Swarovski 10x25 CL Pocket Binoculars
A Personal Experience
by Diane Porter
It was barely dawn, many minutes before sunrise. With a romping puppy at my side and with my big old down parka and my camera and its long lens, carrying my regular 42mm binocular seemed like a little too much to manage. Probably too early to see much in the way of birds on a winter morning anyway.
But I can't bear to be without binoculars, so I grabbed my new Swarovski CL Pocket 10x25 binocular as I was heading out the door. It had just arrived the day before, and I'd put the strap on but had not been outside with the binocular yet.
My little dog Latte and I walked on frozen grass out alongside the pond. From just beyond the curtain of tall frozen grass I heard two loud plops, too big for any farm pond fish. Then there were some chuff chuff sounds, like a cross between a sneeze and an indignant grunt.
Latte was sitting up all on alert. Another plop, and then two large heads rose up out of the water and looked at us. Chuff!
River otters! The first otters of my puppy's life. And of my own. I couldn't believe my luck.
It was still way too dark to take a decent picture, but I tried anyway. At left you can see what I got.
Then I raised my little CL Pocket binocular to my eyes. Wow! It was like the lights came on.
Suddenly I could see the otters' long whiskers and watch the expression on their faces as they huffed and snorted at us from the pond. It was like daylight.
I was really glad I'd decided to bring my new binocular along.
Looking through my binocular at the trees at water's edge, I was struck at how aware I was of everything in the field of view, all the way to the edges. In every part of the picture, things were sharp. The image filled my field of view, giving me the sense of being magically transported up close. It almost seemed as if everything else stopped, and I entered the world of the treetop and all the life in it.
Another surprise was how quickly I could aim the binocular at the half dozen crows waking up in the top of one of the tall junipers and flying out over the woods. Maybe it's because this binocular is a little bigger than some other pocket models I've used, or maybe it's the intelligent, human-friendly shape of it. I found it easy to hold, and aiming seemed especially intuitive.
This is good, because I like a 10-power binocular. Even though I knew it would have a narrower field of view than the 8-power version, I went ahead and ordered myself a 10x25 CL Pocket. I was glad to find that I could still get on a bird quickly.
I also noticed how easy this binocular was on my eyes and hands. Despite being a little bigger than most pocket binoculars, it's still lightweight enough not to be any bother at all, and I found that I natually got a good grip on it. The eyecups are larger than other pocket binoculars, too. I don't wear glasses, and I liked the feeling of the gentle eyecup and the way it fit over the curve of my eye.
And I like the two hinges that let the binoculars fold to a narrow shape and slip into a jacket's chest pocket. This would also be great for someone with close-set eyes who might have trouble seeing through both eyes at once with regular, full-sized binoculars.
When Latte and I got back to the house and I told Michael about the otters, he asked to try out my new binocular. Michael wears large, aviator-style glasses, and many binoculars don't have enough eye relief to let him see the whole field of view.
"Wow!" he said when he came back in the house. "These are 10x25s? They worked great with my glasses!"
So I'm adding good eye relief to the list of things I like about this binocular.
I'd planned for this CL Pocket to be just for keeping in the glove compartment, or for when a 42mm binocular would be too big or heavy. But I now think it could actually be my full-time, go-everywhere, everyday binocular.
In fact, so far it seems to be working out that way.
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Copyright 2013 Michael and Diane Porter.