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Swarovski Binoculars
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Sam 19-Nov-22
JTreeman 19-Nov-22
JohnMC 19-Nov-22
Sam 19-Nov-22
Sam 19-Nov-22
APauls 19-Nov-22
BoggsBowhunts 19-Nov-22
Dale06 19-Nov-22
Sam 19-Nov-22
Kurt 19-Nov-22
Sam 19-Nov-22
Ambush 19-Nov-22
HDE 19-Nov-22
Sam 19-Nov-22
JohnMC 19-Nov-22
PSUhoss 19-Nov-22
Sam 19-Nov-22
9er 19-Nov-22
Sam 19-Nov-22
lv2bohunt 19-Nov-22
peterk1234 19-Nov-22
Stix 19-Nov-22
Kurt 19-Nov-22
Ermine 19-Nov-22
Beendare 19-Nov-22
Tilzbow 20-Nov-22
9er 20-Nov-22
Manager 20-Nov-22
Sam 20-Nov-22
Matt 20-Nov-22
Tobpitbull 21-Nov-22
Iowabowhunter 21-Nov-22
pirogue 21-Nov-22
Mathewsphone 21-Nov-22
creed 21-Nov-22
Iowabowhunter 21-Nov-22
Matt 21-Nov-22
Treeline 21-Nov-22
Matt 22-Nov-22
WhattheFOC 22-Nov-22
Tilzbow 22-Nov-22
Treeline 22-Nov-22
Tobpitbull 22-Nov-22
WhattheFOC 22-Nov-22
Beendare 22-Nov-22
Kurt 22-Nov-22
SoDakSooner 22-Nov-22
Tilzbow 22-Nov-22
fishnride 25-Nov-22
fishnride 26-Nov-22
fishnride 29-Nov-22
From: Sam
19-Nov-22
My primary hunting companion (that sounds weird) has booked a desert sheep hunt for next January, I will be accompanying him for the first 5-6 days of the hunt, hopefully as a packer but certainly as a spotter. This is giving me the excuse I need to buy my dream pair of glass, leaning towards Swarovski but Leica isn’t out of the question. I have gotten by for years with 10x42 luepold, on this years elk hunt I was really wishing I had something tripod mountable and more powerful. The many Swarovski models make my head spin, what do you guys recommend that would offer higher magnification, resolution that would accept a tripod? I will leave this earth with these binoculars in my safe, so not really concerned about cost. Thanks in advance.

From: JTreeman
19-Nov-22
I may not be clear on what you are asking. Pretty much any of the major brands can be fitted with a stud for tripod use, I personally use the outdoorsman system and think it is very good. Generally speaking most Binos don’t come “tripod ready” out of the box (with some exceptions).

It sounds like you are looking for a multi use “forever binocular” buy once, cry once use them forever. And you really aren’t super concerned about $. In that case I would buy 10x42 NL Pures. IMO they are the best out there and that power/objective is pretty much the workhorse for most hunting situations.

But you also ask about higher magnification recommendation. To me the higher magnification are more of a specialty glass use product. If I was buying once and crying once for one pair it would be 10x42. If you really feel you gotta have higher X I’ve heard good things about the 12x42 NL, but I’m a 10x guy.

If you ar looking for sheep specific glass for that trip the 15x56 SLC with outdoorsman stud is the ticket, but i would NEVER have them as my only/primary Binos.

I’m sure there will be other opinions, but that is mine for what it’s worth.

—jim

19-Nov-22

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Call Larry. The Texas Bino man. He either has or can get very clean preowned optics. At a very good price. He even takes trade ins

I’ve bought Leica and Swarovski from him. They were like new. He shipped them free and said if I didn’t like them he would refund my money.

From: JohnMC
19-Nov-22
Treeman said exactly what I was thinking. The 15x on a tripod would be perfect for the sheep hunt. Most everything else you do in your hunting the 10x probably work better.

From: Sam
19-Nov-22
Jim, thank you Awesome suggestions.

19-Nov-22

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo

From: Sam
19-Nov-22
Altitude…I did not know that even existed, thank you!

From: APauls
19-Nov-22
Honestly if just looking to buy one more thing I’d keep the 10x42’s you have and pick up a Swaro spotter.

Better yet combo that with 10x42 Swaros ;)

19-Nov-22
I got a pair of 10x42 ELs for a goat hunt and am glad I did. Now they’re used for whitetails/duck scouting and they work beautifully for that too. I got them when I was 17 and will use them until I’m dead.

From: Dale06
19-Nov-22
I would presume there will be a spotting scope on the trip. That being the case, I’d get a 10X bino. That bino is very versatile and works well in most hunting situations, versus a more powerful unit. FWIW, I went on a rifle sheep hunt. My 10x32 swaro EL worked just fine and they’re a lot lighter than bigger units.

From: Sam
19-Nov-22
Bou’bound has a nice deal in the classifieds.

From: Kurt
19-Nov-22
Jim Treeman pretty well nailed it. I've got 3 pair of good binos....

18 year old Leica Ultravid 8x32 for hiking, short range hunting like elk and moose in the timber, whitetails in the woods, a lot of black bear hunting. Their compact size and light weight is great and see a lot of use...and have survived all that use without ever going back to Leica.

10 year old Swarovski Swarovision 10 x 42 ELs that are the main longer range hunting binocular....sheep, deer, moose and caribou up in the alpine. We have antler point restrictions here in BC for caribou, moose, mule deer, plus horn and/or age requirements for Bighorn and Stone sheep. Great glass, a bit big and heavy but my go too for about 1/2 my hunting. Been all over North America and have never needed Swaro service.

12 year old Leica Geovid 15 x 56 HD that have a built in rangefinder. They get used on the tripod at the house as we have a lot of sheep, deer, coyotes and bears on the mountain above the house. Great for glassing way out there to a mile or two. I always use them on our spring sheep counts. They suck for short range glassing and require being on a tripod for pleasant viewing. They are big and heavy too, weighing as much as my Swaro 20-60 x 65mm angled spotting scope. The field of view is narrow....the Swaro SLC 15 x 56 is a better for straight binocular use. The rangefinder is excellent, especially for long range prairie dog shooting. the Leica's needed new objective lens caps a few years ago and a call to them in the US and they had the caps to me free of charge in about 10 days.

If I could only have one of the above binoculars, the Swaro 10 x 42 ELs would stay.

If buying new I'd check out the Swarovski NL Pure very closely and likely end up with them...most likely in a 10x42, or possibly 8x32.

From: Sam
19-Nov-22
Kurt, just what is the difference between the ELS and the NL pure?

From: Ambush
19-Nov-22
I've had the 10X32 EL's for quite a few years and really like them. You definitely give up a bit in low light, but for me it's a good trade off for the weight savings. And I carry a scope for when magnification matters. But I think it's pretty tuff to beat the 10X42's for 90% of a hunters needs for 90% of the time.

And don't think you will only use them for hunting. Having good glass handy can add a lot of pleasure to many activities.

From: HDE
19-Nov-22
What's the difference between this hunt and any other you've been on with your current setup? Swaro binos aren't going to make the hunt that more successful or turn up the biggest ram on the mountain.

From: Sam
19-Nov-22
I don’t know HDE, you tell me.

From: JohnMC
19-Nov-22
HDE optics are pretty darn important to turning up rams on a mountain. Does it have to be Swarovski? No, but wouldn't want to have to do it with a $89 pair of bushnells.

I have a pair of 10x42 Swarovskis. Keep a pair of 10x42s vortex in the truck and honestly I don't even like looking through them. Can't imagine trying to use them for a sheep hunt.

From: PSUhoss
19-Nov-22
Hi Sam -

I really, really love my 10x42 EL Range, but I would be happy to loan them to you to try out on this hunt.

If I had to decide if I were to forget my bow or my binos for a hunt, it would be a close call.

Happy to send them with my Kuiu bino harness too as I won need either for a while.

Feel free to PM me and I will ship them for you.

Gear combo.

From: Sam
19-Nov-22
Super kind Hoss!

From: 9er
19-Nov-22
Surprised there hasn’t been more love for a 12x bino. Get the 12x NL and don’t look back if money isn’t a worry. Especially if your hunting out west. About the only time I wish for lesser power is when I’m in the timber and for that 8x are perfect.

From: Sam
19-Nov-22
9er , my thoughts exactly, so far most everyone has me leaning towards 10X.

From: lv2bohunt
19-Nov-22
HDE read the OP again. He said the hunt is a reason to buy his dream glass! He said nothing about them being necessary for his friend to succeed.

From: peterk1234
19-Nov-22
Is this a self guided hunt?

From: Stix
19-Nov-22
Not taking away anything from Swarovski but I accompanied my b-i-l on a stone sheep hunt in BC last year (he's resident) and he used a Nikon Monarch 5 16x56 that was every bit as good as the Swaro, Zeiss, Leica stuff I looked through. He bought a package on Amazon for $500 with the tripod and other accessories. IIRC, there was a 20x56 package for $800.

Just putting it out there

From: Kurt
19-Nov-22
Sam, as per the difference in the NL and EL, I'd defer to some of the threads on the NLs that are on Rokslide forums. I've never seen the NLs in person, just read about them. But what I read is they have enhanced field of view vs the the Swarovision ELs, are just slightly better optically, plus have great ergonomics. They also cost about a $1,000 more than ELs I believe.

I'm not planning to upgrade my ELs or the small Leica Ultravids. Both are "lifetime" binoculars for me, unless they get lost or stolen. Both have been a pleasure to use and I never regretted the money I spent on them. I almost would rather go hunting without my bow than my binoculars.

From: Ermine
19-Nov-22
12x42 NLs would be perfect

From: Beendare
19-Nov-22
OP, are you confused yet? A few facts:

All of the top binos are comparable.

You can never go wrong with Swaros.

Magnification has tradeoffs. For example: 10’s can be hand held or used on a tripod. 15’s are hard to hand hold but are excellent on a tripod.

There is a few binos that can hang with Swaros.

Call the guys Doug or Neil at Cameraland, expert advice, low prices.

From: Tilzbow
20-Nov-22
I’ve got a pair of NL Pures and what sets them apart from other Swarovski binos are the ergonomics. Holding a pair just feels better than any other pair I’ve used and that includes Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski EL’s. I never liked EL’s, or Swaro glass in general, because I would get the “rolling ball” effect when scanning areas using the glass but I don’t get that from the NL’s. I bought NL’s directly from Outdoorsman’s and had them install their tripod stud.

From: 9er
20-Nov-22
If your going to be doing lots of long range glassing during the hunt and after, it’s really hard to beat a set of “ big eyes” if looking 1 mile + or if your picking apart thr mountain. It’s so much more enjoyable with 2 eyes vs 1.

From: Manager
20-Nov-22
Sounds like you are asking info on Swarovski's. I have a 8x32 EL; a 10x42 SLC; & a 12x50 EL's. The 12x50 EL are my go to bino. Rather it be from the truck or around my neck. Not much weight difference from the 10x42. Easily held off hand without a tripod. I agree with Ermine ... the New 12x42 NL Pure would be perfect.

From: Sam
20-Nov-22
Definitely leaning towards the 12X42NL pure

Thanks men, this was a tremendous help

From: Matt
20-Nov-22
Swarovski binoculars with more power and tripod mountable, I would look at the 12x NL Pures or 15x56 SLC’a.

21-Nov-22
Go with Nikon, when compared Nikons high end glass cannot be beat; fyi Swarovski don’t lifetime warranty their glasses as advertised… it’s in the fine print according to serial numbers and that to changes with time. Their service is not real good either.

21-Nov-22
Yeah I mean I’m sure the Nikon’s are ok, but they’re ok “for the money”.

Forget the cost, and the Swarovski/Leica/Zeiss top end are significantly better than a Nikon/Leupold/Maven/Vortex etc.

It’s scientific fact

From: pirogue
21-Nov-22
“ Definitely leaning towards the 12X42NL pure Thanks men, this was a tremendous help”

You are leaning correctly.

From: Mathewsphone
21-Nov-22
I'm a 15x56slc guy I carry them for guiding 10x42el hunting for my self

From: creed
21-Nov-22
"Yeah I mean I’m sure the Nikon’s are ok, but they’re ok “for the money”.

Forget the cost, and the Swarovski/Leica/Zeiss top end are significantly better than a Nikon/Leupold/Maven/Vortex etc. "

Have you looked through the top end Nikon's? I have 2 pair of Zeiss, 10x42 Victorys; 15x56Conquest, top end Nikons, Swarovski's and a Zeiss spotter. The Nikons are my go to glass.

21-Nov-22
I have-not much of a fair comparison as I looked thru them at an indoor archery shoot to be fair.

That said the SLC’s I had around my neck to my eye looked markedly better.

I do have better than 20/10 in both eyes so that may enable to be a bit more discernible comparing glass?

I’ll see if I can find a pair and get the chance to use them outside.

From: Matt
21-Nov-22
I have quite a few Swarovski products and their customer service has been well beyond expectation.

From: Treeline
21-Nov-22
I’ve squandered much of my youth and hard earned money on optics… Top end optics, although not necessary for success, definitely can make a big difference in finding critters to hunt. And, you gotta find em to hunt em!

The importance of good glass was shown to me when I started guiding for Coues deer in New Mexico and Arizona back in the early 90’s. I just thought my Leupold 9 power binoculars were good… Thankfully, the outfitter let me use his Zeiss 10x40’s and 15x60’s on a tripod because after one day of glassing hard, my head was hurting and I had only managed to find a couple of deer.

One of the other guides helped teach me how to use the big glass on the tripod and I literally felt like Superman with X-Ray vision! I was finding way more deer and actually found several really good bucks for the clients.

The top end glass was out of my budget for a number of years but I bit the bullet and bought the best I could get when I had the money. I have not ever regretted it.

I have the 10x42 ELs, 15x56 SLCs, and the 65mm STS HD spotting scope and consider them all as essential as my bow or boots. They each have specific uses, but the 10’s and the spotting scope get by far the most use, except when I’m hunting Coues.

I sent my 10’s in to the Outdoorsman in AZ and a stud installed for putting them on a tripod to use like the 15’s. If you can use your 10’s on a tripod, you won’t need the 15’s unless you’re hard-core Coues hunting and you can still do quite well for the little desert deer with the 10’s on the tripod.

I actually know several extremely successful Coues hunters that use 8x50’s on a tripod. I’ve watched them find way more deer buried in the brush than very experienced Coues hunters glassing right next to them with 15’s…

Above 10x, it gets tough to hand-hold steady enough for effective glassing. You miss stuff because you start to move too fast or get tired from holding the extra weight and any shaking is multiplied. Plus, you lose your field of view and miss a ton of stuff you will pick up with the lower power.

I would strongly suggest a set of 10’s that you can attach to a tripod or use by hand. The EL’s have been awesome glass for me but have not looked through the new NL’s. Not sure they could be any better than the EL’s but would definitely look hard at them if I didn’t have what I have. I would not consider the 12’s for any serious glasswork unless they were mounted on a tripod and then you still would need a set of 10’s for glassing by hand.

I would also say a good spotting scope is necessary. Not sure that you need to spend the money on Swarovski for a spotter because you typically will only use it for short duration to judge an animal that you spot with the binoculars. Probably use the spotter less than 5% versus the binoculars.

The other piece of the puzzle that a lot of people don’t give enough credit to is a damn good tripod and head. I used a lot of different tripod and head setups over the years. When a buddy talked me into buying a Manfrotto carbon tripod and liquid pan head, I was blown away with how much better I could use my optics! I can stand up with the Manfrotto and it is rock steady. It has made a world of difference for serious all day glassing.

From: Matt
22-Nov-22
Ditto what Treeline said, with the only exception that I was able to glass up a couple of tule bulls last year with 15x56 SLC’s that I passed over quite few times with my 10x42 EL’s. They were in the shade and behind some sparse limbs, and once I found them with my 15x and switched back to my 10x I still could not make them out. My friend killed one of those bulls so it made all the difference.

From: WhattheFOC
22-Nov-22
Go Swaro- no regrets.

As for the Nikon suggestions … Nikon bowed to pressures to discontinue riflescopes a few years back. That makes them anti-hunting, which makes me anti-Nikon.

From: Tilzbow
22-Nov-22
I’m pretty much in full agreement with what Treeline wrote. I use SLC 15x56 for sheep, mule deer and coues on a tripod. 10’s on a tripod will blow you away with how much better you can see than when they’re hand held but as Matt highlighted I’ve spotted game with the 15’s that I missed with the 10’s. I personally wouldn’t recommend hand holding anything over 10’s. That said I do use a Lecia APO spotter that’s a 20x50 wide angle with an 82mm objective. At the time my eyes preferred Leica glass over Swaro.

I settled on a couple carbon Sirui tripods with Jim White fluid heads. One I can use standing up while the other is smaller and is used for hunts further from the truck. I use the Outdoorsman’s dove tail bino mount and their similar spotting scope mount and the really cool thing is I can lock the Jim White head down after finding something with the binos, remove those, replace with the spotter and the game is nearly centered in the spotter every time. Unfortunately I don’t think the head is made any longer.

From: Treeline
22-Nov-22
Matt’s comment about finding elk buried in brush and shade reminds me of why I take the 15’s for Coues… Not to mention finding bedded mule deer, sheep in the rocks, or elk in the timber… I got them so I use them!

However, it really is amazing how much more game you will see thru a set of 10’s or even 8’s on a tripod. At least double. The versatility of being able to use them by hand or off the tripod is worth it!

I just picked up a Slik carbon tripod and ball head on a sale that I plan to use for backpacking. It actually looks really good. I’ll need to pick up a couple more plates, though.

Like Tilzbow says, I set up my Bino-adaptor on one plate and my spotter on another. I can switch from binoculars to spotter with the head locked down and usually be really close to the same spot.

22-Nov-22
I too have had 2# pair Swarovski and zeiss, neither of them compare to my Nikons in low light, clarity, and clearness…and my Nikons are not cheap either. I’ve had several people compare and the Nikons are always what they find better. 8.5/56 monarchs are no longer made but if my mind serves me correctly, they were 550.00 discounted 40% 8 years ago.

Jim Shockey is one of the best outfitters in the world and he uses Nikon and I’m sure he has access to whatever he wants; actually under the Nikons I’d choose the zeiss.

From: WhattheFOC
22-Nov-22
Shockey?? He uses Leupold spotter when the cameras are rolling, Just to get some B roll footage - then they put it behind the seat and pull out the Swarovski.

What you see on tv is all about pleasing sponsors - the truth has nothing to do with it.

From: Beendare
22-Nov-22
If budget is an issue, there are other options from Swaros. Those Kowas are supposed to be awesome. My 15x Meoptas were identical to the Swaros on a side by side comparison (both much better than Vortex Kaibabs)

My Nikon EDGs (discontinued) have a little bit better resolution than my Swaros.

Yeah, those 12x50 swaros are like a big screen 4k TV on a tripod….awesome, but they better be at $3k.

Budget…..Talk to Neil or Doug…..

From: Kurt
22-Nov-22
Reread Sam's original post up top. He has no budget issue, wants a "buy once" binocular from Swaro. He will use it on a tripod on occasion, what should he buy?

Sounds like the Swaro NL for the original poster, he just needs to decide 10X or 12X in the 42mm size. I'd go 10's like many others have said, but you can make a case for 12X. I hand hold way too often to want 12X personally.

From: SoDakSooner
22-Nov-22
My brother picked up a pair of the 8.5 x 42 EL's from a buddy of my dads a few years ago. Guy said they were all banged up, but they were absolutely perfect, not a scratch. $500. Brother had already passed thinking they were indeed beat up, but finally relented and agreed to look at them. Bought them instantly. Still pissed at my dad for not suggesting them to me...lol. That said, those 8.5's are soooo much better than my 10 x 42 Leupolds. Clarity is just unreal compared to mine, and even with less magnification, it's easier to pick out game with them. At some point I would love to pick up a pair, but would go with the 10's. I didn't think it would be that much better but boy was I wrong.

From: Tilzbow
22-Nov-22
Edited my post above that I wouldn’t hand hold anything over 10’s. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older or had nerve damage in my neck that occasionally causes my left hand to tremor when I’m physically worn out but I can’t hold 12’s or above steady and I actually struggle with 10’s unless I’m sitting or have something to lean against.

From: fishnride
25-Nov-22

fishnride's embedded Photo
SLC 15’s looking over a long long valley
fishnride's embedded Photo
SLC 15’s looking over a long long valley
I bought a pair of Swarovski’s for that exact reason. After 17 years of applying I finally drew a Ram tag here in CO. I went with the 15x56 SLC. I’m very happy I did. Sheep blend into their habitat so well you may be surprised. The extra power helped me tell a boulder from a horn, or a rock from a leg often at several miles. The clarity at sunrise was the main noticeable difference due to the 56mm objective and I could call out rams before they began heading back up for the day.

From: fishnride
26-Nov-22
By the way I’m selling the 15’s. I will be posting them to the classifieds in the next few days after I take a few pictures. 2022 model with perfect glass and no issues at all. Always used both lens covers and always in the case in my pack. Comes in original box with everything it came with.

$2150 TYD before I change my mind.

From: fishnride
29-Nov-22
FYI. I did post them in the classifieds. $2100 TYD

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