• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Interview with Zeiss Technician: The Creation of Victory Pockets (1 Viewer)


Staff member
With over 74,000 visits the thread starting with the Victory Pocket Review has been very popular so I sought out a Zeiss Technician to ask about the creation of the Pockets. The Technician is Tammo Sebastian Leuken, from the north of Germany.

Troubador: Tammo, thank you for participating in this interview about the Victory Pocket binoculars, which have been well received by many Birdforum members. Would you kindly give us some background to their development?

Tammo: It would be a pleasure. The project started at trade shows and other events and by personal contact, where we listened to what our customers tell us about what they like, what they don’t like, and the kind of binoculars they wish for. Many of those customers said they wanted a lightweight, compact pair of binoculars, but with optics as good as full-sized instruments. Some of these customers were birders who wanted a bino for situations where they didn’t want to carry full-sized instruments, for many, many different reasons. Other customers were out-doors people such as hikers, cyclists or kayakers, and still others enjoyed watching different sports. We gradually developed an understanding of their needs and implemented their wishes as far as technically feasible, and this created the Victory Pockets.

Troubador: You have continued with the unusual asymmetrical design seen on the previous Victory Compacts.

Tammo: Yes, because a significant number of customers mentioned they had problems handling small binoculars with two hinges. The asymmetrical design makes handling far easier and not so different from full-sized binoculars. This means that those who normally use full-sized binoculars adjust to them quickly and easily, and newcomers to binoculars don’t find anything strange or clumsy about them.

Troubador: But doesn’t this design mean that the Pockets do not fold as small as a double hinge bino?

Tammo: If your only target is to fit the bino into the smallest possible pocket then, ultimately yes, this is true, but we were guided by what our customers wanted and they clearly said they wanted fuss-free handling as well as a compact size. This made sense to us because when you are trying to focus on a new bird or on an important point in a game of golf, or baseball or cricket, the last thing you want is for the binoculars to fold-up in your hands when you start to turn the focus wheel. As well, some of these customers already have things in their hands while enjoying their outdoor activities, and so sometimes want to use their binoculars with one hand only. These include hikers with walking poles, kayakers and canoeists with their oar, and even cyclists with a water or energy drink bottle in one hand when they stop cycling, and the binoculars in the other. Even folks watching sports events and who might have one hand holding a sandwich or umbrella, want to be able to securely use these binoculars with the other hand. All of these people were very clear, they don’t want the binoculars folding-up when they are using them. So we are happy with the balance we achieved between compactness and easy, reliable handling, but the best way for Birdforum members to find out if this suits them is to try them out and decide for themselves.

Troubador: The Victory Compacts were made at the Zeiss factory in Hungary but this is not the case with the Pockets. Why is that?

Tammo: Correct. This is simply because we have other plans for our production capacity in Germany and Hungary, so it made sense to use the skills and capabilities of one of our several trusted partners worldwide to bring our design to the market with the right quality, and at the right price. We are very pleased with our design which delivers what we believe is the best-in-class field of view, excellent colour fidelity, image definition and contrast. Naturally we have been delighted to see the response has been so favourable among Birdforum members.

Troubador: You mentioned just now that this product is being made to the right quality levels, but since it is being produced by your partner, how do you ensure that this is so?

Tammo: Firstly, this capability to achieve the Zeiss quality level was fully established before the product reached the market, secondly, now that it is in production, it, like all Zeiss binoculars, undergoes extensive inspections at our in-house test lab in Oberkochen, Germany, according to Zeiss quality assurance protocols.

Troubador: Tammo, thank you once again for taking the time to give us this background to the Victory Pockets.



Well-known member
Thank you for the interview!

There is only one, though important, topic I missed: that of the accessories, being the main point of criticism of many users (including myself, who for the rest really love these little, impressive binoculars!). Mainly the lack of rainguards (and objective covers) and the bag (the old design selection single-hinge ones at least had matching, compact hard cases to be used in folded position). I cannot understand the current choice, considering these are meant to be carried everywhere. I am really curious about Zeiss' motivation an explanation about this.
Would they consider to correct this and offer a tailored 'accessory package'? (Though not asking absurd money for it like Swarovski for the CL 8x30 bag etc., not aiming at profit on accessories, but customer support. It would be appreciated I think, as it should have been included originally with such alpha-binoculars, quality and price wise.)

Users who are viewing this thread