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Review of 8x25 Victory Pocket

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Old Friday 11th September 2020, 08:56   #476
fazalmajid
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Originally Posted by james holdsworth View Post
Lighter to me usually means more difficulty in a steady view.
It cuts both ways. Heavier binoculars will have more inertia and thus are more stable, but they will also fatigue the user more quickly, thus more trembling in the arms.
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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 09:27   #477
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Have wanted a lightweight pair of binoculars for the last couple of years for my many trips that primarily focus on butterflies rather than strictly birds ...wanted optical quality, close focus and lightweight. This has become more acute with ongoing consequences of tick-borne encephalitis that leaves my neck/shoulders aching if carrying my standard binoculars

So after much consideration, including taking account of all the positive reviews on this thread, got myself a pair of Zeiss Victory Pockets this week, choosing the 8x25.

And the result ... day one, even allowing for it being a bright sunny day - wow, amazing, an impressive performance for such a small package. Sharp, bright, good colours, focus to not much beyond my feet. And close focus to infinity basically a single roll of the finger, nothing to complain about. Never used compacts before, but even so still felt totally comfortable in my hands. In short, I was impressed and basically found them (in these bright sunny conditions) as good as my 10x42, but at a fraction of the weight. Lot of butterflies too, so good day all round.

Even next day, today, in cloud and some rain, I still think they perform admirably, though haven't given them a proper workout yet.

Good job Zeiss, I can see these becoming the only binoculars I use on trips where butterflies are the primary focus and quite probably my binoculars of choice for quite a bit of my birding too, especially local birding.
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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 10:31   #478
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Good job Zeiss, I can see these becoming the only binoculars I use on trips where butterflies are the primary focus and quite probably my binoculars of choice for quite a bit of my birding too, especially local birding.
This is the kind of thing which puts me in something of a conundrum. I really love my 8x32FLs and take them whenever I travel and use them quite a lot besides that. On the other hand, there are some times when for reasons of sheer compactness, my Terra 8x25s have done (I've thought) quite a sterling job - for what they are.

Yet I keep hearing the new Victory 8x25s are about as compact, yet do things they (by format) really aren't - yet really are!

While I don't really feel like spending that much money on new bins...I'm starting to feel that perhaps I should.

I'd ask people to talk me out of it, but - around here, well -

...Mike
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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 13:26   #479
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This is the kind of thing which puts me in something of a conundrum. I really love my 8x32FLs and take them whenever I travel and use them quite a lot besides that. On the other hand, there are some times when for reasons of sheer compactness, my Terra 8x25s have done (I've thought) quite a sterling job - for what they are.

Yet I keep hearing the new Victory 8x25s are about as compact, yet do things they (by format) really aren't - yet really are!

While I don't really feel like spending that much money on new bins...I'm starting to feel that perhaps I should.

I'd ask people to talk me out of it, but - around here, well -

...Mike

They are pricey all right, but it is a lifetime purchase. Optics develompment is so mature that it is unlikely that something significantly better will be released over the next +10/20 years (from an optics perspective).

That is how I took it when I bought my SF 8x42 and the Pockets 8x25. I know if I had purchased a lower cost (but still very good) alternative, both Victorys would be back in my head after 6 months/1 year.

Apologies, I know you wanted to move in the opposite direction. But it is my honest opinion.
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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 14:12   #480
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I don't know if this helps - it probably doesn't if you're trying to get talked out of it - but i travel a fair bit too, and use the 8x32FL mainly for everything.
I bought some Pockets anyway, and two years back took only them on a 10 day trip to Southern Portugal. Admittedly we were in brilliant light all the time, but there was no time i thought i'd wished i'd brought the FLs.
Where they really score is when you're taking one of those 'hand luggage only' trips and space/weight is at a premium.
As with all compacts, you have to work with them for a while to find your best way of using them and i still find it tricky for a short while if i use the Pockets after having used something larger for several days. I'd also add that - contrary to logic - you have to work at stability when viewing at long distances. The lack of weight resistance has to be considered; again, everyone will find their own way round that one - i know i have.
However, the low weight has also enabled me to 'find my own eye relief', usually with the cups rolled down; the FoV this way is stunning!
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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 23:27   #481
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...i travel a fair bit too, and use the 8x32FL mainly for everything.
I bought some Pockets anyway, and two years back took only them on a 10 day trip to Southern Portugal. Admittedly we were in brilliant light all the time, but there was no time i thought i'd wished i'd brought the FLs...
I can take that one step further. Despite all the positive things I've said about the 8x25 Pocket versus the FL, I recently took a short trip and took my FL for old time's sake (it was my primary travel bin for many years). There were many times that I wished I hadn't, and not because of its larger size. I find that the 8x25 has easier eye placement and lower astigmatism, so offers a more relaxed view.

--AP
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 00:13   #482
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Well thanks to all of you, I picked up a pair from B&H, used in condition 10 for $615. The short eye cups were apparent as discussed here. I put on a pair of the Field Optics rubber winged eyecups. The extra width effectively extend the eyecups out perfectly. I also cut the wings down to a more reasonable size as they are so long.
All I can say is , "Wow!" The closest comparison I can make are between the Leica 8x32 BN's and the Swaro 8x32 EL WB. These are going to be keepers for sure.
Which size eyecups did you get?
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 00:24   #483
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My main problem with the VP 8x25 is ... how to carry them. I don't have objective covers nor eyepiece covers. So I tend to leave them in their soft pouch (a pouch I bought, from Lowepro) in the side pocket of my backpack, so that they are accessible quickly -- but are not always out. With my 8x32 FL, I can put the eyepiece and objective covers on (California trails can be dusty!) and carry them around the neck or in bandolier style.

Are there eyepiece covers that work well with the VP 8x25 and are good quality (come off easily, stay on well)?
What about objective covers?
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 00:47   #484
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My main problem with the VP 8x25 is ... how to carry them. I don't have objective covers nor eyepiece covers. So I tend to leave them in their soft pouch (a pouch I bought, from Lowepro) in the side pocket of my backpack, so that they are accessible quickly -- but are not always out. With my 8x32 FL, I can put the eyepiece and objective covers on (California trails can be dusty!) and carry them around the neck or in bandolier style.

Are there eyepiece covers that work well with the VP 8x25 and are good quality (come off easily, stay on well)?
What about objective covers?
I'm a pocket bin nerd and an accessories nerd. The Opticron compact rainguard fits the Zeiss VP pocket perfectly. Vortex compact objective caps will fit but they need slight modification. I cut off two small sections of any split lug attachment from a rubber rainguard and super glue one to the inside of each of the covers to hold them on. Works well and the retention rings fit so well I have never had one fall off the VP in use. My favorite carry method is the RYO ultralight harness.

Mike
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 05:39   #485
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Same for me - Opticron rainguard and RYO harness - works perfectly and easy to vary the length for winter/summer use if you leave enough slack to play with.
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 07:34   #486
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Vortex compact objective caps will fit but they need slight modification.
Can you give us a precise reference? B&H lists only their 32mm for DiamondBack or Raptor.
Thanks.
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 09:27   #487
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I got the Opticron rainguard.. these are things that let this binocular down. No rain guard, a compact binocular with a huge case!, And my strap wasn't compatible with the binoculars, which was presumably something to do with the shop.

But these gripes can be fixed at least. The binoculars themselves are pretty sound.

The close distance focus I'm finding just about ok. Still have to move back occasionally, but bought the opticron monocular for anything really close
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 13:33   #488
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Take a look at this (UK site):
https://www.opticron.co.uk/our-produ...ular-rainguard
Product code 31021
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 13:53   #489
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Of course Zeiss shouldn't listen and give buyers a raincatcher, objective caps or a decent strap and case.
The important thing is that huge white box cluttering up retail shelving and then our cupboards, and that huge case. Wait! Maybe lens caps and a cheaper box and smaller transport case would be possible ?
Lens caps are really useful for a pocket instrument.

Edmund

What I find amusing is how everybody made fun of me for listing these points and now new buyers are complaining too. On the other hand, Apple has decided to remove earphones and chargers from its products so maybe the trend of "make them buy their own ketchup for the burger" is the new thing.
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 14:00   #490
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People know what they're getting when they buy them. It's their choice whether these things are deal breakers.

Regardless, have you forwarded your concerns to Zeiss yet?
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 14:52   #491
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I found the case useful for other purposes - it's now my 'bits' case when i'm travelling - cloths, brushes, micro screwdrivers, spare this and that etc. Could have been made for it!
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 15:14   #492
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The important thing is that huge white box cluttering up retail shelving and then our cupboards, and that huge case. Wait! Maybe lens caps and a cheaper box and smaller transport case would be possible ?

Who cares about the box it is sold in? Having ordered the Pockets and had them delivered by logistics, if anything the 'huge white box', which isn't really that huge, is a positive - added protection should the logistics delivery guys be less than gentle.

Case and strap are both easy to replace if you don't like them, but the strap is okay for me anyhow. I may look for a smaller case, but also don't have a major issue with the provided one. Agree about the lack of rainguard, but as I already knew about this, I ordered the opticron one and it arrived two hours before the binoculars :)

All these are minor points however - I ordered them for the binoculars, not for the case, and a few days on, I am completely happy with them.
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 18:07   #493
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Who cares about the box it is sold in?...
Well, I think the point is that more thought has gone into decorative packaging than into practical accessories. The box likely costs more than an ocular cover. It would be nice if Zeiss provided quality well-designed accessories. The rainguard for the BGATP/ClassiC series was good. The ocular guard for the FL series was not so good until they redesigned the eyecups once and the ocular guard twice. Leica doesn't do much better these days, but one of the joys of the BA/BN series was the very nice ocular guard (one of the few that I can stand to use). The Opticron binocular guard works OK with the Zeiss Pocket but it is far from optimal. It sticks out awkwardly when the bin is folded and it is made of a not-so-nice cheap feeling plastic, not the heavier and slightly more flexible plastic of the Leica BA/BN guard or the heavy slightly rubbery material of the Zeiss ClassiC rainguard.

--AP
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Old Friday 18th September 2020, 20:32   #494
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Well, I think the point is that more thought has gone into decorative packaging than into practical accessories. The box likely costs more than an ocular cover. It would be nice if Zeiss provided quality well-designed accessories. The rainguard for the BGATP/ClassiC series was good. The ocular guard for the FL series was not so good until they redesigned the eyecups once and the ocular guard twice. Leica doesn't do much better these days, but one of the joys of the BA/BN series was the very nice ocular guard (one of the few that I can stand to use). The Opticron binocular guard works OK with the Zeiss Pocket but it is far from optimal. It sticks out awkwardly when the bin is folded and it is made of a not-so-nice cheap feeling plastic, not the heavier and slightly more flexible plastic of the Leica BA/BN guard or the heavy slightly rubbery material of the Zeiss ClassiC rainguard.

--AP
True, and I personally find that the quality of the accessories (eyeguards, objective caps, strap, bag) add greatly to the comfort and pleasure of using a pair of binoculars, more so even than the last epsilon of optical quality at the edge of vision or similar.
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Old Saturday 19th September 2020, 02:11   #495
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True, and I personally find that the quality of the accessories (eyeguards, objective caps, strap, bag) add greatly to the comfort and pleasure of using a pair of binoculars, more so even than the last epsilon of optical quality at the edge of vision or similar.
Why this all matters is that in the end the case, strap, diopter, eyecups, each of them minor issues gang up on the user each in turn and annoy the hell out of him. Each is like a minor mosquito sting, a tiny itch but oh so annoying when the optics are best of class.

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Old Saturday 19th September 2020, 08:14   #496
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Why this all matters is that in the end the case, strap, diopter, eyecups, each of them minor issues gang up on the user each in turn and annoy the hell out of him. Each is like a minor mosquito sting, a tiny itch but oh so annoying when the optics are best of class.

Edmund
The trouble with accessories is that users vary so much with what they want from them. It is impossible for bino brands to satisfy such contradictory demands.

For example, for every user who perceives the Vic Pocket as a substitute for a normal sized field bino and wants an ocular guard, objective guards and a robust strap, and therefore a case big enough to accommodate the Pockets and all of these accessories, there is another user who says 'they are supposed to be compact pocket binos, I don't want to have to pay for some big case, strap and rainguards and objective covers I am never going to use. I want them to fit in a pocket'.

Its the same with cases for bigger binos where some folks want the smallest possible to fit into a backpack and others want a case big enough for not only the binos and accessories but also enough room for a notebook and cleaning brush and cloth, and possibly even a picnic lunch.

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Old Saturday 19th September 2020, 10:25   #497
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I reckon I could improve on it for nearly everyone...
A semi rigid case that can collapse, so either carries them full size, or smaller for folded.
A strap that fits the binoculars, that can be quick released and double up as a strap for the case.
And a rainguard that can bend the same extent as the binoculars.
(Plus a lockable dioptre dial)
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Old Saturday 19th September 2020, 10:49   #498
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I reckon I could improve on it for nearly everyone...
A semi rigid case that can collapse, so either carries them full size, or smaller for folded.
A strap that fits the binoculars, that can be quick released and double up as a strap for the case.
And a rainguard that can bend the same extent as the binoculars.
(Plus a lockable dioptre dial)
A bold attempt Peter and the rainguard should be do-able.

But a collapsable case would still have the 'full-sized extending portions' there, making the collapsed case bulkier than some folks would like. Plus you would need to decide whether the case should be big enough to accomodate just the pocket binos or rainguard and objective covers and whatever you decide will displease some folks. Also, a binocular neck strap is not normally long enough to be worn bandolier style from one shoulder to the opposite side waist or hip, which what I see many folks doing. In this way they don't have to worry about the strap/case slipping off the shoulder.

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Old Saturday 19th September 2020, 14:42   #499
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The trouble with accessories is that users vary so much with what they want from them. It is impossible for bino brands to satisfy such contradictory demands.

For example, for every user who perceives the Vic Pocket as a substitute for a normal sized field bino and wants an ocular guard, objective guards and a robust strap, and therefore a case big enough to accommodate the Pockets and all of these accessories, there is another user who says 'they are supposed to be compact pocket binos, I don't want to have to pay for some big case, strap and rainguards and objective covers I am never going to use. I want them to fit in a pocket'.

Its the same with cases for bigger binos where some folks want the smallest possible to fit into a backpack and others want a case big enough for not only the binos and accessories but also enough room for a notebook and cleaning brush and cloth, and possibly even a picnic lunch.

Lee
Lee,

- Marks on the diopter dial would not remove functionality. Of course in your defense of Zeiss you could say that it would be impossible to decide a color for such marks, but white is considered conventional.
- $.10 ocular and objective caps in the box would be really helpful for transport. It's a convention in optics that lens protections are ALWAYS part of the package, minimalistic maybe but always supplied so the user can then decide if he needs them and purchase a spare or better if really needed.
- a mini bino buy usually means a mini case, by default, as buyers of a very small instrument are presumably motivated by size. A monster case for a mini bino is plain wierd.
- So many people are complaining about the eyecups now that it seems improbable that some of the beta testers didn't file reports that were then discarded. Note that even on the SF42 new eyecups have been made available, so yes, change is possible. And yes, although various users have different IPDs and required eye relief, expectation is that reasonable effort will be made to accomodate them.

As I said, I would expect the Zeiss product managers to read this forum and maybe at least order up a batch of better eyecups eg. with a two stage telescopic extension, or just longer replacements, they can sell the affected users for $20 or something. Even the trick that I use of ungluing the eyecup rubber to extend the eyecup could probably be made an engineered "feature".

In the camera and video world functionality is routinely added by releasing hardware accessories or firmware upgrades. The point of view that a product's functionality is set in stone at the date of release is outdated.

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Old Saturday 19th September 2020, 16:50   #500
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- Marks on the diopter dial would not remove functionality.
Indeed. I used white paint to mark the position that fits my eyes. I do not understand why they did this. Even my 20 years old 8x20 Trinovid are better: no lock but some marks at least.

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- $.10 ocular and objective caps in the box would be really helpful for transport.
And when I put the binoculars in my pocket, it would prevent them from accumulating dust or worse.

On top of this binoculars, I bought a better, smaller case, an Optech strap, an Opticron rainguard and I am looking for convenient lens caps.
Except for a small case, my SF 8x32 came with everything so I find it hard to understand why the 8x25 should be different.
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