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Old Saturday 16th September 2017, 06:20   #1
Ostracod
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Question Improvements to Zeiss Victory 8x32 FL T*

Hi All,

I found a used 8x32 FL T* and am trying pin down when it was made and how it might differ from the current version. I see two main differences from new:

- The eyecups appear relatively straight-sided, where the new eyecups are more rounded

- The body lacks the "Victory FL" relief lettering on the top (it does appear on a bottom label opposite the serial number.)

It seem to remember reading that at some point Zeiss improved the focusing mechanism and added one click-stop to the eyecup but I can't find anything online to confirm those changes. Maybe there is a difference in those offered to the European and American markets? Finally, is there a significant chance it could be a fake? The seller offers 30 day returns and has a perfect record.

Thank in advance for any information you could offer.
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Old Saturday 16th September 2017, 09:30   #2
Dorian Gray
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I am not sure about all the differences, but I know of one you don’t mention: Zeiss started adding LotuTec coatings on the outer lens surfaces. My 8x32 FL had a little ‘umbrella’ over the “32” on the hinge label to indicate this, seen here.

A few more photos of my example (bought in 2011) in case they’re useful for showing exterior or packaging differences:

One.
Two.
Three.
Four.

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Finally, is there a significant chance it could be a fake?
No.
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Old Saturday 16th September 2017, 10:08   #3
14Goudvink
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Pretty soon after the introduction of the 8x32 FL the eyecups were changed from square to rounded as many people found the square ones uncomfortable.

There are reports here on Birdforum that there have probably been coating changes as well. Earlier samples had a colour rendition that tended to yellow, whereas more recent samples are reported to be a bit blue/green in the way they represent colours.

And of course Locutec coatings were added (see Doria's post).


George
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Old Saturday 16th September 2017, 14:07   #4
Alexis Powell
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The only change of any consequence was the addition of LotuTec. The eyecup design (to slightly smaller, rounded, softer) was changed prior to that, and I do like the new style better, but they are available from Zeiss and are easily replaced. The Victory FL name was added to the armor even later. The x32 FL ocular rain guard was changed from a loose oversize fit on any eyecup, to (very briefly) a very tight fit for the new style eyecups, to a slightly loose fit with tabs to hold it gently in place on the new eyecups.

I think the square-corner eyecups of the unit you are looking at reveal that it lacks LotuTec.

--AP
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Old Saturday 16th September 2017, 14:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostracod View Post
Hi All,

I found a used 8x32 FL T* and am trying pin down when it was made and how it might differ from the current version. I see two main differences from new:

- The eyecups appear relatively straight-sided, where the new eyecups are more rounded

- The body lacks the "Victory FL" relief lettering on the top (it does appear on a bottom label opposite the serial number.)

It seem to remember reading that at some point Zeiss improved the focusing mechanism and added one click-stop to the eyecup but I can't find anything online to confirm those changes. Maybe there is a difference in those offered to the European and American markets? Finally, is there a significant chance it could be a fake? The seller offers 30 day returns and has a perfect record.

Thank in advance for any information you could offer.
Hi Ostracod,

Welcome to Bird Forum!

I have a Zeiss Optics catalog dated 2006 which says that the 8x32 FL T* has Lotutech coatings. So if your binocular doesn't have that "little umbrella" over the 32 on the hinge label that Dorian mentions in post #2 your binocular is over 10 years old.

Bob

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Old Saturday 16th September 2017, 15:50   #6
Ostracod
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Wow, what a great set of replies - I should have started my research here and saved a lot of time! Thanks to everyone. I went ahead and put a bid on them so now it's just wait and see time. I'm looking to these as a reasonable-cost upgrade from my current Swaro Companions.
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Old Saturday 16th September 2017, 16:00   #7
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There is a pair listed on Ebay that does not have that little umbrella and the manufacture date was determined to be 2005.
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Old Saturday 16th September 2017, 16:17   #8
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Got me thinking about my FL 8x32, bought on ebay about 4 years back.
Mine have 'Victory FL' on the armour, are lototec, have the rounded eye cups and is serial number 3084821. Does anyone know where i can get it dated?
Best £800 i ever spent, by the way.....
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 01:36   #9
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Do these hold up that well, that after 12 years they are still going strong? Pardon my ignorance. My other hobby is astronomy and I have some used scopes that will outlast me, but they don't have the gas seals, coated internal prisms, and complex focusing mechanisms of a binocular.
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 01:47   #10
Alexis Powell
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Do these hold up that well, that after 12 years they are still going strong? ...
Yes. My Zeiss 8x32 FL are from 2005, have been used heavily in all sorts of situations and weather, and they are indistinguishable in cosmetics and function (smooth focus, good hinge tension, etc) from the day I first unboxed them.

--AP
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 02:52   #11
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Do these hold up that well, that after 12 years they are still going strong? ...
Hello Ostracod,

Mine were bought in 2006 and, like Alexis, mine are still in great shape. I once let the binocular fall from a chair, jamming the eye cup, but Zeiss USA fixed that under guarantee. If the binocular you are looking at was a U.S. purchase Zeiss USA will honor its transferable guarantee. If it was a foreign purchase, they won't provide service.

Even after eleven years, I see no need to replace it. I have a Zeiss binocular from 1917, which required a good cleaning, If this particular lasts my expected lifespan, I will be a very happy owner. Even if I keep it for just another ten years, it will have proven to be a very good purchase.

Happy bird watching,
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 05:51   #12
Ostracod
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There is a pair listed on Ebay that does not have that little umbrella and the manufacture date was determined to be 2005.
Those are the ones. It took a few rounds but we agreed on a price. Thanks again to everyone for sharing your experience and knowledge. I hope they work out; I'm not eager to pay the price for new ones.
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 05:54   #13
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Hello Ostracod,

... If the binocular you are looking at was a U.S. purchase Zeiss USA will honor its transferable guarantee. If it was a foreign purchase, they won't provide service...
Is there a way to check if this pair is originally purchased in the US? I do have a 30 return period so I can return them if they were not.
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 06:02   #14
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What’s the eBay item number, out of curiosity? I didn’t find it.

No reason to think they won’t work out, assuming you get on well with the design (everyone’s different). They are made to a very high standard. I sold mine mainly because I had better things to do with the money, but they performed very well – amazingly so for something so small and light.

LotuTec isn’t worth much to me. It’s not magic and you still have to clean the lenses occasionally.
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 08:20   #15
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Item# 192304213412

I've not yet let my binos get wet/muddy so the LotuTec wasn't a big loss for me either.
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 11:25   #16
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Is there a way to check if this pair is originally purchased in the US? I do have a 30 return period so I can return them if they were not.
Hello Ostracod,

You might try 'phoning Zeiss or try registering the binocular on their web site.
This is their service number: (800) 441-3005
Happy bird watching,
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Old Sunday 24th September 2017, 22:41   #17
paddy7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddy7 View Post
Got me thinking about my FL 8x32, bought on ebay about 4 years back.
Mine have 'Victory FL' on the armour, are lototec, have the rounded eye cups and is serial number 3084821. Does anyone know where i can get it dated?
Best £800 i ever spent, by the way.....
I asked Zeiss about this. Made in 2007 apparently. I assume that numbers higher than this were more recent, unless it doesn't work that way. Like Alexis' model, these have worn really well and after a clean, still look new.
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Old Monday 25th September 2017, 20:29   #18
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Hi,
Zeiss serial numbers do not work in numerical number.

You cannot rely on a higher number being a later production.
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Old Monday 25th September 2017, 22:33   #19
paddy7
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Hi,
Zeiss serial numbers do not work in numerical number.

You cannot rely on a higher number being a later production.
That's interesting....wonder why not?
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