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Swarovski habicht 7x42 (1 Viewer)

Rg548

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I'm a huge fan of porros, and very nearly bought some Habicht. I tested the 10x40, and the 7x42.
But they are an old design, and when testing them against modern roofs, they are struggling a bit.

Ace optics in bath usually stock Habichts for testing, but they also currently have some Nikon EDG7x42 second hand. I very nearly bought these after looking through them, but got swayed elsewhere in the end. Whilst the Nikon EDG are not porro, they may well work for you, and you are into Alpha territory no question! Optically they are sensational, as most on here will agree, i'm sure.

Habichts are niche, I love them, always promised myself a pair, but never ended up pulling the trigger. Currently on Zeiss!!
 

Rg548

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Also, try the new Opticrons, they are off the scale for value, nudging Alpha territory, really exceptional. I tried the DBA VHD's but haven't tried the latest Aurora, which are said to be even better. 745g and optically right up there.
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
What about the eye relief of the 8x30s?
Habicht 8x30 is a pair of binoculars with many admirers. It has great clarity in the center and everyone knows that the light transmission is exceptional (the best). I was amazed by the clarity in the center and the brightness of this binoculars. It is water resistant! It has a very robust construction and has a very beautiful appearance! And last but not least, it's a porro, what makes it irresistible to me!

But unfortunately I saw, like others, that this binoculars has many weaknesses, too many for me.
I noticed that on the edge the clarity no longer shines like in the center and it doesn't even have a large field of view for a 8x (7.8 deg.). The Nikon E2, with a much larger field of view (8.8 deg.), has a wider edge quality , with not so rapid decrease in sharpness at the edges, like this Habicht.
Eye relief is small, again without even having a large field of view! I am a spectacle wearer and I had to press my glasses very hard on the folded down eyecups, struggling to see the whole field of view. These weaknesses are explained by the simple construction of the eyepieces. Fewer glass elements in the eyepieces give a better light transmission but also a small eye relief, and small visual field of view, corrected only in the center.
Binoculars have glare in certain light conditions, other binoculars are immune in same certain condition!
The focus is very difficult to move (may be due to the fact of water sealing gaskets)!

For me Swarovski Habicht 8x30 is like "hate and love" relationship...Definitely a pair of binoculars with a strong personality. I think this conclusion can be extrapolated to 7x42 or 10x42 Habicht as well, a pairs of binoculars only for connoisseurs! ;)
 
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William Lewis

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Habicht 8x30 is a pair of binoculars with many admirers. It has great clarity in the center and everyone knows that the light transmission is exceptional (the best). I was amazed by the clarity in the center and the brightness of this binoculars. It is water resistant! It has a very robust construction and has a very beautiful appearance! And last but not least, it's a porro, what makes it irresistible to me!

But unfortunately I saw, like others, that this binoculars has many weaknesses, too many for me.
I noticed that on the edge the clarity no longer shines like in the center and it doesn't even have a large field of view for a 8x (7.8 deg.). The Nikon E2, with a much larger field of view (8.8 deg.), has a wider edge quality , with not so rapid decrease in sharpness at the edges, like this Habicht.
Eye relief is small, again without even having a large field of view! I am a spectacle wearer and I had to press my glasses very hard on the folded down eyecups, struggling to see the whole field of view. These weaknesses are explained by the simple construction of the eyepieces. Fewer glass elements in the eyepieces give a better light transmission but also a small eye relief, and small visual field of view, corrected only in the center.
Binoculars have glare in certain light conditions, other binoculars are immune in same certain condition!
The focus is very difficult to move (may be due to the fact of water sealing gaskets)!

For me Swarovski Habicht 8x30 is like "hate and love" relationship...Definitely a pair of binoculars with a strong personality. I think this conclusion can be extrapolated to 7x42 or 10x42 Habicht as well, a pairs of binoculars only for connoisseurs! ;)
I think that's my problem. I have tried some recent opticrons but don't tend to get on with roofs in my price range too well. I suppose my lieca trinovid hd's are from what I've read in the ball park for top quality roofs you can get for the budget (sub £1000). I wouldn't say I was a connoisseur but Im still a bit of a stickler for a really clear view without any obvious vices that the leicas display. Exit pupil is an issue although eye relief is not so much for me fortunately. That's why I was tompted towards the 7x42 as having good eyesight I can readily see the edge of the field with an exit pupil less than 5mm, that's what gives me more of a tunnel vision effect that anything else as you can see the edges of the tunnel, obviously in the middle of the day it wouldn't be an issue with any habicht but even less so with the 7x42's. I'm tempted to think that porros are probably the way to go with my requirements and budget as I'd ideally like to buy new. Am I right in thinking that for top quality and waterproof the habicht are the only game in town for the budget?
 

ZeNiTh-PbArM

Well-known member
Hi

Yes 15 years of (harsh) use, no service, shirt cleaning didn't scratch the lenses.
Also have the Nikon E2 and prefer the Habicht, for my use and to my eyes it is a superior instrument (sharper, clearer, lighter, smaller, and more robust). Binoculars are all about compromises you "just" need to select the one you like the best (or the ones you like the best).

Cheers
zp*
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
There is something which intriges me about old style porro binos. It may be sentimental because it reminds me of my childhood and my early beginning of serious binocular testing in the 80s.
Short eye relief and with some models, like Habicht 7x42, very small fov. But when I tried them; wow! Exceptional clarity, sharpness and colors in the center of the field.
Around 20 years ago I decided to get only binoculars useable with eyeglasses and I sold the binoculars I had.
But still I lust for some high grade porro, like Nikon or Swarovski.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
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
I have the 7x42 Habicht, they are wonderful binoculars. But with almost every binocular as you were reading here there are pros and cons that you can’t get away from. Unless of course you want to spend $2500 and even there the SF and NL have some issues if we really want to be optics snobs. Field of view is very small but it’s the brightest binocular that I have and I have a large collection. They bring out beautiful realistic natural colors on all objects that some more expensive Binoculars don’t. These are a classy, throwback done with some new technology. They are more a traditionalists type of thing.

If that’s not a desire there are few I’d really recommend. As another poster mentioned the Kowa 8 x 33 are fantastic binos as well as the Nikon 8x32 MHG. And both are better than the Trinovids on CA. If you really like porros the Nikon EII’s are another really nice bino with great FOV & DOF.
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
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. AmReally near where the Habicht were ??p?r oduced. 😀

I got NL Pure 8x42 a few weeks ago. And I find it interesting that you have it, and enjoy Habicht 7x42 as well.
The light transmission of these binos are 92 resp. 96%. On paper it's actually not big difference and I thought it's barely noticeable for the eyes. At least for those who cannot make use of the larger exit pupil of 7x42.
Do you notice a brightness difference even when it's not dim?
I am 54 and I understand Habicht 7x42 probably is the brightest binocular I can make use of. This makes it tempting for me to get it.
One drawback apart from narrow FOV of Habicht 7x42 is the short eye relief.
While NL Pure 8x42 works good with eyeglasses despite the very wide FOV, Habicht will not work good. So for me it would mean I need to accept to take of the eyeglasses with a binocular again.
 

William Lewis

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I have the 7x42 Habicht, they are wonderful binoculars. But with almost every binocular as you were reading here there are pros and cons that you can’t get away from. Unless of course you want to spend $2500 and even there the SF and NL have some issues if we really want to be optics snobs. Field of view is very small but it’s the brightest binocular that I have and I have a large collection. They bring out beautiful realistic natural colors on all objects that some more expensive Binoculars don’t. These are a classy, throwback done with some new technology. They are more a traditionalists type of thing.

If that’s not a desire there are few I’d really recommend. As another poster mentioned the Kowa 8 x 33 are fantastic binos as well as the Nikon 8x32 MHG. And both are better than the Trinovids on CA. If you really like porros the Nikon EII’s are another really nice bino with great FOV & DOF.
Hi Paultricounty.

Popped into cleyspy today, unfortunately but predictably no habichts to try but they did have the 8x33 kowa genesis. Made quite a big difference in terms of clarity from the trinovids, plumage on birds out of there back door was clearer and as suggested ca was non existant. Also tried the 8x44 kowas, bit of a heavy old beast of a bin but noticeably lighter in terms of transmission and noticeably smaller in terms of fov, 33's were much easier to handle, focus wheel travel much better than the trinovids, but stiffer, ultravid 42's not a huge step up in optics, if at all, travel ammount roughly the same as the trinovids, ie a bit too much for my taste. Just had a nice watch over the marshes off brancaster staithe with the old trinovids though, flocks of 30+ curlew, probably about 50 bearded tits going into roost as well.

Any suggestions of how to get a go with the habichts, is it frowned upon to get a pair to try and send back if not quite what I'm after?
 

Rg548

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Hi Paultricounty.

Popped into cleyspy today, unfortunately but predictably no habichts to try but they did have the 8x33 kowa genesis. Made quite a big difference in terms of clarity from the trinovids, plumage on birds out of there back door was clearer and as suggested ca was non existant. Also tried the 8x44 kowas, bit of a heavy old beast of a bin but noticeably lighter in terms of transmission and noticeably smaller in terms of fov, 33's were much easier to handle, focus wheel travel much better than the trinovids, but stiffer, ultravid 42's not a huge step up in optics, if at all, travel ammount roughly the same as the trinovids, ie a bit too much for my taste. Just had a nice watch over the marshes off brancaster staithe with the old trinovids though, flocks of 30+ curlew, probably about 50 bearded tits going into roost as well.

Any suggestions of how to get a go with the habichts, is it frowned upon to get a pair to try and send back if not quite what I'm after?
Ace optics in Bath usually have them. If it's a long way, perhaps a stay over in Bath. It's worth a visit.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Hi Paultricounty.

Popped into cleyspy today, unfortunately but predictably no habichts to try but they did have the 8x33 kowa genesis. Made quite a big difference in terms of clarity from the trinovids, plumage on birds out of there back door was clearer and as suggested ca was non existant. Also tried the 8x44 kowas, bit of a heavy old beast of a bin but noticeably lighter in terms of transmission and noticeably smaller in terms of fov, 33's were much easier to handle, focus wheel travel much better than the trinovids, but stiffer, ultravid 42's not a huge step up in optics, if at all, travel ammount roughly the same as the trinovids, ie a bit too much for my taste. Just had a nice watch over the marshes off brancaster staithe with the old trinovids though, flocks of 30+ curlew, probably about 50 bearded tits going into roost as well.

Any suggestions of how to get a go with the habichts, is it frowned upon to get a pair to try and send back if not quite what I'm after?
You should check return policy before buying. Here across the great pond a lot vendors have 30 day free return policies except Cameraland. Habicht 7x42 Focus travel isn’t much faster or shorter than the Kowa Genesis. If that’s a real desire the best I’ve seen in that respect is the Zeiss conquest. I’m waiting on a pair of Swaro 8x30 Habichts from Honeycreekbillandbeek. Gordon the owner is a great guy and also has return policy. You may have to work something out on shipping though considering distance but I don’t know. This is my 5th pair of binos I bought from him since the summer. He checks the binos for collimation, focus consistently before shipping upon request. So no surprise. good luck & let us know what you wind up with.
Thank you
paul W
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
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.
As many have posted here concerning the stiff focuser on the Habichts as I agree. There was a post here from some member that said he sent his back to Swaro and they fixed it right up. I’d love to know if they improved the stiff focuser or if it was some other issue that needed repair. I don’t remember the post.
thx
Paul W
 

Aquaplas

Well-known member
Austria
I got NL Pure 8x42 a few weeks ago. And I find it interesting that you have it, and enjoy Habicht 7x42 as well.
The light transmission of these binos are 92 resp. 96%. On paper it's actually not big difference and I thought it's barely noticeable for the eyes. At least for those who cannot make use of the larger exit pupil of 7x42.
Do you notice a brightness difference even when it's not dim?
I am 54 and I understand Habicht 7x42 probably is the brightest binocular I can make use of. This makes it tempting for me to get it.
One drawback apart from narrow FOV of Habicht 7x42 is the short eye relief.
While NL Pure 8x42 works good with eyeglasses despite the very wide FOV, Habicht will not work good. So for me it would mean I need to accept to take of the eyeglasses with a binocular again.

Yes, i also can notice a Difference in Brightness even when it`s not dim. The Habicht is Brighter, and the Colours of the Habicht are more nutral. On very bright Daylight the NL Pure 8x42 is more contrasty, and the Colours are more Vibrant than in the Habicht. But on sunny days when you go in the woods inside the habicht beginns to beat the NL Pure in brightness. All areas in shaddow are brighter. The Colours in the Shaddow parts looks cleaner. I also noticed that difference in Brightness on cloudy Days. Dont understand me wrong, my Nl 8x42 is my big love and in all other parameters he beats the Habicht easy. But in Brightness the Habicht is my favourite. The 96% Transmission vs. the 91% of the NL you will see! Colours in shaddow are more shiny and polished.
The Habicht is such a simple construction vs the new Binos, you can`t get them with a alpha Roof from the Physics.
Is a very special Bino the Habicht. A real allrounder with low light Ability. I love it for hiking.
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
Yes, i also can notice a Difference in Brightness even when it`s not dim. The Habicht is Brighter, and the Colours of the Habicht are more nutral. On very bright Daylight the NL Pure 8x42 is more contrasty, and the Colours are more Vibrant than in the Habicht. But on sunny days when you go in the woods inside the habicht beginns to beat the NL Pure in brightness. All areas in shaddow are brighter. The Colours in the Shaddow parts looks cleaner. I also noticed that difference in Brightness on cloudy Days. Dont understand me wrong, my Nl 8x42 is my big love and in all other parameters he beats the Habicht easy. But in Brightness the Habicht is my favourite. The 96% Transmission vs. the 91% of the NL you will see! Colours in shaddow are more shiny and polished.
The Habicht is such a simple construction vs the new Binos, you can`t get them with a alpha Roof from the Physics.
Is a very special Bino the Habicht. A real allrounder with low light Ability. I love it for hiking.

Thanks for sharing your experience!
Then the next question is: which one to choose, the standard black or the rubbered green? I guess the rubbered is more water resistant, but the eyecups are also wider.
Any opinion about the comfort difference with these two eyecups?
 

Aquaplas

Well-known member
Austria
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Then the next question is: which one to choose, the standard black or the rubbered green? I guess the rubbered is more water resistant, but the eyecups are also wider.
Any opinion about the comfort difference with these two eyecups?

At first i know both. First i bought the green Rubbered Version. I like this kind of rubber very much, it s millitary graded and much better than on other glasses. The Eyecups on the Rubbered Version are bigger. Most People have with this more comfort when Viewing. Iam not! I like the Black Version Eyecups more for my anatomie...
After i bought the Green version i testet the Black Version. I like the Black much more. Why? The Eyecoups are for me better, and there is a difference in Weight! I use the Habicht as a hiking Glass, and weight is important. This is one of the lightest 42 mm Glasses you can get.
The thing with The Eyecoups you have to try out. The Rubber is very Strong and very high value. Is very Grippy. But the black is also very Grippy too.
Water resistang are both same. Both 4m Complete resistant. `So i switched to the Black Version.
Last Hour i was in the Woods here in Austria with my Habicht, its a Cloudy and bit rainy day. I can tell you the Habicht is awesome. The small Fov is most times for me no problem. Special in the woods in near distances up to 100 meter its no problem. The 7 time Magnification is great for hiking.
 
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Swedpat

Well-known member
At first i know both. First i bought the green Rubbered Version. I like this kind of rubber very much, it s millitary graded and much better than on other glasses. The Eyecups on the Rubbered Version are bigger. Most People have with this more comfort when Viewing. Iam not! I like the Black Version Eyecups more for my anatomie...
After i bought the Green version i testet the Black Version. I like the Black much more. Why? The Eyecoups are for me better, and there is a difference in Weight! I use the Habicht as a hiking Glass, and weight is important. This is one of the lightest 42 mm Glasses you can get.
The thing with The Eyecoups you have to try out. The Rubber is very Strong and very high value. Is very Grippy. But the black is also very Grippy too.
Water resistang are both same. Both 4m Complete resistant. `So i switched to the Black Version.
Last Hour i was in the Woods here in Austria with my Habicht, its a Cloudy and bit rainy day. I can tell you the Habicht is awesome. The small Fov is most times for me no problem. Secial in the woods in near distances up to 100 meter its no problem. The 7 time Magnification is great for hiking.

Thanks! While the rubber version truly is tougher, the black has a nicer design, in my opinion. And it's lower price. So I think that unless you will use it under extreme conditions the black will be ok.
 
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Aquaplas

Well-known member
Austria
Thanks! While the rubber version truly is tougher, the black has a nicer design, in my opinion. And it's lower price. So I think that unless you will use it under extreme conditions the black will be ok.

Yes, the rubber is tougher! But tough is the black too. All Habichts ar really tough. A Fried of mine uses the Habicht Black Version for huntung for over 30 Years now. Has a nice Patina look, but optically is like new. This are Binos for a longe Time. But sure, impacts can withstand the Rubber Version better.
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
By the way: it came to my mind that a narrow field of view sometimes is an advantage when you want maximal night vision and detecting details in low light.
Now and then you want to see something in a dark area. And sometimes there are light sources between or around it. With a narrow AFOV some of the light sources may be outside the field while they with a wide FOV will be in the field resulting in damaging the view of the dark spot. Depending on the distance and position of light sources it will not always be the case, but sometimes it will.
So, sometimes 46deg AFOV is good.
 
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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