Swaro vs. Others
I am sure this has been posted before and for that I am sorry. I am a deer hunter from Oklahoma so a lot of my time is in stands and scouting fields. I am doing my first DIY archery elk hunt in CO this year and I was wanting people's opinions. This is not a questions can I afford the 10x42 Swaro but are they truly worth the money? Are there any other brands people would recommend? Or are the Swaro's just head and shoulders above the others its a no brainer? Thanks in advance for your help!!
This is always a good question and i own two pairs of swaros the 8x30 and want to get 10x42 and there a swaro spotting scope and to me in ym experience they cant be beat and IMO there totally worth the money and im sure BB will be on here to post on this subject also
Haha. Yes bb will! How often do you plan on hunting out west? That is a consideration. Swaro are def top of the line. Swaro, zeiss and leica are the big three. I personally like swaro better for binos, zeiss just came out with a new pair though, I think they are called ht's? I would like to check them out as well. If you are looking for a cheap alternative I would highly recommend zen ray ed3 10x43s. Dollar for dollar I think they go the farthest.
Zen Ray is coming out with the prime HD in May I believe. If you pre-order them now they are 25% off and come out to $555. If not there $740. Wish they would have came out with them when I got my ED3s, oh well the ED3s are still good enough for me.
Originally Posted by Drhorsepower
The short "IN FIELD CONDITIONS" answer is YES, they are worth the money... See if you can find a Cabelas or Bass pro that'll let you use them right at sunset... That should put your concerns to rest...
I have a set of swaro 8x30 and a pair of 10x42 recently purchased the cabelas euro 12x50 glass and I might get hammered on but I will put them up against my swaro's any day the lenses for the euro series is by the same company who swarovski has make there's I am sure they have different cuts but amazing glass with the same warranty as swaro. Just my .02$
I'm with Graylight on this, go to a sporting goods store that carries the big 3 (Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss) take all them out on seperate tripods (so there is no shaking going on) just when the sun has set (if a sporting goods store really wants to make a sale, they will take them out for you) Look through all of them and see which ones are the best. To me the Zeiss Victory FL was the clearest Bino, but I didn't have quite enough for them so I went with the Swarovski, and have never regretted it since. The only porblem I have with them is when I go hunting with friends that don't have good bino's they are always wanting to look through them. Good luck.
Last year I was in the market for new binds. I went to my local sporting goods store for about a week trying the big three companies out. They were all awesome. But I went with the ones that fit me the best. I bought the leica ultravids. I can't say exactly how much better the swaros were but the eye cups didn't fit me the best. Another great set is the vortex Hd glass for the money.
I have the Swarovski 8.5 x 42 EL and they are a great bino but they are not magic !! If I am hunting from a tree stand for deer they work great if I'm hunting elk or antelope and trying to see a real long distance I always wish I had a spotter to really see the animal good. I'm not putting Swaro's down at all as far as binos go they are the best, it's just they have there limits.
As predicted, here I am.
There are a lot of different whether or not the "Big Three" are worth their premium price tags. I have posted about this before, but here is my take:
The "Best" is still the best. The high-end offerings from these companies are the cutting edge of optics, and they always push each other. Every time I have taken a peek through the SLC HD, or Zeiss FL, I had a "Wow" moment. It is hard to imagine the Zeiss HT improving on the FL, but you never know, and I really want to try them.
However, the gains are tiny with each "improvement"," and often come with a huge price tag (Are we up to $2500 for binoculars now?).
Chinese OEM companies have closed the performance gap substantially. I have taken Graylight's advice quite often and compared optics at dawn dusk over and over. The difference in image between the Swarovski SLC neu and the Zen Ray offerings (I own both) are little. Is the Swarovski better overall? Sure. Does the Zen beat it out in some areas? Yes it does.
If pure optical performance value is your goal, it is hard to beat the Chinese ED stuff.
The Euro companies have a lot of things going for them: Longevity, build quality, finish, fit, feel, and prestige (this is their biggest seller I am certain).
The truth is that the game you can spot through the best you can spot through the quality imported Chinese ED stuff.
The other thing that doesn't get much press is there are products that give up nothing to the Euro's coming out of Japan including Nikon EDG, and Kowa's top offerings.
The individual buyer has to make up their own mind on whether the premium for the best is worth it. If you want the very best, you have to pay for it. Do you need it to be an effective hunter? No.
Also Shaun mentioned the Cabelas Euro. The Cabelas Euro is a rebadged Meopta Meostar. Meopta is a Czech Republic OEM that has been making quality optics for a long, long time. I don't know if they made any Swarovski products, but all of the Swaro products I have were made in Austria (Swarovski's own facility) or assembled in the good ol' USA (Meopta may have manufactured some parts for those, I don't know).
I do know that Meopta has manufactured a lot of Zeiss products, including most of the lenses for the Conquest riflescope lines (which are manufactured in the USA), and Zeiss' top of the line Diascopes. (If they are labelled made in Germany they were made at Zeiss' own facility, if they are labelled made in Czech Republic, they were made by Meopta. It doesn't really matter, Meopta can make products to whatever spec the seller wants.
Meopta has only recently been releasing their own branded line of top-end optics in the USA, and they have some really nice products. I owned a Meopta Meostar 10X42 binocular, and it was very similar to a Swarovski SLC (pre neu). They are releasing a new super-spotter this year that is getting rave reviews from birders. They are also releasing an HD (ED glass) version of their Meostar binocular to similar fanfair (already available in the US as the Cabelas Euro HD).
There are a lot of great optics options available. What is worth what is going to be different to different people.
Many people are steadfast in their brand loyalty, often because they have had good experiences with that brand's products. However, just because something is labelled "Swarovski" doesn't automatically mean it has a meaningful performance advantage over another brand. Swarovski does take a lot of pride in its optics, and most Swarovski products I have seen had little to no weaknesses in fit, finish, durability or performance.
For the record, the two finest binocular images I have seen were through the Swarovski SLC HD and Zeiss FL. Still the best.