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Zeiss SF 8x32 vs Swarovski SV 8x32 (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I received the 10x32 SF binos yesterday and will be mailing them back to the seller today. The Zeiss binos do not have captive lens covers for the objectives but instead use a single large cover that is attached with a lanyard to one of the eyelet at the obectives end of the binocular. If I used my binos only from home or in a car then I would leave the cover in the bino case and not use it out in the field.

For me it is important to have the objectives covered and not need to carry the bino case to have a place to put the cover when using the binoculars. I have the binos on my chest e and hanging from the strap while hiking with my camera and lens and often with a tripod as well. Having a dangling objectives cover or needing to have the bino case with me is a recipe for getting entangled and taking a fall and damaging my gear. This is far more important to me than any other differences between the Zeiss 10x32 SF and the Swarovski 10x32 EL binoculars.

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
Wow....I’ve used bins for 45 years and never used, or needed, objective covers - all weather, all climates. I accept some have very different priorities but returning these seems a huge hassle when any diy solution would likely be satisfactory.


Well-known member
I leave mine out/off whenever the glasses are around my neck, and put them back in/on when they are not or I am in no position to use them.

I personally like the SF ones better than the Swarovski ones. I never did put the "rubber bands" around the barrels. Don't want them flopping around when I am trying to look at something.

I'm a little mystified by the reasoning, but ...........
Got my hand today on the new SF32 and grabbed the 32SV for comparison. Unfortunately the Leica UV32 was not there;)

Taking the SV in my hands, the tubes feel smaller at the mouse of my hands because of the thumb grips this model has. Something the SF lacks and because of that it feels really bigger. Space between the bridges is 1 mm larger for the SV and the tube diameter is only 4 mm smaller so that can't be it.
Taking a look at the position of my focus finger after having used the bins, I see that they are at the exact same position with the SF as with the SV. So the position of the focus knob of both bins is irrelevant (for me).
Checking the balance while resting the bins on my thumbs/mouse of my hands, it turns out both are heavier on the objective side. No difference here.

Looking at the eyecups, from a distance, the exit pupil of the SF is perfect round with no leakage what so ever from the prism.
The SV shows prism leaking and also perfect round exit pupils.

It's obvious. The SF has no FF was my first impression. While the FOV seems to be 15 meters wider compared to the SV, the edge to edge sharpness of the SF is less.
Looking at the leaves of trees in the direction of the sun, both show glare in the same amount.

The focus knob of the SF has a diameter of 35 mm where the SV shows 29 mm. The SF is super smooth with no lash where so ever.
The SV just hasn't has that smoothness and the well known difference in left right turning resistance due to its spring design.

The view through both is superb and while looking through them both show piscushion and it strikes me while looking for that, the SF shows a blue ring round the outer FOV, where the SV shows no sign of anything but clear view.
Looking straight through both bins (and now I noticed it) it is hardly visible with the SF but clearly visible while looking near the edges of the FOV.

Both have the same close focus distance but a price difference of 450,00 euro in favour for the SV. Ouch!!!

Is the FOV visible wider in the SF? The SV shows edge to edge sharpness where the SF doesn't and yes, the view through the SF is wider but to be honest not noticeable wider to me. Just once measuring it and looking for it, it is there but during "normal observations" .........nehh.

This is going to be a tough job for Zeiss to shoot the SV out of the water, due to the current price drop of the SV, but the SF is a superb piece of art.

just thought I'd throw this comment in as an SF 8x32 owner of several months and perfectly happy for 1 main reason :

If I use Swaro 8x32 EL or SV I get an orange semicircle in the oculars- it gets worse if the sun is low. I tried different eyecup settings , different shaped glasses but it won't go away.
It is less noticeable in the older EL 10x32s- which I still use / have as a loaner pair. I had no problems with other Swaros over the years - though I do get rollingball in the newer 8.5s but not the 10x42 Field Pros.
The view through the SFs is frankly relaxing !

Oddly enough I cannot use the SF 8x42s either- the eyecups don't work for me / my glasses - BUT my wife loves hers and she wears glasses .


ps- first real bins were Swift Newports in 1976- been through jenoptems to Zeiss 9901s to 7x42s to SLCs to ELs to HGs, to Ultravids, FLs.
Depending on location I use the Zeiss SFs or Swaro 10x42 Field Pro:


Well-known member
Is there anyone here who compared the 10 time SF with the SV in 32mm. I read much about the 8x32 Glasses, but not much about the 10x...
Is there anyone here who compared the 10 time SF with the SV in 32mm. I read much about the 8x32 Glasses, but not much about the 10x...
I've got an older model of the 10x32SV (whichever model was around in 2013) and had the 10x32FL since mid-August. Not an expert with optics, but personally think the Zeiss are better. Main things I've noticed- the image is brighter & prefer the colours of the Zeiss, they are easier to hold steady, and the focus ring is smoother and fast so finding it easier to focus on flyovers and switch between close and distant birds. I've kept my Swarovski's so maybe post covid restrictions I'll try and spend more time comparing.

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