Swarovski Binoculars?


Well-Known Member
Dec 15, 2001
I have a spotting scope but get severe eye strain when looking through it for long periods. I know a lot of guys have 22x bushinell spotting scopes clamped together for their bigeyes.

The idea I have is to buy either a pair of 10X or 15X Swarovski Binoculars and put two doublers on them to boost the power to 20X or 30X for use as Bigeyes. Has anyone tried anything like this? Would you guys get the 10X binos or the 15X??

I could also use the binoculars without the doublers, then I would only need to take out one pair of optics. More importantly I would only need to buy one pair of optics.

What do you guys think?

[ 10-24-2002: Message edited by: sr90 ]
I think the big reason for going through the hassle of building the mounts for two spotting scopes is to try and keep the overal costs down. If you have the budget for top end optics like Zeiss, go for it. For ease of use and portability, one set of binos would be my choice.

One area to consider is magnification. With most spotting scopes, they are variable in power allowing you the flexibility to adjust for distance and conditions. Also field of view.

The doubler is a bit more fiddly to put on and take off then just turning a ring. So in the field, manipulation could be a hassle. I read that Leica is making a variable powder bino that is of exceptional quality. You may want to see how those fit your needs.

Also companies like Deutsche Optiks, carry surplus optics made from the best European manf. They may be more afforable and give you the features you are looking for.

For my needs, I have found that a set of 8X bino's with good quality optics works very well for general glassing to 1km and beyond. I then switch to my Nikon spotting scope for the final view.

I think that bino's like Zeiss and Leica at 10 to 12X is all one needs for glassing then switching to a spotting scope for the final view. Now if you are going after that trophy in the next area code, well just bring money...

Good luck...

I have been using 8x30 binos and think I would rather a 10 or 12x for glassing. The 8x are nice though.

I am going to try to find Leicas new variable power binos.

[ 10-24-2002: Message edited by: sr90 ]
I can't find any info on the variable power Leica's I looked on Leica's website but nothing.
Here's a pair, Duovids is what they call them. I checked out a pair at the local store and I hated them. They didn't quite focus right or something. My Lieca 10x42's are top notch, much nicer in my opinion. The 10x42's here are $660. if I remember right.

Good luck.


[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: Brent ]
I have a pair of 8x30 Swarovski SLC's that I really like but I noticed that on many occasions 8x just isn't enough.

I also have a Leupold 12-40x spotting scope that has been working pretty good, the resolution is nothing to shout about, but it is quite good. My eye gets really sore when looking through it for extended periods. Eye relief isn't very good.

I would really like to use a pair of high power binocs/big eyes to get rid of the eye strain.

I want to get either a pair of Swarovski EL's 10x42's or the SLC in 15x, I am leaning toward the EL's for weigh and their ability to use without a tripod.

If I put two doublers on the 10x I'll have a set of 20x bigeyes in place of my spotting scope, if I get the 15x binocs I will have a pair of 30x bigeyes with addition of the doublers.

I am going to be checking out Swarovski's new 65mm spotting scopes today. Who knows Swarovskis new spotter might eliminate alot of the eye strain. I don't really think it will completely eliminate it though. The new spotters got a good review on a good bird watching website. http://www.betterviewdesired.com
I would go all the way with the 80mm spotter if I spent the money myself. I'm using the 12-40 Leopold now also and it works great, nice field of view and eye relief. The one thing to be sure of on the doubler if you go that route, is to check and make sure that it can be used in BOTH eye pieces. I'm not positive but something makes me think that it is made to fit in one eyepiece only. I may be wrong, but but if that's the plan I would be sure first.

I like the tripod adapter on the Swarovski a little better than the Leica but the brightness and clarity was noticably better on the Leica at dark hands down when I compared the two, that's what sold me on them. I thought both were superior to the Ziess although they were nothing to sneeze at. You'll do good to compare at dark all models one after the other viewing the same object.

I looked down the street at the underside of a couple vehicles with only a street light on in the distance lending little light. It was about 200yds away. The Ziess resilution chart proved to validate my findings also. Peoples eyes may be different, I'm not sure how much that affects these type of tests though. Lots of luck.
I know the doublers can be used on both eyepieces as my friend has a pair of EL's and has tried it, he only has one doubler though.

As far as the eyepiece goes do you like straight eyepieces or angled eyepieces better. I have only used straight but think I would prefer straight over angled.

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: sr90 ]
I'd be curious to see what it looked like through them with both doublers too. Any store around there have another doubler to stick in there to let you evaluate them? Will the doublers stack on top of eack other to double it again? Maybe it's Ziess that can do that.
I know of one guy who double stacks his doublers to acheive 40x. Swarovski doesn't garentee it will work but it is working for the guy. I am sure using a doubler on each eyepiece will work just fine. I am planning on going to my buddies store tomarrow to play with all the optics I will let you know how it goes.
My opinion and my advice
Life is too short for bad optics. Get a good pair of 10x binoculars and you will be happy. Go to a retailer that sells the high end stuff (Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski etc.) and compare them. See if they are comfortable and fit your hands, take em outside and check them for optical clarity - especially around the edges. Look for color differences caused by different coatings. See if you like the adjustability. You will likely get a better deal online, but see at least look at the differences.

Personally. I use and would recomend the Zeiss 10x40 Classic. I like the Zeiss Classic better than the newer Victory because they fit my hands better and the glass is actually better. The Victory weigh less (glass is not leaded) and are waterproof. Cabelas seems to have the best price on the Classic right now.
I have a friend who uses the Leica Trinovid 10x42 and they are a very nice piece of glass. Hotbuyelectronics.com has really good prices on most optics.

Spotting scopes. I currently use an old Redfield 15 - 45x. It works well enough, but optical clarity is an issue. I would recomend getting the compact Leupold or something in that range. If you have the money, Leica Televid is awesome, but weighs more than what I want to pack to the top of the mountain. BTW Leopold makes a really nice compact tripod.

Get good binocs first since that is what you should spend most of your time looking through. Then work on a good spotting scope.
I checked out the optics today and I have decided to get the 10x42 EL's with two doublers. Much easier on the eyes than any spotting scope. I tried using two doublers and it worked great for 20x bigeyes. I didn't try double stacking them as I don't really need 40x.

However the new Swarovski spotting scopes are awesome!!! Best I have ever seen. Very lightweight and rugged. I think I will get one in the future but for now the binocs will suit me great.
If you get a chance I'd be interested in knowing what power the Leopold 12-40 spotter is at when the field of view is the same. Those will be nice.
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