SIG ZULU5 vs. Swaro' EL Range Semi-Live Review, by Robby Denning

robby denning

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Hey Roksliders. While I'm NO EXPERT at judging optics, I have been seriously using them for decades and know what works and what doesn't.

All our staff writers were too busy for this project, so I took it on myself-- testing and reviewing the ZULU5 8x42 HD Binocular by SIG SAUER Electro-optics ZULU5 8x42 mm HD

My go-to hand-held is the Swarovski EL Range 8x42, so fair or not, that is what I tested the ZULU5 against (send complaints to [email protected])

My preferred hand-held power is 8x42, so I chose that for this review (they are also offered in the 10x42). I've had them a few weeks and have put several days on them in all kinds of conditions.

I like them more than I thought I would. To use a phrase coined by our previous editor--Darin Cooper--there is "shocking value" in these little handhelds (price-point is around $500). Light, bright, small, and pretty clear (and they have a 1/4"x20 adapter!!!). Way better optic than I had as a young man. The accessories leave a lot to be desired.

I cover all this and some initial "testing" in this 5-minute video. I'll have another video up soon on this thread that includes some of my low-light experiences. Be sure and subscribe at "Thread Tools" top of post if you want to receive updates.

If you've ran these binoculars (or the 10X), by all means, post up your experiences on this thread. The more feedback and various opinion we can give Roksliders, the better. If I don't hear from anybody, I'll try to arrange for a second tester on this set.

If you want to see video full screen, you'll have to jump onto our youtube channel here: SIG ZULU5 HD Binocular vs. Swarovski EL Range - YouTube

[video=youtube_share;w14oZMgz2sY]https://youtu.be/w14oZMgz2sY[/video]
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Here is the low-light testing video I did. It's really short but you can get the idea of the conditions I used them in. Impressed with low-light performance for the price point
[video=youtube_share;h-QsEGK6CYY]https://youtu.be/h-QsEGK6CYY[/video]
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Today, I set up the ZULU5s on some country about 1-2 miles away where I've seen some good bucks. Hand holding them with my elbows rested.

Looking west with the rising sun at my back, I glassed about 20 minutes when I caught two deer easily visible at about the 1.75 mile mark feeding in the sagebrush.

I switched to the Swaro' 20-50x80 spotter and confirmed they were bucks, one out to his ears and forming a basket above his head.

I'm pretty happy that those little SIGs pulled that off. You can't do that with poor-quality binoculars.

One thing I have noticed with more use is that while they are clear, the do lose clarity more toward the edges, probably the last 15% of the circle. Now it took me about five field days to really notice it but again, I keep going back to the price point.
 

mtnwrunner

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Robby, I was able to pick up a set of these at cabelas for 299 bucks about two months ago. I bought these for a backup set and I agree with your findings............very nice binocs especially for that price. I've got the 10x and have only used them for rock chuck hunting so far and have not had them in low light. I really like the weight and the ergonomics of them as well as the ability to install a Pentax stud and glass off a tripod. I sat behind these for at least 10 hours a day looking for chucks and was really impressed. Not real sharp at the edges but it wasn't a hindrance.

Randy
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Robby, I was able to pick up a set of these at cabelas for 299 bucks about two months ago. I bought these for a backup set and I agree with your findings............very nice binocs especially for that price. I've got the 10x and have only used them for rock chuck hunting so far and have not had them in low light. I really like the weight and the ergonomics of them as well as the ability to install a Pentax stud and glass off a tripod. I sat behind these for at least 10 hours a day looking for chucks and was really impressed. Not real sharp at the edges but it wasn't a hindrance.

Randy
??$299????

That's even better for what they can do.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on yours.

Funny that many high end binos have no 1/4-20 stud yet these do.


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