Swaro Junkies

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I frequently search the demo sections, classifieds sections, and auction sites for Swarovski optics. I have only owned and used the newer HD SLCs, 2010+, and the new ELs (Swarovision).

My reason for this thread is to pick the minds of those who have used Swarovski for a long time and are familiar with their historical lineup.

Would you rather have new SLCs or the non Swarovision ELs? They can be had for the same price.

A guy on Ebay has 10x50 NEU SLCs for $2200. Is this guy serious? Another has the model before those for $1250. Is that guy serious? How many people here would choose these older 10x50s over new 10x42s?

How do theses older SLCs stack up against other brands modern offerings? Do SLC NEU equal Vortex UHD?

I also heard someone say ELs are just to show off and for bird people and in hunting conditions you want the SLC hands down. Thoughts?

I have a bunch more questions and thought but I’ll start here.
 

Ronb

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I switched to newer 8.5 swarovision from 10x42 slc hd’s. For the increased fov and much better eye relief. I also prefer the ergos of the el’s. The other attributes are very similar. The view is spectacular in both models.


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sneaky

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You should ask this question on a birding forum and sit back with some popcorn and watch them nerd out. Those are the forums to ask optics questions on. Hunting forums are full of guys who will try argue theirs is better because they already bought it and are justifying the purchase. Birders will start pulling out resolving charts and different optical tests to show the true numbers. It's apples and oranges really.

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805Bowhunter

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You should ask this question on a birding forum and sit back with some popcorn and watch them nerd out. Those are the forums to ask optics questions on. Hunting forums are full of guys who will try argue theirs is better because they already bought it and are justifying the purchase. Birders will start pulling out resolving charts and different optical tests to show the true numbers. It's apples and oranges really.

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^^^^^this is 100% correct. Funny and absolutely true on all accounts.
 

CAElkhunter

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I had a pair of 10 X 42 EL's for 15 yrs. Loved them. Very light. Great optical view. In terms of size and feel great in the field. I took great care of the glass and sold them to upgrade to a new pair of 10 X 42 EL Range version. My hunting buddy has a pair of SLC's. We have compared them many times. I think the optics are very similar with the EL getting maybe a few % edge. I just like the size and shape of the EL better. I am an Elk hunter so I also think that extra 3 % gives me a few extra mins of light and few extra yards of clarity. But as I said you can't go wrong with either. It really comes down to the price point that fits your budget. I would recommend the extra $$ to buy Swarovski over some "value" brands. I have had several hunting guides be amazed at what they could see through my binos they couldn't see from theirs.
 

805Bowhunter

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I have read some of those conversations and they definitely like their optics. I just know there are some heavy swaro users on here and I wondered what they thought from a hunting perspective.
Totally. I am for sure a swaro guy just to be clear. I see too often people going to the grave over an optic that they just bought saying that essentially that "there is no other glass that compares." Anyone that has this perspective, to me, should be taken with a grain of salt. When you get to the alpha glass, it honestly comes down to what your eyes get along with best. You are splitting very small hairs at the top level, and will be extremely happy with any of them. The difference (to me) between the SLC and EL is almost unnoticeable. However, I ended up spending the extra $$ for the EL because I wanted the 12x50. I saved up for a very long time with the intention that when I purchased the nocs, I would have them for 25 years or more. I'm not an optic guy that can afford to have yearly turnover based on my hunts.

I would encourage you to think about what types of hunts you will primarily be using the glass for. And then ultimately, make an effort to go sit behind some of the glass that you hope to purchase. I'm not sure where you live but it is worth making a bit of a drive if thats what it takes. Also, there are a lot of very generous roksliders who I would imagine are in your general vicinity that would be more than happy to let you come look through their glass. When I had questions on spotters there were a couple people within a few hour drive and I made a point to meet up with them on a weekend and it was super helpful. The more you can look through the glass, the more confident you will be in your purchase. Most people lastly, and I would agree with this, that there is a difference between the top three and the rest. People will argue that, but I still dont see it. Vortex and Leupold have made improvements as of late, but still dont stack up.

Best of luck in making your decision!
 

tdot

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I do get a bit of a chuckle reading the Birding forums. If they are so science based and results oriented then they should all end up with one superior optic, one mid priced and one budget optic. The problem is, that at the end of the day it is a user's eye, brain and expectations that will drive their satisfaction with optics. A resolving chart simply becomes another data point, like weight or price.

Personally for me, I'll take my 15 year old EL's over the new SLC. I've run them head to head and prefer the EL. I bought the EL's for less then 1/2 street price. Even the new EL's arent worth the money IMO, to upgrade just for the glass. I've added new EL's of different power, but not the same magnification.

50mm objective are too heavy in the 10x, IMO, if you are willing to carry that much glass, upgrade to the 12x. The increased magnification will have more of an impact.
 
OP
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50mm objective are too heavy in the 10x, IMO, if you are willing to carry that much glass, upgrade to the 12x. The increased magnification will have more of an impact.
Thanks for the thought. Thats what I am hoping to see out of this discussion, of course all comments are appreciated.
 
OP
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Personally for me, I'll take my 15 year old EL's over the new SLC. I've run them head to head and prefer the EL. I bought the EL's for less then 1/2 street price. Even the new EL's arent worth the money IMO, to upgrade just for the glass. I've added new EL's of different power, but not the same magnification.
This too is helpful I think if people are evaluating used vs new. Sounds to me like youd take your “older” ELs over anything currently made and not lose any performance. I wonder if people would say the same about the SLCs. How old of an SLC would you have to have before upgrading became something that was worth it?
 

tdot

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This too is helpful I think if people are evaluating used vs new. Sounds to me like youd take your “older” ELs over anything currently made and not lose any performance. I wonder if people would say the same about the SLCs. How old of an SLC would you have to have before upgrading became something that was worth it?

Just to clarify. The older EL's are definitely going to have some loss in performance over the newer glass. But for me, I couldn't justify the large jump in the cost given the relatively smaller increase in performance.
 

CAElkhunter

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The interesting thing for me is I sold my 15 yr old EL's for what I paid for them and upgraded to the new EL.
I upgraded because the new glass was better for my eye and I like the integrated range finder as there is one less thing to carry and fumble around for in the moment of truth.
I Elk hunt and think the 10X 42 is the perfect size/weight. If something is out farther than those can reach I either use a spotting scope or it isn't something I can get to anyway.....

I always say the one thing if you have a set budget you want to spend $$ on is the optics. In my opinion the differences between a factory Remington Model 700 and a custom rifle aren't going to make the difference killing an elk but the extra light capability early in morning and late at night can easily make the difference.
 

sneaky

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The interesting thing for me is I sold my 15 yr old EL's for what I paid for them and upgraded to the new EL.
I upgraded because the new glass was better for my eye and I like the integrated range finder as there is one less thing to carry and fumble around for in the moment of truth.
I Elk hunt and think the 10X 42 is the perfect size/weight. If something is out farther than those can reach I either use a spotting scope or it isn't something I can get to anyway.....

I always say the one thing if you have a set budget you want to spend $$ on is the optics. In my opinion the differences between a factory Remington Model 700 and a custom rifle aren't going to make the difference killing an elk but the extra light capability early in morning and late at night can easily make the difference.
You realize that even the new EL Range doesn't have HD glass, right? It's the tradeoff for having an integrated range finder. The coatings are likely better, but the glass really isn't any different than your older ELs.

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Blockcaver

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We have a pair of Swaro 10x42ELs pre-Swaro Vision from around 2003. Our other pair is SV with the field flattener lenses, also 10x42ELs from about 2013. The SV version are definitely sharper, way clearer out to the edges and also weigh about 3 or 4 extra ounces (additional lenses). We like both a lot. I had to buy the second pair after my wife claimed our first pair for studying stuff on the mountain above the house. I like the newer ones quite a bit better for hunting sheep, caribou, moose, deer, etc all of which have anther/horn restrictions in BC. I have never compared them to 10x42SLCs of recent manufacture, but the old ELs were better than the old SLCs to my eyes. This was a comparison I did grizzly hunting back in 2011.
 

CAElkhunter

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"You realize that even the new EL Range doesn't have HD glass, right? It's the tradeoff for having an integrated range finder. The coatings are likely better, but the glass really isn't any different than your older ELs."

I will tell you the clarity of the "new" EL's is noticeably better Having used the older ones for so long I can tell a difference and the older ones did not have any scratches, the objective eye cup integrated is better. I did want the integrated rangefinder for simplicity since I typically hike 10 miles per day and lighter load makes for a happier hunter. Elk are a large animal so not sure splitting hairs for HD matters since I think the ,non HD as you say, is great and gets me the clarity at shooting light I need.

As everyone says, it all comes down to your own eyes. I think we can all agree that Swarovski makes a great product SLC or EL. It is just a matter of what suits you. I personally have never regretted the $$ I have spent.
 

KurtR

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I have almost saved enough and threads like this really make me look forward to the 10x42 slc. I can’t wait to be a swaro junky
 
OP
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I have almost saved enough and threads like this really make me look forward to the 10x42 slc. I can’t wait to be a swaro junky

It dangerous. Very dangerous. First binos I bought myself were vortex vipers that my brother got a sweet deal on because he worked at the company recently acquired by ass pro shop. A few years later I found some 10x42 SLC HDs for $1100. Had those for a year wondered if 8x42s would be better for me sold the 10x42 for a little more than I paid got the 8x42 SLC HDs decided I didnt really gain anything for the cost of losing the magnification so back to 10x42s I go. All for no extra investment. Its awesome how well these hold their value you can try them all without losing money.

I also had a vortex viper spotter then wanted more got a razor wanted more got a Kowa 773 absolutely awesome but I always wondered about the ATX. Found a good deal and I moved onto the ATX. We'll see how the ATX goes, I've had it 6 months, but I may go back to the Kowa 773. Might have to try the BTX though.......
 

Cascadewanderer

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Any opinions on whether an older pair of SLCs from about 2000-2004 would be worth the $850-1000, or would a current pair of $1000 binoculars have better glass? Is it worth it to go with 15-20 year old SLCs?
Thanks in advance.
 
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