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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 21:23   #1
batvenci
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zeiss sf 8x42 vs swarovski 8x32

I am interested in comparison between these two binoculars, because they have large fov(148 and 141m). Which will give more pleasing, wow view with clarity and 3D image?
Also is there an updated model of zeiss sf 8x42 t* with reduced yellow tint, rolling ball effect and sharper and contraster image. For this strongest rolling ball effect I read here: http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/al...orysf8x42.html It is improved in the latest models?
Many thanks!
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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 23:03   #2
Pileatus
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Originally Posted by batvenci View Post
I am interested in comparison between these two binoculars, because they have large fov(148 and 141m). Which will give more pleasing, wow view with clarity and 3D image?
Also is there an updated model of zeiss sf 8x42 t* with reduced yellow tint, rolling ball effect and sharper and contraster image. For this strongest rolling ball effect I read here: http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/al...orysf8x42.html It is improved in the latest models?
Many thanks!
I've examined the 8X42 SF (black version) a few times but never used it for birding. I'll be taking another serious look at it in October. I mentioned the 8X32 SV in this reply...
http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...01&postcount=3

My impressions regarding the 8X42 SF:
Superb eye relief coupled with a wide FOV results in an immediate walk-in-view with a very high wow factor. It's the first roof prism bin requiring me to use the first eyepiece stop. I saw the original gray version a few years ago but it was the improved black version that truly caught my eye...so to speak.
Superb handling due to weight distribution and positioning of the focus wheel.
Sharp as a tack across most of the FOV.
I have not used it in the field, where shortcomings become immediately obvious to individual users. Owners can offer more "field-worthy" advice.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 01:27   #3
denco@comcast.n
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I had the Swarovski 8x32 SV and have compared it to the Zeiss 8x42 SF. The Zeiss has a much smoother focus, bigger FOV and a bigger aperture. The Zeiss will be brighter in low light situations and will have easier eye placement due to the bigger exit pupil and also has much better flare control. The Zeiss also has better contrast and a more 3D view. Swarovski's use some type of greaseless spring system in their focuser so it won't freeze up in cold weather but it creates stiction. There is no doubt in my mind the Zeiss SF is a superior binocular and it is the one I would choose between the two.

Last edited by denco@comcast.n : Monday 11th September 2017 at 15:46.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 06:47   #4
Racuuna
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The swarovski has better contrast than the Zeiss and Will appear sharper om small textures. The only advantage of the Zeiss is THE bigger fov. The sweetspoot of the swarovski is 100 % and the Zeiss is about 90-95% also the swarovski got more neutral Colorado while the Zeiss to my young eyes where to much om the green side. The swarovski Will be cheaper also.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 09:59   #5
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Zeiss has better flare/glare control?
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 10:40   #6
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What is "wow view"?
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 14:18   #7
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So you are REALLY trying to decide between the SV 8X32, SV 8.5X42, and the SF 8X42?

If size/weight is an issue for you the answer is of course easy...get the SV 8X32. It's always surprised me that one can get this much binocular in 32mm.

Between the two 42mm....I think a good case can be made for either one. It's going to come down to personal preference. You haven't given us much to go on concerning how/where the binoculars will be used. It would probably be a good idea for you to at the very least look thru each one. You would probably be elated with either.
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 17:29   #8
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And while we always have a lot to say about the optics on Bird Forum you should not discount the handling advantages of SF due to it's unique balance. If you like watching behaviour of birds, animals, anything, for long periods of time with the bins up to your eyes, try the SF. You will like it.

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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 02:34   #9
batvenci
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Yes I will choose between the SV 8X32, SV 8.5X42, and the SF 8X42(and maybe HT 8x42). Very useful comments, many thanks to all!
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 08:09   #10
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The swarovski has better contrast than the Zeiss and Will appear sharper om small textures. The only advantage of the Zeiss is THE bigger fov. The sweetspoot of the swarovski is 100 % and the Zeiss is about 90-95% also the swarovski got more neutral Colorado while the Zeiss to my young eyes where to much om the green side. The swarovski Will be cheaper also.
This confuses me...if binoc A has 100% sweet spot (vs 90% of binoc B)....and binoc B has 10% wider field of view...am I right to say that the 10% "non sweet spot" of binoc B should be compared against a "non spot, neither sweet nor non sweet" of binoc A, due to its narrower fov?

Not sure I am making sense...
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 17:20   #11
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This confuses me...if binoc A has 100% sweet spot (vs 90% of binoc B)....and binoc B has 10% wider field of view...am I right to say that the 10% "non sweet spot" of binoc B should be compared against a "non spot, neither sweet nor non sweet" of binoc A, due to its narrower fov?

Not sure I am making sense...
You make perfect sense. It is also important to bear in mind that no binos are as sharp at the edge as they are in the centre. Even Swaro EL and Zeiss SF. Yes they are easily sharp enough to be called sharp but there is a fall-off in sharpness towards the edge which makes it very subjective as to how wide you decide the sweet spot to be.

But going back to your question if the bino with the widest field of view has a usable level of sharpness at the very edge of the field you are going to see more than through bino which may be sharper at the edge, but which has a significantly smaller field of view.

And remember that the field of view at 1,000 metres represents the diameter of the circle of view that you get. If you want to truly compare how much of the world you see through two pairs of binos you need to work out the area of the circles of view (area = pi x radius squared) and compare these. You will discover that the seemingly minor difference of a few metres at 1,000 metres distance actually makes a big difference to the area of sky, hillside, sea or coastal mud or marsh that you can see.

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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 23:13   #12
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You make perfect sense. It is also important to bear in mind that no binos are as sharp at the edge as they are in the centre. Even Swaro EL and Zeiss SF. Yes they are easily sharp enough to be called sharp but there is a fall-off in sharpness towards the edge which makes it very subjective as to how wide you decide the sweet spot to be.

But going back to your question if the bino with the widest field of view has a usable level of sharpness at the very edge of the field you are going to see more than through bino which may be sharper at the edge, but which has a significantly smaller field of view.

And remember that the field of view at 1,000 metres represents the diameter of the circle of view that you get. If you want to truly compare how much of the world you see through two pairs of binos you need to work out the area of the circles of view (area = pi x radius squared) and compare these. You will discover that the seemingly minor difference of a few metres at 1,000 metres distance actually makes a big difference to the area of sky, hillside, sea or coastal mud or marsh that you can see.

Lee
Yes, I am with you on the area concept.

Back to the sweet spot, in the "field" users place the main subject in the center anyway (unless there is more than one of equal importance), and really the hedges and subsequentt benefit of a wider fov is to catch something that otherwise one would have missed, or to track a very active subject. In both cases to then put subject in the center for observation.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 09:45   #13
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Yes, I am with you on the area concept.

Back to the sweet spot, in the "field" users place the main subject in the center anyway (unless there is more than one of equal importance), and really the hedges and subsequentt benefit of a wider fov is to catch something that otherwise one would have missed, or to track a very active subject. In both cases to then put subject in the center for observation.
Yes. This is what I do, but some folks like to let their eyes roam around the field of view from edge to edge, which is why the want the sharpest edges possible. I have tried this and I find it uncomfortable and diffiicult to achieve.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 13:28   #14
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Yes. This is what I do, but some folks like to let their eyes roam around the field of view from edge to edge, which is why the want the sharpest edges possible. I have tried this and I find it uncomfortable and diffiicult to achieve.
Lee
Fair point!
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Old Thursday 19th October 2017, 05:16   #15
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I have owned a Swarovski 8x32EL SV ("Swarovision") for several years, and thus feel reasonably qualified to offer a well-informed opinion regarding its performance. However, much has been written about this binocular on BF and elsewhere, so I don't feel a need to provide an in-depth analysis. That said, it is an outstanding glass with no glaring faults (however, like a number of BF contributors I feel that Swarovski focus mechanisms do not perform to the level of other offerings within the alpha class). The 8x32EL offers a reasonably bright image with excellent sharpness to the edge of its wide, flat field and with good contrast in a lightweight package. Eye relief is generous, and I cannot recall ever having noted any measure of chromatic aberration, although I suspect I'm not particularly sensitive to it. It's a rather long binocular compared to the 8x32 offerings from Leica and Zeiss, but not so much so as to be considered a major deciding factor IMO. I'm a proponent of open bridge designs for their ability to offset any perceived or real disadvantages. Simply put, the 8x32EL has provided me with countless memorable viewing experiences. You cannot go wrong here IMHO.

Regarding the Zeiss 8x42SF -- I recently had an opportunity to "test drive" the latest iteration (w/all black armouring) but wish I hadn't. Why? Because the view can only be described as celestial, even revelatory, so much so that I now want for one. It was indescribably bright, pin sharp and provided what others have characterized as a "picture window" view. Granted, this day was bright and clear, so I obviously didn't put the glass through its paces regarding brightness under overcast skies or early or late day lighting situations. However, I would offer that given Zeiss's reputation for seemingly engineering their sports optics for brightness (at least since the FL was introduced [nearing 20 years?]), I suspect it would perform remarkably well. The focuser was almost effortless and silky smooth. My only minor gripe noted during my brief use was that the optical tubes are much longer than the Swarovski 8x32EL and my first generation Zeiss 8x32FL. I'm admittedly comparing apples to oranges due in large part to the Zeiss having 42mm objectives (perhaps a better comparison would be between the Zeiss 8x42SF and the Swarovski 8.5x42EL). However, despite its length, the Zeiss SF was very comfortable in that -- open bridge aside -- it felt extremely well-balanced and light, echoing what others have suggested elsewhere. It's apparent that Zeiss put a great deal of thought into the SF's ergonomics. I can say with confidence that I would not hesitate to carry the SF on long treks despite my long-held preference for more compact optics.

As you likely know the Zeiss SF is priced in the stratosphere given its comparative newness and place in Zeiss's top end Victory line. If you're willing to buy used you'll likely find a Swarovski EL for much less given that it has been in the marketplace for a number of years. If I were in the market for an 8x binocular and cost was of no concern I would likely purchase the Zeiss 8x42SF over the Swarovski 8x32EL. Again, my experience with the Zeiss SF was brief and subjective, not at all what would be characterized as scientific or thorough. One cannot really make a mistake from an optical performance standpoint when purchasing at this price point; how the ergonomics of a particular binocular play to one's vision, facial structure, hand size, etc. are often the deciding factors. The advice to try as many optics as possible prior to purchase is repeated ad nauseum and for good reason.

Last edited by MountainCorvid70 : Thursday 19th October 2017 at 05:28.
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