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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 18:22   #26
Vespobuteo
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holy cow!

so the rumors were true, after all,

:-)
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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 18:30   #27
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SF schnell Fokus
OK, that right there was funny
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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 18:38   #28
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pdf-manual says 790 g, homepage says 780 g
zeiss and weights...
;-)

the FOV is crazy, 148 m for the 8x42,

field flatteners,
better edge sharpness
a bridge design,
SP-prisms,
better eye relief,
92% transmission,
color fidelity,
huge field of view,

it's a Sweiss/Zeissovsky!

:-)

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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 18:39   #29
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Its a familiar story Hermann, except I bought my Dialyt 10x40 BGAs in 1986 and kept them until 2003 and then EL, FL, HT .............

Lee
So multiple lifetime investments...multiple lifetime products (scope, bino and camera etc)....

I think I am going to consider my HT my lifetime bino investment for now...my camera and 400mm lens a 'half-lifetime investment' and work on my scope for a second new lifetime scope investment since I just sold an older Swaro which was an initial scope lifetime investment.
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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 19:09   #30
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I called Zeiss USA this morning asking when the new SF will be available for purchase. I could not get a specific answer, but the agent was expecting shipments to begin around the end of June. So, maybe we will start seeing them sometime in July here in the US, assuming no HT type issues.

Hopefully Mike J will let us know.

I also asked about the 32mm models but the agent had not been given any information on those.
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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 19:38   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
pdf-manual says 790 g, homepage says 780 g
zeiss and weights...
;-)

the FOV is crazy, 148 m for the 8x42,

field flatteners,
better edge sharpness
a bridge design,
SP-prisms,
better eye relief,
92% transmission,
color fidelity,
huge field of view,
You left out what is for me perhaps the most important feature compared to the SV--focusing speed and precision. The promotional material implies that it is effortless and intuitive which suggests that it might even be variable-ratio!

--AP

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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 20:25   #32
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pdf-manual says 790 g, homepage says 780 g
zeiss and weights...
Zeiss isn't the only manufacturer without decent scales.

Swarovski Habicht 7x42: Swarovski says 680 gr, my scales say 618 gr.

Hermann
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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 20:43   #33
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I called Zeiss USA this morning asking when the new SF will be available for purchase. I could not get a specific answer, but the agent was expecting shipments to begin around the end of June. So, maybe we will start seeing them sometime in July here in the US, assuming no HT type issues.

Hopefully Mike J will let us know.

I also asked about the 32mm models but the agent had not been given any information on those.
July was the plan, but I realistically see late August. This will be a high demand global product so as production begins, I will assume availability will be limited as the factory gets going. Every region will get some but it can not be confirmed how fast. Keep in touch with your local retailer is my best suggestion. I can't comment on a 32mm at this time. We will need to get this product under control first before we evaluate the viability of a 32.
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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 21:13   #34
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You left out what is for me perhaps the most important feature compared to the SV--focusing speed and precision. The promotional material implies that it is effortless and intuitive which suggests that it might even be variable-ratio!

--AP
For me, too. But 1.8 turns from close focus to infinity sounds needlessly and disappointingly slow... FL is about 1.1 or a little less.

http://www.zeiss.co.uk/content/dam/S...TORY-SF_EN.pdf

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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 21:27   #35
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A couple of months ago I got my 10x42 Victory HT, but I don't think I have to run and sell it. At least the HT has a 3% greater light transmission rate than the new SF (Smart Focusing).
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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 22:02   #36
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For me, too. But 1.8 turns from close focus to infinity sounds needlessly and disappointingly slow... FL is about 1.1 or a little less.

http://www.zeiss.co.uk/content/dam/S...TORY-SF_EN.pdf
Hmm...that's the first time I've seen the 1.8 turns info. That does sound slow, if accurate. I can only hope it describes the total travel available, and that 0.8 turn is actually for focus beyond infinity. The reference to 2.5 turns in conventional bins is marketing BS. The 8x32 FL is exactly one turn from 5 ft to infinity. Doesn't look likely that my hope for a variable ratio mechanism will be fulfilled.

--AP
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Old Wednesday 4th June 2014, 22:23   #37
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For me, too. But 1.8 turns from close focus to infinity sounds needlessly and disappointingly slow... FL is about 1.1 or a little less.

http://www.zeiss.co.uk/content/dam/S...TORY-SF_EN.pdf
I think it might be about the same speed as the FL:s
since closest focus distance differs with 0,5 meter,

SF (=HT) focus wheel size is also larger than FL, and should be more precise,

or SF might have some kind of progressive focusing (like the Zeiss scopes),

for me it actually look like a pair of binos that could be a worthy replacement
of my 7x42 FL:s,

KISKA designers? and Zeiss seem to have done a great job on the ergonomics design,


Last edited by Vespobuteo : Wednesday 4th June 2014 at 22:25.
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 01:04   #38
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July was the plan, but I realistically see late August. This will be a high demand global product so as production begins, I will assume availability will be limited as the factory gets going. Every region will get some but it can not be confirmed how fast. Keep in touch with your local retailer is my best suggestion. I can't comment on a 32mm at this time. We will need to get this product under control first before we evaluate the viability of a 32.
Mike .... Thanks for the follow-up.

I noticed Zeiss is signed up to attend the Tucson, AZ Bird & Wildlife Nature Expo in August. Should I make it down there, I assume there will be some Victory SF models available for viewing along with some of the other new Zeiss products!
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 02:29   #39
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Mike,

Have you handled one, now that the cat is out of the bag?

I'm really wondering about transmissions and color rendering / bias... (?)
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 03:23   #40
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My gosh Zeiss even blows what binocular they're talking about at the end of their SF 42 press release they say immediately following the SF42 technical data, "Every pair of ZEISS VICTORY HT binoculars . . ."
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 03:33   #41
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post

Still don't think Brock's gunna like it ...

What's all that about Brock, the real question is: will Dennis like it? Will we have a new best birding binocular in the world?
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I think Brock should be the token lab rat for rb testing... with all binoculars universally measured per the Brock Test.

If the SF proves to be a Swarovision Facsimile... maybe Dennis will be unable to decide "the best birding binocular in the world" ... how nice would that be???

On the other hand, can't wait to hear user reports...

CG
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 03:43   #42
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Zeiss and Swarovski probably have an agreement worked out on the Swarovision similar SF body style.
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 04:25   #43
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Do you mean the AFOV specs look too low for the naive (magnification X real field) method and too high for the ISO method?
Yes Henry, that's exactly what I was referring to. None of the calcs marry up either way.
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Could be they are actual measurements of the true angle subtended by the apparent field, which would include the effects of distortion. Swarovski AFOV specs appear to be done that way now. It's a good idea, but obviously AFOV specs done that way can only be compared to others done the same way....
If that's the case, where does that leave us? Do we need distortion values (k) and complex calcs to compare apples to apples? Reading the marketing guff, there's enough playing fast and loose already without makers having further leeway!


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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 04:29   #44
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My gosh Zeiss even blows what binocular they're talking about at the end of their SF 42 press release they say immediately following the SF42 technical data, "Every pair of ZEISS VICTORY HT binoculars . . ."
Yeah, I saw that one too!


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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 04:37   #45
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Hmm...that's the first time I've seen the 1.8 turns info. That does sound slow, if accurate. I can only hope it describes the total travel available, and that 0.8 turn is actually for focus beyond infinity. The reference to 2.5 turns in conventional bins is marketing BS. The 8x32 FL is exactly one turn from 5 ft to infinity. Doesn't look likely that my hope for a variable ratio mechanism will be fulfilled.

--AP
Alexis, I'm certain it's just bog stock linear, despite all the "dynamic" references. .... we went through the same speculative machinations when the recent SLC came out. RonE explained it best if you care to dig that up, and agreed -- it doesn't sound lightning quick either.... prolly quite deliberate.... baby steps for former Swaro owners!


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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 04:46   #46
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Okay, this makes no sense to me. Zeiss now has the dubious honor of being the first to break the $3,000 price barrier in a full sized alpha, which several alpha owners said they would not pay a couple years back on my Sport Optics Consumer Index poll thread.

Why did they do this? Are they afraid the HT wasn't as good as the SV EL? Sure seems like it.

I don't recall anyone saying, yeah, the HT is nice, but it's no SV EL. Have HT sales been that poor?

If Swaro doesn't threaten Zeiss with litigation, then Nikon should sue Swaro for not suing Zeiss and yet threatening to sue them for the same design, which ironically in Nikon's case preceded the release of the SV EL!

First Zeiss does something sensible in making the Terra ED for the everyman (except the too fast focuser, which is not sensible for every man), and now they rocket beyond the Zeissosphere with the $3K+ SF, which only those with Super Finances could afford.

How much better could those R&D dollars been spent in giving the common folks an extended line of Terra ED bins, they way Zeiss did with the HTs and Conquest HDs?

Now Leica won't be able to sell a new $3K+ roof unless they also make an SV EL clone, which they couldn't afford to do w/out manufacturing them outside of Western Europe.

I hope Mike explains the thinking behind the SF, because I sure can't fathom it.

Brock
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 06:33   #47
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Okay, this makes no sense to me. Zeiss now has the dubious honor of being the first to break the $3,000 price barrier in a full sized alpha, which several alpha owners said they would not pay a couple years back on my Sport Optics Consumer Index poll thread.

Why did they do this? Are they afraid the HT wasn't as good as the SV EL? Sure seems like it.

I don't recall anyone saying, yeah, the HT is nice, but it's no SV EL. Have HT sales been that poor?

If Swaro doesn't threaten Zeiss with litigation, then Nikon should sue Swaro for not suing Zeiss and yet threatening to sue them for the same design, which ironically in Nikon's case preceded the release of the SV EL!

First Zeiss does something sensible in making the Terra ED for the everyman (except the too fast focuser, which is not sensible for every man), and now they rocket beyond the Zeissosphere with the $3K+ SF, which only those with Super Finances could afford.

How much better could those R&D dollars been spent in giving the common folks an extended line of Terra ED bins, they way Zeiss did with the HTs and Conquest HDs?

Now Leica won't be able to sell a new $3K+ roof unless they also make an SV EL clone, which they couldn't afford to do w/out manufacturing them outside of Western Europe.

I hope Mike explains the thinking behind the SF, because I sure can't fathom it.

Brock
Answering a few questions that have come up.

1. Yes, I have handled them, have a pair in my hand at this moment in Austria birding near the Hungarian border. Without a lot of details, this product "IS" as significant as we claim it is. It's quite amazing.

Regarding HT and SF, HT is here to stay. It is successful and gaining speed. So, the question remains "Why do we bring another premium binocular?"

First, this will sell in the USA for appx $2700, so we didn't push it over $3000. It's $100 over the SV, and for good reason. Second, The HT is a great bino, but it has USP's (unique selling propositions/features) that some like, others don't. The SF was built to include "different" USP's, of which will ultimately be interesting to buyers that are looking for a feature that the HT does not have. Oddly enough, these SF's cater a high ratio of USP's that Birders are asking for, so we launch it explaining that it is a "Birding and Nature Observation" binocular. We know it will be successful in all markets though.

Ultimately, when a consumer is buying a premium binocular, we would like that person choosing between a Zeiss and a Zeiss, not choosing between Zeiss and something else.

Mathematically, when we add another choice (albeit a really good choice) to the premium offerings, we add saturation to the market, gaining market share.
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 07:27   #48
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Thanks again for posting here, always interesting to hear your perspective!

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Ultimately, when a consumer is buying a premium binocular, we would like that person choosing between a Zeiss and a Zeiss, not choosing between Zeiss and something else.
I think that makes a lot of sense. Specs of the SF are basically better in all regards than the Swarovision, so if the SF turns out to be good in reality (including good stray light control and ease of view), then the choice will be indeed be between SF and HT for many.

@Brock, why so sceptic? After all the moaning about Swaro's achilles' heel, I'd thought that you should like the idea to build a binocular around a perfect focusser and even name the bin after this
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 08:37   #49
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Okay, this makes no sense to me. Zeiss now has the dubious honor of being the first to break the $3,000 price barrier in a full sized alpha, which several alpha owners said they would not pay a couple years back on my Sport Optics Consumer Index poll thread.

Why did they do this? Are they afraid the HT wasn't as good as the SV EL? Sure seems like it.

I don't recall anyone saying, yeah, the HT is nice, but it's no SV EL. Have HT sales been that poor?

If Swaro doesn't threaten Zeiss with litigation, then Nikon should sue Swaro for not suing Zeiss and yet threatening to sue them for the same design, which ironically in Nikon's case preceded the release of the SV EL!

First Zeiss does something sensible in making the Terra ED for the everyman (except the too fast focuser, which is not sensible for every man), and now they rocket beyond the Zeissosphere with the $3K+ SF, which only those with Super Finances could afford.

How much better could those R&D dollars been spent in giving the common folks an extended line of Terra ED bins, they way Zeiss did with the HTs and Conquest HDs?

Now Leica won't be able to sell a new $3K+ roof unless they also make an SV EL clone, which they couldn't afford to do w/out manufacturing them outside of Western Europe.

I hope Mike explains the thinking behind the SF, because I sure can't fathom it.

Brock
From your post, you clearly cannot fathom it and I fear you are one of the few or just one of the stubborn. A lot of assumptions that don't make sense at all...
It won't be much more expensive than the Swarovision, and it will be a bit better in every aspect. What else to expect? You can't make the Swarovision MUCH better, so I think, if claims can hold up, Zeiss made a pretty good binocular with flat, very wide field, good weight, fast focuser that goes to 1.5m (hence the 1.8 turns), with good ergonomics and very good transmission.

The HT is designed for centre sharpness and low-light (hence the 95%). A flat-field bin with Schmidt-Pechan cannot reach this, but the SF is a very good compromise between field, focus, transmission. The HT is less of a compromise for transmission, but it has a more limited field of view.

So 2 perfectly reasonable alpha binoculars, and even I would have difficulty (if I WOULD be in the market for a new bin, but I'm not!) to choose between those.
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Old Thursday 5th June 2014, 09:01   #50
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Zeiss and Swarovski probably have an agreement worked out on the Swarovision similar SF body style.
Hi Sagi

I'm no lawyer but as I understand it the Swaro patent covered the focus mechanism not the body style.

SF's body might look similar to EL with a bridge next to the objectives but look higher up and there are bridges each side of the focus wheel, not just on one side like EL: its a triple bridge, not a dual.

Lee
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