November 2000 Discussion
Message 1340 of November 18, 2000 by Derek Matthews
I’m not sure that this is appropriate for the e-group as it’s a personal request, so if any of you have any thoughts perhaps you could e-mail me directly. I’m just about to change an ancient pair of Zeiss 10×50 bins and have been looking at the Swarovski EL 10×42’s. They are incredible compared to my old pair but I’m wondering if it’s worth considering any other makes and models. I may change my scope as well so would appreciate any thoughts you guys have as to what the best buys really are. I know Rick T recenlty bought a Swarovski scope and I’d love to get his feedback on it.
Message 1348 of November 19, 2000 by Dan Bastaja
Hi Derek. This is Daniel Bastaja. In my humble opinion, if you want the best, don’t bother looking at anything else. Get the Swarovski EL 10X42. You will thank yourself every single day that you use them. Nothing I have ever seen comes close. The new model Zeiss 10X56 are fabulous too but much, MUCH heavier than the Swarovskis so they are not as good overall.
With regard to scopes, the very best I have ever seen is the one Rick Toochin has ….. the 80mm Swarovski with a fixed 30X wide angle eyepiece. I used his once and I just couldn’t stand to go back to my old scope so I bought one too. I bought the 80mm “HD” model (high definition) with the 30X wide angle eyepiece and (once again in my opinion) it just blows every other scope I have ever seen totally out of the water. You can only get the wide angle eyepiece in a 30X fixed but I think it is worth it. Way better than the zoom eyepiece. The field of view is incredible with so much light, clarity and definition that I have been amazed at the stuff I am able to pick out with ease. It is a rather large scope but I found I got used to handling it very quickly. Waterproof too which is nice.
Now the bad news. If you can find a local dealer with old stock you might get a reasonable (reasonable for Swarovski optics that is) price but, with the “northern peso” hovering just above $0.64 U.S., any new stock (or if you order it through the internet (ie: ABA Sales) it is going to be somewhat more expensive than a few months ago. Currently ABA Sales prices both the EL 10X42s and the 80mm scope at between $1,300 and $1,400 U.S.
Research reference by Arlene Kaljee
(for further information):
Article by Ken Rosenberg of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology – “Desperately Seeking Binos – In search of the best and the brightest binoculars for birding”, published in the Spring99 Edition of “Living Bird”. The picture shows a variety of “certified Lab bird-heads”, ranging from beginning birders to professional ornithologists, who took part in the Cornell Laboratory of Ornitholoy’s binocular evaluation.
Message 1350 of November 20, 2000 by Chris Charlesworth
I am a strong supporter of the Bausch and Lomb elite series. I bought a pair about 6 years ago and I have very satisfied with them. Mine are 8 X 42s. They are bright, clear and have excellent close focus capabilities. The new line is even better with more clarity. I have compared the Swarovski el’s and my Bausch and Lomb elites. There isn’t too much of a difference between the two. The EL’s are lighter in weight, which is nice, however the optical quality is similar. When you get into binoculars over $1000, there doesn’t seem to be much variation. They are all pretty good. The Bausch and Lombs are also cheaper than the EL’s. You should at least consider a pair of B&Ls before you buy the more expensive Swarovskis. As for scopes, the new Swarovski is great. Another brand to consider is KOWA. I’ve got a KOWA and it’s pretty good. Either of these scopes are worth buying.
Message 1351 of November 20, 2000 by Len Jellicoe
I have a pair of Swarovski binos EL 8×42 and they are the best I’ve ever owned. When I ordered them they were late getting here so the retailer let us use a pair of 10×42 EL’s until we got he 8×42’s. I don’t miss the 10×42’s at all. More light enters the 8×42’s and as a result, a brighter picture. I also own Swarovski HD scope but with the 20-60 eyepiece. I have found the extra power comes in handy on many occasions. For instance I was observing swans on Boundary Bay with 30x and wasn’t quite sure if they were Tundra or Trumpeter. I cranked it up to 60x and could clearly see yellow spots on the bills. I purchased them at Frederick Goertz, 314 East 5 Ave. Vancouver, phone 871-9066. They specialize in optical equipment for surveyors and seemed to be the best price I could find. They also carry other binos if you want to check them out.
Message Reply 1361 of November 20, 2000 by Brian Scott
Derick: When in the market for birding optics, you owe it to yourself to check out the reviews at www.betterviewdesired.com .They have a great review of a new Pentax 80mm scope that looks rather tempting. Swarovski’s EL line are great bins optically and very rugged. Their service department is incredibly efficient too. I have a pair of the older model B&L Elites 10×42 and a pair of the Swarovski 10x42SLC. The Swarovskis are indestructable and slightly better optically than the Elites. However, I use the Elites more often because of ergonomics and ease of focus. I’ve spent some time birding with the EL’s and found them to have the best of both of my bins.
Before you buy you should try the pair you’re interested in and ask the advice of birders in your age bracket …. some of these young guys could look through a toilet paper roll and pick out the semi- palmations on the toes of a Semipalmated Sandpiper running across the mudflats at 100 meters. Any bins they use are going to seem great to them. Anyway, you can’t beat Swarovski’s warranty … I know of people who have sent their bins into them with a problem and Swarovski has sent a brand new pair back … no problem
Message 1366 of November 21, 2000 by Prue Spitmann
Hi Derek: Bernie and I have used the Swarovski HD80 ‘scope for about three years and highly recommend it. We originally purchased both the fixed 30 Wide and the zoom 20-60 lenses; however, we ended up returning the 30W as we found it tiresome to carry both in the field. In the past we were always dyed-in-the-wool fixed lens users but the Swarovski zoom’s superior quality convinced us to change. We believe it is second to none in its field and there have been many occasions when we have been grateful for the extra power. You won’t be disappointed with a Swaroski ‘scope with either lens – good luck with your selection.