Swarovski 8.5×42 EL Review

As avid bird-watchers, we’ve been using binoculars for many decades. Today, there is a wide variety of binoculars available on the market, and having laid our hands on most of them, we like to think that we know about them enough to help new buyers in their purchase.

While there are some budget ones that are ideal for travel or bird-watching, there are very few binoculars versatile enough for both recreational and professional use. Swarovski is one of the best binoculars brands that flaunt an excellent overall performance.

Drawing from their exceptional skills at crystal-cutting, Swarovski has applied the nit bits to binoculars. The beautiful 8.5×42 EL is one of their best products in the optics market.

Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Review

We were amazed by how vivid the imagery was even under poor lighting conditions.

In this article, we see why the Swarovski EL is a favorite of wildlife aficionados. Let’s get started!

Swarovski 8.5×42 EL Review


Swarovski is known for putting keen attention to detail in each of their products to ensure a superior optical performance. The Swarovski EL has Swaro Vision fluoride coating on the glass that makes the picture quality even crisper.

There is no chromatic aberration on the lightweight binocular.

The Swarovski EL also features amazing Swaro Bright technology. Swaro Bright just means that when you look into the binoculars, what you see will be very bright and clear.

Binoculars achieve bright images by preventing light scattering. Swaro Bright on the Swarovski EL is responsible for the impeccable image quality and end-to-end edge clarity.

The Swarovski El is comparable to Leica Noctivid in terms of brightness and boasts a clearer image quality. The image has very accurate colors that pop out.

Correct focal distance is what makes or breaks resolutions. You can adjust that using the focus wheel to get sharp images.

The Swarovski comes in Magnesium housing and has dry Nitrogen so that no fog builds up on the lenses. If you wear glasses, you know how annoying that gets.

Included are a cool field bag, straps and covers. The straps have a thin coating of rubber that make handling your Swarovski EL very comfortable.

If I were paying thousands on a binocular, I would expect it to withstand some impact at the very least. The Swarovski EL fails at this, but in its defense, a thick cushion of ugly rubber wouldn’t help with the finish or function.

You’ll have to take very good care of it. I like to think that looking at wildlife and using binoculars comes with a certain responsibility.

If you try checking the finish for any obvious design flaws, you simply won’t find any. The construction is top-notch, and at the price range, it’s already expected of the product.

There are many things that the Swarovski EL absolutely nails but there is one thing that I really like about it and it has nothing to do with optical quality or angular field coverage. I’m talking about comfort!

It feels really nice to hold in your hands. You get a solid grip on the barrels thanks to the open centre design, and the whole thing has a tender touch of rubber.

The eyepiece is also made out of rubber, and so are the straps. It’s easy to see that they wanted the buyer to have a great experience when using these, and that alone is a testament to the quality of its build.

It also comes with a 10 year Swarovski Optik warranty- so you can relax and focus on focusing your binocular!


The Swarovski EL isn’t meant to provide the best magnification possible. In fact, once you get around the realm of 10x magnification, you will find that the images are shaky and you have poor stability.

8.5x is considered by many to be the sweet spot for high-end binoculars. It’s all up to personal preference too, but me being the goofy person I am, my shaky hands could never get 10x binoculars to focus properly.

The Swarovski EL has a field flattener lens with a 133m field of view. The field of view is lesser than on some models but the accurate focus and resolution are great anyway.


In addition to the objective lenses, Swarovski EL also sports an additional set of lenses in eyepieces that help flatten view. We have reviewed many top-end wide-field binoculars and Swarovski EL is probably the sharpest out of all of them.

Swarovski EL, with the field flattener lenses and comfortable accessories- belongs to the 3rd generation of binoculars with an improved optical design.

The diopter adjustment on Swarovski EL is better than that on Leica Noctivid. Diopter adjustment is the knob on your binocular that lets you adjust the differences between your eyes.

Some binoculars have finicky and tricky controls for doing that, but the Swarovski EL has intuitive diopter adjustment- that’s why we like it so much.

The more focused the light in binoculars is, the more edge clarity a binocular has. So, it is improved on the previous designs to reduce light dispersion and to produce clear flat images.

The adjustable eyepieces are made out of rubber for added comfort. The eyepieces on Swarovski EL can also be removed for cleaning. That comes in very handy when you are regularly using it.

Who it’s for?

The Swarovski EL is quite a price and we are very aware of that. If you are serious about travel and enthusiastic about bird-watching or hunting or anything that involves viewing distant objects, it’s perfect for you.

You don’t need to know about focal lengths or wide angles or diopter adjustments to get started using it. It comes with an easy-to-follow manual so you can use the binocular to see distant things and to clean the parts when you’re done.

If you’re a geek or skilled at spying on your boyfriend, that’s great too. You can find your boy from yards away, and with a high resolution.

The Swarovski EL is really that great at providing good contrast and high color fidelity. If Swarovski put me in charge of marketing this thing, I would definitely target jealous girlfriends!

The Swarovski EL can make even a weed on the roadside look pretty damn good! The catch is- you’re paying the price for its performance.

The simplicity of use also makes it a great item to gift your children or even your friends- if you have friends that are really close to you. You just get one, and you play with one till you get a sharp image. Easy as pie!

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the best binoculars with exceptional edge clarity and fascinating performance even under poor light conditions, you cannot go wrong with this.

It’s one of the more expensive binoculars in the market, and for a very good reason- excellent versatile performance. The aesthetics and optical quality are flawless and the Swarovski EL is an ideal choice for you if you can afford it.

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