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The Zeiss Victory SF 8x32: a somewhat idiosyncratic, but comprehensive review (1 Viewer)

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
On the subject of color, while transmission is measurable, and a simultaneous photo of white paper and the view of the white paper through an optical train can demonstrate a tin, it does seem that how people actually perceive tint/transmission is very personal. I should think it's a bit subject to suggestion as well.

When I directly compare various bins I can see some being a bit warmer, some a bit cooler, better contrast in some. I don't generally see particular color casts. Similar to what Hermann says - I think they have to be pretty strong to stand out in a non-direct comparison or when you're not looking for them / when they're not being suggested. Certainly no binocular I've ever owned has as strong a color cast as my sunglasses - which I routinely bird with.

It's only with one bin that I occasionally noticed a bit of a color cast. I perhaps noticed it 5-10 times in about 1000 days in the field with the bin. And this is a bin that gets high marks from most but also gets derided for "muddy red-brown" or "green ham" color by a few. I won't say that some people don't perceive the colors repeatedly and reliably, but I don't.
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
What I'm most curious about are folks' impressions of 3D/resolution. Does a flatter presentation make for more definable resolution? I do believe my eyes were tired yesterday when I had them out for the day. But then, that is an actual field condition. : )
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
For my eyes, I need snow on the ground to test whiteness and colour fidelity...only bin I have with brilliant, true whites is my HT.
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
A short jaunt today (mostly blue sky conditions), colors seemed quite accurate.

Still can't get my head around the resolution. I am wondering if maybe I don't have the best pair? But my eyes lately are shot by ten hours a day looking at the screen. Historically, I have always preferred wrapping up a full day of viewing with Leicas or Nikons...maybe that's becoming more of a full time gig...dunno...
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Lee,

I think binocular color is a very personal thing and just as no amount of anyone telling me will convince me of the gustative superiority of English wine over French wine, none will convince me of the brilliance of Zeiss color over Leica color. I think some wise Italians once said "de gustibus et coloribus non disputandum est" or similar which we might here improve on by the attitude of "de coloribus aut bene aut nihil", let us not speak of what we cannot praise.

Edmund

I absolutely agree Edmund, about both binocular colour and English vs French wine too. I try to avoid Zeiss vs Leica comparisons as Troubadoris is a Leica girl and always has been!

Lee
 

eronald

Well-known member
I absolutely agree Edmund, about both binocular colour and English vs French wine too. I try to avoid Zeiss vs Leica comparisons as Troubadoris is a Leica girl and always has been!

Lee

Lee,

I own 6 photospectrometers of various makes; I would gladly exchange a few for decent bottles ;)

Edmund
 

mpeace

Well-known member
What I'm most curious about are folks' impressions of 3D/resolution. Does a flatter presentation make for more definable resolution? I do believe my eyes were tired yesterday when I had them out for the day. But then, that is an actual field condition. : )

I'm interested in this as well. I'd be great to hear if anyone's gone from flat fields to curved and why and suggestions of what the best non-field-flattened binoculars are.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Lee,

I own 6 photospectrometers of various makes; I would gladly exchange a few for decent bottles ;)

Edmund

I own a Fender USA Telecaster and Martin 000-16C and I will not part with either of them no matter how many bottles are offered! But if we ever meet a bottle will certainly be shared.

Lee
 

paddy7

Well-known member
This is something of a guess, and another triumph of 'a shot in the dark' over science, but i wondered if the resolution at the centre is somehow a perceptual thing in comparison to what is going on at the outer field (flat or curved etc.)
Perhaps the thing to do to test this would be to stop the bins down to around 25-30mm and cut some of the edge view out. Then taking them out against a 1951 USAF chart.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
This is something of a guess, and another triumph of 'a shot in the dark' over science, but i wondered if the resolution at the centre is somehow a perceptual thing in comparison to what is going on at the outer field (flat or curved etc.)
Perhaps the thing to do to test this would be to stop the bins down to around 25-30mm and cut some of the edge view out. Then taking them out against a 1951 USAF chart.

I don't think that would be necessary. A resolution test would be best to be
performed with the center view only. Most all binoculars drop off to the sides, except for some flat view types, less of an issue.

Some testers such as Allbinos, try to measure a distortion profile, coma and
other aberrations. But they do not do a resolution test, as it is hard to measure, because of product variation, example: a cherry example vs. normal, vs. a dog.

Jerry
 

paddy7

Well-known member
The other aspect of resolution testing with the 1951 chart is that if done simply by the tester, it has to be same conditions (light temperature etc) and same eyes, in the same time (as eyes can be tired at different times of day).
And then, all you have is a subject-based comparison.
However, if an individual suspects one binocular may be 'sharper' than another, it is possible for that person to perform their own test, provided they follow some basic rules.
What i'm really wondering is if that centre-resolution is seen in the context of the overall view, including what the manufacturer decides to do about the edges, and thus is seen as some sort of contrast, rather than in its own right; that excluding that approach to the edges might enable some kind of loose evaluation, even without using a chart (perhaps with tree bark, or detail on a sign-board etc.)
This is not looking for anything definitive - just to clear up any doubts an individual might have when making a decision involving multiple thousands of whatever currency they carry.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Resolution on its own doesn't say anything definitive about the excellence (or otherwise) of a bino out in the field. The bino needs good contrast too and it is this combination of contrast and resolution that gives us the 'perceived sharpness' that we all want. A more personal preference is how far centre-field sharpness should extend towards the edge of the fov. Personally I always centre the object of interest and only need edges sharp enough for my peripheral vision to tell me what has arrived there and if it is of interest, but others have different preferences just as valid.

Lee
 

henry link

Well-known member
But they (Allbinos) do not do a resolution test, as it is hard to measure, because of product variation, example: a cherry example vs. normal, vs. a dog.

Jerry

Not sure what you mean by that, Jerry. Obviously, product variation doesn't make it hard to measure the resolution of the two telescopes of a single binocular, but it can't be done by simply looking at a USAF 1951 chart through the binocular. Unless the binocular is extremely poor that tends to give a result that is simply the observer's eyesight acuity at the moment multiplied by the binocular's magnification (minus hand shake if you don't use a tripod).

It's not at all difficult to make an accurate repeatable resolution measurement (of the full aperture or any chosen stopped down aperture) by using an auxiliary scope placed behind the eyepiece of one of the binocular's telescopes to increase the magnification enough to make the smallest resolvable line pairs on the chart easily visible.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Not sure what you mean by that, Jerry. Obviously, product variation doesn't make it hard to measure the resolution of the two telescopes of a single binocular, but it can't be done by simply looking at a USAF 1951 chart through the binocular. Unless the binocular is extremely poor that tends to give a result that is simply the observer's eyesight acuity at the moment multiplied by the binocular's magnification (minus hand shake if you don't use a tripod).

It's not at all difficult to make an accurate repeatable resolution measurement (of the full aperture or any chosen stopped down aperture) by using an auxiliary scope placed behind the eyepiece of one of the binocular's telescopes to increase the magnification enough to make the smallest resolvable line pairs on the chart easily visible.
Henry. Did you ever do any resolution tests on the Swarovski NL? Thanks!
 

paddy7

Well-known member
I was really referring to b-lilja's issue in post #15:

"This might sound odd, but related to this I wonder if this aspect makes the resolution of the bins a little less clear. I have found myself wondering if the resolution is as good as some of my other bins, but I think it actually may be related to the HD aspect. I have also been using them in conjunction with another pair, doing constant comparison, and it is possible this leaves my eyes too exhausted to settle in. I am going to do some comparisons using a USAF chart because I’m just curious."

Rather than some generic optical theory, it was a suggestion for how this might be examined in a simple, backyard way...
 

henry link

Well-known member
Henry. Did you ever do any resolution tests on the Swarovski NL? Thanks!

Yes, I did a complete set of measurements for full aperture and stopdowns at 35mm, 30mm, 27mm, 21.5mm and 18mm. I'll post the numbers if I ever get the review finished. The short version is mediocre full aperture resolution through one side and worse through the other. Happily, because the aberrations that compromise the full aperture resolution are confined to a 5-6mm ring at the edge of the entrance pupil everything cleans up well in both sides when the binocular is stopped down to 30mm or less.
 

dries1

Member
To sum up all anyone really needs to know is that the NL 8X42 is one hell of a glass, and if someone is looking for a premium 8X42, they should at least take a view through one.

Andy W.
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
Yes, I did a complete set of measurements for full aperture and stopdowns at 35mm, 30mm, 27mm, 21.5mm and 18mm. I'll post the numbers if I ever get the review finished. The short version is mediocre full aperture resolution through one side and worse through the other. Happily, because the aberrations that compromise the full aperture resolution are confined to a 5-6mm ring at the edge of the entrance pupil everything cleans up well in both sides when the binocular is stopped down to 30mm or less.

I knew you were pretty impressed with the resolution of your original 8X 42FL… Is it safe to say that the FL outresolves the NL?
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Yes, I did a complete set of measurements for full aperture and stopdowns at 35mm, 30mm, 27mm, 21.5mm and 18mm. I'll post the numbers if I ever get the review finished. The short version is mediocre full aperture resolution through one side and worse through the other. Happily, because the aberrations that compromise the full aperture resolution are confined to a 5-6mm ring at the edge of the entrance pupil everything cleans up well in both sides when the binocular is stopped down to 30mm or less.

Henry, many are looking forward to your full review. Now may be
a good time to tell us how you measure resolution. I know I have read about
how it can be done, but an explanation would be useful and educational.
Thanks,
Jerry
 

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