Leica & Swaro Binocs.


Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2005
Maybe you Gurus here can help me to select a high end pair of Binocs for a favorite relative . He prefers 7X to 8.5X and probably Leica or Swaro since there are plenty being advertised as " used ....like new ". All of the designations are somewhat confusing ! What's the difference between Swarobright and Swarovision ? Trinovids and Ultrvids ? HD vs. non HD for eyes not cameras ? Here's some I have seen advertised for Sale : Swaro 8x42 SLC High Definition ....7x42 Swarobright ..........8x32 EL Swarovision .........8.5x42 Swarobright .......8.5x42 Swarovision .....and for Leica : 7x35 Trinovids ...............8x42 Ultravid HD .........and it goes on and on . Lighter in weight is probably better ( although maybe not critical ) for long time viewing of Birds and Animals . He is getting up in years , and he does have big hands and wears glasses . Observation in poor light will probably never happen . Finding any of these Binocs in our Area to handle is impossible . So what do I consider , or am I just splitting hairs with these Alphas , and just go for the best condition and price ?
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 (current)
SLC HD (discontinued)
SLC NEU (pre SLC HD,discontinued)
EL (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.
We bought my father a Zeiss 7x42 about 15 years back. Same criteria you are looking for now. These things are still great. Every once and a while I try to find a good used pair.

I would not chase the latest and greatest in Swaro or Zeiss. Just buy what he likes. The 8 or 8.5 is a nice start. If I had to do it today I would probably buy him that. The 42 is bigger than the 32 but also brighter. Best if you can get your hands on these to see if he likes the specific model.

Leica makes nice glass as well but they never fit our hands as well as the Zeiss. Swaro is always a favorite.

Like I said, he will be happy with any of them. And check warranties.
I was looking at a pair of zeiss and swaro bino's. Looking out the window at the store and the swaro didnt get any refection off the glass window and the ziess did when looking out the window where the sun was making reclection and the swaro where SCL and the zeiss were the victory FL they were both 10x42 and i notice the leica didnt get and reflection either But at the time the leica cost more than the two other pair bino's. so zeiss are at the bottom of my list on the 3.But the Hd models I dont know
Kind of hard to judge a binocular by looking thru a store window. But maybe that is all you can get at most retailers. When I bought mine they let us take them outside. Demo days are good for this if you can find them. At a demo day you will usually have a company rep present to answer questions and keep an eye on things.

I really don't think you can go wrong with any of these high end binoculars. But that is just my experience. And also from my experience, Swarovski makes really nice scopes and binoculars.
I have a swaro rifle scope and had a swaro rangefinder and have swaro binos . and i have a leica APO spotting scope and pair of leica ultravid bino's,So I do have some time in useing this high end optics
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