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Reviews and comparisons to Victory HT 10x54's vs 10x42's? (1 Viewer)

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
I'm on a quest to get a pair of 10 power bins and I have wanted to try some Zeiss HT's for a long time.

How do the 42's compare to the 54's? My uses will primarily be at dusk looking at cattle about 200 yards away and going to the ocean to watch ships and birds primarily. I live in a high humidity area and obviously, the ocean viewing will be humid with possible salt spray from the ocean.

TIA,
Sid
 

Canip

Well-known member
I have the HT 8x42, 8x54 and 10x54, but not the 10x42, so cannot really compare the two 10x binos. If it's any help, here is what I find noteworthy when comparing the two 8x models, 8x42 and 8x54. Many of my findings may apply more or less also to the 10x models.

First, the 8x54 model is considerably larger and quite a bit heavier: measured with eyecaps and strap, 1'117g, vs. 916g for the 8x42.

Then, interestingly, the 8x42 has more usable eye relief (measured from the rim of the eyecup) than the 8x54, 15.5mm vs. 13.5 mm for the 8x54, although according to Zeiss' specs, both have the same technical eye relief of 16mm (measured from the surface of the eyelens). I measured with a precision Dynameter, so I am sure of my result (just for completeness, I measure 14mm of usable eye relief on the 10x54 model, so just a tiny bit more than on the 8x54).

The 8x42 has a minimum focus distance (measured) of 1.9m, the 8x54 has 3.1m.

For some further numbers, see my website at Zeiss Victory HT 8×42 – Binoculars Today and Zeiss Victory HT 8×54 – Binoculars Today

The 8x42 has a RFOV of 7.8 degrees, the 8x54 has 7.4 degrees. The difference is actually quite recognizable in practice, the 8x42 has not only a wider field, but similarly a wider sweet spot. Both are not great in terms of edge sharpness, but I find the 8x42 slightly better than its 8x54 sibling.

Central sharpness is excellent in both binos, the image characteristics such as color fidelity very similar. Both glasses ar very good at straylight suppression, a bit less good at CA control (at least for my eyes).

The 8x54 is of course brighter at twilight, the large 6.75mm exit pupil together with a 95%+ transmission provides a superbly bright image in difficult lighting situations (I suspect the 10x54 will equally "beat" the 10x42 model).
But the 8x42 with its 5.25mm exit pupil is still a wonderfully bright instrument, even at dusk or dawn, and you have to weigh the differences of the two instruments against the primarily intended uses.

Not sure this is what you were looking for. If the choice is between 10x42 and 10x54, I would personally choose the 10x42, despite the greater brightness of the 10x54, unless you are really looking for a "night bino".

fwiw
Canip
 

j_2112

Member
United States
I have the HT 8x42, 8x54 and 10x54, but not the 10x42, so cannot really compare the two 10x binos. If it's any help, here is what I find noteworthy when comparing the two 8x models, 8x42 and 8x54. Many of my findings may apply more or less also to the 10x models.

First, the 8x54 model is considerably larger and quite a bit heavier: measured with eyecaps and strap, 1'117g, vs. 916g for the 8x42.

Then, interestingly, the 8x42 has more usable eye relief (measured from the rim of the eyecup) than the 8x54, 15.5mm vs. 13.5 mm for the 8x54, although according to Zeiss' specs, both have the same technical eye relief of 16mm (measured from the surface of the eyelens). I measured with a precision Dynameter, so I am sure of my result (just for completeness, I measure 14mm of usable eye relief on the 10x54 model, so just a tiny bit more than on the 8x54).

The 8x42 has a minimum focus distance (measured) of 1.9m, the 8x54 has 3.1m.

For some further numbers, see my website at Zeiss Victory HT 8×42 – Binoculars Today and Zeiss Victory HT 8×54 – Binoculars Today

The 8x42 has a RFOV of 7.8 degrees, the 8x54 has 7.4 degrees. The difference is actually quite recognizable in practice, the 8x42 has not only a wider field, but similarly a wider sweet spot. Both are not great in terms of edge sharpness, but I find the 8x42 slightly better than its 8x54 sibling.

Central sharpness is excellent in both binos, the image characteristics such as color fidelity very similar. Both glasses ar very good at straylight suppression, a bit less good at CA control (at least for my eyes).

The 8x54 is of course brighter at twilight, the large 6.75mm exit pupil together with a 95%+ transmission provides a superbly bright image in difficult lighting situations (I suspect the 10x54 will equally "beat" the 10x42 model).
But the 8x42 with its 5.25mm exit pupil is still a wonderfully bright instrument, even at dusk or dawn, and you have to weigh the differences of the two instruments against the primarily intended uses.

Not sure this is what you were looking for. If the choice is between 10x42 and 10x54, I would personally choose the 10x42, despite the greater brightness of the 10x54, unless you are really looking for a "night bino".

fwiw
Canip
This is a late reply, but I believe you are one of the only ones to have both the 8 and 10 x 54 HT. I've read the 10 has a bit larger apparent FOV.

How does the brightness, resolution, CA, and overall experience differ between the two? Which would you keep between the two?

I have a 10x54 HT arriving tomorrow to hopefully compliment my 8x42 SF (best bino ever!).

I just hope the CA and lack of field flatners don't ruin my HT experience!

Thanks!
 

Foss

Well-known member
United States
Sidpost ~ Allbinos lists the HT 10x42 FOV at 6.3°. If that's one of the models you're thinking about, is there enough FOV for your main intended purposes?
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
I'm a bit pickier about eye relief than FOV. I wear glasses so some binoculars that may have more apparent FOV are ACTUALLY LESS for me because of eye relief restrictions. Then add some loss around the edges to fuzziness with some bins and, the "best" option for me sometimes is the one without the 'best' specifications.

With higher power magnification bins, I generally will be viewing static things so FOV, as long as it is reasonable, is generally fine with me. Less than 6 degrees gets a bit narrow for me though.
 

etc

Well-known member
I migrated from a 8x42 Zeiss SF to the 10x54 HT and never looked back.
It outperforms any 8x42 in every category (except for weight, which isn't a performance issue per se).
Brighter, better performance in twilight, resolves a lot more, etc. At this point I am only considering 50mm+ objectives. Like a Leica 10x50 or a Swaro 10x56 or a Zeiss 10x54 or 8x54.
I think the objective diameter is more important than power, and IMO 10x is not a good match for the 42mm objective, the exit pupil size is smaller, it's a bit more difficult to use than the larger 56mm.
I think I would prefer a 8x54 HT versus 10x42 HT. But 10x54 HT is as good as it gets IMO.
 

henry link

Well-known member
Hi etc,

We're singing the same tune when it comes to the optical superiority of large exit pupil binoculars, but I was severely disappointed in the 8x54 HT when I reviewed it back in 2014 and compared it to the 8x56 FL I planned to replace with it.

The short version of the review is that the HT had excessive spherical aberration and lateral chromatic aberration near the field center, enough to spoil the image for me. That was bit of a mystery since the two binoculars appeared to have similar designs. However, when a cutaway of a 54mm HT appeared on the Zeiss website I noticed a difference right away. The big FLs are unique in having a doublet focusing lens (like a spotting scope) instead of the usual singlet found in all other binoculars, including the big HTs and the smaller FLs. I've wondered if that extra degree of correction might explain the difference.

I'm still interested in the currently available Swaro 8x56 and Zeiss 8x54 (hopefully improved since 2014?) but only if they are as well corrected as the old FL, which might be in a class by itself for low axial aberrations when stopped down in daylight. I'll be interested in your impressions if you decide to go for a current 8x54 HT.

Henry
 

etc

Well-known member
Just get either Zeiss 10x54 or the huge Swarovski SLC 10x54. I like Zeiss but there is nothing wrong with Swarovski. They are both huge and heavy, with SLC even larger. That's not a bug, it's a feature. I really like the 10x54, doubtful I will ever go back to the 8x anything.

An interesting alternative is 10x50 EL or one of the Leica models. 10x50 EL is more compact than either of the first two choices, might be just what you are looking for.
 

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