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Zeiss SFL 10x40: A Field Review (1 Viewer)

crinklystarfish

Well-known member
Ireland
This is very puzzling to me because as I wrote, above:
"The position of the focus wheel allows three of your fingers to securely grip the tubes below the hinge, while your first finger then falls naturally on the focus wheel, without having to ‘reach’ or search for it, and this arrangement allowed me to hold this 10x model steadier than I anticipated."

So, yes, my experience was completely different.

Lee

And I fully understand we're all different in terms of hand size, preferred grip etc.

I'm right handed.

With every binocular I've had / have, I prefer to bring it to my eye with my left hand as my right flicks off the eyepiece cover. Thereafter I traditionally use my left as the primary 'gripping' hand and my right as support / anchor for my right, index focusing finger

I did try your way with my left hand - but that required me to focus with my left index. This didn't work for me - it felt truly odd.

When I tried your way with my right hand, it then felt really odd bringing the binocular to my eye with that hand, plus I was consistently all-of-a-fumble with my left.

This might all be pretty academic if one is just lazily enjoying landscapes etc, but when fractions of a second count in getting a bin from chest to fully focused then having to think and awkwardly fumble just doesn't work for me.

It might just be me, but that was my experience.
 

dries1

Member
Nice Lee, now I know why you are there many times in the year. It must be a great place to kick back and just take in the views.
I really do not know which one yet, 8 or 10 but at least I will have time with them outside for a few hours.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
And I fully understand we're all different in terms of hand size, preferred grip etc.

I'm right handed.

With every binocular I've had / have, I prefer to bring it to my eye with my left hand as my right flicks off the eyepiece cover. Thereafter I traditionally use my left as the primary 'gripping' hand and my right as support / anchor for my right, index focusing finger

I did try your way with my left hand - but that required me to focus with my left index. This didn't work for me - it felt truly odd.

When I tried your way with my right hand, it then felt really odd bringing the binocular to my eye with that hand, plus I was consistently all-of-a-fumble with my left.

This might all be pretty academic if one is just lazily enjoying landscapes etc, but when fractions of a second count in getting a bin from chest to fully focused then having to think and awkwardly fumble just doesn't work for me.

It might just be me, but that was my experience.
I am sure we all have different ways of holding binos in the complete belief our way is the most natural way! Full disclosure: a lot of the time I hold the bino with my right hand as described and focus with the first finger and often my left hand simply supports the weight of the binos on the tips of the fingers with my left-hand thumb pointing backwards to rest on my face the give extra stability. Pretty sure that is not recommended by any birding organisation but it works for me. In strong winds though, I have to use my left hand to grip in a similar way to my right hand.

Lee
 

tenex

reality-based
Yes, a lovely getaway and account of it. Around here we have to content ourselves with muskrats.

However, to those sensitive to CA: if I forced the issue (by looking at crows / bare twigs against open sky etc), I could fairly readily see green and purple fringing at about 60% out.
This is exactly what I recall myself in either SFL, and quite like many/most other bins (BN, E II etc).

I don't understand what the expectations were of those folks who thought there should be more 'separation' of the subject from its foreground and background in SFL 10x40.
Unless I am misunderstanding they seem to be complaining that SFL 10x40 has a greater depth of field than they would like but since depth of field is dependent on magnification I don't expect SFL 10x40 is any different from any other 10x, but I guess it might be possible to be misled by the terrain you are looking at into thinking what you see is caused by the bino.
I don't have an SFL8x40 here but I do have Leica Trinovid HD 8x32 and Meopta MeoStar B1.1 8x32 and have been comfortably swapping between these and the SFL 10x40 for 3 weeks and have never been distracted by unexpected depth of field weirdness or unexpected background texture/bokeh in the SFL.
"Those folks" is just me... I see that these issues haven't lodged in everyone's mind as they seem to have in mine, and I should have reviewed them more carefully:

(1) when SFLs came out, several people reported that they simply didn't like or weren't as impressed by the 10x as by the 8. I don't know why myself and am not going to spend time trying to locate them again, so I hope they show up here to explain themselves. (I presume they didn't simply prefer 8x to 10, as there would then have been little reason to try the 10 at all and none to say this.)

(2) several people (including me) thought both SFLs had too much contrast especially around edges, leading to a busy or even distracting view in some situations. I didn't allude to this above but do now in order to lead into...

(3) in a brief trial, I found focusing odd with the 10x, looking for example at a leafy tree in the short to middle distance, that I wasn't quite sure where or when it was focused because nothing seemed clearly out of focus as it would in my own bins, presumably due to some combination of #2 above and possibly also busy (multiple-edged) rather than smooth bokeh. (I don't think anyone else mentioned this. Perhaps it would have helped to have a yellow bird in the tree.)

I gather from your response that you didn't experience any of this, that you like the visual presentation of both SFLs equally, found focusing with the 10x40 perfectly straightforward, and no other difference in use between the 8 and 10x than the usual ones?


(I actually expect this to be a rather short thread now, as SFLs have been available long enough for everyone to try them, most issues were hashed out already in the 8x thread, and this forum is full of 7/8x'ers anyway.)
 
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Ted Y.

Forum member
Supporter
Canada
I do not understand:
-the SFL 10x40mm is not OK because is too good around edges?
-the SFL 10x40mm is not OK because the focus is too good?
Or maybe this is a kind of anti-advertising?
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I gather from your response that you didn't experience any of this, that you like the visual presentation of both SFLs equally, found focusing with the 10x40 perfectly straightforward, and no other difference in use between the 8 and 10x than the usual ones?
Absolutely correct and while I didn't have another 10x bino here I did have two 8x32s that I have listed elsewhere and swapped between them and the SFL without noticing anything bothersome about the view, or the focusing of it, through the SFL.

I might be jumping to conclusions but I think I see the difference in how we are both using these binos. You said "Perhaps it would have helped to have a yellow bird in the tree". I am using these binos to look at subjects that grab my attention, as I hope you can tell from reading my review. Your description of looking at a tree with no bird in it suggests you are just looking at an available scene and then trying to analyse how the bino has represented it. I humbly suggest it would be better to wait until any kind of bird lands in that tree (or anywhere else) and then focus on the bird. I think having a genuine central subject of interest would enable a better assessment of the bino's view. For example focusing on this subject of interest and de-focusing back and forth a little would emphasise the extent of the depth of field i.e. the volume that is actually in focus, and therefore, the rest of the scene which is out of focus.

If you have a continuing difficulty in seeing what is in focus and what is not, it suggests to me that you need to re-set the bino's dioptre adjustment and/or visit an optician to have your vision tested.

BTW some members might be wondering why I haven't got my all-time favourite bino (SF 8x32) here. The answer is that I knew that if I brought it I would be tempted to use it and not spend as much time looking through the SFL as I should to write a proper review, so I put temptation behind me by leaving the SF at home.

Lee
 
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Maljunulo

Well-known member
In the midst of some of the raging controversies on here, one cannot help but wonder just how well some posters can see.

The observer’s visual acuity would seem to be a rather large part of the equation, especially in cases where instruments of widely different prices are pronounced as the same, or virtually the same. (optically)

It becomes annoying when those who do see a difference are derided as “fanboys” or deemed biased toward a particular manufacturer by those who do not. (see a difference)
 
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Brummie

Well-known member
Thanks for the review. Good to see some support for the 10x40.

I have a pair. I wanted to try them out against my 10x32 SF. As I've stated elsewhere, I think the SFs are really exceptional, other than occasional blackouts being a bit annoying.

I didn't get a chance to compare them head-to-head, as the SFLs arrived just before I moved to East Africa, and I'd already packed up the SFs to go in our shipping container. My general impression of the SFLs was that that they are very good, but wouldn't take the place of the SFs in my affections, so I decided I'd sell them. The container is arriving at the end of next week, though, so perhaps I'll finally do that head-to-head comparison.

I now want to try out the SFL 8x30, when they appear. As I already have the Curio 7x21 and VP 8x25, I think they might replace the 8x25s, and be a perfect companion to a lightweight scope.
 
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Maljunulo

Well-known member
Through persistent and long-term fiddling, I have managed to pretty much eliminate kidney beans, or blackouts (or whatever you call them) but it required a lot of fiddling.

SF 8X32
 

PeterPS

Well-Known Member
Kiribati
Excellent write-up, Lee, with lots of extra info.
You said: "But best of all were the regular flocks of Barnacle Geese, one of which was certainly over 700 strong". I guess to count them you used the well known method of counting the legs and then divided by two.
 

Brummie

Well-known member
Through persistent and long-term fiddling, I have managed to pretty much eliminate kidney beans, or blackouts (or whatever you call them) but it required a lot of fiddling.

SF 8X32
Growing up, I was always told too much fiddling would cause a permanent blackout. (Titter, titter. Oooh, matron!)

Never had any problems with the 8x32 SF, though. And I don't find the 10x32 much of a problem in actual use (as opposed to just scanning around to look at the optics). Typically, these issues get better with time as you become more accustomed to the bins.
 

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