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Swarovski 8X30 Rangefinder

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2008 at 17:42
Steelbenz View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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My review of the Swarovski 8X30 rangefinder.

  

            I know I'll catch some grief for this but hopefully even those than may disagree with my opinion will say I was balanced with it.  First off, I only spend 1 day putting the Swaro head to head with the Leica 1200 in the field (the 1200 was not mine.) and really it was apples and oranges. The Swaro feels like it’s built to be around the neck of a tank commander not a deer hunter I wouldn’t worry if I dropped this thing.  Not being one of my toys I was not going to do a drop test. (Sorry L.a.r.r.y.)!!! In the weight department the Leica 1200 wins out. But don't drop the Leica 1200 or that’s how many pieces you may pick up. The Leica1200 easily fits into the top pocket of a shirt. Whereas the Swaro needed cargo style shirt pockets to do the same. The glass on the swaro was hands down head and shoulders above the Leica 1200 but for the 1/3rd higher price tag it better have it.  I personally like the smaller ranging circle of the Swaro over the big square of the Leica 1200. I ranged a deer at 138 yards with the swaro and then the Leica 1200 and got a reading of 168 yards on the 1200 hit it one more time and got 138 yards.  So I felt it ranged OK but you have to be steady with the Lieca 1200.  At well after astronomical twilight I ranged a deer at 281 yards in a known 300 yard field.  I think that is where the glass of the Swaro just can't be beat. It's always better to spend the money on the better optics if you got the coin.  Not to say the Leica 1200 was shabby.  

            Now stepping out of the hunter mode and moving into a boater mode.  I ranged a water tower that I know from our site drawings to be 1NM (2000yrds).  I did not have the Leica 1200 with me at this point in time. I lined myself up with other targets with known distances from my starting point. This was really the fun part for me as to see if the ranging of this Swaro would confirm the surveyors’ lay-out of the plant. At a few feet behind the CP the Swaro gave a err reading, two steps in and it ranged the tower at 1999 yards I hit it again and it ranged at 1998 yards.  I had my starting position ranged an air duct at 50 yards walked to it and shot the tower 1949 yards I did this 3 more times with the same results.

This range finder in my opinion is AWESOME!!! And it was quicker than the 1200 to range, again in my opinion. 

 

So here are the Pro’s

 

1.      Well built and rugged.

2.      Great glass (as expected)

3.      Highly accurate.

 

The Con’s

 

1.      Heavy

2.      I didn’t like the way the display had orange dots in the field of view.  (BD's splatter)  in the dark  that was very distracting.

3.  I didn't care for the belt holder, it was to loose and without set screws to lock it to your belt.  (hint to the engineers)

4.      Is the cost prohibitive to you? (Only you can decide.)

 

I personally think this is the better range finder but I’d go with the Leica 1200.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2008 at 19:13
helo18 View Drop Down
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Thanks for the reivew.  I am looking forward to testing that thing!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2008 at 22:11
helo18 View Drop Down
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Well, I have had the rangefinder for almost a week now.  I hate to give it up, but I can't afford it.
 
Pros:
 
The glass is absolutely amazing (not that you would expect anything less from Swarovski).  I was amazed at the detail you could see even an hour after sunset.  My dad and I took it out the night I got it to play around with it.  We were ranging telephone poles at 300 yards in the dark.  It was rainy for the first 4 days I had it.  Took it out several times, and it never once fogged up.  It is very simple (on button) and easy to use.  No fancy gizmos like my Bushnell Elite 1500.   Very accurate and fast.  The farthest I got a reading was 1560 yards on a building.  I ranged some cows and horses at just under 1000.  I like the feel of the unit.  Fit my hands nicely.  My Dad like it because he could get a full sight picture with glasses on.  Also was easy to focus.
 
Cons:
 
Heavy.  Weighs 3 oz more than my Bushnell.  Not too keen on the battery either, but it works fine, and I am sure it lasts a long time.  In low light you get the orange dots Steelbenz was talking about.  I would have to say, that was the biggest gripe for me.  Also, during the day (bright days) the numbers seemed to fade when looking at some objects.  Not a fan of the belt holder either.  It is noisy.  I also wonder how long till the latch fails on it.
 
Worth the cost?  I guess you pay for the glass quality.  Up to the person in the end.
 
Just a side note, there was no documentation on the unit in the box when I opened it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2008 at 11:21
jonoMT View Drop Down
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Mine came with the booklet - most of it in other languages so you'd do just as well to download the PDF from Swarovski's site. The carrying strap that came with it has a better attachment design than depicted in the manual.

Re: the orange dots. I've only noticed this very slightly with my unit against particular backgrounds. I wonder if this will increase with time or is just a "feature" of the Swaros. A used unit inside a local store had them very noticeably. It could have been lighting conditions and I didn't take them outside. It had me wondering though how they might have been treated.

I wish that they came with some rubber caps for the objectives. I don't really care for the plastic case but haven't tried it yet with the chest strap on my pack. Maybe it will work alright. All in all, as I've mentioned elsewhere, it ranges great and the optics are first class.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2009 at 22:34
carbuyersfriend View Drop Down
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OK Guys .....I haven't bought a LRF yet and am wondering if you all still like your Swaro's. I am also looking at the new Zeiss LRF, but no one has any input on it. What ever I buy I'll be using year around for hunting and other outdoor activities. The all time favorite still seems to be the Leica's. Your input is will be appreciated.
Thanks
Mark
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 10:46
jonoMT View Drop Down
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I'm still glad I got the Swaro but I got a really good deal on it (new). Now, looking at the price, which has gone up to $998.95 as of this date, I'd probably go for a Leica CRF 1200. $400 is a lot to pay for not much better performance (for most people under 1000 yards) and 14% more magnification/9% more exit pupil. I like not having to carry binos, which the 8X Swaro (although mono) makes more feasible. However, I really have to question the price now. (A minor quibble with Leica: Why can't you switch between meters and yards? Even my Nikon 440 allowed for that...not that most people will need to).

Check out http://www.6mmbr.com/rangefinders.html for some pretty detailed observations on these and other rangefinders.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/12/2009 at 20:10
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  Anyone that needs consistent readins in all conditions past 1K the Swaro is definately the way to go IMHO
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