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Old Monday 17th July 2017, 11:16   #1
Helen O
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Replacing 8x42 T* FL with lighter weight model

I own a pair of the subject 8 x 42 T* FL binoculars, and have always been very pleased indeed with them.

However, I find they are quite heavy to carry with me, along with cameras/lens when flying long haul, and I would like to replace them with a pair of similar quality, but, if possible, weighing less. The primary use is wildlife in Africa as well as here in UK. The low light capability is very good and is an element which is important to me.

What model is recommended to use in place of the pair I have that are perhaps more practical to carry around when travelling long haul? i.e. weigh less, but quality/capability still as good?

I want to stick with Zeiss, as very happy with them.

Many thanks.
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Old Monday 17th July 2017, 11:35   #2
Graham Osborne
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Zeiss FL 8x32 perhaps? 550g compared to 755g for 8x42.
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Old Monday 17th July 2017, 11:38   #3
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Zeiss 8x32 FL is one alternative, but I would also look at 8x32 Leica Ultravid HD-Plus. Shorter eye-relief might be an issue (if you wear glasses) with most smaller bins, so you need to check if they work for you.

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Old Monday 17th July 2017, 12:30   #4
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Hi Helen

If you want to stick with Zeiss I would wait till at least the Birdfair (in August), and see what the "brand new product", is that was trumpeted in the Birdforum/Zeiss email.

You may be aware that the 32mm Zeiss SF's are in development - perhaps these will be launched or maybe it will be a new spotting scope.
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Old Monday 17th July 2017, 12:59   #5
John Cantelo
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I too have a pair of Zeiss 8 x 42 T* FL binoculars which I decided to supplement, for much the same reasons as you suggest, with a pair of 8x30 Kite Lynx HD (see - http://www.bestbinocularsreviews.com...LynxHD-127.htm). I now find, however, that I invariably go birding with the smaller binoculars rather than the Zeiss. On a direct comparison, inevitably, they're less good optically but this isn't something I'm aware of in 'normal' field use except towards dusk. I'm sure you'd feel the same with Zeiss 8x32 FL, 8x32 Leica Ultravid HD-Plus, etc
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Old Monday 17th July 2017, 13:21   #6
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Thanks all. To be honest, I'm not too bothered about having the latest - I'll be content buying a used pair. Maybe I'll sell my scope to fund the new binoculars, on second thoughts....maybe not.

I do wear glasses, so for obvious reasons I would need to try them first. Good point about the Birdfair, it's been a while since I attended.
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Old Monday 17th July 2017, 16:20   #7
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Hi,

going to birdfair or another place where you can try lots of bins is indeed a great idea. And if I were in your position, I would certainly have a closer look at the 8x32 FL which hopefully is on display - at least the german Zeiss pages still list it...

And if you like it, used examples come up from time to time...

If you want some other options, Holger Merlitz did a review of some 8x32 bins in 2010 (link below - german only) - the top scorers from top down were 1st Nikon EDG - best in test but also fairly large and heavy (650g), tied 2nd Zeiss FL and Swaro EL (probably non Swarovision in 2010?) with Zeiss having better optics and Swaro nicer look and feel, tied 4th Leica UV HD (non plus) and Kowa Genesis - Kowa slightly better optically, Leica better look and feel and easier view - but only 13.3mm ER - no use with glasses, HD plus is the same) and 6th Meopta Meostar B1 - best value.

http://www.holgermerlitz.de/8x32/test8x32.html - if you want me to translate his comments on some models, just send me a PM.

I think all of these are worth a look as might be the Zeiss Conquest HD which was absent in this test (not yet released?).
Maybe except the Leica due to insufficient ER for users with glasses - all others mentioned are around 15-16mm which is equal to or just a little bit below the 16mm of your FL 8x42 - the Nikon EDG has 18.5mm...

Joachim

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Old Monday 17th July 2017, 16:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen O View Post
Thanks all. To be honest, I'm not too bothered about having the latest - I'll be content buying a used pair. Maybe I'll sell my scope to fund the new binoculars, on second thoughts....maybe not.

I do wear glasses, so for obvious reasons I would need to try them first. Good point about the Birdfair, it's been a while since I attended.
Hi Helen,

Have you seen that Focus Optics, in the countryside north-west of Coventry and so not that long a drive from Oxfordshire, has a secondhand pair of Zeiss 8x32 FLs in stock?

http://www.focusoptics.eu/webshop/us...ng-edition-37/

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Old Monday 17th July 2017, 17:16   #9
Helen O
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Thanks chaps, appreciated all the info.
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Old Tuesday 18th July 2017, 02:32   #10
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Hi Helen,
I have the 8X42 FL along with a few other binoculars you may be interested in. I'm going to list the weights from the same digital scale. All weights shown are with objective covers ON except where noted. I know you specified Zeiss, but I'm gonna throw in a couple more. Hope this helps!

Zeiss FL 8X42- 29oz

Nikon Monarch HG 8X42- 25.4oz
Leica Trinovid HD 8X42- 26.5oz

Zeiss FL 8X32- 21oz
Zeiss Conquest HD 8X32(no objective covers)- 23oz
Swarovski SV 8X32- 22.5oz
Swarovski CL 8X30- 19oz

I wear eyeglasses so these are all do-able with eyeglasses on. The Zeiss FL 8X32 is borderline.
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Old Tuesday 18th July 2017, 03:17   #11
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Helen O,

You might wait to try the new Zeiss Victory Pocket 8x25, which should reach the UK any time now, especially as you prefer Zeiss. It is much lighter, and optically should be only a little different, possibly better in some ways, than the little Kite Lynx 8x30 suggested above, except for the Kite's very wide view.

Chuck,

You might not be aware that many? of us never use objective covers at all, even in rough conditions. I put them away as soon as I get a binocular, and have not encountered the slightest damage, or problem, like fingerprint marks, despite keeping the instrument on vehicle seats with other stuff. One just has to take the minimum care to avoid such issues, turning it suitably when so placing, etc.
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Old Tuesday 18th July 2017, 04:14   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen O View Post
I own a pair of the subject 8 x 42 T* FL binoculars, and have always been very pleased indeed with them.

However, I find they are quite heavy to carry with me, along with cameras/lens when flying long haul, and I would like to replace them with a pair of similar quality, but, if possible, weighing less. The primary use is wildlife in Africa as well as here in UK. The low light capability is very good and is an element which is important to me.

What model is recommended to use in place of the pair I have that are perhaps more practical to carry around when travelling long haul? i.e. weigh less, but quality/capability still as good?

I want to stick with Zeiss, as very happy with them.

Many thanks.
Hi Helen,

The Zeiss 8x42T*FL are a reasonably light pair for a 42mm anyway. Most recent releases have been heavier than the FL's. If low light performance is important, then I imagine you would want to stick with a 5mm EP? .... that won't be doable in a Zeiss.

The only optically comparable 42mm size bins which are noticeably lighter are the Minox 8x43 APO HG, and the new Nikon 8x42 MHG - both are compact and around 670 grams (~23.5Oz). This would be a useful weight saving while keeping the 5mm+ EP. The only thing you may notice is that CA handling is not to the same level as the FL which is one of the best - you'd have to try for yourself and see what you think.

If wanting to stay with Zeiss though that means 32mm's and taking a bit of a hit on the EP. You have the 8x32T*FL, or the rumoured 32mm SF should be along shortly (not sure what it's size and weight will finally be, but likely a little bit above the FL32, maybe 32mm SV size and weight).

Another 32mm I would consider is the Swarovski 8x32 SV, pretty compact, light 580 grams (20.5Oz), bright, and ease of view that looks like you are looking through a full size bin. Some say that this results in glare handling issues, but in all other respects truly excellent - a lion killer! - you really should try for yourself.

Good luck!


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