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Is the Zeiss SFL 8x40 worth the difference in price over the Nikon MHG 8x42? (1 Viewer)

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Then buy the 8x32NL winner if you prefer that size/weight binocular rather than the 8x42. I'd have to admit it's probably the best all round birding binocular in the world considering size, weight, and optical qualities.

You've said previously that you learned and managed to find your perfect IPD/ocular/eye position relative to the EP necessary to effectively eliminate NL glare. It is a discipline I guess.
Only you can decide whether you think they are worth trying again for a few months.


Thinking back & recalling this thread:

See post #80
I fit very comfortably into group c (for my slightly fussier 12x42), whereas over the months you have seemed to waver between b and c depending on the NL model
a. given the construction and design, there is sufficient evidence that more or less significant glare can occur in the NL
b. for some people, it appears to be a killer, they find it hard to use the NL without problem
c. some people admit experiencing glare, but say they can either live with it, since it is nothing major, or they can „manage“ it by adjusting holding position, eye placement, etc. etc., so that in the end they can use the NL as if it had no or very little occurrence of glare (I am in this group)
d. some people say they do not experience glare at all and therefore say they don‘t understand the discussion going on here
e. I don‘t expect people in groups b, c and d to ever agree with each other, unless they accept that people in another group than their own can be as right as they are themselves.

P.S.
Life's too short to worry overly about crumbling armour when they have a warranty
 
Then buy the 8x32NL winner if you prefer that size/weight binocular rather than the 8x42. I'd have to admit it's probably the best all round birding binocular in the world considering size, weight, and optical qualities.

You've said previously that you learned and managed to find your perfect IPD/ocular/eye position relative to the EP necessary to effectively eliminate NL glare. It is a discipline I guess.
Only you can decide whether you think they are worth trying again for a few months.


Thinking back & recalling this thread:

See post #80
I fit very comfortably into group c (for my slightly fussier 12x42), whereas over the months you have seemed to waver between b and c depending on the NL model


P.S.
Life's too short to worry overly about crumbling armour when they have a warranty
I had the NL 8x32 and at first I liked it for the big FOV, but then I started seeing glare with it just like Holger did, and it was finicky for eye placement being a 32 mm. I also didn't like how big and heavy it was for a 32 mm. When I compared it to a 56 mm, I realized the 56 mm had way less glare, less optical aberrations and was more transparent as Henry explains below.

I like the 56 mm optically, but they are too heavy for hiking a long distance, and that is why I decided to buy a lightweight 42 mm for when I hiked. I tried the Nikon MHG 8x42 and the Zeiss SFL 8x40, and I found the Zeiss to be much better for me. I actually like the Zeiss SFL 8x40 better than the NL 8x32 because it is much smaller and lighter, it has easier eye placement, it is better in low light, and it handles glare much better even though the FOV is smaller than the Nl 8x32.

 
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I had the NL 8x32 and at first I liked it for the big FOV, but then I started seeing glare with it just like Holger did, and it was finicky for eye placement being a 32 mm. I also didn't like how big and heavy it was for a 32 mm. When I compared it to a 56 mm, I realized the 56 mm had way less glare, less optical aberrations and was more transparent.
Did you see the glare only after reading Holger’s review 😉.
Wrong again, the SLC does not have less optical aberrations than the NL. I’m just pointing it out for some of the new members that may one day read your post.

Correct me if I’m wrong but you didn’t compare the 56 to the 32 side by side because you had already sold a 32’s before you got the 56.
I like the 56 mm optically, but they are too heavy for hiking a long distance, and that is why I decided to buy a lightweight 42 mm for when I hiked. I tried the Nikon MHG 8x42 and the Zeiss SFL 8x40, and I found the Zeiss to be much better for me. I actually like the Zeiss SFL 8x40 better than the NL 8x32 because it is smaller and lighter, and it handles glare much better even though the FOV is smaller than the Nl 8x32.

I had the NL 8x32 and at first I liked it for the big FOV, but then I started seeing glare with it just like Holger did, and it was finicky for eye placement being a 32 mm. I also didn't like how big and heavy it was for a 32 mm. When I compared it to a 56 mm, I realized the 56 mm had way less glare, less optical aberrations and was more transparent.

I like the 56 mm optically, but they are too heavy for hiking a long distance, and that is why I decided to buy a lightweight 42 mm for when I hiked. I tried the Nikon MHG 8x42 and the Zeiss SFL 8x40, and I found the Zeiss to be much better for me. I actually like the Zeiss SFL 8x40 better than the NL 8x32 because it is smaller and lighter, and it handles glare much better even though the FOV is smaller than the Nl 8x32.

 
Re #42

Trying to keep things straight... I've included the NL here, in this otherwise supposed comparo of the SFL and HG, as you brought it up, Dennis.

Weight:
NL 8x32 - 22.8 oz
SFL 8x40 - 22.6oz
Monarch HG 8x42 - 23.5 oz

Size (?):
NL 8x32 - 5.7"
SFL 8x40 - 5.7"
Monarch HG 8x42 - 5.7"

Haptics:
NL - smaller, unique
SFL - bigger, familiar round
HG - smallest, familiar round

FOV (here @ 100 yards):
NL 8x32 - 8.5°/45’
SFL 8x40 - NA/42’
Monarch HG - 8.3°/43.5'

AFOV:
NL 8x32 - 65
SFL 8x40 - 60
Monarch 8x42 - 60.3

For the whole Dr. Merlitz review:
 
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With the
Re #42

Trying to keep things straight... I've included the NL here, in this otherwise supposed comparo of the SFL and HG, as you brought it up, Dennis.

Weight:
NL 8x32 - 22.8 oz
SFL 8x40 - 22.6oz
Monarch HG 8x42 - 23.5 oz

Size (?):
NL 8x32 - 5.7"
SFL 8x40 - 5.7"
Monarch HG 8x42 - 5.7"

Haptics:
NL - smaller, unique
SFL - bigger, familiar round
HG - smallest, familiar round

FOV (here @ 100 yards):
NL 8x32 - 8.5°/45’
SFL 8x40 - NA/42’
Monarch HG - 8.3°/43.5'

AFOV:
NL 8x32 - 65
SFL 8x40 - 60
Monarch 8x42 - 60.3

For the whole Dr. Merlitz review:
After comparing HG to SFL, I found there was no comparison ergonomically or optically and there shouldn't be because the SFL is almost twice the price of the HG.

The biggest advantage of the SFL 8x42 over the NL 8x32 is the fact that the SFL is a 40 mm and the NL 8x32 is a 32 mm. That means you get all the advantages that come with a bigger aperture, like easier eye placement and better low light performance, all in a binocular that is just as light and compact as the NL 8x32. The deal killer for me with the NL 8x32 was glare. Have you read the Cloudy Night's thread below on Glare Galore in the NL?

I had glare in the bottom right corner of the FOV anytime I changed the angle of the binocular, just exactly like Holger described in his review. In fact, he said you are just as well off keeping the EL 8x32. I also found the color purity was better on the SFL than the NL. Whites are whiter and blacks are blacker. That seems to be a strong point with the SFL because many people have mentioned it.

The edges might be slightly sharper on the NL, but not by much. The SFL has very sharp edges. CA was about equal on both of them. Of course, with the NL you have to worry about the armor disintegrating in a couple of years, and with the SFL you don't. I guess Swarovski would rearmor it, but what a pain that would be.

The NL does have a slightly bigger FOV, but 420 feet versus 450 feet is not that much difference in the real world, is it?. Let's not forget price. The SFL 8x40 is only $1550 now, compared to $3200 for the NL. IMO, the NL is not worth twice the price of an SFL 8x40 when you are getting a bigger aperture and armor that will last longer than two years.

Another thing is I hate the FP strap attachments on the NL, the strap that comes with it and that goofy side load case. The strap, case. normal lugs, objective covers and rain guard are all better on the Zeiss and look like they were designed by a human instead of an alien. From the Cloudy Night's thread Glare Galore in the NL.

"But if it is true to form, it will have glare sensitivity that is among the highest in my collection - seems to be a personality trait of the NL's."

"I am a big Swarovski fan and I love the feel, sharpness and just about everything about this pair, except for the glare. I bought them brand new at full retail price. I have them for a week. I enjoy using them, and the glare is only a problem in some cases. I agree that it is not a showstopper and, yes, I can live with it. Yes, all binoculars show some glare, but the amount of glare here is unprecedented. It is really a scandal. And we should say something about it.

Last night, my wife was watching TV, and I was playing with the binoculars looking around the room. The big, bright TV screen causes loads of glare. At some angle, very close to the TV but a bit to the side, I can see the TV screen. I can watch the show inside the binoculars, while my binoculars are pointing to the side of the TV. It's fascinating
:)
I compare them to the Nikon 8x32 EII. Totally different design, similar wide field of view, very minimal (almost non-existent) glare in the Nikon's. I tried using shades, but the angle to the bright source (TV screen) is so steep that even a long shade cannot stop the glare.

Instead of sweeping the issue under the carpet, I think Swarovski should address it and hopefully do something about it."


 
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Let me see if I got this straight, So the NL 32 is not worth double the price of the SFL 40, but the SFL 40 is worth double the price of the MHG 42. Got it. 🤪😵‍💫
 
Dennis, were you writing to me? Why? The post, (mine) you copied in #46 infers that. For the record, that was an attempt to try and keep you straight, put published data alongside, your hyperbolic adjectives that distort, overstate, so folks have a reference to hand, to compare how/what you write compares with published specs.

Your problem with Swarovski glare, be honest it is at least that, (first ELs, now NLs), for those of us who have read you these several years, know this witch hunt is incessant, and mostly personal (to you). It is not just confined to NL832s, though you seem to want to try and convince us of that. Im pretty sure if folks will take the time to read the whole review from Dr. Merlitz, (we both have linked above), they can make up their own minds as to how you are choosing to excerpt him. Back a page or two, you reported you had put all the NLs on your glare list because Dr. Merlitz had somehow branded them so. As I review "your" list (it is your purely subjective list) you have all NLs 32s and 42s lumped together even though his review only covered the 832...

As for that Cloudy Nights link, I confess at first I thought you were joking, (over on the glare monster thing, see #339). We have had your incessant over promotion of glare as a major problematic theme for years. You have been enabled in the Glare Monster thread with 17 pages, 339 posts, active for a solid month, with no end insight. I bet you're in heaven. Now, here on this alleged SFL/HG comparison you're back to discussing glare and specifically NL glare... Why? Next we read Cloudy Nights picks up the theme, (well sorta, not zactly, as I read it). And then you here want to bring the Cloudy Nights convo back to us in an attempt to add credibility to your mess..

Yikes.
 
Dennis, were you writing to me? Why? The post, (mine) you copied in #46 infers that. For the record, that was an attempt to try and keep you straight, put published data alongside, your hyperbolic adjectives that distort, overstate, so folks have a reference to hand, to compare how/what you write compares with published specs.

Your problem with Swarovski glare, be honest it is at least that, (first ELs, now NLs), for those of us who have read you these several years, know this witch hunt is incessant, and mostly personal (to you). It is not just confined to NL832s, though you seem to want to try and convince us of that. Im pretty sure if folks will take the time to read the whole review from Dr. Merlitz, (we both have linked above), they can make up their own minds as to how you are choosing to excerpt him. Back a page or two, you reported you had put all the NLs on your glare list because Dr. Merlitz had somehow branded them so. As I review "your" list (it is your purely subjective list) you have all NLs 32s and 42s lumped together even though his review only covered the 832...

As for that Cloudy Nights link, I confess at first I thought you were joking, (over on the glare monster thing, see #339). We have had your incessant over promotion of glare as a major problematic theme for years. You have been enabled in the Glare Monster thread with 17 pages, 339 posts, active for a solid month, with no end insight. I bet you're in heaven. Now, here on this alleged SFL/HG comparison you're back to discussing glare and specifically NL glare... Why? Next we read Cloudy Nights picks up the theme, (well sorta, not zactly, as I read it). And then you here want to bring the Cloudy Nights convo back to us in an attempt to add credibility to your mess..

Yikes.
It’s all about his eyes. Nothing more. Although he does like the chase.
 
Dennis, were you writing to me? Why? The post, (mine) you copied in #46 infers that. For the record, that was an attempt to try and keep you straight, put published data alongside, your hyperbolic adjectives that distort, overstate, so folks have a reference to hand, to compare how/what you write compares with published specs.

Your problem with Swarovski glare, be honest it is at least that, (first ELs, now NLs), for those of us who have read you these several years, know this witch hunt is incessant, and mostly personal (to you). It is not just confined to NL832s, though you seem to want to try and convince us of that. Im pretty sure if folks will take the time to read the whole review from Dr. Merlitz, (we both have linked above), they can make up their own minds as to how you are choosing to excerpt him. Back a page or two, you reported you had put all the NLs on your glare list because Dr. Merlitz had somehow branded them so. As I review "your" list (it is your purely subjective list) you have all NLs 32s and 42s lumped together even though his review only covered the 832...

As for that Cloudy Nights link, I confess at first I thought you were joking, (over on the glare monster thing, see #339). We have had your incessant over promotion of glare as a major problematic theme for years. You have been enabled in the Glare Monster thread with 17 pages, 339 posts, active for a solid month, with no end insight. I bet you're in heaven. Now, here on this alleged SFL/HG comparison you're back to discussing glare and specifically NL glare... Why? Next we read Cloudy Nights picks up the theme, (well sorta, not zactly, as I read it). And then you here want to bring the Cloudy Nights convo back to us in an attempt to add credibility to your mess..

Yikes.
I guess you haven't been reading my posts very carefully. I had all the NL's, and unfortunately I got the same kind of glare I had with the NL 8x32. Glare in the bottom of the FOV. It was similar to what was described in the Cloudy Nights thread. I find the Zeiss SFL 8x40 remarkable in that I see hardly any glare. It is almost as good as my SLC 8x56 with glare, and that is saying a lot for an 8x40. Zeiss seems to be able to design a more glare resistant binocular for some reason. Better baffling or blackening or just a better design, they have less glare and that is a fact.
 
I guess you haven't been reading my posts very carefully. I had all the NL's, and unfortunately I got the same kind of glare I had with the NL 8x32. Glare in the bottom of the FOV. It was similar to what was described in the Cloudy Nights thread. I find the Zeiss SFL 8x40 remarkable in that I see hardly any glare. It is almost as good as my SLC 8x56 with glare, and that is saying a lot for an 8x40. Zeiss seems to be able to design a more glare resistant binocular for some reason. Better baffling or blackening or just a better design, they have less glare and that is a fact.
Some eyes have more of a problem with glare, so don't let this thread deter one in trying the NL
While the sfl has its own offerings, it is not worth the sale price of 1550. If one has the mhg Nikon, imo it would be a waste of time even to contemplate the sfl, the sf would be different however. It looks like based on b&h they don't sell many 8x40 sfls.
 
How about a Leopold BX-4 8X42 hits all the needs at 1/2 the price of the MHG.
I respectfully disagree. I’ve owned both. The BX-4 is a fine binocular at its price point but isn’t as sharp or bright as the HG. Quite a bit heavier. Most importantly it has a much narrower fov. That combined with its much smaller percentage of fov in focus make for a drastic difference.
 
I was not comparing the glass, it was just a suggestion. I would hate to offend an owner of a MHG.

Additionally, I have a BX-3 and on axis it has resolution that rivals the MHG which I have. so we disagree on that.
 
Have been wondering the same thing about HG vs SFL after I tried a pair of SFLs at Sheels. I was so impressed but really like my HGs. Unfortunately didn’t have my HGs along. Next time I’m in Billings I’ll be sure to compare.

BTW I owned the SFL in 8x42 but sold them because I don’t use 8x as much except in the backcountry where I prefer a much smaller glass such as my Maven 8x30s.
 
Some eyes have more of a problem with glare, so don't let this thread deter one in trying the NL
While the sfl has its own offerings, it is not worth the sale price of 1550. If one has the mhg Nikon, imo it would be a waste of time even to contemplate the sfl, the sf would be different however. It looks like based on b&h they don't sell many 8x40 sfls.
Have you closely compared the SFL 8x40 and the HG 8x42? There is a big difference in many ways. I would pay the difference in price just for the much smoother, faster and better located focuser on the SFL. The ergonomics on the Zeiss SFL are on another level from the HG, and the optics are definitely superior.

The SFL has better contrast and color purity. Blacks are blacker and whites are whiter in the SFL versus the HG. The biggest difference between the two is glare. The HG has a considerable amount of veiling glare when you get near the sun, and the SFL has almost none.

I just tried the SF 8x42 that was in the classifieds because the seller lives 5 minutes away from me. He was selling them for $1550 which is a deal. I liked them a lot, but I got an orange crescent of glare in the bottom of the FOV and I have tried four other pairs with the same result.

The optics on the SFL are very similar to the SF, except with a smaller FOV. They have sharp edges, superb contrast and almost no glare. In fact, the SFL 8x40 are almost as good with glare as my SLC 8x56's which handle glare better than any binocular I have ever had.

I guarantee you I would not have spent the extra $800 for the SFL 8x40 over the HG 8x42 if they weren't worth the difference. You can't judge by one seller how many SFL's Zeiss sells. I bet they sell quite a few now that the price has been reduced. They probably don't sell as many SFL's as HG's because you can get an HG for $700 on eBay.

I saw glare in the NL's and so did Holger. You may not see glare with the NL, but the odds are higher that you will see glare in the NL than you will in the SF or SFL.
 
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"In fact, the SFL 8x40 are almost as good with glare as my SLC 8x56's which handle glare better than any binocular I have ever had".

Any takers that that SLC 8X56 will be for sale soon, so if anyone is looking for a pair of SLC 8X56s, stay tuned.

Dennis I have so much glass that is why I don't even consider the SFL, additionally I have spent time with them both the 8X40 and 10X40, never tried the 30s. I am quite content with the Monarch Hg 8X42, so there is that.

Enjoy your SFLs Dennis, that is.......until you sell them.
 
"In fact, the SFL 8x40 are almost as good with glare as my SLC 8x56's which handle glare better than any binocular I have ever had".

Any takers that that SLC 8X56 will be for sale soon, so if anyone is looking for a pair of SLC 8X56s, stay tuned.

Dennis I have so much glass that is why I don't even consider the SFL, additionally I have spent time with them both the 8X40 and 10X40, never tried the 30s. I am quite content with the Monarch Hg 8X42, so there is that.

Enjoy your SFLs Dennis, that is.......until you sell them.
I think the Zeiss SFL 8x40 could be the perfect birding binocular. They are smaller and lighter than the NL 8x42 or SF 8x42, and they have less glare than the NL 8x32 or SF 8x32. I can't find anything wrong with them.
 
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