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After the FL: 7 years with a Zeiss Victory HT 8x42 (1 Viewer)

mbb

Well-known member
Hi Renze, you are right that both change with magnification but they are quite different. With 'Depth of field', everything inside the depth of field is in focus, and everything outside is not in focus.
With the compression effect, the entire scene can be in focus but nevertheless with higher magnification (or in photography with longer focal length lenses) there appears to be much less distance between objects closer to the observer and other objects that are further away. The pic below illustrates this.
Lee View attachment 1362618
This change in projected perspective is indeed an important effect well know in photography, but it is actually related to the distance between the viewer and the objects viewed and not the focal length itself.
If you were to use the different objectives/lenses to take pictures from the same position/distance, and crop the wide angle picture to have the same magnification as given by the telephote lens, you would end up with the same perspective.
If you want to have the pictured item or person having the same size on the picture with different lenses without cropping, you would of course have to step closer woth the wode angle lens and that will result in the difference between the pictures shown here.
Thus I don’t think this would be the cause of more ‘3D’ effect when using lower magnification binoculars instead of higher magnification ones, unless it makes you step closer or if it would result in some playing tricks with our brain and kind of photographic memory/interpretation of what we see.
I am not 100% sure though: I don’t have lower magnification binoculars than 8x binoculars to check.
 
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Maljunulo

Well-known member
Are we sure that looking at a photograph and looking through binoculars are equivalent?

Just asking out of ignorance, not questioning anyone's assertion.

One is what the brain gets directly from the retina, the other is what the eye sees from a photograph taken by a camera, sort of a "second-order" image.

Perhaps the brain can't tell the difference.
 
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lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
It depends on if you are comparing a binocular to a 'full frame' camera or that of a APS-C...
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Are we sure that looking at a photograph and looking through binoculars are equivalent?

Just asking out of ignorance, not questioning anyone's assertion.

One is what the brain gets directly from the retina, the other is what the eye sees from a photograph taken by a camera, sort of a "second-order" image.

Perhaps the brain can't tell the difference.
No, I am not sure they are equivalent and the purpose of posting the photos was simply to illustrate the compression effect. I had not noticed this effect in binoculars until I took a pair of 7x42 MeoStars to the Western Isles and was using them in places that I knew intimately from using 8x binos there for many visits over decades. At a bay I knew well, as soon as I looked through the 7x binos I was aware of a perceptible distance between physical features of the coast, features that I had previously perceived as being close to one another when viewed through 8x binos. I wasn't expecting this so I wasn't actively 'looking for it'. If my references to photographs have confused this issue I apologise, the analogy seemed to offer a graphic way to illustrate the effect.

Lee
 

mbb

Well-known member
Are we sure that looking at a photograph and looking through binoculars are equivalent?

Just asking out of ignorance, not questioning anyone's assertion.

One is what the brain gets directly from the retina, the other is what the eye sees from a photograph taken by a camera, sort of a "second-order" image.

Perhaps the brain can't tell the difference.
Good question.
I don't know much about optics and theory about it.
There is of course one very big difference between photography and the use of binoculars regarding the resulting view or image and sense of '3D': traditional photography is giving an image like looking through only one eye, while binoculars obviously are meant for both eyes together. This means both offer perspective through projection (as in paintings from the renaissance onward), which the brain can interpret in some way to have an indication of depth (partially by including knowledge from memory of sizes of objects), but binoculars do offer some actual depth perception (depending mainly on the distance between the objectives).
Otherwise, I don't know which important (dis)similarities are crucial.
 

CSG

Well-known member
United States
I have little to add in the way of technical knowledge but of all the binoculars I've looked through in the past, none have been better than my pair of 8x42 HT bins. Interestingly, even though they are notably superior to my Conquest HD 8x32's, I use the latter pair more often due to their convenience and lighter weight when out for a walk or even at home with the feeders. For me, where the HT's particularly shine is astronomical use. Truly stunning views under my dark skies here in the Idaho countryside. I am still puzzled why Zeiss didn't stick with these in this size.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I find the limited HT run interesting too. I had a 10x and found it a very solid binocular. The 8x and 10x HT's were only in production a few years before they were supplanted by the SF's.... but find it interesting that they even manufactured the HT's considering the SF's were just a few years down the road.
 

tenex

reality-based
This change in projected perspective is indeed an important effect well know in photography, but it is actually related to the distance between the viewer and the objects viewed and not the focal length itself.
If you were to use the different objectives/lenses to take pictures from the same position/distance, and crop the wide angle picture to have the same magnification as given by the telephote lens, you would end up with the same perspective.
Good catch. You're correct about this, and photography textbooks generally put it just this way. Whatever the optical instrument, if you carefully examine the relationship between the same objects from the same viewing position, you'll find it the same regardless of magnification. That's pure geometry. It's only the more limited FOV, and tendency to use higher magnification from further away (as in Lee's photos) so everything actually is closer to equidistant, that create a so-called "compression" impression, or "lack of 3D".
 
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james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
I have little to add in the way of technical knowledge but of all the binoculars I've looked through in the past, none have been better than my pair of 8x42 HT bins. Interestingly, even though they are notably superior to my Conquest HD 8x32's, I use the latter pair more often due to their convenience and lighter weight when out for a walk or even at home with the feeders. For me, where the HT's particularly shine is astronomical use. Truly stunning views under my dark skies here in the Idaho countryside. I am still puzzled why Zeiss didn't stick with these in this size.
I’d still opine the 8x42 HTs provide the finest view of any Zeiss to date.
 

Patudo

Well-known member
I find the limited HT run interesting too. I had a 10x and found it a very solid binocular. The 8x and 10x HT's were only in production a few years before they were supplanted by the SF's.... but find it interesting that they even manufactured the HT's considering the SF's were just a few years down the road.

Pretty sure all this and more must been discussed in detail back in the archives, but I think dropping the x42 HTs was an acknowledgement by Zeiss that field of view (SF) was more desirable to the average birder - or at least the average birder buying alpha-class binoculars - than light transmission. That's quite interesting in itself, in that here in the UK certainly, and no doubt other areas as well, there are a good many grey dreary days in which every little increase in brightness would be welcome. But it seems that the apparent brightness offered by the EL/SF/Noctivid satisfies most users - there doesn't seem to be much demand for brighter binoculars, whereas FOV has steadily improved. It'll be interesting to see whether the FOV of the current big hitters (NL and 8x32 SF) will become the norm, or will it be increased even further - especially with reports that eye placement is more critical with these than with the EL and x42 SFs.

The HTs will probably be the last x42s from Zeiss with Abbe-Koening prisms, and in that respect mark the end of a line of exceptional binoculars. I suppose what we get in alpha class binoculars is ultimately driven by the preferences of those who buy the things. Still, the image quality and (as one would expect) apparent brightness of the 10x42 HT I tried at Birdfair some years back was outstanding, If I were the fortunate owner of one, I'd have to think really hard before ditching it - at some considerable expense, too - in favour of the SF...
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I had an HT and the light was really apparent. I never compared them side-by-side with EL/SF/Noctivid so can't say if it was measurable visible to the human eye.... So perhaps it is all for not with the HT. As you say with FOV comes other issues, so this might go back and forth a bit. There is only so far physics can take manufactures so now it is 'give here, take there' .... a wash. You get this but lose that.

I did ditch my HT this just last summer, for I always had small issues with what I saw as 'field of focus'... My HT went around the world and back for 7 years so I can't complain too badly, but now I must admit I am hunting another 10x42 from the mix we have now EL/SF/Noctivid/NL and I must say, I like them better than the HT (not the EL though).....
 

mbb

Well-known member
I had an HT and the light was really apparent. I never compared them side-by-side with EL/SF/Noctivid so can't say if it was measurable visible to the human eye.... So perhaps it is all for not with the HT. As you say with FOV comes other issues, so this might go back and forth a bit. There is only so far physics can take manufactures so now it is 'give here, take there' .... a wash. You get this but lose that.

I did ditch my HT this just last summer, for I always had small issues with what I saw as 'field of focus'... My HT went around the world and back for 7 years so I can't complain too badly, but now I must admit I am hunting another 10x42 from the mix we have now EL/SF/Noctivid/NL and I must say, I like them better than the HT (not the EL though).....
What do you mean with the 'field of focus' issue?
Could you share why you prefer the SF, Noctivid and NL, but not the EL, compared to the HT specifically? As this was not from side-by-side comparisons, I guess the reasons must me quite specific or important?
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
What do you mean with the 'field of focus' issue?
Could you share why you prefer the SF, Noctivid and NL, but not the EL, compared to the HT specifically? As this was not from side-by-side comparisons, I guess the reasons must me quite specific or important?
TO ME.....and only me, the HT had too shallow of a depth of focus or the 3D effect. I know others call it something else around here. A great sharp binocular and I used it for 7.5 years, so I can't say anything negative other than that. for the EL? I don't like the rolling ball. Some like it, others do not. You really have to try it first and determine for yourself, on both bins....
 

mbb

Well-known member
TO ME.....and only me, the HT had too shallow of a depth of focus or the 3D effect. I know others call it something else around here. A great sharp binocular and I used it for 7.5 years, so I can't say anything negative other than that. for the EL? I don't like the rolling ball. Some like it, others do not. You really have to try it first and determine for yourself, on both bins....
Thank you for the info!
I would love to have a chance to try them all. Those aspects indeed seem to be partly about personal taste/preference, but it is always interesting to have an idea about what to consider/check when testing some binoculars, because you might forget about something under the limited time or specific conditions you have to test them, e.g. at a shop or fair, before making a decision.
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Pretty sure all this and more must been discussed in detail back in the archives, but I think dropping the x42 HTs was an acknowledgement by Zeiss that field of view (SF) was more desirable to the average birder - or at least the average birder buying alpha-class binoculars - than light transmission.
Hello Patudo,

I think the HT and the SF are aimed at different users!

The HT was probably intended more for the hunting market, especially the 8x42 and 10x42 as smaller and light alternatives to the large 8x56 and 10x56.
As hunters use thermal imaging cameras and night vision devices more and more often, this market is slowly disappearing, let's see how long 8x56 and 10x56 binoculars will be built, birder would not like to carry such large binoculars.

Andreas
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Hello Patudo,

I think the HT and the SF are aimed at different users!

The HT was probably intended more for the hunting market, especially the 8x42 and 10x42 as smaller and light alternatives to the large 8x56 and 10x56.
As hunters use thermal imaging cameras and night vision devices more and more often, this market is slowly disappearing, let's see how long 8x56 and 10x56 binoculars will be built, birder would not like to carry such large binoculars.

Andreas
This is my thinking too...the HT was for hunters and as I recall, most of the advertising around the HT centered around the hunter, if not all. That is okay. Personally I feel the lack of depth in focus or that 3D effect or whatever you might want to label it, is better for hunters than birders. A hunter is looking at distance and fine tuning in on spotting deers antlers etc and number of .... why a birder is more interested in a tree full of birds, or one....but concentrating on movement within. So they need more of that increased depth of focus than a hunter. Not that the HT can't be used for birding because I used it successfully for 7-8 years. But I must admit, throughout that time, I always had a bit of a question in my mind as if, should I sell them. I purchased the HT in 2013 and have in my records/journal in 2014 the idea that I should sell. So obviously while I kept them around for many years, I also in the back of my mind questioned if they are really strong birding bins.... jim
 

Robert Moore

Well-known member
The light transmission in the HT to my eyes just give it a special transparency and purity that other binoculars can’t quite get in center field. The 10x50 Swarovski comes close it’s just not quite the same to my eyes.
 

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