Wednesday, 9 February 2022

New Bins

At the turn of the year I wrote a post about the need to upgrade my bins. At the time I thought I knew what I wanted (see original NQS post here) but comments on the blog and on Twitter persuaded me to think again, particularly as I am not in the 'money no object' category. It is so helpful having access to the opinions and experience of so many fellow birders through these two social media. Anyway, long story short: I bought a three-year-old pair of Swarovski 10x32 EL in immaculate condition.

1987 Zeiss Dialyt 10x40 BGAT vs 2018 Swarovski 10x32 EL

Comparing them with my 35-year-old Zeiss is simply not fair. Chalk and cheese. Bright, sharp, crystal clear, contrasty - absolutely stunning! There was one hitch...

My eyes are super sensitive to collimation issues, and these bins were very slightly out of adjustment. It took me a day or two to be sure, but on Jan 11th I sent them off for treatment to Swarovski Optik UK. They do all the necessary customs paperwork and forward the bins to HQ in Austria. Exactly four weeks and one day later (yesterday) they arrived back via DHL On Demand, internally cleaned, perfectly collimated and sporting a bonus pair of new eye cups. At no cost to me. I took them out immediately and looked at Woodcocks. The Swarovski service was basically excellent, but I do have one small complaint. At no stage of the process did I receive acknowledgement from Swarovski that my bins were in the system. Yes, the Post Office confirmed that they had been signed for by Swarovski Optik UK in Surrey, but that was the last I knew of my bins' little jaunt until yesterday's message from DHL that they were out for delivery to me later in the day. Pretty poor communication really. But the bins are so brilliant that I don't care!

The increase in image contrast over my old Zeiss is so noticeable that birds actually look slightly different. It is going to take some getting used to. I now realise why I've made the odd ID cock-up in recent times. Clearly a lot of birds look exactly like other species when they're all smudged and blurry. In a short time I ought to be back to my infallible old self...

The new bins get an after-work gulling lesson this afternoon.

PS. I am very grateful to everyone who offered opinions and advice via Twitter and/or this blog's comments facility. It all helped. Thank you.

8 comments:

  1. I reckon that as Swarovski are so efficient they would be offended if you asked for a tracking service. ;)

    Always impressed me.

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    1. After a couple of weeks I was quite philosophical about it. And anyway, all's well that ends well. 😊

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  2. Very nice Gavin and what service too. You won't miss a trick now 😊. Will the old Zeisses hang on the back door, adorn your window sill or go to the great binocular grave yard in the sky? Seriously Gav look forward to more posts, always enjoy them.

    Many thanks

    Tony

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    1. Thanks Tony. The old bins will be my emergency spares. I understand it might be possible to have them properly refurbished by Zeiss. If that's true I might well get it done. I would love to see them back to something like their former glory...

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  3. Sounds good Gav, it's nice to keep the old ones going. I've just recently bought an old pair of Gold stripe Swift Audubon's, always wanted a pair but didn't realise how big and heavy they were. Nice binoculars though.

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    1. Swift Audubon users tend to have well-developed biceps! 😄

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  4. With such an upgrade in quality Gav, I wouldn't be surprised if your birding reaches an even higher level than it is already.

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    1. Well, it's true that I now have less of an excuse for cock-ups Ric! 😄

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