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Swarovski CL 8x30 vs EL 8x32

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2012 at 17:37
BobH View Drop Down
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I am getting ready to go on a hunt in the mountains and am taking this trip as an opportunity to buy a new binocular. I currently have a Zeiss 10x40 T*P* Classic, but they are a little bit large and heavy, and I can use that as an excuse to get a new one.
Options are narrowed down to these, but wanted to see if anyone might answer some of my ?'s.

Swarovski EL 8x32 - SWFA has them on sale so they are less than $2K but still alot of money.  Is the swarovision going to blow me away or will it be relatively similiar to the Zeiss I already have.  Do these have the same "rolling ball" effect as the Zeiss 10x40, because that is one thing that quickly gives me a headache.
Swarovski CL 8x30 - I realize that these are not EL's or even SLC's, but for a mountain hunt where light is not an issue but carrying weight is, are they a great choice or just a mediocre bino with the Swarovski name and price?  Will the optics be as good as what I already have?
Zen Ray ED2 -  The ED3 is not available in a 3x objective lens, so I would have to go to the ED2.  Can't believe that a $380 binocular can be in the same league as the previous 2 or would be durable enough to stand up to years of use.  Is rolling ball eliminated in these by the lower quality edges?
Vortex Viper and Talon - If I go with one of these less expensive brands, are the Vortex worth $100 to $200 more than the Zen Ray?
Thanks in advance for any help you can give or other good options I may be looking over.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2012 at 18:02
BobH View Drop Down
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I guess a better topic title would have been "Mid to High Priced 8x30 Binocular choice"
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/27/2012 at 15:26
Klamath View Drop Down
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First off the ZEN 7x36 ED2 is not real compact, about the same size overall as the Nikon Monarch x42 models.  The ZEN has been bashed for its "poor edges", but I see not much justification for that.  Having said that, if sharp edges are somehow in your list of things you need to have...it's gonna cost you.  Like either the Nikon EDG or the Swarovski Swarovision.
 
I have never seen rolling ball in the ZEN ED 2 7x36.  The only binocular I have seen it in is the new Swarovision.  I have yet to see the EDG.
 
Of the Swarovskis you list the CL is pretty good, but the EL is better.  The price kinda reflects the difference.  Any high price binocular choice when you get to the Lezenikowski stratosphere is pretty much a personal choice.  You'll get recommendations from all over the place...each brand has its proponents.
 
The mid price stuff has really gotten good lately.  One I really like is the Meopta Meostar 8x32.  The Minox "Comfort Bridge" 8x32 is real good as well, ditto the Viper 8x32 HD.  The Meoptas and the Minox have very good edge performance.  However, I usually tend to shy away from this one when somebody pops up asking about if right off the bat...somebody's sharp can be somebody else's not so sharp.  Also the sharper the edge, the closer you get to seeing rolling ball.


Edited by Klamath - July/28/2012 at 10:50
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/27/2012 at 19:32
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IMHO the Swaro 8x30 CL is not as good as the Swaro 8x30 SLC or Swaro 8x32 EL.
I went over the top and have bought quite a few 8x30 to 8x33 bino's over the last few years.
The CL's are very compact but do not optically match the Kowa 8x33 HD, Meopta 8x32, Zeiss 8x32 FL or Nikon 8x32 EDG (Nikon is much heavier than the others though).
I have done informal tests (with other folks helping) and they are OK but not up to standards of the top tier glasses.
Their purpose is as a moderately priced (for Swaro) very compact glass with decent optics.
The new Zeiss 8x30 Conquest HD's are supposed to be better optically but not as compact.
The Meopta and Kowa, while not as compact are better glass.
Thanks
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/27/2012 at 23:08
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In the 8x30 and 8x32 I generally like Kowa and Meopta in terms of what they offer for the money with both optics and build quality.

Zeiss Conquest HD was touted to me (by someone who knows what he is talking about) as a game changer in this price range, but I was not aware of it being available with a 32 mm objective.  I thought it was only available with a 42mm lens.  Am I missing something?

I have never tested the EDG, but if price is no object the best 8x32 bino I have seen to date is Leica Ultravid HD.  Oddly, I was rather unimpressed with the 8x32 EL (compared to full-szie ELs).

Zeiss Victory FL 8x32 is close the Leica, but I liked the Leica feel more.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2012 at 17:09
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Hi Ilya:
The Leica has 14mm of eye relief, I get black outs and tubies because of my glasses, others may be OK.
I would love to have a pair if the eye relief was improved, my 7x42 Ultra HD's are great in that regard.
Strange but the eye relief on the 8x20 Ultra's is better than the 8x32 Ultra HD's.
The Kowa 8x33 HD's are my range glasses and are an excellent glass for the money.
Wish Swaro still made the 8x30 SLC's though, very nice optics for the money.
Meopta makes a nice 8x32 also, not quite as good in my opinion as the Kowa but very nice none the less.
I get all tingly when I see a nice pair of 8x30-8x33 glasses...just my thing I guess.
Art
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2012 at 21:35
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Bob:
 
It seems your request is for a nice binocular that is light weight.  That leaves many of
your first choices out, as you need a nice light carry in the 8-30-32 size.
 
I have 2 recommendations from your list, and one is the Swaro. 8x30 CL, I have this one
and it is very light at 17 oz. and is small and handles very well.  It is the new Swaro. midrange
model, and it is not as good optically as the 8x32 EL, but is maybe just as bright, and is smaller
and lighter.  The Swaro. SLC 8x30, is just as good, and I have that one also, it is a bit better
optically, but heavier.
 
The other one to check is the Vortex Viper 8x32 HD, I have not tried this one, but the Viper
has good reviews.
 
I would try before I buy, as it is your eyes that are important.
 
Jerry
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2012 at 08:25
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Throw another vote in for the Meopta 8x32 Meostar. I have owned two of the units. They offer excellent optical performance in an extremely ergonomic package. The only binocular that felt better ergonomically was the Swaro EL 8x32. The Meoptas do have very good edge sharpness and I don't remember any rolling ball issues with them as they seem to have a sufficient amount of pincushion distortion added.
 
Funny though, I sold my last pair after comparing them with a much less expensive binocular that you may want to consider...the Sightron SII Blue Sky 8x32. Here is an extensive thread discussing them over on birdforum.
 
 
Surprisingly it compares very well optically with some of the most expensive 8x32s made.
 
The "funny" part is the price.
 
Also, here is a thread by another BF member comparing the Sightrons to the Zeiss FL of similar configuration.
 


Edited by FrankD - July/30/2012 at 08:30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2012 at 14:18
BobH View Drop Down
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Thanks to everyone for the posts and advice.  I ended up finding a Swarovski 10x32 EL used on Craigslist here in town, and bought it.  I absolutely love the handling of these binoculars and they are significantly lighter than the Zeiss 10x40's.  The guy also had a Swarovski 10x42 SLC that my brother bought as he wanted a little more power and was less concerned with the weight.
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