Black Gold Sights - Pure Gold
New Swaro binos
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
DE Bow Hunter 10-Feb-19
Ucsdryder 10-Feb-19
Ambush 10-Feb-19
JTreeman 10-Feb-19
Dale06 10-Feb-19
Ambush 10-Feb-19
Treeline 10-Feb-19
4blade 10-Feb-19
Matt 10-Feb-19
Ermine 10-Feb-19
DE Bow Hunter 11-Feb-19
Bou'bound 11-Feb-19
pav 11-Feb-19
Mule Power 11-Feb-19
ELKMAN 11-Feb-19
shorty 11-Feb-19
Mule Power 11-Feb-19
SBH 11-Feb-19
Shiras42 11-Feb-19
Kodiak 11-Feb-19
Ziek 11-Feb-19
Ambush 11-Feb-19
HDE 11-Feb-19
Zim 11-Feb-19
shorty 11-Feb-19
Bake 11-Feb-19
APauls 11-Feb-19
Trial153 11-Feb-19
Ambush 11-Feb-19
caribou77 11-Feb-19
Beendare 11-Feb-19
Willieboat 11-Feb-19
Butch 11-Feb-19
caribou77 11-Feb-19
pirogue 11-Feb-19
5575 12-Feb-19
5575 12-Feb-19
Too Many Bows Bob 12-Feb-19
elkstabber 12-Feb-19
Butch 12-Feb-19
Thornton 12-Feb-19
Bake 12-Feb-19
Shiras42 12-Feb-19
Mad Trapper 12-Feb-19
Beendare 12-Feb-19
ohiohunter 12-Feb-19
Bake 12-Feb-19
Mad Trapper 14-Feb-19
76aggie 03-Apr-19
Kurt 03-Apr-19
Billyvanness 03-Apr-19
Bou'bound 03-Apr-19
Junior 03-Apr-19
Rob in VT 03-Apr-19
Lost Arra 04-Apr-19
svrelk 04-Apr-19
Tdvorak 05-Apr-19
Mike-TN 05-Apr-19
10-Feb-19
Want to get a new pair of binos before next season. Was looking at the swaros and was hoping hear what model you all are using, why you chose the model and the differences between the models. It’s a huge investment and want to make sure I’ve done my homework. I’m not married to the Swarovski brand and am open to other suggestions, but have one of their scopes and know their glass is supposed to be the best.

Thanks for any insight.

From: Ucsdryder
10-Feb-19
I got a pair of Zeiss victory sf this year. Mainly because I got them for a great deal. Take a look. They seem much lighter than they actually are based on weight distribution. Image quality and low light capabilities are amazing.

From: Ambush
10-Feb-19
Where and what is most of your hunting for?

From: JTreeman
10-Feb-19
It’s just hard to beat 10x42 EL’s for all round use.

Yeah, they cost a lot. Yeah, maybe more than you need sometimes (8x30 Midwest treestands). Yeah, maybe a little less than you need sometimes (15x56 in the desert).

But for one pair to do it all, I think 10x42 EL’s are the way to go.

—jim

From: Dale06
10-Feb-19
I’ve had swaro 10x32 EL for about ten years. I use them for tree standing whitetails, to hunting sheep in the NWT, and everything in between. With them you give up some field of view but gain in lightness and compact size. I’d buy them again.

From: Ambush
10-Feb-19
I've had the EL 10X32's for about fifteen years and use them for everything too. Side by side they don't give up much to the 42's and are considerably lighter and more compact. If I didn't do much open country mountain hunting, I'd strongly consider the 8.5 X 42 in EL's . But it would be EL Swaro's in HD.

From: Treeline
10-Feb-19
Absolutely love my 10x42 EL’s. Best binoculars I have ever owned.

However, if I was shopping now, I might buy the new Leupold’s. Great glass with top notch customer service at a lower price point.

From: 4blade
10-Feb-19
I use a the SLC's in 8x42. My eyes don't get along with field flattener lenses but then for a 1000 bucks less I wouldn't buy el's any way. I don't feel I am losing much with 8's verses 10's, at 2 miles away I still have to get out the scope to determine antler size. A good 8x is better than an inferior 10 any day. Slc 8x and a 30x Kowa scope get er done.

From: Matt
10-Feb-19
10x42 is my choice, whether EL or SLC.

From: Ermine
10-Feb-19
12x50’s! Amazing. I can free hand them. And put them on a tripod for Some serious glassing

11-Feb-19
Thanks guys.

Ambush- I do most of my hunting here in DE, MD and PA. I do go out west at least once a year for muleys, pronghorn and hopefully again one day elk. Currently planning a moose hunt but haven’t decided where.

I am leaning to something at least 10x... First pair of binos I ever bought was probably 15 years ago and they were the Nikon monarch 8x42. They still work but didn’t feel they had enough for out west but too heavy to carry in my pack for the tree stand out east so I bought Nikon 10x25 or something like that. They definitely would be comfortable or have the field of view for out west.

Thanks again for the help

From: Bou'bound
11-Feb-19
for one pair to do it all, I think 10x42 EL’s are the way to go.

From: pav
11-Feb-19
Went through the same process just last year. Ended up with a pair of 10X42 SLCs....no regrets. Honestly, my untrained eyes could not tell the difference between any of the top end models.

Considered Swarovski, Leica and Zeiss going in....but eliminated Zeiss after reading some reviews questioning the quality of their latest housings (never saw anything negative about their glass). Chose Swarovski over Leica mostly due to Swarovski's popularity with fellow hunters. Chose SLC over EL for two reasons...found a great deal on a new pair of SLCs....and the fact I could add a tripod adapter out of the box. Wasn't crazy about spending that kind of coin on EL binoculars and then needing to have them machined for a tripod adapter....even though I was assured the modification would not void the warranty. Good luck on your decision.

From: Mule Power
11-Feb-19
10x42 ELs. Fits your purpose perfectly. You will never regret the investment. I’ve had mine for many years and I love them like the first day I picked them up.

From: ELKMAN
11-Feb-19
Get either the 10x42 or 12x50 EL Swarovisions. Best optics on the planet. You will only need the 12x50 on those western hunts, but the size is only marginally bigger and it won't hurt to have them in a tree stand for sure. You will know exactly what your looking at every time. I love my 12s, but I love my 10s too... LOL!

From: shorty
11-Feb-19
If you have a Cabela's near by stop in and check out their brand abd compare them to the Swarovskis. I have the Caabela's and compared them to my guides Swarovskis. They were so close I would not spend the extra money.

From: Mule Power
11-Feb-19
Cabelas to Swarovski? You can’t be serious. That’s not even apples to oranges. If you had a use for the Swarovskis you wouldn’t be saying that and comparing them inside a store accomplishes nothing.

From: SBH
11-Feb-19
You won't regret it. I put off the purchase for too long because of cost. I've had my 10x42s for about 4 years now and have never once had an oz of regret. They are incredible. Lifetime investment too. Next up for me is some 15x55s. Borrowed a pair for AZ hunt this year and will not go back with out them.

From: Shiras42
11-Feb-19
I have had a pair of 10x42 ELs for about 10 years. The only thing I do not like is that the rubber around the eye cups comes off and needs replaced every couple of years, but that is a simple email for a replacement pair shipped for free. For whitetail hunts around home I bought a cheaper pair of Vortex. There is no comparison in low light, but they do the job. Love my Swaros.

From: Kodiak
11-Feb-19
Agree with most here, I think Swarovski makes the finest overall binoculars on the planet.

Zeiss does some nice things in regards to prism systems and light gathering potential, but for an overall quality optical instrument Swarovski can't be topped...imo of course.

From: Ziek
11-Feb-19
I currently use 10X42 ELs. My first Swarovski were 8X30 SLCs. My wife used them when I got the 10X42s. She preferred the smaller size. BUT, when she got a pair of 10X42 SLCs, that's now what she uses. The 8X30 are mostly retired. We keep them just for a backup. Before the Swaros, we paid more upgrading to better glass every few years, as our budget allowed, than the price of the best. Would have been cheaper to just start with Swaros.

From: Ambush
11-Feb-19
Most of my use is at longer distances, so the 10 X's are my better choice. What I do notice in thicker bush and close range is that target acquisition can take a bit longer. For shed hunting or still hunting in thick bush, the lower power and wider field of view could be a consideration. But a top quality ten power is still going to be superior to any lesser glass under any circumstance. I have an old pair of Zeiss Jenna in 8X32 that I use for the truck and quad (theft potential) and there is just no comparison even in the above mentioned circumstances.

From: HDE
11-Feb-19
"I’m not married to the Swarovski brand and am open to other suggestions,"

Because of this stance, you have positioned yourself to get the best optics for you. I have a pair of Swaro's and they are good glass and chose them over a pair of Zeiss counterparts with the decision factor being a slim margin of eye adjustment for my eyes. I also have a couple pairs of "inferior" optics that perform well.

Some have said to me that my eyes are messed up. Bullshit. My eyes are not their eyes and vice versa.

Factors to consider in buying optics:

1) price range. Only you can determine this and how much to spend.

2) eye adjustment. Doesn't matter the brand of glass, your eyes have to adjust when you first look through them and then look away. How quickly that happens will determine eye fatigue and if that set of glass is right for you.

3) use. Are you going to spend months behind them or the occasional use a few days a year with "courtesy" looks to determine if it's a rock or a deer?

4) eye cups. Some bino designs have larger eye cups than others and it will affect the sight picture. Again, depends on your physiology and build.

Focus on the factors that matter rather than "I love my Swaro's and you will too!" I do use my Swaro's the most however...

From: Zim
11-Feb-19
Was in your boat last year and did quite a bit of research before ultimately purchasing the Swarovski EL Range in 10X42. I would suggest you listen to the Kifarucast review on optics (part 1 is from Feb '18 and part 2 is from Mar '18) given their podcast is free, they are highly experienced with the various options, and they are not beholden to any sponsors. You'll find that many people get their egos tied up with any expensive brand they purchase and that inherent bias carries over to their recommendation. I would suggest you do your own diligence, I personally have a tough time discerning between the high end options. For me it came down to the Swarovskis or the Leicas.

From: shorty
11-Feb-19
When I said Cabela's I was referring to Cabela's Instinct® Euro HD™ Binoculars. I sat in the truck with my guide and scanned the country side and their was little difference between the two. Just go to Cabelas and look at the two and make up your own mind.

From: Bake
11-Feb-19
I have the 10x42 ELs. Really I can't imagine using anything different. I use a Kuiu harness, and the other day I came in from shed hunting and ate lunch before realizing I was still wearing the binos on my chest.

I can see how some smaller 8x32s would be good for some hunts. Maybe turkeys in the spring, or walking hunts in Africa or Australia, but really, that's about it.

I wear mine probably 100+ days a year at home, out west, doing just about everything shed hunting/scouting, turkeys, deer, etc. I have even worn them duck hunting to watch birds fly by a long ways away.

I've had them for 8 or 9 years now, and consider them an invaluable asset for my hunting

I sometimes wish I had 15s for out west, but I also don't really want to pack 15s around on my chest either

From: APauls
11-Feb-19
^^^This is truth. I have some 8ish year old Swaro 10x42 EL's and I bought a pair of 10x42 Cabelas Instinct Euro HD's and my Swaro's are going to be on kijiji. I find the Cabelas (Meopta) more vibrant and other than that notice no discernible difference. I use glass a lot so it's not like I've never used glass before. I dunno, maybe I just expected the world from the swaros but they just aren't better IMO. Maybe a brand new pair would be different I'm not sure. I've tried the swarovision in store and I was instantly seasick. Some people experience the "rolling ball" effect with the swarovision and I am one of them. Could never use a pair of swarovision for more than a minute I'd be honking. And I've never been seasick in my life.

From: Trial153
11-Feb-19
I have 8x32 Els, 12x50els and 10x42 SLCs the newest version.....I just hunted whitetail and elk I would take the 8x32 els hands down. However with all the other hunting I do my 10x see plenty of use. Especially off a tripod. I like the SLC better then the Els, ergonomically and optically. That said either are excellent. I also own lecia and ziess so I have a pretty decent frame of compassion If you looking for one glass to do it all, everyplace and no plans to buy again. 10x42 SLC or ELs.

From: Ambush
11-Feb-19
Ok, true story from a small Manitoba town.

Old spinster has a cop come over complaining that her neighbour down the road a bit is exposing himself to her from his bathroom. She takes him up stairs and points out the mans house. The cop pulls out his issue Vortex 8X30’s and in a minute or so claims he can’t see anything suspicious

The old lady scoffs and says, “Of course you can’t!! You have to pull that stool over, climb up on the dresser and use these big Swarovski’s!”

From: caribou77
11-Feb-19
I have to agree with the few Cabelas euro hd guys on here. Though i went with the meopta meostar b1 hd do to not liking cabelas anymore and not trusting the lifetime warranty. Any review I've ever seen puts them right with the slc. Cabelas runs sales on them every year and you can grab a pair for 800. Mine were slightly more, new from cameraland ny. After looking though both in the field, my eyes choose to spend 600 less and buy the meostar. To each his own. Swaros are considered the best of the best.

From: Beendare
11-Feb-19
An east cost guy might want to think about making an 8X bino his primary.

I have the 10x Swaro and the 8x EDG's....and that 8 power is mostly my go to; great for everything except wide open spaces....and its easier to one hand hold.

From: Willieboat
11-Feb-19
10x42 ELs... have been using em for 18 years now.

From open country elk to blacktails in the western Oregon jungle....best piece of hunting gear i own.

From: Butch
11-Feb-19
Evidently you guys have never heard of Tasco 8 x 20's--holy cow!

Butch

From: caribou77
11-Feb-19
Butch, I think I have a pair in the basement if you're looking for a good used pair!

From: pirogue
11-Feb-19
10X42 ELs, whether I'm in the AZ desert, or the AR bottomlands.

From: 5575
12-Feb-19
Had the new 10x42 SLC in 2017, just wasn't happy with them. Bought a new pair of 10x42 el's in 2018 and couldn't be happier!

From: 5575
12-Feb-19
Had the new 10x42 SLC in 2017, just wasn't happy with them. Bought a new pair of 10x42 el's in 2018 and couldn't be happier!

12-Feb-19
I have a pair of 10x42 Zeiss and never have regretted the purchase. Once in a tree stand I was using them and saw a flicker in the brush. After staring at it for awhile, I realized that it was the eyelashes of a deer. I killed that deer a few minutes later because I was prepared.

As far as which of the "big boys" to buy, I would suggest that you go someplace that sells various brands and try each one of them. You will then decide which one is for you, and in the end, your decision is the only one that matters.

TMBB

From: elkstabber
12-Feb-19
Try as many as you can on a tripod near sunset. Don't look too much through the middle but check for clarity around the edges. The best bino for your eyes will become obvious.

From: Butch
12-Feb-19
Caribou77-- I must confess, I have my Tasco's packed away as well. I recall first getting them in the early 80's and, man, they were hard on the eyes. Several years ago I purchased an upper level pair of 8.5 x 45 Nikon's and truly love them. I'm surprised how many are using 10 power and higher binos-- I find it difficult to hold the higher powers steady when using free-handed--especially as I have gotten older. The 8.5 power seems to be the best setup for me.

From: Thornton
12-Feb-19
I compared them to some Leupold BX4 and the Leupold was just as clear as the Swarovski for a fraction of the price.

From: Bake
12-Feb-19
I haven't looked at binos in a while. I've been so happy with my 10x42 ELs. But thanks to this thread (Damn all of you!), I spent a little time browsing Swaros on MidwayUSA.com.

Now I want a pair of Swaro Gen 2 12x50s. Just because I want them. I hate all of you . . . .

From: Shiras42
12-Feb-19
Thornton, I had high end 10x42 Leupolds that I thought were clear and more than adequate...Until I was on an elk hunt and I could not find the bedded elk the rancher was pointing out. He had an old pair of Swaro 10x42 that I tried out and found them right away. I've never looked back and regretted my purchase of the Swaro's since then.

From: Mad Trapper
12-Feb-19
Other than about $900, what is the big difference between the EL's and the SLC's. If I read the specifications correctly, the EL's are slightly heavier than the SLC's.

From: Beendare
12-Feb-19
Hey Bake, I have a few buddies that run those 12x50 swaros....all open country mule deer guys. My one buddy guides in AZ and i had the chance to check his out last fall next to my 10x SLC's. i never thought there would be that much of a difference- there is, those 12's are like watching a good big screen TV- bright and perfect resolution- bad ass.

This guy^ has everything- BTX's, Kaibab 18x for his guides...all kinds of top glass. He thinks the 12x50 Swaros are the best bino Swaro makes. High praise coming from a guy that scouts/hunts 330 days a year.

Again, it depends on what hunting you do though. My bet, an 8x would be a better all around performer for a east coast hunter.

From: ohiohunter
12-Feb-19
Madtrapper...field flattening Swarovision. Some people's eyes do not agree with it and get a rolling effect, though flattening does enhance resolution.

From: Bake
12-Feb-19
Beendare. . . .I coulda done without knowing that :) Put another item on the list. . .

1. Farm

2. Ranch

3. More Swaros

4. More hunts

Bastards

From: Mad Trapper
14-Feb-19
I have some Cabelas points to burn and am looking at a new pair of Swarovski's. I was leaning toward the 10x42 El's, but am intrigued by the 12x50's. They are only about 7 oz heavier than the 10x42's. I don't relish carrying an extr 7 oz's up the mountains, but it may be nice to have the stronger glass.

From: 76aggie
03-Apr-19
I like my 10x42 EL'S with rangefinder. Only issue is I find them a bit heavy when wearing all day long. My son just got a pair of Vortex 10x42's with rangefinder. He says he likes those more than he likes my Swaro's. I have not looked through his as of yet. Each to his own. Do your research and get what is right for you.

From: Kurt
03-Apr-19
I like having two pair of primary binos. A 14 year old pair of Leica Ultravid 8x32 (pre-HD) for closer, tighter cover and a pair of Swarovision 10x42ELs for the open country. I end up using both about equal amounts over a year. If I had to chose one, it would be the EL 10x42s even though they are heavy buggers...heavier than Swaro used to list on their specs.

I also was very impressed with a pair of Leica Geovid 10x42 Perger Prism range-finding binos (banana shaped barrels) that my NWT sheep guide had. They were very sharp and had a great depth of focus. I see Cameraland running a special on them once in a while for a good price and have been tempted, but run my separate Leupold rangefinder and Swaro binos and think it is the best setup for bowhunting for me. If you consider the Geovids, ensure they are the model that angle corrects down to 10 yards and the Perger Prism variety...as some look identical but do not start angle correcting until beyond bowrange, and they still sell the old straight barrel model too. I have a pair of the old Geovid 15x56 HDs and they a excellent optically, but are heavy, hard to hand hold and have a narrow field of view. They see use at the house glassing the mountain, out of the truck or quad, but never in the pack or around the neck.

Good luck with your choice!

03-Apr-19
I use the 8x32 EL around my neck and have the new 15x56s with a Outdoorsman tripod in my pack. The 15s are the single best thing I’ve ever bought for Western hunting. Almost feel like I’m cheating.

From: Bou'bound
03-Apr-19
All Swarovski all the time

From: Junior
03-Apr-19
10/42 I love mine but they are older 2000s year...I must say I have looked through cabelas and leupolds and both were clearer with more color...compared at dusk with the leupolds and they were right with the swars! I like the 12s swars but dam I'm tired of spending $ .

From: Rob in VT
03-Apr-19
Swaro 10x42 EL is my go to.

From: Lost Arra
04-Apr-19
Once you have decided to go into the optics stratosphere on price I would get the brand that is a comfortable fit for your face. No one here can tell you that because eye relief and positioning are an individual thing. Also the field flatteners/rolling ball affects everyone differently. For me it was a close call with Zeiss and Swaro. Leica was third and Vortex were not in the game. I bought Swaros and have no regrets.

The optics math favored 8x for my hunting. I do a lot of quick one-hand glances with binos. I'm never analyzing antlers at long distance, I'm just looking for animals. I don't think anyone has regretted buying top shelf glass unless the price was excessive for their budget.

From: svrelk
04-Apr-19
I built a building some years ago now for Ray Bunny. Former co host of Western Extreme as well a few other shows. He has hunted all over the world for countless specie. One evening over dinner I asked him, "you've looked through every glass made under all kinds of conditions, what's your #1 go to glass when sponsors aren't involved?". His response, " Hands down, no question about it, Swaro.". Ive had my 10x42's a long time now. And I won't leave the truck without them..

Jim

From: Tdvorak
05-Apr-19
DE, I don’t know about you but I never have enough magnification on glasses. I do almost all of my hunting out west and in Alaska. I heard that you can’t hold 15 or 16 power glass steady so often that never considered it. Then I got a pair of 16x Pentax. The people who said you couldn’t hold them steady were right...for the first hour. Haha. After that I could hold them perfectly steady. There is just a one hour learning curve that most people never go through when they are looking through them in the store. I thought they were awesome. Then I got a pair of 15x56 Swarovski binos as a tip. They are much easier on they eyes than the Pentax. If you do DIY hunts the 10 or 12 power binoculars will do a great job for you compared to the 8 power glass you might already have. If you go on guided hunts your guide will appreciate you bringing enough glass to keep up with him glassing instead of kinda being a bystander. It will help you look a bit more seasoned if you don’t have to keep asking “hey look over here, is that a deer!” Haha. It might not make a difference to you but it is something to think about. Let us know what you choose!

From: Mike-TN
05-Apr-19
If you gun hunt at all I would look closely at Leica HDB 10x42. Great binoculars, range finder and ballistic calculator all in one package. I’ve had mine a couple of years and am really happy with the purchase. Mike

  • Sitka Gear