If a Swarovski Optiks pocket binocular is what you’re looking for, Swarovski Optiks have decided to give you a wide variety to choose from – about 10 different models. The problem you will be facing is to distinguish between these models!
The optics are as good as it comes and there’s no need to discuss this – and that goes for every pair of binoculars from Swarovski, these pocket ones included. Not only the optics, but also the total product are of the highest quality.
The pocket binoculars under review are all also very lightweight (all weighing less than 8.1 ounces) and very compact – all will easily fit into your jacket –even shirt – pocket.
So how in the world are you going to choose between the different models?
I will try to help you decide which one to choose by pointing out the few differences there are.
Some are 8x and some 10x.
Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular (8x20B-P, Green)
Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular (8x20B-P, Black)
Swarovski Optik Pocket Traveler Binocular, 8×20 mm
Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular Tyrol 8×20
Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular Crystal Tosca 8×20
Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular Crystal Nabucco 8×20
Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular Crystal Idomeneo 8×20
The 10x power gives you more magnification, but makes finding and following an object more challenging, since movement is exaggerated with higher power.
Another problem is that the higher magnification means a smaller exit pupil if the objective lenses stay the same. Fortunately Swarovski Optiks compensated for this by making the apertures bigger in the case of the 10x magnification binoculars, so the exit pupil is the same (2.5 mm) in both the 8×20 and 10×25.
Objective lens size:
All of the 8x power binoculars have apertures of 20 mm, whereas the 10x power binoculars have apertures of 25 mm. As argued above, the main reason being to compensate for the loss of exit pupil diameter.
An advantage of the wider objective lenses (25 mm) above the 20 mm is the fact that wider lenses gather more light than smaller lenses. This means that the 25 mm lenses binoculars will be more effective in dim light than the 20 mm aperture binoculars.
The 10×25’s are all slightly heavier than the 8×20’s due to the wider objective lenses: 8.1 oz. vs 7.6 oz. However, this is not really that much.
The bigger 10×25’s have the same dimensions as the smaller 8×20’s in terms of height (1.5 inches) and width (2.3 inches), but their barrels are slightly longer (4.57 inches vs 3.98 inches). Clearly this difference is of no importance.
Field of view (FOW):
Usually (but not necessarily so) higher magnification means narrower FOW and this is indeed the case with these Swarovski Optiks pocket binoculars. The 8x’s have a FOW of 345 feet @ 1,000 yards (6.6 degrees), whereas the 10x’s are limited to 285 feet @ 1,000 yards (5.4 degrees). A wider field of view is handy to find an object in the distance and in particular to follow a moving object.
The longer the barrels, the further away the closest point of focus. The 8×20’s can focus as close as 13 feet, whereas the 12×25’s can only manage 16 feet. If this is important to you, you will have to consider one of the 8×20’s. However, there are other binoculars which can focus as close as 1.2 feet (1 meter) and the Pentax papilio can do an incredible 18 inches! Generally speaking, the 13 and 16 feet of the Swarovski pocket binoculars are excellent and you really do not need to go closer – unless you are into butterflies or real small things like bugs. (You could consult my article www.squidoo.com/superclosefocusbinoculars on this.)
There’s quite a difference in price between the different models, even though the specifications are exactly the same. The “standard” and “travel” 8×20 models are all going for $679 currently, but the luxurious 8×20’s are considerably more expensive, even though their specifications and performances are exactly the same. The Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular Tyrol 8×20 goes for $839.99 and the crystal models (the Crystal Tosca 8×20, Crystal Nabucco 8×20 and Crystal Idomeneo 8×20), are all priced at $899, probably due to their very beautiful and lustrous housing studded with Swarovski crystals.
Whether this beautiful housing is worth the extra $120 or not, is something everybody has to decide for himself, as long as you realize you’re not getting a better binocular than the other 8×20 Swarovski’s.
The 10×25’s are all priced at $769.