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

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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 12:55   #1
binomaniac
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Zeiss Victory 8x25 VS Swaro CL 8x30 last edition.

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.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 13:19   #2
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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 don't want to advise on what to buy, but on what not to give away. It would be a real shame not to keep the Zeiss 8x42 FL. Whatever you will get in the compact range, none will come close to the FL's fine viewing experience. I have three FL models, the 8x42, the 10x42 and the 8x32. And while they all fulfill their specific task here very well, the 8x42 clearly is my over all favorite.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 13:30   #3
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Thank you Robert ,I agree perfectly with what you say, I had a Zeiss SF 8x42 which I regret to have sold but this Victory FL is not much below SF in terms of image quality. It even better controls chromatic aberrations. I recently separated from a Meopta Meostar b1 8x32, to make room for the Canon 14x32, as I cannot afford to keep many binoculars for financial reasons.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 13:57   #4
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I have some very good binoculars.... 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.
Binomaniac,

I own and really enjoy all three models you are considering. As much as I love the excellent Zeiss, the new CL 8x30 is optically a noticeably better binocular. But if you really want a bin you "can always have with you" I recommend the Zeiss without hesitation. It is small and light enough to be carried much more conveniently than the CL either in a large pocket, on the excellent Rick Young ultralight harness or on a belt in a number of suitable after market cases. The Kowa 6.5 is larger than either and not as convenient to "always have with you" but my sample is excellent optically and mechanically.

Hope this helps.

Mike
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 14:23   #5
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Thanks Mike, the truth is that I also think Zeiss 8x25 would be a much better binocular to always have with me. Because it can be carried in the pocket. I had the CL 8x25 and had the opportunity to compare it for several minutes with a friend's Zeiss 8x25. Even though the contrast and resolution seemed a little better in the CL, the slightly more panoramic field and the brighter image in Zeiss I liked. My problem is that I was just looking out of the house on the window with the Zeiss 8x25 and I would be interested in how your Zeiss does in the open field with the bright light in front versus the Swaro CL.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 14:42   #6
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Optically the Kowa 6.5x32 is the best because it has the biggest aperture and FOV, the new CL 8x30 is 2nd and the Zeiss Victory 8x25 and CL 8x25 are tied for 3rd. The CL 8x25 has better contrast, resolution and sharper edges but the Zeiss 8x25 has the bigger FOV. It is like Mike say's though it depends on how big of a binocular you want to carry. The Kowa is not really pocketable and the Zeiss 8x25 and CL 8x25 are.

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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 14:51   #7
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WOW! so I have to see a Kowa 6.5 x32 as soon as possible. Thank you very much Denis ! Even if it can't be carried in the pocket, it might be better solution for what I need.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 16:23   #8
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Optically the Kowa 6.5x32 is the best because it has the biggest aperture and FOV, the new CL 8x30 is 2nd and the Zeiss Victory 8x25 and CL 8x25 are tied for 3rd. The CL 8x25 has better contrast, resolution and sharper edges but the Zeiss 8x25 has the bigger FOV. It is like Mike say's though it depends on how big of a binocular you want to carry. The Kowa is not really pocketable and the Zeiss 8x25 and CL 8x25 are.
Binomaniac and Dennis,

I own a SW 8x25 CL as well and agree with Dennis either out in the open or through a window, the CL has a sharper overall image and edges than the Zeiss. That said after extended use of both I prefer the Zeiss for the much larger FOV and the Zeiss ergonomics are much better for me, more like handling a mid size than an excellent pocket like the CL.

The Kowa 6.5 is a different animal as discussed. If you get a good example without optical or mechanical issues it's a good choice either as a one and only bin or as a low power very wide FOV reasonably priced addition to an existing collection. It really comes into its own in good light when viewing at long distance because of the FOV and marvelous DOF.

Mike
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 16:32   #9
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I have never looked through a Zeiss Victory 8x25, but I have the new 8x30 CL and wouldn't consider it a device to "carry with me all the time" (as already pointed out by Mike). It is reasonably light at 490 g, but it is taller (and feels taller) than, say a Nikon Monarch 7 8x30, which is lighter (and feels much lighter). It is probably due to the build quality, but (to my hands) the 8x30 CL feels heavier than it actually is. Put it in a case and it is not exactly a "pocket bino". The smallest 8x32 I've used is the Opticron Discovery, but it is in a completely league altogether. I'd say keep the FL for "serious" birding and get a x25/x20 for the pocket :)
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 17:05   #10
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I am currently protected from the temptation to sell Victory because it has a few scratches on an objective lens so the price I could receive would be a mockery compared to the intrinsic value of the binoculars.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 17:09   #11
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So I will definitely keep Victory, but if I manage to sell one of the other binoculars I will probably give in to the temptation to add a Victory 8x25 to my arsenal.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 17:19   #12
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I think it is a wise move :) Don't get me wrong, the 8x30 CL is a terrific glass, I just don't think it fits the "pocket binocular" class. Actually, I'm tempted to try the 8x25 Victory myself... but then I suspect I'd also have to give in Good luck on your choice. Do let us know what (and if) you finally get.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 18:29   #13
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Thank you very much yarrelli, I started this topic specifically to find out which of Victory 8X25 and CL 8x30 new ,has the cleanest image with the light in front
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 20:57   #14
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Thank you very much yarrelli, I started this topic specifically to find out which of Victory 8X25 and CL 8x30 new ,has the cleanest image with the light in front
Bino yes I missed that question. Based on comparison today IMO the Zeiss VP wins because it prevents flare /glare over a wider range of angles against the light than the CL 8x30. On the other hand, the image of the CL is cleaner, sharper, more saturated and more useable when flare/glare interfere. So it may come down to which strength would be better for the conditions you expect to encounter most often.

Mike

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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 22:57   #15
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The 8x25 Victory is a first rate walkaround, and delivers all of the sharpness and none of the pleasant feeling of a large glass. I used mine at the Eiffel Tower to watch airliners taxi, take off and land at Roissy airport, 40Km away. It easily surpassed my Leica UV HD 7x42 on sharpness, and I hated every minute of use. I have a love-hate relationship with it.

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Old Tuesday 10th December 2019, 05:27   #16
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What did you hate about it?
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Old Tuesday 10th December 2019, 05:57   #17
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The 8x25 Victory is a first rate walkaround, and delivers all of the sharpness and none of the pleasant feeling of a large glass. I used mine at the Eiffel Tower to watch airliners taxi, take off and land at Roissy airport, 40Km away. It easily surpassed my Leica UV HD 7x42 on sharpness, and I hated every minute of use. I have a love-hate relationship with it.

Edmund
I understand what you are saying Edmund. The 8x25 Victory does have a sharp image but it does not compare to the Leica UV HD 7x42 in comfort or ease of use. The little Victory can't compete with a 6mm exit pupil.
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Old Tuesday 10th December 2019, 10:24   #18
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I understand what you are saying Edmund. The 8x25 Victory does have a sharp image but it does not compare to the Leica UV HD 7x42 in comfort or ease of use. The little Victory can't compete with a 6mm exit pupil.
I agree Dennis. I can't imagine ever looking through the Pocket simply to enjoy the image (as excellent as it is), in the same way that I sometimes do with an SF or MeoStar.

On the other hand I can't imagine ever stuffing an SF or MeoStar inside my jacket, in the same way that I sometimes do with the Pocket.

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Old Tuesday 10th December 2019, 16:53   #19
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many times when I need a binocular, I don't have one with me. I seriously think about...getting one that I can easily carry with me all the time.
I had the same need and started testing, only to end up with a conclusion. Everything that weighs over 250 grams (8.8 oz) is increasingly difficult to consider "easily portable or pocket-sized".
The best pocket binoculars are the Leica Ultravid 8x20 and 10x25, for better or for worse.

The Zeiss Vicrory Pocket is closer to 300g (10.5 oz) and the single-hinge closure makes it less pocket-sized than others. On the positive side it has a wider field of view than the competitors, but it also has other negative points.
As already mentioned by others, the Swaro CL is large and heavy, which overrides the primary need. At that point there would also be the very light and wide field Opticron Traveller 8-10x32, which would cost even less and with excellent vision (not alpha, but very good).

My little advice would be to try out an Ultravid 10x25 : T:

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Old Tuesday 10th December 2019, 19:38   #20
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The 8x25 Victory is a first rate walkaround, and delivers all of the sharpness and none of the pleasant feeling of a large glass.... ...I have a love-hate relationship with it...
Edmund,
I know what you mean. I feel the same way about 8x32 versus full-sized--they are just missing something. Consequently, I use Swarovski 8.5x42 EL SV or another full-sized bin whenever possible (= nearly all the time), but if I need something smaller, I switch with confidence (but not enthusiasm) to the Zeiss 8x25 Victory because I know it will deliver the view, just lacking soul. The Zeiss 8x25 Victory performs so well in a technical sense that I have retired my 8x32 bins. For me, 8x32 perform intermediately between Leica 8x20 Ultravid and full-sized but they do not perform significantly better than the Zeiss 8x25 Victory, so they are made obsolete by it.


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I had the same need and started testing, only to end up with a conclusion. Everything that weighs over 250 grams (8.8 oz) is increasingly difficult to consider "easily portable or pocket-sized".
The best pocket binoculars are the Leica Ultravid 8x20 and 10x25, for better or for worse.

The Zeiss Vicrory Pocket is closer to 300g (10.5 oz) and the single-hinge closure makes it less pocket-sized than others. On the positive side it has a wider field of view than the competitors...

My little advice would be to try out an Ultravid 10x25 : T:
binomaniac,
I understand the point that Rico70 is making, but I can't concur for two primary reasons. First, the performance of the Zeiss 8x25 Victory is _so superior_ to that of any 8x20, including the class-leading Leica 8x20 Ultravid (of which I own two units, and I have Leica 10x25 as well), that the difference should not be ignored. The Zeiss is like having an 8x32 in a package only a bit larger than a typical 8x20. Second, when it comes to pack size and mass, it might make more sense to compare these bins when cased rather than when uncased.

My Leica 8x20 Ultravid BL (which is smaller and lighter than the BA version), when naked, is 230 g whereas my Zeiss 8x25 Victory is 287 g, and the Leica is also noticeably smaller in physical dimensions. However, with a minimalist strap and carried in its original leather clamshell case, the Leica becomes 320 g as compared to the Zeiss with a simple strap, ocular caps, and a simple nylon case, which becomes 326 g and is only trivially different from the cased Leica in spatial dimensions. In practice, I find these 1:1 substitutable when tossed in their cases in a pack or pocket, so I have retired my Leica for the much better performance of the Zeiss. When uncased and around the neck, I don't find the larger mass of the Zeiss objectionable and I appreciate its better handling and easier view.

If you want to see photos of the above comparisons, check out my post #41 in this thread:

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread...=359737&page=2

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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 08:51   #21
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Thanks Rico, I had Ultravid 10x25, I sold it because it had a slight decolimation, I had the opportunity to compare it with Kowa Genesis 10x33, an excellent resolution binoculars and I can say that Leica exceeded it a bit in terms of resolution. Now I don't use binoculars with magnification over 8x anymore because of the stability problem. If I could find an 8x20 UV at an affordable price I would get one.
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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 09:06   #22
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I found that having the Zeiss 8x25 in my car was the most significant upgrade I have done this year.

It's a fact that a binocular is better than no binocular. I don't want to leave my 7x42 FL in my car all the time, so the moment I hear there is a special bird while at work, I don't have to regret anymore not having any binocular. In practice, I use the 8x25 a lot. When I go out for a full day birding I still use the 7x42.

But when I am at work and do some birding during lunch or after work, or when I am walking my my kids and have less time to wander around and just occasionally watch, the 8x25 is always with me and has never disappointed. It is a very good, pleasant to use binocular and the fact that it's always there makes it really valuable as it gets used a lot. And in the end, that's the most important aspect.

I would consider the Swarovski CL 8x30 as a binocular for all-round use, and it can be used as your only binocular, but it is not small enough to consider it as a pocket binocular.
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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 09:06   #23
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Thanks Alexis, I understood your point perfectly and I find extremely interesting the idea of having an 8x25 binocular that can do 95 percent of the work of an 8x32. Right now I'm thinking more about a Zeiss 8x25 Victory. I forgot to say that I have a Docter 10x25, a binocular with a resolution at the highest level, but that after three days of use suffered a defect in the focus system. I sent him to the factory and after 40 days I still do not know anything about him, it is very difficult to communicate with the people at Noblex. I took it because I found it very cheap and said that if I am satisfied with the image quality I will take the 8x22 Docter with 131 meters visual field. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to test in different light situations. And now I begin to think that I will never see him again.
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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 09:18   #24
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Thank you Temmie, that's exactly my problem: having a binocular all the time with me versus not having a binocular all the time with me. In the end I think I will give up the Cl 8x30 because it is clearly not the binoculars to carry in my pocket
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Old Thursday 12th December 2019, 06:36   #25
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Thanks Rico, I had Ultravid 10x25...Now I don't use binoculars with magnification over 8x anymore because of the stability problem.
You were unlucky for the 10x25 out of collimation, you could have it replaced, because it is excellent and the resolution is fundamental for the observations of small and distant animals. But if you can't keep a 10x still and you prefer up to 8x maximum, there's little to discuss.

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I forgot to say that I have a Docter 10x25, a binocular with a resolution at the highest level, but that after three days of use suffered a defect in the focus system.
I can only say that bad luck with 10x25 haunts you unscrupulously.

Seriously, when the choice is Ultravid 8x20 or Victory 8x25, I could agree with Alexis, if you can accept 290g every time you go out with the binoculars.
For example, I started with Legend 10x25 (235g) and I always wore it, on every occasion, attached to my neck for 25 hours a day or in a baby carrier, without realizing that I had binoculars with me, even when I went to go shopping, just in case. But now that I'm using an Opticron DBA Oasis 10x25 (347g) that I've even lightened to 310g, when I wear it I always realize I have it with me. Not that it is heavy, but simply that 250 g is better than 300 g, when the purpose is pocket-sized.

I feel lucky that I prefer and I can easily tolerate 10x25 compared to 8x20. Because 10x25 is more powerful, resolute and efficient than any 8x. So much so that if it were possible / available I would adopt 15x28 all the time. But as I said earlier, Leica designed and built 8x20 and 10x25 with the intent of offering the best pocket-sized solution in the world (for better or for worse). And unfortunately, Leica will never satisfy my desire for Ultravid 15x28 :re:

If I can give another advice, you try both Ultravid 8x20 and Victory 8x25 at the same time, before deciding.

Both Opticron DBA Oasis 8x22, and Docter 8x22, which Montana 8x22 (Bresser), are good wide-field binoculars like the Victory, but not so good. If you can spend the right price, get Ultravid or Victory. You won't regret the optical quality (I don't know Victory).
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