Specifications:

Objective diameter:  21 mm
Magnification:  7 x
Exit pupil: 3 mm
Eye relief (acc. to spec): 16 mm
Usable eye relief (measured from rim of eyecup): 14.5 mm
IPD: 50 – 74 mm
RFOV:  7.7  degrees = 135 m
AFOV: 51 degrees
Minimum focus distance (according to spec.): 2.5 m
Focus type: CF (direction of rotation from close to infinity: > clockwise)
Degrees of rotation of focus wheel from 3m to infinity (measured): 505 degrees
Range of diopter adjustment (acc. to spec.): +/- 4 dpt*
Excess travel of focus wheel beyond infinity position (according to spec.): 4 dpt*
Prism system:  Schmidt-Pechan
Waterproof: yes
Weight (measured, with eyepiece cover and strap): 276 g
Made in: Austria
*range of diopter adjustment not affected by position of focus wheel

 

Remarks:

Small pocket binoculars will always be subject to some controversy. Smaller than regular binoculars and therefore mostly “pocketable”, they are clearly not as powerful as their larger siblings with 30 mm or larger objective lenses, and people sometimes complain they cannot hold them as steady as the larger binoculars. Opinions about pocket binos range from “expensive toy” and “still better than no bino at all to “very useful”. Manufacturers have tried to find the right compromise between portability and performance by bringing an intermediate size (e.g. 8×25) to the market, larger than the small 8x20s, but smaller than the 8×30 class. However, their larger dimensions defy the purpose of pocketability, even if the usually slightly larger exit pupil (in 8×25 = 3 mm) results in a more comfortable viewing experience. With the “Curio”, Swarovski tried to go a new way: tiny dimensions (same size as the famous Ultravid 8×20, see separate post https://binocular.ch/leica-ultravid-8×20-br/), but an exit pupil of 3 mm (instead of 2.5mm in the Ultravid), and slightly improved steadiness by choosing a 7x magnification. The result convinces, both optically and mechanically. The image brightness is close to the one in 8×25 models, but the Curio still fits even in a shirt pocket. The Curio appears to have been designed by a famous designer and looks very nice and classy indeed; things like the focuser, diopter adjustment knob or screw-down eyecups work very well (despite the lack of intermediate clickstops). A pity then that a few small details tarnish the good impression:
-the chosen spot of the suspension hooks for attaching the strap is in the wrong place, it prevents the bino from hanging straight when you carry it, which is bit annoying
– the eyepiece cover can only be fitted when the Curio is fully folded, which is a real nuisance out in the fields and led BINOCULARS TODAY to replace the cover with the one from the Ultravid, which works perfectly fine on the Curio.
But these details aside, the Curio is a very fine instrument which competes well with the Ultravid 8×20, current holder of the top spot in pocket binoculars.

Ratings:

Review:

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