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Review of 8x25 Victory Pocket (1 Viewer)

F88

Well-known member
It strikes me that you have only a few options, all of them 8x30/32:

- one of the newer ultra compact 8x30 options like the Opticron Traveler or Nikon MHG which are ~450g

- suck up a bit of extra weight (~530) and get an Ultravid 8x32

There really aren’t many other compact and super light options that are both “only a bit bulkier/heavier” than the 8x25 Zeiss, while also providing excellent optics and view + handling more like a regular sized binocular. I cannot think of ANY viable alternatives between the ~300g 8x25 class and the ~450g 8x30’s.

My thoughts are similar. Initially I wanted as compact as possible but after a brief run with the Ultravid 8x20 this wasn't going to be suitable. Considered the Swarovski 8x25 but the dual hinge and so on are cumbersome by comparison to the Zeiss.
Fortunately the Zeiss handled and viewed above expectations, otherwise I would have given up and perhaps delved into the 30 realm, which in my opinion is not in the true compact class and overall I'd almost as likely stick to a 32. I do think that those seeking as compact as possible but can't accommodate a "pocket", a 30 may well be a good compromise. Then there's the likes of the Ultravid 32.
I generally carry a daypack when using binoculars 32 and up but with the little Zeiss accompanied by the replacement case I can go bag free and literally keep them in my pocket as required, keeping in mind that I often wear shorts and pants with side cargo pockets but the fit inside is perfectly reasonable.
Subsequently I'm carrying binoculars more frequently than I otherwise would, I'm seeing more birds and views in general.
 

eronald

Well-known member
Edmund

If you have the opportunity to try Opticron's Traveller BGA ED 8x32 please do so. It is very light, has a minimalist elegance and good optics.

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Lee

Lee,

I will do as you advise.
I may also try for a used UV 8x32 or go for the Retrovid. I like the 7x35 Retrovid’s view, it has enough exit pupil for anyone :)

I think the decision process will take 2 years by which time I shall be really fed up with 8x25 :)

Edmund
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Edmund I apologize as I'm late to this discussion, but have you used the MHG or CL-B 8x30 extensively? Of course it is very subjective but I personally get on really well with both. They are, functionally, most of a 32mm for me and a good savings of weight and size. I like the ergonomics and view of both a lot. I've not had much experience with the Victory 25mm simply because I get on with a 30mm bin so well and it's so compact that I don't feel any overwhelming urge to purchase a Victory 8x25. To be honest if I was going to buy another compact bin just because, just to have, I might have a hard time choosing the Victory over the CL-B, even though the CL-B is so close to my MHG.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
The MHG 8x30 was definitely the first one that popped to mind for me, very slim and only 450g.

I was handling my wife’s UVHD 8x32 just now and was marveling at just how incredibly tiny it is. It really is an optical wonder, I snapped a couple photos for you Edmund next to my Trinovid BR 10x42 and EDG 10x32. The Trinovid should be a good comp for your 7x42 UV in terms of size / bulk.

The size and weight differential between the 32 and 42 Ultravids is really massive. And the UV 32 is tiny even when compared to most 32’s (the EDG is a large 32 but comparable to the Swaro SV or Zeiss SF in terms of length).

The UV 32 is so short, and the tubes are so slender, weighs only 535g, yet it still feels like a little tank and the optics hang with anything. Contrast and color saturation and sharpness and depth up the wazoo. The only real flaws are the shortish eye relief, and “very good but not great” performance in terms of FOV, CA, and edge sharpness (all of which would require a larger binocular / ocular to solve).

If you can’t hang with the 8x25 ergonomics (I can’t either), but want something super tiny with viewing comfort and optics that don’t make you miss the 7x42 too dearly, I can’t imagine a better companion.
 

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fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
I sold my Leica UVHD 8x32 when I got the Victory Pocket. The difference in pocketability is massive, and the UVHD 8x32 is nowhere near as comfortable as a 8x42, even one as compact as the UV 8x42BL.
 

paddy7

Well-known member
It may also be worth watching the second-hand market over the next few months - there may be a few funding the purchase of the Zeiss SF 8x32 by selling their FLs.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I sold my Leica UVHD 8x32 when I got the Victory Pocket. The difference in pocketability is massive, and the UVHD 8x32 is nowhere near as comfortable as a 8x42, even one as compact as the UV 8x42BL.

I don’t disagree but those are your priorities. The context of my comments was for Edmund who has declared his hatred for 8x25 and his willingness to carry something slightly larger and heavier, ie he is willing to sacrifice pocketability for an increase in viewing and handling comfort. Ergo a compact 30/32 is the next step up, and my point was that the UV is remarkably tiny even relative to most 32’s. To get any smaller / lighter without going to a 25mm compact the only remaining options are the slim 8x30’s.
 

fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
I understand, Eitan, it's just I fear if Edmund finds the Victory SF 8x25 fatiguing, he will not necessarily find the UVHD 8x32 that much of an improvement (3.1mm exit pupil on the 8x25, 4mm on the UVHD 8x32 vs 6mm on his 7x42).

So for him it would be either the Retrovid 7x35 (5mm) or the Swarovski 8x30 CL B (3.8mm, but with an "optical box" design that supposedly makes them comfortable to use, not sure how much I believe that).
 

eronald

Well-known member
I understand, Eitan, it's just I fear if Edmund finds the Victory SF 8x25 fatiguing, he will not necessarily find the UVHD 8x32 that much of an improvement (3.1mm exit pupil on the 8x25, 4mm on the UVHD 8x32 vs 6mm on his 7x42).

So for him it would be either the Retrovid 7x35 (5mm) or the Swarovski 8x30 CL B (3.8mm, but with an "optical box" design that supposedly makes them comfortable to use, not sure how much I believe that).

This discussion is starting to be interesting :)

I will see if I can find a CL to test, but frankly I don't believe it will be much of an upgrade. I like the 7x Retrovid, but haven't been able to test the 8x. I'lll also try another look through the 8x32 UV.

There is also a possibility that something else new and superlight will emerge during the next year or so.

Edmund
 

b_reynolds_ak

Well-known member
Well thanks to all of you, I picked up a pair from B&H, used in condition 10 for $615. The short eye cups were apparent as discussed here. I put on a pair of the Field Optics rubber winged eyecups. The extra width effectively extend the eyecups out perfectly. I also cut the wings down to a more reasonable size as they are so long.
All I can say is , "Wow!" The closest comparison I can make are between the Leica 8x32 BN's and the Swaro 8x32 EL WB. These are going to be keepers for sure.
 

eronald

Well-known member
I played with some $35 10x25 toys at a science museum today.
One side sharp, quite decent, one side dead, super light, I mean very very light, very very compact.

If someone with decent qc specs a ‘toy’ binocular The Pocket might have interesting competition, as very light means stable.The Papilio might be better value than the Pocket if the optics were upgraded a bit, as the ergonomics are very good.

Edmund
 

F88

Well-known member
I played with some $35 10x25 toys at a science museum today.
One side sharp, quite decent, one side dead, super light, I mean very very light, very very compact.

If someone with decent qc specs a ‘toy’ binocular The Pocket might have interesting competition, as very light means stable.The Papilio might be better value than the Pocket if the optics were upgraded a bit, as the ergonomics are very good.

Edmund

Nonsense.
 

cjmassey

Member
Anybody had any experience with the compact Victory 10x25 versus the 8x25 as far as being able to hold them steady? I had trouble holding a 10x42 full size steady but was wondering if maybe the lightness of the 10x25 Victory would allow steady hand holding. Thanks
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
CJ there is a thread dedicated to the 10x25 now "Zeiss Victory 10x25". You may want to read that thread and post a question there. There are also a few posts here as well mentioning the 10x25 you could search this thread for those.
Generally speaking the ability to hold higher power binocular steady varies between individuals and like anything else may be improved with practice.

Mike
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Have wanted a lightweight pair of binoculars for the last couple of years for my many trips that primarily focus on butterflies rather than strictly birds ...wanted optical quality, close focus and lightweight. This has become more acute with ongoing consequences of tick-borne encephalitis that leaves my neck/shoulders aching if carrying my standard binoculars

So after much consideration, including taking account of all the positive reviews on this thread, got myself a pair of Zeiss Victory Pockets this week, choosing the 8x25.

And the result ... day one, even allowing for it being a bright sunny day - wow, amazing, an impressive performance for such a small package. Sharp, bright, good colours, focus to not much beyond my feet. And close focus to infinity basically a single roll of the finger, nothing to complain about. Never used compacts before, but even so still felt totally comfortable in my hands. In short, I was impressed and basically found them (in these bright sunny conditions) as good as my 10x42, but at a fraction of the weight. Lot of butterflies too, so good day all round.

Even next day, today, in cloud and some rain, I still think they perform admirably, though haven't given them a proper workout yet.

Good job Zeiss, I can see these becoming the only binoculars I use on trips where butterflies are the primary focus and quite probably my binoculars of choice for quite a bit of my birding too, especially local birding.
 
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mfunnell

Registered Confuser
Good job Zeiss, I can see these becoming the only binoculars I use on trips where butterflies are the primary focus and quite probably my binoculars of choice for quite a bit of my birding too, especially local birding.
This is the kind of thing which puts me in something of a conundrum. I really love my 8x32FLs and take them whenever I travel and use them quite a lot besides that. On the other hand, there are some times when for reasons of sheer compactness, my Terra 8x25s have done (I've thought) quite a sterling job - for what they are.

Yet I keep hearing the new Victory 8x25s are about as compact, yet do things they (by format) really aren't - yet really are!

While I don't really feel like spending that much money on new bins...I'm starting to feel that perhaps I should.

I'd ask people to talk me out of it, but - around here, well - :-O

...Mike
 

Gzoladz74

Well-known member
This is the kind of thing which puts me in something of a conundrum. I really love my 8x32FLs and take them whenever I travel and use them quite a lot besides that. On the other hand, there are some times when for reasons of sheer compactness, my Terra 8x25s have done (I've thought) quite a sterling job - for what they are.

Yet I keep hearing the new Victory 8x25s are about as compact, yet do things they (by format) really aren't - yet really are!

While I don't really feel like spending that much money on new bins...I'm starting to feel that perhaps I should.

I'd ask people to talk me out of it, but - around here, well - :-O

...Mike


They are pricey all right, but it is a lifetime purchase. Optics develompment is so mature that it is unlikely that something significantly better will be released over the next +10/20 years (from an optics perspective).

That is how I took it when I bought my SF 8x42 and the Pockets 8x25. I know if I had purchased a lower cost (but still very good) alternative, both Victorys would be back in my head after 6 months/1 year.

Apologies, I know you wanted to move in the opposite direction. But it is my honest opinion.
 

paddy7

Well-known member
I don't know if this helps - it probably doesn't if you're trying to get talked out of it - but i travel a fair bit too, and use the 8x32FL mainly for everything.
I bought some Pockets anyway, and two years back took only them on a 10 day trip to Southern Portugal. Admittedly we were in brilliant light all the time, but there was no time i thought i'd wished i'd brought the FLs.
Where they really score is when you're taking one of those 'hand luggage only' trips and space/weight is at a premium.
As with all compacts, you have to work with them for a while to find your best way of using them and i still find it tricky for a short while if i use the Pockets after having used something larger for several days. I'd also add that - contrary to logic - you have to work at stability when viewing at long distances. The lack of weight resistance has to be considered; again, everyone will find their own way round that one - i know i have.
However, the low weight has also enabled me to 'find my own eye relief', usually with the cups rolled down; the FoV this way is stunning!
 

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