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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Zeiss 8x32 FL T* Owners VS Possible Up Grade To The Zeiss 8x32 Victory SF 8x32 (1 Viewer)

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
My intention is to keep it forever, the compact size and the quality is incredible ... Now I have 2 Zeiss to be able to compare and extract the maximum for each momento :giggle:
Hello Hvt,

I have had my 8x32FL for fifteen years. I would find it hard to part with mine.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
..............................

The person bought the Zeiss Victory T * FL 8x32 auction lot from the Federal Police here in Brazil, with other items of interest, but the binoculars were not interesting for him and Zeiss was unused for 15 years, put them on a shelf and never put the binocular to work

.........................
I was very happy with the purchase.

All of this at a cost of $ 600

And on top of this, they come with the eye-friendly coating as they were made before Zeiss changed to the more aggressive red-orange. May not be critical for many, but I find it irritating at times as I need to keep my glasses on while using the binoculars.
 
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hvt

Active member
And on top of this, they come with the eye-friendly coating as they were made before Zeiss changed to the more aggressive red-orange. May not be critical for many, but I find it irritating at times as I need to keep my glasses on while using the binoculars.
great observation friend, I could see that my Zeiss Victory FL 8x32 has softer shades in the lens coatings, to make a photo with the most apparent red-orange color, I needed to find the perfect position in front of the light to
stand out more
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
And on top of this, they come with the eye-friendly coating as they were made before Zeiss changed to the more aggressive red-orange. May not be critical for many, but I find it irritating at times as I need to keep my glasses on while using the binoculars.

Same here! I had the 10x32 FL with zero issues for quite a few years.
Last Friday I got me a pair of Zeiss 8x32 FL and I get red-orange ocular reflections in my glasses. I prefer keeping my glasses on at all times and this is a nuisance for sure. Other than that I really enjoy the binos, I don't know if it is this pair but they appear sharper at all distances than the 10x32 I had - which I thought were superb! For my eyes I don't think I can find a better 8x32 pair but the reflections are disturbing. I have gone through droves of top tier binos in this format but as of today I have found no other pair I would exchange these for if it came down to the optical performance. If the pre Lotutec are really better with glasses I would happily trade for an older model with someone who does not wear glasses. I have a friend who will happily take custody of the pair since they are in excellent condition and smooth focus wheel, way smoother than the 10X32 I had which took a return trip to Zeiss to get it smoother. Only trouble would be finding a suitable alternative within reasonable cost.
 
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Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Same here! I had the 10x32 FL with zero issues for quite a few years.
Last Friday I got me a pair of Zeiss 8x32 FL and I get red-orange ocular reflections in my glasses. I prefer keeping my glasses on at all times and this is a nuisance for sure. Other than that I really enjoy the binos, I don't know if it is this pair but they appear sharper at all distances than the 10x32 I had - which I thought were superb! For my eyes I don't think I can find a better 8x32 pair but the reflections are disturbing. I have gone through droves of top tier binos in this format but as of today I have found no other pair I would exchange these for if it came down to the optical performance. If the pre Lotutec are really better with glasses I would happily trade for an older model .................

It is actually not the Lotutec coating as I had learned. The offendable change to orange came later. I have a 7x42 FL with Lotutec but still with the good non-orange coating.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Ok, thanks for the update, I thought it strange - but I see what you saw, and so does my friend with his reading/computer terminal glasses but he does not wear them when using binos.

Solution is to hand them over to him and try the Meopta. Maybe with some regret but I can’t work around the reflexes with this pair. Very reluctant to see them go though!
 

gcole

Well-known member
Did you find one, gcole?
Tom
Tom ....No I did not. Some months went by and I lost interest after I purchased a New Meopta Meostar 8x32 B1.1 in March 2020 from SportOptics.com. From memory they give up very little optically if any to my eyes to the Zeiss 8x32 Fl. Are the Zeiss a great 8x32 .... Yes, I would probably buy a pair if one came along at the right price. When I made that comment the lowest discounted internet price for a Zeiss 8x32FL was almost $800 more than what I ended up paying for the Meostar 8x32 B1.1. The New Meostar pair I bought first two digits are 16, which predates the Pandemic .... a really good specimen which are super sharp and mechanically perfect.
 

gcole

Well-known member
Tom ....No I did not. Some months went by and I lost interest after I purchased a New Meopta Meostar 8x32 B1.1 in March 2020 from SportOptics.com. From memory they give up very little optically if any to my eyes to the Zeiss 8x32 Fl. Are the Zeiss a great 8x32 .... Yes, I would probably buy a pair if one came along at the right price. When I made that comment the lowest discounted internet price for a Zeiss 8x32FL was almost $800 more than what I ended up paying for the Meostar 8x32 B1.1. The New Meostar pair I bought first two digits are 16, which predates the Pandemic .... a really good specimen which are super sharp and mechanically perfect.
Now having the Meostar 8x32 B1.1 since March of last year, I probably would purchase the 10x32 Meostar B1.1 first if the prices come down before spending those xtra bucks for the Zeiss Fl 8x32.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
GCole: The prices on the 10x32 have started to come down in Europe at least.

As a sidenote I eventually did find a good copy of the B1.1 8x32 (yeay) so I have a direct comparison for you between it and the Zeiss 8x32 FL.
I will post a mini review of the two, together with a Leica Ultravid HD+ as soon as I get some spare time.

In short I can say that the Zeiss is a "better" bino for the most part. I find the Meopta B1.1 does hold its own and personally I decided to let my friend take custody of the Zeiss 8x32FL. It suits him really well. The Meopta (and possibly the Leica) will stay with me.

The Zeiss 8x32 FL is the sharpest of the lot at long distances. It has no real weaknesses and is lighter than both the Leica and the Meopta B1.1.
I wear glasses and all three work well with glasses, the Meopta works best, followed by the Zeiss FL.

The ocular reflexes I get from the Zeiss are thankfully absent from the Meopta - which is the main reason for going with the Meopta. The Ultravid actually gives me some ocular reflexes too.

At really close range I find the Zeiss 8x32 FL somewhat less stellar, the Leica is more contrasty and gives a sharper image for me at close range. Had I not seen through the Leica I would not have complained about the FL though. The Meopta sits comfortably somewhere in the same league though the Leica is easier to snap into focus at close range. If you like the B1.1 image at close range you will enjoy the Zeiss for sure!

The most "impressive" image I get with the Ultravid whereas I find the Zeiss FL more "correct" if you will. The Meopta has only been with me two days so too early to say, the image is very pleasing overall. I am very happy to have found one. I never thought I would part with the Zeiss 8x32 FL but since it works better for my friend (not wearing glasses) it is better he makes good use of it.
 

gcole

Well-known member
GCole: The prices on the 10x32 have started to come down in Europe at least.

As a sidenote I eventually did find a good copy of the B1.1 8x32 (yeay) so I have a direct comparison for you between it and the Zeiss 8x32 FL.
I will post a mini review of the two, together with a Leica Ultravid HD+ as soon as I get some spare time.

In short I can say that the Zeiss is a "better" bino for the most part. I find the Meopta B1.1 does hold its own and personally I decided to let my friend take custody of the Zeiss 8x32FL. It suits him really well. The Meopta (and possibly the Leica) will stay with me.

The Zeiss 8x32 FL is the sharpest of the lot at long distances. It has no real weaknesses and is lighter than both the Leica and the Meopta B1.1.
I wear glasses and all three work well with glasses, the Meopta works best, followed by the Zeiss FL.

The ocular reflexes I get from the Zeiss are thankfully absent from the Meopta - which is the main reason for going with the Meopta. The Ultravid actually gives me some ocular reflexes too.

At really close range I find the Zeiss 8x32 FL somewhat less stellar, the Leica is more contrasty and gives a sharper image for me at close range. Had I not seen through the Leica I would not have complained about the FL though. The Meopta sits comfortably somewhere in the same league though the Leica is easier to snap into focus at close range. If you like the B1.1 image at close range you will enjoy the Zeiss for sure!

The most "impressive" image I get with the Ultravid whereas I find the Zeiss FL more "correct" if you will. The Meopta has only been with me two days so too early to say, the image is very pleasing overall. I am very happy to have found one. I never thought I would part with the Zeiss 8x32 FL but since it works better for my friend (not wearing glasses) it is better he makes good use of it.
My Meopta Meostar B1.1 8x32 if the numbering is correct , first two digits being 16(made in 2016) bought new in 2020 before the Pandemic problems ... maybe is the reason it is such a good specimen ?
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Ok, could very well be so. My specimen is from 2019 and had initial issues but is now very smooth.

Worth noting is that the FL series are known to have harsh focusers - even, but a bit stiff.

My 10x32FL had to be sent in for adjustment and I had rejected another copy in the store which was even stiffer - it too went back to Zeiss. Try before you buy if you can. I do like them with some friction but it was a bit too stiff. Once fixed it stayed the same throughout the years with no change regardless of temperature. :)

On the second hand copy of the 8x32FL I passed on to my friend the focuser is the smoothest ever even though it is over ten years old by now! If you get a good one they are likely to stay good.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
As for comparing the SF to the FL:

The SF definitely has a little more contrast. The 8x32FL is still one of the best on the market and I see it as a benchmark bino in the 8x32 format.
I didn't go for the SF despite the imaging - I think it is a little too large even though it feels great in hand. I would rather scope out the 8x42 market instead of having such a large 8x32. Optically I think that apart from the added contrast the 8x32 FL is already that good though I think the sweet spot in the SF is a little larger too.

Still, I prefer the FL over the SF - it was just a shame it didn't pan out for me with my glasses.

EDIT: by the SF having more contrast I would say it follows the current Alpha-glass punchy contrast which is sometimes nice to have and shows what has happened the last ten+ years in the optical department. The FL I feel is never over bearing to look through in any kind of weather or light. It has a very relaxed view - one of the best on the market I think.

As with the Meopta B1.1 the 8x32 FL has easy eye placement, is even more comfortable to hold and very good eye relief. I find in comparison that the Leica Ultravid is a bit jerkier to look through despite being smaller. Both the Meopta and Zeiss are "calm" but I think you will find the Zeiss is definitely a bit sharper at long range.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Now having the Meostar 8x32 B1.1 since March of last year, I probably would purchase the 10x32 Meostar B1.1 first if the prices come down before spending those xtra bucks for the Zeiss Fl 8x32.
I've always heard that Meopta are a first class optics company; my first experience of the name was learning to use a photographic enlarger to print my own photos, which was fun but my weakest link in the process! Glad you have got a small bin that suits. As for 10x I sometimes wish I'd bought a 10x32 instead of a 10x42 but am not in a hurry to change that now: the 10x is the Swaro SLC 10x42 — very compact and solid and with a clear, easy view and colour, and the 10x is even slightly shorter and lighter than their 8x version. But a 10x32 format would have been very nice, I'm sure but it's not a magnification I use a lot, for fear of the shakes! If you have a minute I'd be interested how you find you get on with 10x when or if you have tried any out (incl. the Meostar B1.1 10x32). No problem if you are too busy :)

Tom
 

peterginsburg

Well-known member
"Worth noting is that the FL series are known to have harsh focusers - even, but a bit stiff." Not in my experience and I've owned two of them and still own the 7X42 which is my favorite binocular. One of the reasons I like it is that it has a great focuser--fast and very smooth. The only challenger to its focuser is the old B&L Elite (not the original one with the focuser forward). The focuser on my Meopta was stiffer especially initially but it did loosen a bit with use.
Peter
 

Grial

Member
Russian Federation
If we talk about the different rigidity of the focusers, then, indeed, my FLx32 is quite pronounced. the 10x32 has a very smooth and light focuser, while the 8x32 is smooth but much tougher in this regard. There is no backlash in any of them. Mechanically, they are perfect, but they require different focusing forces. I am completely satisfied with this, given the different depth of field of these binoculars. I think that such a difference was not conceived by the manufacturer, but it suited me perfectly. No complaints about any of the binoculars
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
peterginsburg: yes, this is my point with the FL: if you get a good one - they stay good.

The comment that they are known to have stiff/harsh focusers came from a service rep at Zeiss in Sweden over the phone. I called them as I was hoping I would not have to send my brand new FL10x32 to Germany, I don't remember if they serviced it or simply handled the transport to Germany but it was gone for a good three weeks so probably back to Germany. Once serviced it was still stiff, but in a way I like.

On the 8x32FL my sample was fast and supersmooth. On two 10x32 FLs they were simply too stiff/rigid for one finger operation.

I think they are greaseless focusers and I have not felt backlash/play in any focuser on the FL:s I have used or tried in shop. Three out of five have been very stiff, one supersmooth and the last one was probably good too, since I don't notice anything to remember (you tend to remember if something is bad).
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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