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Leica 8x32 BR vs Swaro 8x30 SLC ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2009 at 17:24
tjsshl View Drop Down
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I think that I've narrowed my purchase down to these two.  The price is about the same for each.  Does anyone have any thoughts either way, or is it too close to call.  I like features from both.
 
I like the slightly larger size of the Swaro.
I like the probable better waterproofing of the Leica
I hear customer service is great with Swaro.
I might end up with a certified pre-owned Leica with a 10-yr warranty, how does this compare to buying a new Swaro?
Are they about equal in low light?  Any thoughts about durability? 
 
Thanks for any help you can give me.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2009 at 17:34
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The Leica was to be an Ultravid BR 8x32.  I noticed that I forgot to add that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2009 at 19:16
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In my experience any Leica binocular is tougher than a Swarovski SLC, in both waterproofing and durability, but of course a lot depends on what you are going to use them for. I have used SLC's for a long time under a lot of conditions with no problems, but Leicas tend to be tougher.
 
I would also give the optical  edge to the Leica, but both are excellent.
 
I have gotten good customer service from Swarovski, but never had to use the Leica service so don't know about it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/19/2009 at 22:13
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I think Ultravid 8x32 is a bit better optically than the Swaro 8x30.  I can't comment on their durability.

Now, I know you were only asking about these two binoculars, but I can't resist asking: have you had a chance to look at Meopta Meostar 8x32 and Kowa Genesis 8x33?  If I were buying a binocular of this configuration, it would probably be one of these.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2009 at 10:00
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I would second ILya's suggestion of also looking at the Meopta. I haven't seen a Kowa binocular recently enough to comment.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2009 at 10:07
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Those Meoptas are a fine glass.  A store comparison is not the ultimate arbiter of binocular quality, but in the Cabela's I looked at them in, the more expensive Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski were no better on any count that I could see, except perhaps the diopter on the Meopta might be a bit easier to move off its adjustment.  It also has silver coated prisms, which are supposed to be less bright than the dielectric coatings on the others, but it takes a finer eye than mine to see it.  When you look at what those cost compared to the others, it looks like a no brainer to me. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2009 at 13:28
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In the past some of my buddies were not happy with the customer service from Leica… I mentioned this to a Leica Rep at the FNWAS Convention.  He said that Leica has changed their service policy and that it takes actual abuse of a binocular before the customer will be charged for a repair.  I have a pair of Leica binoculars that I purchased in the late 80’s and they perform like they did the first day I bought them….   While I thought they were expensive at the time… they are the best value and I have had the joy of using them for over 20 years.    NV Hunter   

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/30/2009 at 00:38
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My Leupolds are green ring and do not compare with my Leica and Zeiss Victory.  My compact 8x20 Leica binoculars are better than the $350. green ring Leupold's.  The Zeiss Victory, of course, is better than both.  My Leica's were purchased 20+ years ago and are still optically as good as new.  It would be a difficult choice between Leica and Swarovski.  IMHO, I would go with the Leica's for the same price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/30/2009 at 06:55
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Well, I really like Leica but more the HD alternative.
When considering SLC or non HD Leica, I would definitely look at Bushnell Elite 8x43 as well. Slightly bigger but actually better than these other two, and cheaper.

Otherwise I would say the Leica is the better one of the two.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/30/2009 at 10:54
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

I think Ultravid 8x32 is a bit better optically than the Swaro 8x30.  I can't comment on their durability.

Now, I know you were only asking about these two binoculars, but I can't resist asking: have you had a chance to look at Meopta Meostar 8x32 and Kowa Genesis 8x33?  If I were buying a binocular of this configuration, it would probably be one of these.

ILya



In truth, I own at least 3 optics that I otherwise would not, were in not for the expert advice of ILya - and I've been exceedingly pleased with all.

Having not looked at the SLC or Meopta or Kowa, I cannot comment on specifics - other than to say you would be wise to consider Koshkin's advice as having some value.


I've heard the Leica stories and, from a dealer, head that the problems had been addressed.  I am still a huge fan of my 10x42 ultravids; with them I can identify targets before legal shooting times - and I can't say much more is needed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2009 at 00:53
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Thanks for the kind words, RC.

All of the binoculars I mentioned here are very good: Leica Ultravid HD, Swaro, Meopta and Kowa.  Pricewise, Leica is by far the most expensive of the bunch, followed by Kowa (distant second), Swaro and Meopta.

Of these, I have only seen the Kowa briefly, but I was very impressed with them.  Kowa glass is generally very good and from the standpoint of contrast they are absolutely exceptional.  None of these binoculars are optimized for low light and the extra contrast of the Kowas should provide some advantage in low light conditions.  33mm objective should also help a bit.

Meopta is, unquestionably, the bargain of the bunch.

With Swaro, you get some marginal loss of performance due to the 30mm objective without any gain in compactness.  I could also never get used to the strange focus knob location.  Ultimately, if you are looking for a Swaro to compete against the Leica HD 8x32, you should be looking at the much more expensive EL 8x32.

In the end it comes down to finances, more than anything else.  If you go with Leica you will not have any doubts on whether you bought the best available.  There is nothing better. 

However, I could make a pretty decent argument that you will be hard pressed to see any difference if you put Kowa (for example) and Leica side by side.  Same goes for Meopta, I think.  If I make it a point to look for a difference between Leica and Meopta, I will find it.  However, it is unlikely to come up with any regular use.

If you can comfortably swing the Leica, go for it.  If not, you will not be dissapointed with either of the cheaper alternatives.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2009 at 16:44
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That's high praise for the Meopta, I might need to expand my bino collection by another.

Thanx, dammit; I gotta find a new hobby - and a new place online to hang out; this one is getting too expensive!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2009 at 17:43
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

That's high praise for the Meopta, I might need to expand my bino collection by another.


Before or after you get the color cased classic single action revolver?Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2009 at 19:59
John Barsness View Drop Down
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Yeah, if you hang out on the Internet much, you'll have to theoretically upgrade every few months....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2009 at 20:00
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How do the Kahles 8x32 fit into that group, being it is slightly less expensive.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2009 at 21:43
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

That's high praise for the Meopta, I might need to expand my bino collection by another.


Before or after you get the color cased classic single action revolver?Wink



No lie!

All kidding aside, my wife hates you guys.

She really does.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2009 at 20:26
Tranan View Drop Down
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I believe the wives should not be engaged when discussing optics. It tends to become too difficult for their very fragile souls and would we have them as advicers we wind up with binos in very nice coulours but sh*tty quality.
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