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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 01:39   #1
Nase
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zeiss sf 8x42 vs zeiss ht 8x42

I am new to this hobby and I want to choose between this two binos, which will give me more clearer and 3-dimensional view? Many thanks!
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 01:54   #2
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I would get the Victory SF, the better handling and ergos, and wider FOV, make it an easy decision.
The Zeiss SF is one of the best binoculars on the market today.

Try both if you can, and you will see what I mean.

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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 02:34   #3
Nase
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Many thanks for the experience, which will be brighter-zeiss sf or zeiss ht?
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 02:53   #4
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Originally Posted by Nase View Post
I am new to this hobby and I want to choose between this two binos, which will give me more clearer and 3-dimensional view? Many thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
I would get the Victory SF, the better handling and ergos, and wider FOV, make it an easy decision.
The Zeiss SF is one of the best binoculars on the market today.

Try both if you can, and you will see what I mean.

Jerry
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Many thanks for the experience, which will be brighter-zeiss sf or zeiss ht?
Jerry is 100% correct. IMO there is ZERO reason to pick the HT over the SF. The SMALL and probably un-noticable amount of increase in light transmission is of no consequence. The SF is the way to go.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 03:05   #5
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Ask Troub., he has both.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 03:12   #6
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Ask Troub., he has both.
That would be nice, but don't expect much, Lee is too politically correct.

Those types can not be expected to make a decision.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 03:31   #7
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I tried them both and I can't see why anybody would choose the HT. The SF has better ergonomics and a wider FOV and in my opinion is Zeiss's "Top Gun". Get the SF.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 07:38   #8
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Hello Nase, and welcome to the forum! To my eyes, the HT seems a bit more 3-D than the SF, but this might be a byproduct of the HT's higher pincushion distortion. Both are quite bright and you would not be making a mistake either way. Your best bet would be to try both and decide for yourself. And while you're at it, why not try the Conquest HD and see how it compares? I'm sure one of the British forum members can recommend a shop where all of these are available.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 12:20   #9
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Hi Nase and welcome, IMO you need to find a good dealer who will let you spend ample time with both, its no good picking the SF because most of us rate it higher, you may prefer the feel of the HT in your hands.

You write you`re new to this hobby so why limit yourself to just the Zeiss though ?, the Swarovski SV, SLC and Leica NV may suit you better for the same budget.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 14:09   #10
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many thanks to all of us for the great help. How swarovision 8.5x42 is compared to zeiss sf 8x42? I can't find any reviews and posts about noctvid 8x42 maybe because it is a newer model. I think that swarovski slc 8x42 or sv 8x32 will be worse than sv 8.5x42.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 15:24   #11
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http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/2...ed/review.html
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 16:50   #12
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Nase, post 10,
On the WEBsite of House of Outdoor in The Netherlands, I have published test reports dealing with all the brands mentioned: Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss (and not to forget, the "almost criminally underrated Meopta). Although they are in Dutch, the tables and plots will be self explanatory.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 17:48   #13
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I tried them both and I can't see why anybody would choose the HT. The SF has better ergonomics and a wider FOV and in my opinion is Zeiss's "Top Gun". Get the SF.
The SF and HT are different designs and there is a place for both. The SF uses lens flatteners for a flat field view and the HT does not. There are multiple posts on the forum from members who think the flat field is unnatural and prefer the view from a classic design. Some think just the opposite and prefer the flat view. Each group has a choice with the SF or the HT.

The other consideration is rolling ball. Some people pick up rolling ball in the SF 8X42 and to some extent the 10X42 along with the Swaro EL SV products, which makes them unusable. They would be candidates for the HT. Other folks have no problems with rolling ball in those models.

Nase,

I doubt Lee will give you an absolute answer to which is best but it is not because he will not make a decision. In fact he has made a decision, he bought each model! That is because they are different and serve different needs and he decided he has use for both. Lee is however the best person on the forum to explain the differences between the two.

You need to decide how you will be using the binocular and what you will be viewing. You also need to figure out what attributes are more or less important to you so you can then come up with a weighted evaluation. Attribute examples are flat field, FOV, eye relief, weight, size , color bias, focus speed and feel, etc.

If Lee or some of us have an idea of what you are after, then we can help point you to models that may be a good fit for your needs and priorities. I for one will not say one is best because each is excellent. However one may be the better choice for you.

In my case, I went with the SF because it best met my needs. I consider it more of a general purpose all around binocular and that is what I was after. The HT is known for its brightness and ability to bring out the finest detail in the most adverse conditions so if that were a high priority as might be for a wildlife biologist or a hunter on a once in a lifetime hunt, then the HT would be a great choice. I do not have that need and would much rather have the benefits of the SF wide FOV and great balance and still have superb optics.

If you are looking for one of the best overall general purpose birding binoculars without cost being an obstacle, then the Zeiss SF 8X42 should be the place to start your search.

To address your question on clearer and 3D, I never noticed a difference. If by clearer, you mean which has better resolution, then I do not know. It may not be an issue for you depending on your own acuity. Both may resolve past your own acuity level so then it would not be a factor. If you have 20/10 vision, then you might see a difference. I do not recall seeing any properly conducted documented resolution tests of these two models. They could be close enough that any difference could due to sample variation.

The 3D in the SF looks fine to me. I have looked through and compared the SF and HT and do not recall any noticeable difference in the apparent 3D. Lee may have more to offer on that. I doubt that would be a factor in deciding between the two. What would most likely impact the apparent 3d is the flat field design vs the classic design.
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Last edited by BruceH : Thursday 21st September 2017 at 18:11. Reason: Add missing word and stm, added question answers
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 18:40   #14
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HT or SF?

First you have to decide what you want your binos for.

Here is how I use my SF and HT.

When the weather is cloudy and grey and dark, I choose HT for its extra brightness. It isn't a lot brighter, but it is just noticeably brighter and especially in dull conditions or at dawn or dusk.

When the weather is more settled I choose SF because its wider field of view is very useful for my needs and the handling balance means it is easier to keep the binos up to my eyes for longer so I can observe behaviour.

I bought the HT first and when SF came along I still liked HT so much I didn't want to part with it. In terms of perceived sharpness I would say they are pretty much equal to my eyes and the colour balance is similar.

If I had to choose just one of these I would choose SF because of its field of view and handling.

Lee
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 18:56   #15
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Lee:

Sorry about my comments above. You explained things perfectly.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 20:20   #16
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Lee:

Sorry about my comments above. You explained things perfectly.

Jerry
I was sorry too. Good manners costs $Zero and it would be a shame if this turned out to be too expensive for you.

But, thanks for your apology, now do us all a favour, continue like this and cut out the bad-tempered sniping at folks. There are other ways to disagree with people without that and you are quite capable of it.

Lee
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Old Friday 22nd September 2017, 00:31   #17
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Thank you all of us for the great help. I read the review and it was very useful for me. Many thanks!
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Old Friday 22nd September 2017, 02:59   #18
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Thank you all of us for the great help. I read the review and it was very useful for me. Many thanks!
The thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is the difference in close focus. The SF beats the HT by about a foot. Studying butterflies and/or dragonflies, the SF has the edge. Otherwise, Lee has the differences nailed.
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Old Friday 22nd September 2017, 11:16   #19
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The thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is the difference in close focus. The SF beats the HT by about a foot. Studying butterflies and/or dragonflies, the SF has the edge. Otherwise, Lee has the differences nailed.
Thanks for mentioning this Steve because the other advantage of the SF's wider field of view is that you are much more able to capture a view of a nearby zooming butterfly or dragonfly with it than with HT.

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Old Friday 22nd September 2017, 13:52   #20
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Jerry is 100% correct. IMO there is ZERO reason to pick the HT over the SF. The SMALL and probably un-noticable amount of increase in light transmission is of no consequence. The SF is the way to go.
What complete nonsense. I have recently bought the 8x42 HT after much deliberation and can tell you they are quite magnificent. I personally don't see any benefit with the SF. The HT's are beautiful to hold, the image is somehow nicer and brighter. And they're about 500 cheaper over here.

Also depends how you feel about field flatteners and a darker image.

The HT's are in a league of their own. If you test them both for yourself I don't think the decision will be difficult.
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Old Friday 22nd September 2017, 15:50   #21
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What complete nonsense. I have recently bought the 8x42 HT after much deliberation and can tell you they are quite magnificent. I personally don't see any benefit with the SF. The HT's are beautiful to hold, the image is somehow nicer and brighter. And they're about 500 cheaper over here.

Also depends how you feel about field flatteners and a darker image.

The HT's are in a league of their own. If you test them both for yourself I don't think the decision will be difficult.
Sollas
Don't take it so hard, we all have different needs.

I have both SF and HT and while I wouldn't want to part with the HT 8x42 there is no doubt in my mind the SF's wider field of view and handling balance offer me more. The fov is great for scanning the skies, seas and land for stuff and makes it easier to get a view of fast flying nearby insects like butterflies and dragonflies, and the handling balance makes it easier to hold the bins steady for long periods of observing behaviour. For example we were watching otters not far from the village of Sollas on North Uist last week and SF is easier to hold steady for this length of time.

When the skies darken with cloud or time of day then HT is the one I reach for.

Lee
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 22:37   #22
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Thanks to all of us for the great posts!
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