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Victory FL 7x42 - more problems

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Old Saturday 2nd May 2020, 18:47   #1
GoldenBear
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Victory FL 7x42 - more problems

Just today have found another issue my Victory FL 7x42's that is really irritating. There is a distinctive rattle coming from somewhere inside. I can't tell which barrel, and I cannot visually see anything, but there is a definite noise. Seems to be somewhere in the eyepiece end.

A while back I posted how I found this old stock, NIB binocular at a very reputable Zeiss dealer, and had to send them in for repair of a reflection in the right barrel. When I received them back I thought they were repaired nearly perfectly, although after using them awhile I noticed they still have more reflection in one barrel than the other... about 95% better though.

I was pretty disappointed that they supposedly cleaned the interior surfaces, but I swear there was more dust and dirt in both barrels than when I sent them in. An unacceptable amount really, but since it does't affect the view, and because I didn't want to send them back and wait another 4 months, i figured I'll live with it.

Now, despite never being dropped, bumped, or mishandled in any way, they have developed an obnoxious rattle. I am really developing a love / hate with Zeiss. I had a pair of gray 10x42 SF's that showed shoddy build quality, and I've seen a lot of dust and dirt in several other models I've examined. (No maker is exempt from a speck of two of dust, but Zeiss is easily the worst from my experience)

I know others have had different experiences, but their QC really seems to be subpar from what I've seen. Especially frustrating considering how long it takes them to turn around repairs.
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Old Saturday 2nd May 2020, 19:21   #2
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Time for you to move brand I guess. You've been unlucky with two models from Zeiss so perhaps you will find better QC internal cleanliness and robustness with a unit from a different company.

Good luck
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Old Saturday 2nd May 2020, 19:36   #3
GoldenBear
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I found where it's coming from... it's the little dust cover on the underside of the bin beneath the focus knob. It looks like this part would "float" so maybe this rattle is normal, although I've never heard it before.

Maybe some other Victory FL owners can shed some light and possibly talk me off the ledge? If it's not abnormal, and since it's not inside the bin, maybe it's just a quirk I hadn't noticed yet.
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Old Saturday 2nd May 2020, 19:41   #4
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I have an early 8 x 32 Victory FL , pre Lotutec. Never noticed a noise or rattle from my unit, which has survived coming off a car roof at 45mph. Still very much in use.
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Old Saturday 2nd May 2020, 20:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
I found where it's coming from... it's the little dust cover on the underside of the bin beneath the focus knob. It looks like this part would "float" so maybe this rattle is normal, although I've never heard it before.

Maybe some other Victory FL owners can shed some light and possibly talk me off the ledge? If it's not abnormal, and since it's not inside the bin, maybe it's just a quirk I hadn't noticed yet.
Hi GoldenBear,

Jepp, I would have guessed that too!

I had a 7x42, there was that too!
My girlfriend has an 8x32, it is only occasional!
I have read this "problem" several times in forums.
In German this disk is called "kidney disk"!
Try to ignore the sound, there shouldn't be a problem.

Andreas
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Old Saturday 2nd May 2020, 20:35   #6
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I have the 7x42 T*FL - the little dust cover piece of plastic underneath the focus knob on my unit freely rotates back and forth approximately 1 cm. I spoke to Zeiss about it and they said this is normal. It certainly doesn't rattle though. It only moves when I press on it with a finger.

Lovely bin in my opinion. My absolute go-to when I go for a walk and don't want to bring my tripod with me.
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Old Sunday 3rd May 2020, 01:59   #7
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My 7x42 FL does not rattle in any way. And I was just using it about an hour ago....
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Old Sunday 3rd May 2020, 06:58   #8
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Similar to others, the cover on the reverse of the focus knob has some play if you touch it on mine (owned since new, shipped direct from Zeiss), but it doesn’t “rattle” unless you go out of your way to touch it, and I never saw this as a “problem” to investigate further.

I just did a light shake of mine (for the first time ever?!), and no noises heard.

Awesome glass, never even considered changing them out as my main pair, treasure and enjoy if you can.
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Old Sunday 3rd May 2020, 14:14   #9
KenSchwarz
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No problems here

No rattles here. Use them every day. Sorry to hear you are having problems.
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Old Sunday 3rd May 2020, 14:54   #10
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No rattles here. Use them every day. Sorry to hear you are having problems.
Just using this post as an example - to all those who "don't rattle", is there free play in that little dust cover underneath the binoculars under the focus knob moving back and forth?

Im just curious.
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Old Sunday 3rd May 2020, 15:06   #11
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Mine don't rattle either, and there is about 0.5cm play - perhaps a tiny spot of glue or blu-tack could be applied if it is bothering you that much?
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Old Sunday 3rd May 2020, 15:23   #12
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Originally Posted by Samolot View Post
Just using this post as an example - to all those who "don't rattle", is there free play in that little dust cover underneath the binoculars under the focus knob moving back and forth?

Im just curious.
Yes it rotates 1/2 cm or so, hinges fully open, similar to dwatsonbirder’s by the sounds of it - sounds totally normal if we are all experiencing similar. It rotates further when the hinges are set to my ipd.

The only “rattle” I can create is by tapping it, or the nudging back and forth of the disk by the aforementioned distance, i.e. between it’s stops.

I don’t see this as an issue either I have never noticed it in the field as my fingers only go there if I am really fidgeting with them, rather than actually using them, when my thumbs would never really go to that area.
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Old Sunday 3rd May 2020, 17:00   #13
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Hi,

The dust cover underneath the focus wheel is designed to be slightly loose as the hinge is opening and closing inside it.

Gary
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Old Sunday 3rd May 2020, 18:29   #14
KenSchwarz
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I found what you are talking about...yes

[quote=Samolot;3994891]Just using this post as an example - to all those who "don't rattle", is there free play in that little dust cover underneath the binoculars under the focus knob moving back and forth?

Yes, I finally understand what you are talking about. There is a hair free space between the dust cover and the focus knob and yes, you can move it if you push it. I hadn't noticed it before. Anyway, it doesn't rattle!
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Old Monday 4th May 2020, 00:57   #15
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It seems fairly clear that this is a normal condition and nothing to be concerned with. When I first noticed the noise I was worried it was internal.

I took them out today for a bit and despite not being flawlessly clean inside (I've tried every test I can think of and the dust is absolutely invisible), and a floating cover piece that may or may not occasionally rattle, the image quality is quite stellar.

I have an SLC WB 8x42 and Victory HT 8x42 and the little FL 7x42 is optically on par in every way that counts.
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Old Monday 4th May 2020, 13:16   #16
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Seems like a non-issue. I have both the round-lipped eyecups and the square-lipped eyecups. One of the round ones wasnt extending smoothly so I reached out to Zeiss and they are sending me a replacement, which I thought was nice. I asked if the new SF eyecups are compatible and sadly they are not

These binoculars are certainly one-of-a-kind and seem to have a cult-like following. I compared them to the Leica UVDHD+ 7x42 and the FL's to me came out on top subjectively. Leica makes colors pop which some find very appealing including Tobias Mennle whose reviews I read with great appreciation. The Zeiss however have that really nice wide FoV, and brighter "white-washed" image that I really like. What I noticed yesterday though is they certainly favor greens (now that leaves are finally starting to grow on trees after a mild, but loooong winter). Both binoculars are truly outstanding which I now think is more a result of the 7x42 format, a vastly underrated set-up. Cheers
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Old Monday 4th May 2020, 16:27   #17
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Just for future reference (image attached)

I've had 4 Victory FL units (8x32, 10x42 and 2 units of 7x42) and that little conical cover under the focus wheel has made a rattling noise in each and every one of them. The first time I encountered the issue I was in shock, after spending so much money in such a valuable device, I just couldn't believe it. I rang a friend who has a 8x42 FL (works in the field and has put on the FL all the glassing hours one can possibly think of since at least 2005) and I was told his unit also makes this noise, ufff, what a relief. So everything is fine. I'm attaching a picture just to make sure we're talking about the same piece and if anyone ever comes to the same issue again, there can be some reassurance about the situation. It turns out the little conical cover actually rotates. See attached image: I have rotated the cover all the way it will go, and indicated the limits with my fingertip.

Following on what Samolot says, I think I subscribe to every word. Both 7x42 are amazing devices (mind you I've used the UVHD, not the +). I had both and I had the biggest trouble deciding which one to keep; sweet trouble, this is. In the end it was the FL for me. A binocular which is not devoid of flaws (more glaring, more field curvature compared to UVHD, bulkier and heavier feel in the hand, but brighter and more 3D-esque, sharper and more... how to say it... alive). Oddly enough is a device I consider to have more flaws than the Leica.
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Old Monday 4th May 2020, 16:45   #18
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Yes that's the infamous piece.
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Old Monday 4th May 2020, 22:46   #19
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Yes that's the infamous piece.
Hi Samolot, totally off topic but may I ask if you are interested in aircraft? The Russian for aeroplane/airplane is самолёт (samolyot) - literally self/auto-flying.

Just had to ask!

Tom
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Old Tuesday 5th May 2020, 12:57   #20
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It's been many years ago, but I have posted on the rattle from that "dust cover" (which I affectionately call the "sand trap") before. It is inherent to all FL series binoculars. Every person who has told me their FL doesn't rattle, and whose binocular I've been able to test myself, has rattled, though some are louder than others. I don't find that it rattles much in normal use.

--AP
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Old Tuesday 5th May 2020, 17:55   #21
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Mine don't rattle either, and there is about 0.5cm play - perhaps a tiny spot of glue or blu-tack could be applied if it is bothering you that much?
This cover has to move to allow opening and closing of the hinge. Do NOT glue it unless you want to jam up the hinge and do other horrible damage to the binocular !!!!!!!!

Gary.
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Old Saturday 8th August 2020, 12:26   #22
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From the above, do I understand correctly, that the FL's may make a slight rattle (only when shaken?) which is normal and due the necessary play of a dust cover under the focussing knob?

I bought a pair of 7x42 this morning and have been reading up on what to expect

Cheers
Andy
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Old Saturday 8th August 2020, 12:30   #23
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From the above, do I understand correctly, that the FL's may make a slight rattle (only when shaken?) which is normal and due the necessary play of a dust cover under the focussing knob?

I bought a pair of 7x42 this morning and have been reading up on what to expect

Cheers
Andy
Yes, they don’t generally rattle in normal use, but the cover kind of rattles if you for example dab it with your finger - totally normal - enjoy them, a great binocular and my main bin.
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Old Saturday 8th August 2020, 13:45   #24
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Agree w/the tern. I can hear a slight rattle if I vigorously shake our example. Since I never shake ours, I had not ever heard this rattle until today.
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Old Saturday 8th August 2020, 14:10   #25
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Thanks, a careful 'shake test' will be undertaken on arrival, Tuesday. Crossing my fingers they will prove a good sibling to my HD+ which are top notch. Just couldn't resist a minty/new FL
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