Swarovski El Range Rangefinder Binoculars
It’s finally here, the Swarovski El Range binocular rangefinder; Zeiss and Leica have had their entry into this market for years and everyone was waiting to see if Swarovski would respond. The new EL Range is available in an 8x42 or 10x42 model, and look ready to taken on the established contenders in the rangefinder binocular world.
Cost – Both El Range models now sell online for around $3100; that is when you can find them, as not everyone stocks a lot of $3000+ optics. The price range is right inline with their closest competition the new Leica Geovid HD-B rangefinder binocular series which also come in right around the three grand mark.
Angle Compensation – Swarovski decided to include an angle compensation feature on this unit, which is capable of displaying the compensated range in yards/meters or as an angle in degrees for those who like to do their own calculation. Neither the Zeiss nor the Leica models are equipped with an angle compensation feature. Note the Zeiss rangefinder binoculars come with BIS (Ballistic Information System) which is a ballistic program for holdover, but does not compensate for the angle of the shot.
Controls – While the Swarovski rangefinder binoculars do have a fair amount of options, they are all ran by use of a single mode button located on the bottom of the unit. Here is where you select yards or meters, compensated range or angle, and can also adjust the brightness intensity levels of the red display readout.
Performance – The Swarovski El Range is rated to 1500 yards, which is betther than the Leica Geovid HD BRF and Zeiss Victory RF models are rated for 1400 yards and 1300 yards respectively; however, it is significantly shorter than the new Leica HD-B's listed 2000 yard maximum range. While the 10x models of all these rangefinders have a nearly identical field of view; the 8x Swarovski has a clear advantage in this department over the 8x models.
Size and Weight – The Swarovski El Range, Zeiss Victory RF, Leica Geovid HD BRF, and Leica Geovid HD-B are all of very similar overall length and weight. The Swarovski has a slight edge it both departments, but not by a significant amount. All three models fall very close to the 6.5" - 7" length mark and all models weigh close to 33 oz. It is worth noting that the Zeiss models have a 45mm objective where as the Swarovski and Leica's feature a 42mm objective.
Conclusion – It is nice to finally see Swarovski enter into the binocular rangefinder market. It will be interesting to see how the Swarovski will fair against the already established models from Zeiss and Leica. Of course the advantage of being a little late to the party is you get to learn from competition, and also incorporate the latest technologies which are an important factor in an optic that utilizes electronics. The first few reviews of the Swarovski El Range have started to trickle in and to no surprise they are quite positive. Be sure to check out the binocular range finder page for side by side comparisons of both the 8x and 10x models.
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