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Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 vs Swarovski EL 10x42 (2 Viewers)

jfradm

Member
Hello folks !

After considering buying compact binoculars to replace my old Leica BCA 10x25, I move forward considering that in low light conditions I will ever be unsatisfied by this kind of bino.

Thus, I totally switch my mind to a pair of 10x42 that I don't have for the moment.

Considering that I am looking for the best optic quality (without considering build quality or ergonomy), how would you rank these two binoculars.

I know that the question is not easy. That's precisly why I am sharing with you to help me choose.

At first I was going for de Swarovski but after reading reviews on the Zeiss SF I am a little bite lost.

So, which one should I get considering only optical accuracy.

Many thanks,

Jeff
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
jfradm, post 1,
The best way to decide is to go to a shop and try them both, so you can compare. And it can also help to read different test reports, there are a few published and you can find them easily on internet. I can give you my personal preference, but that does not help you a lot, since we are different.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

jfradm

Member
Thanks for your answer.
Even in Paris, France it is difficult to do that.
Impossible to find a local dealer with swarovski EL 10x42.
Same time the same answer: it's only on order.... :(
 

alan kennedy

Well-known member
I tried both and opted for Zeiss. Both are optically superb. The Swaro may have slightly better edge sharpness? I can't remember, but it's not important to me. Handling and feel did it for me.

As Gijs says above, you really need to try for yourself.

Alan
 

jfradm

Member
I wish I can try both but as already explained, impossible to put the hands on a swaro EL in Paris....:eek!:
 

GoldenBear

Well-known member
As others have said, it would definitely be best to try both first, preferably side by side.

I own both a Victory HT and Swarovski SLC, and I had the Victory SF 10x42 for about 8 months. Either instrument you're considering is excellent.

I've spent countless hours going back and forth between mine as well as my wife's Nikon Monarch HG, and the one thing I concluded is that when talking about bins in this class, there is not likely any detail you'll see in one that the other would have missed. I could tell someone exactly how each of mine are different, but to say which is "best"... there is no definitive answer.

Having said that, between the two you're considering, and if there was no way to check both first, I would opt for the Zeiss SF especially in the 10x format. In terms of pure optical performance, sharpesss, contrast, etc. I prefer Swaro, but in 10X format the Zeiss SF balance and ergonomics (making it easier to hold steady) win out.

A very difficult choice - if you can order both from someplace that allows you to return them, it would be worth it that way you won't always wonder if the one you didn't choose might somehow have been preferable to you.
 

alan kennedy

Well-known member
I wish I can try both but as already explained, impossible to put the hands on a swaro EL in Paris....:eek!:

Sorry, missed that, in which case I recommend the Zeiss.

Goldenbear's advice re returns/exchanges is sound however No matter how technically accomplished the binocular it might just not suit you in hand, so the option to swap would be reassuring, given the outlay.

Bonne chance!

Alan
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Thanks for your answer.
Even in Paris, France it is difficult to do that.
Impossible to find a local dealer with swarovski EL 10x42.
Same time the same answer: it's only on order.... :(

I find that hard to believe.
You should PM Eronald from Paris. He states otherwise.

Otherwise, I've mailed Swarovski for a dealerlist with SV stock in Paris. Presumably it will come in tomorrow.

Jan
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Between your two choices I would pick the Swarovski EL 10x42 because when I tried the Zeiss SF 10x42 I saw orange crescent's at the bottom of the FOV due to reflection's beyond the eye piece diaphragm. Allbino's talk's about it in their review. I actually prefer and use the Nikon EDG 10x42 because IMO it is more optically perfect than either the Zeiss SF 10x42 or the Swarovski EL 10x42 and it control's glare better than either, especially the Swarovski. It also has a smoother more fluid focuser than either which is important to me while birding.

https://www.allbinos.com/215-binoculars_review-Nikon_10x42_EDG.html
https://www.allbinos.com/223-binoculars_review-Swarovski_EL_10x42_Swarovision.html
https://www.allbinos.com/304-binoculars_review-Carl_Zeiss_Victory_SF_10x42.html
 
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I agree with the dominant opinion here - they are the two best 10x42s made, both are fantastic. There isn't really a "better" bin of the two, everyone will have their own opinion. I have not used the 10x42SF much, but own the 8x42 SF (3 years use), 10x42 EL (8 years use), and have used the 8.5x42 EL a good amount. I prefer the SF to the EL overall in either size for it's better handling, focuser, ergonomics, and larger field of view. But the difference is not enormous, the Swarovskis are still excellent. If you can, try them ahead of time. If you cannot try them ahead of time make certain you can return your choice if for whatever reason it doesn't please you.

The EDGs have excellent optics and great focusers but are heavy, have smaller FOV, are no longer made, have poor service availability, and tend to have problems with the armor peeling among people who use them heavily. The armor peeling is something that seems to affect people who use them in the field every day. For casual use, well cared for, I've not heard of this problem, but the hardcore birders and field biologists I know end up returning their EDGs for armor repair every 1-2 years, and are usually given new bins instead of repaired bins. With no/little new stock available, it's not clear how this service will continue for those who need it.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Both are two top of the line binoculars. Personal preference is going to be the key in which to purchase. The good thing is you are not going to make a mistake getting either... I've had both for a while and l still have the EL. I'd try to handle both in person if you need to. If you can try the SF locally do so. You may not need to try the EL. Kind of surprised but I even had a picture of the two together.
 

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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I agree with the dominant opinion here - they are the two best 10x42s made, both are fantastic. There isn't really a "better" bin of the two, everyone will have their own opinion. I have not used the 10x42SF much, but own the 8x42 SF (3 years use), 10x42 EL (8 years use), and have used the 8.5x42 EL a good amount. I prefer the SF to the EL overall in either size for it's better handling, focuser, ergonomics, and larger field of view. But the difference is not enormous, the Swarovskis are still excellent. If you can, try them ahead of time. If you cannot try them ahead of time make certain you can return your choice if for whatever reason it doesn't please you.

The EDGs have excellent optics and great focusers but are heavy, have smaller FOV, are no longer made, have poor service availability, and tend to have problems with the armor peeling among people who use them heavily. The armor peeling is something that seems to affect people who use them in the field every day. For casual use, well cared for, I've not heard of this problem, but the hardcore birders and field biologists I know end up returning their EDGs for armor repair every 1-2 years, and are usually given new bins instead of repaired bins. With no/little new stock available, it's not clear how this service will continue for those who need it.
"The EDGs have excellent optics and great focusers but are heavy, have smaller FOV, are no longer made, have poor service availability, and tend to have problems with the armor peeling among people who use them heavily. The armor peeling is something that seems to affect people who use them in the field every day. For casual use, well cared for, I've not heard of this problem, but the hardcore birders and field biologists I know end up returning their EDGs for armor repair every 1-2 years, and are usually given new bins instead of repaired bins. With no/little new stock available, it's not clear how this service will continue for those who need it."

The Nikon EDG 10x42 weigh's 27.9 oz and has a 342 FOV, the Zeiss SF 10x42 weigh's 27.5 oz. and has a 360 FOV and the Swarovski EL 10x42 weigh's 28 oz. and has a 336 FOV. Actually the EDG 10x42 has a bigger FOV than the Swarovski EL 10x42 and is lighter. The Zeiss isn't much lighter either although it does have the biggest FOV. I have used my EDG II's a LOT if the field and never had a problem with the armour peeling. The armour problems were with the now discontinued EDG I's. I have had my EDG's serviced a couple of times and the turn around has been quicker than Swarovski and especially Zeiss in fact. I have found Zeiss's service to be more unreliable than Nikon's. If Nikon can't fix the EDG's or replace them they will pay you full retail price for them.
 
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Fair enough Dennis - in 42mm they are more competitive (perhaps not with Zeiss's FOV, and a bit off on close focus), but not as different from the ELs on specs as I recalled, apologies. Lately I've seen the 8x32 EDG which really always seems bulky and underwhelming. I've not actually seen a 10x42 so again, sorry about that.

On the warranty I'm glad to hear you've had good results. The armor issues definitely continue with the EDGs, one friend of mine has had their replaced 2x and another 3x! Both friends have complained about slow service, and they're figuring that at some point they won't be able to get them repaired/replaced any more. Another friend uses the EDGs and has had armor issues a few times, but I don't recall what he said about their service. He did, though, send in a pair of HGs for service and got back a pair of MHGs, about which he was less than enthralled...
 

Torview

Well-known member
Hi Jeff,

Is there any reason you don`t have the Noctivid on your list, seems to me if you are paying out for the very best it needs to be a contender.

John.
 

Torview

Well-known member
I`v got a grey 10x42 SF on loan at the moment, I can`t see any orange reflections no matter how hard I try.

Have they changed the EDG ? I seem to remember a current fan posting their biggest problem was low transmission, apparently they were very "dark".

It`s like a pendulum swinging on here sometimes.
 

Torview

Well-known member
I must say (although my SV was an 8.5x42) as someone who never gets on with 10x binoculars this SF is winning me over, I find that the superb balance means I can comfortably hold it up for long periods without shake spoiling the view, given this and the superb fov I would`nt hesitate to buy the 10x42SF if I liked that format
 

dries1

Member
I have the 8.5X42, 10X50 SVs, UV HD+ 10X50s and both the 8 and 10X42 EDGs. I will not have any problems with my EDGs, as I have duplicates. Yes I really like the EDG glass. I have only heard this from pbjosh about the EDG armor, so to me it is irrelevant. I am not missing anything without the SF 8 or 10X42s AFIAC. I will try the 8x32SF but it is more out of curiosity, I prefer the 8X42 format. For 10X I much prefer 10X50.

Andy W.
 
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jfradm

Member
Jan: Thank you for the tip. I’ll go to the view campeur in the coming days. Never imagine that they can have the SV in stock. Good news.
Torview : I havent considered the Noctivid just because I think they are une step behind the zeiss and the swaro in terms of optical sharpness/precision. However, as the owner of a pair of Ultravid HD+ 8x32 I know that building quality of Leica is outstanding.

For the moment the swaro are a bite in head for me. Weight and ergonomy of the zeiss are maybe a little better in a hand but in the other hand I have some little doubt regarding the quality of the armouring and of the eyecups of the Zeiss.
 

Torview

Well-known member
Torview : I havent considered the Noctivid just because I think they are une step behind the zeiss and the swaro in terms of optical sharpness/precision. /QUOTE]

Jeff, I would just politely add as somebody who has the Zeiss and did have the Swarovski and compared them to the Noctivid, the Noctivid is the sharpest roof prism binocular I`v ever looked through, full stop.

There are reasons they are not my choice but "optical sharpness/precision is not one of them.

All the best in your choice.

John.
 

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