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Zeiss SF 8x32 vs Swarovski SV 8x32 (1 Viewer)

tenex

reality-based
Lift them up and they don't feel as heavy in the hand as the numbers tell you they should.
My impression is that it's just about density, they don't feel as heavy as their size leads you to expect. It's strange that if you make a binocular significantly larger, everyone will be impressed by how light it seems. (I'm still awaiting an explanation of why Swaro NL didn't have to do that to get more FOV)
 

paddy7

Well-known member
Going back to this 'blue ring' thing (and this may have been alluded to by Range in an earlier post):
In a quiet moment seawatching today, i played around with my 8x32FL, and could 'make' the blue ring. I could also get rid of it.
What i suspect it is - and this would be probably more the case with 32mm objectives and the smaller exit pupil - is the failure to align your pupil true to the EP. That was how i could produce it and eliminate it, simply by 'slipping off' an exact eye position.
I'm sure if i could be bothered to think about it i could generate some of the more technical members' wrath by guessing that it is a manifestation of CA in some way, caused by taking your eye away from the point at which all colour wavelengths are synchronised - or something like that.
Anyway, it might have been there for years without me ever noticing it before; i don't think it's a binocular problem, but a usage problem. Bigger EPs may be more forgiving.
I'll have to see what happens with the Pocket, next time i'm out with it.

Please feel free to take issue with any of this - that's part of the fun in posting anything!
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
What i suspect it is - and this would be probably more the case with 32mm objectives and the smaller exit pupil - is the failure to align your pupil true to the EP. That was how i could produce it and eliminate it, simply by 'slipping off' an exact eye position.
/QUOTE]

Easy to do if you are trying to examine the extreme edge of very wide fields of view.

Lee
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Like I said in my first post, it is hardly noticeable looking straight ahead (with pupils in normal position) but it's there while looking near the edges of the FOV, something that doesn't occur with the SV.


Jan
 
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xaver

Member
It seems the first SF 32 arrived in Switzerland this week – I received my pair of SF 10x32 yesterday. I'm posting this here because there seems to be no SF 10x32 thread so far. Because I ordered them without testing I'm of course bound to love them. And I think I love them! I had a 'wow' experience when I first looked through them and I never had that experience when I looked through a SV 10x32. But well, of course everything is deeply psychological (confirmation bias) because I decided to love the SF and not the SV. Nonetheless, I think I cannot see the blue ring around the outer FOV that Jan describes for the 8x32. When resting the bins on my thumbs, they are clearly heavier on the ocular side (the objective side is clearly longer). Yes, I see the "narrow band where the sharpness softens just a fraction before recovering again at the edge" that Troubador describes for the SF 8x32, but I got used to it after a few seconds. The balance of the SF is striking, both in the hands and hanging around the neck, and the feeling of immersion in the FOV is fantastic.

Disclaimer: The only other alphas I own are the Dialyt 10x40 B/GA T* that I bought exactly 30 years ago. I waited until I found the best binoculars that are even lighter than the Dialyt. Now I believe I found them and together we will live happily for the next 30 years!

After all, I think everything pretty much boils down to personal preference for a brand. 30 years ago we discussed forever about 'Zeiss vs. Leica'. Now we have Swarovski in addition, plus maybe Nikon (and Vortex?), which is great. I hope all those brands of alpha binoculars will survive Corona and the following decades.
 
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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
It seems the first SF 32 arrived in Switzerland this week – I received my pair of SF 10x32 yesterday. I'm posting this here because there seems to be no SF 10x32 thread so far. Because I ordered them without testing I'm of course bound to love them. And I think I love them! I had a 'wow' experience when I first looked through them and I never had that experience when I looked through a SV 10x32. But well, of course everything is deeply psychological (confirmation bias) because I decided to love the SF and not the SV. Nonetheless, I think I cannot see the blue ring around the outer FOV that Jan describes for the 8x32. When resting the bins on my thumbs, they are clearly heavier on the ocular side (the objective side is clearly longer). Yes, I see the "narrow band where the sharpness softens just a fraction before recovering again at the edge" that Troubador describes for the SF 8x32, but I got used to it after a few seconds. The balance of the SF is striking, both in the hands and hanging around the neck, and the feeling of immersion in the FOV is fantastic.

Disclaimer: The only other alphas I own are the Dialyt 10x40 B/GA T* that I bought exactly 30 years ago. I waited until I found the best binoculars that are even lighter than the Dialyt. Now I believe I found them and together we will live happily for the next 30 years!

After all, I think everything pretty much boils down to personal preference for a brand. 30 years ago we discussed forever about 'Zeiss vs. Leica'. Now we have Swarovski in addition, plus maybe Nikon (and Vortex?), which is great. I hope all those brands of alpha binoculars will survive Corona and the following decades.

I'm glad you like your blind purchase. I like your thinking about the different makes and your bit of history and thinking for the future too.

Tom
 

Hermann

Well-known member
I hope all those brands of alpha binoculars will survive Corona and the following decades.

I'm actually more worried about the many older birders than the alphas ...

Have fun with your 10x32 - you must be the first one here to actually have one of the new Zeiss' SF. And please add to your impressions once you got more acquainted with them.

Hermann
 

xaver

Member
I'm actually more worried about the many older birders than the alphas ...
Hermann

Thanks Tom and Hermann, very kind of you! (I plan to survive the next 30 years as well ;-)

Yesterday I went birding in the french nature reserve Petite Camargue Alsacienne and observed two ospreys playing and hunting, very nice with the SF 10x32. As promised, the focus is extremely fast and smooth, yet exact. The image is sharp and bright, but the real challenge will come if somebody has an occasion to spend a longer time period in the field with both the SF 32 and SV 32.

The length of the binocular will worry some, but I think it is great – after one gets used to holding it, it feels absolutely natural in the hands. A warning: when I unpacked the binocular I thought "wow, the focus ring is not where my finger is!", but the reason was that the straps were not yet attached and I held the binos too close to the oculars. After I attached the straps, everything was fine.

One curious thing: In the right ocular there's a small white piece of a wrapping / a sticker sticking out where it shouldn't, see the attached photo. Strange that this passed quality control. I thought it will not affect function and I should blame it to Corona, and maybe have it removed later or be proud of it as a reminder of the strange year 2020. Any idea what it could be?
 

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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
One curious thing: In the right ocular there's a small white piece of a wrapping / a sticker sticking out where it shouldn't, see the attached photo. Strange that this passed quality control. I thought it will not affect function and I should blame it to Corona, and maybe have it removed later or be proud of it as a reminder of the strange year 2020. Any idea what it could be?

Unless I'm interpreting your photo incorrectly, it looks like it's just trapped by the screw up eye-cup. Might be something that happened after quality control and when putting on the eye-cups. Have you removed the eye-cups yet?

And if I'm being daft and mis-interpreting your photo, apologies in advance!
 

xaver

Member
Unless I'm interpreting your photo incorrectly, it looks like it's just trapped by the screw up eye-cup. Might be something that happened after quality control and when putting on the eye-cups. Have you removed the eye-cups yet?

And if I'm being daft and mis-interpreting your photo, apologies in advance!

Great, thanks a lot! I love this forum!

It was simply a small sticker with a QR code that I could remove after removing the eye-cup. So indeed this has nothing to do with quality control and I think the SF 10x32 is perfect!
 

xaver

Member
Another experience I'd like to share: I'm sitting in my home office looking over the roofs of the city I live in, and it's almost dark. Some last bats, swallows and crows are visible against the evening sky. Looking at the lights of some distant buildings, it strikes me how calm and stable the image of the SF 10x32 is. Although it doesn't have any of the grips and holding aids that the Swarovskis have, the SF 32 fits perfectly into the hands. In comparison, the image of the Dialyt 10x40 is quite a bit darker, and strangely the city lights seem to tremble more. Two non-alphas that are currently on my home office desk are the Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42 and the Eden XP 8x42, two binos that I bought because I am searching not only for the best light-weight alpha, but also for the cheapest binoculars that I can still recommend. It is impressive that a modern 10x32 can outperform not only a 30-year old 10x40 but also two cheap-but-not-bad 8x42.
 

eronald

Well-known member
Another experience I'd like to share: I'm sitting in my home office looking over the roofs of the city I live in, and it's almost dark. Some last bats, swallows and crows are visible against the evening sky. Looking at the lights of some distant buildings, it strikes me how calm and stable the image of the SF 10x32 is. Although it doesn't have any of the grips and holding aids that the Swarovskis have, the SF 32 fits perfectly into the hands. In comparison, the image of the Dialyt 10x40 is quite a bit darker, and strangely the city lights seem to tremble more. Two non-alphas that are currently on my home office desk are the Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42 and the Eden XP 8x42, two binos that I bought because I am searching not only for the best light-weight alpha, but also for the cheapest binoculars that I can still recommend. It is impressive that a modern 10x32 can outperform not only a 30-year old 10x40 but also two cheap-but-not-bad 8x42.

Now maybe some chinese or japanese maker can copy the ergos of the SF - or even better maybe Zeiss can copy itself and improve the Tierra and Conquest at little cost.

Edmund
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
Staying focused on the presented topic, :smoke:

I had the opportunity to look through the SV and SF 8x32's side by side for about an hour today. I had been planning to buy the SV's this spring, right when the SF's were announced. I decided to hold off to see the SF's, as my best current bin are much loved Conquest HD's. Previously, I had fallen in love with the SV's and were really taken with their view and easy handling.

My eyes were a bit tired this afternoon in my review (prior bike ride + sea watch), so first off, I decided to not make a final purchase but come back for another look. Overall, I have to say Jan's write up is pretty close to my experience. The view through the Zeiss is outstanding - just a shade more vivid, 3d, and HD than the SV's, but not in a weird way. It also felt like the edge sharpness of the SFs was better. However, I slightly prefer the handling of the SV's - I have somewhat small hands and the whole simple handleability of the SV's, esp with the thumb indents, is pretty hard to beat. I love 8x32s for their stuffability and the SFs just slightly creep into that "too big to shove in a pocket" category - even though they are less than a half inch taller than the SVs. The SVs just overall feel about 10% smaller than the SFs - in a nice way.

One thing very much worth mentioning is the SF focus. It is just an outstanding focus, much better than the SV. Perfect amount of resistance.

I realize I didn't even attend to FOV - I will pay more attention on my next viewing. It did not jump out.

I did have my trusty Conquest HD 8x32s on hand, and the comparison made me continue to love them - they are not as good, but for 1/3rd the price - wow. They are modern bricks and just tough and terrific. I will never let mine go.

I also had the opportunity to look through the FL and the 8x42 SF. I love the FL small chunky package, but honestly it just feel like a last gen bin to me. Not a good focus, and view about the same as the Conquest. I am not a big 8x42 person and they just seemed big to me. Also, I did find a pretty obvious reflective internal ring that I think I would find very tiresome. The 8x32 SFs were totally dark.

My plan is to look at them again this week in the morning - and make my choice. Both really neat optics. I sort of think I will be picking the SFs.
 

Upland

Well-known member
Thanks for the report Jan!

Your kind of reminds me of buying a new vehicle. I've always been a BMW guy. What's not to like? Lately I just wanted a change(mainly dealer related) so I bought an Audi about two months ago. I thought it drove better than the BMW and the interior was a little nicer. Also it had a little better GPS and several other things I really liked(this IS a binocular forum so I'll be brief!). Lately though...I'm seeing BMWs cup holders are in the RIGHT place, I don't have the storage behind the rear seat the BMW had, and BMW had the whole center console down to a T. So while I still like the Audi....I DID give up some things I really liked about the BMW. You can't have it all!

Thanks again!

What’s not to like in a BMW? The seats. I rented a car to drive to Spokane ( about 40O mile from home) this spring. The gal at the counter gave me the pick of all the cars they had for the price of the midsize I had reserved since things were so slow at that time. I went for a glitzy Beamer. It was super fun to drive but by the time I got to Spokane I could barely walk because my back was so stiff from the rock hard seats. Have been spoiled by Volvo seats for years!

I do agree with Chuck completely with his analogy. You can’t have everything in a car or glass so you just need to pick what is most important to you.
 

binomania

Well-known member
Justin
. Now SF8x42 is a bit lighter than an EL but not by a huge amount. What I believe he was experiencing was the weight being closer to the grip of the hand, and this makes the weight feel less. IMHO.

Having tried out SF32s I found that they perform in a similar fashion.

Lee

Hi..what you described are my own feelings.
the Zeiss SF 8x32 will also have some defects mentioned in my review but it seems to me a very balanced binoculars both optically and mechanically.
I missed your note about eye relief. It was a typo in my article..sorry. I lent the binoculars to my collaborator Paolo Monti who uses glasses and he confirmed that he "almost always" sees the entire field of view. the SF 8x42 is obviously more comfortable.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Hi..what you described are my own feelings.
the Zeiss SF 8x32 will also have some defects mentioned in my review but it seems to me a very balanced binoculars both optically and mechanically.
I missed your note about eye relief. It was a typo in my article..sorry. I lent the binoculars to my collaborator Paolo Monti who uses glasses and he confirmed that he "almost always" sees the entire field of view. the SF 8x42 is obviously more comfortable.

Thank you Piergiovanni.

Lee
 

bkdc

Well-known member
There is little to criticize about the optical qualities of either. I sold my EL SV after handling the SF for a few weeks. It just feels better for long term holding. The Ergobalance thing seems real even for a smaller 32mm. We are talking about some of the best glass in the world. Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica, and sometimes Nikon and hopefully Meopta down the road..... all amazing outfits with the ability to design and manufacture their own glass and thus the highest quality binos.
 

tenex

reality-based
I noticed an orange ring around the outer FOV in the Zeiss SF 8x42 especially around the bottom.
I had never heard of this but just happened to read a thread about spotting scopes that mentioned such orange rings as an issue, when adapting certain astro eyepieces with tight tolerances for eye position, so I returned here to mention that. It seems quite likely that recent ultra-wide binos may also demand careful eye placement to eliminate this, rather than its being any indication of a defective unit. (Fine-tuning eyecup height was one suggestion.)
 

paddy7

Well-known member
I had never heard of this but just happened to read a thread about spotting scopes that mentioned such orange rings as an issue, when adapting certain astro eyepieces with tight tolerances for eye position, so I returned here to mention that. It seems quite likely that recent ultra-wide binos may also demand careful eye placement to eliminate this, rather than its being any indication of a defective unit. (Fine-tuning eyecup height was one suggestion.)
I noticed this yellow ring a couple of years ago in a friend's very inexpensive spotting scope - a total circle in this case.
I'm certain that in some cases of cheaper optics it is a manifestation of CA in some way. In top-notch glass though, i suspect it is more likely to be a fault of eye positioning.
I rarely expect - no matter how good the product - to be able to get the eye position bang-on every time without a bit of practice. Moving from a Fender Jazz Bass to an Overwater Evolution fretless would take work, without at any point it being the fault of the instrument.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
I rarely expect - no matter how good the product - to be able to get the eye position bang-on every time without a bit of practice.
This, my 8X32 SF showed me kidney beans at first look, but they went away after a bit of fiddling and use. I no longer see them.
 

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