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Subjective, non-analytical comparison of three 832 Premiums. (1 Viewer)

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
happy memorial day to all.

I’m comparing the following premium (alpha) 8x32 binoculars on hand today. Mid morning sunny conditions. Non-analytical and subjective opinions. Would love to hear other people‘s opinions on these specific binoculars.

8x32 all current late models.
Zeiss SF
Leica Ultravid HD+
Swaro EL

Brightest:
EL, SF, UVHD

Sharpest:
EL, SF, UVHD.

Resolution/object detail:
EL, SF, UVHD.

CA (least):
SF, EL, UVHD.

Edge clarity:
EL, SF, UVHD

Color:
SF green
EL neutral
UVHD yellow

Color impression:
SF , greens are greener, all greens seem the most green here.
UVHD , greens seem more contrasted , darker greens from lighter greens are more discernible. Same with browns and other colors.
EL , color differences seem to be more accurate as to what the eyes see. I don’t necessarily see any object that looks more or less than I see with my eyes.

Focuser:
SF, EL, UVHD. All snap into focus quickly and accurately.

Comfort:
EL, SF, UVHD.

Build quality:
EL, UVHD, SF.
Here very close between EL & UVHD , metal eyecups have the slight edge on EL.

Opinion summary:
I liked the contrast and softer/warmer image in the UVHD. To me it was easiest on my eyes. Not to sharp or bright. An all-around very pleasing image. Very BIG binoculars in a tiny package. When you pick these up, people think their compacts.

Opinion best all around binocular:
EL, SF, UVHD.
I chose the EL, because of the resolution and sharpness , very comfortable and had a very nice build quality, feel great in the hands. Feels more substantial in the hands than the UVHD and less rubbery than the SF.

Some negatives:
UVHD, have some CA where others didn’t, and had a less comfortable eye box than the other two. Not uncomfortable, just not as forgiving as the EL and SF.

SF, has this blueish outer ring at the edges under certain lighting angles. It’s not like it’s there once in a while, it’s prevalent depending on where the sun is and/or lighting conditions. Not a deal breaker for me.

EL, there have been times using the EL where I’ve noticed some glare, where others had none. I do see the dreaded globe affect, but it’s not affecting me in any way. To me this bino seemed to check all the boxes.

If I had to choose one of them, I choose the EL.
 

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Ratal

Well-known member
The blue ring of death. Goodness me that was irritating to the max. I had to decline the SF for that very reason. Do NOT try that bin on the ocean on a sunny day. It goes from bad to absolutely eye searing.

As for the EL, I agree with your findings. A stellar bin indeed.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
The blue ring of death. Goodness me that was irritating to the max. I had to decline the SF for that very reason. Do NOT try that bin on the ocean on a sunny day. It goes from bad to absolutely eye searing.

As for the EL, I agree with your findings. A stellar bin indeed.
An interesting phenomena, is that one of the four people looking through them today could not see that blue ring, even after telling them what to look for. That same person a week ago was noticing a small cloudy ring around the EL in late day lighting conditions. I didn’t see it at all , to me the EL is perfectly sharp all the way to the black field edge.
 

Richard D

what was that...
Supporter
United Kingdom
I ended up with the ELs - lovely binoculars, although I'm not a great 8x user (mainly bird over open country - marshes). The only time I get glare issues is if I'm lazy and move my eyes downwards rather than the binoculars, and then only under very bright light. They need your pupils centered properly, then there are no issues.

I really want to love Leica, there's much to like, but I'm CA sensitive... If Leica ever crack the CA problem...

I've not tried the SF I'm sure they're a perfectly fine binocular.
 

wdc

Well-known member
Nice comparison before the holiday meal is ready! I own all 3, and the only one I currently use is the EL 8x32. I admire the Ultravid for its design and size, but it doesn't have near enough eye relief for me, however it fits my wife, and she loves it. The Zeiss 8x32 Victory I found to be excellent, except that it also was just shy of enough eye relief for me, so my wife has inherited that one as well. Otherwise I would have kept using it. (edit) I have seen the blue ring in the Zess, but it is inconsequential... does not interfere with the view. The Swaro 8x32 EL is a proven workhorse in a decent sized package that fits me very well. It does have a surplus of veiling glare to my eyes in the 'right' situation, but so also does the NL 8 x 32, though that one keeps the glare isolated primarily to a crescent in the lower part of the view. So, the NL beats the EL in the glare behavior dept, however it is also large enough to resemble a slight 42 mm objective.... I guess there are no perfect bins..

I keep testing bins below 42mm to find the ultimate smaller bin for travel. Currently using the 7 x 35 Retrovid from time to time. So far, so good, but my regular most used bin when out birding the last few years is a 10x42 Noctivid. It is not at all petite, but love the view, and it also handles glare very well.

Enjoy your holiday!

-Bill
 
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Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Paul
Notice you had the EDG in one of the pics. How come you didn't include them in your analysis?
The EDGs are 8x42s , we had them with us and I was going to include them but then I thought to myself , maybe someone will say , there not comparable, there 42s, why warrant they the brightest , they should be this or should be that, they don’t make them anymore😵‍💫. So I decided to keep it simple and try to keep the discussion on the current 32s available.

The EDG’s compared very nicely with the 32s. Being it was a bright day there was no difference noticeable because they were 42s. Optically they were equal to the group, but they were not the brightest in the group either. The color and personality are closer to the UVHDs warm yellow/red, the edge sharpness is somewhere between the SF and EL, they would’ve been the most comfortable next to the EL, CA control is excellent, and the focuser would’ve been first or second. SF and EDG focuser and Noctivid best three of anything I’ve ever tried.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Nice comparison before the holiday meal is ready! I own all 3, and the only one I currently use is the EL 8x32. I admire the Ultravid for its design and size, but it doesn't have near enough eye relief for me, however it fits my wife, and she loves it. The Zeiss 8x32 Victory I found to be excellent, except that it also was just shy of enough eye relief for me, so my wife has inherited that one as well. Otherwise I would have kept using it. (edit) I have seen the blue ring in the Zess, but it is inconsequential... does not interfere with the view. The Swaro 8x32 EL is a proven workhorse in a decent sized package that fits me very well. It does have a surplus of veiling glare to my eyes in the 'right' situation, but so also does the NL 8 x 32, though that one keeps the glare isolated primarily to a crescent in the lower part of the view. So, the NL beats the EL in the glare behavior dept, but is also large enough to resemble a slight 42 mm objective.... I guess there are no perfect bins..

I keep testing bins below 42mm to find the ultimate smaller bin for travel. Currently using the 7 x 35 Retrovid from time to time. So far, so good, but my regular most used bin when out birding the last few years is a 10x42 Noctivid. It is not at all petite, but love the view, and it also handles glare very well.

Enjoy your holiday!

-Bill
Hi Bill,

You just named two of my other favorites in the Retros and Nocs! The Nocs would be my first choice if I ever had to pick just one. They really are so gorgeous all around. As I have noted in my comparison that each one of these premium binoculars all have some negative attribute in some form or another. Im sensitive to CA and can see a little bit in the best Leica’s, but its mostly (90%) off axis in the Nocs, so I can love these even with that negative attribute same as I can love these 32s tested.

I liked the 32ELs so much I’ve been considering purchasing the 8.5x42EL , but the image is so close to the 10x42NL I have and the FOV is the same in both. I can’t see any gain here.
 

Ratal

Well-known member
An interesting phenomena, is that one of the four people looking through them today could not see that blue ring, even after telling them what to look for. That same person a week ago was noticing a small cloudy ring around the EL in late day lighting conditions. I didn’t see it at all , to me the EL is perfectly sharp all the way to the black field edge.

I saw it straight off the bat after carefully setting up IPD and setting eye relief. Gazing out across the sunlit sea, I swore furiously as I looked up at the empty ocean. I put the binocular back to my eyes, settled in and whammo - blue ring of death. Feeling rather sheepish, I spent some time trying to get used to it to no avail.

The SF are in the 'Never touch again' as that blue ring made me feel very sick indeed after panning to and fro across the seas.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
I saw it straight off the bat after carefully setting up IPD and setting eye relief. Gazing out across the sunlit sea, I swore furiously as I looked up at the empty ocean. I put the binocular back to my eyes, settled in and whammo - blue ring of death. Feeling rather sheepish, I spent some time trying to get used to it to no avail.

The SF are in the 'Never touch again' as that blue ring made me feel very sick indeed after panning to and fro across the seas.
I hear you. I’m not defending it. I’m so lucky that some of these negative attributes or design flaws don’t totally ruin it for me and I can still enjoy them. Might be different on the water, I will test that though more thoroughly.

The more I read here and the more testing that I do with all these binoculars, one of the most interesting things that I’ve come to learn is how each individual has differing things they see or don’t see. Globe effect has been hotly debated here. Theres actually been quite a few arguments on Birdforum discussions on just these topics.
 

wdc

Well-known member
As I have noted in my comparison that each one of these premium binoculars all have some negative attribute in some form or another. Im sensitive to CA and can see a little bit in the best Leica’s, but its mostly (90%) off axis in the Nocs, so I can love these even with that negative attribute same as I can love these 32s tested.

I liked the 32ELs so much I’ve been considering purchasing the 8.5x42EL , but the image is so close to the 10x42NL I have and the FOV is the same in both. I can’t see any gain here.
Regarding CA, I noticed it when I first got the Noctivids (and the Retrovids), and now I don't even think about it, unless there are 'classic' conditions for it, such as Blackbirds on an overcast day at the top of a bare tree. Then I notice a little, but so what. I've seen far worse.
There's that break in/testing period for new bins, and unless something really irks one, or simply doesn't fit (IPD, eye relief), I just put them to work, stop dwelling on any imperfections, and just enjoy what they have to offer.

I think you are correct in holding back on the 8.5 x 42 EL, especially if the FOV is the same as the NL, plus you get 10x over 8x.

-Bill
 

wdc

Well-known member
Found it. Pic of the skies I took, so I could send them back.
Yep. There it is. My take on it is that it didn't call attention to itself, at least in my experience, I didn't even notice for awhile. It showed up when I was consciously comparing some binoculars and looking less at the view, and studying edge sharpness, and different FOV and such. Even then, for me it was like "Oh! There's the blue ring I've read about.." In ordinary viewing, my eyes don't loiter on the edge of the field. But that's just me, so its unfortunate that artifact ruined it for you.

-Bill
 

Ratal

Well-known member
I had them on the ocean - and that blue was like an eye searing rainbow haunting the view permanently. As I spend a LOT of time on water, I couldn't get past it. That said, they were a beautiful binocular. Just not for me.

Want to know the funny part? I got to the new Opticron Aurora 8x42 and gave them a field test. Fell in love on the first week of use. Absolute keepers for me.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Regarding CA, I noticed it when I first got the Noctivids (and the Retrovids), and now I don't even think about it, unless there are 'classic' conditions for it, such as Blackbirds on an overcast day at the top of a bare tree. Then I notice a little, but so what. I've seen far worse.
There's that break in/testing period for new bins, and unless something really irks one, or simply doesn't fit (IPD, eye relief), I just put them to work, stop dwelling on any imperfections, and just enjoy what they have to offer.

I think you are correct in holding back on the 8.5 x 42 EL, especially if the FOV is the same as the NL, plus you get 10x over 8x.

-Bill
Those were the exact conditions that I had in mind when I mentioned the CA. I agree 100%, I don’t sweat the little things on these binoculars when it comes to this level of quality. That’s why I easily can deal with all those minor negatives I discussed in the original post. If something literally doesn’t work or jumps out at you then I fully understand they don’t work for you. That’s what makes us all unique and why each manufacturer has their own path to designing optics.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Yep. There it is. My take on it is that it didn't call attention to itself, at least in my experience, I didn't even notice for awhile. It showed up when I was consciously comparing some binoculars and looking less at the view, and studying edge sharpness, and different FOV and such. Even then, for me it was like "Oh! There's the blue ring I've read about.." In ordinary viewing, my eyes don't loiter on the edge of the field. But that's just me, so its unfortunate that artifact ruined it for you.

-Bill
Same here Bill, I didn’t notice it as first either. After while I did notice it and remembered some of the reviews. But like you it didn’t really show as much or bother me until under direct comparison , side by side with other binoculars. Mine doesn’t show that perfect thin sharp ring of blue like Ratal‘s picture. Mine is more like a wider , softer , light blueish ring on the outer edge , maybe around the last 5%.

Obviously for some people this could jump out and can ruin all the other features of the binoculars. And at these prices there are so many other choices to get what is best for you.
 

MiddleRiver

Well-known member
United States
Dang... how did I miss this thread?!
I have been discarding 8x32 since i wear glasses. But I guess some of these big ER and wide FOV binos might require investigation :eek:
 

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