Swift Audubon 8x44


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Brand and Model:Swift Audubon 8x44
Price ($USD):$570.00
Attributes:checked Waterproof checked Armored
Objective Lens Size:44 mm
Magnification:5 x
Prism Type:Roof
Coatings:
Field of View:8.2 degrees
Eye Relief:0 mm
Near Focus:0 ft
Weight (lbs):24.6
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:New, redesigned Audubon.

Waterproof
A few ounces lighter
Exterior was reshaped for comfort
Rubber armored
Adjustable screw-type eyecups
Similiar optics as the older model

Vote Highlights Vote
Swift Audubon 8x44
Pretty good optics? Bright ring on the outer 10% of field? I would guess that there must be a problem with your binoculars. A couple weekends ago, I had the pleasure of comparing two really great binoculars side by side. The Canon 10 x 30 IS and the Swift 8.5 x 44 (model 820). Both these binoculars are optically excellent. By my take, I would say that the Swift had a tad better center resolution with a significantly larger field of view. The ease of view was fantastic. The edge of the field was not perfect, but this large field allowed me to catch moving objects (in this case cars) much easier. The Swift occasionally "blacked out", so eyeplacement is somewhat sensitive. The Swift is built very solid and waterproof.

The image stabilization of the Canon was simply awesome and the view was sharp across the field with very good eye relief, however, the view was not as wide as the Swift and I felt like I had to baby the binoculars because of the "camera-like" construction. Perhaps this is my own problem.

Overall, you cannot go wrong either of these binoculars. I would rate it a push. I think if I were to own a pair, I would prefer the Swift for it's incredibly wide view, great resolution, simplicity and ruggedness.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Value:10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.224.222)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=85007


Swift Audubon 8x44
Simply stated these are nice binos.

The wide 8.2deg FOV makes for pleasing, easy and comfortable viewing. They split Alberio, pick up Messier Objects such as galaxies in Ursa Major, GC's and Nebula in Sagittarius without averted imagination. The fit and finish is excellent, balance and feel natural and comfortable. Because of the balance the slightly heavy weight is unnoticed. Color on bright objects is present but not distracting. Wonderfully wide FOV.

The eyerelief is tight and to see the entire FOV does require being close to the eyepieces. They also require the user's eyes be properly placed to get the best resolution. For instance if not properly centered Alberio will show flare and not split. Somewhat more sensitive to this than other binos I've used. There is noticable field curvature which softens the edges. Possibily because these are wide FOV binos this is really not noticed in use unless you actually move your eyes to see the edge.

I have a pair of the Pentax DCF 8x42 WP's. I have both so visitors and friends can use binos when we're viewing. I use these and friends use the Pentaxes. The Pentaxes are ever so slightly sharper with better contrast. But that wide clean FOV of the Swifts is really comfortable. Since both will split Alberio, and pick up most Messiers, I like to use the Swifts. Wonderful wide, clean FOV.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.74.27)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41983


Swift Audubon 8x44
I am a birdwatcher, not an astronomer. I got the new Audubons (model 820) two weeks ago. I surprised myself a little by buying them because before I went to the store where I did my comparisons, I had pretty well ruled them out as too big and clunky, despite the positive review at betterviewdesired.com. I compared them to Pentax 8x32 HDCF WP, the Swift Warbler 8x42, Swift Eaglet, Leica 8x42 BN (definitely too heavy), Nikon 8x32 Superior E, and Swarovski 8x30 SLC. I couldn't really afford any of the last three, but it never hurts to have a good idea of what is possible when price is no object. Before I looked through any of these binocs, I thought I was going to bring home the Pentaxes, but the Audubons won me over with their big, wide, bright view and superior handling. They really feel nice in the hand (though I think they're far from sexy looking)--*very* nicely balanced with a well-placed focus wheel. They are just barely acceptable to me as far as weight (officially 24.6 oz) goes, but I got an Optech neoprene strap and so far they've been okay. I wear both glasses and contacts, so eye relief and adjustability were a big concern. The screw-up eyecups on the Audubon beat the pop-up ones on the Pentaxes, which I didn't think I could trust to stay up in the half-way position I needed over the course of even 5 or 10 minutes of birding. (The eye relief on the Pentaxes was a little long for me if I left the cups all the way down--I had to really carefully position my eyes or I'd get blacking out.) I also liked the feel of the wide Audubon body in my hands better than the slender barrels of the Pentax (even though my previous binocs were roof prisms). With the Swifts, the eye relief is just a hair too short for me when my glasses are on, even with the eyecups all the way down, but the field is so damned wide to begin with that I don't mind giving up a little of it. And the ease of view (for me at least) was second to none of the glasses I compared against, except maybe the Leicas. I don't have to do a lot of fussing with my eye position to get the best possible view. But the real strength of the Auubons is that I found the center-field resolution and clarity to be second to only the Superior Es (and they are twice as much, and not at all waterproof). The only catch is that the clarity of the Swifts does *not* go out to the edges. Depending on the lighting, I occasionally see a faint yellow reflection or even a ghost image out at the edge of the field. These distractions come in as far as about an eighth of the way from the edge. And the focus is not razor sharp in that region either. But I this is a fair trade for what I am getting in the remainder of the field, which I think is just fantastic. I measured the close focus at 9 feet (note that I am nearsighted). I like the feel of the focus wheel. It is very fast in the crucial 40 to 300 foot range--in fact you only have to nudge it to adjust. Closer than 40 feet, and you have to give it two or three strokes to bring it in for the really close birds, and I am trying to get into the habit of giving back those 2-3 strokes after I'm done with a close bird so that I'll be more likely to get on the next bird quickly. What else? The case is a hard-cornered leatherette box, so they really do seem a little big when they are all packed up. You would not want to take these backpacking. There is a tripod adapter with a spring loaded pin in it--this seems a better arrangement than the one on the Pentaxes, which has a screw-out cap that would almost surely get lost. The owner's manual is pretty crummy--it is not specific to the Audubons. It's just a very generic thing that Swift must include with all of its binoculars. The diopter adjustment is fine. I was skeptical at first that it would rotate out of adjustment with use, because it is the old-fashioned design (no click stop, and no separate ring), but it is stiff enough to stay put. I haven't tested the waterproofness of these in any way, but you should note that they are not Nitrogen purged (i.e., fogproof), even though a number of web merchants seem to be claiming that they are. I've used these a lot since I got them, and every time I bring them to my eyes (especially if I'm looking at something brilliantly colored, like a Northern Oriole or a Red-wing or a Waxwing) I just think "Wow! Bright, clear, and beautiful!" To sum up, even with the shaving off of ounces with the new model, these are not light and compact. They are not perfect out to the edges, and the eye relief could be a tad longer. But they handle so beautifully (at least for me) and are so well balanced that they feel lighter than they are. And most important of all, they give you a truly beautiful view in the crucial center of the field.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.255.82)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41982


Swift Audubon 8x44
Pretty good optics but I still see plenty room for improvement. Most annoying to me is a bright ring of reflected light on the outer 10% of the field. Otherwise beats any 10x50 I have or have had.

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:7 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.27.240)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=83780


Swift Audubon 8x44
I second to a tee what is said immediately above, except I do not find the eye relief issue to be quite so much of a problem. Eyeglass users should forget these binoculars if they want the full field of view, but even less for many would be sufficient. A very easy and relaxed view (the mark of good glass) and great optical quality.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.170.21)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41981


Swift Audubon 8x44
These binoculars very comfortable to use both physically and visually. The field of view is very wide such that you do not really notice the edges. You can not, however, see the entire view without smudging the eyepieces with your eyelashes. The views are sharp and contrasty and holdup pretty well to the edges. I think they would make great birding and astromical binoculars. The new eyecups are neat and easy to use, but you got to watch out that you don't screw them out past the stops on accident (pull them). This is because it's pretty easy to unscrew the eyepiece. Swift obviously knows of this problem because they've included a separate warning sheet in the packaging saying that you will void your warranty if the eyepiece is removed. Why they don't tell you how to use the eyecups is beyond me. This lighter Audubon (compared to the previous model) is still no lightweight, but they have a nice quality feel to them. Overall, I give them a 10 for optics and use, but take a point off for the just adequate eye relief and eyepiece design/instruction issues.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.32.11)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41980


Swift Audubon 8x44
I bought my model at least 8 years ago (maybe more). I bought them for bird watching but they are excellent for astronomy. The have shorter eye relief than more modern designs but the eyecaps fold down easily. Compared to binocs costing more than 400 dollars they are slightly less sharp at the edges. These are extremely well constructed. Unlike most sold to amateur astronomers, these can take a beating. They won't become misaligned after a few years as will many cheaper binocs.

Jerry Mc Kenna

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.162.203)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41984

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