Swarovski Optik CL Curio 7×21 Binoculars Review
Review Date – January 2024
Price as reviewed – £660
- Excellent brightness despite small objectives
- Fantastic image quality
- Large field of view
- Metal parts look great but could be prone to wear
- Close focus could be better for insect observation
Swarovski Optik are known as makers of the finest binoculars and spotting scopes currently available. As well as making traditional optics they also produce innovative products which push the boundaries of what we know about binoculars and spotting scopes.
One such product is the Swarovski Optik Curio 7×21. This ultra compact, stylish binocular is designed by leading Australian designer Marc Newsom.
But how does this binocular fair as a usable optic, rather than a piece of design.
The first thing to say is the Curio 7×21 is a beautiful looking binocular. Totally original and unlike anything else available on the market, especially in striking silver and orange!
The small size makes this a lovely binocular to have for walks, sporting events, or more relaxing birding/wildlife watching. In the hand it doesn’t feel so small that its awkward to use and the position of the focusing wheel is perfect for easy use.
Our only gripe is one of the Curio 7×21’s major talking points. While the metal design of the centre of the binocular looks fantastic we are concerned about its long term durability. The metal finish is very attractive but the risk of scratching it and leading to the binocular looking tired is sadly something that we feel could happen.
Swarovski rarely fall short when it comes to optical quality.
It’s the same with the Curio 7×21. Considering this has a tiny 21mm objective the brightness of this binocular is wonderful. The glass quality is also clearly as good as anything Swarovski offer with sharpness and colour absolutely top draw.
Using a 7x magnification allows the field of view to also be excellent at 7.7 degrees. This gives the view a really immersive feel and not the tunnel vision effect which a lot of small binoculars have.
Colours are also generally neutral with no strong lean towards enhanced warmer tones. When you look at the colours on a bird, they are in line with how they would appear with the naked eye.
Focusing performance is also very good with a smooth, crisp action which makes finding your subject an easy thing to do. A bit of a letdown though is the minimum focus distance of 2.5 metres. With the 7x magnification this leads to a small magnification ratio which results in the binocular lacking the close focus performance for insect watching, something a binocular of this size is usually very good for.
Fortunately, the eyecups offer plenty of eye relief and are comfortable when in use, allowing this binocular to be used for long periods of time without discomfort.
As with other Swarovski binoculars it is almost impossible to fault the optical quality.
So, the Swarovski Optik Curio 7×21. Style over substance? or a genuinely excellent small binocular for wildlife watching?
Well, it’s probably the latter. It’s a genuinely great binocular with superb optics, a great field of view, and other typical Swarovski qualities.
A close focus of 2.5 metres is a bit of a shame but doesn’t massively detract from what is a very good piece of optical design.
However, with the more rounded Swarovski Optik CL Pocket 8×25 being available for not much more money it does leave us wondering where the Curio 7×21 fits in. But if you do want a super compact binocular with excellent optics then this a binocular we can definitely recommend.
We hope you’ve found this review useful, if you’d like to find out more or purchase this binocular you can do so by clicking the arrow below, contacting us, or by popping into our Norfolk shop.
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