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Swarovski Binoculars EL 8.5x42 Versus Nikon Binoculars 8x42 HG DCF

Aug 6, 2008
When you get to high end binoculars they are all pretty good, they have to be to command the prices but there is always going to one pair of binoculars that stands out from the crowd and for me that is most definitely the Swarovski Binoculars. The EL 8.5x42's are absolutely amazing, you pick them up and you hardly know that you have them in your hand, the weight and balance is superb. The 8x42 HG DCF Nikon Binoculars definitely feel heavier and yet they are the lighter of the two (795g vs 819g).

When you pick up a pair of Swarovski binoculars they just feel special even when they are among the elite of the elite. The Nikon High Grade feel good but there is a definite difference which makes Swarovski, for me, win hands down.

As you expect the optical quality of both the Nikon and the Swarovski binoculars is outstanding. The Swarovski EL's have a slight advantage of an extra 0.5x magnification which gives them an additional edge. Both deliver a sharp image, the contrast of the Nikon's is perhaps slightly better but the Swarovski binoculars, in my opinion, are the brightest and have the best resolution, although the resolution of the 8x42 HG DCF Nikon binoculars is close.

Some people prefer the colour retention of the Nikon HG 8x42 Binoculars but I found the Swarovski binoculars to be exceptionally good. The EL 8.5x42's boast the latest technology with Swarobright prism coating which dramatically increases light transmission and ensures natural colour.

For depth of field the Swarovski EL 8.5x42's come in top and again with field of view which is 62.0o compared to 52.1o with the 8x42 HG DCF Nikon binoculars.

Both the EL 8.5x42 Swarovski binoculars and the 8x42 HG DCF Nikon binoculars enable close focusing, 2.5 mtrs and 3.0 mtrs respectively, not much to choose between them, both with excellent image quality.

Spectacle wearers can use either, the Swarovski binoculars come with twist-in eyecups (eye relief 18mm) and the Nikon have turn and slide rubber cups (eye relief 20mm), both are comfortable to use but I definitely preferred the Swarovski which just has the edge despite a slightly smaller exit pupil of 4.9mm (compared to 5.3mm with the Nikon).

The 8x42 HG DCF Nikon binoculars are waterproof to 2mtrs, nitrogen filled and sealed and perform well in extreme conditions. The Swarovski binoculars are waterproof to 4mtrs, also nitrogen filled and sealed. Both are rubber armoured and highly durable, little to choose between them.

I think you can take it as read that my preferred binoculars are the Swarovski EL 8.5 x42's, exceptional all round wildlife / bird watching binoculars, beautiful to hold, excellent image quality and perform well in low light conditions. For anyone who is in the market for a high end binocular then the EL Swarovski binoculars have most definitely got to be strong contender. Use them once and you'll never want to be without them so if you don't have 1,000+ to spend on a pair of binoculars I highly recommend that you don't try them!
About the Author
Terry Ross is the creator of pro-binoculars.com. For a massive selection and detailed product information on all top branded binoculars visit pro-binoculars.com.
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