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Victory FL 7x42 NIB

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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 09:58   #1
GoldenBear
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Victory FL 7x42 NIB

I'm new to the forum, and this is my first post (other than the Say Hello) page, so I thought I'd start off with a struggle I'm having.

A dealer very near me who has one remaining NIB Victory FL 7x42 with Loutec for $1499 firm. I've look through it half a dozen times and can't decide what to do. I already have a 8x42 SLC WB and Victory HT 8x42, and previously owned an early gray SF 10x42.

The wife isn't too thrilled with the idea of adding another bin, especially in this price range, but I've made the mistake of reading too many glowing reviews for the Victory FL 7x42, and now feel like I have to have it... I imagine I'll never see another NIB.

I just can't make up my mind if it would really offer anything different than the two I already have. Any thoughts? Also, is wondering if $1499 is reasonable for a NIB model.

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Barry
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 10:42   #2
jremmons
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I've owned the 8x42 SLC and 7X42 FL at the same time before. I think overall I preferred the FL, but it was so close to call...Both are very high quality bins and considering you also have the 8x42 HT, I would struggle to buy another full sized model - 7x is a great format and all, but I don't think the difference is so much when compared to an alpha quality 8x.
Personally, I would probably get rid of either the SLC or HT and then get the FL... If you plan to keep the HT and SLC, I'm just not sure how much use the FL would get.

For NIB, the price seems about fine... Maybe a bit high but you'll probably not find another one so it is hard to compare apples to apples on.

Justin
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 11:38   #3
Gijs van Ginkel
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Barry, post 1,
When I tested the Victory 7x42 some years ago, my conclusion was that it was one of the best 7x binoculars produced in that time. It still is of top quality compared to the latest binculars.
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 21:43   #4
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I would say buy it - the things are really hard to find now, and i reckon if you changed your mind you'd easily get your money back. That's if you can afford it without not eating for a while.
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 22:06   #5
ceasar
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Some day you are going to want a high quality 7x42 and these Zeiss Victory 7x42 FLs are the best of those still available so I suggest that you get it now.

They are getting harder to find and you won't regret it.

I also have the Swarovski 7x42 SLC B and a Leical 7x42 Trinovid BN which are also getting harder to find and I'm happy I bought them!

But on a Bin to Bin comparison the Zeiss is the best of the three.

Bob
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 23:31   #6
eronald
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Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
Some day you are going to want a high quality 7x42 and these Zeiss Victory 7x42 FLs are the best of those still available so I suggest that you get it now.

They are getting harder to find and you won't regret it.

I also have the Swarovski 7x42 SLC B and a Leical 7x42 Trinovid BN which are also getting harder to find and I'm happy I bought them!

But on a Bin to Bin comparison the Zeiss is the best of the three.

Bob
The Leica Ultravid 7x HD+ is still available, and a lot of old-new-stock HD models are selling around the same price. I like my HD, and I compared them to the Zeiss 8x42 SF and they are pretty much in the same ballpark, although the Zeiss is definitely better.

Edmund

Last edited by eronald : Monday 15th July 2019 at 23:34.
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 23:45   #7
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I do see that alpha 7x bins are disappearing, which is part of why I'd like to nab these. Just found out the Nikon EDG is discontinued so there goes that one too. Hard to justify though when the HT view is so similar to the FL.

I've read quite a bit about the near mythic qualities of 7x bins, but it's hard for me to tell whether the FL will offer anything really different than the HT in the real world. I had my SLC WB's before the HT's, and it was only after extending time using the HT's that their special traits became clear to me. I won't part with the HT, and so far can't let go of my Swaro's either. My sample is a real cherry, and my gut tells me I'll regret it.

Despite checking the FL 7x42 several times, the larger FOV wasn't that apparent to me, nor was an increased depth of field, but I am wondering if a more steady view, or other unique attributes would become evident after extended use as it did with the HT's.
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Old Tuesday 16th July 2019, 03:36   #8
Robert Moore
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I sold my 8x42 ht last year and regretted it. I just found a mint condition one last week and bought it. I also have the 10x42 SF but I would not recommend selling the HT. It is indeed a special binocular.

Rob
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Old Tuesday 16th July 2019, 05:50   #9
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One quality of 7x that isn't discussed much is how much extra perception of depth - I mean the distance in front of and behind objects - there is. If you have seen photos taken with a telephoto lens you may have noticed how objects seem closer together than they are in real life and this 'compression of perspective' is a product of magnification. Reduce the magnification, in binos down to 7x, and this effect significantly decreases.

I never noticed this until I tried Meopta's MeoStar 7x42 at a coastal site I had visited many times over the years with a selection of 8x binos and I was startled to be able to discern the distance between two promontories of land sticking out into the sea, one behind the other. With 8x and higher these two promontories looked glued together but with the 7x I could see that there was a distance between them. And of course this applied to everything I looked at. I emphasise that I had not been told to look for this, I had no knowledge of this effect beforehand. It was clear from the moment I looked around the bay and it gave the 7x binos an extra magic beyond the extra depth of field that I had expected.
The FL 7x42 has a formidable field of view to go with this so you would get a wide field, a deep field and a perception of spaciousness due to the clear distance between features that are lined up. All within a view that is extra-steady due to the reduced bino-shake resulting also from the reduced magnification.
And when using the 7x I never regret not having the extra 1x that an 8x has.

I would swap the SLC for the FL 7x42 and enjoy the 7x experience and if your wife uses binos at all I would think she would really enjoy the FLs too.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 16th July 2019, 13:39   #10
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The Zeiss Victory 7x42 FL IS also the lightest in weight of the group by a large margin because it's casing is made of "fibre re-enforced" plastics. The 8x42 weighs 755 grams or 26.63 ounces.

Bob
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Old Tuesday 16th July 2019, 16:16   #11
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So good is this 7X42 Victory?
Maybe to observe landscapes during the day or even to observe stellar fields during clear nights (for its 6mm pupil exit and large field) can be fantastic but do not miss the 8X or 10X to observe birds?
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Old Tuesday 16th July 2019, 17:18   #12
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I say you better snag it!
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Old Tuesday 16th July 2019, 19:00   #13
temmie
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I would only buy it if you can afford to keep the other binoculars.
It will not be significantly different than the 8x42 ht (a bit more yellowish and a bit wider fov).
I have the 7x42 t fl for more than 10 years using it all over the world and after 4000 bird species seen with it, I can only testify it is a top birders binocular.
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Old Tuesday 16th July 2019, 22:03   #14
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Hello,

I pour some water into the wine, that Zeiss T * FL 7x42 did not promise me at all, I swapped it for a Nikon EDG 7x42.The Zeiss gave me too much distortion and astigmatism, which I found very disturbing.

Andreas
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Old Wednesday 17th July 2019, 01:07   #15
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7x is fantastic (I have the Leica), but there is now the 8x SF with its huge field and easy view which is quite convincing.

Edmund
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Old Wednesday 17th July 2019, 10:13   #16
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I'm slowly, reluctantly leaning away from the FL's. The wife is a "one binocular to rule them all" gal (she has the Monarch HG 8x42), and can't get on board with adding another just yet. We acquired the bins and a Gavia scope in fairly rapid succession, so for her the dust needs to settle a bit I think.

If I want the FL's right now I'd have to sell my SLC's, and I can't bring myself to do it. Every time I seriously consider it I feel sick. I almost sold them to my sister (at least they would have stayed in the family), but told her she really needs to check the other top bins before deciding... she did and bought the Noctivid 8x barely two weeks ago.

I very much like the Ultravid HD+ too, so I may just wait, save awhile, and go for those in the near future. Here's hoping Leica doesn't soon decide to drop the 7x format too.
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Old Wednesday 17th July 2019, 18:05   #17
Kevin Conville
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Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
The Zeiss Victory 7x42 FL IS also the lightest in weight of the group by a large margin because it's casing is made of "fibre re-enforced" plastics. The 8x42 weighs 755 grams or 26.63 ounces.

Bob
The Leica 7x42 HD+ is one ounce heavier than the Zeiss 7x42 FL.
That's not a "large margin".
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Old Wednesday 17th July 2019, 20:58   #18
ceasar
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The Leica 7x42 HD+ is one ounce heavier than the Zeiss 7x42 FL.
That's not a "large margin".
Every little bit counts.
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Old Wednesday 17th July 2019, 22:17   #19
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If you can afford it without financial distress, just buy it and worry about all this debate later. A year or two from now you will be very happy that you did. If nothing else, consider it an investment. Zeiss will never make any more 7x binoculars.

Last edited by DocSarvis : Wednesday 17th July 2019 at 22:23. Reason: Clarification
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Old Thursday 18th July 2019, 10:23   #20
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If you can afford it without financial distress, just buy it and worry about all this debate later. A year or two from now you will be very happy that you did. If nothing else, consider it an investment. Zeiss will never make any more 7x binoculars.
I have considered this, but at $1500 I doubt they would ever gain much if any value. I even considered selling my SLC's, and adding another pair later if I can't live without them since they're much more readily available. (Wife really rolled her eyes when I floated this idea recently).

I'm fortunate to already have two of top traditional bins available, but the lure of adding the last 7x Zeiss will likely ever make, (with Abbe Koenig prisms no less), is hard, nay near impossible to resist.

On the other hand, it doesn't sound like the FL will give much the HT does not. In side by side viewing I could't see much difference, although oddly I thought the FL's eye relief was a little tighter (I wear glasses).

I've handled a lot of bins including owning a Victory SF, and for me the HT has the best handling (especially in winter), by a large margin. FL felt awkward by comparison, even more so than my SLC which has similar proportion, handling, and focus placement.

Probably the rational thing is to let the FL's go, but reason does not always factor in to bin buying decisions, hence the struggle continues. About the time I think I've decided not to buy the FL's, I begin to doubt and re-think it.
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Old Thursday 18th July 2019, 10:54   #21
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I cannot comment on the brand as i have no experience of that model.
What i do have is about 8 sets of binoculars 7x thru 10x and 25-50mm.
I use all of them a some stage during the birding year.
I use Opticron 8x42 generally as they are wide-angle but also take, again Opticron WA 10x42 when on trips 2/3 times a year abroad.
I still use Zeiss West 8x32 to carry when shopping etc or socialising when not actively birding as they are very convenient sizewise.
I even have a pair of 10x25 which all things considered are pretty good with hardly any colour-ringing and would clinch an ID if push came to shove

But to get back to the point.

I find myself going back to the pair i bought in 1980 to go on my first Autumn trip to the Isles of Scilly - they cost me a fortune with money borrowed from a younger birding brother (so he understood the need to go into debt).
They cost a whopping 400 quid and are my prized Ziess West Dialyt 7x42 Bgat.
Compared to current optics they are heavy and not Nitrogen-filled but their light-gathering ability and pin-sharp image means they are the go to pair for crepuscular or low-light habitat. This means they are excellent at everything else! and the 7x means it easily exceeds the 5:1 ratio. I detect no difference with 1x magnification

2 years ago they went back to Wetzlar via a contact at a Zeiss subsiduary and were flown by DHL back for a full service and 6 weeks later came back with new seals, folding lens rubber things for spectacle wearers, new rain cover and new style lanyard for better neck relief - all FOC due to the lifetime guarantee denoted by the serial number.

Good birding -

Laurie -
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Old Thursday 18th July 2019, 11:31   #22
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(In case this is of any help).
I have a 7x42 FL T* and find myself in the opposite situation. These binoculars provide the most pleasing view I've experienced (I had the 8x32 FL but it is quite simply another device altogether). The 7x42 FL is not only bright and crisp, but there's something about the view, I guess it is a mix between the attributes of 7x plus the use of AK prisms (I opened a thread about the 3D-esque view of the 7x42 FL, and I'm still amazed about this). Many times I simply look through them for the sheer pleasure of seeing, even if there's no bird on sight, just to indulge in the delights of the texture of a branch or a leave (the foliage of a tree is just a completely different story to any other binocular I've tried, maybe the 8x30W Habicht were in the same league; mind you, I have not tried neither the SF nor the HT).

If I was into full-sized binoculars, I would keep the 7x42 FL for life. However, my favourite format is 8x30-32, because most of my "quality time" birding is done while trekking, so there are situations where I'd love to have my best glass, but I carry a lighter one instead (E2 and Nikon M7 8x30 are the usual suspects). So I'm facing a similar dilemma: should I sell the 7x42 FL to fund a better 8x30-32 like the Swarovski EL? But then, if I do, I'm afraid I'll regret not being able to enjoy the lovely view of the FL (which is quite a gamble, given how scarce they are). My main issue is that, light as it is for a 7x42, I know I won't use the FL in as many situations as a lighter 8x30-32. Ahhhh, choices, choices, choices!

Last edited by yarrellii : Thursday 18th July 2019 at 11:34.
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Old Thursday 18th July 2019, 15:07   #23
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Are they asking only $1500 NIB? If you don’t buy them, you should give out the store name and address so that another Birdforum member can have the opportunity to grab them! IMO they are worth more than that now mint used.

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Old Thursday 18th July 2019, 22:34   #24
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Are they asking only $1500 NIB? If you dont buy them, you should give out the store name and address so that another Birdforum member can have the opportunity to grab them! IMO they are worth more than that now mint used.
Yes, 1,499 NIB. I assume it's the last year they made them since they have Loutec.

In a surprise development, my wife green-lit the purchase this afternoon. I'm going over tomorrow to make a final decision... it's still spendy on top of my others so I have to be sure.

I'll either buy them or I'll share the store info with those interested. Been thinking on them for a couple months - it's time to decide one way or the other.
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Old Thursday 18th July 2019, 22:45   #25
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Are they asking only $1500 NIB? If you dont buy them, you should give out the store name and address so that another Birdforum member can have the opportunity to grab them! IMO they are worth more than that now mint used.
I tend to agree with you. Were they something like $2000 when they were the top of the line for Zeiss?

The supply/demand thing kinda comes into play here...Not really a lot of 42mm FLs around and most of THEM are 8X/10X. Very few 7X42s. So $1500 for NIB is kind of a bargain to start with, IMO. Take good care of them and you'll still be able to get your money back in a few years. BTW, I'd NEVER buy a binocular expecting it to appreciate in value.

BTW....
Weights:
FL 7X42- 26.3oz
UVHD+ 7X42- 26.5oz
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