Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Binoculars

Swarovski 8.5 x 42 EL Binoculars
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These Binoculars are On Sale Discount Binocular: The Swarovski EL 8.5x42 binoculars are available at a discount on Amazon.com, Binoculars.com and Eagle Optics in the USA >> Check Prices
Price Range: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars       

Ideal Uses:

General Use Rating for General Use Binoculars
Birdwatching Rating as Birdwatching Binoculars
Outdoor Sports Rating asOutdoor Sports Binoculars
Safari & Travel Rating as Safari Binoculars
General Wildlife Rating as Wildlife Observation Binoculars
Hunting Rating as Hunting Binoculars
Marine Use Rating as Marine Binoculars
Astronomy Rating as Binoculars for Astronomy

Many people describe the Swarovski EL 8.5x42 binoculars as the perfect birdwatching binocular and with optics of the highest quality, an wide field of view, an exit pupil of almost 5mm and a whole host of other features, it would be hard to argue against them. I think they have the potential to be more than just birding binoculars and are ideal for all types of nature observation as well as good all round general use binoculars.

So lets take a closer look at what makes the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL binoculars so special and see if the premium price is worth it:

Main Features

  • The main body has the legendary wraparound grip makes the binocular easy to use with 1 hand
  • Fully Multi-coated Lenses; BaK-4 Prisms
  • Premium diamond-bright optic for viewing items in low-light conditions
  • Swaroclean coating on outer lens surfaces
  • 390-foot field of view at 1,000 yards
  • Waterproof: submersible up to 13 feet
  • Lifetime warranty

The Main Body

One of four models in the range of Swarovski EL Binoculars, where EL stands for Ergonomic, Light:

Ergonomic because they all feature comfortable thumb depressions and the very comfortable wrap around grip that has a gap between the barrels (or the Torsion-free twin-bridge construction as they like to call it) that enables you to comfortably use them even with one hand. This design not only makes them comfortable to hold, but I found them to be perfectly balanced: ideal for extended viewing times.

As for the Light part of EL: Swarovski describes these as "Low weight" binoculars and some retailers describe them as being extremely lightweight, but at 820 g / 28.9 oz they are heavier than other similar quality binoculars, the Leica 8x42 Ultravid HD weighs 27.9ozs (791g) and the Zeiss 8x42 Victory FL weighs 27.33ozs (775g). 

The Eye Cups
The separately adjustable twist-in eyecups mean that you an get an excellent 18mm of eye relief making them easily fit into the category of Long Eye Relief Binoculars, meaning that even if you wear eye glasses you can easily view the full field of view. The eye cups are also easy to remove making them simple to clean. To fit the supplied Camera Snap Shot Adapter, you just twist out one eyecup, put on the adapter, and screw it tightly to the binocular.

Waterproof & Fogproof Binoculars
These are fully waterproof: The optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture as well as dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular. The Barrels are also filled with nitrogen gas that should prevent the internal fogging that you sometimes get on cheaper binoculars.

The Optics

The quality of Swarovski Optiks is legendary and the new version of the EL Binoculars continues to build on an already very impressive base.

The Swarovski 8.5 x42 EL binoculars come with fully multi-coated lenses, meaning that they increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces, for a brighter image. They also have a coating that they call Swaroclean: that according to Swarovski reduces the "energy on the surface" and makes cleaning them much simpler. The basic idea is that cleaning the objective and eyepiece lenses is now much easier meaning that the lenses require less vigorous cleaning which will significantly increase the life of your optics.

A roof prism design featuring the highest quality BAK-4 prisms. The newest versions of the EL binoculars also boast that they have something called Swarobright, Swarovski's own prism coating, designed for optimum color fidelity across the whole light spectrum. You can read more about the Swarobright coating here.

Optical Performance

I tried these out on a typical day in the UK, overcast, dull and grey and overall the view through them was nothing short of spectacular, a bright crisp image as good as any binocular that I have ever tested.

Field of View
These 8.5x42 binoculars have a field of view that is 130m wide at 1000m or 390ft at 1000 yds, which compares well with the Leica 8x42 Ultravid HD (389ft at 1000 yards) and is only slightly less than the excellent Zeiss 8x42 Victory FL (405ft at 1000 yards), but remember that these Swarovski's have a magnification of 8.5x and the Zeiss's only have 8x. Lager magnifications tend to reduce your field of view, so these stats on the EL 8.5x42 binoculars are impressive.

The close focus distance is 2.5 m / 8 ft, which is pretty good for this class of binocular.

Included Accessories

When purchasing, make sure you get the binocular accessories that come with this model: Rainguard, Objective Lens Covers, Lift Neck Strap, Case, Snap Shot camera adapter

Swarovski Snap Shot Camera AdapterSnap Shot Adapter
Swarovski's Snap Shot Adapter enables you to connect your digital camera to the binoculars and take surprisingly good quality photos even at long distances. The supplied ring connects your Swarovski Optik EL (and SLC series) binoculars directly to your digital camera thus creating a camera lens. Most digital cameras that have a max. 4x optical zoom and extendable objective lens are suitable.


There is no getting around it, the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binoculars are not cheap, but you can be sure that you are getting the very best that money can buy and with the lifetime warranty, these may be the last binoculars that you ever need to purchase. At the time of writing they are offered at a cheaper price on Amazon & Eagle Optics (Click to check prices) , than both the Zeiss 8x42 Victory FL & Leica 8x42 Ultravid HD binoculars, which is impressive.

Available Downloads:

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Main Specifications & Features:

Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binoculars Video Review

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More Information:

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Full Size Binoculars | Roof Prism Binoculars | General Use Binoculars | Safari Binoculars | Birdwatching Binoculars | Wide Angle Binoculars | Very Top End/Expensive Binoculars

Similar Binoculars:

Below are similar pairs of Binoculars that you may also want to have a look at:

Leica 8x42 Ultravid HD

For many the Leica 8x42 Ultravid binoculars are the ultimate bird watching binoculars and set the standard when it comes to quality optics.

Binocular Price Comparison
Where to buy the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binoculars

General Price Range: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars

Below is a link that will take you to a page with online retailers in both the US and UK that sell Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binoculars this page makes it easy to compare prices and then to buy from your preferred option:

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Buy & Compare Prices for the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binoculars
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These Binoculars are On SaleDiscount Binoculars: The Swarovski EL 8.5x42 binoculars are available at a discount on Amazon.com, Binoculars.com and Eagle Optics in the USA
Are out-of-date/old stock binoculars still worth buying now?
This review was written a few years ago now. Check out my guide to
older/old stock binoculars & if they are still worth buying now

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