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Binoculars review

Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42

Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42
30 March 2010
Optyczne.pl 
As it is touted by the producer, the Ultra Lite series are the only binoculars that have two kinds of special rubber on the barrel – one to amortize efficiently any falls, even from significant heights, and the other to ensure a comfortable, reliable hold. As a result the binoculars are, in our opinion, very interesting and original; the device differs greatly from other competitors’ products.

When it comes to the optics, prisms, made of BaK-4 glass and put in the Porro system were used. All the elements were covered by new, specially designed multi-coatings which is supposed to ensure an especially high transmission level. Additionally, the eyepieces are constructed in such a way so they give sharp field of view up to the edge and a comfortable eye relief at the same time.

The binoculars are waterproof and they come with a 25-year-long guarantee.

Pictures
  • Lornetka Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42
  • Lornetka Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42
  • Lornetka Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42
  • Lornetka Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42
Manufacturer data

Manufacturer:

Swift Optics
web site

Distribution / Sales:

Migomex
web site

Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 42 96/1000(5.5o) BaK-4/Porro 18 mm 710 g 1016 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   41.87+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  41.88+/- 0.05 mm
7 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 10+/- 0.15x 3/3.0
Transmission 91+/- 3% 13/15.0
Chromatic aberration Low in the centre and at the edge. 8/10.0
Astigmatism Slight. 7/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius : 92% +\- 6% 10/10.0
Coma Low even at the edge. 7.7/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 95% +\- 3% from the field of view centre. 9/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Low. 4/5.0
Whiteness of the image Minimally yellow. 4.2/5.0
Collimation Exemplary. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42 - Internal reflections - Left Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42 - Internal reflections - Right
Very distinct.
1.5/5.0
Housing Solid and original, can appeal to you. Comfortable to hold and to look through. Eyecups with click stops but they move a bit loosely. 7.1/8.0
Focusing Classic ocular bridge with a comfortable central screw. It moves smoothly and evenly but with slight squlech. Focus can be changed under pressure. Individual focusing on the right eyepiece moves the lens – averagely comfortable. 3.3/5.0
Tripod There is a comfortable exit. 3/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 51.2 to 72.8mm 3/6.0
Closest focusing distance 3.1 m. 1/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 55.1 degrees. 6/10.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 5.51 +\- 0.03 degrees and it was in perfect accordance with the specifications. 5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black but slightly shiny. Gray bottom and white glue. A hair or a little scratch on the right prism. 3/5.0
Vignetting
Left: Right:
Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42 - Vignetting - Left Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42 - Vignetting - Right
Minimally truncated pupils.
OL: 0.2%, OP: 0.3%.
6/8.0
Prisms quality High class BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Purple-pink on objectives. Green on the prisms. Green-purple on eyepieces. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 25 5/6.0
Final result
79.3%
13th place in the overall ranking of the 10x42 binoculars test
134.8 / 170 pkt
Econo result 1st place in the econo ranking of the 10x42 binoculars test 19.1pkt.

Summary


Pros:
  • solid housing and original design,
  • practically imperceptible distortion,
  • very good transmission,
  • sharp image in almost all field of view,
  • very low coma,
  • slight astigmatism,
  • chromatic aberration very well corrected,
  • high quality of anti-reflection coatings and BaK-4 prisms,
  • good whiteness rendition,
  • long warranty period.

Cons:
  • distinct flares,
  • the field of view could have been wider.


Once again we have here an interesting duel between four very good and very similar sets of binoculars. In alphabetical order these are as follows: the Bynolyt Seal 10x42 BCF, the Olympus EXPS-I 10x42, the Opticron Imagic TGA WP 10x42 and the Swift Optics 962 Ultra Lite 10x42. All of them are classic Porro devices, with their dimensions very much alike. Their weight is in the 670-785 grams range, their fields of view amount to exactly 5.5 degrees and eye relief distances – from 18 to 21.5 mm. The most curious thing is that even their market prices in Poland don’t differ greatly – they range from 650 to a bit over 1000 PLN (arount 250-300 USD).

Looking at these binoculars and their parameters we see at once that their potential is great. First of all we deal here with an efficient and simple Porro construction which, for an amount of about 250-300 USD, can offer a lot. Apart from that, the limited field of view of 5.5 degrees allows us to expect no serious slip-ups at its edge.

None of these binoculars disappointed us and the Swift came out very well indeed, showing a sensational price/quality ratio. The Bynolyt and the Opticron had bad luck here – if there was no Swift we would speak about them very warmly. The Olympus has one solid advantage – the lowest price; it might seriously influence the interest in this instrument. All the binoculars have plenty of advantages but the Swift has significantly more of them. As it costs almost the same or a tad more than the rivals, the choice is really rather simple unless somebody doesn’t like its original housing and a bit heavier weight (although personally I doubt anybody would mind a difference of 20-40 grams).

If I started to get interested in a product of the 10x42 class only one thing would make me feel anxious – that field of view, amounting to 5.5 degrees. There’s no doubt that good results of those four sets of binoculars are partially the effect of such a narrow field. Most of the 10x42 instruments have a field of view at the level of 6 degrees and we can even find models with the value of 6.5 degrees. Personally I wouldn’t accept a field of view of 5 degrees in a pair of binoculars with the magnification 10x and the 42 mm objective lens – I am not very keen on such instruments because their eyepieces’ field of view is so small that I have the impression of looking through a narrow pipe. Fortunately when we increase the field from 5 to 5.5 degrees that impression disappears and it seems that the angle of 5.5 degrees is the minimum I would be able to accept because I get a lot in return for its restriction.

The Allbinos.com/Optyczne.pl editorial team decided to award this set of binoculars the distinction “ A good buy according to the Allbinos.com/Optyczne.pl Editorial Team” for winning the 1st place in the 10x42 binoculars Ekono ranking