Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B review: How does it perform?

What does SLC mean? Slim, Light, Compact. So, obviously it is a travelling comfort optimization binoculars. In this article, we’ll discover what’s behind that travelling comfort binoculars that could cause people to pay such money.

swarovski slc 10x42
swarovski slc 10×42

Overview of Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B 

In our opinion, Swarovski SLC is still in the mid level of Swarovski binoculars. However, with that price in the market (from $1600), it must definitely be a high-end product. 

As a 42 mm diameter Swarovski binos, its size completely explains the name – very lightweight and ergonomic. Behind that sexy outlook, this Swarovski SLC 10×42 inherits the amazing optics quality from the brand. Its uses are advertised to be multipurpose, but what we find the best are for nature-involved activities (besides marine and astronomy uses) and sports spectation. 

No more rambling, technical data are right below to see what specifically it could do.

swarovski slc 10x42 W B
swarovski slc 10×42 W B
Technical aspectsSwarovski SLC 10×42 W BSwarovski SLC 8×42 W B
Magnification10x8x
Objective diameter42 mm42 mm
FocusCentral focusCentral focus
Exit pupil4.2 mm5.3 mm
Eye relief16 mm18.5 mm
Field of view (@1000 yards)330 feet408 feet
Close focusing distance10.5 feet10.5 feet
Size (L*W*H)5.7*4.7*2.5 (inch)5.9*4.7*2.5 (inch)
Weight27 oz28 oz
WaterproofYesYes
PrismRoofRoof
OpticsHigh quality BAK-4

Fully multi-layer coated with phase correction (Swarobright, Swaroclean)

HD optical system

High quality BAK-4

Fully multi-layer coated with phase correction (Swarobright, Swaroclean)

HD optical system

Outer coveredRubber-armored Rubber-armored 
Uses Birdwatching, safari & travel, nature sightseeing, sports spectation, hunting,…Birdwatching, safari & travel, nature sightseeing, sports spectation, hunting,…
BrandSwarovski OptikSwarovski Optik

According to Swarovski Optik homepage, Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B & Swarovski 8×42 W B are the latest versions of this SLC line. In this article, we would focus on the Swarovski 10×42 SLC.

What from Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B would make you excited?

Field of view

Despite having a far better field of view than many average binoculars, it’s not that difficult to find high end binos with a farther field  of view than the Swarovski SLC. But 330 feet for a 10×42 binoculars is impressive enough. In fact, it is as far as that of Swarovski EL 10×42, and better than Vortex Fury HD 5000 10×42. Hence, you could have a productive enough hunting trip with this Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B.

Optics quality

Now this is the most important requirement of any binoculars, and this Swarovski binos has performed much better than well. 

As for brightness, the fully multi-layer coated lenses ensure just a near to zero amount of reflection. The marketing material of Swarovski binoculars states that this SLC transfers 91% of light transmission. We think in normal condition, this could reach up to from 96% to 99%.

On the other hand, with the phase correction, the image is delivered in high contrast and resolution. Combining those features together, we believe you could get what they (Swarovski Optik) claim: the crystal clear, natural viewing experience.

Another fact, this is the Swarovski SLC 10×42 HD, which means the optical system is expert at dealing with color fringing. We used to have problems with chromatic aberration at the edge using Swarovski CL Companion, Swarovski EL. This is not the case with Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B.   

Bright, crisp, high contrast, vibrant color, Swarovski never lets you down with their optics.

Construction 

The Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B is lighter and smaller than the same model of Swarovski EL, Leica Noctivid HD, Zeiss Conquest HD. It is a bit heavier but smaller than Vortex Diamondback 10×42. In general, the “SLC” – slim, light, compact is totally true. 

The housing of this Swarovski 10×42 is made from Magnesium, which is an expensive durable material for the chassis. Like other Swarovski binoculars, the SLC’s rubber outer cover is thick enough to be shock resistant, and texturized to have a comfortable grip during rainy, foggy days. It is considered the Swarovski 10×42 is enduring from the outside to the inside.   

Moreover, the waterproof competency also contributes to the long-lasting longevity of the product.

Adaptiveness 

We totally believe that the brightness and contrast of Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B reduces just a tiny bit in low light performance. When things get darker, you could still be as excited as how it is with common conditions. By the exit pupil of 5.3 mm, the 8×42 model could even give better performance. We are completely satisfied with this category.

swarovski slc 10x42 W B
swarovski slc 10×42 W B

User friendliness 

Talking of the focus wheel, it is very smooth to switch the focus. The eye relief of this SLC 10×42 is decent enough to give comfortable experience to eyeglasses people.

Swarovski warranty

Swarovski Optik warranty always brings a trustworthy value that deserves the expensive payment. Specifically, this Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B has 10 years warranty. For U.S and Canadian residences who purchased from local dealers, they enjoy lifetime warranty.

What from Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B would make you disappointed?

  • Near focus distance: 10.5 feet is a fine distance for close focus, but in comparison with the price, it definitely must be better. You may somehow find it inconvenient for activities like observing insects or flowers. 

Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B vs Vortex Razor 10×42 HD

This is the battle of expensive binoculars. The Swarovski SLC 10×42 binoculars are much more expensive than the Vortex Razor 10×42 HD, but the Vortex binoculars are much more expensive than any other medium price binoculars. Therefore, in this comparison, we would focus on justifying if paying much less money for another top knot – Vortex Razor 10×42 HD instead of Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B is a smart decision.

Let’s dive right into the first main important part.

Technical comparison

 

Technical aspectsSwarovski SLC 10×42 W BVortex Razor 10×42 HD
FocusCentral Central 
Magnification10x10x
Objective diameter42 mm42 mm
Weight27 oz24.8 oz
Size (L*W)5.7*4.7 (inch)5.9*5.1 (inch)
Field of view (@1000 yards)330 feet362 feet
Close focus distance10.5 feet6 feet
Eye relief16 mm16.5 mm
Exit pupil4.2 mm4.2 mm
Prism systemRoofRoof
WaterproofYesYes
Optics qualityHigh quality BAK-4

Fully multi-layer coated with phase correction (Swarobright, Swaroclean)

HD optical system

High quality BAK-4

HD Optical system

Multi-layer coated (dielectric coating) with phase correction

Using experience comparison

 

FeaturesSwarovski SLC 10×42 W BVortex Razor 10×42 HD 
Optics quality9/108.5/10
Adaptiveness9/108/10
User friendliness8/108/10
Field of view8/109/10
Construction9/108/10

In this field, we would compare what could consider a decision. These are what you need to notice:

  • Field of view: It’s a sure win for Vortex Razor 10×42 HD. Both field of view and near focus distance of the Vortex dominate the Swarovski binoculars.
  • Optics quality: They’ve both done excellent. Really crisp, bright, neutral colors were produced. The Vortex Razor has a multi-layer coated system, while the Swarovski SLC has a fully multi-layer coated system. However, in normal conditions it’s really hard to distinguish who delivers a better light amount. But there is one characteristic significant enough to define the very close step over. The Vortex Razor 10×42 HD has a slight gray haze on the very edge of the field of view. This doesn’t cause any obstacle with the viewing experience because the size is small (about 3-4% of the whole), but it is noticeable. On the other hand, the SLC field of view is fully bright and crystal clear.
  • Adaptiveness: This is where things start to differentiate. On cloudy days, you may witness a slight deterioration of contrast from the Razor HD. This is significant enough to make the Swarovski SLC 10×42 HD a better option. It remains nearly the same amazing contrast of the images from the Swarovski SLC. Also in low-light conditions (sunset for example), the objectives observed from Vortex Razor are presented in a slightly less detailed appearance. On the other hand, Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B has a very steady performance in many types of conditions with clear and crisp images. Plus, we think this could be a substantial characteristic: the color tone of two binoculars would be different in abnormal conditions. The Vortex Razor would be a bit on the grayscale side. While the SLC binoculars are a bit yellowish.       
  • User friendliness: We consider this a draw. The eye relief is a bit better with Vortex Razor 10×42 HD but it won’t cause much difference in terms of convenience for eyeglasses people. The focus switching system is easy to use. However, we want to mention some distinguishable characteristics. The focus wheel of Vortex Razor, although felt stiffer, turned smoother. While that of Swarovski 10×42 SLC has a larger range of rotation (780 degrees). This means with the Vortex one, you could have quicker focus switching, but more possibilities of over-adjusting. With the Swarovski binos one, you would need more hand actions to modify the focus, but there is a larger amount of focus switching to define which is the most comfortable experience. 
  • Construction: It’s very opposite of the structure of the two. The Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B is relatively heavier, but it is smaller in size, more adaptive in any type of luggages. The Swarovski SLC design inherits some unique characteristics of the brand, and this is a very distinguishable outlook in the market. The Vortex Razor HD feels very modern and dynamic. Though the Vortex one is larger in size, we feel them actually a bit slenderer by eye experience. The Vortex Razor looks plain at first glance, but actually when holding in the hand, it feels quite firm and unslippable. The Swarovski SLC on the other hand, creates non-slip grip by texturizing the body. There is one review that we find may be helpful to you. Several people say that after one season of use, the rubber armor of the focus wheel from the Vortex Razor becomes looser. Recently, our team has  used the binoculars mostly for testing. Hence, to be honest we didn’t use the Vortex Razor in such a frequent enough time to see that coming. Therefore, we couldn’t give the most accurate justification for that. However, because there are several people giving such feedback, we consider this is the Swarovski SLC 10×42 binoculars the winner. Please comment below if you have witnessed the same situation. 

Conclusion 

So, is it worth to pay such extra for the additional value? We consider it the yes. There are two most observable differences between the two is the design and the adaptiveness. One of them, adaptiveness, is an indispensable part of most outdoor activities. Therefore, if you’re about to pay more money to receive a better result when the sun goes down or in cloudy days, it’s a rational investment. We would suggest Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B if you could afford that much.

Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B – the verdict

This may sound like a hype because we don’t usually point out such few weaknesses for one product. In some features, this binoculars may not outperform other top tier products like Swarovski EL, but as a whole, this is nearly comprehensive. 

Apart from the quite uncomfortable near focus distance (which we couldn’t know why they make upgrade versions without modifying this), the Swarovski SLC 10×42 W B performs more than good in any requirement. The optics quality is amazing both in common and abnormal conditions, it is lightweight, small size, waterproof, and durable.

Your sidekick

This should be your sidekick on the next hunting, birdwatching, safari discovering, nature sightseeing trip,… But remember, this is still a costly binoculars. Check out our comparison above to see if you are willing to pay less and to have some quality reduction.  

Last but not least, please do not hesitate to share your opinion about this binoculars or our blog. We would love to hear them from you.