Binoculars reviews

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars

30 April 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

19. Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision

The Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision is considered to be one of the best (if not actually the best) pairs of binoculars available on the market. The result of our optical test – staggering 151.1 points – confirms it as well. If you add to it a very high price, reaching 9,000 PLN, every slip-up in our endurance test will become a very serious problem. Were there any slip-ups at all? Read on to find out!

Low temperature

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The central focusing wheel works perfectly well, the same can be said about the dioptre correction click-stop system. The gauge of the tubes can be changed with a slightly bigger resistance. The performance of eyecups should be considered a slip-up though – they move so heavily that it would be easier to unscrew them than set the right position. At such price/quality point it shouldn’t have happened.

High temperature

If you ask me, the central focusing wheel works too loosely even in room temperature. In high temperature it becomes even more loose – if you accidentally catch the binoculars on your clothes or you put your finger on the wheel you might reset the focus accidentally. On the other hand the wheel works with such a step that it will never be a significant change. Still such problems should be non-existent at this price point. It is not all. The gauge of the tubes was a bit loose as well and moved with distinct squelching. There were no reservations concerning the dioptre correction and the eyecups regulation. No grease leakages.

Waterproof qualities

No reservations in this category. One hour submersion the binoculars managed to survive without any problems.


Two falls from different heights didn’t cause any problems. The binoculars remained perfectly collimated and the eyecups weren’t damaged. No traces of any damage on the casing.

Optics cleaning

Fingerprints can be removed very easily with a dry cloth. Water dribbles down very efficiently, without leaving any traces. Grease is more difficult to clean but it doesn’t create any serious problems either; still it’s better to remove it with a bit of optics cleaning fluid.


No other problems.


The chart below shows the results the tested pair of binoculars got in particular categories:

Low temperature:
High temperature:
Waterproof quality:
Optics cleaning:

44 points out of 50 – is it really a result worth the most expensive and optically the best pair of binoculars in our test? Not really – several other devices, cheaper than the Swarovski, got better scores here. No serious slip-ups were noticed but several points were lost here and there. In the case of such a high price segment you should demand a perfect performance - this one was a little short of perfect.

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision