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SLC range to be discontinued by Swarovski! (1 Viewer)

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
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:

Chosun,

Interesting: first, I see what you mean about muddy as in weak tea effect. I mean that I understand your description, but hardly dare look for that in case I find it and it affects my view of the SLC. A bit like hearing a rumour about someone you have always held in great respect.

The colour vibrancy of the ELs is something I'm keen to go back and check. Perhaps I'm a clairvoyant, though people I know really well would certainly laugh at that idea; again I was thinking yesterday about some things you have now aired in your post, and following on from that, how it would be a good idea now to rationalize my bins a bit, i.e. downsize for storage space, and the foremost thought was to part with the 8.5 EL. I do like the 8x32 EL very much (I just recognize glare can be a problem, but otherwise the view, clarity and above all the comfort of handling are so good that they are very special to me. Likewise the 10x50 EL or I would have traded it in when getting the 10x42 SLC. So I'll be very happy to get them out in a couple of days' time -- not much chance till Monday or Tuesday -- and have a good look. I think as they are different from the 42 SLCs, for me it's not about which is better (and therefore which is not so good) but more about what are the best points of each. Of course that way of looking at it means downsizing becomes that much harder, but while I enjoy them I will keep them.

Do you find you only really get the dog and the razorblades effect when fiddling about testing glass out, but all is forgotten when your concentration is taken up in viewing in earnest?

Strangely enough, I was also wondering idly if I shouldn't have gone further with the EL and got the 12 myself when I originally got the 10x50. You may have given me the answer or at least a caveat!

Will report back about the 10x50 EL and its 3D effect etc vs. the 42 SLCs soon. By the way, are there any optical differences between SV and Field Pro versions of the various EL glass? And what do you reckon is the relative failing of the 8.5 (to a lesser extent -- your 'honorable mention') and the other glasses in the EL range compared to the 8x32 and 10x50?

I must find Holger Merlitz's distortion tests.

Tom
 
Last edited:

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
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!

:t::t::t:

Lee
 

Ries

Well-known member
Netherlands
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!
Thanks, Chuck, you're of great help again and confirming my suspicion.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Chosun,

Interesting: first, I see what you mean about muddy as in weak tea effect. I mean that I understand your description, but hardly dare look for that in case I find it and it affects my view of the SLC. A bit like hearing a rumour about someone you have always held in great respect.

The colour vibrancy of the ELs is something I'm keen to go back and check. Perhaps I'm a clairvoyant, though people I know really well would certainly laugh at that idea; again I was thinking yesterday about some things you have now aired in your post, and following on from that, how it would be a good idea now to rationalize my bins a bit, i.e. downsize for storage space, and the foremost thought was to part with the 8.5 EL. I do like the 8x32 EL very much (I just recognize glare can be a problem, but otherwise the view, clarity and above all the comfort of handling are so good that they are very special to me. Likewise the 10x50 EL or I would have traded it in when getting the 10x42 SLC. So I'll be very happy to get them out in a couple of days' time -- not much chance till Monday or Tuesday -- and have a good look. I think as they are different from the 42 SLCs, for me it's not about which is better (and therefore which is not so good) but more about what are the best points of each. Of course that way of looking at it means downsizing becomes that much harder, but while I enjoy them I will keep them.

Do you find you only really get the dog and the razorblades effect when fiddling about testing glass out, but all is forgotten when your concentration is taken up in viewing in earnest?

Strangely enough, I was also wondering idly if I shouldn't have gone further with the EL and got the 12 myself when I originally got the 10x50. You may have given me the answer or at least a caveat!

Will report back about the 10x50 EL and its 3D effect etc vs. the 42 SLCs soon. By the way, are there any optical differences between SV and Field Pro versions of the various EL glass? And what do you reckon is the relative failing of the 8.5 (to a lesser extent -- your 'honorable mention') and the other glasses in the EL range compared to the 8x32 and 10x50?

I must find Holger Merlitz's distortion tests.

Tom

Tom, I am not aware of any optical differences between the FP and SV versions. Of course Swarovski continuously update their coatings, though I'm not sure if we have a handle on how that relates to production timing and serial numbers. Someone here will know.

Bear in mind that everything I say about views, colours, etc is just my lil ol opinion. Some folk may match up with it - others not at all.

As far as the 8.5x42 SV goes I think it's largely ergonomic - I don't really like any of the 42's - barrels are too small for me. The fact that the 8.5x got a mention shows what a great all rounder it is. It could probably do with a bit more AFov for me (to make a tangible improvement on what I have. If it had the SF's AFov it would be a 139m @1000m bin). The other thing is that the focus is slow (about twice as much as my bin), such a small wheel, and feels like a wooden horse cart rumbling over a Roman cobblestone road ! (Ok that last bit is an exaggeration - but you get the drift :)

It's biggest problem though was probably having access to the 10x50 SV at the same time. I found the big 10x SV a bit of a Wow view - more walk in and with great 3D effect. In short, I had trouble putting the 10x50 down, whereas I could pretty easily put the 8.5x42 down. It is interesting that the 50mm has an exact 5mm Exit Pupil, whereas the 8.5x42 has 4.94mm ..... b*gger all difference right ? And yet - the 50mm just feels so much more 'spacious' for me. I like the way the 50mm fills the hands too and can hold the 10x steady as a rock.

Caveat here - I wear decent prescriptions for short sightedness - so ER, alignment, margin of error are always pretty critical things for me. The SV's are great. Interestingly I back the eye cups out by 1-2mm no matter what the format. I think that consistency across the range is a great feature of the SV's.

I found the 10x50 SV just very easy to look through. The 8.5x42 SV while easy compared to other brands, and great in it's own right, just wasn't quite up to the 50mm. The other thing is that 8x32 SV blew me away in this regard. The head honcho whose personal bins I was using said that the 8x32 SV is "a very special little binocular" - have to agree wholeheartedly.

With regard to the 12x50 SV stability for me (or lack thereof) I was somewhat stunned given how well I get on with the 10x (steadier than most 8x I've held except my few ergo favourites). My shoulder never quite fully recovered so only has the strength of a 3 year old girl and fatigues quickly - that would be depressing if my back wasn't demanding all my attention ! Perhaps it was pushing myself through a few hours of hands forward SF viewing just prior - who knows - the magnified shake was actually a bit nauseating. It will have to wait until the next round. ......

One thing I can say is that I didn't find the 12x had the same 'luxurious' view as the 10x50 - or so it seemed to me. Interestingly I found the 10x56 SLC also had a very 'big' view. Very nice.

Look forward to your comparisons, and hope Ed sees this too.

Here is Holger's treatise on distortion:
http://www.holgermerlitz.de/globe/distortion.html

and the distortion test here:
http://www.holgermerlitz.de/globe/test_distortion.html






Chosun :gh:
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Tom, I am not aware of any optical differences between the FP and SV versions. Of course Swarovski continuously update their coatings, though I'm not sure if we have a handle on how that relates to production timing and serial numbers. Someone here will know.

Bear in mind that everything I say about views, colours, etc is just my lil ol opinion. Some folk may match up with it - others not at all.

As far as the 8.5x42 SV goes I think it's largely ergonomic - I don't really like any of the 42's - barrels are too small for me. The fact that the 8.5x got a mention shows what a great all rounder it is. It could probably do with a bit more AFov for me (to make a tangible improvement on what I have. If it had the SF's AFov it would be a 139m @1000m bin). The other thing is that the focus is slow (about twice as much as my bin), such a small wheel, and feels like a wooden horse cart rumbling over a Roman cobblestone road ! (Ok that last bit is an exaggeration - but you get the drift :)

It's biggest problem though was probably having access to the 10x50 SV at the same time. I found the big 10x SV a bit of a Wow view - more walk in and with great 3D effect. In short, I had trouble putting the 10x50 down, whereas I could pretty easily put the 8.5x42 down. It is interesting that the 50mm has an exact 5mm Exit Pupil, whereas the 8.5x42 has 4.94mm ..... b*gger all difference right ? And yet - the 50mm just feels so much more 'spacious' for me. I like the way the 50mm fills the hands too and can hold the 10x steady as a rock.

Caveat here - I wear decent prescriptions for short sightedness - so ER, alignment, margin of error are always pretty critical things for me. The SV's are great. Interestingly I back the eye cups out by 1-2mm no matter what the format. I think that consistency across the range is a great feature of the SV's.

I found the 10x50 SV just very easy to look through. The 8.5x42 SV while easy compared to other brands, and great in it's own right, just wasn't quite up to the 50mm. The other thing is that 8x32 SV blew me away in this regard. The head honcho whose personal bins I was using said that the 8x32 SV is "a very special little binocular" - have to agree wholeheartedly.

With regard to the 12x50 SV stability for me (or lack thereof) I was somewhat stunned given how well I get on with the 10x (steadier than most 8x I've held except my few ergo favourites). My shoulder never quite fully recovered so only has the strength of a 3 year old girl and fatigues quickly - that would be depressing if my back wasn't demanding all my attention ! Perhaps it was pushing myself through a few hours of hands forward SF viewing just prior - who knows - the magnified shake was actually a bit nauseating. It will have to wait until the next round. ......

One thing I can say is that I didn't find the 12x had the same 'luxurious' view as the 10x50 - or so it seemed to me. Interestingly I found the 10x56 SLC also had a very 'big' view. Very nice.

Look forward to your comparisons, and hope Ed sees this too.

Here is Holger's treatise on distortion:
http://www.holgermerlitz.de/globe/distortion.html

and the distortion test here:
http://www.holgermerlitz.de/globe/test_distortion.html






Chosun :gh:

Hi Chosun,

Very quickly just to say thanks for the links and I'll check them out later. Also for the comparison of the 8.5 and 10 SVs. There will be opportunities to 'revisit' both very soon. Roman roads, surrounded by them - miracles of effective drainage; they sited them well!

Tom
 

John Frink

Well-known member
They are more alike than different. I'd say if you have either, you are in good shape!

I have the same two binos, and I agree. I see from your photo that you've got O-rings under the Meopta's eyecups to lift them a bit, and I've done the same!
 

dries1

Member
Regarding the SLC 42 models. I obtained the Meostar in 7 and 8X42, then afterwards checked out the SLCs, they are a nice glass, but having the Meostars already I did not see the need to procure the SLC 42 models. The 56 mm SLCs however, are a different story.

Andy W.
 
Swaro SLC is a superb bino, the only issue i had with it was the plastic touch of the focus knob. Its brighter more than EL. I had a word with Swaro company rep. He mentioned this as last year of SLC. In the meantime i put my hands on Swaro 8x42 CL Companion 2nd Gen.. Woww wat a Bino it is.. Its certainly a next gen Bino, Swaro has really upgraded the body and removed all short comings that were present in EL or SLC, The body, rubber armour, lens cap, eye caps, eye cups, rubberized focus knob... look and feel... All Amazing...Im soon goin 2 make a YouTube review on it :)
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
I’m very tempted to do likewise and make a quick purchase of the SLC10x42. I think it unlikely that Swarovski will produce a better 10x42 for the money.

If I could get a similar quality 10x32 for the money I may be tempted but in reality I think the 10x42 option is better than 10x32 in this magnification.

Hi Sollas,

Just browsing back through old posts and saw this. Did you decide to follow up and get a 10x42 SLC? Still liking mine very much - the handling, modest weight and size, the view and the colour. Also - not many will share this thought out in the field - but sometimes I prefer the slow focus ratio. Also the view looks good across almost all of the field.

Best wishes,

Tom
 

Sollas

Well-known member
Hi Sollas,

Just browsing back through old posts and saw this. Did you decide to follow up and get a 10x42 SLC? Still liking mine very much - the handling, modest weight and size, the view and the colour. Also - not many will share this thought out in the field - but sometimes I prefer the slow focus ratio. Also the view looks good across almost all of the field.

Best wishes,

Tom

Hi Tom

Believe it or not I still haven’t made a decision which to some extent is quite unlike me. I think that like many things their perceived value has probably now increased as a consequence of the range being discontinued.

One of the main reasons for my slow deliberations is that ideally I’d like to try the Habicht 10x40 WGA before I make that decision. I could be accused of having an overly traditional nature which increases the appeal of these older, classic binoculars.

However, by trying them out I’m hoping I can then determine whether the focus wheel and the slightly narrow field of view are deal breakers or not. Also, it would be good to see how the brightness and contrast compares with my 8x42 HT’s.

I do think the SLC’s are a hard act to follow though as you’ve pointed out.

What think thee?

Regards
Gerry
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hi Tom

Believe it or not I still haven’t made a decision which to some extent is quite unlike me. I think that like many things their perceived value has probably now increased as a consequence of the range being discontinued.

One of the main reasons for my slow deliberations is that ideally I’d like to try the Habicht 10x40 WGA before I make that decision. I could be accused of having an overly traditional nature which increases the appeal of these older, classic binoculars.

However, by trying them out I’m hoping I can then determine whether the focus wheel and the slightly narrow field of view are deal breakers or not. Also, it would be good to see how the brightness and contrast compares with my 8x42 HT’s.

I do think the SLC’s are a hard act to follow though as you’ve pointed out.

What think thee?

Regards
Gerry

Hi Gerry,

I can understand your wanting to try the Habicht first though I have to admit I have never seen, much less held a Habicht (except my 7x SLC says Habicht on the dioptre adjustment dial).

Comparing brightness and contrast with the HT: from my limited experience but quite frequent comparisons when I have a moment or two here or there I can't say one is better than the other. No doubt the HT is brighter but I can't easily tell and I haven't yet thought 'this SLC could do with being brighter'. Both have excellent contrast but personally I prefer the SLC colour rendering; to my eyes many of the Zeiss are a bit on the green side whereas the Sw SLCs in 42 WB seem a little warmer. I like the handling of both and though the Z focus wheel is definitely smoother I still like the coarser feel of the Sw just as much. It's part of the bin, it's not inconsistent, and I have got completely used to it, together with the slower travel through the range of focus. Today, with eyes very rested after being outdoors in the woods without bins for an hour or two, I tried out all my bins in the garden once back home and felt very fresh all the way through the observation. It made me realize that among so-called alphas they all are superb given just a little bit of forgiveness for their inevitable and different compromises. Pared down to just one pair regardless of whether 8 or 10x mag. I would be equally happy with either 8x42 HT or 8x42 SLC. The 10x SLC is very similar and I don't have an HT in x42. SLC and HT aren't the same but are both very enjoyable to use. Rewind the clock and I wouldn't have both, but as I do they are both equal ranking keepers till the day I need the money for something more pressing. One thing I notice is better made in the SLC is the eyecup adjustment, as the HT is a bit undefined, a bit sluggish. A very minor point though as they still go to wherever you want them to be. Image quality is Olympian in both, but in today's rainy conditions glare was never going to be something to put to the test. By the way, unlike some I am entirely happy with the HT balance and handling; but I would say the somewhat more compact size of the 8x42 SLC and even more so of the 10x42 SLC give a snug feel to holding a robustly made instrument nice and steady.

Tom
 

Sollas

Well-known member
Since much of my viewing with 10x is very much based around waders and raptors I’m still of the opinion that the Habicht 10x40’s wga would indeed suit my needs. Realistically I don’t see my requirements that much different from that of hunters as the objects in sight are viewed from distance.

I don’t wear glasses but I’m slightly concerned that eye placement with the Habicht’s could be an issue. Thus the reason for needing to try before I buy....
 

giosblue

Well-known member
I've just heard from a very reputable source that Swarovski are to discontinue the SLC range of binoculars.
Apparently, they will no longer be manufactured after existing stock has been sold. If so, I can only imagine this will come as a shock and disappointment to many.
Clearly, this is in response to the new NL along with the subsequent devaluation of the EL range.

Can anyone else confirm this or heard similar rumours?

I have spoken to Swarovski, (Clifton Cameras) and the SLC range hasn’t been discontinued. For the 8x42 binoculars your looking at a 2/3 weeks timescale from date of order and January for the 10x42s.
 

Tobias Mennle

Well-known member
I got a new SLC 8x42 couple of days ago (had ordered a demo of the previous model SLC HD instead, but...).

It is a much better sample than the one I tested in 2014.

In fact, since quite some time I did not have so much fun using a binocular (at the moment, I have EDG 8x42, Nocti 8x42, UVHD+ 8x32). Well, not since I sold my UVHD+.

The SLC combines classic curved field with great aberration control, and renders extremely 3D for an SP prism glass. FOV feels amazingly wide (much wider than in a flat field glass with same specs, like EDG). Colours are a bit warm, but very pleasing, very unlike the Zeiss way. Nevertheless the contrast boost in twilight is superb. Most of all, ease of view could hardly be better. And with a bit of November rebate, I paid EUR 1200.-.

I like the SLC´s microcontrast, nicely balanced, it is not brutally oversharp like the Noctivid, which in daylight leads to digital looking images.

Would I recommend this glass to a friend? Absolutely.

Will most people spontaneously be more impressed with a Swarovision? Probably. Until they start refining their taste.

Nevertheless, Swarovski could squeeze out a visibly better performance if they manufactured the SLCs with the same precision as the Els. A bit more contrast, less flare etc. (I see a VERY shiny, almost unblackened baffle, for example). And the focuser is full of fine sand, I guess.

They should never have made the downgrade from the previous model.

In fact, they should upgrade the 42 SLCs again and give customers a choice to buy some of the best curved field bins available.

But unfortunately, flat field rules, and I hate flat field with all my heart, in all kinds of lenses.

Would there be a market for a cheaper CL 8x40/42???
 

kestrel1

Well-known member
Hello,
IMHO SLCs are golden mean, and yes nowadays super competitive.
For about 4 years I was using EL, and was thinking the SLC are inferior,
until I get to one. Now having the SLC 5 years, and sold ELs.
 

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
I got a new SLC 8x42 couple of days ago (had ordered a demo of the previous model SLC HD instead, but...).

It is a much better sample than the one I tested in 2014.

In fact, since quite some time I did not have so much fun using a binocular (at the moment, I have EDG 8x42, Nocti 8x42, UVHD+ 8x32). Well, not since I sold my UVHD+.

The SLC combines classic curved field with great aberration control, and renders extremely 3D for an SP prism glass. FOV feels amazingly wide (much wider than in a flat field glass with same specs, like EDG). Colours are a bit warm, but very pleasing, very unlike the Zeiss way. Nevertheless the contrast boost in twilight is superb. Most of all, ease of view could hardly be better. And with a bit of November rebate, I paid EUR 1200.-.

I like the SLC´s microcontrast, nicely balanced, it is not brutally oversharp like the Noctivid, which in daylight leads to digital looking images.

Would I recommend this glass to a friend? Absolutely.

Will most people spontaneously be more impressed with a Swarovision? Probably. Until they start refining their taste.

Nevertheless, Swarovski could squeeze out a visibly better performance if they manufactured the SLCs with the same precision as the Els. A bit more contrast, less flare etc. (I see a VERY shiny, almost unblackened baffle, for example). And the focuser is full of fine sand, I guess.

They should never have made the downgrade from the previous model.

In fact, they should upgrade the 42 SLCs again and give customers a choice to buy some of the best curved field bins available.

But unfortunately, flat field rules, and I hate flat field with all my heart, in all kinds of lenses.

Would there be a market for a cheaper CL 8x40/42???

Hi Tobias,

You've summarized my thoughts very well, although I have no issue with the focuser on my 8x42 SLC-HD.

Long live field curvature! B :)

Cheers,
Ed
 

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