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Swarovski/Leica 8x32 for my use ? (1 Viewer)

antoine22

Well-known member
Switzerland
Hello,

I'm finally going to upgrade my binoculars and I have 2-3 pairs that I'm interested in

1. Swarovski 8x32 EL FieldPro
2. Leica Ultravid 8x32 HD-Plus
(3. Leica Ultravid 8x42 HD-Plus)

I tried the Ultravid last week and was a bit disappointed. I didn't get that famous "Leica pop" and the CA (purple fringe) was very apparent to me

I tried the Swarovski a few months ago but it was the 10x32. I immediately loved the grip and the view.

As you can see, I also added the Ultravid 8x42 in brackets. Indeed, the Swarovski 8x32 are the same size as the Ultravid 8x42 so why not?

My use is : weekend birder, frequent hiker so the fact that they are compact is an advantage and I often travel with my binoculars to Africa or Asia

I'd love to hear from some of you who have these models

Thanks
 
These are good times when you have to choose between an ELFP and a UVHD+ :) Wouldn't it be nice if all decisions in life were like that?

Here's my experience and comments:
I haven't tried the UVHD+, but in the past I've had the UV 8x32 and the UVHD 8x32 and found both very very similar and a great performer overal. I don't recall being particularly bothered by CA. The image was rich, full of contrast and I do recall that "pop".

My timeline regarding the UVHD was like this. I had a Zeiss FL 8x32 which was very nice, but I don't think it gave me what I wanted, so I kept searching. I tried the Leica UV and found it did had this "pop" you mention. For me it was a noticeable difference between the FL and the UV, so I kept the UV (oddly enough, I did the same comparison while owning the 7x42 UVHD and 7x42 FL and kept the FL, because I found the image of the latter more impressive).

I then upgraded to the UVHD (and saw no big difference, to be honest). And finally, while owning the UVHD 8x32 I bought a ELSV (pre-field pro) and had the chance to compare both extensively. In my case, I opted to keep the ELSV, but I think it was mostly due to "fit+feel", because I think both deliver a really pleasant view, each in each own style (in my personal experience and opinion, both gave me something the FL didn't; but mind you the FL is a really respected 8x32 which many love and found to be a top performer in a very compact and light package).

While I preferred the more compact and lighter body of the UVHD, I felt my fingers would jumble together while holding them, while the grip on the ELSV was great from the start. In addition to this, the eyepieces of the ELSV are simply stellar, the most comfortable 8x32 I've used, it feels like an 8x42. As a matter of fact, I tend to think of the 8x32 ELSV as a "compact" 8x42.

This last bit takes me to a (unsolicited) suggestion. You say the UVHD 8x42 is a compact 8x42, and while I agree with that (I've had the 7x42 UVHD), it weights around 790 g, while my ELSV weight 580 g, which is easily noticeable. However, there is one new 8x40, the Zeiss SFL that could be of interest, at 640 g and nearly the size of an 8x32 ELSV can be of interest. As a matter of fact, it didn't exist when I was looking for my 8x32, but had it been available, no doubt I would have checked it.

As a personal note: while using my 8x32 ELSV I got many compliments from my partner (who usually remains oblivious about the quality/price of the binoculars we are using), so much so, that I ended up getting a new 8x32 EL FP for her. I could say I slightly prefer the rubber armour on the FP, but other than that... I see no reason not to go for a 2nd hand ELSV (given Swarovski world renowned warranty and customer service). Just a thought. In fact, my ELSV (a 2014, IIRC) was serviced by Swarovski before I bought it... and it turns out that the focus wheel works better and more smoothly than the new ELFP, which feels not so soft, a little grainier.
 
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These are good times when you have to choose between an ELFP and a UVHD+ :) Wouldn't it be nice if all decisions in life were like that?

Here's my experience and comments:
I haven't tried the UVHD+, but in the past I've had the UV 8x32 and the UVHD 8x32 and found both very very similar and a great performer overal. I don't recall being particularly bothered by CA. The image was rich, full of contrast and I do recall that "pop".

My timeline regarding the UVHD was like this. I had a Zeiss FL 8x32 which was very nice, but I don't think it gave me what I wanted, so I kept searching. I tried the Leica UV and found it did had this "pop" you mention. For me it was a noticeable difference between the FL and the UV, so I kept the UV (oddly enough, I did the same comparison while owning the 7x42 UVHD and 7x42 FL and kept the FL, because I found the image of the latter more impressive).

I then upgraded to the UVHD (and saw no big difference, to be honest). And finally, while owning the UVHD 8x32 I bought a ELSV (pre-field pro) and had the chance to compare both extensively. In my case, I opted to keep the ELSV, but I think it was mostly due to "fit+feel", because I think both deliver a really pleasant view, each in each own style (in my personal experience and opinion, both gave me something the FL didn't; but mind you the FL is a really respected 8x32 which many love and found to be a top performer in a very compact and light package).

While I preferred the more compact and lighter body of the UVHD, I felt my fingers would jumble together while holding them, while the grip on the ELSV was great from the start. In addition to this, the eyepieces of the ELSV are simply stellar, the most comfortable 8x32 I've used, it feels like an 8x42. As a matter of fact, I tend to think of the 8x32 ELSV as a "compact" 8x42.

This last bit takes me to a (unsolicited) suggestion. You say the UVHD 8x42 is a compact 8x42, and while I agree with that (I've had the 7x42 UVHD), it weights around 790 g, while my ELSV weight 580 g, which is easily noticeable. However, there is one new 8x40, the Zeiss SFL that could be of interest, at 640 g and nearly the size of an 8x32 ELSV can be of interest. As a matter of fact, it didn't exist when I was looking for my 8x32, but had it been available, no doubt I would have checked it.

As a personal note: while using my 8x32 ELSV I got many compliments from my partner (who usually remains oblivious about the quality/price of the binoculars we are using), so much so, that I ended up getting a new 8x32 EL FP for her. I could say I slightly prefer the rubber armour on the FP, but other than that... I see no reason not to go for a 2nd hand ELSV (given Swarovski world renowned warranty and customer service). Just a thought. In fact, my ELSV (a 2014, IIRC) was serviced by Swarovski before I bought it... and it turns out that the focus wheel works better and more smoothly than the new ELFP, which feels not so soft, a little grainier.
Thank you very much for this detailed answer
I sold some things that were lying around the house so I was able to raise some money to buy a nice pair of binoculars that will follow me for a long time.

Now I just have to find a pair of 8x32 FP second hand at an acceptable price... the fun begins
 
Dont know, of course, what you mean, Antoine, with : ' an acceptable price '... but since you are going to live a very pleasant and important moment, make a decision for your eyes, your brain, your pleasure, your future... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE : DON'T FORGET TO TRY NL PURE 8x32 !!!!
;)
 
What have you got against Zeiss??
The Conquests are awesome, and the SF's are as good as it gets, along with Pures, and Ultras/ Nocts(not available in 32)
 
Dont know, of course, what you mean, Antoine, with : ' an acceptable price '... but since you are going to live a very pleasant and important moment, make a decision for your eyes, your brain, your pleasure, your future... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE : DON'T FORGET TO TRY NL PURE 8x32 !!!!
;)
Yeah NL Pure are certainly an excellent product but I was looking at the EL or UV second hand because my budget can’t stretch that far
 
What have you got against Zeiss??
The Conquests are awesome, and the SF's are as good as it gets, along with Pures, and Ultras/ Nocts(not available in 32)
I have nothing against Zeiss! In fact, the few times I’ve tried some Zeiss binoculars (Conquest 8x42) I was very very impressed with the view
The thing is :
1) the eyecups, on the model I tried, were awful
2) with the money I have ready (~ $1’300) I think the better value is a second hand alpha glass (SF 8x32 are too big for my need and too expansive even second hand)
 
...I think the better value is a second hand alpha glass
I agree completely and would have less than half of what I do now, in all areas, if I'd had to pay new prices. Didn't feel able to buy the 10x32 Ultravid HD +, but at less than half of list, it's now one of my favorites.

Shop wisely and with patience and you stand a good chance at having an instrument you could not even afford to seriously consider otherwise.
 
Hello,

I'm finally going to upgrade my binoculars and I have 2-3 pairs that I'm interested in

1. Swarovski 8x32 EL FieldPro
2. Leica Ultravid 8x32 HD-Plus
(3. Leica Ultravid 8x42 HD-Plus)

I tried the Ultravid last week and was a bit disappointed. I didn't get that famous "Leica pop" and the CA (purple fringe) was very apparent to me

I tried the Swarovski a few months ago but it was the 10x32. I immediately loved the grip and the view.

As you can see, I also added the Ultravid 8x42 in brackets. Indeed, the Swarovski 8x32 are the same size as the Ultravid 8x42 so why not?

My use is : weekend birder, frequent hiker so the fact that they are compact is an advantage and I often travel with my binoculars to Africa or Asia

I'd love to hear from some of you who have these models

Thanks

Now - this is a strange coincidence - As I have been using a loaner pair of EL all day yesterday and today as my Opticron Aurora 8x42 are in another vehicle, much to my distress early doors yesterday.

Well, I can say that I shall now have to set aside some cash for the EL 8x32 in the future as it is a stellar bin. I don't like the NL, totally wrong for my face shape. The EL 8x32? offfttt. Like a charm.

I don't like the CA in the Leica at all as I'm mega sensitive in the blue spectrum and causes me intense headaches. It is why I had to sell my Zeiss SF 8x42.
 
Hello,

I'm finally going to upgrade my binoculars and I have 2-3 pairs that I'm interested in

1. Swarovski 8x32 EL FieldPro
2. Leica Ultravid 8x32 HD-Plus
(3. Leica Ultravid 8x42 HD-Plus)

I tried the Ultravid last week and was a bit disappointed. I didn't get that famous "Leica pop" and the CA (purple fringe) was very apparent to me

I tried the Swarovski a few months ago but it was the 10x32. I immediately loved the grip and the view.

As you can see, I also added the Ultravid 8x42 in brackets. Indeed, the Swarovski 8x32 are the same size as the Ultravid 8x42 so why not?

My use is : weekend birder, frequent hiker so the fact that they are compact is an advantage and I often travel with my binoculars to Africa or Asia

I'd love to hear from some of you who have these models

Thanks
I would have to agree with everything Yarellii said. I have all three of those you‘re considering and all are top quality. You maybe very sensitive to CA more than some others and the Ultravids do have some more CA than the EL or NL, but it’s not on axis and I don’t find it in the image 90+% of the time. I can induce CA in the others as well , if I try.

If your not getting the pop you want from the Leica’s and CA bothered you, I’d go for the EL for sure in that group, but I’d definitely try those SFL‘s as Yarrellii has suggested, that might the Goldilocks choice.

Paul
 
I went thru a similar process in early 2021 and ended up with a pair of EL 8x32 FP as an upgrade from a pair of Maven B3 8x30 and also a pair of Swaro CL B 10x30. I still have the CL's and like them a lot, just a bit twitchy to hold steady when out hiking etc.
The ELs are a joy to use with a wow factor that hits me every time I take them out. I tried the Zeiss SF (really spectacular), Leica UV HD+, Nikon Monarch HG and walked out with the Swaro's. It really was subjective for me as the SF and UV were so close, I just liked the Swaros better, partly ergos and partly the view.
I just picked up a pair of used Zeiss Conquest HDs 10x32 in pretty rough shape and sent them back to Zeiss for repair. I was really impressed with the optics, its just mechanical work that needs to be done.
Try a bunch and get the one that wows you the most!
 
For me the ELSV 8x32 (mine are late pre-FP, there's no optical diference and you might pick up a pair for a bit less than the FP) suited me best, but the Zeiss SF and Leica UV are undoubtedly good binoculars. CA on the UV was just too noticeable (not terrible, but too much for me - CA control is about the only negative point I can find with Leica, but as someone who finds it really distracting...). Nothing really wrong with the Zeiss SF, eyecups a minor letdown, but the handling of the EL and view was just slightly more pleasing to me - I can see why some people would be drawn to the SF they're certainly not an inferior choice. The Conquest 8x32 is certainly worthy of considering - I wasn't that impressed with the higher mag Conquests (too much CA again and generally just good rather than excellent) but the 8x32 optically punched above their price point and whilst the body and handling doesn't have quite the feel of the higher priced binoculars it doesn't feel bad.
 
I hv both the Swaro EL FP’s and the Zeiss SF in 8x32 configuration. I’ve always had Swaro EL’s and bought the Zeiss based on the open bridge design when it first came out. Ergonomically I simply couldn’t get along with the Zeiss. I was forever fiddling with the eye cups and my grip, particularly placement of my primary finger on the focus knob - being in a different location to the Swaro’s meant I was constantly combating ”muscle memory” based on yrs of using Swaro EL’s….

the eyecups though were the dealbreaker - as Yarrellii has noted, the Swaro eye cups are just perfect in how they fit my face and eye sockets. the SF’s just dont feel as comfortable so they are my spare set whilst our primaray binos (my wife’s and mine) are Swaro EL 8x32 FP’s - mine in green and hers in the traveller brown.
 

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Hello,

I'm finally going to upgrade my binoculars and I have 2-3 pairs that I'm interested in

1. Swarovski 8x32 EL FieldPro
2. Leica Ultravid 8x32 HD-Plus
(3. Leica Ultravid 8x42 HD-Plus)

I tried the Ultravid last week and was a bit disappointed. I didn't get that famous "Leica pop" and the CA (purple fringe) was very apparent to me

I tried the Swarovski a few months ago but it was the 10x32. I immediately loved the grip and the view.

As you can see, I also added the Ultravid 8x42 in brackets. Indeed, the Swarovski 8x32 are the same size as the Ultravid 8x42 so why not?

My use is : weekend birder, frequent hiker so the fact that they are compact is an advantage and I often travel with my binoculars to Africa or Asia

I'd love to hear from some of you who have these models

Thanks
Go for the Swarovski 8x32 - bright, flat field edge to edge and zero colour fringing. Magnesium alloy tubes which reduce weight significantly - I also have Leica's and while they are optically excellent they are noticeable heavier.
 
The first time I ever looked through the EL 8X32 I was absolutely stunned.

It was at a perched Red-tailed hawk in the middle distance, and there was absolutely no sense of an instrument at all. It was as if I magically had acquired 8X vision, and there sat this magnificent bird, right there in the middle of my magically acquired vision.

I already owned a 10X42 EL, otherwise I would have bought the 8X32 on the spot.
 
Out of your choices, I like the Swarovski EL 8x32 the best, but they seem to be selling for $1500 to $1800 on the used market. If it was me, I would pay the extra $500 and get a new NL 8x32. It has a bigger FOV, smoother focuser and nicer ergonomics, and you are getting a new binocular.
 
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Out of your choices, I like the Swarovski EL 8x32 the best, but they seem to selling for $1500 to $1800 on the used market. If it was me, I would pay the extra $500 and get a new NL 8x32. It has a bigger FOV, smoother focuser and nicer ergonomics, and you are getting a new binocular.
I can get a pair for around $1'000-1'200 so it's still far from the NL pure price and unfortunately my budget can't stretch that far
 

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