While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Friday, 26 March 2010

new SLC 42HD binoculars by Swarovski Optik

Last week Swarovski Optik announced a new 42mm binocular: the SLC 42HD

Me playing model with a new 8x42 SLC HD.
Photo by Reinhard Hölzl, one of my favorite nature photographers.

I first got to use a pre-serial production SLC HD near the end of last year and I really was very impressed by it. My first impression was that it was at least as good as or better than any binocular I had ever tried before (excluding the new EL42 Swarovisions, of course, which are in a league of their own ;-).

You can see the official SLC HD microsite here so I will try to limit my commentry to my personal impressions of the binocular.

Me playing model with a new 8x42 SLC HD. I am also using the new tripod head DH101 there.
Photo by Reinhard Hölzl, one of my favorite nature photographers.

My first Swarovski binocular was an SLC 10x42 (bought as a student with the money I had been saving for my first car - good choice for my fitness ;-) and I used this beauty of a binocular for many many years. It saw lots of forests, cliffs, holes, trees (falling from trees), beaches... and all round mis-treatment. And still everytime I looked through them I loved what I was seeing.

This new SLC HD binocular gave me that same reassuredness that I could take it anywhere and I would always be happy. But the most noticeable change is in just how much this binocular has shrunk. They are not just ~150grams lighter, they are a whole lot smaller and slimmer - no longer a brick around my neck. The central bridge has been compacted which makes for nice ergonomics - works well with my little girl hands, and my bear-hand-possessing father-in-law finds them the most comfortable he has used.

Optically, they are lovely. The view is not quite as incredible as the EL42 Swarovisions, but it is still impressive, with a great big sweet spot with high transmission (I think the official figure is at least 91 or 92%) despite keeping colour fidelity a nose ahead of anything from other companies There is always a compromise between transmission and colour fidelity which is why some binoculars with high colour transmission have such strong colour biases.

The SLC HD is a completely new binocular; the High Definition (HD) objective lenses mean that chromatic abberration (purple finging) is brought to an absolute minimum, close focus is 2m, wide field of view, good edge-sharpness and all the latest coatings.
New multi-function field bag. Water-resistant, well padded, comforatble to carry, space for a bird book, and removable strap.

The SLC HD is available in 10x42 and 8x42 and shipping starts in June 2010.

Happy birding,
Dale Forbes

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hi Dale,
They seems to be very nice, but you forgot to mention the price ;-) When will they be in the selling book?