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Old Friday 13th December 2019, 18:17   #1
dwatsonbirder
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At last...

Nearly 5 years have passed since I started this thread, and I am delighted to report that I finally joined the exclusive 7x42 FL club (admittedly years - fashionably? - late to the party) this week. I found a 2008 lotutec model for a fair price, and decided to treat myself.
I have very much been a champion for the Swarovski SLC 7x42 having used one extensively for roughly the last decade, but it was becoming, quite literally a pain in the neck. Optically I couldn't fault it, and felt it held its own against the latest and greatest.
As I see it the Zeiss offers three major advantages over the SLC; weight (roughly 200g lighter), field of view (150m versus 140m) and a brighter image.
I've barely had chance to use it properly yet, but hoping tomorrow will offer a decent opportunity. I certainly can't wait to try it out in the spring, or even better in what I consider the natural habitat of the 7x42: steamy, leech filled, pristine rainforest.
Either way, I'm grateful to those who encouraged me to take the plunge all those years ago, and I think I have finally found my "bins for life".
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Old Friday 13th December 2019, 19:35   #2
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Congrats Daniel. I am sure you will enjoy it.
I can tell you that one of the tech guys at Zeiss has chosen FL 7x42 as his favourite bino too.

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Old Saturday 14th December 2019, 16:22   #3
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Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
Nearly 5 years have passed since I started this thread, and I am delighted to report that I finally joined the exclusive 7x42 FL club (admittedly years - fashionably? - late to the party) this week. I found a 2008 lotutec model for a fair price, and decided to treat myself.
I have very much been a champion for the Swarovski SLC 7x42 having used one extensively for roughly the last decade, but it was becoming, quite literally a pain in the neck. Optically I couldn't fault it, and felt it held its own against the latest and greatest.
As I see it the Zeiss offers three major advantages over the SLC; weight (roughly 200g lighter), field of view (150m versus 140m) and a brighter image.
I've barely had chance to use it properly yet, but hoping tomorrow will offer a decent opportunity. I certainly can't wait to try it out in the spring, or even better in what I consider the natural habitat of the 7x42: steamy, leech filled, pristine rainforest.
Either way, I'm grateful to those who encouraged me to take the plunge all those years ago, and I think I have finally found my "bins for life".
Daniel,

Happy news at last indeed. By coincidence, my 7x42 FL T arrived this week as well. I have never handled a 7x42 SLC but do own and enjoy my EDG II and UV HD+ both in 7x42. Based on comparing the three this week in various conditions I prefer the Zeiss for brighter image and larger FOV and AFOV which seems to me more noticeable than the 10m linear increase would suggest.

The seller said the same thing in followup discussions that Lee mentioned in his post #2, a Zeiss tech stated the FL 7x42 was his personal favorite of all Zeiss glass.

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Old Saturday 14th December 2019, 16:37   #4
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Congrats Daniel!

If ANY binocular should be reintroduced, it should be that one. Just a great binocular!
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Old Saturday 14th December 2019, 19:17   #5
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The Zeiss FL's even though they haven't been made in years are still competitive with the top alpha's. I picked up a new pair of 8x32 FL's for $1200.00 and I liked them so much I found a new pair of 8x42 FL's from Australia for $1300.00. I have been comparing them to my Nikon EDG II 8x42's and just like Mike says they are brighter and have a larger FOV and AFOV than the EDG's although the EDG has sharper edges. The Zeiss FL's are REALLY sharp on-axis. Almost unbelievably so.
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 09:42   #6
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The Zeiss FL's even though they haven't been made in years are still competitive with the top alpha's. I picked up a new pair of 8x32 FL's for $1200.00 and I liked them so much I found a new pair of 8x42 FL's from Australia for $1300.00. I have been comparing them to my Nikon EDG II 8x42's and just like Mike says they are brighter and have a larger FOV and AFOV than the EDG's although the EDG has sharper edges. The Zeiss FL's are REALLY sharp on-axis. Almost unbelievably so.

Greetings,

I feel the same way about my 7 x 45 Night Owl , I believe that they were the predessors of the Zeiss FL , sorry for the derailment.

I also have searched for an FL in good condition , but have been totally unsuccesful in this LOL.

Enjoy these great oldies.

Cheers.
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 15:10   #7
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The Zeiss FL's even though they haven't been made in years are still competitive with the top alpha's. I picked up a new pair of 8x32 FL's for $1200.00 and I liked them so much I found a new pair of 8x42 FL's from Australia for $1300.00. I have been comparing them to my Nikon EDG II 8x42's and just like Mike says they are brighter and have a larger FOV and AFOV than the EDG's although the EDG has sharper edges. The Zeiss FL's are REALLY sharp on-axis. Almost unbelievably so.
Yes, the FL is truly razor sharp. I didn't expect it to be as good as it is.
It seems better than I remember.

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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 15:40   #8
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Yes, the FL is truly razor sharp. I didn't expect it to be as good as it is.
It seems better than I remember.
I picked up a new Zeiss 8x42 FL from Australia for $1300.00. Just like the Zeiss 8x32 FL it is excellent and a little brighter in low light with it bringing in 70% more light than the 32mm. I think it is better than my Nikon 8x42 EDG overall. It is lighter, brighter and it has a bigger FOV but the EDG has sharper edges and a smoother focus.
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 17:31   #9
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Thanks Lee, Chuck et al.
I've managed to put in a bit of time with it this weekend, and I must say I am surprised by how much brighter and wider the image appears. The improvement seemed rather incremental in direct comparison to my SLC, but those additional meters fov, and the flouride (?) glass really make the difference in the field. I was looking for warblers in a local woody marsh, and the ease of picking out movement and the almost illuminating effect when looking into dark areas was fantastic. The lower weight was also a significant benefit, as I didn't have neck or shoulder stress after a few hours.
The slightly blurred effect effect around the periphery of the view may take a bit of getting used to, as the SLC was sharp to the very edge.
They may be a bit long in the tooth, but I am very impressed, and they seem to be as good as I expected. I've some survey work later this week involving long hours, dawn and dusk and a mixture of habitats, so I look forward to seeing how they cope.
To Dennis and Mike, I hope you enjoy your FL's as much as I do. I just hope I don't see a pair of 8x32's at a good price any time soon!
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 17:34   #10
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Given equal freedom from defects (never a certainty with the FLs) the 8x32FL looks "tack" sharp until you compare it to the 8x42. Then the 8x42 looks "REALLY" "unbelievably" sharp until you compare it to the 8x56.
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 18:38   #11
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Given equal freedom from defects (never a certainty with the FLs) the 8x32FL looks "tack" sharp until you compare it to the 8x42. Then the 8x42 looks "REALLY" "unbelievably" sharp until you compare it to the 8x56.
This would be assuming better than 20/20 vision?

I've been told, here many times, that any properly functioning bino. should easily outresolve our natural vision.
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 19:19   #12
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How would a 10x42FL stack up against 7x or 8x?
I have a shop local to me that has a 10x42FL for 1,149.00. Would these be worth a look?
They look really good. Also they would be a lot lighter than my leica 10x42BN's and I'm curious.
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 20:38   #13
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Zeiss should restart it. It's a legend now.
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 20:41   #14
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This would be assuming better than 20/20 vision?

I've been told, here many times, that any properly functioning bino. should easily outresolve our natural vision.
I have always heard that too but MAN those FL's seem sharp on axis. Almost sharper than the EDG's. I tried two new Zeiss SF 8x42 's but for some reason with my eyes I get orange crescents around the bottom of the FOV. Allbino's says it is distinct reflections visible beyond the eyepiece's diaphragm causing it. I prefer the FL's over the SF's for that reason. It irritates me because the SF's were almost perfect binoculars in every other way.

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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 20:45   #15
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Given equal freedom from defects (never a certainty with the FLs) the 8x32FL looks "tack" sharp until you compare it to the 8x42. Then the 8x42 looks "REALLY" "unbelievably" sharp until you compare it to the 8x56.
I believe you are correct. The bigger the aperture the less abberations you see because they don't reach your eye and the sharper the on-axis view becomes. I thought the 8x32 FL was really good but the 8x42 FL is a step up and the 8x56 FL is probably another step up in clarity and resolution. The EDG's are the same. My 8x32 EDG's are good but the 8x42 EDG's are even better.

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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 20:57   #16
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How would a 10x42FL stack up against 7x or 8x?
I have a shop local to me that has a 10x42FL for 1,149.00. Would these be worth a look?
They look really good. Also they would be a lot lighter than my leica 10x42BN's and I'm curious.
Gaz, the 10x42 are excellent binoculars. I owned a pair a couple of years ago for a few months, and only sold them as I prefer a lower power model, as this suits the type of birding I do. That said, a 10x on my current local patch (a large reservoir) would be very helpful, but then I always carry a scope. I'd be surprised if you tried them and were disappointed, and suspect they would show some improvement over your current Leica trinnovids, although one would argue that the improvements since have been incremental.
My personal opinion is that the pricing you have mentioned is optimistic, for example this may be a bit more competitive.
Hope this helps!
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 21:06   #17
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My personal opinion is that the pricing you have mentioned is optimistic, for example this may be a bit more competitive.
Hope this helps!

I see what you mean. Where I've been looking is over priced.
Thanks for that.
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 22:16   #18
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Just an FYI, the pictured FL is pre-lotutec...if that matters.
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Old Sunday 15th December 2019, 22:43   #19
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I've been told, here many times, that any properly functioning bino. should easily outresolve our natural vision.
Hi James,

You've been told correctly, but resolution is not the same thing as "sharpness". You may have seen these images from an old post of mine before, but here they are again.

https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...1&postcount=17

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Old Monday 16th December 2019, 00:23   #20
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To add to Henry’s comparative images, there is also an example well known in photographic circles
It’s from Zeiss, and is included in various editions of the classic text ‘Advanced Photography’ by Michael Langford

It shows:
a) good contrast and poor resolution, verses
b) better resolution and poorer contrast

The points are made that:
- the subjective notion of ‘sharpness’ includes various possible combinations of resolution (fine detail) and contrast (larger edge structures), and
- the comparative sharpness of 2 images may vary with the distance between the viewer and the images

Examples of a) are often especially obvious in television coverage of sporting events, where there is a combination of intentionally high contrast and low resolution
At the normal distance for television viewing, an a) type image is perceived as sharper, and an exaggerated form is also perceived as more dynamic in a sporting context


John
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Old Monday 16th December 2019, 15:54   #21
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Sometimes it seems that photography and visual optics operate in different universes. Neither of the two images above would represent what we would see through a good telescope, which would have both high visual contrast and high resolution.

I'm not much interested in camera optics, so I just haven't pursued the reasons why photographic images like these are deficient. The image on the left appears to have higher wavefront errors, but I can't tell what they are - maybe spherical aberration and/or astigmatism? The one on the right could be a well figured optic, but with lots of light loss and scatter, like what would occur in a multi-element lens with no AR coating and/or poor baffling.
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Old Wednesday 18th December 2019, 16:44   #22
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Dennis,

The FL you purchased from Australia, will Zeiss USA service them? I guess another way to put it, where do Folks in Australia send in their Zeiss for service.

Andy W.
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Old Wednesday 18th December 2019, 19:03   #23
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Hi Andy

As an Aussie who owns Zeiss bought in Australia, I can answer that - warranty repairs are done in Germany. Not sue how it works if the binos you buy in Australia are taken overseas.

Peter
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Old Wednesday 18th December 2019, 20:29   #24
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Dennis,

The FL you purchased from Australia, will Zeiss USA service them? I guess another way to put it, where do Folks in Australia send in their Zeiss for service.

Andy W.
I contacted Zeiss and they said if warranty service is needed you send them in to Kentucky.

Zeiss Consumer Products
COP Repair Service
1050 Worldwide Blvd
Hebron, KY 41048
USA
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Old Wednesday 18th December 2019, 22:12   #25
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Thank you Peter and Dennis, much appreciated, good info to know.

Andy W.
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