Optics Review

Swarovski SLC HD Binoculars

In the world of premium binoculars it seems as if the high end has no upper end, at least where the advancement of price, quality, performance are concerned.. Take the new Swarovski SLC binoculars with HD Glass for example; apparently the engineers at Swarovski were not satisfied with the current production SLC binoculars so they decided to up the bar once again. This was of particular importance to me as the SLC was one of my favorite binoculars, so I was eager to see what changes they were making to my old friend, especially since I had learned that the price was going up as well.

What can I say, sometimes change is good and sometimes it’s very good, and true to form for Swarovski it’s the latter always seems to be their reality. I read in one of their advertisements that they are calling the new SLC HD a “Classic Perfected” and I don’t see how a better description of this binocular could be made.  It is as near a perfect binocular as I’ve ever held in my hand, absolute magic.

Now there are lots of features to this binocular and you can find them all on the Swarovski Optik website, but here are some of my most important observations. First, a great binocular has got to feel natural in the hand, like the TV remote or a long neck bottle, you get the idea, and this binocular feels absolutely natural in every respect.  Second on my list is ease of function, and this is where Swarovski binoculars always seems to do it a lot better then most. The focus wheel is absolutely perfectly located and sized and even uses a combination of hard and soft materials which provides the perfect grip and feel wet or dry. Its buttery smooth and covers all practical focusing needs with a single turn, it will even focus down to an amazing short distance of 6 feet, so you can check out all the stuff near you that you’d rather not touch. Third, and very importantly they redesigned the dioptric compensator and expanded its capability. When it’s all said and done this binocular has an amazing vision impairment correction capability of 6 dpt. Just about everybody on the planet can optimize the view thru these binoculars. Swarovski was also thinking of my friends that wear eye glasses as they built a generous eye relief into this binocular, an amazing eye relief of 16mm in the 10X model and 18.5mm in the 8X model. At first you might think that all of this eye relief would come at the compromise of field of view, and in most binoculars it would, but Swarovski is using a very special wide angle eyepiece and the fields of view are just fantastic.

I know that shopping for a premium level binocular can be a bit overwhelming, and truthfully there are lots of really good options on the market, but if your thinking of buying one right now then I suggest you give these new Swarovski binoculars some serious consideration. They are simply magic!

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Chris Wisecarver

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