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Review: Zeiss Victory SF 8x32 (1 Viewer)

temmie

Well-known member
I found compact non-open bridge x32 (like the Leica Ultravid, and even Zeiss FL) too small for my hands.
I really thing a x32 with an open bridge design is the way to go.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Binocular size is a constant source of discussion. I agree with Temmie in his above post that for many hands, a 30-32 mm binocular is pretty small, often too small to be completely comfortable. However there is the other side to the coin, in that some larger binoculars will be too large for some hands. Hence it is a matter of personal preference, never to be resolved past the preference of the individual user.

However I think there is something called specification anxiety that plays a major role here. People get curious about a particular binocular. The first thing is to go to the spec sheet to discern some particulars. OK, 32 oz, that is too heavy, the fov is not wide enough, the eye relief is not right, this extends to the entire content of the specifications. Conventional wisdom, which often is more conventional than wise, comes into play too. That tells us there will always be more brightness to be had in a larger aperture. Back in time that was a lot more applicable in field use than it is today. One of today's good 30-32 mm binoculars gives up little to a 42 mm, even in low light. yes, the 42 will always have more light, but personal need dictates the choice.

Weight and size are in play here too. I once had a Leupold Gold Ring 8x42. Biggest mistake I ever made (optically anyway) was to sell it. Yes the spec sheet said it was heavy and people complained to the heavens about the weight. However the vast majority of the complaints came from people reading the spec sheet, very few came from people who actually owned and used one. Same can be said for the Maven B2 and the Zeiss SF. Boy those are just too big. Not unless you suffer from some physical infirmity. If you actually use one, the weight is a non issue. Balance and a good harness can be amazing weight cancelers. Good glass and a state of the art 32 mm will allay a lot of low light issues.

Personally, like Lee, I have never wished either my Leupold or my Maven were either a little lighter, or a bit different size. I have some 32 mm binoculars I do sometimes wish were a little longer, rarely if ever do I lament the smaller aperture.
 

Sebzwo

Well-known member
For me weight does not matter. I like size using some 10x50 most of the time. You have any reserve for anything with you. There is enough glass to collect any light available. Even at night. And there is enough magnification to watch things far away. You can grab it and it's stable because it has some weight.
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
But talking of Leica, I wonder when we are going to see Noctivid 32?

Hi Lee,

my impression, Leica is always one step behind Swarovski and Zeiss!

Now they have brought the retrovid to the market with major birth pains, that Noctivid 8x32 comes perhaps in five years, if at all ?!
Somehow Leica missed the connection, the Noctivids are beautiful glasses, but my impression is that most people prefer to use EL's or SF's.
Leica is simply too conservative when it comes to optical innovations, the optical differences between the individual models are just too small, small steps always remain and thus Zeiss and Swarovski remain more interesting for many people.

Andreas
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Binocular size is a constant source of discussion. I agree with Temmie in his above post that for many hands, a 30-32 mm binocular is pretty small, often too small to be completely comfortable. However there is the other side to the coin, in that some larger binoculars will be too large for some hands. Hence it is a matter of personal preference, never to be resolved past the preference of the individual user.

However I think there is something called specification anxiety that plays a major role here. People get curious about a particular binocular. The first thing is to go to the spec sheet to discern some particulars. OK, 32 oz, that is too heavy, the fov is not wide enough, the eye relief is not right, this extends to the entire content of the specifications. Conventional wisdom, which often is more conventional than wise, comes into play too. That tells us there will always be more brightness to be had in a larger aperture. Back in time that was a lot more applicable in field use than it is today. One of today's good 30-32 mm binoculars gives up little to a 42 mm, even in low light. yes, the 42 will always have more light, but personal need dictates the choice.

Weight and size are in play here too. I once had a Leupold Gold Ring 8x42. Biggest mistake I ever made (optically anyway) was to sell it. Yes the spec sheet said it was heavy and people complained to the heavens about the weight. However the vast majority of the complaints came from people reading the spec sheet, very few came from people who actually owned and used one. Same can be said for the Maven B2 and the Zeiss SF. Boy those are just too big. Not unless you suffer from some physical infirmity. If you actually use one, the weight is a non issue. Balance and a good harness can be amazing weight cancelers. Good glass and a state of the art 32 mm will allay a lot of low light issues.

Personally, like Lee, I have never wished either my Leupold or my Maven were either a little lighter, or a bit different size. I have some 32 mm binoculars I do sometimes wish were a little longer, rarely if ever do I lament the smaller aperture.

:t::t::t:


Lee
 

dries1

Member
Face it, everybody has their Brand preferences, or Brand Nationalism so to speak. I do however understand that many who wear glasses are limited by the issue of sufficient eye relief in many models, and this spec guides them to the glass they eventually procure/use.

Andy W.
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Yes. They were way behind regarding eye relief.

Hello,

I actually meant the optical properties!
But of course you are right, with eyeglasses some Leica models are not usable.

Face it, everybody has their Brand preferences, or Brand Nationalism so to speak.

No I did not!
The Noctivid is really a very good binocular that goes well with glasses, but I prefer the Zeiss SF and in particular the Swarovski EL over the Noctivid, regardless of the eye relief.;)

Andreas
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hello,

I actually meant the optical properties!
But of course you are right, with eyeglasses some Leica models are not usable.

Andreas

Andreas,

I'm sure this has been gone over before in other threads but I'm interested to know what optical properties Leica is behind in. You aren't the first person I have read who writes that. I use different makes of binoculars and currently am having a lot of fun and pleasure with a Swarovski SLC 10x42. But to me the Leica look, not just of the instrument itself but more relevantly the look of the image it gives is the most pleasing of all. I know there is no perfect binocular and each design is the sum of differing weighting of ingredients but the roundness of colour in most Leicas is for me unbeaten, and I think to many others as well.

But I'm not saying we should all like the same things; that's why I'm interested to hear your thinking.

Best wishes,

To
 

fazalmajid

Well-known member
Leica usually makes the most compact binoculars in their class and that entails compromises. I’ve never had problems with eye relief on any of mine (Trinovid 8x20, Ultravid 8x20, Ultravid 8x32 HD, Ultravid 8x42 BL, Ultravid 10x50, Monovid), but then again I don’t have an extreme eyeglass prescription. While my Swarovski EL SV 8.5x42 and Zeiss Victory Pocket 8x25 may be my primary binoculars today, my Ultravid 8x42 BL are still my favorite in terms of how pleasant they are to hold.
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
that's why I'm interested to hear your thinking.

Hello SeldomPerched,

my point is that the optical innovations between the individual Leica models are too small or only marginal!
Of course there are always discussions about it and everyone has their own assessment, but I don't think that much has happened at Leica since the Trinovid BA / BN in the optical field.
Yes, there are always minor improvements, but in my opinion the big hit was never made.

I also find the color rendering of the Leica's very nice, but what always bothers me is the almost notorious chromatic aberration that I found annoying in all Leica models, but I'm also very sensitive on this point.
The Nikon EDG are binoculars that are very similar to Leica's in terms of color rendering, but here chromatic aberration is much better minimized.

However, it is important to note that I am originally from astronomy. Therefore, of course, I prefer binoculars with a field that is as flat as possible, even if I observe during the day, there may also be a reason that I can not do so much with the Leica's!

Ultimately, it is most important that the user of a pair of binoculars is ultimately satisfied, whether it is Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski or any other brand therefore remains secondary, everyone has different visual priorities and that's a good thing!
I therefore wish you continued fun with your Leica.

Andreas
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
but then again I don’t have an extreme eyeglass prescription.

Hello fazalmajid,

there are also differences between far-sighted and short-sighted people!
as a "farsighted" I need around 16mm. Many Leica glasses do not have eye relief to get a good view.
My eyeglass prescription are not particularly thick either.

Andreas
 

tenex

reality-based
But to me the Leica look, not just of the instrument itself but more relevantly the look of the image it gives is the most pleasing of all.
So there are two ways of looking at this: Leica is behind on optical innovation. Or, Leica has a successful formula that many people continue to like (even optically) and maintains it, with relevant improvements in coatings, top-notch glare control, etc. Is it lazy, or merely conservative? Don't worry about that. Line up Leica, Swaro, and Zeiss (SF, others have too many issues IMO) and there are clear differences and trade-offs. Choice is a good thing. I like both our Leicas and Swaros, and an SF may eventually prove hard to resist.
 

dalat

...
Hi Florian

Here they are side-by-side. IMHO this is neither flattering nor unflattering to either of them. They are both the size they need to be.

Lee

Hi Lee,
many thanks for that, I somehow missed that you indeed posted that side by side pic. Very interesting. They do not look like two binoculars of the same class.

Intuitively that compact UV is certainly more appealing, but I get what you and others describe as the ergonomic advantage of the longer bin. I'm certainly keen on trying one to get the feel.
 

eronald

Well-known member
What I’d like to see is the Z 8x25 bumped up to 30 with 20% more weight and ... price.

Same fov, focus mechanics, just a teeny bit more light.

Edmund
 

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