From: Scott from California
Rating: 5 of 5
The Swarovski 8x30 SLC is pure Austrian simplicity. Its lines are clean and simple and as far away from its cousin, the fancy EL, as possible. I've tested the original EL's, and I also own the Zeiss 8x32 Victory FL's. Both are twice the price of the SLC. Yet, optically the SLC is very, very close to these two.
The Zeiss and the original EL's focusing knobs are much smoother than the SLC. And the EL's handling is second to none - the best of any binocular from any maker. The SLC's focusing knob, in contrast, is not very smooth and is too small for use with gloves, especially if you have thick or big hands. What the SLC lacks in mechanical finesse, however, it more than makes up for in sheer optical brilliance. Frankly, I think this is one of the most underrated pieces of glass on the market. Why? My guess is that the whole SLC line has been totally upstaged by the ELs (understandably so); and the SLC's looks may make them seem homely compared to the EL's. But I call the look spartan - and beautiful, and actually,I prefer it. They are relatively compact and small - 30mm as opposed to 32mm - not heavy but very, very solid and beautifully built. The Austrians clearly decided to pour all the cost into the optics, rather than fancy design appointments. Simply put, these are serious hunting and birding glasses. They are razor sharp. Have some CA, but minimal. Eye relief is decent, making them fine with glasses. FOV is excellent at over 400. And though its close focus is listed at 13ft (not very good these days) I gauge mine at 11, which is adequate. If your dollar ceiling is around a Grand and you are considering glasses under 42mm, you should give these a try. I love them. They actually lose a half-star only for the stiff focusing knob (placed near the objective lens) and for lack of better close focus (which they really should have). But they don't have half-star ratings at EO, so I'll give it five because I grab these glasses again and again. And I think very few binoculars at this price even come close to their solid build. They are really little optical gems.