When you’re looking for the right pair of wildlife binoculars, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. What kind of environment will you be using them in? Will the binoculars help assist you with hunting, or are they just for observation?
Swarovski is one of the top manufacturers of wildlife binoculars on the market. The Optic EL and Optic SLC look like similar binoculars on the surface, but there are a few important differences. We’ve broken down the best things to know about each.
Our Best Pick
|6.3 inches||5.2 inches||29.6 ounces|
|5.7 inches||4.7 inches||27 ounces|
#1. Swarovski EL
The Swarovski EL binoculars are the more expensive of the available pairs, though they’re very similar in physical build to the SLC. Like all Swarovski products, they utilize high quality glass and manufacturing materials. There’s a much larger field of view than with most competing binoculars, and the minimum close focus is just 4.67 feet.
The EL uses advanced technology called Swarovision. There’s also an upgrade to the model called the Swarovision Pro, which has the same optics. The upgrade is in differences to the objective cover attachments, strap functions and attachments, and the eyecups being made more consistent and comfortable.
These binoculars are among the brightest on the market, and they have integrated technology to create strong image contrasts. The HD lens in the binoculars contains fluoride. Four lenses work together in tandem to deliver the highest possible image quality.
The lenses also have proprietary coatings from the Swarovski manufacturers. Two of these coatings, the Swarotop and Swarodur, work together to optimize the contrast and image brightness in low lighting. There’s a Swarobright coating that is used to maximize coloration along the full light spectrum. Finally, Swaroclean is a coating that reduces the foreign matter and dirt sticking to the lenses by shedding water.
The original EL models had lens covers and caps that were not very secure, so some people lost them easily. However, the updated models have been given metal pins in their designs that help keep the lens caps from sliding. The caps also stay out of your way even in high winds because of the heavy construction.
If you’re planning to use your binoculars in low light, these are a compelling option. They’re also a great choice if you’re a hunter who wants to see minute details in high contrast in the foliage. The clarity of focus and image they offer is unparalleled among the nature binocular competition.
#2. Swarovski SLC
The Swarovski SLC is a much more inexpensive binocular offering from Swarovski. Though it doesn’t have as many technological advancements as the EL.
these binoculars still have the same highly tempered glasswork and quality materials as other Swarovski products. They have a minimum focusing distance of about ten feet, and they can be used in a range of different lighting conditions.
These binoculars are more suited to the casual observer. They won’t do much to sharpen what your eyes can already see, but they will let you zoom in and focus on images significant distances away.
Though the Swarovski EL and Swarovski SLC look like similar models at a glance, there are a number of key differences. Some of the differences are in the dimensions and specifications, while others are related to the features that each design offers.
The EL has a height of 6.3 inches, while the SLC is shorter and only comes to 5.7 inches. The EL’s width is larger, too, at 5.2 inches when compared to the SLC’s 4.7 inches. The total depth of each pair of binoculars is nearly the same, but the EL weighs 29.6 ounces as opposed to the SLC’s 27 ounce weight.
Each pair of binoculars has a slightly different field of view, but they’re similar enough to be nearly indistinguishable. With the SLC, you can begin viewing objects 330 feet away; with the EL, this distance increases to 336 feet. Both sets of binoculars allow you to view distances of up to 1,000 feet at higher magnifications.
One of the largest differences is in the minimum focusing distance. The shortest possible focusing distance for the SLC is 10.5 feet. On the other hand, the EL more than halves that, allowing you to focus on objects 4.9 feet away.
The technology is the other main place where these pairs of binoculars diverge. The EL binoculars have significantly more technological advancements integrated into their design.
Each pair of binoculars is highly durable and includes a ten year manufacturer’s warranty.
The overall design and manufacturing of these pairs of binoculars are remarkably similar. However, the two are sold at different price points for a reason. The EL has significantly more focusing power and newly integrated technology. By contrast, the SLC is high quality, but it’s not strong enough for very avid hunters or nature observers looking in difficult areas.
The EL is the best choice if you’re serious about your binoculars and want the best technology available. Thanks to the HD lenses and new focusing technology, you’ll get better contrasting images and detail than you can with your eyes alone. If you’re more of a casual observer and working within a budget, the SLC will meet your basic needs.