Swarovski launched its EL binoculars series in 1999. Later released in the Range version with a built-in rangefinder, it is the flagship of the series, which includes the 8.5x42 and 10x50 versions. The binoculars have a superb optical design with excellent ergonomic qualities and top quality lenses. In 2015, the range was renewed with some improvements to make the binoculars even more suitable for hunting.
These changes include the FieldPro package, available on all latest generation Swarovski optics, featuring a new neck strap with a rotating bayonet connector, an accessory we found works really well. The neck strap can be adjusted to the ideal length very quickly and silently, by turning the quick-fit button.
This innovation, which makes the binoculars very easy to use, perfectly complements the new objective lens covers that clip onto the tubes so you cannot lose them, but which can easily be removed when necessary.
In terms of optics, the EL 8x32 incorporates the very best the famous Austrian brand can offer, with HD optics providing a crystal-clear image, Swarovision technology and Swarodur, Swarotop and Swarobright coatings that guarantee light transmission of over 90% and aberration-free colour rendering also in extreme conditions.
From a mechanical point of view, the new EL binoculars have tubes made of metal alloy covered in soft touch rubber; the double bridge system and the anatomic cutaway in the bottom part makes them easy to hold during observation, even with one hand.
The focusing wheel is great and the rotation is very smooth; just two full turns are enough to go from min. to max. focus (the minimum focus distance is 1.9 metres) while just a half turn is enough to adjust between the ranges at which you will usually be observing game. The dioptre adjustment system is built into the focusing wheel, offering +/- 4 dioptre click adjustment, which works very well. The multi-position eyecups are also ideal and can be removed and adjusted to 4 different positions, so you can adapt them to your own personal needs, also if wearing eyeglasses.
One point that should be mentioned is the weight. The Swarovski 8x32 binocular is not light. It weighs 595 grams, which is more than other optics in the same category (the Zeiss Victory 8x32 weighs 550 grams and the Leica Ultravid DH weighs 535 grams), it weighs 95 grams more than the CL Companion (which is a 8x30, however), the intermediate optics of the Austrian brand, and it weighs as much as 200 g more than cheaper optics, which do however use a lot of plastic and certainly do not have optical systems of a similar quality. Binoculars for experts, in other words, and certainly lighter than a pair of binoculars with 42 mm or 50 mm tubes, but still not exactly a featherweight. Someone looking for quality though will be hard-pressed to find anything better.