Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B review: is it worth?

Speaking of Swarovski, you know how much expectation people would have for this brand. Swarovski CL Companion is considered to be the mid-level product of the brand, a quite late product line of Swarovski Optik. Does it remain the class of this Austrian giant? Let’s find out with our Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B review.

Swarovski CL Companion
Swarovski CL Companion

Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 in brief

When speaking of mid-price, what we mean is within the Swarovski binoculars. Compared to other items in the market, Swarovski CL Companion is nearly a high budget pair of binos. 

Yet the optics quality is amazing, with a wonderful performance adaptiveness coming along. Of course, construction is compact, and the design is also to the Swarovski uniqueness. The question is: is it worth $1150 and above each? Let’s first jump into the technical figures to have an overview of what it can do.

Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 B
Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B
Technical aspectsSwarovski CL Companion 8×30 BSwarovski CL Companion 10×30 B
Magnification8x10x
Objective diameter30 mm30 mm
FocusCentral FocusCentral Focus
Exit pupil3.8 mm3 mm
Eye relief16 mm16 mm
Field of view (@ 1000 yards)396 feet324 feet
Close focusing distance9.8 feet9.8 feet
Size (L*W*H)5×4.5×2.2 (inch)5×4.5×2.2 (inch)
Weight 17.3 oz17.6 oz
WaterproofYesYes
FogproofYesYes
PrismRoofRoof
OpticsPrism coating: Multi-layer coated (SWAROBRIGHT, SWAROTOP, and SWARODUR coatings), phase correction

Light transmission: 90%

Good quality of BAK-4

Prism coating: Multi-layer coated (SWAROBRIGHT, SWAROTOP, and SWARODUR coatings), phase correction

Light transmission: 90%

Good quality of BAK-4

Gas fieldNitrogen-filledNitrogen-filled
Outer-CoverRubber-armored Rubber-armored 
UsesOutdoor sports spectation, birdwatching, safari & travel, hunting, nature observation
BrandSwarovski OptikSwarovski Optik

Please note that the data is from the second version of Swarovski CL, which means they are Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B, Swarovski CL Companion 10×30 B. These statistics are taken from the Swarovski binoculars homepage. From the beginning, you may have known that the voice this review is going to be a little stricter than usual, because of the Swarovski CL price. We would focus on the worth of the Swarovski CL 8×30 model because with a wider field of view, it’s going to be more comfortable for general uses.

What make Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B worth the money

Field of view

We have considered a lot in this category. If this is the previous version of Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B binoculars, it would not be a worth. However, 396 feet is a very impressive number. Apparently, you could find other cheaper binoculars with better range like Nikon Monarch 7 ATB, Vortex Diamondback,… But the field of view of Swarovski CL is still among the top range of the binoculars world, at least we find them far better than many other average binoculars, and this could be comfortable enough for a productive hunting trip. Hence, we would consider it worth your money. 

Optics quality

Although it is stated from Swarovski Optik marketing material that CL Companion transfers 90% light transmission, we didn’t see less quality from any other 96% light transmission products. Which means the images would be in great brightness and contrast. 

The multi-layer coated prism with phase correction does really well in reducing reflection. Also, the color reproduction is very natural as well. 

One feature from this line of Swarovski binoculars is the sharpness at the edge. Yet the softening effect at the edge is more than pleasing. This in overall creates a natural viewing scene.

In overall, you would definitely not be disappointed at how Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B performs in common conditions, it simply does what a high-end product must do.

Adaptiveness 

Now this is the real deal. How the Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B stabilizes its performance in low-light conditions would make you excited. The details remain in fine clearance and contrast, with decent brightness. 

Coming among with this high resolution is the great resistance of ghost images and stray-lights. Which means your objects viewing in the dark would mostly remain in their natural shapes.

To our opinion, it is worth every penny in this category.

Construction 

Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B might be heavier than some Nikon compact-specialized binoculars, but if you compare to even top products of Vortex, Carl Zeiss, or even other Swarovski binoculars, this is lighter. So yes, it is among the top lightest products of binoculars. Besides, the size is no doubt ergonomical, very palm fitted and suitable for various hand sizes.

The rubber-armored is thick enough to ensure a specific shock resistance, but doesn’t weigh down the binoculars either. Its texture alongside the body creates a comfortable enough grip, yet doesn’t cause any annoyance while you hold the bino in your hand.

Moreover, this CL Companion 8×30 B is among the Swarovski waterproof binoculars, which contributes to the longevity of the product.

Friendliness 

The eye relief of the binoculars is high enough to bring convenient experience to eye glasses people. Plus, Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B has a smooth switching focus system.

Swarovski Warranty

Swarovski Optik provides a 10-year warranty for every binoculars product. Especially, for U.S and Canadian residences, it is a lifetime warranty.

What make Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B doesn’t worth it

  • Close focusing distance: 9.8 feet is not a bad close focusing distance, but it should be, actually, it must be better, compared with the price tag.
  • Having the sharpness of image at the edge, what interrupts Swarovski CL Companion from great to perfect is the chromatic aberration. You might experience this at the edge of the image. It’s not such a realizable situation, but it should be on the cons side.

Civil War: Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B vs Swarovski EL 8×32

Along with the expectation to be a more approachable version of the big bro Swarovski EL, people also want to know which did Swarovski cut on to reduce the price. Moreover, wondering if Swarovski CL Companion inherits any value of the EL, or if it is just simply a lower segment product, is a worth to discuss topic. So here we are to find the answer, with this Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B vs Swarovski EL 8×32 battle. But first, let’s jump right into the technical aspect.

Technical comparison

 

Technical aspectsSwarovski CL Companion 8×30Swarovski EL 8×32
FocusCentral focusCentral focus
Magnification8x8x
Objective diameter30 mm32 mm
Weight17.3 oz21 oz
Size (L*W)5×4.5×2.2 (inch)5.3x5x2.2 (inch)
Field of view396 (feet)423 (feet)
Close focus distance9.8 (feet)6.2 (feet)
Eye relief16 mm20 mm
Exit pupil3.8 mm4 mm
Prism systemRoofRoof
WaterproofYesYes
Optics qualityPrism coating: Multi-layer coated (SWAROBRIGHT, SWAROTOP, and SWARODUR coatings), phase correction

Light transmission: 90%

Good quality of BAK-4

Prism coating: Fully multi-layer coated (SWAROBRIGHT, SWAROTOP, and SWARODUR coatings), phase correction

Light transmission: 90%

Good quality of BAK-4

Using experience comparison

 

FeaturesSwarovski CL Companion 8×30Swarovski EL 8×30
Optics8/109/10
Field of view7/109/10
Friendliness8/109/10
Construction9/108/10

To be honest, these are both high level binoculars, it’s quite difficult to realize the slight differences. We will go straight into what need to be noticed in terms of additional value:

  • Field of view: Apparently, this is the most manifest superior of Swarovski EL 8×32. The far watching ability of the EL 8×32 is among top range in the binoculars world, and is significantly better than Swarovski CL Companion 8×32. Moreover, the close focus distance of Swarovski EL 8×32 is definitely really comfortable to enjoy. It is totally obvious that the EL takes the lead in this category.
  • Optics: We know that Swarovski didn’t bring much reduction to the optics quality of the later product line – the CL Companion. It is observable from the technical specifications that fully multi-layer coated prism is applied to Swarovski EL, but for CL Companion, it is multi-layer coated only. Hence, definitely the brightness would be better, but not that much. Put in low-light conditions, the performance is still just a slightly better along the side of Swarovski EL. 
Swarovski CL Companion test
Swarovski CL Companion test
Swarovski EL test
Swarovski EL test bestbuybinoculars

Also in this feature, we want to point out some other characteristics. The chromatic aberration on the edge of the image from Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B actually was there from the predecessor – Swarovski EL 8×32. So you couldn’t expect this weakness to disappear in the EL.

To our opinion, astigmatism resistance from Swarovski EL 8×32 is slightly better, while coma resistance from CL Companion is slightly better. If we grade these features, we would give 9.5/10 & 8/10 for EL in order of astigmatism & coma, 8.5/10 & 9/10 in the same order for CL Companion. 

In general, they do provide very crisp and clear images, very true color tone.

  • Construction: As in the name, the Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B is optimized to be a “companion” with every trip, traveller, so it is lighter and smaller in size. You could consider CL Companion to be one of the specialized Swarovski binoculars for travelling and safari, and of course, it takes the lead. The Swarovski EL 8×32 is relatively heavier, but the size is as nearly compact as the CL Companion.

They are both Swarovski waterproof binoculars and very durable.

  • Friendliness: They are both easy to switch focus. The difference here is the eye relief, which means it’s more comfortable for eye glasses people if they use Swarovski EL 8×32.

Conclusion

So, is Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B a cheaper version while still being helpful? Yes it is. After all, Swarovski Optik cut down intelligently on cost but on the other hand, inherits mostly of the predecessor’s wonderful value. The optics quality is just slightly lower in brightness and resolution, but actually it’s not the part that was influenced a lot (at least in terms of performance). In our opinion, maybe the interior inside is the target to cut cost down. But in summary they remain the same high end value of the Swarovski Optik brand.

But if we recommend CL Companion as a replacement of EL? It depends on how the characteristics of the binoculars satisfy your purposes. Swarovski CL in total is a cheaper version than EL that is specialized for compactness and travelling suitable (mostly because of the weight). The EL, on the other hand, is heavier but fulfils strict requirements for binoculars even if you use them for professional purposes. The relatively larger field of view from the EL is significant enough to make observing animals in the wild or hunting more productive. The optics quality is quite reasonable for the additional value. 

Therefore, we would recommend deciding on which side you choose. A high class handy, bring along optimized binoculars (Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B)? A binoculars that simply complete nearly all the checklist requirements for important uses (Swarovski EL 8×32)?

Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 B – the verdict.

To answer the topic question: is it worth the money? We say it’s a yes. It’s a quite comprehensive product: great optics quality, sharp images, very compact and durable, very smooth focus knob and eyeglasses friendly. 

They fit really well both in your package and in your hand along with trips. For the uses, birdwatching, nature sightseeing, sports spectation, hunting would be the best. 

But remember, you’re looking at a quite comprehensive product with a high price. Check what features you’re ready to downgrade a little bit to find a more affordable option.

Please comment any suggestion, topic, anything we know to improve below and we will have responses as quick as possible.