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New Black Victory 8x25

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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 19:43   #1
eronald
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New Black Victory 8x25

I got a pair of the *black* Victory 8x25.

One minute in the shop convinced me, and that was *after* trying out the 10x42 SF which I'd come to look at.

I THINK THESE MAY EAT A CONSIDERABLE PIECE OF THE 8x42 and 8x32 MARKET.

They seem *much* brighter than the old ones, and very contrasty.

They are sharp, although I would like them even sharper. I think the old ones I tried may have been slightly sharper, with some false color. I think several alpha binos I have tried are marginally sharper at the center.

The view is sharp up to pretty close to the edge

With glasses one has an decently easy view, my impression is this is *considerably* better than the earlier ones. This is the most amazing part. As far as I'm concerned this is the easiest to use small bino I have ever seen. The old one was not so good, as I remember.

Without glasses I can use them, but strangely enough they don't work well for me that way; it's almost as if they were a "B" model, designed for glasses. The diopter button has a center click, which luckily enough is my position.

Of course it is possible that all the above is my imagination, and that they're identical to the old ones, or not. The binocular specialist shop state that the optics seem to have evolved, including according to them the field of view. My impression (or imagination) is that the prisms are now made of better glass.

On balance, my UV 7x42 HD is more pleasant to use, but does not necessarily give a more defined view. However, after a while, the little Zeiss is tiring, the little Leica much less. This needs to be put in context, the Leica 7x42 UV HD I own, with its 6mm pupil, is not the sharpest but it is certainly the most pleasant and "restful" bino I ever tried, and I have compared the view to just about every current alpha.

I think this 8x25 is exceptionally easy to use in its class, and luminous, and can probably compete and win over *any* other 8x daytime binocular out there, especially for hiking.The huge cost and weight advantage over other alphas outweighs the pupil size difference in many use cases: this instrument really shows an image as soon as you pick it up.

However, people who spend hours behind a bino -including me when drawing- will still prefer their large-size but "restful" large-pupil alpha monsters. Also, there is the low light issue. I have an indoor camera SFR target, with decent lighting in my room the teeny bino actually beats my Leica, it seems to do very well at close range, but with the lights minimal the Leica shows the expected 2 stop advantage over the mini, and wipes the floor with the small contender - those who view at the low end of dusk shouldn't sell their full-sized heavyweight alphas quite yet.

Edmund

PS. The case is too large, and not really well thought out IMHO, especially for pocket bins. Better is needed. The strap is unusable on the bino itself as hard buckle rings could intersect the lenses inside the case. Objective and ocular covers are NOT provided and much missed. Let me clarify that - the accessories are useless, which is annoying as this instrument has been entered in the "Luxury Bijou and Gift" category in which elegance is a must.

PPS. Yesterday a wild gray heron suddenly appeared from behind bushes on the duck island in my local parc (Parc Monceau), put its feet in the water and found dinner. I had take my UV and used that to watch and then draw the bird. Next time I won't need to lug the UV, and I'll still get the show!

Last edited by eronald : Friday 5th July 2019 at 23:08.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 23:12   #2
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To summarize, my nutshell review of the Black Zeiss Victory 8x25:

Pros: An update of a bestseller, a luminous and sharp super-light alpha- quality compact glass with good eye relief and an astonishing easy view, and good ergonomics in spite of the size thanks to its unusual assymetrical design.

Cons: Inconvenient strap lugs. Sub-par accessories.

Suggested improvements: Sell a small pocket case and a soft wrist strap, include optics protectors.

Review Notes: I tried an earlier (grey) version of this product and it was very sharp but nowhere as bright or as easy on the eyes. I have no idea whether this is my imagination talking or a real update of the optics.

Last edited by eronald : Friday 5th July 2019 at 23:25.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 23:36   #3
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I've never seen a grey Victory 8x25, I thought they were all black. (Maybe you're thinking of the 42mm SF which at first was grey?) Your opinions resemble those of many here, including the fact that they work better with eyeglasses than without. It's a very nice little glass; enjoy it!

I too wonder about such a big odd case for a little bino. I'd like to see a belt pouch that would hold them folded up, since that's the point of the asymmetrical hinge design, and if I'm going to lose my IPD I'd rather fold it than flatten it.
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 01:06   #4
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I've never seen a grey Victory 8x25, I thought they were all black. (Maybe you're thinking of the 42mm SF which at first was grey?) Your opinions resemble those of many here, including the fact that they work better with eyeglasses than without. It's a very nice little glass; enjoy it!

I too wonder about such a big odd case for a little bino. I'd like to see a belt pouch that would hold them folded up, since that's the point of the asymmetrical hinge design, and if I'm going to lose my IPD I'd rather fold it than flatten it.
You're right they've always been black. Maybe I have Alzheimer's. I always thought I had good recall for products and impressions, and whatever I tried earlier at that shop, it had an asymetrical fold and didn't have the same visual quality at all, and did not at all have an easy view as I remember it, which in fact is why I didn't buy it in spite of good reviews everywhere. Possibly sample variation. But then there is also a real risk at age 60+ that my brain is turning into mush.

In any case I now have a useful small EDC binocular.

If you find a pouch, I guess quite a few people would be interested. It's almost as if the Zeiss case were designed for a centerfold model. I wish they had a decent pouch instead of the cardboard origami box.

Edmund

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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 11:07   #5
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I've found a use for the clamshell case. When i'm travelling, i use it for storing optical cloths, a couple of micro screwdrivers, a couple of thread adaptors, spare (half) pencils, a pencil sharpener etc.
Very good little travel toolkit!
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 13:16   #6
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I've found a use for the clamshell case. When i'm travelling, i use it for storing optical cloths, a couple of micro screwdrivers, a couple of thread adaptors, spare (half) pencils, a pencil sharpener etc.
Very good little travel toolkit!
I'd keep the optical cloths and the binos away from any mechanical grit :)

Have you found a better case, and ocular covers?

What are thread adapters?


I've had another look at my Zeiss and Leica indoor subdued daylight.

The Leica 7x42 is subjectively half a stop brighter than no glass when used indoors chez moi, the Zeiss 8x25 half a stop darker. I know no bino can be brighter than reality, but impressionism is all about feeing, not measuring :)

The Leica is incomparably more 3D when pointed out the window at a cement/brick wall out my window 7 yards away.

My eyes hate the Zeiss, they get tired, they love the Leica.

In summary, I think Leica found some sort of "easy view" recipe a long time ago, and it's their patented secret sauce which they kept iterating not too badly for 30 years. The small Zeiss is on the other extreme a bit too much of a "made in Japan miniature" feel to it; this is not the big Victory SF which is so pleasant to use.

Last but maybe not least, I find that by holding the Zeiss folded up to one eye I get a very nice monocular view which blends into reality, and is perceptually much larger and more detailed than the bino view. A very strange effect.

On balance, the Zeiss 8x25 is a very nice bino, and I think it will keep on getting fully deserved stellar reviews, and keep chewing through the hiking and travel market, but when it comes to serious binocular-lovers or birders I don't think it will displace the larger instruments even for daytime use. Horses for courses.

Edmund
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 13:46   #7
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Edmund,

You might try the GEM Kangaroo Grandad compact camera case from gem-bags.com in the UK. it's a nice design and fits the Victory Pocket perfectly. Or a Vortex compact bin case also works well. The Opticron compact rain guard fits the Pocket perfectly. For a strap you could try the Op Tech compact Op Strap which is smaller then their compact bin strap. You could also try the Rick Young harness which is a very handy way of carrying if you are inclined.

Enjoy your Pockets.

Mike
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 20:21   #8
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Originally Posted by eronald View Post
I got a pair of the *black* Victory 8x25.

One minute in the shop convinced me, and that was *after* trying out the 10x42 SF which I'd come to look at.

I THINK THESE MAY EAT A CONSIDERABLE PIECE OF THE 8x42 and 8x32 MARKET.

They seem *much* brighter than the old ones, and very contrasty.

They are sharp, although I would like them even sharper. I think the old ones I tried may have been slightly sharper, with some false color. I think several alpha binos I have tried are marginally sharper at the center.

The view is sharp up to pretty close to the edge

With glasses one has an decently easy view, my impression is this is *considerably* better than the earlier ones. This is the most amazing part. As far as I'm concerned this is the easiest to use small bino I have ever seen. The old one was not so good, as I remember.

Without glasses I can use them, but strangely enough they don't work well for me that way; it's almost as if they were a "B" model, designed for glasses. The diopter button has a center click, which luckily enough is my position.

Of course it is possible that all the above is my imagination, and that they're identical to the old ones, or not. The binocular specialist shop state that the optics seem to have evolved, including according to them the field of view. My impression (or imagination) is that the prisms are now made of better glass.

On balance, my UV 7x42 HD is more pleasant to use, but does not necessarily give a more defined view. However, after a while, the little Zeiss is tiring, the little Leica much less. This needs to be put in context, the Leica 7x42 UV HD I own, with its 6mm pupil, is not the sharpest but it is certainly the most pleasant and "restful" bino I ever tried, and I have compared the view to just about every current alpha.

I think this 8x25 is exceptionally easy to use in its class, and luminous, and can probably compete and win over *any* other 8x daytime binocular out there, especially for hiking.The huge cost and weight advantage over other alphas outweighs the pupil size difference in many use cases: this instrument really shows an image as soon as you pick it up.

However, people who spend hours behind a bino -including me when drawing- will still prefer their large-size but "restful" large-pupil alpha monsters. Also, there is the low light issue. I have an indoor camera SFR target, with decent lighting in my room the teeny bino actually beats my Leica, it seems to do very well at close range, but with the lights minimal the Leica shows the expected 2 stop advantage over the mini, and wipes the floor with the small contender - those who view at the low end of dusk shouldn't sell their full-sized heavyweight alphas quite yet.

Edmund

PS. The case is too large, and not really well thought out IMHO, especially for pocket bins. Better is needed. The strap is unusable on the bino itself as hard buckle rings could intersect the lenses inside the case. Objective and ocular covers are NOT provided and much missed. Let me clarify that - the accessories are useless, which is annoying as this instrument has been entered in the "Luxury Bijou and Gift" category in which elegance is a must.

PPS. Yesterday a wild gray heron suddenly appeared from behind bushes on the duck island in my local parc (Parc Monceau), put its feet in the water and found dinner. I had take my UV and used that to watch and then draw the bird. Next time I won't need to lug the UV, and I'll still get the show!
That is truly one of the more schizophrenic posts I've seen here on BF
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 21:50   #9
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That is truly one of the more schizophrenic posts I've seen here on BF
Kevin,

After viewing the grey heron again today before sundown, feeding and in flight, I'd call the Zeiss Victory 8x25 anhedonic or clinical. It gets the job done perfectly, but there's no "added value". Using it is making me conscious that schlepping the Leica may be worthwhile.

And btw, some of my post is based on the erroneous impression this model has evolved; it hasn't, my bad.

Edmund

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Old Sunday 7th July 2019, 12:23   #10
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This is becoming a blog :)

I'd say the 8x25 has a slight cool blue/green tint while my Leica is warm/yellowish.

I've seen a similar cool tint, more pronounced on a Conquest 8x32 which was very sharp.

German agfa film used to be sold in red/orange packs, and japanese Fuji film in green packs. Maybe this japanese-made bino conforms to japanese taste :)


Edmund

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Old Monday 8th July 2019, 11:16   #11
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I've got a small LowePro case (the 25?) which is sold for compact cameras mainly. I only use cases for travelling though. Can't see any purpose for them otherwise. The bins are waterproof, rainguards are retro-fitted (the Opticron, attached by a micro cable tie to a RYO harness) and life with the Pocket is going rather well.
I trawled the whole of BirdFair last year looking at 8x25s and similar; couldn't find anything that rivalled it, so bought one. Not a moment of regret since.
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Old Monday 8th July 2019, 19:39   #12
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The Swarovski Field Bag for Pocket Binoculars is a perfect fit.
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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 13:56   #13
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I've got a small LowePro case (the 25?) which is sold for compact cameras mainly. I only use cases for travelling though. Can't see any purpose for them otherwise. The bins are waterproof, rainguards are retro-fitted (the Opticron, attached by a micro cable tie to a RYO harness) and life with the Pocket is going rather well.
I trawled the whole of BirdFair last year looking at 8x25s and similar; couldn't find anything that rivalled it, so bought one. Not a moment of regret since.
I think in the end it's the binoculars one carries which are the best binoculars. Even when the view of the others one owns is better. With those rules, the Zeiss win every time.

Edmund
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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 16:21   #14
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I think in the end it's the binoculars one carries which are the best binoculars. Even when the view of the others one owns is better. With those rules, the Zeiss win every time.

Edmund
Always-right Edmund! And this is especially right.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 01:44   #15
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Always-right Edmund! And this is especially right.

Lee
Hello Lee,

Welcome to the Zeiss 8x25 Debate Room :)


I'm logging my impressions here in the hope that at some point Zeiss or someone else gets it and I'll be able to get something that has the good parts without the bad ones :)

What I really hate is the green color cast; on the SF this has been dealt with, so surely it can be neutralised for the 8x25. Apart from that, I think it's a nice bino, but with that cast, first chance I get to ditch it for something light, sharp and with nice warm color, the Victory goes on ebay :)

The one minor mod I'd also like is accurate marking on the diopter dial. When I want to use the bino with no eyeglasses I have to set the diopter, and I would prefer to do it by index.

My belief is that the green comes from the Japanese love for green tints. I think the Victory 8x25 is very well made in Japan by Kamakura... but it has a green cast.

Edmund

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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 06:05   #16
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Hello Lee,

Welcome to the Zeiss 8x25 Debate Room :)


I'm logging my impressions here in the hope that at some point Zeiss or someone else gets it and I'll be able to get something that has the good parts without the bad ones :)

What I really hate is the green color cast; on the SF this has been dealt with, so surely it can be neutralised for the 8x25. Apart from that, I think it's a nice bino, but with that cast, first chance I get to ditch it for something light, sharp and with nice warm color, the Victory goes on ebay :)

The one minor mod I'd also like is accurate marking on the diopter dial. When I want to use the bino with no eyeglasses I have to set the diopter, and I would prefer to do it by index.

My belief is that the green comes from the Japanese love for green tints. I think the Victory 8x25 is very well made in Japan by Kamakura... but it has a green cast.

Edmund
Not sure whether this is the place to put this, but whether people see a green tint or not in SFs are we certain that the colour rendition has been changed at some point? And if so when did anybody first spot this? Or by 'dealt with' did you just mean 'discussed' rather than 'something changed'? Thank you.
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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 07:16   #17
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Hello Lee,

Welcome to the Zeiss 8x25 Debate Room :)


I'm logging my impressions here in the hope that at some point Zeiss or someone else gets it and I'll be able to get something that has the good parts without the bad ones :)

What I really hate is the green color cast; on the SF this has been dealt with, so surely it can be neutralised for the 8x25. Apart from that, I think it's a nice bino, but with that cast, first chance I get to ditch it for something light, sharp and with nice warm color, the Victory goes on ebay :)

The one minor mod I'd also like is accurate marking on the diopter dial. When I want to use the bino with no eyeglasses I have to set the diopter, and I would prefer to do it by index.

My belief is that the green comes from the Japanese love for green tints. I think the Victory 8x25 is very well made in Japan by Kamakura... but it has a green cast.

Edmund
Edmund

I don't see a green colour cast in the Victory Pockets and I don't recall this being mentioned by others on here, so I am surprised by your remark. Equally surprising is that you would want one inaccurate reproduction of the world (your green cast) to be replaced by another inaccurate reproduction (a nice warm colour).

But this is not the first time on Birdforum that colour casts have been discussed (Zeiss/green, Leica/red, Swaro/blue) and I must be lucky because I don't see a colour cast (if this is meant to mean there is a colour tinting everything in the view, not just being extra strong where is occurs on its own) in any of these.

As for SF, a few people have reported a colour cast but I am sure no optical changes have been made to SF. I have a grey 10x and black 8x and can't see any difference in colour reproduction.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 09:16   #18
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Edmund

I don't see a green colour cast in the Victory Pockets and I don't recall this being mentioned by others on here, so I am surprised by your remark. Equally surprising is that you would want one inaccurate reproduction of the world (your green cast) to be replaced by another inaccurate reproduction (a nice warm colour).

But this is not the first time on Birdforum that colour casts have been discussed (Zeiss/green, Leica/red, Swaro/blue) and I must be lucky because I don't see a colour cast (if this is meant to mean there is a colour tinting everything in the view, not just being extra strong where is occurs on its own) in any of these.

As for SF, a few people have reported a colour cast but I am sure no optical changes have been made to SF. I have a grey 10x and black 8x and can't see any difference in colour reproduction.

Lee
Lee,

For the SF I am going by hearsay, that there was a cast in initial batches but it has been corrected. The fact that *you* cannot see a difference between your grey and black sample of the SF I can readily accept, but is it true also that Troubadoris cannot see it? Statistically speaking, women tend to be more sensitive to color differences than men. Also, are you really sure that the grey and black you have are fully representative samples of those which are out there, and that there are not eg. different batches of greys?

In my case, except for sweaters in the same batch at a shop it is very rare that there are two of anything that color-match perfectly to my sight, and I don't usually expect it :)

Regarding the pocket I have both the Zeiss and an UVHD 7x42and when comparing images my feeling is one goes to the warm, yellow/red, the other the cool (blue/green I'm not quite sure).

The effects of the casts can probably be demonstrated objectively by using obtaining spectral transmission measurements from people who test these thing, and with the measurements create a simulated rendering of some scenes at various light conditions, and show them on a computer screen. There are sample spectral images out there taken with multispectral cameras if one wants to do this accurately, I saw people from HP presenting these methods at ICC meetings years ago when I was a member and camera calibration was in its infancy. While typing this post I even noticed that there are now renderers out there doing spectral rendering.

I guess this is used to be science when I was young but is now stuff basically any kid knows how to measure and simulate, even the techs in the back of lens rental shops!
https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...-spectrometry/

To me, in wine terms, the Leica is a full-bodied warm burgundy wine which I enjoy drinking, my Zeiss Pocket color is a slightly sour japanese Sake which I accept most others do greatly enjoy drinking.

This is a nice topic for debate in the Always Right Society, as in matters of color there is no "wrong", and *everybody* is *always* right concerning their own sensations and color aesthetics.

Btw. the only Conquest I have ever tried, I think an 8x32 was super duper amazingly sharp and had a very pronounced blue color cast.

Edmund

PS. I find that generally I can see colors decently compared to my female friends, but I take a bit longer. Their perception is much faster, I need "warmup time". Color professionals often need to check their opinions with other people and with each other. Also, many people will see a color cast when it is pointed out to them, but not be affected by it otherwise. I believe is not necessarily a question of distinguishing colors, but also a measure of how they view things and do their white adaptation.

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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 11:36   #19
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Continuing the blog -

I am actually using the Zeiss Pocket case clipped on my belt and while huge, it's ok and usable. The strap is a different matter.

Edmund

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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 14:57   #20
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Lee,

For the SF I am going by hearsay, that there was a cast in initial batches but it has been corrected. The fact that *you* cannot see a difference between your grey and black sample of the SF I can readily accept, but is it true also that Troubadoris cannot see it? Statistically speaking, women tend to be more sensitive to color differences than men. Also, are you really sure that the grey and black you have are fully representative samples of those which are out there, and that there are not eg. different batches of greys?

In my case, except for sweaters in the same batch at a shop it is very rare that there are two of anything that color-match perfectly to my sight, and I don't usually expect it :)

Regarding the pocket I have both the Zeiss and an UVHD 7x42and when comparing images my feeling is one goes to the warm, yellow/red, the other the cool (blue/green I'm not quite sure).

The effects of the casts can probably be demonstrated objectively by using obtaining spectral transmission measurements from people who test these thing, and with the measurements create a simulated rendering of some scenes at various light conditions, and show them on a computer screen. There are sample spectral images out there taken with multispectral cameras if one wants to do this accurately, I saw people from HP presenting these methods at ICC meetings years ago when I was a member and camera calibration was in its infancy. While typing this post I even noticed that there are now renderers out there doing spectral rendering.

I guess this is used to be science when I was young but is now stuff basically any kid knows how to measure and simulate, even the techs in the back of lens rental shops!
https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...-spectrometry/

To me, in wine terms, the Leica is a full-bodied warm burgundy wine which I enjoy drinking, my Zeiss Pocket color is a slightly sour japanese Sake which I accept most others do greatly enjoy drinking.

This is a nice topic for debate in the Always Right Society, as in matters of color there is no "wrong", and *everybody* is *always* right concerning their own sensations and color aesthetics.

Btw. the only Conquest I have ever tried, I think an 8x32 was super duper amazingly sharp and had a very pronounced blue color cast.

Edmund
Hi Edmund

Troubadoris has not noticed colour casts in the binos we have but she and I will argue whether a car or a shirt is green or blue!

As for wine: I am a Chablis / Meursault guy......

Lee
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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 11:43   #21
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...but she and I will argue whether a car or a shirt is green or blue!

Lee
So true! Glad I'm not alone in this.
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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 16:43   #22
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Hi Edmund

...........but she and I will argue whether a car or a shirt is green or blue!

……...
Lee
Same here, though we then generally agree to call it turquoise

It's the first time I realize this might be a gender difference!
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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 20:30   #23
14Goudvink
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Hague
Posts: 452
I also see a green colour cast in my Victory 8x25 (and the Conquest 8x32). It is most noticable looking at an overcast sky. To my eyes it is more 'off' the colours I see with my naked eyes than a Leica Ultravid 8x32 HD or a Nikon 8x30 E2.

Very capable little bins though.


George
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 13:34   #24
eronald
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Paris
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Maybe my blogging about the pockets is schizoid because they provide very different experiences depending on use case and expectations.

Previously I was using the Pockets as walkaround EDC glass in Paris. Now I've been out in the country watching the birds perch on top of the cedar trees in our garden, watching them eat the bird seed I scatter, and between hours of computer use at night going out in the summer cool and looking at the night sky. Before I got my Leica glass, I totally ignored the birds, now I find I feel better for watching them.

The Zeiss Pocket is pretty good, although one can find faults. I would prefer 5mm longer eyecup extension , even more sharpness no color cast, but all of that will be left for the next model revision, I guess. Zeiss are welcome to send me a prototype if they want a picky reviewer :)

If you need a bino that shows you what's there and can go in a pocket, bag or belt clip - at age 60+ I'm the first to say go for it, the Pockets pack a strong punch in a small package with good ergonomics. But if you want to spend half an hour viewing the gulls circling over a cliff, which I did a month ago in Portugal, or spend half an hour each day watching the birds in your garden, more than just a glance, or look at the night sky then you would do well to realize that you HAVE TO pay an admission price IN SIZE AND IN WEIGHT for the experiential pleasure provided by the larger instrument.

And in the same way, I guess if you want an EDC instrument that goes everywhere every day and brings objects closer, then you HAVE TO pay for that convenience and portability in ease of view, quick eye tiredness, and lessened ability to see into the dark areas. There just is no substitute for objective and exit pupil size. A swiss army knife is not a 30 pound repair toolkit.

There's an old joke that says you get what you pay for - in the case of the Pocket Victory buyers would do well to notice that they are paying about 40% of the price of an 8x42 SF.

Btw, I don't know if it's relevant, but when I pass the Pockets to her to look at a bird she says "these are so tiring", and when I pick up the 7x42 Leica UV HD, I now notice they ... sparkle.

Edmund

Last edited by eronald : Monday 15th July 2019 at 14:19.
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