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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Zeiss 10x56 Night Owl (1 Viewer)

etc

Well-known member
Have a chance to acquire Zeiss 10x56 Night Owl, not much info on them on the forum. How do they compare to the 10x54 HT? I am upgrading all my smaller binoculars for large ones, thinking about swapping the 8x42 SF for the older Night Owl.

how is overdrive past infinity? I do not like to use binoculars with eyewear, need at least 5D of compensation.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
ETC from the Zeiss Night Owl brochure I have: fov 110m @ 1km, transmission 91%, weight 1,426g (!). It also mentions Centre focusing -6D and Dioptre adjustment +/- 4.5D.

It took me about 2 days to get used to wearing spectacles when using my binos but I am so glad I did because firstly I spot more birds in the distance so I can then look with the binos, and secondly it maximises the performance of my binos. It seemed odd to me to spend hundreds or thousands of £ on binoculars and then not maximise the benefit of them by improving my vision with spectacles.

Good luck.

Lee
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
The 10x56 is a very large heavy binocular. It offers a nice and bright view. The eyecups are angled so they are
designed for those without eyeglasses. It is a nice collectors item. It is from the Design Selection series, leaded glass
and with a unique armor design.
Jerry
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
I have that bin and you’d be crazy, IMO, to swap an SF for the night owl….my comments below from 2013.


I have the 10x56 Night Owls - bought them to compliment my collection rather than as a daily use bin.

I am very sensitive to CA, and the Night Owls have tons of it, some even in the sweetspot. It is downright distracting on a flying bird, with a bright orange leading edge and bright purple trailing edge.

Sharpness and contrast is OK, but even my P coated 7x42 and 8x30 classics are noticeably sharper and more contrasty. Sweetspot is small and edge degradation quite obvious. Don't believe the hype, as some will try to tell you these bins are still the equal of the FL / HT - they lag behind clearly in many catagories. Certainly, the N.O.'s lack the transparency of newer models.

And [of course] the N.O. is an ergonomic disaster - something like 1500 grams, tiny / stiff focus that is impossible with gloves and tight fitting eyecups that fog in cool weather.

Other than that, it's perfect;)

Mine sits on the shelf most of the time, although it does seem to increase in value over time [even since I got it last year] so I think of it as a more attractive alternative to yet another boring mutual fund.......

Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
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etc

Well-known member
I think I will keep my 8x42 SF instead, looks like a very dated design from the 90's.

Although I do not mind heavy. In my mind, heavy always associated with "quality". Light was always associated with cheap Chinesium stuff. Although the Zeiss SF is featherweight and is quality.
 

Peter Leitzman

Active member
Have a chance to acquire Zeiss 10x56 Night Owl, not much info on them on the forum. How do they compare to the 10x54 HT? I am upgrading all my smaller binoculars for large ones, thinking about swapping the 8x42 SF for the older Night Owl.

how is overdrive past infinity? I do not like to use binoculars with eyewear, need at least 5D of compensation.
Hmmm...I remember looking through some 7x45 Night Owls many years ago and liked them. But they were big and heavy and weren't as good IMHO as the Leica Trinovid 8x50s I was purchasing on the day. I didn't have the chance to check out for issues like CA as it was an overcast day with flat lighting.

In the case of Leica (and I don't think Zeiss will be too different in this aspect) every new generation of binocular released has offered worthwhile improvements. And even though the Night Owls might have their appeal at the time I cannot see why you would want to step back a couple of generations to the Night Owl. Customers aren't daft. If there was a performance drop in the later models the word would soon get round and Zeiss would have a king sized turkey on their hands in next to no time.

Stick with the latest generation be they Zeiss or whatever.
 

Robert Moore

Well-known member
I agree with James. The Larger binoculars I would look at would be Swarovski 10x50, Leica 10x50 HD plus, Zeiss FL or HT. I had the 8x56 SLC but it was just to heavy.
 

Crowfossil

Active member
Just received a serviced Night Owl 10x56 from Cley Spy to compliment my Night Owl 7x45. Very pleased with the Night Owl 10x56; superb image. I may have to consider selling my Fuji 10x70 after a side by side comparison. I use observation binos with Berlebach wooden bino supports on tripods. The Night Owl 10x56 weighs 1580g c/w strap/ rain-guard but no intention of using 'handheld'; will be tripod mounted. Ref above CA comment: I cannot detect any CA. A "collectors' item" for some; an observer's instrument for me. When astro observing I usually take several binoculars and lend them to my telescope observer colleagues one of whom always asks, "Can I borrow your 7x45 Night Owl please?" — it's the preferred wide field instrument.
BW, dunk
 
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Loud Green Man

Well-known member
The only negative issue I’ve encountered is indeed a “bright purple trailing edge” when viewing an object with strong backlight. I’ve also noticed that the angled (ergonomically designed?) eye cups are very important as the ocular lenses are a 🧲 for stray light when a low sun is behind one.

Of course what we need to reflect upon is that these wonderful instruments were not designed for birders or the casual user but rather the demanding early morning and late evening hunter that is looking for a mini time machine. Under low light conditions the Night Owl range excel IMHO.

The weight is but a bonus as it’s a constant and comforting reminder of where your hard-earned has gone!

LGM
 
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Crowfossil

Active member
^^^^ Ref 'hard earned' ... the s/h 10x56 Night Owl bino was very reasonably priced. I will be birding with them too — set up in a hide.
 
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NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I’m still looking for a 15X56.

LGM
The Zeiss Conquest HD 15x56 is very good. You should look at those. I recommend.
If you were closer, I would like to sell mine. I have a number of 15x56 and only have 2 eyes.:oops:
I posted some photos of my collection a while back, it is overgrown, and I am going to
start selling.
Jerry
 

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