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Zeiss 8x20 Victory (Silver vs Dielectric Coatings) (1 Viewer)


Hi everyone. I have the opportunity to purchase a used Zeiss 8x20 BT*. The serial number on the bridge begins with 256xxxx. There is a rectangular plate near the serial # that reads "8x20 BT*" and "Made by Carl Zeiss." I see no other writing on the binocular. The glass coatings appear purple in color. I would be grateful for any help in determining if this is the earlier version with silver coatings or the newer dielectric coatings. There is no box or case included in the sale. Glass is clean. Minor wear on body. I have read that the dielectric coatings help produce a brighter image. If this is true, is it significant and discernable in sunny conditions. Would contrast or other viewing properties be improved as well? How much improvement are we talking about here? Maybe it would be better for me to look for an updated version - - if this is indeed the silver coated version. Finally, is $350 a good price for this item. I read that this model sold new online for around $350 on sale at one point. I also understand the 8x20 Victory is discontinued so I am wondering if this increases value. Thank you for reading and helping!


Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
If the unit you purchased has the "Victory" name in the rubber armor, then it is dielectric coated. If it doesn't, it is still possible that it is, but likely isn't.

$350 does seem a bit much, but bino prices have gone up a lot since these were a current model, so maybe not so bad. Most important is if you like the bins and they have good performance. As far as brightness itself goes, I never had a chance to do a side-by-side between the dielectric and silver, but I do know that I was much impressed with the performance of the dielectric versus the Ultravid (considering them equals) as compared to the silver versus the Ultravid (Ultravid obviously better), likely owing to both improvement in brightness and contrast. Certainly, the contrast of the dielectric version is better, especially noticeable in backlit situations. Even though I didn't compare them side-by-side, I noticed much better performance of my new dielectric unit as compared to the silver unit that it replaced (warranty replacement by Zeiss for issue with alignment) when subjected to a standard set of tests that I used to have set up in my basement.

So, in summary, I really do like the dielectric version a lot better. You need all the help you can get when using tiny bins, so even small differences can be important in reaching thresholds of user satisfaction.


PS - My first unit, with silver prisms, was 2565009. My replacement dielectric unit from early 2008 is 275xxxx.
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