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/ Mini Review of S&W 8x32's ...
Mini Review of S&W 8x32's (from Cloudy Days)
June 26, 2004 7:55 PM
Wow, these S&W 8x32's are really sharp! These things are made in Japan, and appear to be a slightly restyled EO Ranger Platinum 8x32. They have exactly the same specs, fully multicoated, phase coated prisms, waterproof, fogproof, twist up eyecups, etc. These have the "Rainshield Anti Rain Lens Coating". The manual and UPC label are dated 2002. I could not find these on the S&W website, but specs and pics are listed here:
The second link has a pretty big discounted price, and I'm thinking these may have been discontinued since they are not on the S&W site.
They don't have quite the eye relief as the EO RP 8x42's (also made in Japan, phase coated, etc), I have to press my glasses hard to see all of the field, while the 8x42's are no problem. I initially thought the S&W 8x32's beat the EO RP 8x42's in sharpness, but I've since concluded they are equally sharp. I've been sitting here switching between the 8x32 SE's and the S&W's and it's not a bad comparo. The SE's are sharper, but barely, and the S&W's seem to hold their own in brightness (compared at dusk until dark).
The view thru the S&W's have a slightly blue tint, and the coatings are green. The EO RP 8x42's have a more yellow tint, and the coatings are green, with both green and purple visible in the eyepieces. Both 8x32 and 12x50 SE's are very neutral.
I'm really impressed with the S&W's. They have a nice feel and are easy to use but compact. I've grown to dislike the EO 8x25 Triumph's (made in China), because they are too small for me to use comfortably. They are very sharp too, but the focuser has play, and it's frustrating to swing past focus, and have so much play when you want to just rock it back a bit. The SE's, EO RP, and S&W's all have tight focusers, but the EO and S&W roof's focus in the opposite direction of the SE's.
The S&W's close focus to something like 3 feet. And the view isn't tiring up close. The SE's are hard on the eyes when close focusing, probably because the porro design has the lenses spread wide. Of course the payoff is that wonderful 3D effect the S&W's can't produce.
There is a tripod mount on the front behind a screw in plastic piece with a S&W logo on it. The eyepiece covers are the same as the EO's, but have the S&W logo on them, and are of a harder plastic. It comes with a small zippered case, not the nice ballistic nylon one the EO's come with. I bought EO lenscovers, and aftermarket neckstraps for both the SE's. Since I wear glasses, the eyepiece covers fit perfectly over the rolled down eyecups on the SE's.
The S&W's have lens caps which are hard plastic with the logo on them. They fall off easily due to the tapered design of the lens housing. The EO RP 8x42's have a stretchy rubber cap with a retaining ring that goes around the end of the lens barrel. EO sells these in different sizes on their website.
I'm waiting for the S&W 10x25's to arrive. They are phase coated too, and are available on THE auction site at $75 or so Buy it Now price. I have a pair of Meade 7x36 WA Safari Pro Porro's on their way to me too, and am anxious to see how they do. My original goal was to get another pair of bino's for the car, and next thing you know all these good deals showed up and I couldn't resist :-) (The S&W 8x32's went for $95, and the Meade's for $66) My wife is being patient with me, probably because she made out on the EO RP 8x42's as I handed them down when I got the SE's, and she'll get the Triumphs for her car - but I'm keeping the S&W 8x32's :-). But I think I'm gonna need a bino rack or something to keep all these things!
Hope some of you found this useful.
Rick McNelly 8x32 SE, 10x35E II 10x30IS 8x32 S&W
/ Mini Review of S&W 8x32's ...
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