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8.4x42 EL swarobright vs swarovision

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 17:58
Robster80 View Drop Down
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any major differences in these?? the new ones are called swarovision...i know they run a bit over 2,000 dollars for a pair but u can find the swarobright occasionally online used for around 1400-1600...any major differences in these binos? are the EL swarobrights as good as these newer swarovisions ?
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EL Swarovision includes a field flattener lens that corrects linear distortion, providing improved resolution at the field edge. Most binoculars have a noticeable drop-off in image quality from the center "sweet spot" out to the edge of the field of view. The Swarovision concept was designed to provide a distortion-free image, providing the same image quality at the edge of the field as in the center of the field. The downside to optics designed to be "distortion-free" or nearly so is you see what's known as the "rolling ball" or "globe" effect (the view seems to spin over a curved surface) when panning, which many users find annoying. This is only noticed when panning, not during static viewing. Some people are bothered by this and some aren't. Most binoculars incorporate some pincushion distortion (horizontal and vertical lines curve slightly inward toward the center of the field) by design, to counter the rolling ball effect. The regular EL is no exception. There are always design tradeoffs with every manufactured item; optics are no exception. To get one "improvement," you have to sacrifice something else.

The standard EL has the same image quality in the center of the field as the SV EL; the new SV version just extends the "sweet spot" out to the field edge, while the standard EL has a softer image at the field edge vs. the center. Whether the Swarovision "improvement" is worth the increase in price is a question only you can answer.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 19:18
Robster80 View Drop Down
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thanks man....yea ive heard of the rolling ball effect..guess i need to look thro a pair and see what that looks like
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 20:26
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I would agree centerfield performance is similar, but the original EL shows more CA than the Swarovision as well.
 
When I first used a Swarovision, the rolling ball was distracting and immediately noticeable.  The last couple of times I borrowed oone of the newest Swarovisions, it was MUCH less prevalent.
 
So either my brain has adjusted, or they added some small amount of pincushion.
 
On another note: "Swarobright" is just Swarovski's advertizing lingo for dielectric coatings, and both models employ "Swarobright" coated prisms.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 20:58
Robster80 View Drop Down
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what does CA stand for?    i only considered the EL swarobright becuz ive seen em sell at decent prices used around 1300-1600. i prolly wldnt spend the 2400 or whatever on swarovison. im really leaning toward meopta meostar or either the EL swarobright. are the swarobrights that much better than the meostar??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 21:06
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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CA means chromatic aberration.  It is seen as color fringing on high contrast areas of the image.

The Meostar HD and EL have extremely similar images.  The EL has slightly less pincusion, and the Meostar suppresses CA better.
 
I prefer the Meostar HD image to the older ELs.   I LOVE how the old ELs fit in hand though, and the image is still world class.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 21:28
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would the old ELs be worth the extra few hundred bucks over the meopta HD ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 21:40
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Originally posted by Robster80 Robster80 wrote:

would the old ELs be worth the extra few hundred bucks over the meopta HD ?
I couldn't possibly answer that question for you.  What things are "worth" to someone is a totally individual thing.
 
To ME, I would take the Meostar HD over the original EL, even if the price was the same.  I am quite sensitive to CA though.  Individual preference.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 22:00
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k....the ELs i was considering was a used pair..6 years old..i was kinda thinking id prolly go with a new pair of meostars and save the extra cash and have something new....how is the view through the 10x? im still on the fence unsure about the 10x vs the 8x
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 22:08
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Originally posted by Robster80 Robster80 wrote:

thanks man....yea ive heard of the rolling ball effect..guess i need to look thro a pair and see what that looks like

Be careful and don't develop any preconceived notions.  There are some who see rolling ball in the SV, some who don't.  I do.  When I first looked at the 8.5 SV, the effect was so bad I felt like I was falling through space.  It may not effect you.  What I'm saying is don't look at a SV with the thought you are going to see rolling ball.  The human psyche and the power of preconceived notions is pretty powerful. 

If you have any experience with binoculars and since you have to ask what it is, I'm guessing you are not bothered by it.  CA is one of those things you can ruin yourself by teaching yourself to see it and once you train yourself to see it...it's there.  It always is there anyway, just some people are a lot more or less sensitive to it.  I'm not bothered by it.  I have to just about stand on my head and wiggle  ears to induce it.

So don't worry beforehand about rolling ball or CA.  Just get your hands on a specimen of a binocular you think fits the bill and look at it for its strengths.  Trust me they ALL have weaknesses.  Kind of like friends, you have to put up with the lump and some bumps. 

You are talking top ten list Hall of Fame stuff.  Picking differences is kind of like discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 22:11
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The 10x is great.  I haven't spent a lot of time with the 8x.  I used a pair briefly, and remember them being pretty good as well. 
If it was between the 8X42 Meostar and the EL, I would probably go for the EL.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2013 at 22:25
Robster80 View Drop Down
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the 10x HD must b some good binos then. ive certainly not heard of a single negative thing about them
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 01:09
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The swarovision is a completely different binocular than the old EL in terms of lens arrangement and focusing . It has field flattener lenses as stated but also has upgraded lenses and coatings. Its not simply the just old EL with  field flattener lenses added.

I owned a late 2008 EL model in 8.5x42 and a Swarovision 8.5x42 at the same time and the static view through the Swarovision was better in all aspects. Brightness,contrast and sharpness of the image all better. Finest view of any binocular I have looked through.

Same can be said for the SLC Neu and SLC HD, the SLC H D is also completely redesigned internally.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 09:59
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Yeah, the new SV EL does have FL lenses and the previous EL doesn't, so it makes sense that it theoretically should have improved CA correction vs the previous EL, but I personally don't think CA was a weakness of the previous EL in the center of the field. All the CA I noticed in the EL was toward the edge of the field, but admittedly I haven't spent a lot of time using them in varying conditions since I don't own either version. I also thought the regular EL was about as good as it gets in terms of light transmission, and I doubt that there have been significant improvements in that regard, especially since additional lens elements were added to the SV design. The FL lenses and field flatteners would require an entirely different overall optical design too, but whether or not that translates to improved optical performance in the center of the field beyond the improved resolution out to the field edges is debatable. I'm not denying that there have been centerfield improvements made with SV, but I didn't notice any difference in centerfield performance when I compared the two. I think the previous EL is already world-class. I don't believe there have been any changes in coatings either. The SV EL has the same "Swarobright" dielectric prism coatings, "Swarodur" and "Swaroclean" lens coatings as the standard EL. Previous generations of the EL lacked "Swaroclean," but it was added to the EL line in recent years. Swaro says they improved the focusing mechanism too, but again, I didn't think focusing was a weakness of the standard EL. Maybe my opinion on that would change if I owned one and used it all the time. Then again, I'm not overly sensitive to focuser feel as long as it's relatively smooth.

The SV EL does have breath-taking image quality, and with its pin-sharp image all the way out to the field edge, I couldn't dispute that the image during static viewing may be the best the world has to offer. As a hunter, I pan with my binos a lot, and I do notice the rolling ball effect. I could probably learn to live with it, and WOULD no doubt learn to live with it if someone gave me a SV EL, but I do find it a bit annoying.


Edited by RifleDude - March/25/2013 at 10:05
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 10:23
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I have the 10x42 EL's that I been hunting with for many years now and love them. The CA is very minimal, most manufaturers suffer from this in varying degrees or have some other fault that can easily be magnified by opinions. You really need to get behind each model your contemplating before you decide, what you see and experience can be quite different from others especially with binos.

Edited by mike650 - March/25/2013 at 10:37
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 10:26
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Transmission tests of the SV in both 8.5 and 10x42 show a 5-6% (which is huge) improvement over the EL even with the addition of the Field Flattener lenses. Some of it was was most likely due to the FL lenses as well as improved coatings. Another area of improvement is contrast.

The SV appears to be the same basic glass as the previous EL but it is not.

The EL and SLC NEU had three element objectives with positive focusing and four element oculars.

The SV has four element \three group objective lenses with negative focusing and six element/five group oculars .

The SLC HD has the same objective lenses/grouping but with five element/3 group ocular lenses.

Vastly different binoculars than the previous EL and SLC Neu.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 13:32
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Originally posted by timberbuck timberbuck wrote:


Transmission tests of the SV in both 8.5 and 10x42 show a 5-6% (which is huge) improvement over the EL even with the addition of the Field Flattener lenses.

The SV has four element \three group objective lenses with negative focusing and six element/five group oculars .



On light transmission:
Not according to Swarovski. They show a nominal 91% light transmission figure for the EL and 90% for the SV, 1% LOWER for the latter. In fairness, anything less than 3% or so isn't discernible to most eyes.
http://el.swarovskioptik.com/en/nature/page/technique-and-features/
http://www.swarovskioptik.us/en_us/products/binoculars

I can believe it has enhanced contrast and CA reduction, but increased light transmission isn't one of Swaro's touted improvements. If they did increase transmission %, you can bet they'd advertise that fact.

On SV optical design:
If what you say is true, that would mean the SV has a whopping 42 lens elements per side / 84 total, not counting 2 prisms, 1 focusing lens and a flattener doublet per side! Uhhh... no. The SV has a 6 element objective system. I'm not sure how many elements in the ocular system, but it from their cutaway graphics, it appears to have another 6 per.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 14:02
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As far as light transmission goes 5-6% is huge.  In fact it is too huge for me to take seriously .  Just as one point of reference. The Allbinos review site lists light transmission of the original 10x42 WB as 94%.  That I think is too huge in and of itself.  Allbinos tested transmission of the 10x42 EL Swarovision at 90.8%.

The Zeiss Victory FL has long been regarded as the brightest binocular and that is listed in various places as 92-93%.  Zeiss claims 95-96% for the new Zeiss Victory HT.

Any binocular that can deliver an honest 90% of light through the system has accomplished something worthwhile.  My notes from various sources list a "typical" minimum light transmission level of 2-3% is the minimum needed to be observable.

One reason I never pulled the trigger on a Zeiss FL, and there were three times I almost did, was that there are too many bright winter days or frosty spring days where it was simply too bright.

I for one wonder about the wisdom of taking light transmission to ridiculous levels.  Pretty soon we'll all be eye relief critical as the binocular we have is so bright we have to use it with sunglasses...maybe not really  Big Smile.


Edited by Klamath - March/25/2013 at 15:26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 14:39
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Right on Klamath.  I never believe any published light transmission numbers from any manufacture when doing a comparison.  They all seem to test them differently.  

Just my observations from handling these binocs mentioned, hardly scientific, BTW.  I did not care for the EL SV's due to rolling ball mentioned, so I haven't tried them since (2 years ago).  The original EL still has stellar glass, but the SLC neu has the same glass, coatings, etc and is just as good and more durable IMO.  The SLC HD is the best hunting binocular on the planet.  It has the best combination of durability, glass, and ergonomics going.  I also love the Meopta/Cabelas Euro HD.  Sweet package.  Great glass and great build.  My only nitpick is that the eyepieces are rather small, and there's no locking diopter.  Don't know if the diopter is an issue or not in field use, but it doesn't lock and I'm not sure why.  I'd still buy one over an EL.  There's no need to spend $2k any more anyway IMO.  With the Meopta HD, Conquest HD, Leupold McKinley HD (fantastic), and Pentax DCF ED there's really no need.

Two other real sleepers, both of which compete favorably with anything made, are the Steiner Preregrine XP, and the Kowa Genesis.  You couldn't tear up a Steiner if you tried.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 20:04
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I hope I didn't come across as saying the EL was a poor performer or poorly corrected CA.  It doesn't.  In fact, in the center of the field it is pretty darn slight.  I do see it rather easily at the edge with the EL.
 
The EL and SLC neu do share technology, but the optical designs are not identical, and neither are the images.  In my experience it seems the SLC neu actually has a little flatter field and wider sweet spot.
 
My Meopta HD and SLC neu have identically sized eyecups:
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 20:15
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I had winged eyecups on my SLCneu when I had it.  Maybe that was the difference? 

Bitterroot, have you spent any time with the Meopta 8x32?  I'm going to take a 8x30 class glass to Africa in May.   Leaning towards the 8x30 SLCneu.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 20:19
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

I hope I didn't come across as saying the EL was a poor performer or poorly corrected CA.  It doesn't.  In fact, in the center of the field it is pretty darn slight.  I do see it rather easily at the edge with the EL.
 

The EL and SLC neu do share technology, but the optical designs are not identical, and neither are the images.  In my experience it seems the SLC neu actually has a little flatter field and wider sweet spot.

 

My Meopta HD and SLC neu have identically sized eyecups:

 



How much in $'s do you have in your binos??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 20:38
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man id love to hav both those binocs lol.   vi wldmt mind havin those swaros. really wantn to stay in the 1,000 dollar range as best i can tho. maybe i cancome up with a used pair. are the meostar HDs somewhat close to optical quality as the slc ??   also is the nonlocking diopter a big issue?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/25/2013 at 21:30
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I have used the Meopta 8X32.  It is a very nice instrument.  CA is pretty well corrected (like most 8X32s IME).  It is also more neutral than the other non-HD Meostars I have tried.  I saw one on the OT classifieds and very nearly bought it.
 
I can't stand the front focus wheel on the 8X30 SLCs. 
 
The Meopta HDs and SLC neus are almost indistinguishable in image quality, other than the SLC neu has slightly less pincushion, and the Meostar HD has better CA control.  Neither of these differences is readily apparent however.
 
When I had the oringinal Meostar 10X42, the diopter would shift in the field occasionally, until I put a tiny drop of superglue between the focus knob and diopter knob.  It would hold fast then, and I could remove the glue with the flick of a tack-point.
 
On the HD model, the diopter functions the same way, but there is more resistance, and it doesn't seem to shift as easy.  I have the superglue fix ready if need be though, and I do prefer a locking diopter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2013 at 01:29
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I was not going off of Swarovski's ratings of their light transmission.
I got my info from independent testing of light transmission from the same labs who both tested the previous EL's in 8 and 10x42 as well the same in the Swarovisions.

I believe Swarovski's light transmission ratings were over inflated on the previous EL. (possibly to look good against Zeiss?)

In any event I am positive  that my 8.5 swarovision is noticably brighter than my mid 2008 8.5x EL I once owned when comparing them side by side. They say it takes at least 3% or greater increase in light transmission to tell a difference so there you go.
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