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QC Issues Victory SF (1 Viewer)

champ412

Member
United Kingdom
Hi Guys,

I am just about to jump into trying some high end binoculars and as per usual when you start off looking at £250 sets you ultimately end up looking at the top "alpha" binoculars :). I have ordered some Swaro EL 10x42 to try out for the weekend as these tended to come top of most peoples recommendations. However if they are either too heavy / have a "rolling ball" effect that makes me feel ill / or the FOV is too narrow I will be looking to try the Victory SF 10x42 next. I am having to do this testing this way as there appears to be a complete blackout of local shops in my part of the country. My question to you knowledgable Zeiss folk is what is your view on the Victory SFs ? I have heard good things about their optics but some negative things about the early versions of the Victory SFs such as squeaking or inconsistent focusers or eye pieces which have easily broken. I am sure these issues occur with all manufacturers but I thought I would ask what you had heard or experienced yourself.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
My question to you knowledgable Zeiss folk is what is your view on the Victory SFs ? I have heard good things about their optics but some negative things about the early versions of the Victory SFs such as squeaking or inconsistent focusers or eye pieces which have easily broken. I am sure these issues occur with all manufacturers but I thought I would ask what you had heard or experienced yourself.
Your question is most likely covered in the various threads under the Zeiss SF headings but as you say, any issues should have been tweaked out by now if you are buying a new model. Not entirely sure by what is a " eye piece that is easily broken"?

Good luck
 

eronald

Well-known member
Your question is most likely covered in the various threads under the Zeiss SF headings but as you say, any issues should have been tweaked out by now if you are buying a new model. Not entirely sure by what is a " eye piece that is easily broken"?

Good luck
If rolling ball is an issue, it is sufficient to buy a pair of binoculars without those interesting "field flatteners" AFAIK.

My personal recommendation is the Leica Ultravid series, solidly armored, very robust and a very good view. There are tons of previous models of these on the used market as well from known retailers.

Edmund
 

dries1

Member
You are going to get opinions on the subject matter, I suggest you try and decide for yourself. Would you buy a car based on a recommendation of others, no, of course not. The cost of the new premium (not alpha) glass is similar to a used car, so I suggest you test drive yourself.
 

champ412

Member
United Kingdom
Thanks Guys, appreciate the information.

"Not entirely sure by what is a " eye piece that is easily broken"?"

Yeah these comments have come from a variety of forums and youtube videos I have been using as my only source of information so you have to take everything with a pinch of salt. The amount of times I have purely used internet reviews where they have been completely positive or negative and then turned out to be the opposite are numerous :) I am assuming they are made out of plastic (but then isn't that the case for most binoculars ?) and perhaps the comments are based on the risk of them breaking or accidentally unscrewing ?!? I have no idea as I have only seen pictures :)

Is it true that there are two versions (Generations) of the Victory SF ? Someone was saying that the Black version had resolved the issues that some experienced on the early versions. I am assuming the black version is referring to the LotuTech versions which are slightly newer.
 

eronald

Well-known member
All of the SFs I have tried and owned (32s and 42s) have had the most exquisite focusers and nothing has broken. I have never seen rolling ball in them either.

Lee
I have seen rolling ball on the 8x SF. Weird sensation.

There is no point in getting defensive about rolling ball - as you well know It seems to be an unavoidable fact of the flat field design that some percentage of users will be subject to this perception. However Holger showed a graph that indicates the 10x42 SF (and the Noctivids) has been designed so as to minimise this effect.


I think it's a personal test thing, and the OP can get some perfectly nice binoculars which are not flat field even if for alphas this seems to be the current fashion (in the same way as I can get some perfectly good binoculars for my narrow IPD, even though narrow-set eyes have now gone out of fashion).

One of the things I like about the binocular market is that as fashion shifts - viz. the present trend to super-priced flat-field alphas, automatically a niche gets created for people who are not served by the fashion. A bit like in shoes were the fashion trend to shiny hard-leather shoes ended up creating a large market for more comfortable sneakers.

Edmund
 
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jan van daalen

Well-known member
Hi Champ,

You can't go wrong with the SF or ELSV.
Any problems with eyecups etc will be solved by the brands.
It's gonna be more a issue of TRY BEFORE YOU BUY.

Jan.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Yes there are two different generations, the first was grey, the latter black. The eyecups are a lightweight plastic type composite with a softer rubber material at the user end. Mine have no problems for me and very little rolling ball effect that doesn't bother me fortunately.
 

henry link

Well-known member
I have seen rolling ball on the 8x SF. Weird sensation.

There is no point in getting defensive about rolling ball - as you well know It seems to be an unavoidable fact of the flat field design that some percentage of users will be subject to this perception. However Holger showed a graph that indicates the 10x42 SF (and the Noctivids) has been designed so as to minimise this effect.


I think it's a personal test thing, and the OP can get some perfectly nice binoculars which are not flat field even if for alphas this seems to be the current fashion (in the same way as I can get some perfectly good binoculars for my narrow IPD, even though narrow-set eyes have now gone out of fashion).

One of the things I like about the binocular market is that as fashion shifts - viz. the present trend to super-priced flat-field alphas, automatically a niche gets created for people who are not served by the fashion. A bit like in shoes were the fashion trend to shiny hard-leather shoes ended up creating a large market for more comfortable sneakers.

Edmund

Flat field designs, properly defined as designs well corrected for field curvature and off-axis astigmatism, have nothing at all to do with "rolling ball" or any other distortion effect. This misconception seems to have arisen when Swarovski chose to employ a field flattener in the EL SV series to correct off-axis aberrations and totally unrelated to that chose a distortion profile that can cause the globe effect. Field flatteners can be used in combination with any distortion profile.

I would suggest a careful reading of the third paragraph below the chart in the link to Holger's site. We now know that the Swarovski EL SV and NL as well as the Zeiss SF use a compound "mustache" distortion that would form a hump-backed curve on that chart with a rising curve of pincushion coming up from the left side of the chart and dominating the center 2/3 of the field and then reversing and curving downward toward the right side of the chart, resulting in exactly the kind of high angular magnification distortion near the field edge that causes rolling ball in susceptible individuals. Testimonials of no globe effect seen in those binoculars by some individuals do not mean that the distortion that causes it is not there and won't be noticed by others.

In the link below I made some photos showing how certain distortion profiles lead to rolling ball.


Henry
 
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eronald

Well-known member
Flat field designs, properly defined as designs well corrected for field curvature and off-axis astigmatism, have nothing at all to do with "rolling ball" or any other distortion effect. This misconception seems to have arisen when Swarovski chose to employ a field flattener in the EL SV series to correct off-axis aberrations and totally unrelated to that chose a distortion profile that can cause the globe effect. Field flatteners can be used in combination with any distortion profile.

I would suggest a careful reading of the third paragraph below the chart in the link to Holger's site. We now know that the Swarovski EL SV and NL as well as the Zeiss SF use a compound "mustache" distortion that would form a hump-backed curve on that chart with a rising curve of pincushion coming up from the left side of the chart and dominating the center 2/3 of the field and then reversing and curving downward toward the right side of the chart, resulting in exactly the kind of high angular magnification distortion near the field edge that causes rolling ball in susceptible individuals. Testimonials of no globe effect seen in those binoculars by some individuals do not mean that the distortion that causes it is not there and won't be noticed by others.

In the link below I made some photos showing how certain distortion profiles lead to rolling ball.


Henry
Henry -
Thank you. I stand corrected.
Edmund
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
Hi Guys,

I am just about to jump into trying some high end binoculars and as per usual when you start off looking at £250 sets you ultimately end up looking at the top "alpha" binoculars :). I have ordered some Swaro EL 10x42 to try out for the weekend as these tended to come top of most peoples recommendations. However if they are either too heavy / have a "rolling ball" effect that makes me feel ill / or the FOV is too narrow I will be looking to try the Victory SF 10x42 next. I am having to do this testing this way as there appears to be a complete blackout of local shops in my part of the country. My question to you knowledgable Zeiss folk is what is your view on the Victory SFs ? I have heard good things about their optics but some negative things about the early versions of the Victory SFs such as squeaking or inconsistent focusers or eye pieces which have easily broken. I am sure these issues occur with all manufacturers but I thought I would ask what you had heard or experienced yourself.
The gray SF version had problems with the focus wheel. This is why the latest black version came on the market to replace this focus problem. Now the black SF version has one of the best focus in the market, deserving the name of SF "Smart Focus". Zeiss Victory SF black 10x42 has extremely accurate focus wheel and with consistent movement! Using this binoculars is so easy and so great optical that the pleasure of looking through it is guaranteed! And no blackouts in SF 10x42!
 
Last edited:

_Prism_

Well-known member
England
Flat field designs, properly defined as designs well corrected for field curvature and off-axis astigmatism, have nothing at all to do with "rolling ball" or any other distortion effect. This misconception seems to have arisen when Swarovski chose to employ a field flattener in the EL SV series to correct off-axis aberrations and totally unrelated to that chose a distortion profile that can cause the globe effect. Field flatteners can be used in combination with any distortion profile.

I would suggest a careful reading of the third paragraph below the chart in the link to Holger's site. We now know that the Swarovski EL SV and NL as well as the Zeiss SF use a compound "mustache" distortion that would form a hump-backed curve on that chart with a rising curve of pincushion coming up from the left side of the chart and dominating the center 2/3 of the field and then reversing and curving downward toward the right side of the chart, resulting in exactly the kind of high angular magnification distortion near the field edge that causes rolling ball in susceptible individuals. Testimonials of no globe effect seen in those binoculars by some individuals do not mean that the distortion that causes it is not there and won't be noticed by others.

In the link below I made some photos showing how certain distortion profiles lead to rolling ball.


Henry

Henry the distortion and glare test you did on the EL was very interesting. Have you by any chance done anything similar for the SF and the NL's?
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
Testimonials of no globe effect seen in those binoculars by some individuals do not mean that the distortion that causes it is not there and won't be noticed by others.
Henry,
As the second guy to post that link to Holger, (I was thinking, while Edmund was posting), my motive was potentially a bit different. In retrospect, running through my mind was this second Holger piece, which taken together with the first sets up some thoughts.

Distortion of the visual field.

I get these so-called distortions exist. I get different folks experience them differently, a point made better perhaps in the second article. Is there a right or wrong, good or bad, here? For those that see them, and haven't read articles like these, it seems understandable they might label them distortions. For those that don't see them, how can we call them that? Is it distortion or design? If binocular designers, with knowledge of the things Holger wrote in both these articles, and the means to design for specific parameters that please the most customers, (as it would seem a smart business mission requires), how can we denigrate, criticize a design that doesn't please everyone - all the time? Why is it cool to keep inferring because some see it, then without qualification, you probably will? Surely after reading these, it's clear there is no perfect design. If one doesn't like the view, Is the bino flawed or is the human experiencing the distortion flawed? Saying it that way, as ridiculous as it sounds, kind of sets up the point. We wouldn't say the human is flawed, just different. Why then is it OK to infer the bino is distorted, deficient?

I'm struggling with the use of "some" and "others" in that above quote. How many are "some"? Is it a significant number? or, is it in fact, the majority, that do not see the globe effect? How many "others" do see it? 90/10? 50/50? Why don't we just explain different eye/brain combinations experience binoculars, differently? Why do we give advice, defending the right of those that see it to declare it, but not give the OP some idea of his/her odds that they will see it? Can't we qualify the warning?

I need wine...
 

eronald

Well-known member
Henry,
As the second guy to post that link to Holger, (I was thinking, while Edmund was posting), my motive was potentially a bit different. In retrospect, running through my mind was this second Holger piece, which taken together with the first sets up some thoughts.

Distortion of the visual field.

I get these so-called distortions exist. I get different folks experience them differently, a point made better perhaps in the second article. Is there a right or wrong, good or bad, here? For those that see them, and haven't read articles like these, it seems understandable they might label them distortions. For those that don't see them, how can we call them that? Is it distortion or design? If binocular designers, with knowledge of the things Holger wrote in both these articles, and the means to design for specific parameters that please the most customers, (as it would seem a smart business mission requires), how can we denigrate, criticize a design that doesn't please everyone - all the time? Why is it cool to keep inferring because some see it, then without qualification, you probably will? Surely after reading these, it's clear there is no perfect design. If one doesn't like the view, Is the bino flawed or is the human experiencing the distortion flawed? Saying it that way, as ridiculous as it sounds, kind of sets up the point. We wouldn't say the human is flawed, just different. Why then is it OK to infer the bino is distorted, deficient?

I'm struggling with the use of "some" and "others" in that above quote. How many are "some"? Is it a significant number? or, is it in fact, the majority, that do not see the globe effect? How many "others" do see it? 90/10? 50/50? Why don't we just explain different eye/brain combinations experience binoculars, differently? Why do we give advice, defending the right of those that see it to declare it, but not give the OP some idea of his/her odds that they will see it? Can't we qualify the warning?

I need wine...
Maybe one could make a sales aid device that tells you how much eye relief you need, how sensitive you are to various distortions and color issues etc, and a labelling scheme on the binoculars that informs about same.

Edmund
 

henry link

Well-known member
Henry,
As the second guy to post that link to Holger, (I was thinking, while Edmund was posting), my motive was potentially a bit different. In retrospect, running through my mind was this second Holger piece, which taken together with the first sets up some thoughts.

Distortion of the visual field.

I get these so-called distortions exist. I get different folks experience them differently, a point made better perhaps in the second article. Is there a right or wrong, good or bad, here? For those that see them, and haven't read articles like these, it seems understandable they might label them distortions. For those that don't see them, how can we call them that? Is it distortion or design? If binocular designers, with knowledge of the things Holger wrote in both these articles, and the means to design for specific parameters that please the most customers, (as it would seem a smart business mission requires), how can we denigrate, criticize a design that doesn't please everyone - all the time? Why is it cool to keep inferring because some see it, then without qualification, you probably will? Surely after reading these, it's clear there is no perfect design. If one doesn't like the view, Is the bino flawed or is the human experiencing the distortion flawed? Saying it that way, as ridiculous as it sounds, kind of sets up the point. We wouldn't say the human is flawed, just different. Why then is it OK to infer the bino is distorted, deficient?

I'm struggling with the use of "some" and "others" in that above quote. How many are "some"? Is it a significant number? or, is it in fact, the majority, that do not see the globe effect? How many "others" do see it? 90/10? 50/50? Why don't we just explain different eye/brain combinations experience binoculars, differently? Why do we give advice, defending the right of those that see it to declare it, but not give the OP some idea of his/her odds that they will see it? Can't we qualify the warning?

I need wine...

Hi Tom,

First you need to separate the rectilinear and angular distortions, which are real, inevitable at fields above about 40-45º and observable by everyone, from the effect of those distortions when they are set in motion at the periphery of the field for an observer who is panning the binocular. That's when the particular design choice of low pincushion distortion and high angular magnification distortion causes the illusion of a rolling ball. It's that illusion which "some" observer's report finding very unpleasant and "others" either don't notice, don't find unpleasant or adjust to. On the other hand the design choice of higher pincushion and lower angular distortion will never cause that that particular unpleasantness for anyone.

So, an accurate description (or photo) of the true distortion profile of a binocular has some value for predicting whether that binocular has the potential to cause an unpleasant panning sensation for some while a subjective report of no "rolling ball" seen by one particular observer predicts nothing for other people.

Henry
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
My 8X32 SF are superb, and pan much more "smoothly" than my Swarovsky 10X42 EL SV.

Just try one and make up your own mind if you want to spend that much money. If not, prepare to accept compromises.

Asking will get you at least as many opinions as there are people responding, and sometimes even more.

Alphas are alphas for many reasons, and they cost more because they are simply better.
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
First you need to separate the rectilinear and angular distortions, which are real, inevitable at fields above about 40-45º and observable by everyone, from the effect of those distortions when they are set in motion at the periphery of the field for an observer who is panning the binocular. That's when the particular design choice of low pincushion distortion and high angular magnification distortion causes the illusion of a rolling ball. It's that illusion which "some" observer's report finding very unpleasant and "others" either don't notice, don't find unpleasant or adjust to. On the other hand the design choice of higher pincushion and lower angular distortion will never cause that that particular unpleasantness for anyone.
Henry, not where I was going, zactly. But I find this interesting.

I get its some "panners" who are bothered by the inevitable distortions above 40-45 degrees FOV, and see whats called the rolling ball. Seems like, for these folks, its a speed of eye message to brain thing. Things aren't synching? From yesterday's #16, is it a bino defective design or is it a human difference?

"On the other hand the design choice of higher pincushion and lower angular distortion will never cause that that particular unpleasantness for anyone." Ok, but isn't pincushion unpleasant for others? Another design trade, trying to please...

Ah! Here'e a thought. We may need a linguistics guru... Perhaps I'm wrong in seeing the word distortion as a negative, value, defect, sort of thing. Is it, in the case of optics design, a scientific term, used commonly by optics designers to describe stuff thats well... different... not sure what... not normal? In other words there's no baggage, of being defective, associated among optics designers with this term, whereas to someone like me, a lay person, coming from other disciplines sees it as criticism.

If you see it, it's there. If you don't, you'd say it’s still there, right? Since all optics devices, like binoculars are compromises, then they all have "distortions." Also right?
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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