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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Swarovski Optik EL 42 8.5x42 or something else? (1 Viewer)

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
I'm still reading reviews so, hopefully, my post isn't too redundant.

The Swarovski Optik EL 42 8.5x42 with a 20mm eye relief and awesome field of view look is attractive to me. I read a thread here about the NL's having a new eyecup that cuts the distance for eye relief by 3mm that retrofits to the SLC's. Is that eyecup also compatible with the EL's or, with their generous eye relief is that not needed? I wear glasses so, blackouts and restricted FOV is something I have to deal with in a lot of lesser bins. I have some older 8 power Minox bins as well so, these EL's are a little redundant but appear to be much better bins overall.

The other bins I have always wanted to try are the Leica Ultravids which are the same price right now in the 50mm versions. I was debating the 12 power but, I think the 10 power may be a better match for my needs after looking at the FOV and eye relief figures. People talk a lot about the better color rendition with Leica so, that combined with a bit more magnification is a strong pull for me.

I need something for a bit more distance as I'm not looking exclusively at birds on a nearby tree. I want something to support ship viewing into and out of harbors and animals grazing in the distance. I am in my mid-50's so, my dilated pupils may not be as large as in my youth but, with 8.5 or more power, 50mm or larger objectives are pretty easy to justify for dusk and dawn use, offset of course with weight and bulk. ;)

What is the wisdom and recommendations for someone like myself? What do the more experienced around here recommend for a ~$2,000 USD set of binoculars for someone like myself? I'm not opposed to saving some money if I have overlooked some different bins that are a great match for me and, I wonder about picking up some gently used NL's with 42mm objectives for hopefully around $2500. I'm not convinced the NL's are a big step up in optical quality for my uses so, even at an additional $500, seems to be overly expensive. However, it is not likely I will have any of these in my own hands without buying them first so, I don't know what I don't know! Please enlighten me!
 

nzwild

Well-known member
Im one of those that likes my 8.5s and its my main #1 allrounder. Another poster recently described it as

'The EL Swarovision is still amazing and is far less finicky with eye placement. It’s the one I would lend to my aging father or anyone with less experience using binos'.

I actually really like 'easy to use' when huffing and puffing around the hills (not so little hills here). Overall image is superb. I find the resolution of distant objects very very close to 10x. Im not an eye glass wearer though and I like using shorter eyecup settings so a flat NL eyecup could be beneficial.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I'm still reading reviews so, hopefully, my post isn't too redundant.

The Swarovski Optik EL 42 8.5x42 with a 20mm eye relief and awesome field of view look is attractive to me. I read a thread here about the NL's having a new eyecup that cuts the distance for eye relief by 3mm that retrofits to the SLC's. Is that eyecup also compatible with the EL's or, with their generous eye relief is that not needed? I wear glasses so, blackouts and restricted FOV is something I have to deal with in a lot of lesser bins. I have some older 8 power Minox bins as well so, these EL's are a little redundant but appear to be much better bins overall.

The other bins I have always wanted to try are the Leica Ultravids which are the same price right now in the 50mm versions. I was debating the 12 power but, I think the 10 power may be a better match for my needs after looking at the FOV and eye relief figures. People talk a lot about the better color rendition with Leica so, that combined with a bit more magnification is a strong pull for me.

I need something for a bit more distance as I'm not looking exclusively at birds on a nearby tree. I want something to support ship viewing into and out of harbors and animals grazing in the distance. I am in my mid-50's so, my dilated pupils may not be as large as in my youth but, with 8.5 or more power, 50mm or larger objectives are pretty easy to justify for dusk and dawn use, offset of course with weight and bulk. ;)

What is the wisdom and recommendations for someone like myself? What do the more experienced around here recommend for a ~$2,000 USD set of binoculars for someone like myself? I'm not opposed to saving some money if I have overlooked some different bins that are a great match for me and, I wonder about picking up some gently used NL's with 42mm objectives for hopefully around $2500. I'm not convinced the NL's are a big step up in optical quality for my uses so, even at an additional $500, seems to be overly expensive. However, it is not likely I will have any of these in my own hands without buying them first so, I don't know what I don't know! Please enlighten me!
If you can pick up a used pair of NLs for $2500 that is what I would buy. They are an improvement in many ways over the EL's and easily worth the $500 difference just for the much larger FOV, better ergonomics and much smoother focuser alone. I think they are the best binoculars you can buy right now. Here is a pair on Astromart that I bet you could get if you offered the seller $2500. It has been listed for a while now.

 
Last edited:

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Astromart has been around for quite a few years, and you have to subscribe to buy and sell on there. I believe the fee is now around
$15.00 per year. I have bought and sold binoculars on there. Many hobbyists with interests in trying out new optics, and the seller
receives feedback so you can check things out.
Overall, it works well. Another active classifieds forum is on Cloudy Nights, same thing, mostly hobbyists with similar interests.

You are on your own with sites like this, so do your homework.
 
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 Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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