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Swarovski vs Lecia

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2014 at 06:26
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I had an opportunity this week to look at the Swarovski 10 x 42 EL and the Leica 10 x 42 Ultravid while attending the Western Life Expo in Salt Lake City.  I could only compare these while inside the Salt Palace.  Both give me the size and weight and optics strength I desire for hunting in the Southeast and the West.    Cost about the same.  Has anyone had an opportunity to use both binos outdoors and get some feedback that way?


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2014 at 09:07
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If you are asking which is better just flip a coin. They are that close.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2014 at 10:10
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The EL has less distortion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2014 at 22:44
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

The EL has less distortion.

Unless you are panning...

EL has a wider sweet spot.  Resolution is about the same between the two.  Leica has a touch more contrast.

Both are excellent and the choice really comes down to the ergonomics.  Pick the one that feels better in your hands.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2014 at 13:14
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It's all about what felt better to you, ergonomics.
I had an Ultravid 10x42 years ago. I hated it because it had a sticky and gritty and jumpy focus wheel compared the EL from Svaro. That may no longer be the case with them. To their credit, at well bellow freezing the Leica kept working, the Swarovski focuser really got stiff from cold. That may also not be the case anymore.
Feel in the hand and on the face is what matters between those two. I settled from a smaller EL 8X32. You owe to yourself to try several models.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2014 at 14:13
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Leica did state they improved the focuser feel on the Ultravid HD series. How much of an improvement it is, I can't say. I have an 8X32 Ultravid HD, but don't have a non-HD UV to compare it to. However, I do have an older Leica Trinovid 8X50 BA, and the UV HD focuser is considerably smoother. The "sticky" focusing feel is one of the few criticisms I have of the older binocular. Despite the improvement, I can say without a doubt the UV HD focuser isn't quite as buttery smooth as the Swaro EL focuser.

I have used my UV HD down to single digit temps hunting in the Rockies, and I can say for certain that its focuser kept working without noticeable stiffness in those temps. In fact, cold weather focuser function has always been a design benefit Leica advertises in their literature.

Before I bought my Leica 8X32 UV HD, I also considered the Swarovski 8X32 EL. I couldn't decide between the two based on image quality. I prefer Leica's contrast and warm color rendition, but the Swaro EL does have a larger sweet spot and slightly wider FOV, so I thought they were a wash optically. In the end, I picked the Leica due to the fact it's about an inch shorter and slightly lighter, the solid hinge design felt better in my hands on such a small bino, and I thought the eye cups fit into my eye sockets better.

As anweis said, ergonomics will probably play a larger role than optics in this class of binos, and that's such a subjective thing, so you really need to try these and other models to see which you prefer.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2014 at 14:22
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I'm on board with ILya's comments in that at that level of glass, it was more a matter of what felt better in my hands rather than trying to discern miniscule differences in optical performance. I had a chance to be in NYC recently at one of the largest camera shops in the city where I had a chance to compare all the top shelf stuff. For about an hour, I looked through Leica Ultra HD's, Swaro EL's and SLC HD's, Zeiss FL's and Steiner Peregrine XP's. For some reason, the Swaro EL's could not be adjusted to be comfortable on the bridge of my nose, perhaps because of the rather large ocular lenses that have large rubber eyecup rings accordingly. In other words, if I adjusted the interpupillary distance (wide enough) to be comfortable on the bridge of my nose, my pupils were not centered with the bino exit pupils of the bino. Weird as I've never ran into that one before. I put them aside, and tried the SLC HD's and they fit just fine. Anyway, as Chris Farris stated, it came down to flipping a coin. Even the Steiner Peregrine XP were right there optically with " the big three" and frankly, they felt the most comfortable in my hands because of the gel filled rubber pads that are located under the bino and act as thumb rests. I also liked their large rubber coated focus wheel that was smoother (no backlash) than the others I was playing around with that day. In the end, they all are top shelf and probably have more resolution than my eyes were/are able to process.

Edited by Roy Finn - February/19/2014 at 14:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2014 at 01:10
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The Swarovision will smoke the Ultravid HD in low light.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2014 at 02:45
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Originally posted by timberbuck timberbuck wrote:

The Swarovision will smoke the Ultravid HD in low light.

Not to my eyes. 

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2014 at 05:02
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Originally posted by timberbuck timberbuck wrote:

The Swarovision will smoke the Ultravid HD in low light.

The Zeiss Victory HT will smoke the Swarovision low light. Wink 



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2014 at 16:18
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Originally posted by timberbuck timberbuck wrote:

The Swarovision will smoke the Ultravid HD in low light.

Nothing at that price level gets "smoked".  What has to be done when dealing with any binocular purchase is to pay attention to how it feels to your face and what you like or not about it.  If one was clearly better for everybody, well then one would be all there was to buy.  One alpha certainly will not "smoke" another one for every set of eyes.  They will have different characteristics, one set of characteristics may suit you better than another.  You may prefer one alpha over another, but there is where the try before you buy comes into play.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/01/2014 at 21:21
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Originally posted by timberbuck timberbuck wrote:

The Swarovision will smoke the Ultravid HD in low light.

Nothing at that price level gets "smoked".  

That's been my experience as well. At the top of the food chain, nothing "smokes" another brands top of the line.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2014 at 20:37
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Definitely a personal preference, not of optics, as much as ergonomics, in my opinion. I've gone thru the Swarovision, SLC HD, Ultravid HD, and Zeiss HT. For me, the Zeiss HTs are hard to beat for focus and handling. However, I think the Swaros still have an ever so slight, but noticeable edge in larger sweet spot.

Find what fits your hands and eyes, and enjoy.
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