By the year 2000 I finally scraped the money together to buy a pair of Swarovski SLC binoculars. With a price tag of over 1000 dollars this is the Rolls-Royce of binoculars.
Was it money well worth to spend or just a status symbol?
Well let’s find out! I might tell you right now two things about this field test. First, I did not get paid to write this review and second, when I field test equipment I do not pussyfoot around. My equipment has to keep up with me and the way I handle it. I regard all my hunting gear are tools for me to do a particular job and not a status symbol.
Lets find out how the Swarovski measured up to my expectations. The 10x42 SLC has been a classic in the Swarovski line up since the mid 1990s. It received an outstanding review from the time of its appearance and became almost over night an instant favourite with hunters all across North America. Over the years the Swarovski SLC has remained essentially the same, with modest design changes to the armoured profile. The most recent update is a rubber armour to a polyurethane shell and the Swarobright lens coating. The excellent optics have remained unchanged, including the 330ft. FOV (Field Of View), 30.7 oz weight - which makes these binos rather heavy to lug around all day- and 14mm eye relief.
Some of the advantages I personally like about the Swarovski's is its superb balance and well placed thumb groves to aid in the balance. This comfortable feature makes up for the weight. Another outstanding feature is the excellent depth of focus made possible by razor sharp focusing which gives you an almost 3-D spatial field perception. This comes in really useful in some of the thick brush I hunt. No problem here to penetrate the tangle and pick out details of antler or fur of a buck. Of course the Swarovski is 100% waterproof and shockproof.
I can attest to the later when I dropped mien out of a treestand at 20ft. off the ground. not only was the Swarovski still in one piece but it thick armor prevented dents and scratches and the focusing mechanism didn't suffer either.
Other features I appreciate are the handy located turn knob for focusing, no fiddling around here, the knob is large and easy to exactly adjust to the focusing distance. I also appreciate the excellent lenses that let me look trough the binoculars all day long without getting a headache. For me that is very important. I use binos religiously, I rather would forget my rifle or the bow at home than be without binoculars. Without binos I am blind in the deer woods and might just as well stay home. Having good optics will let you see deer long before they see you and just as important they won’t harm your eyes in the long run.
So do I think that the Swarovski binoculars are worth the price tag they carry? I would say so! If you can save up the money and buy a Swarovsky it most likely will be the last pair you ever will have to buy. I own a battery of binoculars but have found that I now only take the Swarovski with me all the time.