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Zeiss ht or SF (1 Viewer)

jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
Aside from the obvious ergonomic differences, you're also looking at differences in prisms (AK vs. SP), Field of View, and field flattnes. I'd suggest trying to look at both and see which optical concessions you'd prefer.
 

Jerrythesnake

Well-known member
Hi , many thanks for some reason I thought the HT were released at the same time as the SF. It is the close focusing distance I am after, Jerry
 

dwever

Registered User
Supporter
Troubadour from another thread says:

"Gents

HT's special skill is bringing extra brightness to the table which becomes useful in times of poor lighting such as dusk and dawn or under cloudy and dark skies.
It's handling qualities are also a big change from the FL that came before it. I have had one for a couple of years and its a great instrument. It is especially good I find at separating out subtle colour tones and its sharp.

It also has what a few years ago would have been considered as a conventional design although the focus wheel is contained within the hinge instead of perched on top of it. I find I can make exquisitely fine focus adjustments with it. HT also has Abbe-Koenig prisms that do their job without the need for a reflective surface.

SF has a multi-bridge design, uses Schmidt-Pechan prisms (that need a reflective coating on one surface) and it's party trick an extra-wide field of view. Its handling has been radically altered by a shift of weight back towards the eyepieces. When you pick it up is feels lighter than you think because there is more of the weight contained within your grip and less down by the objectives. This benefits steadiness of the image in both 8x and 10x but I notice it more in the 10x as it makes me steadier than I thought was possible with this magnification.

HT and SF both offer excellent qualities, but they are different in character and perhaps appeal to different people in a similar way to Swarovski's SLC and EL.

You need to try them both to work out which suits you best.

Lee"
 

jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
The close focus distance (reported by Zeiss) is not that much different, with the SFs having about 1.33 ft minimum difference (i.e. 4.9ft vs 6.2ft).
 

opticjunkie

Active member
Both HT's and SF's are great binoculars. I chose the HT's for light gathering ability, awesome. I agree though, get to a retailer and try them side by side.

The choice is personal
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Hi , many thanks for some reason I thought the HT were released at the same time as the SF. It is the close focusing distance I am after, Jerry

Hi Jerry

I am lucky enough to have both SF 8x and HT 8x. They have such similar close focus distances that I wouldn't choose one over the other on this alone. However the HT has a slower focus and to get from closest focus (say on a dragonfly at Arne) to a distant bird (lets say a Hobby) takes a lot of finger pumping. SF has a quicker focus and so is more versatile in this respect. However when in France this year I took not only my HT but also a pair of Conquest HD 8x32s and these latter are fantastic for close work, having a speedy focus that gets you quickly onto distant birds then back again. I used the Conquests for all visits to butterfly and dragonfly sites and the HTs when it was likely to be mainly birds and this worked out very well.

Even now I have SFs and with their faster focus I think I shall still rely on the Conquests for butts and dragons. Dont forget butts and dragons mainly fly in bright warm weather so you don't need a 42mm. However, if I had to choose one bin only for all tasks it would be SF because its extra wide field of view is great for capturing those fast flying butts and dragons and its faster focus than HT is pretty reasonable at the job and of course its brilliant at birds.

If on the other hand you do a lot of birding at dawn and dusk or under dreary dark skies then HT's brightness helps here.

Hope that helps.

Lee
 
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Jerrythesnake

Well-known member
Hi Jerry

I am lucky enough to have both SF 8x and HT 8x. They have such similar close focus distances that I wouldn't choose one over the other on this alone. However the HT has a slower focus and to get from closest focus (say on a dragonfly at Arne) to a distant bird (lets say a Hobby) takes a lot of finger pumping. SF has a quicker focus and so is more versatile in this respect. However when in France this year I took not only my HT but also a pair of Conquest HD 8x32s and these latter are fantastic for close work, having a speedy focus that gets you quickly onto distant birds then back again. I used the Conquests for all visits to butterfly and dragonfly sites and the HTs when it was likely to be mainly birds and this worked out very well.

Even now I have SFs and with their faster focus I think I shall still rely on the Conquests for butts and dragons. Dont forget butts and dragons mainly fly in bright warm weather so you don't need a 42mm. However, if I had to choose one bin only for all tasks it would be SF because its extra wide field of view is great for capturing those fast flying butts and dragons and its faster focus than HT is pretty reasonable at the job and of course its brilliant at birds.

If on the other hand you do a lot of birding at dawn and dusk or under dreary dark skies then HT's brightness helps here.

Hope that helps.

Lee
Many thanks for your detailed info Lee, I will have a look at the conquests, maybe see you at Arne one day. Jerry
 

kkokkolis

Περίεργο&#
I would take any of the two, but fast focus is essential in birding.

What bothers me with the SF though is that it seems as a Swarovski clone.

I find the Terra's and Conquest's focus fast enough. Why is the Victory HT slower?
 

Sagittarius

Well-known member
Lee, my HT's have the fastest focus I've ever experienced and my friends and relatives who have handled them say the same.
Surprised to hear the SF's are that much faster than the HT's. :eek!:
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Sagi

The SF isn't a million miles faster but it is faster enough to notice a significant difference.

HT is fast enough for the majority of birding given that the distance changes aren't usually so dramatic, but going from a butterfly 2 yards away to an Eagle in the distance and then back to another butterfly, the finger pumping required is excessive. But I have done it and its tolerable until you try something faster and then its hard to go back to HT for this type of observing.

Lee
 

simple

Inglorious Bustards
Lee, my HT's have the fastest focus I've ever experienced and my friends and relatives who have handled them say the same.
Surprised to hear the SF's are that much faster than the HT's. :eek!:

SF is for smart focus and I've never had a pair of bins where you could just 'snap' into subjects so quickly before - only way to describe it.

I think the ergonomics are much better than the HT.
 

kkokkolis

Περίεργο&#
I got it. It has a complex gearing that augments acceleration. So it is fast of a second order (speedier speed).
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
What bothers me with the SF though is that it seems as a Swarovski clone.

KK

Take a look around these pages and you will find a photo of an SF and EL side by side and they are cut open so that you can see all of the optics.
You can see from this that the SF has a quite different optical arrangement.

One of the results of this is that the weight of glass is shifted significantly towards the eyepieces to give a more balanced feel.

On the outside the SF has three bridges instead of two and the focus wheel is between bridges one and two, whereas the EL's sits on top of it's bridge number one.

Lee
 

kkokkolis

Περίεργο&#
I agree. I was talking about the double bridge design generally. Other makers use it too and if it works (I never used one) why not? But it is different from the Zeiss "family" design they generally follow in Zeiss (and Leica has her own style, even better aesthetically in my subjective opinion).

This dilemma is strange for me. I have to read that thread since after Terra and then Conquest I only have no clue about the Victory line qualities (never used a Leica or Swarovski either but I have little chance to solve this for as long as I pay my daughter's mortage for the next 30 years).

But I see here that a for a few people it is HT "and" SF (perhaps and FL too) and not "or". Others can't have either (most of the people according to demographics) and they have to solve dilemmas at lower budget.

So, if someone has 2000-3000 euros for just one pair of binoculars he has to scrutinize their strengths and weaknesses, because the "HT for hunting" and "SF for birding" is simplistic since people use both for hunting and birding much weaker and cheaper instruments, and if they get away with that, any Alpha or any Victory in particular would be a major improvement. If I had the money and since I am familiar with the Zeiss "family" line, I would feel familiarity with the HT and would be curious about what Abbe- Konings and 95% would give to my eyes. But ergonomics are very important and the popurarity of Swarovski and the double bridge design in general is a reality for some reasons.

Bottom line: Donate me any, but if you donate both I'll take the HT first. And I would take it in 10x, and the SF in 8x.
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I agree. I was talking about the double bridge design generally. Other makers use it too and if it works (I never used one) why not? But it is different from the Zeiss "family" design they generally follow in Zeiss (and Leica has her own style, even better aesthetically in my subjective opinion).

This dilemma is strange for me. I have to read that thread since after Terra and then Conquest I only have no clue about the Victory line qualities (never used a Leica or Swarovski either but I have little chance to solve this for as long as I pay my daughter's mortage for the next 30 years).

But I see here that a for a few people it is HT "and" SF (perhaps and FL too) and not "or". Others can't have either (most of the people according to demographics) and they have to solve dilemmas at lower budget.

So, if someone has 2000-3000 euros for just one pair of binoculars he has to scrutinize their strengths and weaknesses, because the "HT for hunting" and "SF for birding" is simplistic since people use both for hunting and birding much weaker and cheaper instruments, and if they get away with that, any Alpha or any Victory in particular would be a major improvement. If I had the money and since I am familiar with the Zeiss "family" line, I would feel familiarity with the HT and would be curious about what Abbe- Konings and 95% would give to my eyes. But ergonomics are very important and the popurarity of Swarovski and the double bridge design in general is a reality for some reasons.

Bottom line: Donate me any, but if you donate both I'll take the HT first. And I would take it in 10x, and the SF in 8x.

KK

Excellent decision.

Lee
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
........... because the "HT for hunting" and "SF for birding" is simplistic since people use both for hunting and birding much weaker and cheaper instruments, and if they get away with that, any Alpha or any Victory in particular would be a major improvement.

Maybe I'm just ignorant, but I've always been baffled by the distinction of "hunting" and "birding" binoculars.

A good glass is a good glass, no matter the use, and an adequate glass remains adequate.

One sticks the eyepieces into one's eye sockets (or jams them up against one's eyeglasses), twiddles the focus knob until the image is sharp, and examines the "target".

Such it is, and such has always been, for my simple mind.
 

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