Dream set of Binos, Swaro, Leica, Steiner ?

WeiserBucks

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I ordered Swarovski SLC 15s from Doug at Cameraland yesterday. For my needs they're going to be perfect, long range glassing for every critter Idaho allows me to hunt. I had a cheap pair of 15s that served me well since 2012 and I have no doubt the Swarovski's are going to blow them away.
 
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D_TROS

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I have (recently sold several of them)
In rank of awesomness...to me.

Swaro 15x
Zeiss 10x RF
Sig 10x BDX3000 RF
Steiner 10x RF
Steiner 8x RF
Vortex 10x Fury RF
Nikon RF binos
Bushnell 1000 RF
Burris 10x Sig HD

The new Leicas are phenominal, as all their binos are glass wise. Just don't trust their old RF.

Overall the 15x swaros are in a league of their own and the Sigs have the best RF. Steiners infinity focus thing, as mentioned, is useful but you give of image crispness to ave that focus. Good and bad for sure. I like it.

GL
DT
 
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Duc

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Been running Swarovski for 40+ years and I never been disappointed in them optically or thru customer service! No matter how many times I HAVE worn out rubber parts, lost eye pieces/cups/covers, dropped and jarred lens alignment, etc., Swarovski has ALWAYS repaired(or replaced the entire unit) in a timely matter and NEVER has asked for or let me pay for the services done! This is for all their products.
On this alone I would not buy another Brand.
I can say that years ago, Steiner did repair a set of Binos free of charge for me.
The Zeiss 10x glass was great, but at the time to heavy for my wants.
Service after the purchase is an important thing if you are using everyday.
 
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Mr.Impact

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Well just an update, I ended up getting a good deal on some 10-15x50 Duovids for my glass needs and also got a pair of used Vectronix vectors. Hopefully won’t need both and either will be selling my duovids because the vectors do it all or keeping the duovids and vectors and selling my plrf 10 rangefinder. Time will tell. I appreciate all the advice
 
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762libertarian

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Well just an update, I ended up getting a good deal on some 10-15x50 Duovids for my glass needs and also got a pair of used Vectronix vectors. Hopefully won’t need both and either will be selling my duovids because the vectors do it all or keeping the duovids and vectors and selling my plrf 10 rangefinder. Time will tell. I appreciate all the advice
Quite an impressive shopping run. I hope you'll be satisfied!
 

FjallJager

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Here's a used pair of EL 10x42 at a good price.
Shop is family owned and will treat you right.
If you call them and talk to Mark or Mike (owners) they will probably work with you on the price.
605-341-5211

They are the old model and mon swarobright
 

FjallJager

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As I read this report, I realize for most people it would be splitting red cunt hairs. I don't think it will matter unless you are really near sighted.
 

sharpdoug

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I currently own...
meo 15x
swaro 8x
swaro10x
swaro15x
and the Leica 10x rangefinder (past a mile)

birdwatching and shorter range the 8x, 10x are awesome.
spotting prs get 15x.
for my eyes the Swarovski are better than the metopes, but price-wise the Meo’s rule.
 
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thorium

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Good feedback here, I’d definitely keep the electronics out of it.
5 years ago it was hard to get a decent range finder under $500, these days look at Sigs range finder offerings.
 

troupe

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TRACT OPTICS :::: I have had both Swaro's in the EL line as well as the SLC line. Both are world class. I also have a pair of Leitz that had been given to myself from my family that was bought new in the 50's. Again world class Euro glass. Most of the top Euro's use Schott glass of some form or the other. My current bino's are from Tract Optics. They also use Schott Glass. They are such a steal compared to all the others combined because of no middlemen. The clarity and brightness are as good as the others that cost 3 times as much. I will never pay the price of the others when I can get the equal glass quality from Tract Optics. You will not be disappointed, Tract cover that as well.
 

pmclaine

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TRACT OPTICS :::: I have had both Swaro's in the EL line as well as the SLC line. Both are world class. I also have a pair of Leitz that had been given to myself from my family that was bought new in the 50's. Again world class Euro glass. Most of the top Euro's use Schott glass of some form or the other. My current bino's are from Tract Optics. They also use Schott Glass. They are such a steal compared to all the others combined because of no middlemen. The clarity and brightness are as good as the others that cost 3 times as much. I will never pay the price of the others when I can get the equal glass quality from Tract Optics. You will not be disappointed, Tract cover that as well.
Tract may use Schott glass but not all Schott Glass is the same.

One company may spec different, thicker or some design feature while another will not.

Maybe the grinds are even different.

Be careful in thinking "Oh Schott Glass its all the same".
 

troupe

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I understand the difference in Schott glass, but I can speak from being a owner of many of the great Euro glass models. I sold my Swaro's because the Tract bino's are that good. I have also purchased 2 of their rifle scopes. When the middleman is left out, the savings goes on to the purchaser. I am not knocking the euro glass in anyway at all, since they are world class. I don't have the thousands to spend and when I tried the Tract products, I was blown away.
 

WirgmanUSMC

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I have the Steiner Military m830R lrf binos and I love them. Having the reticle is great, and they range really well. The 1535nm version is even better of course. I think the glass is stellar, but as previously mentioned, the sports focus is great for some applications, but not for others. It suits me really well for shooting field and team matches when scanning blind stages for targets, but if you were really trying to lock in on a known distance to take video through them, I doubt they would be the sharpest in the bunch.
 
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Arc Light

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Was prepared to get the 15X Swaros from Doug, but he suggested I try the Meoptas at 2/3 the price. Have been very happy with them. Will probably still get the Swaros at some point.
 

FjallJager

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Is there any exterior differences to tell apart the old vs new? I see the newest models have the flip caps upfront, any other features or differences I need to look at to tell apart?
The serial number, and if they are still in the box the box changed slightly.
 

FjallJager

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Was prepared to get the 15X Swaros from Doug, but he suggested I try the Meoptas at 2/3 the price. Have been very happy with them. Will probably still get the Swaros at some point.
Meopta is a top brand. Hard to justify the next step up. I think top Meoptas compare equally with the SLC at half the price.
 

fx77

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I did this exercise a while ago looking for 10X42 equivalents Spent months looking online for prices, reviews, and features
I narrowed it to Swaro EL or Nocxtovids and Zeiss Victory SF
The Swaro were a smidgeon better optically, but most of my viewing Did not discern a significant difference. I liked the Zeiss better because it had in my hands subjectively better ergonomics, and the eye pices could come closer together to fit my narrow interpupillary distance.
Went with the Zeiss and am totally happy.
 

FORESTBARBER

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My vision is poor. Astigmatism and tilted visual field in right eye. I had some Geovids and could not use them because of ranging featured being on side with my worst eye. Eurooptic kindly refunded in full.

I shoot PRS and have looked through a lot of people's binos and spotters. The Swaro 15 X 56's are the only optic I can regularly see trace through.

I bought some from Euro at a kickin' price. They do take care of you.
 
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ShaoKahn

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I have a Swarovski EL Range 8x42 that I love. Great colour and clarity. As a handheld bino, I think 8x42 is a great format. I very much prefer it to 10x.

If the binos are going to be tripod mounted 99% of the time, why not go for something like the Swarovski SLC 15x56? They don't have a reticle, but if that's a must, there must be something in that class that does.
Just curious, why do you prefer 8x over 10x? I’m planning on getting some EL binos, and was looking at the 10x over 8x.
 

FjallJager

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I prefer 8 as well. Not because it is an 8, but because 8 will give more eye relief. If I could find a 10x56 with 20mm of actual usable eye relief I'd be all over it.
 

aljones_315

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i finaly ponied up the coin and bought 15x56 slc last year i have since sold my razr spotting scope and never given it a second thought yes theyre a bit bulky for hunting but when you need them they are nice to have and a good chest rig helps you forget the extra weight.
 

ShaoKahn

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I prefer 8 as well. Not because it is an 8, but because 8 will give more eye relief. If I could find a 10x56 with 20mm of actual usable eye relief I'd be all over it.
is 10x that bad? I have a set of cheap 10x binos and I don’t find the eye relief to be bad. I don’t know if I want to give up the extra magnification for a slight improvement in eye relief.
 

7P's

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Not sure how many of you have glassed for big game - sometimes you’ll glass for 2 to 5 hours before you make a decision on your approach or how to come at it the next day. IMO, a quality spotting scope such as a Kowa, should be considered for looong range viewing. If weight and bulk are of concern - maybe look at travel spotting scopes, as they will probably out perform your high power Alpha binoculars with a tad less weight and bulk.

If your in rugged terrain, a full sized bino can be both heavy and bulky, not adding much to your hunting experience. Might consider a pocket bino such as a Kowa Genesis 22mm lens. Those pocket binos are just the ticket for watching birds, squirrels and everything else from a tree stand during deer season, as sometimes that’s all you have to look at?

Myself, I’ve got no need to try to identify rack size at 2,000 yards, so I make do with a Opticron MM3 travel scope with a SDLv2 eyepiece (12-36x), a Zeiss Victory FL 8X42 and a Kowa Genesis 10X22 pocket binocular. With any of them I can locate a prairie dog in the grass at 600 yards - they’re pretty safe at that distance, but I do scare a few on occasion.

10X can look a little unsteady/shaky at times compared to a 7X or 8X bino.
 

DetroitRearView

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My current list after owning over 40 Swaro/Leica/Zeiss/Meopta/Vortex/Kowa Products
1) Swaro compact 10x25
2) 8x42 SLC (Outdoorsmans stud)
3) 12x50 EL (Outdoorsmans stud)
4) BTX 95MM/65MM
5) Outdoorsmans Med tripod RRS BC-18 Mini Ballhead
6) RRS TFC 33 MK2 Anvil 30

Buy what you like and like what you buy
 

BigJimFish

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Swaro 8x42 EL is the best bino. A bino is a hand held device, they can’t replace a spotting scope. Good glass will last 30+ years, keep the electronics out of it. No doubt there are 30 year old Leica Geovids still going strong, but I’ll bet the optical tech hasn’t changed as much as the electronic tech during that period.
I still agree with this. I don't think we are quite at the dream of the fieldglass / rangefinder / weather station / ballistic calculator all being one yet and perhaps that is for the best since the electronic stuff changes so fast. For what it is worth, I still use the same 8x32 Nikon Venturers that got around 20 years ago. They were tier 1 then and are more like tier 2 now. Still quite good 20 years on and I don't plan to upgrade them in the near future.

Also, I dig 8x32's generally. I already have a high powered optic with a limited field of view and a reticle on it mounted on a stationary platform with me.... My riflescope. What I want is something that I can hold and observe though for long periods of time that is low enough magnification to be steady and has as big a field of view as possible. Of course, I am typically looking for ground hogs in tall grass with mine and not trying to spot shots flying at a known target for someone. I don't really understand the concept of using high powered tripod mounted binos for finding targets. What am I going to be able to conceivably shoot that is a combination of size and range that I cannot make it out with 8x binoculars and need 15x? Maybe I am just missing out on the high powered bino goodness but In have found maneuverability and field of view to be the key elements in finding those gophers.
 
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FjallJager

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I have a far from ideal set up, and I am going to pair it down a bit if I get a promotion at work and upgrade some more.

I just recently sold the following as they don't really work for me.

Vortex 8x42 Talon
Vortex 10x42 Talon
Nikon 10x56 Monarch (these are nice, but the eye relief just needs to be a bit longer)

I am looking for a pair of 8x56 or 10x56 with 20mm of eye relief. I am hoping to get my hands on a pair of Leica 8x56 Geovids, or at least Minox 8x56 HD with the new split hinge.

I still have:

10x50 Bushnell Legends (nice glass for $375) needs more eye relief, but my wife really likes them so they will stay.
8x56 Minox (these have 20mm worth of eye relief, and they are ok but not the best.
10x50 Pentax porro prisms (these are the kids)
 

7718Sallee

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Apr 24, 2020
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I just upgraded from leupold bx4 10x42 to Swaro slc 10x42 last year and the Swaro are amazing. In retrospect I kinda wish I had gone with the 8.5x42 el or 8x42 slc for less Shaky handheld use and a much better FOV. I’ve been running 80% off the tripod and the more I use the tripod the less I like to hand hold. I currently have the cheap little Kowa 50 mm spotter for taking a better look at things but am hoping to upgrade to the 55mm prominar next year They are very light.
 

762libertarian

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Just curious, why do you prefer 8x over 10x? I’m planning on getting some EL binos, and was looking at the 10x over 8x.
You can see details plenty far away with the 8x binos. I never mount my binos on a tripod, and I often take a peek holding them with one hand. A common use for me is moving through terrain and stopping to glass the surroundings for a minute before I keep walking. If I spot a deer or hog that I can't easily analyze (sex, antler size) with the binos I just switch to the scope and turn the magnification up to 20x +.

The limiting factor for me is not the ability to see small details very far away, but rather field of view and practical field of view when the binos are shaking and swinging in my grip. It's hard do discover a deer that's hiding in the section of the view that is intermittently disappearing, as the bino moves.

To me, binos are supposed to be handy and comfortable. 8x is plenty. 10x is not ideal for me, and 12x just makes me think you could have gotten a spotting scope instead.

I know a lot of people here hunt in terrain that differs from where I hunt. If I was glassing to discover elk up in the mountains, then maybe the higher mag would be better. I mainly hunt fields lying between strips of forest. Typically spot the game at 100-500 meters distance. Sometimes up to 1 km.

It's really a matter of preference and individual context, but don't cheat yourself into thinking that higher magnification makes the binos better as a tool, regardless of what you're going to be using the tool for.
 
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7718Sallee

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I hunt mostly western Oregon where there isn’t typically long range views mostly just looking for movement in timber, glassing opposing clear cuts etc. I’m thinking i can hand hold less shaky and see plenty with 8.5x. Then switch to my small spotter if i need more detail. Also elk are not hard to see even at Extra long range if they are in the open.
 
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ShaoKahn

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You can see details plenty far away with the 8x binos. I never mount my binos on a tripod, and I often take a peek holding them with one hand. A common use for me is moving through terrain and stopping to glass the surroundings for a minute before I keep walking. If I spot a deer or hog that I can't easily analyze (sex, antler size) with the binos I just switch to the scope and turn the magnification up to 20x +.

The limiting factor for me is not the ability to see small details very far away, but rather field of view and practical field of view when the binos are shaking and swinging in my grip. It's hard do discover a deer that's hiding in the section of the view that is intermittently disappearing, as the bino moves.

To me, binos are supposed to be handy and comfortable. 8x is plenty. 10x is not ideal for me, and 12x just makes me think you could have gotten a spotting scope instead.

I know a lot of people here hunt in terrain that differs from where I hunt. If I was glassing to discover elk up in the mountains, then maybe the higher mag would be better. I mainly hunt fields lying between strips of forest. Typically spot the game at 100-500 meters distance. Sometimes up to 1 km.

It's really a matter of preference and individual context, but don't cheat yourself into thinking that higher magnification makes the binos better as a tool, regardless of what you're going to be using the tool for.
Thank you. Makes sense. I plan to use the binos to scan and also range with them. No intention of substituting them with a proper scope. I’ll be using a Swarovski scope for that. I’ll have to play with the 8x some more.