Midwest glassing - swaro el vs slc, 10 vs 12?

Thomasj1107

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Nov 25, 2019
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I am looking to make a big jump and get an awesome pair of binos for my western hunts. I will be running from a tripod, and can swing one pair of high quality binos for now, but am still going to have to wait for a great deal. What is the advantage of the el over the SLC? Is the price difference justified?

Also, if only having one primary set of optics for now (no spotter, or any higher power binos), is there any reason not to go with the 12s rather than the 10s?
 

Bailer

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To my eyes el are much better than slc. In my country 12’s work great. I wouldn’t have spent that kind of money without seeing for myself. Fortunately a buddy has 15 slc and 12el and i was able to spend a lot of time behind both.
 

MidGAHunter

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The EL are better to my eyes (crisper view to me and I love the field flatteners). I also like the ergonomics of the EL better. That being said they do cost more so only your eyes can decide if that is worth it for you. As to the 12s, I personally have a hard time handholding them but on a tripod they are awesome. I use 8.5x42 (REALLY easy to handhold these and I don't feel like I give up much to the 10s handheld) on my chest and 12x50 on a tripod. If I was going with just one pair, the 10x42 would probably be the way to go. The 10s (either EL or SLC) on a tripod will help you see way more than you would believe with the added benefit of still being able to stabilize them handheld.
 

tdot

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I looked at it this way. I can handhold either a 10x or a 12x about the same, but prefer the 8x to handhold over either. On a tripod the 12x is superior. A 12x I will wear on my chest, a 15x I wont.

It's taken me a few years but I now have the 8x and 12x. The 12x will go if I'm glassing beyond 400 yards or so, the 8x if I'm still hunting.

With the field flattener of the EL the useable FOV of the 12x seems almost double the 15x SLC. Which to my eyes is more important then the magnification.

I would take the 12x if I had only one pair.
 

ljalberta

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Huge personal preference thing. I compared the ELs and SLCs and ended up buying the SLCs. I did think the ELs had the better view, but I preferred the ergonomics of the SLC and the price jump wasn't personally worth it to me. Primary advantage of the ELs is going to be the flatter field of view (if you prefer that), and it maintains the image sharpness further to the edges of the field of view. SLC has greater light transmission, but it's not something I could even notice during the lower light situations.

If I could only have 1 set, it would be in the 10x42 model, as I can handhold them better than the 12s, but also I enjoy the wider view in some situations. That being said I've hunted the exact same areas with some friends who prefer 8s or 12s for the same country.
 

Hatchet Jack

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I looked at it this way. I can handhold either a 10x or a 12x about the same, but prefer the 8x to handhold over either. On a tripod the 12x is superior. A 12x I will wear on my chest, a 15x I wont.

It's taken me a few years but I now have the 8x and 12x. The 12x will go if I'm glassing beyond 400 yards or so, the 8x if I'm still hunting.

With the field flattener of the EL the useable FOV of the 12x seems almost double the 15x SLC. Which to my eyes is more important then the magnification.

I would take the 12x if I had only one pair.
This is right on the money. The EL view is expansive. The 12x EL has more usable (clear) area in the field view than the 10x slc. Slcs are still awesome but the ELs are something else. And 12x50 with a spotter is my all everything go to.
 

rodney482

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I prefer the SLC over the EL and have owned the newest models in both.
 

Agar426

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I personally prefer the ELs over the SLCs. To my eyes, there was a noticeable difference in the quality of the view. However, The ELs aren't "a little more expensive." Most days, they are a lot more money. If I was a guide or outfitter, I wouldn't even question it. But with my full time job, coaching responsibilities, kid duties, other hobbies.....I don't spend 200 days a year in the field, so for my money......I'm waiting for the miracle sale on the ELs, otherwise, I would be very happy with the SLCs.
 

wseidel

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Great choices. I was in a similar situation a few years ago and went back and forth between the slc and el models. Make sure you spend time with each because a small minority of people experience the "rolling ball" effect with the el's. I was one of those so I went with the slc. In addition, I chose the 8x42 (for a wider fov) since they are an all-purpose binocular for me...both midwest and western hunting (plus sports). Hope this helps.
 
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Thomasj1107

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It’s hard to decide on the magnification, I hunt in the East also obviously, but mostly bow and I don’t really even need Binos that much for hunting here. I mean they are a luxury, but out west a necessity. So I don’t want to get a magnification to cater to both, I want strictly for the west
 

stratofisher

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For hunting in Illinois I have a mix of 8, 10, and 12. If I am in the woods the 8 is best. The 10 goes most of the time, but if I am trying to find deer the 12 off tripod can’t be beat. Although I just picked up some Swaro EL 10x42 and think I will sell the 12’s off and just go with the 10 power due to the flexibility.
 

tdhanses

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I didn’t read all of the posts but it’s not as easy to mount EL’s to a tripod, need to get a stud pressed in or use the outdoorsman bino hand, two best options I’ve used.
 
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Thomasj1107

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For hunting in Illinois I have a mix of 8, 10, and 12. If I am in the woods the 8 is best. The 10 goes most of the time, but if I am trying to find deer the 12 off tripod can’t be beat. Although I just picked up some Swaro EL 10x42 and think I will sell the 12’s off and just go with the 10 power due to the flexibility.
Out west would there be any downside to the 12x50?
 

Bailer

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Out west would there be any downside to the 12x50?
im using them as my only bino. Off the tripod glassing 400 yards to 1200ish they’re fantastic. After a long rough stalk, trying to use them one handed to find the bedded buck in the shadows at <100, I’d rather have 8’s. All in all they’re a great compromise, but they are a compromise.
 

stratofisher

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Out west would there be any downside to the 12x50?
I haven't found any issues with the 12x50. I can hand hold as needed, but they do work best off the tripod to really scour the terrain. I think the 12x50 is a good intermediate between the 15's and the 10's. If you are going 15's you might as well go with a spotter and actually see the details. Unless you are judging for trophy at range I would say the 12x50 is a good solution.
 

BluMtn

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I have been using 12 ELs for about 5 years now and would not do anything different. I even use them in the timber. I focus through the trees and have found several animals bedded. As far as needing a tripod I have a little age on me but I can still hold them steady to glass for a fair bit of time. If I need a steady I use my shooting stick or trekking pole and rest on the top of it.
 

duckhunter175

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The 12x50 EL is best handheld bino you can buy--- yes there is some personal preference; but when I went to the Outdoorsmans and they lined up everything, and I mean everything, all at once on a tripod outside and I looked at the different Zeiss, Leica, Swaro SLC, EL10 and EL12.

It absolutely ruined binoculars for me and now I have EL 12x50s-- get the stud, it's worth it for quick on and off your tripod out west. And the binos work just fine for normal WT hunting.

I got rid of my small spotting scopes (50mm Nikon and Vortex) and right now I think the only good complimentary glass I need is a large spotter for judging animals as I've had no issues with the 12s finding deer and elk a long ways away (3km+)
 

ckrhtr

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I have had the 12x50 El for about 2 years now and they are in my opinion about as good as it gets. I have been able to spot more elk in less light than I ever have.

I was with a couple friends glassing a hillside 2 weeks ago, I spotted a bull bedded in the shade over a mile away, neither one of my friends could pick him up with their 10x SLC's even after I described his location. It was not until after the bull stood up in the sun were they able to see him with their glass.

The only real downsides that I have noticed is they are a little to much when things get tight and it takes some getting used to hand holding them. I have the outdoorsman stud installed so most of the time I use them off a tripod which is really the way to go.
 
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