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

Einblickverhalten/ease of view FL 7x42 vs FL 8x32 (1 Viewer)

Comparison of Zeiss' Victory 7x42 T*FL, SFL 8x40 and SFL 8x30​


This is my first ever test/comparative review.
I do not wear glasses.
I do not subscribe to old adage 'eat sheet, millions of flies can't be wrong'. Just because X number of others have no problem with something does not mean my issue with it is invalid. And vice versa.
I am not a newbie. I have used binoculars and scopes for nature and wildlife observation for around a decade now. Before that I had old, sometimes very crappy hand-me-downs, which I used occasionally to look at something in the distance. Since then I have (had) binoculars from Nikon, Bushnell, Swarovski, Zeiss, Vortex, Maven.

Ease of view / Einblickverhalten​

The FL is easily the best I have had yet. Pull it out of the bag, set it to my eyes and bang - it fits, it sits nicely and there is that georgeous view. This is very closely followed by the SFL 8x40, which to all intents and purposes is just as smooth. I expected the SFL 8x30 to be the same as its bigger sibling, but that had a little learning curve in finding the right adjustments and also in placement. The other two I just rest on my nose and/or put into my eye sockets, while the 8x30 needs to placed against the underside of the top of my eye socket (supraorbital margin?) at precisely the right distance or there will be black outs. I put these differences down to a combination of ER, eyecup diameter and EP (all in mm).

FL 7x42 16, 41, 6
SFL 8x40 18, 41, 5
SFL 8x30 18, 39, 3.8

The SFL 8x30 is be no means problematic, it just took a little getting used to. The civilian Habicht 8x30 was much more finicky, and the APM 6x30, which I tried recently, was impossible to work with.

(Lateral) Chromatic Aberration​

This morning I was not able to produce lateral CA with any of them while looking at some very thin, spindly dead branches against the blue sky. However, even though I have noticed CA before in other instruments, there is the view on the forum, that susceptibility to CA is a very individual thing, so your mileage may vary.


All three, to my eyes, offer the same wonderful bright, clear and colour-neutral view.


All three, to my eyes, offer the same wonderful crisp, clear and colour-neutral view. A license plate at 150 m is tack sharp with all of them.


While making out details in shadows the two youngsters (a decade younger than my 2012 FL) may have a slight edge, but this could be down to 1x more magnification. To me that minuscule difference is negligible though.


Glare is controlled really well in all three of them, with the FL the clear leader. It seems immune to glare - at least I was not able to produce any today.
Both SFLs sometimes have very thin bright ring segments at the edge of the image or even a gossamer of veiling. This is never enough to actually disturb the image so much that one cannot view the object or even feels dazzled.

Sweet spot​

None of the three is a flat-field instrument, BUT all have generous sweet spots. To me the FL has the smallest at maybe 70%, followed by the 8x40 at ca. 75% with the little 8x30 only going out of focus on the about the last 20% of the image.


To me all three are superlative optical instruments. The FL weighs in at 740 gr, the 8x40 at 640 gr and the 8x30 at 460 gr. That makes all of them easily portable, although whether I would still say that on a serious backpacking tour or when lumbered with camera, tripod and big lens remains to be seen. The SFLs are light, due in part to thinner lens elements, but despite the FLs rugged appearance it does not really feel more rugged. I am trying to say that they are all made to be used out in the wild and they are probably all up for it. We certainly use them and drag them along in the forest, on holidays, on dog walks, hiking, ...
I am fairly certain none of these three will be sold.

N.B. All of these observations and experiences are subjective and, unlike some, I do not assume them to be universally valid. Nevertheless I hope they are of use to you.

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