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Next new binoculars - 8x32 - but which ones?? (1 Viewer)

Julian61

Well-known member
Five years ago I bought a pair of Victory SF 8x42 and love them. Now I have a yearning for something lighter and more compact for travelling, car use etc. Wearing glasses I need decent eye relief; my interest in butterflies would suit fast and close-up focusing as well as a spacious fov. I'll have six months or so to ponder on this so plenty of time to consider. I don't really want to pay top whack but thoughts have gone towards Victory FL, Conquest, Trinovid, Meostar, Genesis and, possibly GPO.

I know my wishes for specifications might be hard to meet but any ideas would be really valued. I ought, also to think Swarovski and Nikon...
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
In case you decide to take the ultimate plunge, I can enthusiastically and without reservation recommend the SF 8X32.

I replaced my EL SV 10X42, and would not want to go back.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Julian61, post 1,
After a thourough investigation published on the WEB-site of House of Outdoor in which I tested the SF8x32 and the EL-SV 8x32 I came to the conlusion that I liked the EL-SV 8x32 most for reasons of handling comfort in comparison with image brightness. Both are excellent binoculars and it is best not to listen to anyone but try yourself first before deciding.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
If you love your Zeiss Victory SF 8x42 I think the logical choice would be it's smaller brother the SF 8x32. It is going to have a lot of the things you like about the bigger glass except in a smaller size. Many people including me had problems with glare in the EL 8x32, although you may not have any problems with it because it seems to vary from person to person. If you shop around or get a used pair you can get a good discount on the SF 8x32.
 

Julian61

Well-known member
Thanks for all these suggestions. Right now I'm not thinking of SFs but they might come into the picture at some point. They seem less compact than many 8x32 and that's something I am looking for. I am seriously thinking about victory fls because of size and quality, though now they seem to be out of production. Conquest would be a good and more economical option with nimble focusing for insects. Anything else out there that would cater for good er and fov?
 

bockos

Well-known member
Благодаря за всички тези предложения. В момента не мисля за SF, но те може да се появят в даден момент. Те изглеждат по-малко компактни от много 8x32 и това е нещо, което търся. Сериозно мисля за победата fls поради размера и качеството, макар че сега те изглежда са извън производството. Завоеванието би било добър и по-икономичен вариант с пъргаво фокусиране за насекоми. Има ли нещо друго, което да се погрижи за добри неща?
Swarovski 8x32NL
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Foss, post 8,
Although I did not mistype the address, something seems to go wrong when I try to get the test report.
What you can do is: go to the WEB-site of House of Outdoor and go from there to "Verrekijkers"and the next step is go to "verrekijkers testen en vergelijken"and you get the whole bunch of test reports, the first one is the report you asked for.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I am most interested in any Meostar line coming out. I imagine the 32x are years away with the B2 version, as the 42's will hit the market first but wow, given the quality of their overall product, I think they have my vote for 'most interesting'...
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Julian,

A compact premium performance 8x32 with close focus and good eye relief (including lack of blackouts)?

As you indicate in post #6, the obvious choice is the Zeiss Victory FL 8x32. And as I imagine you are aware,
Roger Vine specifically addressed the above issues in his long standing review at: http://www.scopeviews.co.uk/Zeiss8x32FL.htm

The FL x32 can be correctly described as obsolete, since it’s no longer in production, having been recently replaced in the Zeiss lineup by the SF x32
However, that does not mean that it's performance is now less than it was

And notwithstanding Roger’s higher rating of the 10x32 version of the SF - in terms of image quality and FOV - his rating is ultimately more qualified:
not only in relation to the issue of physical size; but also in relation to eye relief and blackouts
See at: http://www.scopeviews.co.uk/ZeissVictory10x32SF.htm

. . . so as always, swings and roundabouts


John
 
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eitanaltman

Well-known member
Assuming you don’t want to splurge for the SV/SF level, then IMO any of the Genesis, Conquest HD or Meostar will do the trick. They all have spacious ~8deg FOV, close focus under 2m, and terrific optics and build quality.

The Trinovid HD lacks the FOV, it is really substandard for a $1K 8x32 but then again Leica never pushes the FOV envelope. And they seem to intentionally not want to undercut their Ultravid line, which already isn’t class leading.

Leaving it aside, the choice among the other three will likely come down to personal taste and ergonomics.

The Conquest HD is a proven performer and many would agree the 8x32 is the star of that line. It will give that Zeiss view with cool greenish lean, and is very crisp and very sharp. Huge sweet spot and well controlled edge falloff, the only area optically where they are so-so is CA control. If you likey the Zeissy then stick with it, it’s a great binocular.

The Kowa for me has the absolute best overall optics and handling at this price level. It is very bright and nearly perfectly neutral, and the incredible control of CA makes for such a clean center view with tip top microcontact. IMO the only thing the Genesis 33 gives up to the top dog alphas is sweet spot size, the notorious fuzzy distortion ring off axis and strong edge compression mean you can’t let your eye wander about as you would with your 42mm SF. But within that central 50-60% it’s right up there with almost anything optically. The only question is whether the eye relief will be sufficient, as it’s right on the borderline for glasses wearers.

The baby Meostar is like a “poor man’s Ultravid”. Outstanding Leica-like view with warmth and saturation, and very-good-but-not-great CA control. No fancy pants flat field stuff, just a classic big old sweet spot with some pincushion and gradual falloff to the edges. It all makes for a very pleasing, clean, deep view. But it’s the most unlike your SF in overall character. And eye relief is also somewhat borderline for eyeglass wearers.

I have personal nitpicks with each of these, but I could live happily with any of these three as my primary binocular. (Note: I didn’t not mention eyecups at all, thank goodness I didn’t have to go down that rabbit hole of pet peeves since we have an eyeglass wearer here!)

...............

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.... or just watch that used market and get a Zeiss 8x32 FL. Because deep down I think that’s what you really want. 😈
 

Julian61

Well-known member
Thanks. Actually it's not so much that I want the Victory FL but certainly want to hold it and look through it to see what it's all about. I wonder how I would do that unless something comes up at an outlet that does used optics. I'm interested an all the bins you mention, eitanaltman, and have had a look through both the Genesus and Meostar in the past, as well as the Conquest but the 8x42. The latter in 8x32 will always be interesting for me for insects; its nimble focus clearly doesn't do it for some but could be useful for me in that respect. I liked the heft and overall finish of the Genesis - a very attractive binocular. But the Victory FL remains a mystery but one that has a high reputation.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Thanks. Actually it's not so much that I want the Victory FL but certainly want to hold it and look through it to see what it's all about. I wonder how I would do that unless something comes up at an outlet that does used optics. I'm interested an all the bins you mention, eitanaltman, and have had a look through both the Genesus and Meostar in the past, as well as the Conquest but the 8x42. The latter in 8x32 will always be interesting for me for insects; its nimble focus clearly doesn't do it for some but could be useful for me in that respect. I liked the heft and overall finish of the Genesis - a very attractive binocular. But the Victory FL remains a mystery but one that has a high reputation.
It is tough to get a Zeiss Victory FL now in pristine condition, and then you wonder how old is it? Are the seals dried out and the rubber deteriorated? If something happens to it does Zeiss still have parts for it?
 

Julian61

Well-known member
That's a really important point - discontinued lines and after care. Might be the deal breaker if I'd ever got to the point of taking this bin into my final selection.

Thanks!
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I love the SF 8x32 so far as well but it's not really a compact binocular. I view it as a replacement for the 8x42 size, honestly, but will keep a more compact bin (in my case a Monarch HG 8x30) as well that can fit in a pocket or go on a bike or whatnot.

I'm not certain I'd be worried about the FL line running out of spares just yet, it's only been discontinued for about a year, maybe a bit less? And there are still a good number of recent (last few years) copies for sale. It's an excellent bin and definitely much more compact than the SF. The Meostar and the Conquest would be the others I would hone in on from your list, along with perhaps suggesting the Swaro CL 8x30 or Nikon Monarch HG 8x30 - both are remarkably compact but handle and function about like an 8x32 (exit pupil is only .25mm smaller). It seems that glasses wearers have fewer complaints with eye placement and with eye cups with these two small bins and with the Meostar. So then it's just a case of eye relief, which should be sufficient unless you have particularly large or forward set glasses.
 

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