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Binoculars review

Swift Optics Horizon 10x42

Swift Optics Horizon 10x42
14 June 2010
Optyczne.pl 
The Horizon series is 2007 year’s novelty from the Swift Optics company. These binoculars are to replace the well-known Ultra Lite line.

In the Horizons BaK-4 glass roof prisms were used. All the elements are covered by new, specially designed multilayer coatings which are supposed to ensure a particularly high transmission level. The reflection surface on the roof prisms is sliver-coated. Additionally, the eyepieces were constructed in such a way as to guarantee a wide field of view and a comfortable eye relief at the same time.

The binoculars are waterproof, nitrogen-filled and come with 25-year-long warranty. The body is made of die cast durable magnesium-alloy.

Pictures
  • Lornetka Swift Optics Horizon 10x42
  • Lornetka Swift Optics Horizon 10x42
  • Lornetka Swift Optics Horizon 10x42
  • Lornetka Swift Optics Horizon 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 42 114/1000(6.5o) BaK-4/roof 15 mm 760 g 1199 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   42.2+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  42.15+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 9.87+/- 0.15x 3/3.0
Transmission 91+/- 3% 13/15.0
Chromatic aberration Medium in the centre, distinct at the edge. 4.2/10.0
Astigmatism Slight. 7/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius : 40% +\- 6% 4/10.0
Coma Low. 7.8/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 74% +\- 4% from the field of view centre. 4/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Slight. 4.3/5.0
Whiteness of the image Slight yellow. 3.9/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Swift Optics Horizon 10x42 - Internal reflections - Left Swift Optics Horizon 10x42 - Internal reflections - Right
Almost perfect. Should be followed as an example.
4.8/5.0
Housing Light, small, handy, stylish and solid at the same time. Comfortable, plastic eyecups with detented stops. No reservations. 8/8.0
Focusing Comfortable central screw well-damped (370 degrees). Convenient individual focus ring but it moves the lens. 4.6/5.0
Tripod There is a comfortable exit. 3/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 57.5 to 76.3mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 1.35 m. 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 63.8 degrees. 7.5/10.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.46 +\- 0.03 degrees and it was in perfect accordance with the specifications. A wide field for this class of equipment. 7.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Inner tubes black and slightly shiny. Dark gray bottom. Clean. 4.8/5.0
Vignetting
Left: Right:
Swift Optics Horizon 10x42 - Vignetting - Left Swift Optics Horizon 10x42 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 6.6%, OR: 0.9%
4/8.0
Prisms quality Good BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Yellow-orange-purple on the objectives. Green on the prisms. Yellow-orange-green on the eyepieces. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 25 years 5/6.0
Final result
78.5%
133.4 / 170 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.

Summary


Pros:
  • solid and stylish housing,
  • high transmission,
  • slight astigmatism,
  • low coma,
  • slight brightness loss at the edge of the field,
  • good whiteness rendition,
  • low flares,
  • wide range of IPD,
  • minimal focus already from 1.35 meters,
  • wide field of view,
  • good blackening inside,
  • good quality of coatings and prisms,
  • good warranty conditions.

Cons:
  • left pupil significantly truncated and egg-shaped.


I must admit I was surprised by the Swift company’s decision of replacing the Ultra Lite series by the new Horizon. The roof prism Ultra Lite, costing a bit over 300 USD, was a good offer and gave quite a good performance. Will you be able to produce something better for this price? Is a quite well-done product worth improving? Well, it turns out that yes, it is. The Horizon’s score in our test is the irrefutable proof, as it scored 6 points more than the Ultra Lite. What’s important, the Horizon’s dimensions are smaller (although the device is heavier) it has a wider field of view and its body is made of durable magnesium-alloys. What’s even more important, the Horizon seems to be optically better than the Ultra Lite being few dollars cheaper at the same time.

Actually, the comparison of the pros and the cons lists would be enough for any commentary here. We can state boldly that the Horizon 10x42, next to the Olympus EXWP-I and the Vortex Viper, becomes one of the leaders of the econo ranking in the 10x42 class.