Honest review of Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W & alternative

Made in Austria, Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W seduces a lot of people by the classic European beauty. Having been the favorite binoculars for many years, the Swarovski Habicht line, as well as Swarovski binoculars, have several unique features that force people to consider. In this article, we will discuss what it can and cannot do, also place a brand battle with another alternative to give a comprehensive review. 

Swarovski binoculars bestbuybinoculars
Swarovski binoculars

Overview of Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W binoculars

These are Swarovski binoculars for medium-high budget (though it is more to the high side). They are amazingly suitable for nature sightseeing, bird watching, hunting,… They also give quite decent results for CASUAL astronomy, however, the 10×40 model of Swarovski Habicht binoculars is more highly recommended.

Swarovski Habicht 8×30 binoculars are mostly well-known for the unexpectedly great optics quality and unique image reproduction in many different conditions. The body is lightweight yet enduring. Especially, the old-school design satisfied a lot of people even paying for a more than medium amount of money. 

In order to have a deeper look at how these binoculars perform, let’s switch on the technical aspects.

Technical Specifications: Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W vs Swarovski Habicht 7×42 binoculars

 

Swarovski Habicht 8x30 W
Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W
Swarovski Habicht 7x42 bestbuybinoculars
Swarovski Habicht 7×42
Technical aspectsSwarovski Habicht 8×30Swarovski Habicht 7×42
Magnification8x7x
Objective Diameter30 mm42 mm
Weight 19 oz24 oz
Size (LxWxH)4.5×6.3×2.1 (inch)5.9×6.9×2.1 (inch)
Angular Field of view (real)7.8 degree6.5 degree
Field of view @1000 yards408 feet342 feet
Eye relief12 mm14 mm
Exit pupil3.8 mm6 mm
Close focusing distance 10 feet11 feet
Prism systemPorro prismPorro prism
FocusCentral focusCentral focus
Optics informationLens coating: High-quality Swarotop and Swarodur multi-layer coating

Prism & prism coating: BAK-4 porro prism

Lens coating: High-quality Swarotop and Swarodur multi-layer coating

Prism & prism coating: BAK-4 porro prism

WaterproofYesYes
Gas fieldNitrogen filling, argon fillingNitrogen filling, argon filling
Suitable usesBird watching, hunting, nature observation, CASUAL astronomyBird watching, hunting, nature observation,
Brand Swarovski OptikSwarovski Optik

Above is the technical information table of the two brothers 8×30 and 7×42 of the Swarovski Habicht series.  All technical data of this article are taken from Swarovski Optik brand homepage. However, in this article we would focus on the 8×42 model because people seem to prefer them by the more ergonomic size.

Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W: Pros and Cons.

Pros 

Image quality

One thing unique about this product is the (almost) 3D view, which makes the observation experience very natural and vivid. 

As for optics quality, it is no wonder that high contrast and brightness are the most perceptible features. The product has 96% light transmission result. Images witnessed through the lens would be crystal clear, high resolution and very natural color reproduction. The consequences would be in quite clean shape.

Another special feature is the great sharpness at the centre of the image. Also, chromatic aberration is quite low.

Condition adaptiveness   

The Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W remains its delightful performance even in low-light conditions. The binoculars have a slight spectral transmission towards the blue side of the spectrum, but it won’t cause annoyance at all. Under sunset, twilight, the binoculars give splendid experience.

Field of view

Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W has the field of view among the top performance binoculars. 408 feet viewing distance is an impressive number, it ranks just below top high-end products like the brother Swarovski EL 8×32 or Zeiss Victory FL 8×32 (also top expensive binoculars in the market). This implies a very far viewing ability.  

The close focusing distance (10 feet) is not among the top performances. Yet it is still better than many average level binoculars.

Lightweight and durable 

As you could see from the table of technical data, this model of Swarovski Habicht binoculars weighs at 19 oz. It means this product is even lighter than the Nikon Premier SE 8×32 (usually Nikon products are always among the top lightest binoculars). Apparently, it won’t be lighter than lower segment products. However, this figure is very impressive to mid to high products. 

People seem to prefer the leather-armored version of Swarovski Habicht 8×32 W. Combining with the light-alloy housing, the construction is very sturdy, with decent shock resistance ability. 

Waterproof competency is also a feature contributing to the nice longevity of the binoculars.

Swarovski warranty 

One of the things that make Swarovski binoculars really worth the money is their warranty. Swarovski Optik warrants 10 years for binoculars and 2 years accessories. Despite being made in Austria, Swarovski has a prioritized scheme for the North American region. Specifically, U.S and Canadian residences receive lifetime warranty for binoculars products.   

Cons 

Stiff focus

The most perceivable weakness of the Swarovski Habicht 8×32 W is the not so smooth focus switching. This causes quite uncomfortable physical experience using the binoculars.

Stray-light 

The prism leak of these binos ends up with not so much stray-light resistance. It could sometimes be seen in twilight or dark, gloomy conditions.

Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W vs Swarovski CL Companion 8×30

Instead of comparing products from two different segments as usual to define the quality for the additional amount of money, we want to compare the old and new in this section. Swarovski Habicht is a traditional product line, thus bringing a unique experience. Compared with CL Companion, although the two come out with similar quality results, each outcome has different characteristics. Therefore, it could be necessary to put in analysis against Swarovski CL Companion, in order to help you decide which style is more preferable.

Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 bestbuybinoculars
Swarovski CL Companion 8×30

In order to see what specifically each product could do, this table of technical figures is presented:

Technical Specifications

Technical aspectsSwarovski Habicht 8×30 WSwarovski CL Companion 8×30
FocusCentral focusCentral focus
Magnification8x8x
Objective Diameter30 mm30 mm
Weight19 oz17.3 oz
Size (L*W*H)4.5×6.3×2.1 (inch)5×4.5×2.2 (inch)
Angular field of view (real)408 feet396 feet
Close focus distance10 feet9.8 feet
Eye relief12 mm16 mm
Exit pupil3.8 mm3.8 mm
Prism systemPorro prismRoof prism
Waterproof/ fogproofYesYes
Optics qualityLens coating: High-quality Swarotop and Swarodur multi-layer coating

Prism & prism coating: BAK-4 porro prism

Lens coating: High quality SWAROBRIGHT, SWAROTOP, and SWARODUR coatings

Prism & prism coating: BAK-4 roof prism

Using experience comparison

Features Swarovski Habicht 8×30 WSwarovski CL Companion 8×30
Field of view9/108/10
Optics quality8/109/10
Focus 6/109/10
Construction 8/109/10

Looking at the two tables, the first information of difference we could see is the field of view. Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W does better in terms of far watching ability. However, Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 is still far better than many average binoculars (396 feet is an impressive number).

Speaking of optics quality, they both show results in high contrast, natural color, very sharp in the center and in general, awesome. The 2 pictures below could point out some slightly differences (please note that these pictures are from different time of the day):

Swarovski Habicht 8x30 W test
Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W test
Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 test
Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 test

The Swarovski CL Companion has more sharpness at the edge. Stray-light resistance is said by reviewers to be better for CL Companion. However, the 3D view of Swarovski Habicht is a unique advantage. The images are felt more lively in front of the eyes.  

In terms of focus, nothing unexplainable that the modern smooth focus switching system of Swarovski CL Companion is better than that stiff focus of Habicht.

For construction, Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 is lighter than Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W, in a slight amount. However, the difference is in the smaller size that causes more comfortability. Swarovski Optik doesn’t want to modify this of the Habicht. It is said by employees of Swarovski that this basic design has remained after those decades. After all, the old-school style of Habicht binoculars has somewhat become an icon for the classic value.

Conclusion  

Price of Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W is about $980, for Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 is about $1350, so it is rational to see some better value for the additional money. However, what we think the most manifest difference is the design (which also results in different focus switching systems) and the porro/roof prism. Traditional lovers wouldn’t mind this stiff focus (though everyone do feel clearly about this experience). Using these binoculars could somehow feel the old days. Swarovski CL Companion, on the other hand, more modern, thus more comfortable for bringing and holding, the design also sticks to the format of late coming binoculars.           

In terms of performance, both are great. So our conclusion for this battle: it is up to your TASTE. If you favor Swarovski CL Companion, but the price is the concern, check out for alternatives like Vortex Diamondback, Nikon Monarch 7 ATB,… 

Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W – the verdict 

In general, Swarovski Habicht 8×30 W is still a unique product that does worth the money. Optics quality is distinctively great, and it is still a relative compact bino in the market, yet very durable. The most worthwhile concern is the stiff focus. Warranty policy would somehow speak for the price.  

These binoculars would give outstanding performances for bird watching, hunting, nature observation, CASUAL astronomy or star gazing.

Last but not least, the old-school design is a wonderful work of art, but it would cause you to consider if you are suitable with this style. If you want something more modern, smaller size, please recheck our comparison with the CL Companion model.

Thank you for reading, and please leave a comment so that we could give instant research and answer.