28 July 2011

New Swarovski CL Companion Binoculars

Presenting the new CL Companion Binoculars.

This year has been a good one for me as far as competitions go. Back in the spring I won a Canopy Tower package tour for one. I am looking forward to my 2012 birding adventures in Panama. Recently, I entered to become a product tester for the new CL Companion 10x30 binoculars from Swarovski. I was selected as one of the 20 reviewers and I have the CLs on loan until January.

Maybe I should give you a little back story. Some of you that read my blog regularly know this but for those that don’t, I am a 30 year old naturalist that manages a nature center in South Florida. My background consists of teaching marine science for the University of Georgia’s Jekyll Island 4-H Center for 3 years and researching diamondback terrapins. My first love as a naturalist was reptiles and I still enjoy finding snakes in the wild or rescuing turtles from the road but my interests have turned all things bird since I moved to Florida 5 years ago. While at Green Cay Nature Center I have been given the opportunity to go birding in my professional time and even be sent to workshops and festivals. When not at work, I spend most of my energy traveling, hiking local trails, and of course enjoying the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Now I’m branching out into the world of book reviews and product testing and I must say it has it perks. The new CLs are a high quality piece of glass and I’ve been lugging around a huge pair of old Bushnells for far too long so the new addition is welcome with open arms. My plan is to write a review each week of how the CLs are performing in the field. I want to give good feedback on the binoculars and maybe, if I’m (still) lucky be selected to keep my pair as a bonus.

I hope you will join me for the journey as I try out these new bins. Fall migration has already started (saw shorebirds over the weekend and a Louisiana Waterthrush at the wetlands yesterday) and I have a few trips planned that will give me ample opportunity to see what all the Swaro hype is about.

The quick lowdown (taken from the Swarovski website)
- High reproduction quality and transmission for bright, high-contrast images
- 9.8 ft (3 m) shortest focusing distance
- Slender construction due to high-precision roof prism system with phase-corrected coating (P-coating)

- Non-slip, easy-to-handle focusing wheel
- Individually adjustable twist-in eyecups made from allergy-tested material
- Dirt and dustproof
- Submersion tightness: 13 ft/4 m water depth due to interior focusing
- Nitrogen filling prevents internal fogging
- Shock absorbing, non-slip full rubber armoring

- Ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use
- Slender bridge construction and thumb depressions on the underside of the binoculars for steady, balanced viewing comfort

Magnification 10x
Objective lens Ø (mm) 30
Exit pupil Ø (mm) 3
Exit pupil distance (mm) 14
Field of view at m/1000 m / ft/1000 yds 100/300
Field of view (degrees) 5.7
Field of view with eye glasses (degrees) 5.6
Subjective field of view, apparent (degrees) 55
Shortest focusing distance (m/ft) 3 / 9.8
Dioptric compensation (dpt) ± 4
Interpupillary distance (mm/in) 56-74 / 2.2-2.9
Length approx. (mm/in) [with eyecups twisted in] 119 / 4.70
Width approx. (mm/in) 114 / 4.50
Height approx. (mm/in) 58 / 2.30
Weight approx. (g/oz) 515 / 18.2
Colours green, black, sand-brown

1 comment:

Ben Warner said...

I look forward to your review, glad you won, but jealous(I tried out for that competition too)! Haha, Ah well, a birder should have some good bins, hope you can keep them over your old Bushnells. We have a similar background, it will be fun reading your blog. I'm especially curious how these bins work for bug viewing (kind of a longer short focus, but could work probably). Also anything you can say about depth of field, field of view, and sharpness or distortion would be helpful in a binocular review. Enjoy, I love my swarovskis.