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Zeiss SF 8X32 after 8 weeks of use... (2 Viewers)


Well-known member
Leaving aside sample variation, this highlights to me the biggest flaw of Allbinos "scores" -- I think that Arek does a good job of being objective and methodologically consistent in his testing, but the problem is how he arbitrarily translates that (mostly) objective data into SCORES.

The current topic is a perfect example: the "truncated exit pupils" category under discussion is worth 8 points in Allbinos scoring. Many top-scoring binoculars are knocked down quite a bit on the ranking due to getting severely dinged in this category by 4-5 points (and there's only a 5 point gap between the #5 and #15 ranked binocular on the 10x42 rankings, for example, so that's pretty huge).

However, close focus is worth only 2 points (!!) and nearly every birding binocular gets a 1.5 or 2 since the standards are so lax for this category. The difference in worth between the 3.3m close focus of the Swaro SLC 10x42 Neu and the 1.5m close focus of the Zeiss SF 10x42 is ONE POINT.

Would most birders rather have a nearly 2m improvement in close focus, or a 3% reduction in exit pupil truncation?

There are all sorts of similar examples, my biggest pet peeve is the IPD score, worth 6 points, yet the scoring ONLY factors in MAXIMUM value. There is zero difference in point value between a binocular that only goes down to 58-59mm IPD vs one that gets down to 52-53mm. Many birders know this difference can be of major importance in comfort (it's a complete deal-breaker for my wife).

These kinds of decisions have massive implications for the total score ranking, and while Arek is fully transparent in cautioning people to not take the rankings too literally, we ALL know that "certain people" on forums like this love to throw around these scores as objective truth so they can (try to) fool people into thinking their opinions carry the weight of quantitative authority.

But if you value those factors differently, your "personal weighted average" ranking would look dramatically different than the current ranking on Allbinos which incorporates the weights that Arek chose, whatever his reasons.

So rather than focusing on the total score, it's best to focus on the categories that are important to you and use his "scores" to determine relative performance in certain areas.


Out Birding....
United States
Great examples....and yes, I am with you on Allbino's.... In my thinking, Allbinos should not even assign points. They should lay out the facts and allow each of us to place our own values upon those facts. I too place high ranking on 'close focus'.... as well as ergonomics' or the like. But to accept Allbino's blanket objective score has no more weight in my thinking than accepting your score or my score (based upon our subjectivity).

Allbino's to me is just a place to get facts, ....I never place any value in their ranking/scores. When I want to look at a binocular, I create a matrix of my own ranking by selecting criteria I want to hit for a particular binocular based upon my needs and the assign points based upon weighted criteria I select! That way I know what I am getting pertains to me and not Arek


missing the neotropics
In Allbino's images of the exit pupil an undersized prism aperture would impinge on the objective light cone equally around its circumference and reduce the effective aperture, but the exit pupil would still be perfectly round, just smaller than it should be. Occasionally a prism will be too small for the prism aperture. In that case a straight prism edge will impinge on the edge of the exit pupil.

What causes the so call "truncated" exit pupils in the Allbinos images is lateral misalignment between the prism aperture and the objective lens and that is typically caused by the intentional introduction of eccentricity, either at the objective or eyepiece in order to collimate the binocular. Notice that the "truncation" is never the same in the right and left sides. It would also never be the same in different samples of the same binocular model. I suppose it could be argued that a proper sized prism aperture would be large enough to encompass the entire potential eccentricity that might be required for collimation, but I don't think that's ever done. This is just one of several examples in Allbino's tests that treat a sample variation as if it were a design characteristic.

I've had the opportunity today to view two samples of SF 8x32, both telescopes of both samples had very slightly truncated exit pupils, similarly to allbino's finding. I could (not surprisingly) see absolutely no artifact of this when looking through the binoculars. The view and the utility in the field is what matters to me, but the pupil truncation is there if you look for it - at least in some examples, apparently. Apologies for the varying focus, white balance, and cropping of the photos, they were taken without great precision with a cel phone, then cropped with no precision, but I think it amply demonstrates what I saw.

For what it's worth, I found both copies of the 8x32 to appear physically flawless, both were immaculate inside, and had wonderful focuser action and hinge tension.

They seem a more compact, lighter weight, near carbon copy of the 8x42 to me. Similar color and contrast, very slightly larger (barely noticeable at this level) FOV, but more physically compact and lighter. The color tint mentioned by others is barely there if looking at a very white wall, for instance, but doesn't bother me in the least in the 8x42 and I don't anticipate it bothering me in the 8x32. I love the 8x42, and my first impression of the 8x32 was very similar and very positive. But it's just a brief impression.

I happily took the pair that I judged to be better home, though there was no difference I could note in view or use between the two. I find that it takes a long while to come to a meaningful opinion so I'll refrain from commenting more on them until I've had them for some time. For now, looking forward to putting them to use.

Cheers all!


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