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Zeiss or Swaro? (1 Viewer)

dipped

Well-known member
Interesting? explanation from Holger Merlitz about the Absam ring and yet Canon have done a better flat field in their new Image Stabilised range according to Henry Link, who also knows what he is talking about.

Perhaps the next incarnation of Swarovisions will incorporate the absence of an Absam ring.
 

Kiwimac

Member
I took them out this morning with the dogs and spent some time refining IPD and grip etc, as well as being continually astonished by the overall performance.

I have a vague feeling that I might (note - might) find the ergonomics of the SF better, but not to the tune of NZ$1000 better. I may call the dealer and ask them to have a go at twisting the arm of the Zeiss supplier just to see whether they are prepared to sharpen their pencils. If they are, I would probably see whether the dealer was prepared to send me a pair to try just out of interest.

If they won't do any of that, I will keep these - they are 99% perfect for me, I just think the focus wheel placement and design on the SF looks like it would be better in the hand.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I took them out this morning with the dogs and spent some time refining IPD and grip etc, as well as being continually astonished by the overall performance.

I have a vague feeling that I might (note - might) find the ergonomics of the SF better, but not to the tune of NZ$1000 better. I may call the dealer and ask them to have a go at twisting the arm of the Zeiss supplier just to see whether they are prepared to sharpen their pencils. If they are, I would probably see whether the dealer was prepared to send me a pair to try just out of interest.

If they won't do any of that, I will keep these - they are 99% perfect for me, I just think the focus wheel placement and design on the SF looks like it would be better in the hand.

Congrats on your purchase, you have done very well, and you are correct
the Zeiss SF is better in hand, and has a wider FOV. But you were already
advised on that above.

Enjoy your new binocular in good health.

Jerry
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
If you can try the Swarovski 8x32 SV also. You MIGHT like it better. Smaller, lighter and a more immersive, bigger FOV. than the SV 8.5x42. It's got more "WOW" factor.
 
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mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
It might be the AFOV that is a contributing factor in this issue of 'Wow' (not a factual wow, but the subjective one....) ;-)

I think a wide AFOV can be immersive, regardless of the TRUE fov, imho. A wide, immersive effect is the equivalent of sitting closer to a movie screen, and the narrow AFOV is like sitting in the balcony. Same FOV, but you're further, perceptually, from the screen.

The Leica Trinovid HD 8x32, and the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42, both have fairly narrow AFOV, to my eyes (nor do they have exceptionally wide fields in their class anyways..) 'Balcony views'

On the opposite end of the spectrum, both the SF 8x42, and Noctivid 10 x 42 have immersive views to my eyes, even though the Noctivid FOV is smaller than either the Conquest or the Trinovid. The effect seems much more reliant on the relationship of eye relief and AFOV.

-Bill

Bill,

i don't understand complicated technical matters, like "which end of a hammer works?", but it seems to me you are making a good point here on the contribution of Apparent FOV to the "wow" factor.

My current understanding based on this thread and others: A larger linear or true FOV will show a larger part of the world but a larger AFOV can show a more enjoyable or immersive image that also "appears" larger than one might expect given the linear FOV.

For example, I have several different 10x32s all of which have FOV of @ 360'. But one of the models must have a smaller Apparent FOV, the visible image being surrounded by a thick black ring ("tunnel effect?"). This causes the image to appear much smaller to me than 360' and is much less enjoyable than the others. Toward the other end of the spectrum, the SW 12x50 EL has a 300' FOV but must have a relatively good Apparent FOV (63 degrees) as the overall scope of the image to me looks surprisingly more expansive than 300' would suggest, i.e. I don't think the 12x50 "wow" effect is due only to the 12x mag and otherwise excellent optics alone.

Mike
 

wdc

Well-known member
Hi Mike, Yes, its the tunnel effect that I'm describing. As an eyeglasses wearer, I am always trying to find a sweet spot that shows me the entire field of view, but also makes it as perceptually as wide as possible, with a minimum amount of the black ring. Ideally, that edge is right near the perceptual edge of my FOV. Thats why these devices are so 'personal' in a sense. Manufacturers are unwittingly creating an ergonomic/visual prescription for an individual, even though they are mass produced. Its no surprise that binoculars don't work for everyone. Twist up eyecups, and generous IPD settings certainly help, but perhaps there are even other variables that could be offered to the consumer to tweak or dial in....

-Bill
 

Kiwimac

Member
Followed up with the dealer re Zeiss.

They won't budge on the price, which is NZ$1,000 more than the ELs, so they lost the sale.

The dealer said "Well, the distributor has to make a margin so they can't discount."

I replied "They make no margin at all unless they actually sell something...regardless of the percentage!"

Apparently that is beyond their comprehension, so the ELs are staying.

I took them down to Onoke Spit yesterday. Not a lot of birdlife down there at this time of year - black swans, black shag, pied shag, goldfinch, mallards, Paradise duck and various gulls were observed. In nesting season there are Caspian Terns there as well.

The binoculars proved excellent. My only wish would have been to be able to suddenly jump from 8.5 to 40 or 50 times magnification...! Clear, bright and sharp. The strap attachment design is a thing that should be mentioned a lot more too - it really improves the overall experience.

Doubtless Swarovski will extract another NZ$5,500 from me sooner or later for a spotting scope. And maybe some CL Pockets too...!
 

horukuru

Here I Come !
Followed up with the dealer re Zeiss.

They won't budge on the price, which is NZ$1,000 more than the ELs, so they lost the sale.

The dealer said "Well, the distributor has to make a margin so they can't discount."

I replied "They make no margin at all unless they actually sell something...regardless of the percentage!"

Apparently that is beyond their comprehension, so the ELs are staying.

I took them down to Onoke Spit yesterday. Not a lot of birdlife down there at this time of year - black swans, black shag, pied shag, goldfinch, mallards, Paradise duck and various gulls were observed. In nesting season there are Caspian Terns there as well.

The binoculars proved excellent. My only wish would have been to be able to suddenly jump from 8.5 to 40 or 50 times magnification...! Clear, bright and sharp. The strap attachment design is a thing that should be mentioned a lot more too - it really improves the overall experience.

Doubtless Swarovski will extract another NZ$5,500 from me sooner or later for a spotting scope. And maybe some CL Pockets too...!

Enjoy the bino. It is a fine instrument. The CL is lovely too hahaha :king:
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
I took them out this morning with the dogs and spent some time refining IPD and grip etc, as well as being continually astonished by the overall performance.

I have a vague feeling that I might (note - might) find the ergonomics of the SF better, but not to the tune of NZ$1000 better. I may call the dealer and ask them to have a go at twisting the arm of the Zeiss supplier just to see whether they are prepared to sharpen their pencils. If they are, I would probably see whether the dealer was prepared to send me a pair to try just out of interest.

If they won't do any of that, I will keep these - they are 99% perfect for me, I just think the focus wheel placement and design on the SF looks like it would be better in the hand.

Congrats to the new bins!

Ergonomics might feel a bit more intuitive on the Zeiss SF but I think you will adapt to the Swaros.

As you say, no bins are 100% perfect and superior in all aspects. To me the Swaro EL SV was the best choice after testing out Zeiss SF, Leica Noctivid and the EL:s.

The weak spot with the Swaros:s might be stray light control in some extreme situations. The Noctivids are better in that aspect but they have more CA and the ergo is different (placement of focus wheel closer to nose, and less spacing between barrels to get a grip).

Strange pricing btw. In Europe the Swaros are usually more expensive, and the Noctivids are even more so.
 
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prc6995

Well-known member
Doubtless Swarovski will extract another NZ$5,500 from me sooner or later for a spotting scope. And maybe some CL Pockets too...!

I have a pair of 8x32 EL’s. but wanted something a little smaller to take with me where I wouldn’t normally take the EL’s so bought a pair of CL pockets & I have to say for the size they are really impressive & would be a great match for your 8.5x42 ELS’s.
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
It is kind of funny but I think in the Swarovski's it is the exact opposite. The 8x32 SV has a fuller, more immersive view than the 8.5x42 SV IMO. The smaller 32mm creates more of a "WOW" impression with it's bigger FOV . That is a big reason I prefer the SV 8x32 over the bigger SV 8.5 x42 another is weight and size.

Depends on how much effective eye relief you need. I guess you don't wear glasses?

The 8x32 SV is very nice also but IMO the glare handling is worse than the 8.5x42.

The 8.5x42 SV might not have the most immersive view, but for birding I set resolution, edge sharpness, color rendition and contrast first. When it comes to difficult ID:s the SV gets the job done.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I don't see much difference in glare handling, resolution, edge sharpness, color rendition or edge sharpness between the SV 8.5x42 and the SV 8x32 in the field under 99% of the situations I bird in. Both the SV 8.5x42 and SV 8x32 will show a little glare in tough lighting situations. 99% of the time the smaller glass will get the job done and a the end of the day your not as tired. I have used them both a lot and almost all the time I grab for the SV 8x32. The bigger FOV ,smaller size and weight and better handling almost always wins me over. I am pretty sure that is why most birders prefer the 32mm format because they provide 99% of the view for 25% less weight and size and for most daylight birding it is all you need. The only reason I see to get the SV 8.5x42 is if you do a lot of low light birding or wildlife viewing and in that situation I prefer a 10x40, 10x42, 10x50 or 12x50 which have better Twilight Factor and will show more detail. If you only have ONE binocular for daytime and low light the SV 8.5x42 would be a better choice but I would RATHER have an SV 8x32 or any high quality 8x32mm or 8x30mm for normal daytime birding ESPECIALLY when you are doing a lot of hiking and close in birding and a good quality 10x40, 10x42, 10x50 or 12x50 for low light birding and distant wildlife viewing from a static position when you are probably not going to be hiking as much. That is what I have found works best for me. You have the correct tool for the job. The SV 8.5x42 is a good all-rounder but it is not as good as having and 8x32 AND a 10x50 or 12x50. My daylight birding binoculars are the SV 8x32, Habicht 8x30, Nikon 8x30 EII and the Nikon HG 8x30 which are all under 22 oz. and then when it's starts getting darker I pull out the Habicht 7x42(22 oz.), Habicht 10x40( 23 oz.) and the Swarovski SV 12x50(34 oz.) in that order. Having a mix of porro's and roof's let's me choose if I want a 3D view or flat field also. If you like Swarovski SV's the PERFECT combination for you would be the 8x32 SV for daytime birding and hiking and the 12x50 SV for low light birding and wildlife observing used in a more stationary manner. That is what I have. So for only $5K you have the perfect combo!;)
 
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Vespobuteo

Well-known member
I don't see much difference in glare handling, resolution, edge sharpness, color rendition or edge sharpness between the SV 8.5x42 and the SV 8x32 in the field under 99% of the situations I bird in. Both the SV 8.5x42 and SV 8x32 will show a little glare in tough lighting situations. 99% of the time the smaller glass will get the job done and a the end of the day your not as tired. I have used them both a lot and almost all the time I grab for the SV 8x32. The bigger FOV ,smaller size and weight and better handling almost always wins me over. I am pretty sure that is why most birders prefer the 32mm format because they provide 99% of the view for 25% less weight and size and for most daylight birding it is all you need. The only reason I see to get the SV 8.5x42 is if you do a lot of low light birding or wildlife viewing and in that situation I prefer a 10x40, 10x42, 10x50 or 12x50 which have better Twilight Factor and will show more detail. If you only have ONE binocular for daytime and low light the SV 8.5x42 would be a better choice but I would RATHER have an SV 8x32 or any high quality 8x32mm or 8x30mm for normal daytime birding ESPECIALLY when you are doing a lot of hiking and close in birding and a good quality 10x40, 10x42, 10x50 or 12x50 for low light birding and distant wildlife viewing from a static position when you are probably not going to be hiking as much. That is what I have found works best for me. You have the correct tool for the job. The SV 8.5x42 is a good all-rounder but it is not as good as having and 8x32 AND a 10x50 or 12x50. My daylight birding binoculars are the SV 8x32, Habicht 8x30, Nikon 8x30 EII and the Nikon HG 8x30 which are all under 22 oz. and then when it's starts getting darker I pull out the Habicht 7x42(22 oz.), Habicht 10x40( 23 oz.) and the Vortex Razor 12x50(28 oz.) in that order. Having a mix of porro's and roof's let's me choose if I want a 3D view or flat field also. If you like Swarovski SV's the PERFECT combination for you would be the 8x32 SV for daytime birding and hiking and the 12x50 SV for low light birding and wildlife observing used in a more stationary manner. So for only $5K you have the perfect combo!;)

Intrusive glare is easier to avoid (by moving the bin around a bit) with a larger exit pupil, there is more distance to baffling etc. A 8x32 will be affected more in those conditions.

Carrying two bins on the same day seems a bit awkward as I often face both daylight and low light during the same day when birding, and the 8.5x42 works good enough in low light, a 8x32 is more of a daylight bin. My 7x42 FL is even better under demanding light conditions like viewing close to a low sun, in the winter time etc. so I've already got that area covered. A 12x50 for more stationary use might be helpful but in those cases I really prefer a small scope with more magnification. But a 12x bin you could pull out of your hat when ever needed would be useful. ;)

The perfect bin for all occasions is yet to be seen. The perfect combo of bins would be very personal and depend on what type of birding you do etc.
I think my 7x42 FL, 8.5x42 SV + a 65mm scope got it covered for me, mostly.

But would I buy another bin (just for fun & variety) it would probably be a Leica...
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
i agree with you about glare being better with a larger exit pupil. I never carry two bins. It is either an 8x32 or 8x30 for day light(SV, HG, EII or Habicht and then when it get's darker or I want more detail at longer distances I go to the 12x50 SV. I agree about the 7x42 being good under demanding light and they also control glare well but I use a Habicht 7x42 for that because it only weighs 23 oz. and has very high light transmission. I use my 12x50 SV's a lot observing birds and wildlife at greater distances and in lower light conditions. They work great in Yellowstone National Park for example spotting Wolves in the early morning and late evening. I recently traded the Vortex Razor's 12x50's for the Swarovski SV 12x50's because even though the Swarovski's are 6 oz. heavier they are a little better optically with a bigger FOV and have sharper edges. The 12x really helps with detail at distance. I have tried Leica's including the Noctivid and I think they are good but a notch down from Swarovski's IMO. I do like the saturated colors in the Leica's and I have had many different models. A lot of the older model Leica's like the BR or BN are just as good optically as the newer Ultravid HD-plus and they are less expensive on the used market. I do have the Leica Ultravid HD 8x20 now for a compact and it is very good.
 
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Kiwimac

Member
Congrats to the new bins!

Ergonomics might feel a bit more intuitive on the Zeiss SF but I think you will adapt to the Swaros.

As you say, no bins are 100% perfect and superior in all aspects. To me the Swaro EL SV was the best choice after testing out Zeiss SF, Leica Noctivid and the EL:s.

The weak spot with the Swaros:s might be stray light control in some extreme situations. The Noctivids are better in that aspect but they have more CA and the ergo is different (placement of focus wheel closer to nose, and less spacing between barrels to get a grip).

Strange pricing btw. In Europe the Swaros are usually more expensive, and the Noctivids are even more so.

Yes, NZ pricing is often odd. We usually have to put up with 'distributors' in the middle, who add zero value as far as I can see. The dealers ought to be able to log on to the manufacturer and order stock direct. A distributor clips the ticket, inflating prices simply to receive goods from the factory, repack in smaller quantities and send to retailers. Stupid.

I am a professional photographer and I see this with camera gear all the time. My favoured dealer actually buys memory cards in bulk from B&H and resells them because the price is less than 50% of what the official Sandisk etc prices are in NZ...!

Another thing is the lack of some products. The genuine Swarovski cleaning kit is not available in NZ because minimum order quantities are too high!

I was told that Swaro build their binoculars in the USA from parts to avoid some tax or other which adds to their price. I am not sure whether that is actually the case. Ours just ship from Austria direct.

I've been out and about with the ELs some more and they continue to impress. The CA control is very good and leagues ahead of my Leica Ultravids, which will add purple and/or yellow auras along things like distant ridgelines against the sky etc. Brightness and resolution are much better too.

I was looking at a rabbit this evening and beyond the point when I could no longer discern it even as a darker blob on the front lawn 60 metres away, I could tell which way it was facing and son on through the ELs.

Earlier in the day, one of the three raptor species in NZ, the Australasian Harrier, was hunting over the vineyards next door, so I was enjoying a very clear and crisp view of that!
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Swarovski binoculars built in the USA?

Picking up on the query by KiwiMac in post #55

Since 2009, some lines of telescopic sights are assembled in the USA by Swarovski Optik North America
They're assembled from parts manufactured by Swarovski in Austria and subjected to final quality assurance by SONA
And both the units and the packaging are clearly marked 'Assembled in USA' (vs 'Made in Austria')

n.b. no other products have been/ are assembled by SONA - so confusion about the sights would seem to be the basis for what KiwiMac was told

Of course SONA also services most Swarovski binocular lines, including doing extensive parts replacement where required - so in some instances rebuilding rather than building



John
 
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Kiwimac

Member
A quick report on the winged eyecups, which I fitted yesterday.

Although they appear a bit Heath Robinson in execution, they work fantastically well and improve the view/ease of use a good deal, for me at least.

Ideally I would have preferred fully manufactured replacement eyecups like the OEM but with the wings instead of the rubber bumpers as it would have been neater than the actual solution but nevertheless it does work.
 

Kiwimac

Member
Swarovski binoculars built in the USA?

Picking up on the query by KiwiMac in post #55

Since 2009, some lines of telescopic sights are assembled in the USA by Swarovski Optik North America
They're assembled from parts manufactured by Swarovski in Austria and subjected to final quality assurance by SONA
And both the units and the packaging are clearly marked 'Assembled in USA' (vs 'Made in Austria')

n.b. no other products have been/ are assembled by SONA - so confusion about the sights would seem to be the basis for what KiwiMac was told

Of course SONA also services most Swarovski binocular lines, including doing extensive parts replacement where required - so in some instances rebuilding rather than building



John

What is most interesting in that is that the warranty differs between Here in NZ (and perhaps elsewhere, I do not know) and the USA.

We get 10 years. I believe the USA gets lifetime. Given the two products are identical, it is difficult to see any justification for that differential treatment of consumers.

Mind you, binocular warranties have reduced. Leica used to be lifetime. Then when I bought mine 12 years ago the warranty was 30 years. Now it is 10.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
What is most interesting in that is that the warranty differs between Here in NZ (and perhaps elsewhere, I do not know) and the USA.

We get 10 years. I believe the USA gets lifetime. Given the two products are identical, it is difficult to see any justification for that differential treatment of consumers.

Mind you, binocular warranties have reduced. Leica used to be lifetime. Then when I bought mine 12 years ago the warranty was 30 years. Now it is 10.

I would not be too anxious about the warranty, even though they may state 10 years. Swarovski will support for many years beyond that, Zeiss does very well, and Leica is doing better.

I have experience with all of these. This is in the US, where we often get
special attention it seems. ;)

Jerry
 

42za

Well-known member
I would not be too anxious about the warranty, even though they may state 10 years. Swarovski will support for many years beyond that, Zeiss does very well, and Leica is doing better.

I have experience with all of these. This is in the US, where we often get
special attention it seems. ;)

Jerry

Just enjoy the special attention that you get in the U.S.A. , here in my country guarantees and warranties are a big joke , if you purchase anything you are more often than not completely on your own :-C .

Cheers.
 

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