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Swarovski 8x30 SLC NEU vs Zeiss 8x30B T* Dialyt (1 Viewer)

gcole

Well-known member
Would anyone who has actualIy used both of these binoculars give their opinion on the differences between them optically. From what I can find the later versions of Zeiss were discontinued in 2004 ? With the Swarovski later NEU version discontinued in 2011 ? In this time period was Zeiss and Swarovski competitors with birders and other outdoor users in this 30mm class of binocular ? I know the Swarovski were labeled made in Austria vs the Zeiss in Germany, price wise were they comparable ? ... Thanks
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
gcole, post 1,
I have used both binoculars and I have certainly investigated the SLC neu, but I have to look in my files to see if I can find information about them both. The SLC neu differs in a number of features from the Dialyts.
  • Zeiss Dialy 8x30 in the newest version has a black rubber armor and foldable rubber eyecups, its weight is 580 g, FOV 133 m/1000m and is much more compact as the first edition.
  • Swarovski SLC NEU 8X30 has a green hard rubber armor with screw in/out eyecups (less vulnerable), its weight is 606 g, it is fully waterproof, FOV 135m/1000m, light transmission 86-87%, color reproduction is excellent. The one we have investigated is from 2005 and it is one of the earlier Swarovski binoculars with almost perfect color reproduction due to newly developed coatings .
The focusser of the Dialyt is placed between both eyecups, that of the Swarovski SLC neu is located lower at the end of the hinge. Both work very well and it is a matter of taste which one you prefer.
I have used the SLC neu on a number of travels to Africa and in the European mountains and I liked it a lot, but again that is a matter of taste.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Very interesting. I've always been intrigued by those two binoculars. Gijs, it is always a pleasure to read your knowledgeable opinions.
A bit off topic, but without a doubt, Gijs' list of 10 favourite binoculars is one of the lists I'd really really be interested in reading 😊
 

gcole

Well-known member
gcole, post 1,
I have used both binoculars and I have certainly investigated the SLC neu, but I have to look in my files to see if I can find information about them both. The SLC neu differs in a number of features from the Dialyts.
  • Zeiss Dialy 8x30 in the newest version has a black rubber armor and foldable rubber eyecups, its weight is 580 g, FOV 133 m/1000m and is much more compact as the first edition.
  • Swarovski SLC NEU 8X30 has a green hard rubber armor with screw in/out eyecups (less vulnerable), its weight is 606 g, it is fully waterproof, FOV 135m/1000m, light transmission 86-87%, color reproduction is excellent. The one we have investigated is from 2005 and it is one of the earlier Swarovski binoculars with almost perfect color reproduction due to newly developed coatings .
The focusser of the Dialyt is placed between both eyecups, that of the Swarovski SLC neu is located lower at the end of the hinge. Both work very well and it is a matter of taste which one you prefer.
I have used the SLC neu on a number of travels to Africa and in the European mountains and I liked it a lot, but again that is a matter of taste.
Gijs van Ginkel
Thanks
 

dries1

Member
The SLC 8X30 is a very good glass, even today. The biggest hindrance for many, is not being able to acclimate to the focus wheel location. The optics of the SLC to me are ahead of the Zeiss.

Andy W.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Gwen,

The 8x30 Zeiss Dialyt was offered for just over 40 years: from 1964 to 2005!
(it was then replaced by the great Victory FL 8x32 that was discontinued last year with the introduction of the SF x32)
For more detail and images, see at: https://www.birdforum.net/threads/optical-design-of-1980s-dialyt-8x30.378377/

And see an image from John Frink that clearly shows the difference in length between the first and later versions, from post #10 at: https://www.birdforum.net/threads/how-many-zeiss-8x30b-dialyts.316759/

- - - -
By contrast, the latecomer 8x30 SLC was only offered for 27 years from 1985 to 2011 (it was then replaced by the CL 8x30)
The last version of the rubber armour - the Neu version - was introduced at the start of 2005
For a whole lot more detail and images, see at: https://www.birdforum.net/threads/slc-8x30.380550/

- - - -
And for an idea of pricing, in the 1995 Eagle Optics catalogue the listed prices in USD were:
• Zeiss Dialyt 8x30 BGA $1,152
• Swarovski SLC 8x30 $721 *
• Leica Ultra BA 8x32 $1,425

* So markedly more affordable! And for comparison: the airtight version of the Habicht 8x30 Porro was $588 in leatherette; and $710 in RA

See at: https://www.birdforum.net/threads/1995-eagle-optics-catalog-a-gift.237084/
- a gift from Ed!


John


From left:
Hensoldt Sport-Dialyt 8x30 1936-1943; Hensoldt Dialyt 8x32 1948-1963 (both with Abbe-Koenig prisms);
Zeiss Dialyt v1 8x30; Zeiss Dialyt v2 8x30; Zeiss Dialyt v3 8x30 RA, and; Zeiss Victory FL 8x32
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Both models spanned a significant period in terms of roof prism development, including:
• the introduction of phase coating
• the introduction of dielectric prism coating, and
• substantial development in the efficiency of multi-coating

Consequently, depending on when produced, performance will vary markedly in terms of:
• image sharpness (pre vs post phase coating)
• accuracy and intensity of colours (pre vs post dielectric coating, and the sophistication of the multi-coating), and
• overall image brightness (mainly the sophistication of the multi-coating)

For a quick overview of coating developments, see post #9 in the first link above

- - - -
SLC 8x30 performance . . .

Roger Vine has written in detail about SLC 8x30’s with dielectric prism coating *
See at: http://www.scopeviews.co.uk/Swaro8x30WB.htm

Roger indicates that while the optical performance does not equal the best of current premium brand production
(would we reasonably expect that it could?), it does come close
That reflects my experience with my 2006 production SLC Neu 8x30, see my comments in post #7 in the third link above
And Roger's observation seems to be echoed by Andy

* Called Swarobright by Swarovski. By my observation of 8x30 box markings, dating from March 2003 at the latest: so from #D7312 xxxxx on
(add 1930 to the first two digits to determine the year of manufacture; the next two digits indicate the week from 01 to 52)

- - - -
Dialyt 8x30 performance . . .

The Dialyt was Zeiss’ premier product, built to their usual high standards, and Zeiss were the leaders in new coating technologies
One would expect that the optical performance of a dielectric coated Dialyt to be similar to that of a like coated SLC
- though Andy's experience seems to indicate otherwise *
(I have no idea in terms of numbering when dielectric coating was introduced on the Dialyt 8x30's)

What comments I have located about late production 8x30's (so with both dielectric coating and advanced multi-coating),
are generally favourable. See:
https://www.birdforum.net/opus/8x30_BGAT , and
https://www.birdforum.net/threads/z...-zeiss-8x30b-dialyt-first-impressions.268166/


* One possible reason could be because the Dialyt has a simpler eyepiece than the SLC:
Dialyt: 4 lenses in 3 groups (1, 2, 1)
SLC: 5 lenses in 4 groups (1, 1, 2, 1)
see the images in the links in the previous post


John
 
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gcole

Well-known member
Both models spanned a significant period in terms of roof prism development, including:
• the introduction of phase coating
• the introduction of dielectric prism coating, and
• substantial development in the efficiency of multi-coating

Consequently, depending on when produced, performance will vary markedly in terms of:
• image sharpness (pre vs post phase coating)
• accuracy and intensity of colours (pre vs post dielectric coating, and the sophistication of the multi-coating), and
• overall image brightness (mainly the sophistication of the multi-coating)

For a quick overview of coating developments, see post #9 in the first link above

- - - -
SLC 8x30 performance . . .

Roger Vine has written in detail about SLC 8x30’s with dielectric prism coating *
See at: http://www.scopeviews.co.uk/Swaro8x30WB.htm

Roger indicates that while the optical performance does not equal the best of current premium brand production
(would we reasonably expect that it could?), it does come close
That reflects my experience with my 2006 production SLC Neu 8x30, see my comments in post #7 in the third link above
And Roger's observation seems to be echoed by Andy

* Called Swarobright by Swarovski. By my observation of 8x30 box markings, dating from March 2003 at the latest: so from #D7312 xxxxx on
(add 1930 to the first two digits to determine the year of manufacture; the next two digits indicate the week from 01 to 52)

- - - -
Dialyt 8x30 performance . . .

The Dialyt was Zeiss’ premier product, built to their usual high standards, and Zeiss were the leaders in new coating technologies
One would expect that the optical performance of a dielectric coated Dialyt to be similar to that of a like coated SLC
- though Andy's experience seems to indicate otherwise *
(I have no idea in terms of numbering when dielectric coating was introduced on the Dialyt 8x30's)

What comments I have located about late production 8x30's (so with both dielectric coating and advanced multi-coating),
are generally favourable. See:
https://www.birdforum.net/opus/8x30_BGAT , and
https://www.birdforum.net/threads/z...-zeiss-8x30b-dialyt-first-impressions.268166/


* One possible reason could be because the Dialyt has a simpler eyepiece than the SLC:
Dialyt: 4 lenses in 3 groups (1, 2, 1)
SLC: 5 lenses in 4 groups (1, 1, 2, 1)
see the images in the links in the previous post


John
Thanks everyone and John for taking the time to provide all that very useful and interesting read. For about a year now I have been looking to buy the later versions of a Zeiss 8x30 Dialyt and or the Swarovski 8x30 SLC NEU in pristine/like new condition. Finally I think I found at least one. A USA Ebay seller was selling a Like New/not used/open box pair of the 8x30 SLC NEU with ser. # first 4 being 8104. The seller was asking a premium price but excepted my lower offer after a back and fourth counter. I usually would not pay as much as I did to a unknown seller from Ebay but the seller provided excellent pictures and had a unblemished Ebay rating. I should have them in a few days, hopefully I will not regret my purchase. I will be comparing these to the Meopta B1.1 8x32. It will be interesting to see how the 8x30 SLC NEU compare to the Meopta Meostar optically. I wonder if the seller is a BirdForum member who sold these to me ?
 
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gcole

Well-known member
gcole, post 8,
Congratulations, in my view you made the best choice.
Gijs van Ginkel
Thanks. I see John’s post #6 list the Zeiss Dialyt in 1995 selling for little over $400 more than the SLC 8x30 in the Eagle Optics catalog in 1995. Was the Zeiss that much superior to the Swarovski back then ?
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
gcole, post 11,
I have them here side by side and I like the SLC 8x30 neu better: more solid feeling of the body and eyecups and ease of the focussing mechanism. I have listed already some technical data in my previous post. If I were to choose between the SC neu ad the Zeiss Dialyt again I would again go for the SLC. My choice is also colored of course by the very good experiences with this binocular on streneous mountain tours and along ocean views and it never let me down.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

gcole

Well-known member
gcole, post 11,
I have them here side by side and I like the SLC 8x30 neu better: more solid feeling of the body and eyecups and ease of the focussing mechanism. I have listed already some technical data in my previous post. If I were to choose between the SC neu ad the Zeiss Dialyt again I would again go for the SLC. My choice is also colored of course by the very good experiences with this binocular on streneous mountain tours and along ocean views and it never let me down.
Gijs van Ginkel
Nice to know, again thanks for your opinion
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Thanks everyone and John for taking the time to provide all that very useful and interesting read. For about a year now I have been looking to buy the later versions of a Zeiss 8x30 Dialyt and or the Swarovski 8x30 SLC NEU in pristine/like new condition. Finally I think I found at least one. A USA Ebay seller was selling a Like New/not used/open box pair of the 8x30 SLC NEU with ser. # first 4 being 8104. The seller was asking a premium price but excepted my lower offer after a back and fourth counter. I usually would not pay as much as I did to a unknown seller from Ebay but the seller provided excellent pictures and had a unblemished Ebay rating. I should have them in a few days, hopefully I will not regret my purchase. I will be comparing these to the Meopta B1.1 8x32. It will be interesting to see how the 8x30 SLC NEU compare to the Meopta Meostar optically. I wonder if the seller is a BirdForum member who sold these to me ?
Very nice, I saw those on eBay and that serial # indicates 2011 manufacture so that would be among the last SLC produced and should have the best possible coatings.

I would bet it will be a close match between the SLC and Meostar, with the Meostar having a slight advantage in FOV and overall transmission (being a B1.1 with the latest coatings) ... although the SLC is probably more neutral with the Swarobright coatings having flatter transmission (despite a slightly lower peak value). They are both top notch Eastern European glass.

Looking forward very much to your review!
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Gwen (post #11),

The prices from 1995 probably reflect a couple of things:
• While both Zeiss and Leica were long established European premium optical manufacturers, Swarovski was still an emerging brand
Swarovski greatly boosted it's status with the introduction of the EL x42 binoculars in 1999 *

• The significantly higher price of the Leica BA introduced in 1990, was due to it being a newer more modern style of roof prism binocular,
including both internal focus and airtight construction **


* From 1980 with the introduction of the SL Porro prism binoculars, Swarovski was increasingly comprehensive and innovative in it's offerings
See the two tables attached to post #9 at: https://www.birdforum.net/threads/swarovski-sl-porro-models.382302/
The first shows the years to 1998, and the second from 1999 on

** In contrast, both the Zeiss and the Swarovski were external focus designs (the physical length of the optical system changed with focusing),
and the Mk II Swarovski was made airtight by the expedient of fitting a planar glass to the front of the objective housing


John


p.s. I too look forward to hearing of your impressions of the SLC 8x30
 
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Patudo

Well-known member
Having only owned the SLC 8x30 mark II (pre-Swarobright) and the 10x40 Dialyt (P model), I don't have direct experience of the two specific models - but am pretty sure the original poster made the right choice. I wouldn't consider any non-P Dialyt, and even the P model, which would in fairness still be a pretty capable binocular, never got the dielectric coatings the SLC neu has, which make for a small but noticeable improvement in brightness and colour rendition. I also prefer (personal preference I know, but...) the twist-up eyecups of the SLC to the rubber eyecups of the Dialyt, and feel that although the Dialyt is well made the SLC is even more solid yet, a real mini tank. If I'd owned the mark III (neu) I would probably not have purchased the 8x32 FL I replaced the mark II with.

I agree the SLC neu would make for an interesting comparison with the 8x32 Meostar.
 

gcole

Well-known member
Having only owned the SLC 8x30 mark II (pre-Swarobright) and the 10x40 Dialyt (P model), I don't have direct experience of the two specific models - but am pretty sure the original poster made the right choice. I wouldn't consider any non-P Dialyt, and even the P model, which would in fairness still be a pretty capable binocular, never got the dielectric coatings the SLC neu has, which make for a small but noticeable improvement in brightness and colour rendition. I also prefer (personal preference I know, but...) the twist-up eyecups of the SLC to the rubber eyecups of the Dialyt, and feel that although the Dialyt is well made the SLC is even more solid yet, a real mini tank. If I'd owned the mark III (neu) I would probably not have purchased the 8x32 FL I replaced the mark II with.

I agree the SLC neu would make for an interesting comparison with the 8x32 Meostar.
Again thanks everyone for all your feedback. I just found out that they should be delivered tomorrow, I am getting pretty excited to get my hands on them.
 
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gcole

Well-known member
Again thanks everyone for all your feedback. I just found out that they should be delivered tomorrow, I am getting pretty excited to get my hands on them.
I received the Swarovski 8x30 SLC NEU Binocular from my recent purchase at Ebay. These were described as unused/open box with pictures to support the sellers description. When I first saw these I was a little skeptical of the sellers description of being unused, especially when seeing his premium asking price. I knew from a week earlier after another search on the internet Swarovski dramatically had reduced their Dealers selling price to $899.95 due to the arrival of the first generation 8x30 CL. With 12 watchers shown on the listing, I figured it was now/ take a chance or loose it. I countered with a lower offer based on the $899.95 New discounted price of 2011. I was very pleased because I paid less than $899.95 and the seller probably got close to what his initial investment was. Now having said all this , yeah .... they arrived as described. With all accessories. Glass untouched with a new looking Swarovski green and white box showing a little outside dust. Below is a picture after I put on the carry strap next to a Meopta B1.1 8x32. A few noticeable differences that stand out between the two. The Swarovski are more chunkier looking/ giving a more indestructible look and feel. I also noticed the Swarovski ocular eye lens diameter are smaller, so no more of you Meopta bashers complaining of their small ocular lens. Picking up for the first time, they are heavier than the Meopta. After 10 minutes of handling between the two ...The Meopta is easier to use/focus due to the SLC backend small focus wheel. The Meopta has a Faster focus with the Swarovski in comparison really slower. I do not mean this in a negative way, I prefer a slow focus binocular but I would not recommend the Swarovski 8x30 SLC NEU for fast moving Birding. Optically between the two, too close for my eyes but they both look very very close in all categories .... color/sharpness and brightness. I will be 70 in a few weeks so one should take that in consideration in my evaluation. The eye relief is very similar between the two with my thin glasses. Seeing the Full FOV using the 8x30 SLC is no problem. The Meopta ocular eye lens is a tad easier for eye placement when using my glasses. Like all Swarovski binoculars these SLC NEU 8x30 have that High Quality look/Build Construction. Definitely a keeper.
 

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gcole

Well-known member
Here is another photo with eye cups extend
 

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gcole

Well-known member
It even gets better. Just got off the phone with Swarovski, these were not even registered. Sold by Cabelas USA New. These are covered by the USA Swarovski Warranty. Now I am the first one to register receiving full warranty. The odds are I will not out live the warranty.
 

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