I had the first and now the HD versions. I also have ELs and most of the glass I listed. I like the SLC HD’s, the newest versions the best. However if was on a budget I wouldn’t blink at the first gen SLC.Assuming you mean first gen SLC...and I agree.
Had a group out hunting last fall. We had 3 pieces of 10 X 42 glass. We had the swaro EL's, vortex razors and a cheaper pair (300-400) of nikons. The swaro's were far and away the best, razors were second and the nikons were a distant 3rd. All were good enough to hunt with but at distance there was a very noticeable difference.Zen ray glass is not too shabby. But stacking vortex or maven (both zenray glass) against Swarovski? If the swaro guys were handed a pair of razors for a day I think they’d be disappointed.
Interesting, the Zeiss Victory T FL uses the Abbe-Koenig prism as well. It seems to really make a difference at low light, although from what I can find its only about a 2% difference, but I guess 2% can be a lot to human perception.I bought the SLCs 10x42, Zeiss Victory T* FL 10x42, Nikon Monarch 7 8x42, and the Vortex Viper HD 10x42 all at the same time and spent a little over a month off and on in the field under varying light conditions. The Vortex was okay, but clearly not as good as the other three. The Zeiss and Swarovski were the best, so most of the month was spent comparing them. I ultimately picked the Zeiss and have never looked back. In the lowest light, the Zeiss are brighter; the SLCs may have had slightly better contrast. The biggest difference I saw was during bright light glassing towards the sun: the Zeiss had much better internal baffling to stop the reflective flashing. The Nikon's cost $1000 less than either the Swarovski or Zeiss but the difference between them was VERY small. I ended up keeping them too because I thought they were such a good value relative to their performance. In short, from what I've looked at, Zeiss is the best... but you would struggle to see the difference from a $400 pair of Nikon Monarch 7. So even though I use Zeiss, I recommend the Nikon's to most everyone I meet.
Big price difference. You can find Meostar's for in the $800 range all day long if you contact the right sellerIf shit the fan and you needed to sell, it's always a seller's market for Swaro's. They sell in minutes on all the boards.
I have used Meoptas on a couple backpack scouting trips. Excellent glass as well. Not sure of the price difference.
Thats the dang truth right there. I bought some Swaro EL’s years ago. When I think of what it cost me each time I looked thru them and how much I enjoy them I have never regretted the money I spent. Well to be honest the first 24 hrs I owned them I kept thinking , “did I really just pay twice what I paid for my first car for these?” I guess that was the cry once period.The various Nikon Monarchs are fairly good.
I’ve had a pair of Swaro 8x30s for years and have really enjoyed them. They go on every hunt, even archery tree stand sits. Hunters spend a lot of money on rifle scopes, but often cut corners on binos. I never really understood that, as you’ll get much more usage out of a quality pair of binos.
I have to be honest, you get what you pay for. Once you own the best, you become an optics snob because everything else looks so awful.I handled a buddies Swarvoski SLC 10X42 binos last week. I have used various "under $400.00" binos for work and play my entire life. This was the second time I have ever used that brand. WOW !! Then I checked out some prices. Again : WOW !! Does anyone have experience with a brand of 10X42s that compares with the Swarvoski ? I'm certainly aware that you get what you pay for in the optics field. I guess I'm trying to justify spending that kind of money, and perhaps find a comparable 10X42 a bit cheaper. The Swarvoski's made my Leupold Cascades look like a child's toy !!
JohnM, I'd encourage you to look at Leica, even though I'm a dyed in the wool Swaro guy. Every year, Leica issues a new rangefinding binocular. The glass is the same every year, 95% as good as swaro in my opinion. (comparing the $2800 swaros, not the economy models) Anyway, every year the tech changes a bit and the old year's model gets discounted to a point approaching your budget. They start at MSRP $3000 but last year's models can go ~$1400-$!600.I’m in the same boat. I always used $100 binoculars until I picked up a pair of $400 Bushnell's and thought they were fantastic. I have used them for years until I pick up a pair of SLC’s and was blown away.
I decided I need to upgrade my optics but had a hard time paying the price associated with it. I kicked around buying something in the $1000 range but have been slowly saving (my change literally) until I can afford the SLC’s. Buy once cry once they say!
Thanks again to those who responded. I bought the 10x42 SLC Swarvoski. I swear I can count the deer's eyelashes at 100 yards !! My wife and I are enjoying them already watching deer in our food plots near the house.