Swift Audubon 820 BWCF ED 8.5X44


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Brand and Model:Swift Audubon 820 BWCF ED 8.5X44
Price ($USD):$700
Attributes:checked Waterproof checked Armored
Objective Lens Size:44 mm
Magnification:8.5 x
Prism Type:BAK4 Porro
Coatings:Multi-Coated
Field of View:8.2 degrees
Eye Relief:17 mm
Near Focus:10 ft
Weight (lbs):25 OZ.
Dimensions (w/h/d):5.7" HGT
Description:

Vote Highlights Vote
Swift Audubon 820 BWCF ED 8.5X44
I have the non-ED waterproof model and it's very satisfying.....great field, bright, comfortable handling, pop-up eyecups and that easy, right-there, right-now view. But as with the previous, non-wp model, the eye relief spec from Swift is optimistic. The new one seems to be totally color-neutral, too, whereas the old one had a slightly "warm" tone (yellowish cast) that wasn't really objectionable, but was there nontheless. The armor on the new one makes it nice to handle and the recessed strap lugs are a good touch....but what really makes the Audobon stand out is the resolution and wide field...it pulls in details as well as any 8x glass I've been able to try and is sharp across all but the very edges...and there really isn't much curvature out there, as u would expect in a wide-angle bino. This is a winner..Swift did their homework....and it can be had for not much over $250....as a postscript, the biggest beef I have is with the case....it's a nice piece, padded and well made,....but it's just too SMALL!....needs to be about 2 in. longer so the glass can be put in without bending to minimum IPD...that's a nuissance

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Value:9
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: spyglass
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=220928


Swift Audubon 820 BWCF ED 8.5X44
The swift 820 ed 8.5x44 audubons are outstanding binoculars. They are manufactured in japan with very good mechanics, and a high level of fit and finish. The hard case, wide woven neck strap, and the push-on lens and eyepiece covers are all excellent; as is the black rubber armor, which has a very good tactile feel. also, the open, spring loaded tripod socket works very well. These waterproof, porro prism audubons are solid and balanced, with a wonderful, wide fov. The optics provide the viewer with bright (noticeably brighter at night than the hhs roof audubons), sharp images that are "ed" glass corrected for great color. As nice as the audubons are, some negatives must be noted. there is noticeable softness and pincushioning at the outer 10% of the fov, which is most prominent in daylight viewing. At night, although the audubon porros are bright, i would conclude that effective astronomical binoculars begin at 50mm objectives. Stars in the audubons have good color, but sparkle rather than show as pin points, and there is a slight halo around the brightest night sky objects. The plastic eyepiece cups pull out, then can be twisted to lock in place. but, in doing so, the diopter setting, which is not click-stop, is moved. the foregoing objections are minor and somewhat subjective, however, my final criticism caused me to return the porro audubons, as my primary use was astronomical. there is not enough travel to the right in the center focus mechanics for subtle changes in sharpness to be achieved on night sky objects. given these objections and the noteable attributes of the swift porro audubons, i would conclude that they good for night viewing, but are outstanding binoculars for daytime pursuits such as birding. one would have to spend hundreds more to surpass the wide fov, sharp optics, wonderful color, and overall quality of this new porro ed audubon from swift. c.w.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: CW
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=218608


Swift Audubon 820 BWCF ED 8.5X44
I want to add one last assessment to my other 9/2009 reviews of the Swift Audubon ED. I had a chance to carefully compare the Swift Audubon against the Eagle Optics Ranger SRT and the Vortex Viper. The Audubon had a noticeably larger field than either of the other two, and the Audubon had better off-axis correction as well. The ED glass of the Audubon showed slightly less color, and in terms of centerfield sharpness, the Audubon was barely sharper than the Ranger and so close to the Viper it was hard to tell a difference, even after hours of comparison. HOWEVER, in terms of contrast and color balance, the Ranger and Viper crushed the Audubon, and the reason was obvious. The Audubon’s coatings were inferior. Bright green reflections on the objective and bright, whitish-blue reflections on the prisms were lowering the Audubon’s efficiency and contrast. The roofs were both brighter (despite having smaller objectives), and the Audubon’s contrast was relatively dull, probably owing to spurious, internal reflections. Due to the strong rejection of green light, the Audubon displayed a more sepia tint than either of the other binoculars. In a nutshell, the field and sharpness in the Audubon is unbeatable compared to anything else under $500, but the light efficiency and contrast are disappointing. My own preference was to replace the Audubon with the Viper.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.113.40)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=590858


Swift Audubon 820 BWCF ED 8.5X44
I already voted 09/05/09, so I won't vote again, but to be fair to the Audubon ED, I want to compare it to a good, but less expensive porro prism, the Orion Vista 8x42. The Vista, like its close cousins, the Celestron Ultima and Carton Adlerblick, is a good performer in the $200-$300 range. This is about half the price of the Audubon, the Audubon being about half the price of the Nikon SE compared above. In terms of on-axis sharpness, the Audubon has a distinct edge over the Vista. Stars are tighter in the Audubon, though the Vista still gives satisfying images. Off-axis performance of the Audubon is also noticeably superior, contrary to my comments in the vote above. The Audubon shows clear details across a significantly larger radius, no doubt the result of the Audubon’s five-element ocular system. The field of the Audubon is VAST compared to that of the Vista--a huge difference--and more of it is clear. It should be noted that even the fuzzy areas of the Audubon’s field are corrected just enough to be useful in star hopping or following moving objects. Color correction in the Audubon is also superior, but the Vista hardly has bad chromatic aberration. The difference in color correction is pretty subtle. The Audubon has ED glass, the Vista does not, so there’s the color difference. In addition to superior optical performance, the Audubon also has three features simply not available with the Vista: rubber armoring, a magnesium body, and fog/water proofing. Even the venerable Nikon SE doesn't have fog/water proofing. While there are binoculars worth more than $500 that are superior in many respects to the Audubon, the Audubon is among the very best under $500--that’s provided you don't mind the bulk and weight. The size and weight comes from the additional lens elements and bigger prisms that give a wide field with off-axis improvement. I have to admit I prefer the muscular design and handling of the Audubon. It’s not for everybody, but it works for me. After further consideration, the Audubon is highly recommended for those looking under $500.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.113.174)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=590265


Swift Audubon 820 BWCF ED 8.5X44
These binoculars are fine performers, but they're not cheap ($400), and they don't work miracles--contrary to some web reports. The center of field offers sharp, pleasing views, but bright stars do reveal a slight, asymmetric spikiness. The Moon is beautifully crisp, but despite the ED objectives, there is a hint of color at the limbs. The field is super wide, but off-axis correction is not tremendously different from that of less-expensive binoculars. Eye-relief is a little tight for eyeglasses, but at least the extra field compensates for that. Images are bright but not unlike the brightness of other good 40mm+ glasses. I had a chance to directly compare the Swifts to Nikon SE 10x42 binoculars ($800), and the results were not surprising, given the price difference. The Nikons had a very slight but consistent lead in center-field sharpness. I really had to hunt for the difference, but it was there. In fairness to the Swifts, the difference in sharpness could have been less a function of quality and more a function of magnification (10x vs. 8.5x). The Nikons had a smaller field, but nearly all of it was sharp, unlike the Swifts. In terms of brightness, I could not discern a difference, but relative brightness is notoriously difficult to evaluate. The Nikons are noticeably smaller and easier to handle while focusing. Of course, coming in second to Nikon-SE's does not condemn the Swifts; it just reinforces the common-sense notion that one gets what one pays for.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.113.174)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=590203

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