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Zeiss Victory 8x25 VS Swaro CL 8x30 last edition.

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Old Monday 16th December 2019, 01:04   #51
eronald
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Originally Posted by james holdsworth View Post
I really like my Terra too, despite the floppy hinges - the image has pop and contrast and is very sharp. I do find it a bit bluish in the winter but, otherwise, a real bargain. It seems clear, however, that unit to unit variability is unacceptable, based on the wildly divergent opinions of the actual optics.
I think maybe readers with an itch for a pocket instrument can shop around for a decent Tierra display sample, and after finding it they will have ticked the box for EDC and can "invest" the price of the Victory in something more fun, even possibly one of those gourmet dinners which have a high WAF.++

It is possible that the 8x20 or 8x25 configuration is simply not enough fun for many here to warrant more than a convenience buy. Also there is something to be said for owning a glass that can be lent or left in a hotel room without hesitation.

I have my loved-hated cherry Victory and have very convincingly ticked the box for travel binos -at a price. My Victory sample was better/as good as the display models of SF in the shop. I don't plan to make the often regretted mistake of selling a good sample of a useful (albeit unpleasant) glass, especially since the Victory has this nasty habit of getting up on its hind legs and climbing into my overcoat pocket whenever I'm not looking.

As I now own a decent travel bin, a pocket palette I like, and some very nice Escoda pocket sable brushes all of which fit well into my overcoat pockets, I have all I need to do some painting daytrips - all my equipment boxes are ticked.



Edmund

PS. WAF ==> wife acceptance factor.

Last edited by eronald : Monday 16th December 2019 at 01:17.
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Old Monday 16th December 2019, 03:34   #52
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Add me to the list of very satisfied Terra ED 8X25 owners. I've used mine some around the house and now always on vacation. It's optics are surprisingly good. It's compact size insures you can always have a binocular with you. I'm satisfied with it...and satisfied enough to not try something else in this format. That's saying something in itself!
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Old Monday 16th December 2019, 15:55   #53
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Chuck,

I guess you got a good sample, tried three of these, all duds with different issues, perhaps they have rectified QA/QC.

Andy W.
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Old Tuesday 17th December 2019, 04:29   #54
eronald
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Chuck,
d
I guess you got a good sample, tried three of these, all duds with different issues, perhaps they have rectified QA/QC.

Andy W.
This thread has been puzzling concerning the Tierra. Maybe Lee could ask his contacts at Zeiss to comment.

Edmund
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Old Tuesday 17th December 2019, 04:30   #55
eronald
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Chuck,
d
I guess you got a good sample, tried three of these, all duds with different issues, perhaps they have rectified QA/QC.

Andy W.
This thread has been puzzling concerning the Tierra. Maybe Lee could ask his contacts at Zeiss to comment. I have no pigeon in this race.

Edmund
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Old Tuesday 17th December 2019, 21:59   #56
Alexis Powell
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...perhaps they have rectified QA/QC...
Certainly over life of the model they have made some changes. I stopped paying really close attention sometime after the 2nd version came out, which was supposed to (according to the Zeiss rep I spoke with) resolve some QC issues, especially the floppy hinges of the original version. Those versions are easy to tell apart as they have different style armor. Is anyone aware of a version 3 having been released? My biggest issue with the Terra is the off-axis astigmatism. I've tried quite a few Terra 8x25 and have seen good ones and bad ones, but I've seen none that had low astigmatism off-axis. Unfortunately, I find off-axis astigmatism extremely irritating and I cannot ignore it. I think it is inherent to the design, as it is some other otherwise good bins (Zeiss 8x32 FL, B&L 8x42 Elite waterproof version).

--AP
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 15:48   #57
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Maybe I’m a little late to the discussion, but I just wanted to share my recent personal experience.
I own since approximately 20years a pair of Kite 10x42, bought a Zeiss Victory 8x25 a few months ago to have something light and compact to carry everywhere (mountain hiking, cycling tour, not-birding-oriented walks...) and received a Kite Lynx HD 8x30 just a few weeks ago, finding one second hand at 1/2 price. I’ve tested some other binoculars in shops or from other birders often briefly during nature walks (mainly some 32-42mm from Kite, Swarovski and Leica), but I have never owned any other one.

I was tremendously impressed by the Zeiss: tremendously sharp, good field of view, easy to use, and all of this in such lightweight and compact package. You even forget you’re carrying it around your neck... The clarity also impressed me, even around sunset (though in an open area). The lack of eyecaps, objective covers etc. is a real pitty, but I’ve found what I needed in the end after a lot of googling... (see the separate forum topic on it). I took it on some walks where I didn’t want something bigger (e.g.family walks) and I was really happy with it, not missing having any bigger binocular.

I had the occasion of testing the Leica Ultravid 8x20 in an optic store and briefly compare it with my Zeiss. While very sharp and very well built, I (personally) wouldn’t spend that much on it because of the narrow field of view and small exit pupil: yes, I could use it to «*observe*» birds/«*enlarge*» what I’m looking at, but I wouldn’t enjoy it at all, being less comfortable to use and having too much the impression of looking through a tunnel.

Than, recently, came along the Kite Lynx HD 8x30. Well, I have to say I’m pretty impressed. It isn’t as small and light as the Zeiss, but still compact and lightweight, significantly more so than most 32mm bins. I haven’t compared it that thoroughly yet with my Zeiss, but a bit in full daylight and also in darker circumstances outside (evening in the woods). It seems to lack a tiny bit of contrast compared to the Zeiss, is less sharp at the edges (though with a large FOV and very sharp overall), but it was brighter, which is logical considering 30mm vs 25mm. My brother, father (wearing eyeglasses) and partner (all with no binocular experience!) also briefly compared them and found the Lynx easier to use and liked the image quality. I personally still find the Zeiss easy to use, but apparently they preferred the ease of use of the Lynx, even though my brother agreed that the Zeiss was optically amazing and better than the Lynx. My only significant complaint with the Lynx seems to be some occasional reflections from, I think, lateral light, which sometimes annoyed me and that I never have with the Zeiss. Maybe I should try some winged eyecups on the Lynx, I don’t know.

As a result, on our walks last week with my partner I carried my 65mm spotting scope and the Lynx 8x30 as a very nice combination (weight, comfort of use and image). I found it important for her to also enjoy viewing the birds we’d encounter and I didn’t regret taking the Lynx at all (except for those occasional reflections) and I appreciated the added brightness in the evening, as it gets dark early these days.

Still, if you want something even lighter and more compact than the Lynx, and especially if the exit pupil of a 8x25 is OK for you (both for ease of use and not requiring very low light performance) I would strongly recommend the Zeiss 8x25 while I (personally) wouldn’t consider the Leica 8x20. Maybe a Swarovski 8x25 might also be a good option, with the advantage of better supplied accessories and more compact folded/supplied carrying case. But I have never tried that Swarovski myself, so couldn’t commend further on it. Still, these are expensive and if I hadn’t found a really great second hand deal for the Victory, I would probably have looked at the Terra, which gets great reviews and costs a lot less.

Last edited by mbb : Saturday 4th January 2020 at 15:55.
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 02:45   #58
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Those versions are easy to tell apart as they have different style armor. Is anyone aware of a version 3 having been released? My biggest issue with the Terra is the off-axis astigmatism. I've tried quite a few Terra 8x25 and have seen good ones and bad ones, but I've seen none that had low astigmatism off-axis.
Hardly a different versions will come out to fix astigmatism.
Maybe in the next (optical) drawing, but I don't think there will be.

If you
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find off-axis astigmatism extremely irritating and I cannot ignore it
you have a single discouraging chance ...

Last edited by Rico70 : Sunday 5th January 2020 at 02:48.
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 03:04   #59
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My only significant complaint with the Lynx seems to be some occasional reflections from, I think, lateral light, which sometimes annoyed me and that I never have with the Zeiss. Maybe I should try some winged eyecups on the Lynx, I don’t know.
Unfortunately, that's the way it is. The lateral light enters the binoculars. You can solve with lens hood. I had the Lynx 10x30, it was similar to the Nikon Monarch 7 10x30, but much better in all and with less lateral glare.
An excellent binoculars which in my opinion is slightly lower than the Opticron Traveler ED 10x32, which manages the side lights better, but which is mechanically worse.

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I would strongly recommend the Zeiss 8x25 while I (personally) wouldn’t consider the Leica 8x20.
Did you compare them carefully, in a open field, during twilight?
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 17:49   #60
Alexis Powell
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Hardly a different versions will come out to fix astigmatism.
Maybe in the next (optical) drawing, but I don't think there will be.

If you "find off-axis astigmatism extremely irritating and I cannot ignore it" you have a single discouraging chance ...
I don't understand what you are implying. Regardless, the good news is that I didn't need to wait for a low astigmatism version of the Zeiss 8x25 Terra because the Zeiss 8x25 Victory, which is much better in numerous ways, is very low in astigmatism off-axis. I bought a Terra on sale ($200) as a gift for a 10-year-old--it's great for its reasonable optical quality, smooth easy to reach focus, very close focus, and low IPD. But for myself, I use the worlds better Zeiss 8x25 Victory, with its slimmer design, better ergonomics, and much better optics.

--AP

Last edited by Alexis Powell : Sunday 5th January 2020 at 17:52.
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 21:17   #61
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I insinuated that you should sell it, lose money and look for more. While your solution is good-better. The child will be very happy and you too will be with the Victory.
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 23:27   #62
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Unfortunately, that's the way it is. The lateral light enters the binoculars. You can solve with lens hood. I had the Lynx 10x30, it was similar to the Nikon Monarch 7 10x30, but much better in all and with less lateral glare.
An excellent binoculars which in my opinion is slightly lower than the Opticron Traveler ED 10x32, which manages the side lights better, but which is mechanically worse.
I was wondering if those occasional reflections were due a faulty unit or if «*it was just me*», but thus apparently not. It seems hard to say where it comes from, but I had the impression I could cancel them out sometimes by shielding the side at the eyecups/my eyes rather than at the objectives.
Actually, I only have two negative points about the Lynx HD: those occasional reflections and the eyecups that don’t lock when extended. I’ve heard the latter issue would have been solved with the new eyecups in the new HD+ (though I don’t want to do a costly binocular upgrade just for that, apart from the eyecups and cosmetics, they are otherwise nearly identical as confirmed by Kite themselves). I would love to solve the former issue though. Did you try with lens hoods and/or winged eye cups?
You say you «*had*» the Lynx. Did you find a significant upgrade in the same range/size/form factor/...? (Thus around 30mm.)

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Did you compare them carefully, in a open field, during twilight?
I didn’t compare the Zeiss Victory 8x25 and Leica Ultravid 8x20 in the open field. I only had the chance to test the Leica in the store, looking both inside and through the window, but in a street. Thus I’m certainly not the best source of info on them :). In that very limited testing situation, I just didn’t like the ‘sense’ of narrow view it gave me and the (little) more demanding eye placement. However, also considering its size, I could cope with the eye placement myself (as opposed to maybe some people, friends/family, less used to binoculars that would want to look through it on a walk). However I suppose the trade off of the smaller objective diameter and exit pupil will really start to be noticed on a brightness level, except during daytime on a clear day. It was very sharp though and I was impressed by its built quality! It felt more robust than my small Zeiss, while folding more compactly. I would love the Zeiss to feel/be(?) as robust, considering the use of it as small binoculars to take with you everywhere.
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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 05:10   #63
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I don't understand what you are implying. Regardless, the good news is that I didn't need to wait for a low astigmatism version of the Zeiss 8x25 Terra because the Zeiss 8x25 Victory, which is much better in numerous ways, is very low in astigmatism off-axis. I bought a Terra on sale ($200) as a gift for a 10-year-old--it's great for its reasonable optical quality, smooth easy to reach focus, very close focus, and low IPD. But for myself, I use the worlds better Zeiss 8x25 Victory, with its slimmer design, better ergonomics, and much better optics.

--AP

I'd have to say this closely describes my experiences with the Terra. I purchased one for a little under $300 (updated armor) as a birthday gift for my brother. I took them out to use and compare them with 8x25CL & 8x32SV. I spent about 2 hours on top of a mountain with these optics on a tripod rest and felt that I was giving each of them the fairest chance possible. The Terra seems like a nice little binocular for the money but it really seemed to perform to it's price point. There was never any moment that I switched to the Terra and thought to myself, "wow...that's impressive." Again, the view is good but it felt like I was comparing it to binoculars that cost two and four times as much.

The last time I was in my local optics shop, I looked through another set of 8x25 Terra's, a different 8x25CL (a demo, not my own) and the 8x25 Victory. It was very difficult for me to decide which view I liked more between the Victory and the CL because both of them had stand out advantages. The Victory's FOV is no joke! Both however, were clearly and instantly recognizable as superior to the Terra.

Due to these couple of experiences, I've found the discussion about the Terra a bit baffling. I know there must be some explanation but on the surface, it seems astonishing to me that Zeiss would produce two binoculars at two completely different price points, yet build in equal or superior performance to the ones that cost half the price. Not only is this not what I've experienced, but I'm skeptical because it's just not how things typically work. Still, I'm open to explanations based on reasonable argument about industry workings, or better yet, data, pictures, spectral analysis, transmission test, etc.
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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 20:01   #64
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I have some very good binoculars like: Zeiss Victory FL 8x42, Steiner Nighthunter 8X56 latest model and Canon IS 14x32. I noticed a very annoying thing: many times when I need a binocular, I don't have one with me. I seriously think about selling all my binoculars and getting one that I can easily carry with me all the time. I have two binoculars in mind: Zeiss Victory 8x25 pocket and Swaro CL 8x30 last edition. I'm curious if anyone had the chance to compare them extensively and what their opinions would be. There would also be the Kowa BD 6.5x32 variant but I read about it mixed opinions so I am waiting for more. Thanks to everyone in advance.
I can clearly understand what you mean, one of my favotire binoculars is also the Canon IS 14x32, last summer in Canada I was using it in combination with the Zeiss Victory pocket 8x25, it is a very good combination. The Victory pocket is small, very good optics, reasonable wide field. Then in the fall I purchaised the Kowa 6,5x32, a very nice extrem wide field binocular, so far I can not tell you if it will substitute the Victory pocket, it is much thicker, wunderfull wide contrasty view, but a small globe effect. When the Leica Trinovid 7x35 became unespectetly available after two years waiting I could not resists getting it. It is optically a step up from the Victory and the Kowa, a little bit bigger than the Victory, but thinner and taller than the Kowa. The next year will tell me which is the best addition to the Canon 14x32. At the moment I think it will be the Trinovid, it just fits into the pocket of several of my jackets.
I can not comment on the Swaro 8x30 EL but another small nice binocular, even lighter and wider view, is the Nikon HG 8x30 , a friend of mine owns it and I would take it into consideration.

Thomas


p.s. I owned the Leica 8x20 before switching to the Victory pocket, the field of view of the Leica 8x20 was too narrow for me

Last edited by Thomas_M : Monday 6th January 2020 at 20:04. Reason: Additional information
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Old Tuesday 7th January 2020, 02:28   #65
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I only have two negative points about the Lynx HD: those occasional reflections and the eyecups that don’t lock when extended. I’ve heard the latter issue would have been solved with the new eyecups in the new HD+
The Kite warranty covers the replacement of the eye shells for free (try to contact them). But I don't know if the old model accepts the new eye cups.

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Did you try with lens hoods and/or winged eye cups?
Yes, but they work only without glasses. If you want to test their efficiency, you could self build them with a few pieces of inner tube for MBT (for example).
If you have glasses, you could use typical shooters' blinkers (rifles) or build something similar on yours, with matte black rubber-plastic-cardboard.
The side light can also be very harmful and the hoods will always be welcome.

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Did you find a significant upgrade in the same range/size/form factor/...? (Thus around 30mm.)
In my opinion, the Opticron Traveller binoculars (32mm) is overall better than the Kite Lynx (30mm). And not for a difference of 2mm, but for many optical reasons, including the best management of the side light, both from the front and from behind. The only negative point is that the mechanical quality is poorer, and the focusing wheel is more stiff (it's cheaper).

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I didn’t compare the Zeiss Victory 8x25 and Leica Ultravid 8x20 in the open field. ... It was very sharp though and I was impressed by its built quality! It felt more robust than my small Zeiss, while folding more compactly. I would love the Zeiss to feel as robust, considering the use of it as small binoculars to take with you everywhere.
In the project of something so specific, a compromise must be found. And I understand that Leica's choice was basically for this reason.
I'm glad to read your comment on the feeling of build quality, since I'm always undecided in the choice between Victory or Ultravid.

Last edited by Rico70 : Tuesday 7th January 2020 at 02:35.
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