shoulder ..... ?

On that view of the 10x50 SV, I'd like to ask you, and Ed, in particular, and anyone else with the relevant comparison experience, how do you find the 3-D effect, and the field characteristics of the 10x50 SV in comparison to that of the latest 8x42 SLC in particular, and/or the 10x42 SLC ......... ??? :cat:







Chosun :gh:
 
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Ries

Well-known member
Netherlands
A 7x42 slc is very appealing...but everytime I see the size and close focus of it, I think back of the Meostar I tried some time ago and that itch starts again, aaargh! What would happen if I tried them alongside eachother? Would slc wow away the meopta?
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
A 7x42 slc is very appealing...but everytime I see the size and close focus of it, I think back of the Meostar I tried some time ago and that itch starts again, aaargh! What would happen if I tried them alongside eachother? Would slc wow away the meopta?

If you like them, keep them separate and continue to enjoy both... I've found too much comparison is a step down the path to illness!
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
A 7x42 slc is very appealing...but everytime I see the size and close focus of it, I think back of the Meostar I tried some time ago and that itch starts again, aaargh! What would happen if I tried them alongside eachother? Would slc wow away the meopta?

There's really not a lot of difference optically. SLC has a little more FOV. Meostar has a closer CF BUT I've never had an issue with the CF of the SLC. SLC weighs about 1.5 ounces more. That's about it. Both are great optically and both have a very smooth focus. They are more alike than different. I'd say if you have either, you are in good shape!
 

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