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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

4 weeks tropical birding with the Zeiss SFL 8x30 (1 Viewer)

I concur with your comments about the 8x32 NL and SF (to me they're a bit pointless as 8x32, because what I look for in that format is lightness and compactness). Thanks!

Yes I agree with this completely but also have come kind of full circle - I sort of view it that the the NL/SF x32 and the SFL x40 are kind of their own class of "a clear step above any over x32 offering" (my view of it of course) but much lighter than the alpha x40/42's. The SFL is the first of the lightweight x40's that seems to really compete with the x32 SF in terms of being an alpha quality birding tool (the MHG is very good but not good enough for me, and I've not seen the Opticron Aurora).
 
I have been to Costa Rica. It has a very high theft rate, and they target tourists because they know they have expensive kit. When somebody sees a binocular that they know is equivalent to 3–4 months wages for them, it is very tempting to steal them. I always take beater binoculars to Costa Rica, or something I can afford to lose. The Costa Rican's don't have Zeiss SFL's and if you take one down there they are going to have yours. You just have to expect more theft in low income and 3rd world countries.
 
I think if I reply to Dennis’s post, I’m going to get in trouble. I’ll put this way , go walk through parts of Brooklyn NY looking like a tourist with a pair of binoculars and a camera , and let see how often you’ll make it back to your car with your equipment. That’s assuming you make it back to your car, you know, gun free zones 😧.
 
I have been to Costa Rica. It has a very high theft rate, and they target tourists because they know they have expensive kit. When somebody sees a binocular that they know is equivalent to 3–4 months wages for them, it is very tempting to steal them. I always take beater binoculars to Costa Rica, or something I can afford to lose. The Costa Rican's don't have Zeiss SFL's and if you take one down there they are going to have yours. You just have to expect more theft in low income and 3rd world countries.
A few years ago I was in Zimbabwe in Africa near Victoria Falls and a young local lady asked if she could have a look through my binoculars. I let her do this and she handed them back with a 'thank you' and an old-fashioned curtsey. I would hesitate to make assumptions about third-world inhabitants and for sure there are fools and scoundrels in the first-world.
 
This started as such a nicely crafted review, and seems to have devolved into cultural generalizations and 2nd amendment rants. Sorry gents, but it genuinely sucks.

The SFL's - both of them - continue to amaze me. To my amateur eyes, alpha all day long, and at a relatively reasonable price. I feel like Zeiss simply continued what they had learned with SF's, figured out how to save some weight, and lowered the price by outsourcing to Japan (which I realize is not everyone's cuppa). My only complaint with the 8x30's is that they are a little more finicky than the 40's (I wear specs). I have to be careful with IP and eyecup adjustments. Truth is, my Noctivids are similar in that regard so it's just a price I've learned to pay in exchange for other stellar and unique characteristics.
 
I have been to Costa Rica. It has a very high theft rate, and they target tourists because they know they have expensive kit. When somebody sees a binocular that they know is equivalent to 3–4 months wages for them, it is very tempting to steal them. I always take beater binoculars to Costa Rica, or something I can afford to lose. The Costa Rican's don't have Zeiss SFL's and if you take one down there they are going to have yours. You just have to expect more theft in low income and 3rd world countries.
My Zeiss were nowhere to be seen, but were in a bag that I left in the car. So, yes, that's on me.

And yes, theft from tourists is a common problem, and I agree that the high number of poor people combined with the easy opportunities offered by the many careless tourists (like me in this last evening) is a cause of this.

As other's I agree that you're off the mark with your "third world" qualifier. Firstly, using the term "third world" is a bit backwards nowadays, the world too complicated to be sorted in three boxes. I found Costa Rica a remarkably well organized and well functioning country, and while not very rich, it does better in a range of important aspects than many of the richer countries (take life expectance or nature conservation, for example).

And I certainly don't agree with your recommendation to take "beater" binoculars to Costa Rica. It would have bothered me every day, would I have had to look at Costa Rica's hummingbirds through a mediocre bin, knowing there is a fine SFL back home safely on the shelve. These weeks in Costa Rica were some of the best birding I had in my life and it's exaclty for moments like that I want to have a good binocular.
 
My Zeiss were nowhere to be seen, but were in a bag that I left in the car. So, yes, that's on me.

And yes, theft from tourists is a common problem, and I agree that the high number of poor people combined with the easy opportunities offered by the many careless tourists (like me in this last evening) is a cause of this.

As other's I agree that you're off the mark with your "third world" qualifier. Firstly, using the term "third world" is a bit backwards nowadays, the world too complicated to be sorted in three boxes. I found Costa Rica a remarkably well organized and well functioning country, and while not very rich, it does better in a range of important aspects than many of the richer countries (take life expectance or nature conservation, for example).

And I certainly don't agree with your recommendation to take "beater" binoculars to Costa Rica. It would have bothered me every day, would I have had to look at Costa Rica's hummingbirds through a mediocre bin, knowing there is a fine SFL back home safely on the shelve. These weeks in Costa Rica were some of the best birding I had in my life and it's exaclty for moments like that I want to have a good binocular.
I think having the best birding time of your life is worth a lot more than one pair of expensive binoculars. The optics can be replaced, the experience can’t.

I see this comes up a lot on many forums, about what to call some of these countries , seems labeling and grouping is more prevalent today than just a decade or so ago. What do you think we should call these countries or areas? You call them 3rd world , no good, we call them high crime, not PC, we call them poor, its degrading. I was in down town Atlanta last year and stayed at the Hilton $$$+, nice walking around during the day. Sun went down and we went walking around looking for an Icecream store, bad decision, didn’t think it out, don’t do it.
 
And I certainly don't agree with your recommendation to take "beater" binoculars to Costa Rica. It would have bothered me every day, would I have had to look at Costa Rica's hummingbirds through a mediocre bin, knowing there is a fine SFL back home safely on the shelve. These weeks in Costa Rica were some of the best birding I had in my life and it's exaclty for moments like that I want to have a good binocular.
Hear, hear!
 
I think having the best birding time of your life is worth a lot more than one pair of expensive binoculars. The optics can be replaced, the experience can’t.
(y)
I see this comes up a lot on many forums, about what to call some of these countries , seems labeling and grouping is more prevalent today than just a decade or so ago. What do you think we should call these countries or areas?
It's not a big effort to avoid often incorrect and at times insulting generalizations and qualifiers and to be a bit more precise and conscious what you really want to say.
 
I see this comes up a lot on many forums, about what to call some of these countries , seems labeling and grouping is more prevalent today than just a decade or so ago. What do you think we should call these countries or areas? You call them 3rd world , no good, we call them high crime, not PC, we call them poor, its degrading.
The UN uses 'less economically developed countries.'

In my early days of tropical birding, when on a very low budget and staying in very basic places, I used to take my bins out with me when going to restaurants etc in case of a room break-in. I stopped doing this when I left a pair of Leitz (as they were then) in a restaurant In Kathmandu. Fortunately someone came running out with them in theirs hands to return them to me. I am pleased to say that in about two years in total in LEDCs I have never had any optics stolen although I am worried enough that I usually take a pair of 8 x 20s as emergency back-ups just in case in whatever the economic level of the country.

I suspect the SFLs will be my next binocular. Love the low weight and the optics sound great without the price tag being as outrageous as some other new bins. Hoping my FLs last a few more years though.

On the insurance front, my insurance does cover car break in as long as they were in the boot.
 
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