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Zeiss 8x32 FL T* Owners VS Possible Up Grade To The Zeiss 8x32 Victory SF 8x32 (4 Viewers)

wdc

Well-known member
Either more svelte or more eye relief! Seems one can't get both together. For me, the main Leica problem is the insufficient eye relief.

Neither the FL or the Leica have enough eye relief for me, though the Leica works fine for my wife.
 

dries1

Member
Sf

Can you clarify what you mean by:


Do you mean a 32mm SF compared to a $1,000 42mm second tier level such as the Conquest HD, Trinovid, Kowa Genesis Prominar, etc?

Or are you talking about the 32mm SF compared to the new lower prices of the 42mm Swaro EL SV, SLC, etc.?

That all depends on ones eyesight. All my premium 8X42s provide a better view to my eyes than any premium 8X32, and I have both formats.

Andy W.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Just considering the listed heights for the various 8x models:
• Zeiss SF x32 152 mm/ 6”
• Swarovski EL x32 138 mm/ 5.4”
• Zeiss FL x32 117 mm/ 4.6”
• Leica UV x32 116 mm/ 4.57”

And for comparison, a short x42:
• Leica UV x42 142 mm/ 5.6”

But of course in terms of physical dimensions when in use, we need to consider the volume: height x width x depth
both as an overall package, and in relation to each telescope in terms of handling

- - - -

To get some visual perspective of a larger x32 compared to the Leica x42:
• The EL x32 verses the UV x42 (and also the Leica Trinovid 7x35 at 132 mm/ 5.2" . . . hmmm?), from Chuck at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=387118

But then, when comparing a small x32 to a small x42, the difference in overall size/ volume is striking:
• The UV’s from: https://www.kikkertspesialisten.no

So swings and roundabouts in relation to various tradeoffs


John
 

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wdc

Well-known member
But then, when comparing a small x32 to a small x42, the difference in overall size/ volume is striking:
• The UVHD’s from: https://www.kikkertspesialisten.no

So swings and roundabouts in relation to various tradeoffs


John

Interesting and thoughtful comparisons. I would add the Nikon MHG 8x42 as another reasonable alternative 'small' 8x42 to a relatively 'large', high performing 8x32 such as the SF. It is also shorter than the SF32, weighs 4.4 oz. less than the Leica Ultravid 8x42, and has a much wider field of view by almost 1°, (though still half a degree less than the SF32) Granted, ranked in the sub-alpha category, but still a worthy alternative at less than half the price, plus the additional benefits of the larger exit pupil, and more light gathering capability. Food for thought.

There are no right answers here, merely comparative relationships.

-Bill
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
One more for the "wow the UV 32 is tiny!" files, I posted this on another thread but here's a size comparison between the UV 32mm, Nikon EDG 32mm, and the Leica Trinovid BR 42mm (same size as UV 42).

As you can see, a large 32mm like the EDG or Swaro SV dwarfs the little UV (and, by extension, the FL) in length!

To Gwen's question about why someone would buy this vs a compact 42mm....

Well, since I happen to have not only that 32mm EDG, but also an 8x42 Monarch HG on hand... my thoughts:

First, despite the extra length, the Zeiss SF (as well as the Swaro EL SV) weigh only ~600g (~21oz) so they are still considerably lighter than almost any premium 42mm. The EDG is a bit porkier at ~650g (~23oz) so the gap is lessened, but the difference between even a 25-26oz binocular (which is light for a premium 42mm) and a 21oz binocular is significant when carrying it around and holding it up to your eyes for several hours.

Second, while it may seem tempting to wonder about a light-weight 42mm, the truth is the Monarch HG is really an exception. My 8x42 MHG is crazy light at ~665g (weighed on my postal scale) so it's only ~15g / ~0.5oz heavier than the 8x32 EDG.

But what else is there? The Vortex Razor HD 42mm is the only other "premium" 42mm binocular that's under 700g that I can think of.

And both the Razor HD and Monarch HG are *excellent*, but they are NOT alphas. For those who appreciate the difference, it is there. The MHG 8x42 is much more practical, and obviously much brighter and easier to use in low light vs the EDG (which is a 10x32, so even more of a low light penalty) but the EDG glass is on another level vs the MHG. It's not "night and day", but the EDG glass is better.

So let's say you're someone who values "alpha" optics? Now the $1K Japan sub-alphas are out, so there are no more light weight 42mm options. The lightest and most compact 42mm alphas (Leica UV, Swaro SLC) are still in the 27-28oz range. And the 42mm flat field uber alphas (Swaro SV, Zeiss SF, Leica NV) are on the long and heavy end of the 42mm spectrum.

So, to answer the question, "what is the point/benefit of purchasing such a large 8x32mm binocular over, one of the latest high end compact 42mm roof prism binoculars you can buy today from Japan or else where ?"

I would say the answer is "when you want no-holds-barred premium alpha optics, but don't want to carry a big, long binocular that weights ~800 grams". There are many who swear by the Swaro SV EL 8x32 as the best all-around birding binocular on the planet, and it's the same weight and just a bit shorter than the SF 32.

For some people (me included) weight is more important than physical compactness. I am not putting my binoculars in my pocket or in my bag, when I'm birding my binoculars are out. But I notice a major difference carrying around and hand-holding the MHG 8x42 (665g) or EDG (650g) vs the Trinovid (800g). Even more so with a ~600g binocular like the Kowa Genesis. And I bet the Zeiss SF "feels" even lighter in the hand, since that weight is spread across a much longer frame.
 

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mwhogue

Registered User
Supporter
"......I would say the answer is "when you want no-holds-barred premium alpha optics, but don't want to carry a big, long binocular that weights ~800 grams". There are many who swear by the Swaro SV EL 8x32 as the best all-around birding binocular on the planet, and it's the same weight and just a bit shorter than the SF 32....."

Eitan,

You packed a lot of thought and helpful info into your post. But after a long hard day I am having trouble understanding/putting into context the point you are making in the second sentence of your paragraph quoted above. Can you expand on that a bit more? Thanks in advance for any input.

Love both the EDG II 7x42 and 10x32 by the way - size, weight and dated styling be hanged.

Mike
 

Ries

Well-known member
Size does actually matter when you don't just carry it around your neck birding but need to pack it compact when travelling to birding destinations without the space of a car. I do understand size comes with optics compromises, so indeed your argument is valid that a 8x32 would be the option for the most compact and light alphas.
 
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xaver

Member
Hi, my personal experience in reply to some comments in this thread: I own the SF 10x32 since one week. I bought them to have light-weight binoculars for all purposes and I don't want them to be shorter! In my hands (about average size for a male human I guess) they feel perfect and if they were shorter, the small finger would not fit on them any more.

I did not compare them with the Noctivid 42, SV 42 and SF 42 yet, but I compared them with the EL 10x42 and Ultravid 10x42 yesterday and I liked the SF 10x32 better.
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
I did not notice your original comments. Thanks for the reference. Interesting read indeed since I am contemplating purchasing a New Zeiss 8x32 FL T*

Note that it is no problem if you do not have to keep your eyeglasses on when using binoculars. I have to, due to astigmatism.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Hi, my personal experience in reply to some comments in this thread: I own the SF 10x32 since one week. I bought them to have light-weight binoculars for all purposes and I don't want them to be shorter! In my hands (about average size for a male human I guess) they feel perfect and if they were shorter, the small finger would not fit on them any more.

I did not compare them with the Noctivid 42, SV 42 and SF 42 yet, but I compared them with the EL 10x42 and Ultravid 10x42 yesterday and I liked the SF 10x32 better.

Here is a shot of my hands, which are average size, holding SF 8x32.

Lee
 

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Patudo

Well-known member
do you really think the SF 8x32 will actually give you that much more of a WOW factor over the 8x32 FL visually to make you want to sell your 8x32 FL and purchase the SF 8x32?

8x32 FL owner here. For what it's worth, I think modern alphas are already so good that unless you are extremely picky (and have cash to spare, of course) the improvement you're likely to experience from the SF probably won't be worth the expense. If you're upgrading from something like say a non-P 8x30 Dialyt, or even an 8x30 SLC pre-Swarobright or 8x32 BA/BN, on the other hand, it's different - the improvements of the 8x32 SF will leap out at you much more. I have always wondered how many owners of current alphas come from previous generation models compared to those that used to use binoculars that were two generations older or more. I'm pretty sure which group will, on the whole, get more joy from their binoculars...

Obviously if I was offered a straight swap between my 8x32 FL and the new SF I'd consider it (but I'd want to have a really good look through the SF before parting with a binocular I rate very highly), but in the real world the FL is good enough that I'm content to wait for a few more generations of improvements - as no doubt there will be. I'll need to save for a few decades to afford it anyway... :king:
 
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eitanaltman

Well-known member
"......I would say the answer is "when you want no-holds-barred premium alpha optics, but don't want to carry a big, long binocular that weights ~800 grams". There are many who swear by the Swaro SV EL 8x32 as the best all-around birding binocular on the planet, and it's the same weight and just a bit shorter than the SF 32....."

Eitan,

You packed a lot of thought and helpful info into your post. But after a long hard day I am having trouble understanding/putting into context the point you are making in the second sentence of your paragraph quoted above. Can you expand on that a bit more? Thanks in advance for any input.


Mike - you mean my comment about the popularity of the Swaro SV EL 8x32? The context/point there is to emphasize that a premium 8x32 that's (relatively) long and heavy for a 32 has a viable place in the market.

Gwen was questioning "what's the point of an 8x32 that's so long and heavy?" and I was saying "clearly the market thinks there is a place for this type of product, because the Swaro SV EL 8x32 is nearly universally revered".

So it was intended to support the larger point that even though the Zeiss SF (or Swaro SV) is quite long for a 32mm binocular, it still represents a considerable savings in size/bulk vs a comparably premium 42mm. A 32mm binocular doesn't have to be as tiny as possible to still be a worthwhile option for many.

In other words, the raging success of the Swaro SV 32mm is "proof of concept" of the potential market for the Zeiss SF 32mm.
 

LucaPCP

Well-known member
The FL have much nicer objective caps

The FL have much nicer objective covers than the SF. The SF have the new style covers like the Conquest, and I find them very difficult to put on properly.

This may not be important to you, but I hike often in the American West, where there is plenty of dust. I prefer to carry the Zeiss bandolier-style when hiking, with eyepiece covers and objective covers on to avoid dust. With the FL it works very well and they are quickly ready for use as it’s fast to remove the covers. I think with the SF it would be more cumbersome to do this.
 

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