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Zeiss SF 10x42 dissection (1 Viewer)

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
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Binoculars are very personal tools! I noticed that it can generate endless discussions and conflicts even here on the forum! But here I just want to say my own opinion about this Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 (black version) binoculars.


I start with the mechanical presentation.

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The covers of the objective lenses and eyepieces are of very good quality, remaining in position. The only change I made to my taste was that I slightly loosened the rubber of the eyepiece covers to come off and settle on the eyepieces faster without difficult extraction, what could moving the position of the eyepiece cups. GOOD


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The eyepiece cups do not hold their position firmly. Here I am missing the perfect cups of the Conquest HD. Most consider the Conquest cups to be harder to move, but after a few twists the resistance becomes perfect for me (yes perfect!). So SF has this mechanical disadvantage but I solved the problem with wife black and discreet hair elastics as a spacer for my optimal distance. POOR


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The focus system is perfect. By focus system I mean: the focus wheel and its position relative to the anatomy of the hands. The black version of the SF is known to have improved the rotation of focus wheel to the degree of excellence. Perfect like knife cutting through butter. From infinity to 1.6m it is almost two complete rotations without 45 degrees. As much as it is silky, it is just as accurate, without the feeling of intermediate adjustments. The new Black edition deserves the name "SmartFocus". PERFECT


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The diopter adjustment is central with a locking system. It has a margin of -4 +4 diopters adjusment. On position "0" there is a small "click" which can be a small inconvenience for those who have to make only a very small adjustment from "zero". GOOD


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The finish is made of rubber very pleasant to the touch, the texture is elastic and gives a firm grip. The binoculars have a utilitarian design but the finishes are very carefully crafted: the connections between the metal and the armor are very carefully resolved; the armor has the same surface texture as the magnesium bridges. The structural elements are made of magnesium. This makes it very durable and light at the same time (790g). VERY GOOD


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Binocular resistance. The binoculars are resistant to immersion in water 400mbar. The instrument is filled with nitrogen and can be used between - 30 ° C and + 63 ° C. The outer lenses are treated LotuTec for quick cleaning and against fogging or water deposition. PERFECT


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The Ergonomics is impressive. It is a long binoculars but due to the weight distribution towards the eyepieces the binoculars stick to the eyes perfectly, creating the impression that it is much lighter and at the same time being much better stabilized. PERFECT


Optical aspects

9.jpg The optical system consists in 2 lenses for the objective lens, one for the focus, Schimtd-Pechan prisms, and 7 lenses for the eyepiece. It is used Schott Fluoride glass. The sketch in the picture is drawn by me inspired by the section through binoculars. The focal length is greater than average, making binocular much easier optically corrected. The dielectrical prisms are treated with over 70 layers, and the lenses with T * treatment.

The light transmission is a very good 93% in the green spectrum. It is a binocular that has a well-balanced contrast / brightness ratio, but with a very SLIGHT inclination towards brightness. This delicate brightness boost at the expense of contrast. This it is very useful aspect when watching birds in the backlight, because you can see more shades of color in this extreme contrast situation. VERY GOOD


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The resolution on the center is the highest I have encountered with 10x binoculars. I tested on the target resolution from 10m a lot of very good 10x binoculars, even larger than 50mm : Swarovski Swarovision EL 10x42, Swarovski SLC WB 10x50, Fujinon FMTR SX 10x50, Nikon Astrolux 10x70 IF SP WP, Meopta Meostar B1.1 10x50. None of them reached the details of the Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 on the tripod. The only 10x binoculars that matched the same SF resolution is the "younger brother" Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42. PERFECT

The edge clarity it is very good, clarity it is extended by approximately 90%-95% in FOV VERY GOOD

The white balance is natural and even-tempered, but compared to other standard binoculars you can see a discret cool green shade. GOOD


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The glare resistance. The binoculars being tested in all kinds of extreme scenarios: against the sun at different angles outside the frame, against the street lamps, against the desk lamp, the moonlight inside and outside the frame, and did not create me any problems. For example I watched a couple of swans glide majestically on the water in the light of the setting Sun. With the Sun setting in FOV and reflected in the water too, there was no drop in contrast or any glare. Fabulous image!!!! The only weakness is in the night time when I have the light source behind me. Then I see some small reflections on the edge of the Fov but they are present due to the fact that I wear glasses and the parasitic light penetrates next to the my glasses and cannot be efficiently blocked by the eyepiece cups. VERY GOOD


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The eye relief is 18mm, enough for any spectacle wearer. The new black version has replaced the eyepiece cups with some that can be extended one step further than the old ones, an important aspect especially for those who do not wear glasses. It has no blackout but I must be care when adjusting the eyepiece cups. VERY GOOD

Chromatic aberrations are almost absent even in contrasting light conditions (only very difficult to detect on the edges of the FOV) VERY GOOD


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The field of view is a generous 6.8 degrees. The big AFOV gives the impression of "being there". Compared to Swarovision EL the difference in FOV is not big (6.4 vs 6.8) but differnce in AFOV is big and after looking through SF, Swarovski seemed like a "keyhole" (It can be noted only by comparison) VERY GOOD

3D. The image has an accentuated three-dimensionality for a binocular with Schimtd-Pechan prisms. This stereoscopy is due to the difference of 6mm that I measured in favor of the distance between the front lenses vs eyepieces distance. But this 3d impression is also due to the geometric corrections of the visual field that is not completely straight. VERY GOOD


Conclusions

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Every time I put in front of my eyes I have said that this is the binoculars I have been waiting for a long time! The focus is impeccable. The weight of the binoculars is well distributed in the hands. The apparent field of view is large and easy to look at! I was further impressed by the resolution of this binoculars. In addition to this clarity, the binoculars have a fairly strong 3d effect for a roof. With this binoculars, even ordinary things become spectacular to watch! Optically it is a jewel of binoculars being extremely well corrected in all optical chapters. Bravo Zeiss!
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Nice review and pictures. I wish the Zeiss SF 8x42 and 10x42 had worked for me. I found them excellent in every area like you except for seeing crescent orange flares on the lower part of FOV in every sample I tried, and I tried 3 different samples. The phenomena are well documented in the threads and there are many photos of it. Allbino's even talks about it. I don't see it in the smaller SF 8x32 or 10x32. Just a good example of how we are all different in if we see glare or not in certain binoculars.

"The Zeiss Victory SF is the proof that it is possible to produce a pair of binoculars with a very wide field of view which is also perfectly corrected. If not for that strange slip-up with reflections beyond the eyepiece's diaphragm, most likely caused by a shiny ring inside tubes which aren’t baffled properly by apertures, you would get an instrument optically perfect, an ideal."

 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
Thank you all! and sorry for my bad english!

Maljunulo

Unfortunately I do not be able to look through the 8x32 SF too soon! Instead, I'm going to do a "dissection" of the Nikon HG 8x30 soon

[email protected]

I remember now this report from the allbinos article. I will look even more closely after this orange reflection, but sunny days must come for this. It is not excluded to be there if I look deliberately and knowingly after this reflection, but it is clearly not intrusive if I have not noticed it so far! After I will see this orange reflexion, then it will become obvious to me too, and I'll know how to look after it :) It's just like in astronomy: after looking through the same telescope, let's say to Jupiter, the brain learns by gaining experience over long time to see new details from Jupiter that at first you didn't see in the same conditions!
 
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Streesh

Member
I love my Zeiss SF 8 x 42, but have the same issue with the eyecups. They do not hold their position well. In fact, your post is a reminder to me to call Zeiss and ask for some replacement cups.
 

_Prism_

Well-known member
England
Very nice photos. Never noticed any reflections on either the 10x or 8x. Tried everything including the NL but just can't seem to part ways with the SF for its outstanding optics and ergonomics (not to mention the focuser, which is simply best-in-class!).
 

Allen

Well-known member
Just interested. What are the differences between the original grey SF and the newer black ones (apart from the colour obviously!)
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Just interested. What are the differences between the original grey SF and the newer black ones (apart from the colour obviously!)
Hi,

with the gray SF, there were often problems with the armor and the focuser, which was significantly improved with the black model.
From the optics I think it should be identical.

Andreas
 

etc

Well-known member
I love my Zeiss SF 8 x 42, but have the same issue with the eyecups. They do not hold their position well. In fact, your post is a reminder to me to call Zeiss and ask for some replacement cups.


Plus one. I love my first gen SF 8x42. Same deal with eyecups.

I don't mind the somewhat rough focus wheel as it tends to stay in the same position where I left it at, versus a much more smooth focus wheel of the 10x54HT that seems to roll into a new setting constantly, when not used.
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
.

.................I don't mind the somewhat rough focus wheel as it tends to stay in the same position where I left it at, versus a much more smooth focus wheel of the 10x54HT that seems to roll into a new setting constantly, when not used.
That seems to be the price of an ultra smooth focus. But it should not be "rough"! Part of the problem comes from the different temperatures these instruments are being used. Smoothness and staying put under all temperatures might be an unsolvable challenge?
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
I think it is a widespread issue! When I press them with my eyeglasses, the eye cups are quite firm. The only problem that I had it is especially that the rain covers were too fixed on the eyepieces. So I widened the rubber rain covers so that they could be removed and put on more easily without moving the eyepiece cups from position. This almost solved the problem!
 

Sc0tty

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I think it is a widespread issue! When I press them with my eyeglasses, the eye cups are quite firm. The only problem that I had it is especially that the rain covers were too fixed on the eyepieces. So I widened the rubber rain covers so that they could be removed and put on more easily without moving the eyepiece cups from position. This almost solved the problem!
I’ve just bought some 10x32 SF and also find the eyecups don’t stay in position. How did you widen the raincover?
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
The raincover are made of rubber and if you stretch them and keep them in position for a minute, they increase their diameter a little being elastic! Except for this minor issue SF is a fantastic series of binoculars.
 

MikeInPA

Well-known member
The Focussing on my Mk1 8x42’s became stiff in places so I sent them in for repair and they came back fixed and better than ever. That was a couple of years ago and no issues since.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Dorubird, post 1,
None of the Zeiss SF's we studied had a light transmission of 93% , we only found that in the Zeiss FL's and in the Zeiss HT"s . In the SF's it did reach values of 89% or close to 90%.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
Allbinos measured light transmission for SF 10x42 model about 93.7% +-1% in the middle of the visible spectrum!!!
It seems that the 10x42 model has the best transmission in the all SF range. For 10x42 model Zeiss claim 92% light transmission in official specifications. For the new SF 32 mm models Zeiss claim 90% light transmission, smaller than SF 10x42 light transmission.


 
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