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Zeiss SF 8X32 after 8 weeks of use... (1 Viewer)

eitanaltman

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.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
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
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
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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AGPank

Well-known member
Great thread. I have a pair of EL SV 8x32 (non-field pro) that I enjoy and use mostly. I use them for birding and archery hunting. I've really enjoyed them, but I am interested in these SF's. More and more I like the 8x32 platform, as it's just a great blend of useful magnification, size, and FOV. I've tried the Victory FL 8x32, they were light, compact, but seemed to highlight blue / or slight bluish tint. I have a pair of Leica Ultravid 8x32. Nice compact and sharp image, but I could use a little more eye relief. This is not a HD or HD+ sample, so falls off a little on CA control. I really like the "Leica" image and what seems to me as a truer color image, but they don't have the FOV of the EL SV.

I'm interested to try this SF model while the size is creeping into a compact 42mm category. It gets me wondering if the 8x42 UV HD+ would get a slight nod as compact, better low-light performance, but diminished FOV. In absence of perfection, it sure is fun trying and comparing different binoculars.

I'm sure the NL Pure will be amazing, but I'm out at that price. I think any of the big 3 alpha's need to move into image stabilization and photograph as the next move. The alphas all perform great, give me an amazing image, some help steadying it and capturing that image is what I'd like next.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
The 8X32 NL seems to be priced at $50 more than the 8X32 SF by dealers' actual street price.

I wouldn't bite at any price due to the monumental hosing I would take on any sale or sale/trade of my 8X32 SF.
 
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paddy7

Well-known member
I would certainly echo eitan's point above. Individual optical characteristics will be ranged in importance according to the user's physiology and intended use. It is hugely important to be aware of what your own priorities are and to accept that it may not be possible for one binocular to meet all of them - in which case, it is permissable to own two!
Understanding these characteristics - both in terms of what they are called and how they manifest themselves in the field - is one of best things membership of BF has given me over the years, to the point that i am usually totally confident in my own opinion, rather than any review or league table, which i regard usually as 'pointers' of what to explore for myself before making a call on them....
I have birding acquaintances that love binoculars i really don't like at all, and i'm sure they may feel the same way about mine.
 

eronald

Well-known member
IPD should not be scored just indicated. in a review - Why should any reviewer care about the fact that I have a 54mm IPD? Swaro etc know the stats on IPD as well as or better than anyone else, and if they make the decision not to want me as a customer for a 42mm, I doff my hat to a company that prefers to engineer perfection for those who deserve it :)

Also, I would like to vote up Paddy7's point - if I cannot see through both telescopes of a binocular at the same time, due to the way these two instruments are mounted, I will defer to my own derogatory opinion about said instrument, whatever the more educated views of some gentleman in Italy, Holland or Poland.

Edmund

I would certainly echo eitan's point above. Individual optical characteristics will be ranged in importance according to the user's physiology and intended use. It is hugely important to be aware of what your own priorities are and to accept that it may not be possible for one binocular to meet all of them - in which case, it is permissable to own two!
Understanding these characteristics - both in terms of what they are called and how they manifest themselves in the field - is one of best things membership of BF has given me over the years, to the point that i am usually totally confident in my own opinion, rather than any review or league table, which i regard usually as 'pointers' of what to explore for myself before making a call on them....
I have birding acquaintances that love binoculars i really don't like at all, and i'm sure they may feel the same way about mine.
 
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ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Chiming in, as another very pleased and satisfied user of the 8x32 SF. :)

Though the SF is a bit longer than other models of 8x32, I find that the light weight, balance toward oculars, handling, and feel-in-the-hands of the SF is absolutely superb. The design is a wonderful balance between somewhat smaller 32s and larger, heavier 42s. The result is a binocular that is delightful to use.

Great sharpness, crystal clarity, wide FOV, sharpness out to relatively flat edges, neutral color rendition... all of this is wonderful.

The shape of the barrels and the perfect degree of stiction of the armor give a great feel of control when carrying, holding, and using the bins.

As well, the focuser -which is the primary user interface- is the best I've ever felt, very smooth, light resistance, easy to fine-tune focus.

The 8x32 SF (and beautiful sibling 10x32 SF, which I also have) could quite easily be the singular choice for me, if I had to pare down to owning just one pair of binoculars. It's the "Goldilock's choice" - not too big, not too small, not too heavy, not too light - just right! 👍
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
I spent the better part of an hour yesterday watching a mature Bald Eagle preen its feathers, while perched on top of a dead tree in intermittent drizzle.

It was 300 - 400 yards away, and at times I enjoyed seeing "The Illusion" that there was nothing between me and the scene. As if t I was looking directly at the whole thing without the presence of any optical enhancement.

It is quite a startling thing, when you see it, and it requires a very still atmosphere, without much mixing, in my experience.

I'm not sure I am describing it well.

This is a very long-winded way of saying that I couldn't be more pleased with my 8X32 SF, and I am quite content to have it as my only alpha binocular since 02 Dec 2020.

Edited to add: I would not, under any circumstances want to go back to my EL SV 10X42.
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Edmund, post 107,
Binocular tests/investigations are there, in my opinion, only to help binocular users in making their own choice, and the data supplied by the testers can be helpful in that selection process. But the investigators do not have your hands, facial characteristics, eye specifications etc. So do not listen to investigators that come from Holland, they are probably steered by drug use anyway.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

eronald

Well-known member
Edmund, post 107,
Binocular tests/investigations are there, in my opinion, only to help binocular users in making their own choice, and the data supplied by the testers can be helpful in that selection process. But the investigators do not have your hands, facial characteristics, eye specifications etc. So do not listen to investigators that come from Holland, they are probably steered by drug use anyway.
Gijs van Ginkel
I am quite surprised that Swaro limited their IPD on the NL x42 to 56mm as it is determined by the central pivot and not by the telescope tube diameters, but in any case objective data on the IPD supersedes any reviewers opinion. I do understand from your comment, however, that my 54 or 55 mm IPD is considered statistically unusually small, and that there is no reason to accomodate the few percent of those with narrow IPDs, just as restaurants do not need to accomodate patrons with wheelchairs in order to earn their living. Let me reassure you though, my life is not made really difficult by my IPD even though buying eyeglasses takes some effort, and my other measurements are where it counts ...quite average. :)



Edmund
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Edmund post 111,
I do not understand your point here, I do not have any opinion about your IPD, in the tests we only measure the available IPD range of the binoculars investigated and the customer/owner can decide if that suits him/her.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

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