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8. The Right Binoculars (1 Viewer)

First decide on your budget. ZEISS offers Victory SF binoculars at the premium level, mid-priced professionally performing Conquest HDs, and as a first foot on the ZEISS ladder, the competent and affordable Terra ED range. Note too the availability of Zeiss Victory Pocket models offering superior performance in a discrete package.

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Next, consider what size of binocular is likely to suit your needs. The most popular formats are those with a 32mm objective and those with a 42mm. For birding primarily during the day, a 32mm will give you a more compact and lighter instrument, which could especially suit you if you have other things to carry, while a 42mm will provide a good bright image even under dull skies or at dawn and dusk.

Selecting the magnification is a little more complicated. The two most popular are 8x and 10x, the latter being the highest magnification that the average person can hold steady by hand. With an 8x you will normally have a bigger field of view and see more of the world each time you look through your binoculars, while a 10x can reveal more details of your subject or just bring a distant subject ‘closer’ than an 8x. The special balance and handling characteristics of ZEISS Victory SF binoculars make them easier to hold steady for longer.

Don’t ignore the close-focus distance in the specifications. Once you have experienced focusing your binoculars on nearby subjects you will be fascinated as you enter a new world of nature observation.

Weight and size are the most important criteria for hikers, trekkers, cyclists and kayakers, etc. The 8x 25 and 10 x 25 ZEISS Victory Pocket binoculars are the perfect lightweight choice but 32 mm models (e.g. 8 x 32) are real alternatives for daytime outdoor activities. They are somewhat larger and heavier than the Pockets but offer noticeably more visual comfort.

When travelling by car through the countryside you may find the 10x32 format to be a perfect companion. It is a compact format so does not need a lot of storage space, and the 10x magnification is useful because it is a fact of life that you can never park your car as close as you would like to the wildlife you have noticed.

Compact binoculars bring added enjoyment to many occasions e.g. to city tours, cultural events and outdoor sports etc. From viewing art in galleries, where a close approach to artworks is forbidden, to cityscapes and architectural details, to concerts in the park, or to horse-racing, athletics, yachting and other events, binoculars simply enable you to get more out of life.
 

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