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Zeiss Leica or Swaro?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2007 at 07:21
TheDrakeTaker View Drop Down
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Which pair would you recommend? 

Zeiss Victory FL 10x56
Swaro SLC 10x50
Leica Ultravid 10x50
Which will the be brightest? Clearest? Easiest to use? Best Ergonomics?.  Just want some feedback on these sets of binos.  Thanks in advance.




Edited by TheDrakeTaker
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2007 at 00:30
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As far as brightness goes, I would give the edge to the Zeiss, not due to the larger exit pupil as much as that I think that it has slightly better glass.

 

I would not personally recommend either of these 2 binos however.  Both are very impressive optically but are both extremely large and extremely heavy.  When spending this much money, you want a bino that is a joy to use and ergonomics and comfort are every bit as important as optics.  I have tried both and they are difficult to glass with for lengths of time without proping them up on something.

 

In a large bino, I would strongly recommend taking a look at the Leica 10x50 Ultravid.  Leica drastically reduced the size and weight of these binos are they are awesome optically.  Go to a local store,  take all three out and put them on the counter and you will see what I mean.  The Ultravids 10x50 look tiny compared to the other two.  Just a consideration.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2007 at 01:09
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Ok, all three are nice nice nice.  I would also give brightness edge to the Zeiss. A buddy of mine has a new pair of FL's and they are brighter then my SLC's however, maybe because I am used to the "image" I still prefer the image of the Swaro it seems "softer" if that makes any sense and seems to have a large sweet spot then the Zeiss.

 

I don't have any experience with the Leica Ultravids but I have handled the Trinovid line and thought they were very nice binoculars. I personally think that the SLC's are more comparible to the Trinovid line and the Ultravid would be a 'step up". 

 

Nothing compares to hands on experience so if you can handle before buying that would be beneficial. There is no real right answer since it will come down to personal preference (All are good).

 

  I was looking for a 10x42 binocular and I was looking at Swarovski SLC, Leica Trinovid, Nikon Premire LX and with a little extra $$ the Zeiss FL's.  I was pretty much going to order the Zeiss but then I got to handle all of them and actually the Nikons (which at first wasn't even a consideration) were in the running (second place)  but I liked the feel of the Swaro's (just felt good in hand) and I liked the image...so again hands on would be the best, if I had to go with just off what is listed, I'd lean heavily to the Leica since the Ultravid is a step up in their line, Swaro EL's dont have the big objectives so thats out and the Zeiss I've only seen with a 56mm which is huge even compared to a 50mm.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2007 at 11:51
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I have spent quite a bit of time recently evaluating these three brands and series with friends here in Nevada

and have decided to go with the Zeiss 10x42FL's for myself, the 56's are to big and heavy for extended use.

The Leica's had great ergonomics and movement but the glass although great during the day did not have the

same polish as darkness came and the Zeiss provided the image I was looking for in the dark. The Swaro's

did not compare in overall quality and resolution, I feel they are overpriced and not in the same class.

 

 



Edited by Trinidad
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2007 at 12:12
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DrakeTaker -

 

You really need to look at all three of these for yourself.  Opinions on the high-end stuff are really varied.  For instance, I have the exact opposite experience relative to Trinidad.  The Zeiss is exactly the image I DON'T WANT and the Leica I thought had very poor ergonomics.  As a result, I went with the Swaros which I deemed to provide the most pleasing view and the ergonomics to me were the best.

 

Also, recognize that you are comparing the high-end of the Zeiss and Leica models arguably the No. 2 brand of Swaro, depending on your applications and intended use.

 

Good luck. 

 

ND2000

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2007 at 19:51
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Agreed you really have to evaluate for yourself.  My friends Zeiss FL's were noticably "brighter" (during the day) then my Swaro SLC evening they were about the same maybe a slight edge to the Zeiss. But then again it might be a bit different when comparing it to a Swaro EL since they are more in the FL catagory the SLC is Swaro's lower ended model.  I will say this I'll take my SLC's any day and twice on Tuesday compared to the lower ended model Zeiss Conquest nocs....so apples to apples. 

 

The Leica Ultravid line is very nice and felt good in hand. But the Trinovid again a direct competitor to the Swaro Slc felt "blocky" and no real ergonomics, great image just not comfortable. Not to toss the wrench in again but people here recommended the Nikon Premire LX series which price wise is about the same as the Trinovid and the SLC and they have  pretty impressive glass and felt good in hand.

 

There really is no "right answer" Trinidad is not wrong in his assessment, nor would anyone else be.  Once you get up above $1000 your splitting hairs and going with what looks good to your eyes and hands.  And spending that much money you really should find the best for "you".  Other things that might play a role is warranty issues.  Zeiss to my knowledge is the only "transferable" warranty so for re-sale that is good.  I have never heard about Leica's warranty or customer service BUT both Swarovski and Zeiss have good customer service.  Infact the things 've heard about Swarovski's customer service was a huge deciding factor for me.

 

Not to take anything way from Leica but I really pay attention to pics in magazines and watching hunting shows. I still see a fair number of Zeiss binoculars (more so with people using the Zeiss Classics) but the new FL is still pretty new so in gieven time.  But the vast majority of the hunters and guides are all using Swarovski......some people say its because they have the marketing, well perhaps but when professional guides, hunters ect...can use just about anything  out there there might be other reasons besides marketing that Swaro is what they choose. For a weekend warrior like myself they are plenty good enough for me.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2007 at 21:25
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A couple of comments: 

1) current iteration of Swaro SLCs has the same optical quality as the ELs.

2) After a very exhaustive search I also ended up with SLCs (in 7x42 format).  Most decent binoculars work well in good light.  In low light, the differences really come through.  Interestingly, your ability to see is often governed by how tired your eyes are.  I have seen some truly spectacular binoculars that worked great for about five minutes.  Then my eyes got fatigued.  That is one of the things that really separates top notch binoculars from lesser models: you can use them longer before your eyes get tired.  SLCs produced the least eye fatigue of all binoculars I have tried.  FLs are a little brighter.  Ultravids have slightly more accurate color.  However, with the SLCs I can resolve detail the longest.

ILya


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2007 at 13:06
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+1 for the Swarovski SLCs in 7x42.  I tried them all out and for the money, brightness, clairty, little to no eye strain and a pleasure to hold in the hands.  Not to mention that Swarovski has the best customer service in the business over any of the big three.  My second choice would be the Leica Ultrivoids or the Triviods. Check out the sample list on SWAF they have some 7x42 SLCs that will save you a couple hundred dollars over a new pair. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2007 at 14:12
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I really like Zeiss, but I have heard good things about the binocular below.  With the dollar being weak against the Euro, the binocular below is worth considering

 

http://www.swfa.com/pc-5033-934-new-nikon-8x42-premier-lxl-b inocular.aspx

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2007 at 15:37
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

  

current iteration of Swaro SLCs has the same optical quality as the ELs.


SLCs produced the least eye fatigue of all binoculars I have tried.  FLs are a little brighter.  Ultravids have slightly more accurate color.  However, with the SLCs I can resolve detail the longest.

ILya


 

I totally agree with you Ilya. Well, almost totally, because i found the new 8x30 and 10x42 SLC to be just slightly less bright, clear, and relaxing to look through than their 8x32 and 10x42 EL counterparts. It did take me quite a while to decide on this and it it is not immediately obvious, but hours spent on the deck and in the field convinced me.  As far as color accuracy, i have a hard time deciding between Zeiss FL and Leica Ultravid, but i lean towards the FLs.



Edited by anweis
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2007 at 22:19
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Forgot to mention earlier that the Lotu-tec coating works very well at beading and sliding water down the lenses.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2007 at 07:25
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I have owned FL 8x42, ultravid 8x42 and now SLC 7x42. I like the SLC 7x42 the best. It has the most relaxed view and I feel like I can look through them all day. The FL were the brightest but had a bothersome amount of astigmatism. The ultravids were great but I actually preferred the SLC's view maybe because I am hunter and not a birder...who knows..If you can find SLC's made after 2002 or 2003 with the Swarobright coatings then you will have the same optical quality as the "new" SLC's as all they have had redesigned was their outer shell and painted the same color as the EL's.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2007 at 19:53
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Zeiss Wins Outdoor Life Editor's Choice Awards
 
Zeiss Camera-Eyepiece DC4 and 10x56 Victory FL Binocular
Win Editor’s Choice Awards from Outdoor Life Magazine
Downloads and Links

Chester, 05/02/2007. CHESTER, Va., May 2, 2007 – Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc. has received two Outdoor Life Editor’s Choice awards for the technologically advanced Camera-Eyepiece DC4 and brilliant 10x56 Victory FL binocular. The awards were presented by Todd W. Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Outdoor Life, at the National Rifle Association’s 2007 Annual Meeting and Exhibit in St. Louis, MO on April 14th.

Accepting the award was Robert J.W. Siemers, president of Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc. Mr. Siemers stated afterwards, “The Camera–Eyepiece DC4 and 10x56 Victory FL are absolute hallmarks of the advanced design and technology that go into all Zeiss products. The response to the DC4 in particular, from both the industry and our customers, has been overwhelming and we are especially thankful to Outdoor Life and those reviewers who take the time to evaluate our product objectively. The Zeiss team is most appreciative of their efforts.”

The Camera-Eyepiece DC4 combines the superior optical excellence of Carl Zeiss Diascope spotting scopes with a superb digital camera system, creating a new benchmark in the evolution of digiscoping -- digital photography through a spotting scope. The extreme close-ups and brilliant, sharp image quality enabled by the spotting scope's magnification is impressive and, with the DC4, even the smallest details can be captured from a distance in full-image format. The DC4 opens up a new era in digiscoping which is becoming an increasingly popular photography technique worldwide.

The 10x56 Victory FL binoculars feature Zeiss’ leading-edge FL glass technology. This glass, in conjunction with Zeiss’ AOS (Advanced Optical System) technology and T* (T Star multi-coating), achieves an image quality that is second to none. Color rendition, brilliance, edge-to-edge sharpness and image brightness have been increased on the T* FL series binoculars to as yet unchallenged levels of performance. The new 8x56 and 10x56 Victory FL binoculars join the award-winning 32mm and 42mm models that have quickly become the standard for optical excellence.

About Zeiss:
Carl Zeiss is a leading international group of companies operating worldwide in the optical and
opto-electronic industry. Carl Zeiss AG is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The business groups, which each operate with sole responsibility, are generally ranked first or second in the strategic markets of biosciences and medical technology, system solutions for industry and optical consumer goods. They offer products and services for biomedical research and medical technology, system solutions for the semiconductor, automotive and mechanical engineering industries, as well as high-quality consumer goods such as camera lenses and binoculars. In fiscal year 2005/06 (ended 30 September) the Carl Zeiss Group generated sales totaling EUR 2.4 billion. Carl Zeiss has 11,249 employees and is directly represented in more than 30 countries and operates production facilities in Europe, America and Asia.

The eyeglass business now operates as Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH and is the number two eyeglass provider in the world. This company is owned 50:50 by Carl Zeiss AG and a private equity company.

Further information is available at www.zeiss.com/sports or call 1-800-441-3005.


Richard Moncrief

Phone: + 1 804-425-8455
Fax:
E-Mail: rmoncrief@zeiss.com

http://www.zeiss.com/sports
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2007 at 07:51
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"Zeiss Wins Outdoor Life Editor's Choice Awards"

 

One always needs to take these types of awards with a grain of salt.  I believe it was also Outdoor Life who earlier this year proclaimed the Leupold VX-7 as "best of breed" in high-end riflescopes.  Seriously, who do they think they are kidding?

 

Getting back to binoculars, each of the big three have distinct features that appeal to some and not others.  I know people who swear by Zeiss, and others like me who swear at them.  Each to their own...

 

ND2000

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2007 at 16:52
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Originally posted by ND2000 ND2000 wrote:

"Zeiss Wins Outdoor Life Editor's Choice Awards"

 

One always needs to take these types of awards with a grain of salt. 

 

ND2000

 

I fully agree with ND2000 on this quote. We canot trust any reviews or awards fully in this sport when money

is involved.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2008 at 20:14
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Some additional points:

Regarding Leica, they probably have customer service worse than the other 3:  The warranty cannot be transfered.

One other advantage that Swaro/Zeiss have is they have greater focus past infinity adjustment. This is can very important if you have myopia such as -5 or -6D  but don't want to use glasses.

The Ultravids have stiffer focusing wheels but no experience with them.

Other than than that and the fact that the now-discontinued Trinovids have the ergonomics of a brick, they are excellent optically. You can find them all day on Ebay between 700-900.

Zeiss is supposedly brighter however.

OTOH, Leica is the most durable out of the big 3.  Older Swaro EL used to suffer from slow focus, this has been fixed.  They do have a different design from the others, the way both halves are connected.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2008 at 17:39
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Leica has a Lifetime passport warranty that is transferable. It even covers accidents. Swarovski and Zeiss only have limited lifetime warranties.
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Originally posted by pahuntnut pahuntnut wrote:

Leica has a Lifetime passport warranty that is transferable. It even covers accidents. Swarovski and Zeiss only have limited lifetime warranties.
 
Leica no longer has a lifetime warranty on the new Ultravid HD, which has been changed to only 10 years.  In fact, I believe they no longer offer a lifetime warranty on anything anymore.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2008 at 08:24
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Thats what happens when someone does not update thier site. That warranty was a major factor in my leaning toward Leica and I am back to square one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2008 at 11:57
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Originally posted by pahuntnut pahuntnut wrote:

Thats what happens when someone does not update thier site. That warranty was a major factor in my leaning toward Leica and I am back to square one.


A lot of companies do that. Look at Kahles, it appears they haven't updated their website since 2006. I always try to follow up with a phone call to confirm.

Swarovski has a "lifetime" warranty for their optics and 10 years for all other parts on the device for the original owner. Their pricey but excellent. If you register it on-line you get $20.00 back towards the purchase of accessories.




Edited by mike650 - March/21/2008 at 11:59
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/21/2008 at 13:09
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thanks for the info. I am going to buy one of the big three and still shopping/reasearching as to what will be the best for my hunting situation.
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I prefer swarovski and have owned them all. They are all bright but swaro has the edge on edge to edge sharpnesss also known as sweet spot
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2008 at 06:37
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Originally posted by pahuntnut pahuntnut wrote:

Thats what happens when someone does not update thier site. That warranty was a major factor in my leaning toward Leica and I am back to square one.
 
Speaking of the Leica warranty, I just found this new information... good news!
 
 
Leica was being constrained by changes in the laws in Europe governing the duration of warranties, limiting them to 10 years, but no such limitation exists for the U.S.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/19/2008 at 16:28
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I luuuuuuuuuuuvvvvv my Swaro's.....

Used to hunt with a cheap pair of binos (thought they were great) until i looked through a pair of 10x50 ELC Swaro's (my hunting guide's pair).... my god, it was like i was seeing a whole new world!

Anyway, some time later (when i could afford it) went to the local shooting supplies store, checked out all they had to offer and settled on a pair of Swaros 8.5x42 EL. They are great to hold, well balanced, rubber armored grip, and optically superior (in my humble opinion) to anything I have tried. They are also a good compromise on weight/size against the ELC's.

A lot of twitchers (bird watchers) go for these.. and if you ever look at a Mallard on the pond through these you will know why. The color rendering is second to none.

The draw back is that when i'm hunting, as the evening draws near, i can still see through the binos, but when i pick up my long-range varmint rifle and look through the scope, its like someone has turned off the light!!!!! I've lust ordered a new Zeiss Conquest scope which i hope will allow me to see at least some of what the swaros do!!!

So be warned, better binos could result in need for better scope/s!!!!!!Roll%20Eyes
 
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Originally posted by britguy britguy wrote:

I luuuuuuuuuuuvvvvv my Swaro's.....

Used to hunt with a cheap pair of binos (thought they were great) until i looked through a pair of 10x50 ELC Swaro's (my hunting guide's pair).... my god, it was like i was seeing a whole new world!

Anyway, some time later (when i could afford it) went to the local shooting supplies store, checked out all they had to offer and settled on a pair of Swaros 8.5x42 EL. They are great to hold, well balanced, rubber armored grip, and optically superior (in my humble opinion) to anything I have tried. They are also a good compromise on weight/size against the ELC's.

A lot of twitchers (bird watchers) go for these.. and if you ever look at a Mallard on the pond through these you will know why. The color rendering is second to none.

The draw back is that when i'm hunting, as the evening draws near, i can still see through the binos, but when i pick up my long-range varmint rifle and look through the scope, its like someone has turned off the light!!!!! I've lust ordered a new Zeiss Conquest scope which i hope will allow me to see at least some of what the swaros do!!!

So be warned, better binos could result in need for better scope/s!!!!!!Roll%20Eyes
 


I gotta agree with this logic. IMHO, can't go wrong with either of these three to solve your rifle scope problem: Kahles, Swarovski, or Zeiss. Big%20Grin
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