Swarovski EL 10x32 Binoculars
Swarovski binoculars are widely regarded as the best of the best. Of all their binoculars their EL range of binoculars have been their most popular, especially the Swarovski EL 8x42's which are widely regarded by many birders as the best birdwatching binoculars that money can buy.
With this in mind, I had the opportunity to take a look at their more compact Swarovski EL 10x32 Binoculars, that on the face of it look like ideal binoculars to take with you on a journey and therefore discover if these are the ultimate safari binocular?
According to Swarovski: The lightweight and compact EL 32 models are ideal companions on the mountain, in difficult terrain and for travel and leisure in general. The unique design of the wrap-around grip enables comfortable operation even with one hand. Low weight and excellent balance make light work of long observation periods. The sophisticated top-class optical system delivers high-contrast, lifelike image quality
If you are looking for a pair of binoculars that offer better performance than what a compact binocular can offer, yet shudder at the thought of having to carry a full size binocular with you when you are on safari or any other form of travel, then a mid-size binocular could be just what you are after.
All the major binocular manufacturers now offer mid size binoculars with these 10x32 El's from Swarovski, widely regarded as some of the best.
EL = Ergonomic & Light:
Many people wonder what the EL stands for and the answer is Ergonomic & Light.
Ergonomic because apart from being much more compact and lighter than the full size version, what really strikes you about Swarovski's EL binoculars is what they call their "wrap-around grip." I have used full size EL's before and have always liked the secure feel that you get when holding them, this is only improved by the fact that the barrels have a smaller diameter and the binoculars are lighter. They feel excellently balanced and easy to hold steady, perfect for long periods of observation.
Light could be a reference to the low weight of these binoculars and at 610g/21.5 oz they are far lighter than the EL 10x42 WB binoculars and lighter than all other quality 10x42 binoculars that I have reviewed, which is something you would expect for more compact design. But Light most probably stands for their incredible light transmission:
I had wondered if by making these mid size binoculars and reducing the size of the objective lens from 42mm to 32mm from, if it would have a noticeable difference in the brightness of the image.
During my test I was lucky enough to also have a pair of Swarovski 10x42 EL binoculars with me to compare them with. I was impressed as to my eyes, the 10x32's looked as bright as their larger cousin and in fact I could not tell the difference between the two. Unfortunately I was not able to try them both at dusk and very low light conditions, where the 42mm's should have the advantage where a 10x32mm binocular has a twilight factor of 18 and a 10x42 is almost 21. It is important to point out that the twilight factor does not take into account many parameters including lens quality.
They have fully multi-coated lenses, meaning that they increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces, for a brighter image. They also have a coating that Swarovski calls Swaroclean that they say reduces the "energy on the surface" and makes cleaning them much simpler. The basic idea is that cleaning the objective and eyepiece lenses is now much easier meaning that the lenses require less vigorous cleaning which should therefore increase the life of your lenses.
The Swarovski 10x32 EL binoculars use a roof prism design with the highest quality BAK-4 prisms. Theses also have something called Swarobright, Swarovski's own prism coating, designed for optimum color fidelity across the whole light spectrum. What is Swarobright you may ask, well it is all rather complicated, but you can find a pretty good explanation here: Swarovski Swarobright.
Snap Shot Adapter & Accessories
The accessories that come with the binoculars include a rainguard, Tethered objective lens covers, Neck strap, Case and the Swarovski Snap Shot adapter that enables you to connect your digital camera to the binoculars and take surprisingly good quality photos even at long distances. The supplied ring connects your Swarovski Optik EL (and SLC series) binoculars directly to your digital camera thus creating a camera lens. Most digital cameras that have a max. 4x optical zoom and extendable objective lens are suitable.
there is no getting around the fact that these binoculars are not cheap, but then as they say, you get what you pay for. And what you get really are some of the best binoculars that money can buy.
- Magnification: 10x
- Objective Lens Diameter: 32mm
- Exit Pupil: 3.2
- Twilight Factor: 17.89
- Eye Relief: 13mm
- Weight: 21.5ozs (610g)
- Length: 5.4in (13.7cm) Height: 2.4in (6.1cm) Width: 4.5in (11.4cm)
- Field of View: 360 at 1000 yards
- Close Focus Distance: 6.6ft
- Waterproof: Yes
|Swarovski EL 10x32 Binoculars on Amazon.co.uk||Swarovski EL 10x32 Binoculars on Amazon.com|
Not cheap, but truly awesome binoculars. For me these are the best safari binoculars that I have ever tested.
The Minox BL 8x33, one of the best value for money mid-sized binoculars that I have ever reviewed:
Fully multi-coated lenses and phase corrected Bak-4 prisms, waterproof, fog-proof, lightweight, with their ergonomic open bridge design that enables comfortable operation even with one hand.
In the Minox BL 8x33, you have a binocular with very high spec quality optics that produce an excellent quality image that are really bright for a mid-sized binocular. This combined with the very comfortable, robust and good looking body that is well balanced makes them one of the best mid-sized binoculars that I have ever reviewed.
Top of the range Mid-Size Binocular from Kowa - a fantastic safari binocular:
High-End mid sized roof prism binoculars featuring Prominar XD Lenses (extra low dispersion glass), fully multi-coated lenses and phase corrected Schmidt-Pechan prisms to ensure excellent optical performance. The view through them is nothing short of sensational and definitely some of the best and brightest mid sized binoculars with a magnification of 10x or more that I have ever used.
This Kowa Genesis binocular is also fully waterproof, fog-proof and lightweight, with a durable and tough rubber coated armour exterior.
If you are after a cheaper Mid-Size Binocular:
Mid to entry level mid-size binoculars that feature high quality Bak-4 phase coated roof prisms and fully multi-coated lenses. They are fully waterproof as well as fogproof with a tough rubber coated exterior. Ideal traveling companions.
This combined with a very competitive price tag is why I highly recommend them to anyone looking for an entry level mid-size binocular ideal to take on safari:
Or if you are looking for a more compact and cheaper binocular? You should consider the excellent 10.5x28 Steiner Wildlife Pro Binoculars:
Could these be the ultimate safari binoculars?
The perfect combination of shock resistance, visual performance and comfortable handling. Designed with glare and UV blocking, these Steiner Wildlife binoculars also have the ability to offer clear, distortion free images in bright sunlight. The High-Contrast Optics offer excellent visual experiences and all at a reasonable price.
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After your camera, a good pair of binoculars is crucial in getting the most out of your Safari Holiday. So what is a good pair of binoculars? Here is my binocular guide and recommendations >> Binocular Reviews
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