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Binoculars review

Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B

Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B
21 July 2016
Optyczne.pl 
The history of roof prisms binoculars from the SLC series, produced by the Austrian Swarovski Optik company, is really long. The first SLC 8x30 model was launched already in 1989. At some point those instruments constituted actually the top-of-the-range line of that producer in its heyday consisting of such models as 7x30, 8x30, 7x42, 8x42, 10x42, 7x50, 8x50, 10x50, 8x56 and 15x56.

Nowadays the situation is a bit different. Only 42 mm and 56 mm models remained in that line and they have undergone modifications during the last several years. In 2011 we tested the Swarovski SLC 10x42 WB HD which, almost three years ago, was superseded by the Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B. The housing was changed but also new antireflection coatings were added. What’s interesting the minimum focusing distance became noticeably bigger.

The SLC pairs of binoculars of 42 mm class feature Schmidt- Pechan roof prisms and 4-element objective lenses with one HD extra-low dispersion element with fluoride. Reflecting surfaces are covered by special dielectric and phase-correction coatings. Additionally all air-to-glass surfaces are fully multicoated and the exterior lenses have additional hydrophobic Swarovski's SWAROCLEAN lens coating added to them.

Buyers get both caps, a comfortable strap and a stylish case in the box. The pair of binoculars comes with a 10-year warranty period.

Pictures
  • Lornetka Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B
  • Lornetka Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B
  • Lornetka Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B
  • Lornetka Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B
Manufacturer data

Manufacturer:

Swarovski
web site

Distribution / Sales:

Hubertus Pro Hunting
web site

Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 42 110/1000(6.3o) BaK-4/roof 16 mm 790 g 6299 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   42.1+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  42.1+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 9.99+/- 0.1x 3/3.0
Transmission 93.4+/- 1% 14/15.0
Chromatic aberration Very low in the centre, medium at the edge. 7.5/10.0
Astigmatism Negligible. 8.7/10.0
Distortion Distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius: 42% +/- 4% 4/10.0
Coma Starts in a distance of about 75% of the field and is medium on the very edge. 8/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV Blur occurs in a distance of 92.5% +/- 4% from the field of vision centre. 8.5/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Practically imperceptible. 4.8/5.0
Whiteness of the image Slight inclination of the transmission curve with an increasing tendency toward red. 4.4/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B - Internal reflections - Left Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B - Internal reflections - Right
The area near the exit pupil is a bit shiny – a negative change when compared to the result of the predecessor.
3.9/5.0
Housing Small and handy, noticeably smaller than the EL Swarovision. It could have been even shorter because the objectives’ elements are hidden inside the tubes over 1 cm deep. Stylish, very comfortable to hold and to look through. Rubberized eyecups with 3 possible levels. The rubber next to the objectives sticks out a bit and it seems there’s too much of armour in that place because the focusing wheel sometimes catches on it and you hear a squeal. Similar thing happens when you adjust the distance between the tubes. Produced in Austria. 6.3/8.0
Focusing Huge, ribbed central wheel which full working range amounts to as much as 780 degrees. It is relatively easy to turn, perhaps even a tad too easy. Individual focusing through a click-stop system on the central wheel. 4.9/5.0
Tripod No tripod exit. You have to buy optional adapter. 2/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 56.5 to 74.4mm 4/6.0
Closest focusing distance 3.0 meters. 1/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 62.7 degrees. 7/10.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.28 +/- 0.04 degrees and it was in accordance with specifications. A huge field for this class of equipment. 6.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Everything black and matt. Almost perfectly clean interior. 4.8/5.0
Vignetting
Left: Right:
Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B - Vignetting - Left Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B - Vignetting - Right
OL: 0.22%, OR: 0.65%
6/8.0
Prisms quality High quality BaK-4 glass. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Pink on objectives, yellow-green-pink on eyepieces, greenish on prisms. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 10 4.5/6.0
Final result
82.2%
139.8 / 170 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.

Summary


Pros:
  • light, compact, very solid housing,
  • very good transmission,
  • good correction of chromatic aberration,
  • negligible astigmatism,
  • slight coma,
  • sharp image in almost all field of view,
  • imperceptible brightness loss on the edge of the field,
  • tubes with excellently blackened interiors,
  • good quality prisms and coatings,
  • very good colour rendering.

Cons:
  • a bit too much rubber armour on the housing,
  • minimum focusing distance of 3 metres.


The result of the new Swarovski SLC model is almost the same as the result of its direct predecessor. What the new device gained by a better colour rendition and transmission it lost due to flaws of the housing, a worse minimum focusing distance and the appearance of exit pupils. In all other categories the results are, within the margin of error, practically the same.


The transmission graph is worth a closer look – apart from the housing and the mechanics it is the main difference between the tested binoculars and their predecessor.


The improvement is noticeable. A distinct incline of the transmission line was eliminated and its value increased so, in the centre of the visible spectrum it reaches a high level of 92-93%. It means the binoculars are able to deliver more light to your eyes than their predecessor and the colors are more lifelike.

I don’t know one thing: why the producer decided to lengthen the minimum focusing distance by over one meter. I completely don’t understand that move.

New SLC Swarovski binoculars are a very good optical instrument; still the competition is fierce. You pay almost the same amount of money for the Leica Ultravid HD Plus which was able to get a slightly better result in our test and is a tad physically lighter. If the weight and dimensions aren’t your priority you might consider buying the cheaper Zeiss Conquest HD which additionally features a wider field of view. As you see the choice is rather wide and for us, the customers, it is a very good piece of news.