Dad handed me the green binoculars with the flying eagle on them and a name he couldn’t pronounce. The eagle had its talons stretched out and I pictured him plunging into the water for a fish. I took the binos and he said, “be careful.” He had every right, of course, when it came to hunting. My excitement often led me to anything ‘but’ careful.

They were heavy in my hands and solid, unlike the pair I lost on the pond that year. We were sitting in the dark in a parking lot and I glassed across the road to a gas station sign and quickly jerked them back down to my lap. “Whoa!” I held them up again in total disbelief. I was startled - I might as well have been hanging on that sign.

“Okay, hand them back”, he said with a grin and a “pretty clear huh” remark as well. My life would never be the same!

I sat in silence and wondered where the key to the safe was? No doubt he would put them in the safe.

That was more years ago than I care to mention and to see an image that clear was something I have never forgotten. It’s no secret that Swarovski is on the leading edge of high-end optics. The new 10X42 and 12X50 ELs were placed down on my desk and as I opened the box, I heard myself say, “Be Careful.”

They are lighter now than the older models, but no less solid with a much sleeker ergonomic design. Pressing them to my eyes could only be described as ‘good old-fashioned fun’. The carrying strap has been modified and detailed engineering obviously went into the idea for adjusting the neck strap to the preferred height.

Out of the box, the Swarovski 10X42 and 12X50 ELs come complete with eyepieces that seamlessly integrate onto the connected strap. Twist in and out eye cups for use with or without glasses. Objective lens covers and lens caps. The diopter is secured by turning it 180 degrees clockwise, a handy feature to keep the setting where you want it. Each eye can be customized to fit your eye sight by focusing the wheels of each lens.

The low light capability of this world-famous eagle has on so many occasions put animals in my clients’ freezers that I simply would not have been able to make the call on with a lesser product.

One thing of note is the 12X50s are challenging to hand hold. I found the UTA Universal Tripod Adapter to be almost mandatory when glassing for long hours. So, if you are ready to take your game to a new level and hold true quality in your hands, stop by your local Sportsman’s Warehouse and at the very least, peer across the store at one of the mounts. I dare you to act casual about that image!