Re: Leica & Swaro Binocs.
Swarovski and Zeiss are at the top of the Alpha game at the moment. Leica has not made any real improvements in years in their binoculars.
Swarovski offers two different binoculars based on what the user prefers.
The EL swarovision series has field flattener lenses that will give a sharp and focused image all the way to the edge of the field of view. However when panning some peoples eyes will see and not be able to tolerate "rolling ball syndrome" which is the distorsion effect of having the image sharp and focused all the way to the edges. Other manufactures leave in a little pincushion distorsion to combat this.
The Swarovski SLC series does not have field flatteners but otherwise is identical in quality to the Swarovision. Swarovski upgraded the SLC series a few years ago to HD but now just calls them the SLC not SLC HD.
Swarobright is simply the name of Swarovski's prism coatings that were upgraded from silver to diaelectric several years ago.
The Swarovski EL was upgraded to the Swarovision with HD lenses ect.
So in Swarovski you have these models to consider.
EL Swarovision (current)
SLC HD (discontinued)
SLC NEU (pre SLC HD,discontinued)
The last of the SLC NEU and EL models made in 2008/2009 are very good buys with upgraded coatings.
Swarovski makes a second tier binocular only in the 32mm size in the CL series.
Top binocular is the Victory HT
Previous top binocular is the Victory FL (still in the top realm optically), HD lenses.
Second tier current Zeiss is the Conquest HD, very popular $800+
Top is the Ultravid HD, very good still even though the brightness and CA handling is not up to par with current Swarovski and Zeiss. Leica's niche is compact size. The non HD Ultravid was Leica's best previous binocular and still a good choice as the Ultavid HD is only marginally better.
The new Trinovid is leica's second tier. $1100+
Hope this helps.