Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binoculars Reviews

by Apricor - Date: 2010-08-23 - Word Count: 716 Share This!

There's at least 10 pocket binoculars available from Swarovski Optiks, so how do you know which one to buy, since they seem to be quite the same.
You don't have to worry about the quality. There's no such thing as a bad Swarovski and that includes all the pocket binoculars as well. Everything about these binoculars have quality written all over them - from the optics to the housing. Small wonder they back their products with a lifetime warranty!
The pocket binoculars under review are all also very lightweight (all weighing less than 8.1 ounces) and very compact - all will easily fit into your jacket -even shirt - pocket.
Clearly, choosing between the different models is not going to be easy! However, there are some differences and I will show them to you. Maybe that will help you to make a decision.

Some are 8x and some 10x.
Swarovski offers two 8x20B-P ones, one green and one black, as well as one Traveler: Swarovski Optiks Pocket Traveler Binocular, 8x20. In addition to these they offer luxury models, the Swarovski crystal series (Crystal Tosca, Nabucco and Idomeneo) as well as the Swarovski Tyrol.
Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular (10x25B-P, Black)
Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular (10x25B-P, Green)
Swarovski Optik Pocket Traveler Binocular, 10x25 mm
The 10x power gives you more magnification, but makes finding and following an object more challenging, since movement is exaggerated with higher power.
In addition to this problem more power also means a smaller exit pupil - where the light of the binocular enters your eyes. Smaller exit pupils means less light in dim conditions and a bad image. Fortunately Swarovski countered this problem by going for wider objective lenses (25 mm). In the end the exit pupils of the 10x's are the same as those of the 8x's (2.5 mm).

Objective lens size:
Making the objective lenses wider is an easy decision for the manufacturers in the case of normal size binoculars, but it's another matter in the case of pocket binoculars, since bigger apertures always make the instrument more bulky and heavier, which is not good when the binocular has to fit in a pocket. However, Swarovski dealt with those matters (see dimensions and weight below). The wider objective lens of 25mm of the 10x25's does have an advantage of collecting more light than the 20 mm, which will deliver a slightly brighter image to the eyes. This will come into play in dim or fading light.

The 8x20's weigh 6.7 ounces and the 10x25's 8.1 ounces. The reason for this is the "more bulkier" frame due to the bigger apertures (25 mm). However, half an ounce will hardly be noticed.
The dimensions of the 8x20's are exactly the same: Their height is merely 1.5 inches, they fold up to an incredible 2.3 inches and their length is not even 4 inches (3.98 inches). The 10x25's have the same height (1.5 inches) and width (2.3 inches), but are slightly longer (4.57 inches).

Field of view (FOV):
Usually (but not necessarily so) higher magnification means narrower FOV and this is indeed the case with these Swarovski Optiks pocket binoculars. The 8x's have a FOV of 345 feet @ 1,000 yards (6.6 degrees), whereas the 10x's are limited to 285 feet @ 1,000 yards (5.4 degrees). A wider field of view is handy to find an object in the distance and in particular to follow a moving object.

Close focus:
The longer barrels of the 10x25's also make a difference to the ability of the binoculars to focus on objects close by. The closest the 10x25's with their slightly longer barrels can focus is 16 feet, but the 8x20's with their shorter barrels can focus closer: 13 feet. For all types of applications this is excellent, except if you're interested in real small things like butterflies or bugs, in which case you should consider the Pentax papilio, which can focus perfectly on an object 18 inches away!

Prices vary considerably from $679 for the "standard" and Traveler 8x20's, to $899 for the 8x20 crystal models (the Tosca, Nabucco and Idomeneo). The only difference between these binoculars is the look. The crystal models looks like a beautiful piece of jewelry in addition to being binoculars - and small wonder, since the crystals are the famous Swarovski crystals. Between these two poles the 10x25's are sold for $769 and the Tyrol 8x20, also a luxury model, for $840.

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