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Binoculars made in Portugal Good or Bad ?


Marsman
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Am 16.8.2020 um 22:12 schrieb jaapv:

Svarovskis are good but do not reach the level of Leica and Zeiss.

That may have been true 20 years ago, but since roughly 10 years, when Swarovski began to market their EL Swarovision line of binoculars, Swarovski sets the benchmark. And just when Zeiss thought they can edge ahead with their SF line, Swarovski just recently announced their NL pure line. Just ask any serious birder, Swarovski is first, Zeiss is second and Leica is third. BTW, all Swarovski binoculars are still entirely made in Austria, in their Absam factory near Innsbruck. As much as I love Leica and their products, with binoculars they are certainly not number one.

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On 8/17/2020 at 3:48 AM, lawrence_lee said:

Jaap

I joined my local Bird Watching Society over 20 years ago, and started to pick up my bird watching binocular. I limited  the choice between Leica & Zeiss, and at that time Swarovski binoculars start to gain some popularity.  I field tested the three above mentioned binoculars, I personally agreed that Swarovski is not the same level with Zeiss &  Leica. All the Models for the field test were 10X42 which is very popular among the members.  For a pro-longed period of watching , I picked the Leica Trinovid 10x42 for more suitable for my eyes. I personally feel the Zeiss 10x42 binocular is brighter , but Leica give me less strain to my eyes. 

Lawrence

I have these same binoculars, bought second hand, but my wife uses a pair of Ultravids.

 

I keep thinking about trading mine in for a newer pair, but to be honest, can’t justify the expense. These are bloody good binoculars. 

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46 minutes ago, wizard said:

That may have been true 20 years ago, but since roughly 10 years, when Swarovski began to market their EL Swarovision line of binoculars, Swarovski sets the benchmark. And just when Zeiss thought they can edge ahead with their SF line, Swarovski just recently announced their NL pure line. Just ask any serious birder, Swarovski is first, Zeiss is second and Leica is third. BTW, all Swarovski binoculars are still entirely made in Austria, in their Absam factory near Innsbruck. As much as I love Leica and their products, with binoculars they are certainly not number one.

Well, not too long ago I considered trading in my Trinovid, and in the store compared Zeiss, Svarovski and Leica. All were more than excellent, but for my eyes and preference the Leica Ultravid HD-plus was the clear winner, with Zeiss maybe a bit brighter but more tiring and Svarovski very close, but third.The Ultravid was spectacular, but in the end the upgrade did not justify the cost for me. Maybe the difference is that I do not use them primarily for birding, but wildlife/landscape.

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vor 16 Stunden schrieb jaapv:

... but for my eyes and preference ...

With binoculars, the peculiarities of one's own eyes and personal preference indeed play a very important role, so never buy a binocular without testing it first. Leica binos are very good, no question, but none of them offers full sharpness up to the very edge. Swaro and Zeiss have models that do. That said, none of them offer stabilised binoculars. Stabilisation brings the viewing experience to another level, unmatched by any non-stabilised binocular. Try for example a Canon 10x42 IS L and you will know what I mean. The downside is a little more bulk and weight.

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On 8/25/2020 at 10:57 AM, jaapv said:

I didn't even know we made binoculars in the Netherlands...:(

Word trade flow is so complicated nowadays... can be they even are not MADE in Netherlands... but simply imported from Far East (say - 1000 items) - stored in some Dutch warehouse - exported as 10 batches of 100 items to 10 European countries... 

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  • 5 months later...
On 8/17/2020 at 8:48 AM, lawrence_lee said:

Jaap

I joined my local Bird Watching Society over 20 years ago, and started to pick up my bird watching binocular. I limited  the choice between Leica & Zeiss, and at that time Swarovski binoculars start to gain some popularity.  I field tested the three above mentioned binoculars, I personally agreed that Swarovski is not the same level with Zeiss &  Leica. All the Models for the field test were 10X42 which is very popular among the members.  For a pro-longed period of watching , I picked the Leica Trinovid 10x42 for more suitable for my eyes. I personally feel the Zeiss 10x42 binocular is brighter , but Leica give me less strain to my eyes. 

binocular

Lawrence

I have the same one, it's really great image quality

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  • 2 months later...

I ended up in this forum because I was planning to buy new Leica binoculars.

I just would like to express my surprise with some of the comments. It reveals that some people think that just because things are, for example, made in Portugal they can be suspected of being of lower quality. Factories have something called "quality control" which does not follow nationality criteria, it follows quality criteria. Quality is appreciated by consumers, who will keep on buying a product if it fulfils the promised quality criteria. 

Let's leave nationalism behind. Quality is important, and fair work pay as well.  There are so many examples of good craftsmanship in many countries, not only Germany.

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1 hour ago, margarida soares said:

I ended up in this forum because I was planning to buy new Leica binoculars.

I just would like to express my surprise with some of the comments. It reveals that some people think that just because things are, for example, made in Portugal they can be suspected of being of lower quality. Factories have something called "quality control" which does not follow nationality criteria, it follows quality criteria. Quality is appreciated by consumers, who will keep on buying a product if it fulfils the promised quality criteria. 

Let's leave nationalism behind. Quality is important, and fair work pay as well.  There are so many examples of good craftsmanship in many countries, not only Germany.

Few people here would disagree with you. There is still, unfortunately, a degree of snob value attached by some people to goods from certain countries,  probably historically based, and almost certainly no longer relevant. Anything coming from Leica Portugal is just as good as from Germany, and just as good as from Leitz Canada.

But to return to your question of binoculars. The top three makes are all very good. There are differences between them which makes the choice a matter of personal preference. All design is and always has been a matter of trade-off of one quality against another, and you simply have to try them all for yourself to find the one whose relative strengths and weaknesses align most closely with your own preferences.

 

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2 hours ago, jaapv said:

Leica binoculars have been made in Portugal for many decades and have always ranked amongst the best there are. 

I have an original pair of 7x35BA Trinovids which are at least 38 years old (they were last made in 1983) and they were made in Portugal (if this matters to anyone!). They are still fabulous binoculars and work as well as ever. Leica simply make great binoculars.

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vor 4 Stunden schrieb margarida soares:

Let's leave nationalism behind. Quality is important, and fair work pay as well.  There are so many examples of good craftsmanship in many countries, not only Germany.

You are entirely correct, and by referring to Swarovski binoculars being made in Austria, I had no intention whatsoever of implying that Leica binoculars have inferior quality because they are made in Portugal. I own a small Leica 8x20 binocular which was made in Portugal for more than 30 years now, and it has never let me down. Rather, I tried to emphasize that contrary to many other manufacturers which have their products assembled in countries like China, where labour costs are still much lower, Swarovski manages to market top end binoculars at competitive prices although they are entirely manufactured in a high labour cost country (Austria).

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  • 3 months later...

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