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Swarovski habicht 7x42 (1 Viewer)

William Lewis

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Hello. I currently use a pair of leica trinovid HD 10x42's that I bought as I hoped to be able to go birding without a scope. I kept finding I couldn't be bothered with the additional faff of having a tripod strapped to my back so it stayed at home more often than not so was looking for a bin with a bit of range, decent optics and durability.

I've since gone back to using a scope (swaro ctc 75 with a monopod, review to come) so am looking to change the leicas for something to compliment it, I only tend to have one set of bins at a time so am looking for an all rounder and don't need magnification as much any more as I always have the scope due to its portability.

I've previously used some old opticron 8x40 porros for about 15 years followed by some opticron srga 8x32's. The srga's I found to be an almost perfect set of bins if it weren't for the slightly less than great low light performance and lack of waterproofing.

I'm looking at selling the leicas and replacing them with some swarovski 7x42 habichts but have a couple of questions that I haven't seen answered elsewhere, I've had a good browse through reviews and posts as you'd expect! I have good vision and don't wear glasses.

Firstly, focusing, (I know the focus wheel is stiff to begin with). When using the leicas one of my biggest frustrations that sometimes makes me miss birds is the ammount of turning required to go from close focus to a usable distance, basically more then half of the focus wheels travel is taken up going from closest to about 7 meters out. How do the habicht do in this regard? I liked the very short ammount of focus wheel travel of the srga's, im not expecting anything quite like that and am aware the close focus if nowhere near as good as the leicas but would like to know if it takes a lot of turning to go from close focus to a usable range, say 15 meters?

Secondly field of view. I've not had too many issues with the leicas field of view of 113m, the swaros are 114m at admitadly 3x lower magnification but can't see that in itself being a problem. I'm assuming this is also mitigated by the larger exit pupil of the swarovski, the 3d view of porros helping find my way through a tree to a bird and the lower magnification aiding stability. The thing
I don't like is the tunnel vision effect you can get with some bins with a small field of view, cheap zoom binoculars are particularly terrible for this. Is this something that any 7x42 owners have experience or does the view fill the whole of the eye as such as the exit pupil dimensions would suggest?

Any help greatly appreciated!

Thank you

Will
 

Aquaplas

Well-known member
Austria
I bought a new Swarovski 7x42 in black back in August. My main bino is a NL 8x42. It is a big difference in Focus Smoothness and field of view. 😀
But! With the 7x42 you have not focus so much. 7 time magnification has much more sharpness in depth. And I find the focusser is not really stiff. In cold temperatures it is possible that it’s stiffer.
The field of view with 46 degrees is very small and Tunnel like special compared to the NL with 69 degrees.
The Habicht 7x42 is not a Wow Bino. It’s a compact bino with excellent handling and for size and weight it is extreme bright. The big 6mm ep is for such a small bino a luxurious feeling. The handling is excellent with this Porro design.
The transmission of 96% is the best you can get. And you will see it also compared to the new and very expansive NL. The color and contrast is the pinnacle for me! My main glass for watching is my NL 8x42. There are so much parameters who are outstanding with the NL. But for hiking when I need a compact and light bino (and I don’t like pocket binos because they have to little light and ep) the Habicht 7x42 is my best bino. I like it very much. With time your brain getting used to the small FOV, and I can switch between the NL and the Habicht with no problems. Yes, the Habicht has a tunnel view, but this is the only negative thing! When you can live with that buy it! I think you can. It’s not a wow Bino, use it more weeks, and you will see.
Sorry for my bad English. I‘am from Austria. Really near where the Habicht were produced. 😀
 

William Lewis

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I bought a new Swarovski 7x42 in black back in August. My main bino is a NL 8x42. It is a big difference in Focus Smoothness and field of view. 😀
But! With the 7x42 you have not focus so much. 7 time magnification has much more sharpness in depth. And I find the focusser is not really stiff. In cold temperatures it is possible that it’s stiffer.
The field of view with 46 degrees is very small and Tunnel like special compared to the NL with 69 degrees.
The Habicht 7x42 is not a Wow Bino. It’s a compact bino with excellent handling and for size and weight it is extreme bright. The big 6mm ep is for such a small bino a luxurious feeling. The handling is excellent with this Porro design.
The transmission of 96% is the best you can get. And you will see it also compared to the new and very expansive NL. The color and contrast is the pinnacle for me! My main glass for watching is my NL 8x42. There are so much parameters who are outstanding with the NL. But for hiking when I need a compact and light bino (and I don’t like pocket binos because they have to little light and ep) the Habicht 7x42 is my best bino. I like it very much. With time your brain getting used to the small FOV, and I can switch between the NL and the Habicht with no problems. Yes, the Habicht has a tunnel view, but this is the only negative thing! When you can live with that buy it! I think you can. It’s not a wow Bino, use it more weeks, and you will see.
Sorry for my bad English. I‘am from Austria. Really near where the Habicht were produced. 😀
Thanks aquaplas. Good to know your happy with it! Do you find the focus wheel travel ok as mentioned?
 

Aquaplas

Well-known member
Austria
Yes, I find the focus wheel travel okay. Birding with the Habicht ist not very comfortable but possible. In normal use you have not focusing very much. The focus is also very good on point. The sharpness snaps hard in. I personally focus with 2 fingers with the Habicht. For me the focus is no big problem. I learn to appreciate the focus on my NL pure. But I can live with the focus on the Habicht.
The Habicht in general is a very Special Bino. The Habicht has his pros in light transmission. Special in woods on cloudy days this Bino can things that very expansive alpha binos can not. The more that I use the Habicht I like this bino more. Remember that is not a wow effect Bino. When you sight in with the Habicht you will see very much with it. The contrast is in center on top! The sharpness too. 7 time magnification is very stable also when walking.
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
Habichts actually have intrigued me. I looked through a Habicht once, and remember it had an awesome clarity. One drawback with the old design is the short eye relief, making them not suitable for eyeglasses.
 

Stevenkelby

Well-known member
Australia
I agree with Aquaplas, I love my Habicht 7x42 and in dark conditions, it's the best I've ever looked through.

The focus wheel is stiff, but doesn't require much turning,and it's got a fairly quick ratio, not too slow. Going from 5m to 20m for instance, requires very little travel of the focuser.
 

William Lewis

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I agree with Aquaplas, I love my Habicht 7x42 and in dark conditions, it's the best I've ever looked through.

The focus wheel is stiff, but doesn't require much turning,and it's got a fairly quick ratio, not too slow. Going from 5m to 20m for instance, requires very little travel of the focuser.
Thanks Steve. That's good to know, loads of turning of the wheel is not my cup of tea! Do you find the view through them fills your vision as the exit pupil suggest? I tend to think of tunnel vision as when I can see the edge of the frame, like I can with my trinovids when it get a bit dim. I find a small field of view can still be quite immersive as long as its not bordered with a big black circle!
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Hello. I currently use a pair of leica trinovid HD 10x42's that I bought as I hoped to be able to go birding without a scope. I kept finding I couldn't be bothered with the additional faff of having a tripod strapped to my back so it stayed at home more often than not so was looking for a bin with a bit of range, decent optics and durability.

I've since gone back to using a scope (swaro ctc 75 with a monopod, review to come) so am looking to change the leicas for something to compliment it, I only tend to have one set of bins at a time so am looking for an all rounder and don't need magnification as much any more as I always have the scope due to its portability.

I've previously used some old opticron 8x40 porros for about 15 years followed by some opticron srga 8x32's. The srga's I found to be an almost perfect set of bins if it weren't for the slightly less than great low light performance and lack of waterproofing.

I'm looking at selling the leicas and replacing them with some swarovski 7x42 habichts but have a couple of questions that I haven't seen answered elsewhere, I've had a good browse through reviews and posts as you'd expect! I have good vision and don't wear glasses.

Firstly, focusing, (I know the focus wheel is stiff to begin with). When using the leicas one of my biggest frustrations that sometimes makes me miss birds is the ammount of turning required to go from close focus to a usable distance, basically more then half of the focus wheels travel is taken up going from closest to about 7 meters out. How do the habicht do in this regard? I liked the very short ammount of focus wheel travel of the srga's, im not expecting anything quite like that and am aware the close focus if nowhere near as good as the leicas but would like to know if it takes a lot of turning to go from close focus to a usable range, say 15 meters?

Secondly field of view. I've not had too many issues with the leicas field of view of 113m, the swaros are 114m at admitadly 3x lower magnification but can't see that in itself being a problem. I'm assuming this is also mitigated by the larger exit pupil of the swarovski, the 3d view of porros helping find my way through a tree to a bird and the lower magnification aiding stability. The thing
I don't like is the tunnel vision effect you can get with some bins with a small field of view, cheap zoom binoculars are particularly terrible for this. Is this something that any 7x42 owners have experience or does the view fill the whole of the eye as such as the exit pupil dimensions would suggest?

Any help greatly appreciated!

Thank you

Will
Will, I used to have a black Habicht a couple of years ago which I bought new back then. Much can be said in praise of the Habicht but there are also a few things that made me sell them eventually.
I'm not usually bothered about the FOV but 114m in a 7x binocular is just too narrow. The large exit pupil is a plus and so is the 3D-effect but I don't think this mitigates the tunnel view in any way. Moreover, I didn't like the edge of field which showed unpleasant aberrations. (I'm not an expert on optics, it might be a form of astigmatism.)
The most annoying thing for me in practical use was that I had to clean the ocular lenses after each use because they would be smeared by my lashes. I have never seen any such thing in another binocular.

Maybe a pre-owned 7x42 Trinovid could be an alternative? You should be able to get a good one for some 500 quid, I think. I am happy with a 7x42 Ultravid - but these cost substantially more than a Habicht.
 

William Lewis

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Will, I used to have a black Habicht a couple of years ago which I bought new back then. Much can be said in praise of the Habicht but there are also a few things that made me sell them eventually.
I'm not usually bothered about the FOV but 114m in a 7x binocular is just too narrow. The large exit pupil is a plus and so is the 3D-effect but I don't think this mitigates the tunnel view in any way. Moreover, I didn't like the edge of field which showed unpleasant aberrations. (I'm not an expert on optics, it might be a form of astigmatism.)
The most annoying thing for me in practical use was that I had to clean the ocular lenses after each use because they would be smeared by my lashes. I have never seen any such thing in another binocular.

Maybe a pre-owned 7x42 Trinovid could be an alternative? You should be able to get a good one for some 500 quid, I think. I am happy with a 7x42 Ultravid - but these cost substantially more than a Habicht.
Hi Jafritten.

Interesting, I'm quite used to traditional poros with the old rubber eye caps so might get on ok with them in regards to eyelashes, I tend to just rest most bins on my brow, I use the trinovid with the eye cups one click from fully out or fully out but will probably find out your right when I get a go with a pair however they seem to be rarely stocked. I'm popping into cley spy next week so will ask anyway! It seems the tunnel vision thing is a message coming through loud and clear from every response so is beginning to sound like a problem. I was hoping to get something that has enough brightness to get a better look at the plumage of passerines on the wing without the ca and slight lack of clarity that I find the the trinovids, obviously the tunnel vision thing means it might be hard to get them in the viewfinder in the first place! I would consider the habicht 8x30's as I really liked my old opticron srga's but the reports of flairing mean i think that may impede them in that regard?
 

jafritten

Well-known member
I was hoping to get something that has enough brightness to get a better look at the plumage of passerines on the wing without the ca and slight lack of clarity that I find the the trinovids, obviously the tunnel vision thing means it might be hard to get them in the viewfinder in the first place! I would consider the habicht 8x30's as I really liked my old opticron srga's but the reports of flairing mean i think that may impede them in that regard?
It's a shame there aren't many porros on the shelves these days. Have you heard of the new APM 6x30 porro yet? There's a thread here on the forum. I think, they're planning to offer an 8x30, too. I don't know the 8x30 Habicht, so I can't speak from personal experience.
You might like a Kowa Genesis. I used to have one in an 8x33 configuration. They're bright and clear with no chromatic aberration and may be better than your Trinovids in that respect. The only downside (in my view anyway) is that they have a rolling ball effect.

Edit: My little son has a very nice 6x30 porro that is amazing value for money. It is the Kowa YF which also comes in an 8x30 configuration. There is a review of the 8x30 here in the respective subforum.
 
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PW42

New member
United Kingdom
I have just signed up after lurking for ages. I currently have some UV8x20s and a Habicht 8x30. I am thinking about a final investment into an alpha 10x and need to do some demos in due course. But, because I am so taken with the Habicht, I wonder whether I might be nearly as happy with a Habicht 10x42 as say an SF 10x32. Finding Habichts in stock is near impossible which makes a test at a dealer difficult. Which is a long way of getting to Will's question.

I can't comment on the 7x42 not having any experience of it but I can make observations on my experience with the 8x30. I have also seen reports of glare with the 8x30 but, to be honest, I have only experienced it badly once and mildly once in the 6 years that I have owned them so, for me, it really hasn't been a problem. There is no doubt eye relief is short but I find folding down the eyecups if I am wearing glasses works fine. When not wearing glasses, I have a couple of (very) cheap slip on eye cups which make it more comfortable and also reduce light coming in from the side. On the plus side, they are light (very important to me), comfortable, bright, sharp for most of the fov (the very edges fall off sharply but in reality I don't use those bits anyway), minimal CA, well built and of course substantially cheaper than top of the range. On the down side, focus is stiff although precise and I have not found it a problem, FOV at 136m is not as big as class leading binos, eyecups could be a lot better, very ordinary case. The amount of turn to focus is about 1/4 turn from say 4m to 13m and less than 1/8th turn from there to infinity. I don't find it to have a tunnel view but that is quite a personal thing so YMMV as they say.

I bought them after briefly owning some UV8x32 HD Plus which I just could not get on with - too much CA and a very small sweet spot. In comparison I find the Habicht a joy to use.

Hope that may help your thought process. If you can find a pair to try, I would put them on your list of possibilities.
 

William Lewis

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I have just signed up after lurking for ages. I currently have some UV8x20s and a Habicht 8x30. I am thinking about a final investment into an alpha 10x and need to do some demos in due course. But, because I am so taken with the Habicht, I wonder whether I might be nearly as happy with a Habicht 10x42 as say an SF 10x32. Finding Habichts in stock is near impossible which makes a test at a dealer difficult. Which is a long way of getting to Will's question.

I can't comment on the 7x42 not having any experience of it but I can make observations on my experience with the 8x30. I have also seen reports of glare with the 8x30 but, to be honest, I have only experienced it badly once and mildly once in the 6 years that I have owned them so, for me, it really hasn't been a problem. There is no doubt eye relief is short but I find folding down the eyecups if I am wearing glasses works fine. When not wearing glasses, I have a couple of (very) cheap slip on eye cups which make it more comfortable and also reduce light coming in from the side. On the plus side, they are light (very important to me), comfortable, bright, sharp for most of the fov (the very edges fall off sharply but in reality I don't use those bits anyway), minimal CA, well built and of course substantially cheaper than top of the range. On the down side, focus is stiff although precise and I have not found it a problem, FOV at 136m is not as big as class leading binos, eyecups could be a lot better, very ordinary case. The amount of turn to focus is about 1/4 turn from say 4m to 13m and less than 1/8th turn from there to infinity. I don't find it to have a tunnel view but that is quite a personal thing so YMMV as they say.

I bought them after briefly owning some UV8x32 HD Plus which I just could not get on with - too much CA and a very small sweet spot. In comparison I find the Habicht a joy to use.

Hope that may help your thought process. If you can find a pair to try, I would put them on your list of possibilities.
Hi Pw

Thanks for your suggestions. It does sound like they may well be worth a go. As mentioned the opticron srga's were one of my favourite bins, much less ca and blurring than the trinovid hd's. It was really just the lack of waterproofing and desire to be rid of the scope (that didn't work!) that made me go for the trinovids. With those 2 boxes sorted with the habicht 8x30's and better field of view it may be the one. It's amazing how much brighter the old porros are than the new roofs at this level of the market, I tried some trinovid 10x32 hd's and they were very obviously dimmer than the srga's. It seems that looking for problems with bins does tend to bring them out where as practical day to day use tends to avoid them most of the time. Incidentally I've read you can get the eye cups from the armoured habicht bins from swarivski which and fit them to the 8x30's which seems to improve them.
 

ZeNiTh-PbArM

Well-known member
Hello

I have and use all three habicht models. The more I use them the more I like them.
With a bit of experience you can get through them views no other bin can offer.

Cheers
zp*

IMG-20210820-141101.jpg
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Will,
I am a big fan of Porro prism binoculars, and have had the pleasure of owning a 8x30 Habicht (2018) and to say that the view was addictive would be an understatement. The sharpness, brightness and feeling of "overnatural clarity" is beyond words, really. However, in my personal experience, after using them for a while, I couldn't get over the many downsides (the focus was just too stiff for birding, especially warblers/passerines in forest/bush; the eyecups were just too narrow for me, something I've suffered in many binoculars, and I did find the glare issue to be annoying). If I was rich, I'd had a pair of 8x30 Habicht just for the sheer pleasure they give. But for everyday birding I found them less than ideal. However, that hasn't made me forget THAT view. Really.
Fuelled by my love for Porros, my preference for 7x as my favourite magnification and my memories of the 8x30 Habicht I bought a 7x42 Habicht, but it was a bit of a disappointment. I really liked the shape, the weight and the form factor, but I just didn't encounter the view I remembered from the 8x30. Maybe it was the narrow FOV, I can't tell. All I know is that over the years I've had (and sold) a number of very nice 7x42 that I appreciated and miss to a certain extent and for different reasons (FL, UVHD, BA, Dialyt, etc.), but the 7x42 Habicht don't belong in that class. Well, that's my very personal view and experience. As you can see, the 7x42 Habicht do have a loyal following who praise them for good reason: if they see in the 7x42 what I saw in the 8x30, I can very well understand why.
 
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William Lewis

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Will,
I am a big fan of Porro prism binoculars, and have had the pleasure of owning a 8x30 Habicht (2018) and to say that the view was addictive would be an understatement. The sharpness, brightness and feeling of "overnatural clarity" is beyond words, really. However, in my personal experience, after using them for a while, I couldn't get over the many downsides (the focus was just too stiff for birding, especially warblers/passerines in forest/bush; the eyecups were just too narrow for me, something I've suffered in many binoculars, and I did find the glare issue to be annoying). If I was rich, I'd had a pair of 8x30 Habicht just for the sheer pleasure they give. But for everyday birding I found them less than ideal. However, that hasn't made me forget THAT view. Really.
Fuelled by my love for Porros, my preference for 7x as my favourite magnification and my memories of the 8x30 Habicht I bought a 7x42 Habicht, but it was a bit of a disappointment. I really liked the shape, the weight and the form factor, but I just didn't encounter the view I remembered from the 8x30. Maybe it was the narrow FOV, I can't tell. All I know is that over the years I've had (and sold) a number of very nice 7x42 that I appreciated and miss to a certain extent and for different reasons (FL, UVHD, BA, Dialyt, etc.), but the 7x42 Habicht don't belong in that class. Well, that's my very personal view and experience. As you can see, the 7x42 Habicht do have a loyal following who praise them for good reason: if they see in the 7x42 what I saw in the 8x30, I can very well understand why.
Hi Yarellii.

Another tentative vote for the 8x30's. As mentioned my srga's were excellent. I think there quite an underrated bin as there apparently almost as good as the habicht/ eii but much cheaper and have a better focusing than the habicht, wider field of view too. I think the 8x30's may be my best bet, as the waterproofing is quite important to me. I'd love to get the 7x42 as other than the fov and stiff focuser the opinions I've read seem to suggest there optically pretty much perfect which is quite important to me. So frustrating there so rarely stocked! All it usually takes is a look through the candidates back to back to decide.
 

ZeNiTh-PbArM

Well-known member
Hi

The SRGA exhibits a lot more vignetting than the 8x30 Habicht. Clarity of the image through the habicht is far superior.
The 8x30 has been hanging around my neck for 15 years and enjoyment hasn't faded.

Cheers zp*
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Hi

The SRGA exhibits a lot more vignetting than the 8x30 Habicht. Clarity of the image through the habicht is far superior.
The 8x30 has been hanging around my neck for 15 years and enjoyment hasn't faded.

Cheers zp*
What about the eye relief of the 8x30s? As I stated above, my gripe with the 7x42s was that I had to clean the ocular lenses after each use. That's not very practical. But I would love a quality porro like the Habicht...
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
What about the eye relief of the 8x30s? As I stated above, my gripe with the 7x42s was that I had to clean the ocular lenses after each use. That's not very practical. But I would love a quality porro like the Habicht...

The eye relief of 8x30 is even shorter. Yes, that's the drawback of the old design.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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