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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Review of 8x25 Victory Pocket (1 Viewer)

How big is the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket?

The Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket is an 8x25, with the optical comfort (except in very low light) and handling qualities of an 8x32, that packs like an 8x20.

See attached images (Note: images not to same scale from one image to the next) to accompany these further comments.

Image 1.
Here are the Zeiss 8x32 FL, Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket, and Leica 8x20 Ultravid BL, each set to my IPD. Note that the Victory is, as expected for an 8x25, intermediate in size between the other formats. However, I find that it fits the hand more like an x32. I especially like the long ocular assemblies relative to the hand position (and strap lugs), which help keep my hands away from my face (allowing better ventilation around my glasses, so they are less likely to fog) and keeps my thumbs from bonking into my nose (annoying). Both the FL and Ultravid feel cramped by comparison.

Images 2+3.
Here are the previous bins (along with their straps etc) in the cases that I favor for each. For comparison, I have also included the ridiculously oversized gray clamshell supplied with the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket (Note: the irritating magnetic flippy dip, which does nothing except get in the way of the zipper on that case, has been removed).

If one used the Zeiss case for the 8x25 Victory, the bin would pack into approximately the same space as the 8x32 FL in a properly fitting case (e.g. My favorite, shown here, is the case for the Leica 8x32 Trinovid BN). However, if packed into a more appropriate case (e.g. shown here, the case for the Nikon 8x25 SportStar IV), the 8x25 Victory packs into a much smaller space, not much larger than what is needed for the Leica 8x20 Ultravid BL in its reasonably-sized robust leather clamshell. Interestingly, although the 8x25 Victory, by itself, weighs somewhat more than the 8x20 Ultravid (287 g vs. 230 g), when the bins are cased like this (including straps and ocular caps), they end up similar in physical dimensions and almost identical in mass. The 8x25 Victory, configured and cased as shown is 326 g, whereas the Ultravid is 320 g. By comparison, the 8x32 FL configured and cased as shown is 720 g.

By the way, the ridiculously large stock 8x25 Victory case does _not_ allow that bin to be cased when set to one's IPD, _unless_ one's IPD is close to the maximum setting for the bin.

Image 4.
I included this shot, with the case flap held open, to show that the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket (with my strap) fits nicely into the case for the Nikon 8x25 SportStar IV. I'm also using the ocular caps from the Nikon to keep dust and anything else from touching the ocular lenses while the bin is cased, since the top of the bin is covered only by a folded-over flap secured with hook-and-loop fastener (no zipper closure for a dust free environment). By the way, I tried the Opticron Compact Binocular Rainguard (in 34 mm size), and after a bit of trimming/modification it fits and works nicely as a rainguard, but it doesn't fit properly into this case owing to bits of the rainguard that jut out awkwardly when the Zeiss is folded fully into its unusual shape.


Loving this bin! Henceforth, it may replace both my 8x32 FL and 8x20 Ultravid for almost all purposes that they heretofore served.

--AP
 

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Is there any reason to get the 8x32 conquest over these? I assume an 8x32 would be slightly better in low light but am wondering if anyone has compared. The 8x25 pocket victory is a little cheaper and sounds like it has very few flaws. Does the impressive 8x25 performance imply that 8x32s are due for an update?
 
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AP, others,
Could you please check this for me?
How is the Pocket FL at conveying
very faint shades of pink on a white or very light background?

I have some uncertainty about how good it is at this.
https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3681787&postcount=74

An experienced poster finds that other FLs are not good at this
(he has not used a new Pocket).
https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3690667&postcount=12

Another experienced poster kindly checked this for me
(in a Pocket FL) and he finds that it does it well.
https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3703169&postcount=8

Thanks!
Adhoc
 
I don't think I'm the right person to render an opinion on the pink. I don't notice any significant color transmission discontinuities despite seeming neutral (e.g. like early Swarovski 8.5x42 EL original, which filters out some hues in the orange-magenta range, as I recall--can't remember specifically what it drops out--even though it appears neutral).

--AP
 
Thanks AP. One has to encounter a situation where that matters.
In my post linked above it was in the observation of a gull in a bird survey.
Else one has to search for and find some faint pink on a white background.
As you explain, such a thing can otherwise go unnoticed, if it is present.
To me so far this excellent instrument has no other flaws!
A lot of work seems to have gone into its optical design. But the advertising by Zeiss was nothing like they did for the HT and SF. In fact I have not seen any, and I had to bring the model to the notice of this forum.
 
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Loving this bin! Henceforth, it may replace both my 8x32 FL and 8x20 Ultravid for almost all purposes that they heretofore served.

I’ve already sold off my UV HD 8x32 and stopped using my UV 8x20 since I got these. The Swarovski field bag for pocket binoculars is a near perfect fit for these, but I just keep them in my jacket pocket.
 
After my bad experience with two units of the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 ... I'm thinking about the Zeiss Victory 8x25 model, but if it's the same in size as the Terra model it's not really pocket-sized ... even so, that would go for the No glasses users? Could it generate some kind of blackout issues?
I had also thought of some 8x30 as the Swarovski CL Companion model (old model) that has a similar price, or some 8x32 model .., but really this Zeiss Victory 8x25 has so much quality to "replace" a good 8X30 or 8x32 model ??
Thanks in advance
Wachi
 
...for the No glasses users? Could it generate some kind of blackout issues?...
Depending on the shape of your face, it might have too much eye-relief (i.e. eyecups that are not long enough), which could lead to blackout issues. Furthermore, this model is no better than other pocket roofs when it come to eyecup diameter (i.e. too small), which can also cause problems for those who don't wear glasses. The solution to both problems is accessory add-on eyecups.

...but really this Zeiss Victory 8x25 has so much quality to "replace" a good 8X30 or 8x32 model ??...
Yes, I'd say so, but keep in mind that no matter how good it is, an x25 bin will never perform as well as an x32 in very low light, so if that is a critical use, go with x32 or even larger. Also, some people find it difficult to hold a lightweight bin steady.

--AP
 
Thanks AP. One has to encounter a situation where that matters.
In my post linked above it was in the observation of a gull in a bird survey.
Else one has to search for and find some faint pink on a white background.
As you explain, such a thing can otherwise go unnoticed, if it is present...

Well, I didn't really give you an answer! My problem is that I see the world through rose-colored glasses, both figuratively, and in the past, literally (I had a weak rose tint applied to my eyeglasses). I seem to like a hint of magenta (but _not_ orange or yellow!) applied to the world. When the pink is missing, the world seems greenish. About the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket, I'd just say that in looking at faintly pink objects I see nothing amiss, and generally this bin performs better with respect to color neutrality and delivering color to my eye than do many older or cheaper bins that I've used (e.g. my Browning 8x32 = Bushnell 8x32 Legend).


...To me so far this excellent instrument has no other flaws!
A lot of work seems to have gone into its optical design. But the advertising by Zeiss was nothing like they did for the HT and SF. In fact I have not seen any, and I had to bring the model to the notice of this forum.
Yes, it is funny that Zeiss hasn't promoted this one more, at least in the media that I consume and receive. Perhaps they don't think it offers much for birding (and hunting...), or they know that most birders are generally not much interested in pocket roofs, no matter how good. Do they advertise it in backpacking magazines? I wonder.

--AP
 
After my bad experience with two units of the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 ... I'm thinking about the Zeiss Victory 8x25 model, but if it's the same in size as the Terra model it's not really pocket-sized ... even so, that would go for the No glasses users? Could it generate some kind of blackout issues?
I had also thought of some 8x30 as the Swarovski CL Companion model (old model) that has a similar price, or some 8x32 model .., but really this Zeiss Victory 8x25 has so much quality to "replace" a good 8X30 or 8x32 model ??
The Victory 8x25 is optically excellent, and handles very well. It's surprisingly good, larger than a true "pocket" bino but still small and light. The single hinge is brilliant. I found eye placement very forgiving (no blackouts) but the eyecups too short for me and quite small (as on any 25mm) so I would need to either hold it away from my face somehow, or find larger eyecups that would seem odd and bulky. It can't replace a 32mm bino for me because holding/viewing isn't as comfortable, but I can understand how that could work for others, especially with eyeglasses.
 
The Victory 8x25 is optically excellent, and handles very well. It's surprisingly good, larger than a true "pocket" bino but still small and light. The single hinge is brilliant. I found eye placement very forgiving (no blackouts) but the eyecups too short for me and quite small (as on any 25mm) so I would need to either hold it away from my face somehow, or find larger eyecups that would seem odd and bulky. It can't replace a 32mm bino for me because holding/viewing isn't as comfortable, but I can understand how that could work for others, especially with eyeglasses.

100% agreed...to resolve the problem with the shott eyecups I got the eyeshields from Ace Optics, it works outstandingly well for me.
 
more to like about the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket

The following is copied from comments I made on another thread in another subforum.

***************
Another factor that makes me so enthusiastic about this bin is that it fits my hand like a bigger bin, with the optical axis properly aligned to my hand, so that I am able to bring the bins to my eyes and already be on target (i.e. pointed at the object of interest), even in awkward situations (e.g. while twisting my body to see out of a side window of my car, or to find a bird moving high overhead in the canopy). Last weekend, I walked ~6 miles through forest (brush-busting, no trails) on a very hot and thoroughly humid day, literally raining sweat (clothes saturated) from my body. Those are conditions (tricky lighting, awkward viewing angles, only quick glimpses of most birds, physically uncomfortable, possibly tired/shaky hands) in which I would not even think of trying to enjoy use of an 8x20, and would generally also avoid choosing an 8x32, but I found that the Zeiss 8x25 Victory worked perfectly. Not once did I find myself frustrated with its limitations. That's something, under those conditions, that I think I could only say about one other of the many excellent bins that I own, namely the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL SV. I know many factors are a matter of taste and fit, so I'm not arguing that the claim should be universal, but for me this Zeiss 8x25 Victory is the most exciting birding bin I've tried since the Zeiss 7x42 BGATP. After the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL SV, the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket is now my second favorite bin of all time. Going forward, my main question will be how well it holds up physically. Generally, I've had a good experience with Zeiss, but this bin is a new Japanese produced effort, and not all Japanese bins (esp. rubber armor) hold up as well as have my Zeiss and Leica bins.

--AP
 
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My Victory 8x25 arrived last night just after sunset (of course), so I only had a few first impressions. As beautifully as the binocular is boxed and presented, the accessories are disappointing--no objective caps or rain guard, and the case is next to useless. All of this has been mentioned earlier and so none of it is a surprise, just a disappointment.

The initial views were outstanding. It has excellent on axis sharpness with a very wide sweet spot and nice field of view. It has no internal reflections and shows no artifacts when focused on a halogen filament. Also at night I could find no stray light or reflections from bright lights outside the field of view. In this sense its optics are superior to my Maven B3 8x30 and I expect it to be less bothered by stray light or difficult background lighting conditions.

Mechanically and ergonomically, the Zeiss feels good in hand but the Maven feels better. Of course is is mostly personal preference, partly that I am used to the Maven, and partly that the Maven is heavier giving it a more solid feel. But I do prefer the Maven large metal focusing knob, the feel of the rubber coating, the focuser and hinge tension. The added weight and bulk of the Maven has pros and cons. I think it is ergonomically a little better in use, but definitely much more difficult to pocket. First impression mechanically, I would guess that the Maven was the more expensive binocular.

Optically, the Zeiss has tons of eye relief while the Maven is rather limited there. I do not wear glasses while observing, but the Zeiss would give me the option of wearing sunglasses and getting the full field. I still need to figure out my most comfortable technique with this new little binocular, but so far resting it on the upper ridge of my eye socket with the eyecups fully extended seems to work quite well. As expected I have seen no stray light or glare problems during the day so far. The exit pupils are nice and round but as AP has noted it is kind of weird to see two identical barrels without the usual right/left symmetry.

The first daytime views have been stunning. Going back and forth between Maven and Zeiss, the Zeiss has better snap to focus and easier eye placement even though it is a smaller exit pupil. So far it seems every bit as bright as the Maven even though it is 25mm objective vs. 30. And I considered the Maven quite bright keeping up with or surpassing my 32mm binoculars. OTH, I am so far mostly dealing with bright morning views out to sea. When I get some clear skies I will do a star test comparison. First impression optically is that the Zeiss is the more expensive binocular and worth every penny.

I still need to figure out what to do about case, rain guard and strap. I've put two 1.75mm Dyneema cord loops through the strap lugs and connected a RYO harness since that is what I use with everything else. I have rigged up an RYO-like harness out of this thin cordage before and that may be just the thing for this small binocular.

More later.

Alan
 
I've decided to stick with this binocular for the next week or so to get a better feel for it in the field. I spent several hours this afternoon birding with the Victory 8x25 at Madrona Marsh. It was mid afternoon and somewhat windy so it was not an optimal time, but it was a pleasant afternoon walk.

I can get this binocular on target and in focus more quickly and easily than any binocular I own. I really have no idea why. This is true both at close quarters surrounded by trees and shrubbery, and also at longer distances across open areas of the marsh. Even when following birds in flight, I just seem to be pointed where I want to look. This is what I call excellent handling.

In terms of optical quality, this little binocular performs more on the level of my Maven 9x45 than the 8x30. There was only one situation when I thought, "I wish I had my 9x45." It was a view at about 150 yards into a shaded bank where I believe that the additional aperture would have allowed me to see more detail. But other than that, I never thought that bringing these binoculars was any sort of compromise. I had no issues with glare, backlighting, or chromatic aberration. I do think that larger/heavier binoculars can be easier to hold steady if well balanced.

I am rather shocked that a 25mm binocular can be so satisfying in the field.

Alan
 
...I am rather shocked that a 25mm binocular can be so satisfying in the field...

For me, it's like they have a direct connection to my brain. No fuss trying to get the image to and through my eye to the retina. It's crazy. Thanks for the review, ailevin. Glad I'm not alone in being able to taste Zeiss' secret sauce. But I'd still like to know what magic ingredients are involved.

After a month's use, the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket continues to amaze me. I'd been using it exclusively for a week or so, but yesterday ran it against my Leica 8x32 Trinovid Ultra BA. I've always enjoyed that 8x32. It always seems so "sharp" when brought to the eyes, and it fits my hands perfectly. I'm still struck by the similarity of the view overall of these two bins, and by some aspects of handling (for me). But the Zeiss 8x25 Victory has better color, eye relief, lower CA, and better performance against the light.

--AP
 
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I have a question for users of the new Zeiss 8x25.

Without glasses, is there enough eye relief where you can place the eyecups up to your eyes
so they can be braced, as you can with larger binoculars?

That is my largest complaint with the pocket types, just too fiddly in use, to get a steady view.

Jerry
 

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