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Article in: The New Birder Experience
February 22, 2010

Review of Swarovski EL Traveler Binoculars

The following is a review of the Swarovski EL Traveler Binoculars. Birdfreak.com has an ongoing partnership with Swarovski Optik. A few years ago I purchased a pair of Swarovski EL bins and would never want to use another brand. Since then, Swarovski has been super generous to us in getting awesome equipment in our hands. Our digiscoping rig is completely Swarovski (minus the camera of course) and more recently we’ve gotten a pair of Swarovski EL Traveler.

Swarovski EL TravelerAs part of The New Birder Experience, the Swarovski EL Traveler is Stacia’s (our new birder). This review is based on her opinions of the optics. Since I “officially” introduced her to birding, she has used only Swarovski bins: my ELs and the Traveler. Her view may be considered bias but consider that her impression is based with some purity: she has never had a crummy pair of binoculars!

As expected, the image quality lived up to Swarovski’s high standards providing clear and amazingly sharp images. Focusing on a bird was extremely easy, especially for a beginner and setting up the alignment was simple.

Stacia - Swarovski Bins

The 8x32s are light-weight and the “thumb” indentations provide for a perfect fit even while wearing heavy gloves. After a few hours of use they did start to feel a bit heavy around the neck (something that could be improved with a “binocular harness”).

Swarovski EL Traveler

The look of the Travelers is stylish yet not intimidating. From the first time of use Stacia was comfortable operating the bins and could tell they were highly durable.

Stacia - Swarovski Bins

The magnification and field of view were perfect for quickly finding birds when we were out on the Rock Cut Christmas Bird Count. The technical specs on the EL Travelers are 8x magnification and a field of view of 420 feet/1000 yards with a close focus of 7 feet. This close focus is perfect if you plan on getting into “butterflying” as well as birding.

The bins are 100% waterproof and fogproof and withstood -5 degrees Fahrenheit without any fogging.

Such high quality optics come at a premium price. But if you are serious about birding, getting high-end optics is a great way to go because of their durability and supreme quality. You really will never need another pair as they will last a lifetime.

Swarovski EL Camera AdapterThe EL Travelers come with a Snap Shot adapter which slides over one barrel’s eyepiece and provides a quick and easy way to take a photo with a point-and-shoot camera without a lot of hassle. This added feature is a nice way to capture diagnostic or “proof” shots without carrying a full digiscoping rig or large camera.

6 Comments or Trackbacks   ↓ Jump to add comment ↓

  1. Avimor Birder says:

    That snap shot adapter is a great idea! I hope other binocular makers are starting to include them.

    Posted on: February 22, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  2. Coert says:

    Can I use this on my Canon 350D SLR camera? How will the image quality compare with that of a zoom lens?

    Posted on: April 5, 2010 @ 11:24 am

  3. The Birdfreak Team says:

    Coert – The snap-shot adapter only works with the zoom point-and-shoot cameras, usually up to 4x optical zoom.

    Posted on: April 5, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

  4. binocular harness guy says:

    the size and weight on those binos is definitely appealing i think my wife would like them a lot, she hates my huge binos

    Posted on: April 29, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

  5. Catarina says:

    These binoculars really are nice! I’ve tried them at the British Birdwatching Fair and I really look forward to have one of these… The problem now is what am I going to do with the ones I have – the Swarovski SLC 10×42 WB?

    Posted on: October 9, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  6. The Birdfreak Team says:

    Catarina – When I upgraded my Swarovski bins I gave my old (and still in perfect working order) pair to my nephew who is a budding young birder. Just an idea ;)

    Posted on: October 10, 2012 @ 7:49 am

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