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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!