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Swarovski CL 8x25 vs Zeiss Terra ED 8x25: one more comparison (1 Viewer)

JavierV

Member
Spain
Hello to all members of this forum. First of all, please be lenient with my poor English. I am new here and I would like to briefly introduce myself: my name is Javier Vela, I live in Marbella, Málaga, (Spain). I am currently a painter and writer and usually travel by bike through the geography of Andalusia and Spain in general, which I consider a true privilege. My thread on a small topic about two pocket binoculars - traveling by bike every gram of extra weight is very important - that I have acquired and about which I have had the opportunity to read some reviews and comparisons in this forum these months.

Just when I was determined to buy a leica trinovid 8x20, my family surprised me by gifting me some Swarovski cl 8x25. When I opened the package, not suspecting the contents, I was speechless: A Swaro CL pocket!! IMAG4806-01 (1).jpegIMAG4802-01.jpegIMAG4806-01 (1).jpegIMAG4801-01.jpegIMAG4804-01.jpeg I'm afraid the little Leicas will have to wait for another time....

I have taken the opportunity to compare them carefully with my Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 and, with the permission of the wise members of this magnificent forum, I allow myself to present my brief conclusions:

Both are very good binoculars, but...

1. The "things done right" feeling, select materials, superb finish, fit and presentation go to Swarovski without a doubt. We must also take in mind the huge difference in price (320 euros -here, in Spain- against 780).

2. Both binoculars have very good handling, but I find the Zeiss a little better. As for the eyecups, here -although the Terra are very comfortable on the eyes- we must admit that Swarovski engineers know what they are doing when designing their eyecups. Just perfect.

A weakness in the design of the Zeiss Terra is the placement of the diopter adjustment wheel. It sticks out at the end and is easy to move without being noticed. It is curious, but the same defect has remained in the design of his older brother and - from what I read in this forum - the best 8x25 binoculars on the market, the Zeiss Victory. How top brand design teams can make these easily avoidable mistakes is something I have never understood.

3. The colour reproduction is different in both. If we place them on a white background at about 20 cm, the pinkish tone of the Zeiss is clear versus a pronounced greenish tint in the Swarovski, which has surprised me not very positively. The reason is that I have been very fond of analogic photography and I had the opportunity to have and try many different cameras, Nikon, Olympus, Contax, Leica and Pentax. I always perceived very clear differences in colour reproduction depending on the lenses of each of those brands. While Nikons tended towards warm reddish tones, Pentax tended towards cooler tones. The balance and always the winner in brightness used to be the Zeiss lenses manufactured for Contax in Japan, while the most saturated colours were -unmistakably- the Leitz. The colour always depended on the coating layers used on the lenses, which varied and were perfected over the years within each brand, but always with the result known in the world of colour: a layer of a certain colour will filter that same colour and enhance the complementary (oranges and reds will induce greens and blues and so on.) Well, as far as these binoculars are concerned, the Zeiss Terra's tint is distinctly warm and reddish. This is due to their coatings, while Swaro - which shows a yellowish-green on the lenses and orange on the eyepieces, induces more intense green and blue tones and, as a result, a cool, greenish cast on pure whites. Nothing to object, everything depends on tastes and preferences, but the difference is very obvious.

4. The resolution -in what I have been able to verify- is a pinch better in the Swarovski, as well as the contrast (although often strong contrast can appear to have more resolution without being true).

5. The FOV, or field of view, is much wider on the Zeiss. However, although the Swarosvki has a narrower field of view, the sharpness at the edges is noticeably better and that creates a feeling of immersion in the scene. I think I could describe the issue as follows: through the Zeiss you contemplate and enjoy the landscape and with the Swaro you "penetrate" that same space with a greater sense of focus.

6. Visual comfort. In this, of course, everything will depend on the conformation of the eyes of each observer. In my case, the Zeiss vision is more comfortable, more relaxed. Looking through the Swaro, in a way that I don't quite understand, tends to strain my eyes more and the fact of turning to the right or left feels uncomfortable. I have tested for several hours and always get the same feeling: the comfort of the Zeiss and some discomfort in the Swaroovski when I move the binoculars. There would be a possible explanation if the collimation was not perfect, but being a premium brand I tend to imagine that it is a problem adapting my eyes (although, if I were given both binoculars without knowing the brand beforehand, I would say without a doubt that the Zeiss is better collimated than Swarovski, and I apologize in advance if I'm saying something inappropriate or the result of my ignorance.

7. Regarding the size and portability, I have to say that none of them are really pocket binoculars. I have an Opticron Aspheric 8x25 and it is smaller and more comfortable to transport. And I imagine a Curio or a Trino/ultravid will be too.

Greetings to all members
 
Welcome, congratulations on your new binos, and thanks for the interesting read!

An interesting choice for comparison. I guess most people would agree that the Curio is a definite upgrade over the Terra. But it’s interesting to see where you give more points to the Zeiss.

I hope you get a chance to check out and compare the Victory pocket, trinovid and Ultravid, too.
 
Excellent review. Gracias!
I'm interested in the tech specs as well, but often it's user's subjective 'feelings' about binos that provide the most useful insight. To be taken with a grain of salt, but still very useful ;-)
 
Excellent review. Gracias!
I'm interested in the tech specs as well, but often it's user's subjective 'feelings' about binos that provide the most useful insight. To be taken with a grain of salt, but still very useful ;-)
Thanks for the comments to Middle River and Will K . Indeed, the technical specifications of the binoculars are published everywhere, but -as the experienced members of this forum usually advise- it is always convenient to try them in hand before making the decision to buy one or the other. In my case, unfortunately, it is not possible (unless I went to Madrid or Barcelona) and, until now, all my binoculars have been bought online , with some disappointment (the first Fujinon 8x30 fmtr- x that I bought from a website in the US arrived in poor condition and finally the cost of new shipping and double import tax made the purchase absurdly more expensive.
Regards
 
until now, all my binoculars have been bought online
I try to avoid online purchases whenever possible. I like to hold the actual thing in my hands and inspect it before buying it. A good deal might tempt me to risk an online purchase, though, but nothing too expensive.

And oh yes, international shipping is always more trouble than it’s worth. Surprise import fees, etc. I sold a pair of binos last year worth £200 that had an unexpected £80 import fee. That kind of thing Completely negates the cost savings benefit of buying secondhand. Best avoided altogether!
 
Regarding the size and portability, I have to say that none of them are really pocket binoculars.

Thanks for your sharing! Is that the reason why you wanted to buy the Leica 8x20? Having a even smaller pair?
I am thinking about buying a Terra 8x25 or CL 8x25, because I want to put them in my pocket and bring them with me. I have big pockets, so I assume they really are pocket binoculars as well. I might consider the curio 7x21 as well, but I don't want to give up to much on low light performance.

The FOV, or field of view, is much wider on the Zeiss.
That surprises me. Why is that? The specs are the same: FOV = 119mm and AFOV = 52°. You have said "much wider". Is the difference that big?

Which one do you prefer? You give the Terra and the Swaro point. But which one gets the most points? I really wonder if the CL is worth double the price.
 
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Thanks for your sharing! Is that the reason why you wanted to buy the Leica 8x20? Having a even smaller pair?
I am thing about buying a Terra 8x25 or CL 8x25, because I want to put them in my pocket and bring them with me. I have big pockets, so I assume they really are pocket binoculars as well. I might consider the curio 7x21 as well, but I don't want to give up to much on low light performance.


That surprises me. Why is that? The specs are the same: FOV = 119mm and AFOV = 52°. You have said "much wider". Is the difference that big?

Which one do you prefer? You give the Terra and the Swaro point. But which one gets the most points? I really wonder if the CL is worth double the price.
Thanks, Reinier. Yes, I wrote "much wide" because this was the subjective feeling I got when looking through both binoculars. I know that, on paper, the specifications indicate little difference, but I can assure you that, in practice, the difference is there. If any member of the forum thinks otherwise, perhaps that could indicate that my subjective perception is wrong (but I don't think so). Related to whether it is worth paying double the price...uuummm, I couldn't say. The difference in build quality is notorious: materials, weight, sensation when turning the eyepieces, adjustment of both barrels, much smoother and more precise focusing wheel in the Swaro... On the other hand, viewing comfort is -perhaps because of my facial morphology- better and more comfortable in the zeiss. The color reproduction is also more pleasant in the Zeiss (I already explained why earlier: greenish tints abound in optics and I don't like them - although I admit that they enhance the greens in the forest. A slight warm tendency will make them stand out, on the contrary , the colors red and brown, which I prefer, but that is certainly a matter of taste.
Finally, and to my surprise, I have found the Zeiss to be better collimated. The Swarovskis have something in the focus that makes my eyes readjust after a while of observation. And that does not happen with the Zeiss. I have done the classic collimation tests described in this forum and I can't find an error, but the reality is that my vision gets less tired with the Zeiss.
And -obviously- they are not literally "pocket-sized". The Leica Trino and Ultravid are. Next time....
 
Thanks for the nice comparison! I might like the "bulkiness" of the zeiss, because my hands aren't that small. Interesting to hear that the zeiss is a bit more comfortable to use and that the optics are as good as the swarovksi. I understand what you say about the swaro feeling. I think the swaro is more handsome as well. But I already have a nice good looking swarovski. So I really consider the Zeiss. Even more after reading your comparison. However, if the price was the same, I would go for the CL 8x25 :).
 
Oh, one more question. How long is the strap on both binos? I really like wearing binoculars bandolier style (like a handbag). Is that possible with both binos?
 
Thanks, Reinier. Yes, I wrote "much wide" because this was the subjective feeling I got when looking through both binoculars. I know that, on paper, the specifications indicate little difference, but I can assure you that, in practice, the difference is there. If any member of the forum thinks otherwise, perhaps that could indicate that my subjective perception is wrong (but I don't think so). Related to whether it is worth paying double the price...uuummm, I couldn't say. The difference in build quality is notorious: materials, weight, sensation when turning the eyepieces, adjustment of both barrels, much smoother and more precise focusing wheel in the Swaro... On the other hand, viewing comfort is -perhaps because of my facial morphology- better and more comfortable in the zeiss. The color reproduction is also more pleasant in the Zeiss (I already explained why earlier: greenish tints abound in optics and I don't like them - although I admit that they enhance the greens in the forest. A slight warm tendency will make them stand out, on the contrary , the colors red and brown, which I prefer, but that is certainly a matter of taste.
Finally, and to my surprise, I have found the Zeiss to be better collimated. The Swarovskis have something in the focus that makes my eyes readjust after a while of observation. And that does not happen with the Zeiss. I have done the classic collimation tests described in this forum and I can't find an error, but the reality is that my vision gets less tired with the Zeiss.
And -obviously- they are not literally "pocket-sized". The Leica Trino and Ultravid are. Next time....

Great review Javier, thanks.

In direct comparison I agree with you somehow the AFOV on the CL 25 seems larger than the Terra even though the specs are listed as identical. I can't explain this either maybe some of our experts can explain this. In bright daylight the CL is slighter brighter to me. I prefer the handling of the Terra. It is slightly larger but a bit lighter than the CL and on my examples it is easier to adjust the IP distance of the Terra. Both have good ER with glasses.

Mike
 
Great review Javier, thanks.

In direct comparison I agree with you somehow the AFOV on the CL 25 seems larger than the Terra even though the specs are listed as identical. I can't explain this either maybe some of our experts can explain this. In bright daylight the CL is slighter brighter to me. I prefer the handling of the Terra. It is slightly larger but a bit lighter than the CL and on my examples it is easier to adjust the IP distance of the Terra. Both have good ER with glasses.

Mike
Here you write the AFOV of the Swarovski is bigger. Didn't you mean the Zeiss like JavierV stated? The FOV should be the same, but the AFOV is bigger? at the Zeiss because of the 8,1 power of the Zeiss (on the CL it is 7,8). I don't know if that is true, but I have read that.
 
Hello to all members of this forum. First of all, please be lenient with my poor English. I am new here and I would like to briefly introduce myself: my name is Javier Vela, I live in Marbella, Málaga, (Spain). I am currently a painter and writer and usually travel by bike through the geography of Andalusia and Spain in general, which I consider a true privilege. My thread on a small topic about two pocket binoculars - traveling by bike every gram of extra weight is very important - that I have acquired and about which I have had the opportunity to read some reviews and comparisons in this forum these months.

Just when I was determined to buy a leica trinovid 8x20, my family surprised me by gifting me some Swarovski cl 8x25. When I opened the package, not suspecting the contents, I was speechless: A Swaro CL pocket!! View attachment 1490019View attachment 1490020View attachment 1490021View attachment 1490022View attachment 1490023 I'm afraid the little Leicas will have to wait for another time....

I have taken the opportunity to compare them carefully with my Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 and, with the permission of the wise members of this magnificent forum, I allow myself to present my brief conclusions:

Both are very good binoculars, but...

1. The "things done right" feeling, select materials, superb finish, fit and presentation go to Swarovski without a doubt. We must also take in mind the huge difference in price (320 euros -here, in Spain- against 780).

2. Both binoculars have very good handling, but I find the Zeiss a little better. As for the eyecups, here -although the Terra are very comfortable on the eyes- we must admit that Swarovski engineers know what they are doing when designing their eyecups. Just perfect.

A weakness in the design of the Zeiss Terra is the placement of the diopter adjustment wheel. It sticks out at the end and is easy to move without being noticed. It is curious, but the same defect has remained in the design of his older brother and - from what I read in this forum - the best 8x25 binoculars on the market, the Zeiss Victory. How top brand design teams can make these easily avoidable mistakes is something I have never understood.

3. The colour reproduction is different in both. If we place them on a white background at about 20 cm, the pinkish tone of the Zeiss is clear versus a pronounced greenish tint in the Swarovski, which has surprised me not very positively. The reason is that I have been very fond of analogic photography and I had the opportunity to have and try many different cameras, Nikon, Olympus, Contax, Leica and Pentax. I always perceived very clear differences in colour reproduction depending on the lenses of each of those brands. While Nikons tended towards warm reddish tones, Pentax tended towards cooler tones. The balance and always the winner in brightness used to be the Zeiss lenses manufactured for Contax in Japan, while the most saturated colours were -unmistakably- the Leitz. The colour always depended on the coating layers used on the lenses, which varied and were perfected over the years within each brand, but always with the result known in the world of colour: a layer of a certain colour will filter that same colour and enhance the complementary (oranges and reds will induce greens and blues and so on.) Well, as far as these binoculars are concerned, the Zeiss Terra's tint is distinctly warm and reddish. This is due to their coatings, while Swaro - which shows a yellowish-green on the lenses and orange on the eyepieces, induces more intense green and blue tones and, as a result, a cool, greenish cast on pure whites. Nothing to object, everything depends on tastes and preferences, but the difference is very obvious.

4. The resolution -in what I have been able to verify- is a pinch better in the Swarovski, as well as the contrast (although often strong contrast can appear to have more resolution without being true).

5. The FOV, or field of view, is much wider on the Zeiss. However, although the Swarosvki has a narrower field of view, the sharpness at the edges is noticeably better and that creates a feeling of immersion in the scene. I think I could describe the issue as follows: through the Zeiss you contemplate and enjoy the landscape and with the Swaro you "penetrate" that same space with a greater sense of focus.

6. Visual comfort. In this, of course, everything will depend on the conformation of the eyes of each observer. In my case, the Zeiss vision is more comfortable, more relaxed. Looking through the Swaro, in a way that I don't quite understand, tends to strain my eyes more and the fact of turning to the right or left feels uncomfortable. I have tested for several hours and always get the same feeling: the comfort of the Zeiss and some discomfort in the Swaroovski when I move the binoculars. There would be a possible explanation if the collimation was not perfect, but being a premium brand I tend to imagine that it is a problem adapting my eyes (although, if I were given both binoculars without knowing the brand beforehand, I would say without a doubt that the Zeiss is better collimated than Swarovski, and I apologize in advance if I'm saying something inappropriate or the result of my ignorance.

7. Regarding the size and portability, I have to say that none of them are really pocket binoculars. I have an Opticron Aspheric 8x25 and it is smaller and more comfortable to transport. And I imagine a Curio or a Trino/ultravid will be too.

Greetings to all members
It sounds like the CL 8x25 is not really a addition for you, because you already have the Terra and state that the CL is not really better than the Terra. Did you keep the CL? I know you received it as a gift, but I wonder if you have swapped it for a smaller Leica or Curio or maybe intent/tempt doing that.
 
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JavierV, post 1,
If we look at the transmssion spectra of both 8x25's, showing the color balance of the light transmitted, we find an almost straight line from 475-625 nm for the Swarovski as a token of a perfect color reproduction, which we also found by checking with our eyes.
Zeiss has chosen for a slightly different shaped transmission spectrum being almost a straight line between 525 and 625 nm. As a result the color balance is slightly different for the Zeiss with its balance more in that wavelenght range.
The color from the coatings do not tell us a lot about the color balance of the image, that can actually only be determined by the shape of the transmission spectra..
Gijs van Ginkel
 
Is it true that the Swarovski is more compact and will fit more pockets? Or is that neglectable?

Reiner, Yes the Swarovski is slightly more compact, mostly because the bridge of the Zeiss is a bit taller. See the second picture in Javier's post #1 above which shows this small difference. But since both are "cargo" or "Jacket" pocket size it probably won't make any difference in actual use for most people.


Mike
 

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