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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

7x42 FL and 8x42 HT (1 Viewer)

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Is it just my love affair with Zeiss's good old Abbe-König glass or would I be close to the truth thinking that the two binoculars in the title beat just about everything in the 7 and 8 42 class for resolution/contrast/all factors that contribute to visible sharpness? At first sight Swarovski ELs seem better (treating 8.5 as an 8 for the purposes of this post) but something lets them down — maybe lower contrast, a bit more glare, something. This is all quite nitpicking but despite my general preference for Leica colour (which doesn't mean I find it more true to life) I find the non-SP Zeisses give me the clearest viewing both in strong lighting and at twilight. And in ideal lighting, which to me is overcast after rain, both these glasses are magical in their definition. Anybody care to explain this, or just agree? I know binocular use and experience are very personal things so it would be interesting to hear what others feel. I know this is a Zeiss forum but also that many here use other makes as well.

I feel the same about the 8x56 FL though I need to support it to appreciate it fully. Another thing it has taken me a while to appreciate is just how good the Zeiss focusers are on these models, even if not quite in the Nikon league. They are very consistent and there is absolutely no stiction — nor sloppiness at direction changes. Same with 8x32 FL also as far as focusing goes (not an AK model and not relevant to the previous paragraph).

All the models mentioned were pre-owned purchases, and I know in at least two cases that they were put to extensive nature watching use by the previous owner in all weathers.

Tom

I should add that I don't have experience of longer than 5 minutes inside a shop with the NL 8x42 which probably gives these Zeiss glasses a good run for their money regarding paragraph no.1.
 
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Grial

Member
Russian Federation
Hello. I have, among other binoculars, 8x42 HT. I fully share your opinion about this device. The contrast, color reproduction, and sharpness of the center field make it a diamond in my small collection. EL 10x50 FP, SLC 8x42 WB, Habicht 10x40W, FL 8x32, FL 10x32 and 8x42 HT are all my binoculars at the moment. Each of them is unique in its field, and I don't presume to choose the best one, but whenever I take HT my eyes and brain say "WOW"! My wife doesn't know much about optics, but when I ask her to choose the best binoculars, she always points to HT. She even said she was taking it from me because it was all she needed from the binoculars. )
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Interesting and especially so as you have a very nice selection to compare with, Grial. I really like that SLC 8x42 WB and the EL 10x50 Field Pro, having those myself. Out of interest how do you — and your wife — find the little 8x32 FL by comparison: still competitive? Reassuring for me to see sometimes that others have the same findings and joking apart I'll accept wives' verdicts as the gold standard. Like mum they know best!

What do you and she feel about the two Swarovskis? They are both favourites too and quite different from each other, as you say. Nice to have the choice.
 

Grial

Member
Russian Federation
Hello, SeldomPerched. As for the 8x32 FL and 10x32FL, these are my favorite binoculars. Without any doubt, they are still relevant and provide absolutely everything you need for high-quality observations. And if you take into account their size and weight, I still do not see any competitors for them. Also, I really like the "view through ZEISS". I don't belittle the virtues of the Swarovski appliances, but whenever I have to do without my FL's, I miss them ). Flx32 is the most frequently used binoculars in my small collection. In the early morning and late evening I will certainly take something from my SLC, EL or HT, for stargazing I can't think of anything better than the EL10x50, but any time in the afternoon I will take the FLx32.
 
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Grial

Member
Russian Federation
As for my Swarovski-I love them too ) For me, the SLC 8x42 is the most convenient for eye placement and provides absolute ease of viewing, optical quality at the highest level. The EL 10x50 is a chic binoculars with the highest optical qualities, but large and a little heavy. Wearing it around your neck all day will be difficult. The Habicht 10x40W is a lightweight and beautiful classic binoculars with excellent color reproduction and throughput. This binoculars just feel good in your hands ) This is already, practically, a story, but optically very, very relevant so far.
 

Alexandr33

Active member
Ukraine
For a long time I searched among good binoculars for my one and only. And even when I got it, I could not appreciate it.
After about a year and a half, I took him to my country cottage for a couple of months. And there he was revealed in all its glory. Forest, river, meadow ... The long walks and cycling trips with these binoculars were excellent. During the day, in any weather, and even at dusk or early morning, he was exceptionally good at depicting the natural world. Dimensions and weight were also out of competition.
And yes, this all applies to the Zeiss 8x32 T FL.
If the goal is set with one pair of binoculars, then for me today there is no better binocular than the Zeiss 8x32 T FL.
.
 

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CSG

Well-known member
United States
I've had a very happy relationship with my 8x42 Victory HTs going back some years now. Best binoculars I've ever looked through. I like the idea of Swaros but never found any I got along with. Same with Leica (although I do own a first batch 1967 Leica M4).
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
As for my Swarovski-I love them too ) For me, the SLC 8x42 is the most convenient for eye placement and provides absolute ease of viewing, optical quality at the highest level. The EL 10x50 is a chic binoculars with the highest optical qualities, but large and a little heavy. Wearing it around your neck all day will be difficult. The Habicht 10x40W is a lightweight and beautiful classic binoculars with excellent color reproduction and throughput. This binoculars just feel good in your hands ) This is already, practically, a story, but optically very, very relevant so far.
I know what you mean. I am a great fan of the SLC 8x42; I was lucky to get one this time last year while they were still in production. Regarding Zeiss I love the AK glasses but while the FL 8x32 is very nifty with a good FOV by pre-SF pre-NL standards it doesn't give me the magic of the 7s and 8s in larger sizes. Being very fussy here as I know it is a very well-regarded glass and it just works!
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
For a long time I searched among good binoculars for my one and only. And even when I got it, I could not appreciate it.
After about a year and a half, I took him to my country cottage for a couple of months. And there he was revealed in all its glory. Forest, river, meadow ... The long walks and cycling trips with these binoculars were excellent. During the day, in any weather, and even at dusk or early morning, he was exceptionally good at depicting the natural world. Dimensions and weight were also out of competition.
And yes, this all applies to the Zeiss 8x32 T FL.
If the goal is set with one pair of binoculars, then for me today there is no better binocular than the Zeiss 8x32 T FL.
.
Hi Alexandr,

I like your thinking (and words). If it were me I know that with just one binocular any I have would serve me well and I would focus on enjoying the scene and the wildlife with whatever one I had. But given a choice I think I'd take one of these: like you, Zeiss FL but in 7x42 size. Sometimes for the warmer colours I would miss my SLC 8x42. That's me because I feel 42 is often easier to handle and gives an easier view.

Tom
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hi Alexandr,

I like your thinking (and words). If it were me I know that with just one binocular any I have would serve me well and I would focus on enjoying the scene and the wildlife with whatever one I had. But given a choice I think I'd take one of these: like you, Zeiss FL but in 7x42 size. Sometimes for the warmer colours I would miss my SLC 8x42. That's me because I feel 42 is often easier to handle and gives an easier view.

Tom
After taking 8x32 FL out for several hours yesterday I see what you mean, Aleksandr. I put up a post about it today if you want to read it. Best wishes, Tom
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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