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SF 32, First Impressions

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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 08:51   #1
Troubador
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SF 32, First Impressions

After many false predictions and nods and winks for several years, at long last the rumoured and almost mythical SF 32 has surfaced.

After a brief try-out I have to say I was wrong about one fundamental. I have expressed doubts more than once that the kind of balance possessed by SF42 could be repeated in a 32 mm model, but by golly it has. Zeiss’s latest baby weighs pretty much the same as Swarovski’s EL but the balance means the weight almost disappears when you grip it and lift it up. It is long enough to allow a good open-hinge grip with three fingers wrapped around the barrel just under the second bridge and your first finger falling naturally on the focus wheel, just as it does on the 42. By the way my IPD is only 58.5mm so my grip was achieved even with the hinge closed quite a lot.

As leaked a couple of weeks ago, the field of view of the 8x is 155 metres at 1,000 metres, or 465 ft at 1,000 yds, equating to a true angle of view of 8.80 degrees. The view is huge and sharp. Even the 10x has 130 metres at 1,000 metres, so 390 feet at 1,000 yards or 7.40 degrees true angle of view. The close focus distance is stated to be 1.95m for both 8x and 10x but was closer than this on the unit I tried.

In short, this is a worthy follow-up to the 42.

Lee
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 08:58   #2
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Welcoming news, thanks for that and the photos. I'm sure it will prove to be popular.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 10:50   #3
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Thanks for posting Lee! I look forward to your thoughts on it once you had had a thorough 'work out' with it!

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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 10:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
After many false predictions and nods and winks for several years, at long last the rumoured and almost mythical SF 32 has surfaced.

After a brief try-out I have to say I was wrong about one fundamental. I have expressed doubts more than once that the kind of balance possessed by SF42 could be repeated in a 32 mm model, but by golly it has. Zeiss’s latest baby weighs pretty much the same as Swarovski’s EL but the balance means the weight almost disappears when you grip it and lift it up. It is long enough to allow a good open-hinge grip with two fingers wrapped around the barrel and the little finger/pinkie resting on the third hinge. Your first finger falls naturally on the focus wheel, just as it does on the 42.

As leaked a couple of weeks ago, the field of view of the 8x is 155 metres at 1,000 metres, or 465 ft at 1,000 yds, equating to a true angle of view of 8.80 degrees. The view is huge and sharp. Even the 10x has 130 metres at 1,000 metres, so 390 feet at 1,000 yards or 7.40 degrees true angle of view. The close focus distance is stated to be 1.95m for both 8x and 10x but was closer than this on the unit I tried.

In short, this is a worthy follow-up to the 42.

Lee
ù

HI!
I've just published the firt technical data on Binomania.it
https://www.binomania.it/zeiss-sf32/
I will receive a specimen of 8X, in the nexd days.
Have a nice week end to all!
Piergiovanni
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 11:08   #5
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Thanks for posting Lee! I look forward to your thoughts on it once you had had a thorough 'work out' with it!

Chris
Hi Chris

The unit I used was borrowed for a couple of hours. When production standard units become available I hope to get a unit to review but I can imagine there are many reviewers hoping to do the same, not to mention hundreds of dealers world-wide screaming for stock.

Lee
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 12:25   #6
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Lee. How do the size of the eye cups compare to the SF 8x42? Any problems with black outs? Are the 8x32 SF's as sharp to the edge as the SF 8x42'S? Any RB? Did you get a chance to check CA? 8.8 degree's would be really nice with sharp edges. Thanks.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 13:21   #7
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Lee. How do the size of the eye cups compare to the SF 8x42? Any problems with black outs? Are the 8x32 SF's as sharp to the edge as the SF 8x42'S? Any RB? Did you get a chance to check CA? 8.8 degree's would be really nice with sharp edges. Thanks.
Dennis

I didn't closely compare the eyecups of 32 against the 42 but if you are concerned about blackouts when using these without spectacles, take a look at the pic which has a 32 in front of a 42 and the eyecups look very close in size. And don't forget wide fields of view need bigger prisms and lenses and this is dipicted in the animations on the Zeiss website, si the diameter of the optical tube can be expected to be a bit bigger and therefore the eyecups would be too, so I am confident they won't jam too deep into anyone's eye sockets. I had no blackouts with spectacles. Concerning edge sharpness, again I didn't compare 32 with 42 but the 32s were certainly sharp enough for me to identify species of ducks entering the field of view at the edge. Didn't see any RB at all but I have never seen it in a 42. Definitely couldnt see any CA at all, even black tree branches against white clouds.

The fov is knock-out and it feels great in the hand.

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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 14:35   #8
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Hi Lee,
What magnification did you test drive?
Jeff
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 14:42   #9
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Hi Lee,
What magnification did you test drive?
Jeff
Hi Jeff

I had time with both magnifications, but probably most time with the 10x32.

Lee
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 15:19   #10
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Dennis

I didn't closely compare the eyecups of 32 against the 42 but if you are concerned about blackouts when using these without spectacles, take a look at the pic which has a 32 in front of a 42 and the eyecups look very close in size. And don't forget wide fields of view need bigger prisms and lenses and this is dipicted in the animations on the Zeiss website, si the diameter of the optical tube can be expected to be a bit bigger and therefore the eyecups would be too, so I am confident they won't jam too deep into anyone's eye sockets. I had no blackouts with spectacles. Concerning edge sharpness, again I didn't compare 32 with 42 but the 32s were certainly sharp enough for me to identify species of ducks entering the field of view at the edge. Didn't see any RB at all but I have never seen it in a 42. Definitely couldnt see any CA at all, even black tree branches against white clouds.

The fov is knock-out and it feels great in the hand.

Lee
Thanks, Lee. it sure is nice to have someone as knowledgeable as you trying these new Zeiss out for us to help us decide if we want to purchase them. They are sounding great.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 15:45   #11
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Thanks, Lee. it sure is nice to have someone as knowledgeable as you trying these new Zeiss out for us to help us decide if we want to purchase them. They are sounding great.
Dennis

Visit the other thread. Henry has spotted that SF32 has an unusual ocular and the focus lens behind the prisms.

No wonder they achieved the balance they were seeking.


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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 16:01   #12
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Thanks for the impressions and Pics Lee.

It looks very nice.

I won't be giving up my little FL though ... still one of the shortest 32mm binos out there.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 16:18   #13
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Thanks for the impressions and Pics Lee.

It looks very nice.

I won't be giving up my little FL though ... still one of the shortest 32mm binos out there.
Beth

But with the weight of the new SF's toward the oculars they will feel shorter than the FL's.

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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 16:25   #14
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Dennis

Visit the other thread. Henry has spotted that SF32 has an unusual ocular and the focus lens behind the prisms.

No wonder they achieved the balance they were seeking.


Lee
Lee

That is interesting the way they have all the lenses toward the oculars to achieve the forward balance and make the binoculars feel lighter.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 16:27   #15
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But with the weight of the new SF's toward the oculars they will feel shorter than the FL's.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 17:23   #16
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So they are both bigger and lighter than "plastic" FLs but have a "heavy" metal body and "heavy" FL glas as well. Impressive.
Do we know where they are manufactured?
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 17:35   #17
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Lee - sounds like you were very impressed. I have been toying with the idea of getting a 10x32 primarily because I like the small size - that's the reason I didn't purchase a SF x42. I was leaning towards the Swarovski EL 10x32 but I think I'll wait and check out the new SF 10x32.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 18:19   #18
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So they are both bigger and lighter than "plastic" FLs but have a "heavy" metal body and "heavy" FL glas as well. Impressive.
Do we know where they are manufactured?
They are not lighter than FLs. Made in Wetzlar.

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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 18:35   #19
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Thanks.
Pretty promising. I think Zeiss went in the right direction going for optical performance instead of tiny size.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 19:01   #20
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Beth

But with the weight of the new SF's toward the oculars they will feel shorter than the FL's.
But that is only when you look through them. When they are dangling around your neck, you still feel the full weight.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 20:33   #21
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Lee. How much do they weigh?
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 06:34   #22
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Pretty much the same as Swaro EL. The SF 8x32 is 600g and the EL 595g so a tiny difference in the weights of the neckstrap or ocular guard could tip the balance either way. BTW this means the 8x32 is 180g or 6.35 ozs lighter than its 8x42 brother.

Note that now the focus shaft has been identified it is clear the focusing lens is not behind the prisms, but now consists of a moving doublet and fixed singlet right at the front. The whole caboodle is way different from SF 42.

Lee
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 07:42   #23
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Pretty promising. I think Zeiss went in the right direction going for optical performance instead of tiny size.
Yep. Optical performance over size, while at the same time keeping the weight down. Looks like a *very* interesting concept to me.

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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 13:03   #24
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Yep. Optical performance over size, while at the same time keeping the weight down. Looks like a *very* interesting concept to me.

Hermann
Dead right Hermann. There we all were expecting a straight-forward down-sizing of the SF42 and what we have got is a 32 with a totally different optical train. I certainly didn't see that coming.

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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 13:19   #25
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Yep. Optical performance over size, while at the same time keeping the weight down. Looks like a *very* interesting concept to me.

Hermann
".......... .."over size, while at the same time keeping the weight down. ......."

Nice play on words!

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