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Open letter to Zeiss - 8x30 Victory Companion please

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Old Friday 21st June 2019, 17:00   #1
mpeace
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Open letter to Zeiss - 8x30 Victory Companion please

I have the 8x25 Victory Pocket and think it's a great pair of binoculars. Swarovski have their CL 8x30 B companions that are very comfy to use, but are a bit lacking in field of view. Nikon have their Monarch 8x30 HG with great field of view, but split opinions in ease of use particularly and price.

I think if Zeiss applied the same approach to an 8x30 as they have with their 8x25 Victory Pocket they would produce the ultimate 8x30 roof for bird watchers and dominate this size of binocular. Being made in Japan rather than Germany would also probably keep the price similar to the Nikon and Swarovski offerings.

I'm confident they could offer the ease of view of the Swarovski Companions, but with a more generous field of view (approaching that of the 8x30 MHGs) and thereby hitting a sweet spot for bird watchers

I know we're eagerly awaiting a Zeiss Victory 8x32 SF, but I don't think Zeiss would have anything to loose launching a Victory 8x30 roof with the quality of the Victory Pocket 8x25 into the market.
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Old Friday 21st June 2019, 20:11   #2
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Yes, that would be nice if Zeiss would make an 8x30. I really think 8x30's and 8x32's are the ideal birding size and with the increasing performance of small binoculars like the 8x30 combined with their compact size and weight might cause a shift down to the 8x30's as the ideal birding size. it seems like most 8x30's are a lot smaller than 8x32's in general and for daylight birding an 8x30 might suffice for most people. There is quite a difference in comfort between an 8x25 and 8x30 and a considerable increase in twilight performance but not a heck of a lot of difference in size. It seems Zeiss is missing out on a lot of sales because I bet 8x30's are a popular seller for birders and just casual observers in general. I guess until they do we will just have to make do with the Nikon 8x30 MHG, Nikon 8x30 M7, Swarovski 8x30 CL, Nikon 8x30 EII and the Habicht 8x30 W. I guess those are five pretty nice binoculars to pick from.
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 06:40   #3
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It would be tricky to work out how to fit a Victory 8x30 into a line-up consisting of Conquest HD 8x32 and SF 8x32. Price the 8x30 too low and if it is as good as the 8x25 Pocket or better, it could steal sales from Conquest. Price it too high and it could steal sales from SF.

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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 06:56   #4
Holger Merlitz
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
It would be tricky to work out how to fit a Victory 8x30 into a line-up consisting of Conquest HD 8x32 and SF 8x32. Price the 8x30 too low and if it is as good as the 8x25 Pocket or better, it could steal sales from Conquest. Price it too high and it could steal sales from SF.

Lee

Possibly, Zeiss fears that the new 8x32 SF, with a decent wide field, would turn out to be too large to appear as attractive as the 8x32 FL. In that case, it might be wise to make an 8x30 SF instead.

Cheers,
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 09:06   #5
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For a split of a second I pretended this thread was not a wish but a reality, and as I was reading I was watching my "ideal binocular"... then I realised it was just a wishful letter. But, hey, that little moment was so sweet.
Agreed that a 8x30 Victory would be just perfect. Less clunky than the 8x32 FL (which is small, but I personally find it a bit stubby and way less comfortable and nimble than M7, MHG, CL, etc.), but with great performance. For me (like for many others, as I discover reading many opinions) a good 8x30 can deliver everything needed for an everyday binocular (obviously, lacking in some areas where a more specialised device would shine).
Please Zeiss, listen to our prayers
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 14:27   #6
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You know I just realized Nikon's new smaller less than 32mm binoculars are all 8x30's and no 8x32's. The MHG and the M7 are both 8x30's. Maybe the trend is down to 8x30's. I wouldn't mind it. 8x30 is a nice birding size. I think Zeiss might be more likely to make an 8x30 SF rather than an 8x32.

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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 17:18   #7
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Originally Posted by Holger Merlitz View Post
Possibly, Zeiss fears that the new 8x32 SF, with a decent wide field, would turn out to be too large to appear as attractive as the 8x32 FL. In that case, it might be wise to make an 8x30 SF instead.

Cheers,
Holger
Its an intriguing possibility but the market might regard a Victory 8x30 as always lacking the extra 2mm of Swaro's EL 8x32. We could call it 'objective-size anxiety' with folks turning their noses up at a Victory 8x30 because they fear they would be missing something that the EL has.

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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 17:23   #8
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Its an intriguing possibility but the market might regard a Victory 8x30 as always lacking the extra 2mm of Swaro's EL 8x32. We could call it 'objective-size anxiety' with folks turning their noses up at a Victory 8x30 because they fear they would be missing something that the EL has.

Lee
Exactly. That thought crossed my mind too. Would they want to handicap themselves with a 2mm smaller aperture compared to their competition the SV 8x32? But maybe Zeiss could build an 8x30 SF that could compete optically with the SV 8x32 but being smaller in size and weight. That would be something!
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 17:27   #9
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Have to agree that 32 and 42mm bins are the current trend and most unlikely to change in the ranges offered at alpha level. Leica have offered 30 or 40 in a foof prism for how long now, nearly 50 years. Same with Zeiss. 35mm is what many may wish for, particularly a 7 or 8. Leica promoted a 7 x 35 but that is now abandoned. And mid range/mid price is well covered by the Conquest HD.
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 17:47   #10
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Going from 8x25 to 8x30 like from the Victory Pocket to the Swarovski 8x30 CL B is a significant jump in weight and price and the views' improvement is not commensurate. I expect Zeiss to play it safe and go for 8x32.
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 18:15   #11
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Going from 8x25 to 8x30 like from the Victory Pocket to the Swarovski 8x30 CL B is a significant jump in weight and price and the views' improvement is not commensurate. I expect Zeiss to play it safe and go for 8x32.
Why, Swarovski did it with the 8x25 CL-P to the 8x30 CL B? I think there is a market for an 8x25, 8x30 and an 8x32. There is enough difference between the three in weight, size, performance and price.

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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 19:57   #12
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............. I think Zeiss might be more likely to make an 8x30 SF rather than an 8x32.
As they already have an excellent 8x32 (FL), we might ask them to produce a competition for their own superb product. Actually, the only thing that bugs me a bit with the 8x32 FL is the red coating that irritates me as an eyeglass wearer. The earlier (probably non-Lotutec) version is much better in my case.
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 20:51   #13
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I'm expecting a Zeiss 8x32 SF to be a relatively large 32mm with exceptional wide field of view and outstanding ergonomics like the 42mm SFs. They're also likely to be expensive, perhaps 1600 rrp. So a Zeiss Victory 8x30mm at around 950 with slightly less field of view than an 8x32 SF, but more than the Swarovski 8x30 cl but with the same easy view would be a compelling binocular for hiking etc. and a nice alternative to an alpha 8x32mm if you don't have the money or want something smaller. So in a different market to the 32mm market because of the lower weight and cost (a plus) and slightly lower optical performance (a negative).

I think modern 8x30 roofs are one of the biggest recent successes in the development of coatings and optics. You get very good brightness and performance in a small package. Nikon and Swarovski know this and I presume are doing very well out of this format from how freely available they are - shops are happy to stock them. I just think Zeiss could produce a better product than the others are offering at the moment judging by the 8x25 Victory Pocket and sell a lot of them. There seems room in the 8x30 market for a new product, so why not have it built by Zeiss.
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 22:41   #14
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A lot of people would buy an 8x30 over an 8x32 if it offers 95% of the performance of the 8x32 at 1/2 the cost, especially with the smaller size and weight of an 8x30. A lot of people are just casual users and a small and light but high quality binocular from a big name manufacturer is attractive. I bet that Nikon sells a lot of M7 8x30's for $375.00 and HG 8x30's for $975.00 and Swarovski probably sells a good number of 8x30 CL B's for $1200.00.

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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 23:37   #15
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...the only thing that bugs me a bit with the 8x32 FL is the red coating that irritates me as an eyeglass wearer...
I'm not familiar w/this problem. Please explain.

--AP
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 07:07   #16
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I'm not familiar w/this problem. Please explain.

--AP
As an eyeglass wearer myself I am intrigued by this too.

Lee
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 07:15   #17
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3rd for that - I too wear spectacles and couldn't see any image difference when I felt I needed to upgrade to a Lotutec 8 x 32 FL. I resisted. Puzzled by this suggestion.

P
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 07:58   #18
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Forgive my ignorance, not a birder myself. But why would you prefer some 8x magnification over 10x to observe birds? Is it about the wider angle of view? When you look at birds don't you need a punctual high magnification? Or do they move to much all the time?

Aside from that I'd say the victory 8x32 FL (or 10x32) should do the job perfectly. Wouldn't it be the perfect time to lower it's price now as development cost must have been paid off by now? That would be the one I might consider to get if a tad lower priced.
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 10:01   #19
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I`m not convinced Zeiss can make an 8x32 with better handling than the 32mm SV, its already perfect IMHO beating even the SF in this regard, in fact I`d say the 32SV has the best handling available, full stop.

I`m less convinced that any 30mm can match an equal 32, I owned and praised the new 30mm CL, initially I felt it was very close to the SV, but after reacquainting myself with the latter I sold the CL and bought another SV.

Never have liked compact bins, just can`t use them myself.

But I would like to see a 32mm SF very much.
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 12:03   #20
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Originally Posted by Alexis Powell View Post
I'm not familiar w/this problem. Please explain.

--AP
I'll post it in a separate thread so as not to go too far OT.
Here is the link to it: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread...59#post3863059
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Last edited by Swissboy : Sunday 23rd June 2019 at 12:19.
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 12:35   #21
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Forgive my ignorance, not a birder myself. But why would you prefer some 8x magnification over 10x to observe birds?......
I, for one, simply realized that I can't any longer keep a 10x model sufficiently steady for a reasonable time. I had intended getting a 10x version. But the wider FOV can by itself be a decisive argument as well.
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 13:56   #22
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Thanks. Very valid reason.
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 16:44   #23
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Originally Posted by Sebzwo View Post
Forgive my ignorance, not a birder myself. But why would you prefer some 8x magnification over 10x to observe birds? Is it about the wider angle of view? When you look at birds don't you need a punctual high magnification? Or do they move to much all the time?
Its a good question and for over 20 years I only used 10x then changed to 8.5x then to 8x and this is my favourite magnification for most circumstances although I use 10x sometimes.

Why?

One reason has been mentioned already: it is easier to hold 8x steady and don't forget that bino tremors can be caused by deteriorating muscular control in older ages, arm fatigue, exertion to reach the place of observation and wind.

8x has greater depth of field so flying birds do not fly out of focus so often.

Binos are also used for searching for birds not just studying their details and 8x usually has a wider field of view and also a more extensive 'front to rear' field of view due to the greater depth of field. These two factors not only allow an 8x to scan a bigger area but also make it easier to acquire a view of a fast-flying close bird.

Lee
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 17:30   #24
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Thanks again. I have one 7x40 and one 7x50 and would consider them to not magnify enough for birding. But I'd look maybe at the odd hawk or bigger bird only very occasionally. I have some 10x50 as well and that would be strong enough I'd say.
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 21:25   #25
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This thread has got me wondering: who led the shift from 30/40mm to 32/42mm binos, presumably in the early 1990s? As a 10x fan I do appreciate 10x32 over 30, but at 8x, 30mm seems quite nice. Apparently 8x30 wasn't entirely killed off but there are no alphas anymore (not sure the Swaro CL counts). It would be nice to have more choices.
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