Introduction

In this article, I will compare the new Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B and Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B. Both are laser range finding binoculars.
Swarovski EL O-Range is a special edition of EL-Range binoculars, which we already know from the year 2011. Then they were a big sensation, especially due to the built-in laser range finder and the SWAROAIM technology- angle shot program. The great novelty about the EL O-Range is a new, ergonomic design with a vibrant orange-colored rubber.
Leica has launched their production of binoculars with a laser range finder when their technologists got the idea that they could place a laser system for measuring the distances in them. The idea has earned a lot of interest and success, and thus a new series of binoculars, called Geovid, was introduced. In 1992, they already had the first such binoculars on the market, called Geovid 7×42.

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B and Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B and Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B

Size & Weight

 Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W BLeica Geovid 10x42 HD-B
Weight:880 g980 g
Width:125 mm135 mm
Length:160 mm175 mm
Max interpupillary distance:74 mm75 mm

These two binoculars are both quite large and heavy, and therefore a little impractical to carry around. The great advantage that both of them have is the open bridge design. EL O-Range has differently shaped bumps on the underside, where the software and hardware for the rangefinder are hidden. Although it looks non-aesthetic and robust, it provides good grip and automatic natural position of the hands for more comfortable holding. On both sides, there are buttons which you need to push out to adjust the strap. The battery is located inside the central wheel. I have to mention once again the beautiful orange rubber the binoculars are coated in. It instantly attracts attention and looks really unique and “bold”. This year, orange color has become extremely popular among the hunters, which was clearly seen at the IWA Outdoor Fair 2018.
Leica Geovid binoculars are slightly heavier and bigger, but still look elegant with narrow and nicely shaped barrels, given that they have Perger Porro prisms and that the laser rangefinder technology is hidden in the central bridge. The binoculars are coated in durable black matted rubber that is smooth around the bridge. The battery compartment is placed in the bump on the underside of the bridge. It is difficult to access and therefore causes trouble if we want to change the battery or insert the SD card for which the slot is located next to the battery.

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B

Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B

Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B and Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B and Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B

Optical Properties

 Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B
Prism type:Roof -Schmidt/PechanPorro - Perger
Lens Diameter:42 mm42 mm
Magnification:10x10x
Variable Magnification:NoNo
Coatings:Fully multi-coatedFully multi-coated
Close focus:5 m 5 m
Field of View:110 m /1000 m114 m / 1000 m
Measurement Range:30-1375 m 10-1825 m

10×42 configuration with a rangefinding technology is especially suitable for hunting in the mountains and large open areas, where longe range shots are most frequent.
Given that Geovid has a special type of prism that Leica patented itself, called Perger-Porro, the design is nevertheless quite elegant and not as bulky as the binoculars with Porro prism usually are. Regardless of the fact that Roof prisms are superior in terms of size, Porro prisms are far too underrated, given how powerful they are and what an excellent optical performance they give. Their biggest drawback is that the binoculars with Porro prism will always remain bulky and not so compact, no matter how much they would try to improve them. Geovid is fully-multicoated with HDC® multi-layer, Anti-Reflective, hydrophobic Aqua-Dura (disperses water and other particles on the external lenses) and P40 Phase Corrective Coating. HDC® (High Durable Coating) provides scratch resistance on the glass surface. The rangefinder has a maximum range of 1825 m. Measurements of the objects begin when they are at least 10 meters away. It is equipped with Leica’s unique Advanced Ballistic Compensation (ABC ®) system with 12 preinstalled ballistic curves. An SD card for installing customized ballistic information for specific loads is included too.
EL O-Range has a Roof – Schmidt/Pechan prism type and HD lenses. The binoculars have Swarobright (highly reflective prism coatings-dielectric coatings for phase correction), Swarotop (increases light transmission and enhances resolution, contrast, and color fidelity) and Swarodur (reduces reflections and provides clearer and brighter images) coatings on them. Swarovski has developed its own, globally unique angle shot program SWAROAIM (corrected ballistic distance of the shot), which allows to define/calculate the exact aim and distance to the target using with laser measurement. It also helps to correct the ballistic turret or reticule. It measures the distance to the object from at least 30 to 1375 meters away.
Both models have an exceptional field of view and a close focusing distance of only 5 meters– short enough for closer, macro observations.

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B

Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B

Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B

Focus Properties

 Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W BLeica Geovid 10x42 HD-B
Focusing System:CentralCentral
Central Wheel Grasp:9/109/10
Central Wheel Rotation:8/109/10
Diopter Setting:Both eyesBoth eyes
Diopter Range:-5/+5 -4/+4
Central Wheel Diameter:29 mm28 mm
Central Wheel Length:26 mm25 mm
Total Revolution: 720°480°
Bridge Length (Without the Central Wheel Length)16-61-23 mm (open bridge)25-65-38 mm (open bridge)

These two binoculars both have a central focusing system. The grip of both is very good, but the rotation is sturdier and better on Geovid. Only the outer part of the knob is rotated on EL O-Range and the inner part does not move. On top of it, there is a cap with a notch, which opens with a special tool that is added to the package. Inside the knob, there is a battery. I evaluated the central wheel of both models well because they are quality-made and provide reliable and comfortable focusing. I gave Geovid’s wheel 9/10 for grasp and rotation. EL O-Range’s wheel grasp has also earned 9/10, but I was not convinced by the rotation, so I evaluated it only with 8/10. The rotation seems a bit too fast to me.
The diopter is adjusted on both eyes, each barrel has its own ring for the diopter setting because of the display. They are located under the eyecups. The EL O-Range rings must first be pulled upwards so that they can rotate. On Leica, the rings rotate very hard, which is not bad, because the settings can not be changed so quickly by accident.
Other proportions are more or less the same. The range finding buttons are on both models on the top of the bridge, coated in rubber that blends with the complete armoring of the binoculars. In my opinion, Leica made a big mistake to put both buttons, for menu and for ranging next to each other, because it is confusing and a person using them for the first time cannot know which of these two buttons has to be pressed to measure the range. Swarovski has solved this problem by locating one button on the underside of the bridge. The main button- for ranging- is on the left upper side of the bridge. Both binoculars have a display with illumination adjustment in the right barrel.

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B Central Wheel

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B Central Wheel

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B Range Finding Button

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B Range Finding Button

Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B Central Wheel

Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B Central Wheel

Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B Range Finding Buttons

Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B Range Finding Buttons

Eyepiece Properties

 Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W BLeica Geovid 10x42 HD-B
Eyepiece type:MultipositionedMultipositioned
Number of Click-stops:35
Eye relief:17.3 mm20 mm
Exit pupil:4.2 mm4.2 mm
Firmness:8/109/10
Quality:8/109/10
Suitable for Eye Glass Wearers:YesYes
External Diameter:39 mm42 mm
Internal Diameter:22 mm22 mm

The binoculars both have a multi-positioned eyepiece type with a turn and slide mechanism. Geovid is offering 5 click stops and has, as on any model so far, excellent and quality-made eyecups. The rubber on them is soft and long-lasting. The eye relief is really long and especially suitable for those who wear glasses. I evaluated the firmness and the quality of the eyepiece with a 9/10 on Geovid and an 8/10 on EL-O-Range. The latter has its eyecups made of thinner, plastic-looking rubber, which seems to be less resistant and not so comfortable when pressed to the face. It is offering 3 click stops for a proper eye relief.

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B Eyepiece

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B Eyepiece

Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B Eyepiece

Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B Eyepiece

General Properties

 Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W BLeica Geovid 10x42 HD-B
Housing Material:Plastic/ RubberPlastic/ Rubber
Armoring:RubberRubber
Quality of Armoring:9/109/10
Build in Rangefinder:YesYes
Waterproof:YesYes
Submersible:Yes Yes
Filled With:NitrogenNitrogen
Number of Colors:22
Tripod Adaptable:YesYes
Made in:AustriaPortugal
Introduced in:EL Range in 2011/ EL O-Range 20182013
Warranty period: 10 years5 years
MRSP Price:2,990.00 EUR3,000.00 EUR

Both binoculars have their chassis made of light-weight magnesium and are coated in high-quality rubber tightly wrapped around them. The armoring on both is first-rate, not only beautifully designed but also extremely resistant and strong. I have evaluated it on both models with a good 9/10. Both models have a one-piece cover for the eyepiece. EL O-Range has them installed on the underside of the barrels and cannot be removed and Geovid has them attached to the edges with thick rubber bands. The quality of both is good.
Swarovski EL O-Range’s the most important component is its optical performance. Its high definition glass with unique multi-coatings provides extra bright, clear and sharp images and an exceptional field of view. Equipped with advanced laser mechanism for measuring the distances, the EL O-Range truly is an indispensable tool for every hunter. It also has an internal angle-compensating program installed, that displays the corrected shooting distance below the actual distance to the target. It works perfectly in combination with the ballistic turret or reticule because the adjustments can be made according to the corrected distance. The button on the top turns on the aiming circle and displays the distance. It starts measuring at 30 meters. Under the focus wheel, there is a mode button for the setup.
Leica Geovid HD-B is actually a re-design of the original Geovid HD with the roof prism type. They have designed the new Geovid with special Perger-Porro prisms, which collect even a larger amount of light and give outstanding brightness to the image. They have also upgraded the range finding performance, which is now even more powerful and accurate. It starts measuring from 10 (meters) and is precise up to 1825 meters. 12 pre-installed ballistic curves and an ability to upload your own ballistic information, makes Geovid HD-B binoculars ultra-versatile with the most offered functions among the rangefinders. It also has sensors for temperature, the angle of incline and air pressure for the most precise information for the ballistic engine possible.
Leica is far superior in use as a ballistic tool since it has a built-in calculator, which takes distance, angle, temperature, pressure and real use ballistic data into account. Swarovski solution only takes distance and angle into account.
Both binoculars are filled with Nitrogen and O-ring sealed for water and fog resistance. They also have special coatings on their external lenses, which repels water, oil, dust and other particles. Both are ergonomically designed for reliable and good grip. EL O-Range has in the specifications stated that it is also resistant to corrosion. The latter was in orange color and design introduced this year, in 2018, but in fact, they are the same binoculars that were already presented in 2011 under the name EL Range.
Geovid is made in Portugal and EL O-Range in Austria. Leica offers 5-year warranty period for this particular model and Swarovski 10 years. The price is similar for both (approximately 3,000 EUR).

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B

Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B

Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B

Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B and Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B

Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B and Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B & Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B & Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B

Group Test

How we made a test

We made a test with a group of 6 people with very diverse knowledge about sports optics. Some had previous experiences with binoculars and other almost none. We compared central and edge sharpness, glare, real FOV, eye-box and overall impression. Everyone in the test group tested binoculars individually without being influenced by other people. We also covered down any brand signs on binoculars, so no one was influenced by knowing which company manufactured which.

 Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B
Central sharpness:2/64/6
Edge sharpness:5/61/6
Glare:4/62/6
Real FOV:1/65/6
Eye-box:4/62/6
Overall impression:4/62/6
Better Range Finder: 2/64/6

The results were very different in each category so we cannot say which model is actually better. Both binoculars are one of the best in the market and so is their optical performance. According to the ratings of people who helped me with the test, Leica Geovid won in central sharpness category, has a wider Real FOV and a better rangefinder built-in. EL O-Range won in the edge sharpness, glare and in the eye-box category. The overall impression was also more on Swarovski’s side- 4 of 6 people would buy it rather than the Geovid. Most of them were amused about the color of the new EL O-Range.

Conclusion

In this comparison it is very difficult to say which binoculars are better, I can only say that I was definitely more fascinated by the Leica’s Geovid HD-B. Its optical performance is even better compared to Swarovski and the range finding technology offers even more options and more precise adjustments. I love the design and color of the new EL O-Range, as it is truly noticeable and outstanding, but if I was looking for a pair of binoculars offering the most among all rangefinders, I would definitely go for Geovid.
EL O-Range comes with a beautiful hunting-green fabric handbag, with rotating strap connector, Swarovski strap system- quick catch button and a cleaning cloth included.
Geovid HD-B comes with a bigger, black neoprene handbag. In the package there are also; carrying strap, cleaning cloth, micro SD card, and CR2 3V lithium battery.

Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B Kit

Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B Kit

Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B Kit

Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B Kit

Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B and Swarovski EL O-Range 10x42 W B Bags

Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B and Swarovski EL O-Range 10×42 W B Bags

Disclaimer

This test wasn’t financed and is unbiased. As a wildlife enthusiast interested in sports optics I made this tests because I would like to see how binoculars perform and if they meet the advertised expectations. With this test, I also hope that it will help people choose the right binoculars for their personal use. I am not in any way connected with the manufacturers of sports optics and I’m not personally in favor of particular brand.
In the end, I would like to thank Optics-trade.eu to lend me these binoculars for this test. I also thank them for letting me use their videos.

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