Optics is an authorized dealer for both Swarovski and Zeiss. We are very familiar with the EL Range and the Zeiss Victory RF rangefinders.
The lower temperature limit of +14F is because of the CR2 battery, which is used in both rangefinders. With a new battery, both rangefinders will function below that ambient temp. With a partially discharged battery, operation below +14F is not guaranteed. However operating below +14F will reduce the battery life. The battery is not rated for operation below -4F. The minimum storage temp of the EL Range is -22F, so you won’t hurt the bino by exposing it to temperatures in the -22 to +14F range.
In practice, I think that the eyepieces will fog up if the bino is much below +14F. For that reason, it is a good idea to keep the bino inside the parka when it’s that cold.
If ranging closer than 33 m is important, you should consider the Zeiss Victory RF instead. It has a minimum range of 10 yds. However, it has lower transmission, so low light performance is not as good. The EL range has a longer eye relief than the Victory RF. If your dad wears eyeglasses, he may not have a full field of view with the Victory RF, but he will with the EL Range. The max range capability is higher with the EL Range 1,500 yds) than it is with the Victory RF (1,300 yds), but that is probably not a limitation for your dad. Otherwise, both binos have a similar beam size (about 1.5x0.5 mrad) and weight.
Swarovski’s warranty and customer service are outstanding. The warranty period varies:
Optical system – Lifetime
Mechanics – 10 years
Electronics – 2 years
Both EL Range models are in stock at HighPower
Optics: Swarovski EL Range Binoculars