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Zeiss Binocular Design: A Personal Overview Part 2 (4 Viewers)

mak

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Interesting articles. The Victory 1 also had a change of strap connectors midway through its life-cycle, moving from the stud to eyelet. The unit in itself was innovative, due to the compactness of its size, whilst utilising an Abbe Koenig roof prism.

The Design Selection series was the official name, "Night Owls" was adopted in the UK via marketing. Great in low light, but due to the objective glass used, very heavy, but optically superb (trade off's I'm afraid).

The person at Zeiss who lectured me on optics on joining, stated that the 8x30 Porro was one of the finest models ever produced, which I took on board as he was part of the team, that developed some of the highest quality optical units ever to come out of the Zeiss factory.

The FL was produced following discussions with the likes of Stephan Ingraham and three other knowledgeable birders from the UK, thanks at the time the head of Zeiss R&D Dr Kurt Becker. This unit like the EL was designed for birders, by birders, which was not uncommon at the time with various manufacturers seeking advice from the birding community (Leica Televid was another that springs to mind)

The 7x42 BGAT was also marketed as "The Definitive Binocular" and had a list price inc vat of £769 when discontinued. The 7x42 BGAT in some circles now sells at a higher price than when it was discontinued and is still a wonderful binocular and for many years after being discontinued still had certain optical parameters that newer models couldn't match (and some still don't today).
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Interesting articles. The Victory 1 also had a change of strap connectors midway through its life-cycle, moving from the stud to eyelet. The unit in itself was innovative, due to the compactness of its size, whilst utilising an Abbe Koenig roof prism.

The Design Selection series was the official name, "Night Owls" was adopted in the UK via marketing. Great in low light, but due to the objective glass used, very heavy, but optically superb (trade off's I'm afraid).

The person at Zeiss who lectured me on optics on joining, stated that the 8x30 Porro was one of the finest models ever produced, which I took on board as he was part of the team, that developed some of the highest quality optical units ever to come out of the Zeiss factory.

The FL was produced following discussions with the likes of Stephan Ingraham and three other knowledgeable birders from the UK, thanks at the time the head of Zeiss R&D Dr Kurt Becker. This unit like the EL was designed for birders, by birders, which was not uncommon at the time with various manufacturers seeking advice from the birding community (Leica Televid was another that springs to mind)

The 7x42 BGAT was also marketed as "The Definitive Binocular" and had a list price inc vat of £769 when discontinued. The 7x42 BGAT in some circles now sells at a higher price than when it was discontinued and is still a wonderful binocular and for many years after being discontinued still had certain optical parameters that newer models couldn't match (and some still don't today).
Many thanks for your input Mark.
Lee
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello Mak,

Thank you, I never knew that my original Victory 8x40 had A-K prisms. Of course, it was my first modern binocular and I was not as educated as I am now.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 
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ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Interesting and informative, Lee. Thank you.

I have to say that I am incredibly impressed with Zeiss latest... the 32 SFs. I have the 8x32 and 10x32 and every time I pick them up and bring them to my eyes, I'm struck by what a magnificent design they have, in looks and feel.
 

eronald

Well-known member
There is a school of thought that form should always give way to function and ergonomics, and no more so than when a product is to be used in the grip of the owner’s hands. Nevertheless, to Homo sapiens vision is a key sense, so aesthetics can be key to acceptance by the market.
I have been doing design of some wood objects during the lockdown, the results are being readied for market. My POV is that the function should visually inform the form, and so guide the user as to the function.

This is not incompatible with marketing. The product should confidently say "Buy me and I will do THIS for you well, I have been designed to do THIS". And then "Put your hands here and hold me so".

See how the SF tells the birder "I'm not fiddly, you can focus me easily to follow the action, keep your finger here on my large wheel". The product immediately speaks visually to the user, arguing to be bought, then demanding to be used :)

Edmund

PS Thank you for the interesting showcase. Maybe there could be - or already is - a section on the forum which could act as a design museum for those interested in such things?
 
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