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Swarovski 8x30 CL or The Leupold GR HD 8x32 (1 Viewer)

gcole

Well-known member
These were acquired recently by a family member and now as a result of some horse trading:-O(optics)
I now have these to compare to my Swarovski CL 8x30. The Leupold came from a collector and from my inspection seem to be unused in the field. My Swarovski were old stock new last month. So I thought these being condition wise and about the same size/power very similar it would be a fair comparison.
Size .... not much difference in width and height. Barrel size (thicker) with the Leupold being much beefier (tank like build) it’s pretty obvious when holding both together is where that tank like build gives that extra weight to the Leupold.
Ocular lens .... much larger on the Leupold, more to my liking.
Eye relief and eye placement .... easier to my eye with my eye glasses with Leupold. The Swarovski has the smaller eye lens but still has enough eye relief with my glasses.
Optical view ... very close. With my eyes almost to slight to notice but I would say the Swarovski is just a tad cleaner, sharper with colors being equal.
Brightness .... even in low light the Swarovski gave nothing up to the Leupold’s. One thing that my eyes experienced probably due to the larger FOV combined with the Leupold’s larger ocular lens was the 3D like Picture Window view the Leupold seemed to have over the Swarovski.
Which one would I prefer if I could be 50 years younger with healthy eyes. ... the Leupold. Now being close to seventy with eyes not so good .... The Swarovski. Since I no longer collect and keep more than one binocular now, the Leupold’s are now in the for sale section. Hopefully to go to someone who can appreciate them.
 

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[email protected]

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Supporter
Nice comparison! I have had both those binoculars and I agree on your comments. I understand the age related decision. The GR's are a chunk and the Swarovski's don't give up too much to them optically. Nice picture.
 

wdc

Well-known member
Thanks for posting this comparison. I was not yet into the birding and binocular world when these were in production. I just read the Allbinos review of the Gold Rings, thanks to your post. Sounds like an excellent optical device, EXCEPT for the weight. Astounding that it outweighs many 42mm binoculars in production today. Good to see that you sold it already. Apparently well thought of by many on the forum. There's a satisfied buyer.

It makes me wonder how much weight they could have shaved off through materials swap, and maintain the performance spec., if it had the chance to evolve in a competitive market.

-Bill
 

gcole

Well-known member
Hi Bill, That would be a very interesting discussion indeed. I know for me at least at a time when my eyes really appreciated all that glass that went into the Leupold GR HD 8x32 huge ocular lens. Personally I have not handled any 8x32 binocular manufactured since having such large ocular lens. I almost purchased the Nikon EDG 8x32 years ago, maybe they do. I have handled the Swarovski 8x32 EL awhile back but do not remember those eye lens jumping out at me regarding their size. It’s not just all the glass Leupold used , the hinge stands out as well as each barrel where the metal is exposed showing just how thick the materials are. Made for hunters, built like a tank who else would need such a durable product.
 

gcole

Well-known member
Nice comparison! I have had both those binoculars and I agree on your comments. I understand the age related decision. The GR's are a chunk and the Swarovski's don't give up too much to them optically. Nice picture.

Dennis , the Leupold definitely chunky but good chunky. It’s amazing how much more material went into the Leupold’s compared to the 8x30 Swarovski. When Leupold’s engineers designed these they surely must have been thinking the end of the world:eek!: scenario.
 

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