RFI comparison b/w Leica and Swarovski Optics

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: RFI comparison b/w Leica and Swarovski Optics
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 19:18:05 +1000
g'day all,
In light of Judith Hoyles request for info on Binos and Scopes I have updated my list of URLs on this subject.
I will post it separately to the Mailing List.
Optical quality is not everything !
I would like to make some comments re the mechanical design of my viewing aids.
I use Swarovski SLC 10X42WB Binos. The solid eye cups allowed light to enter from the side.
I then bought the optional extra soft eye cups ... they fit perfectly BUT the soft cups kept falling off the lipped screwed adaptor.
Swarovski did send me (at no charge) replacements which I have now glued on with a RTV (room temperature vulcanising) Silastic adhesive.  I hope this glue job does the job !
I had a Leica Televid 77 angled scope with 20-60 zoom.
The scope's eyepiece adjustment (for those with spectacles) moved in and out and worked well !
But after it got stolen I replaced it with what I thought was the same model.
The replacement zoom lens has a twist arrangement that runs on ball bearings.
It has fallen to bits twice. They were replaced no charge ... but I was without it for a while each time.
Leica also had to redesign the dust cap as it jammed on the eye-piece. The replacement design is available no charge.
The expensive Leica scope protection cover fits too tight over the zoom lens.
It would be ideal for the fixed length lens.
If you forget to collapse the lens before putting on the cover you can jam-up the eye piece adjustment thingo. So far I have been lucky releasing it.
I suspect that reflection from the shiny silverish finish of the Leica can cause birds to flush. This was the reason that I bought the fabric protection cover. I found the cover a good idea any rate ! 
I had to get a later model (matt finish) Manfrotto tripod as reflection from the silver legs definitely upset some species of birds
Even though fixed focal length lens should have better optics than the compromise zoom I will stick with the zoom.
To summarise the above,  make sure that whatever you buy, does not have to be treated like grandmother's cherished crystal.
Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
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