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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Zeiss SFL in Field use robust? (1 Viewer)


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How robust is the Zeiss SFL 8x40 in practice? Is there already experience?

I bought mine in August last year, and I can see two things. The focus is very stiff, this was a little better at first, but then came to a standstill.

The rubber reinforcement is slightly arched on the inside of the tubes. In the places where you put your fingers down.

I use the glass a lot at the moment, because I really like the form factor, the low weight, and the color reproduction. Now it's time for a vacation in the mountains, but I'm considering taking the 8x40 SFL or the 8x42SF with me. The SFL has a much thinner rubber reinforcement like the SF. How do the binoculars keep themselves in harsh conditions?
Has anyone already tested him while traveling in a hard everyday life?
The focus wheel on mine was very stiff out of the box. I sent them in for warranty repair and Zeiss sent a replacement.

Mine have not really been heavily used (all day, everyday), but are my primary bin. No issues with the replacement pair so far.
Used my SFL quite a bit this spring in a variety of environments and they’ve held up quite well with one notable exception. The SFs were my go-to, everyday glass for several years. They‘ve held up exceptionally well on trips to the several mountain ranges of Spain, the rugged mountains of Turkey, and extended wilderness expeditions in the the Mackenzie Mountains of NWT, Canada, and the mountains of Far East Siberia. IME they are rugged enough for the mountains.

The weak point of both the SFL and SF are the eyecups. They are flimsy. Any blow or significant pressure will cause the detents to strip and require a replacement. I’ve gone through a few on my SFs, and just had my first failure with the SFL. A fall from the car seat to the rubber floor mat was enough. But, according to the Zeiss reps I’ve spoken with, they designed them to be basically a disposable item, so the eye cup will take the brunt of an impact. Anyway, I find it an annoyance, but otherwise thoroughly enjoy both the SFL and SF.

BTW - I find the SF focuser among the best ever and noticeably smoother than the SFL, however I find the SFL quite refined and not unduly stiff.
traveling in a hard everyday life?
Where the heck are you - Antarctica?? Nepal?? I find my 8x40, which gets used a lot, sufficiently robust for everyday outings with dogs in fields and woods and birding in the mountains in Europe. The armor attracts dust and exhibits fingerprints and the like, but that’s the only complaint I have so far. The focuser is buttersmooth on mine.
I use the SFL 8x40 almost daily. Had it out in subzero temperature as well as dry and hot. It feels like it can take a beating and I have had zero issues with regards to handling, gloves, no gloves, hot or cold.
I treat my binos well but I don’t like binos I have to be ”delicate” with.

My focuser is the same as when I bought it. Firm, but not stiff. Works great, hope it stays the same over time.

Passed by the binoholic store and fondled some glass today, waiting on a friend, and the SFL 30 had a very stiff focuser. Even, but stiffer than I like ’em.

They were supposed to have the Leica Geovid 15x56 R in stock, but they were ”fresh out”. I would like to have a look through it, just for kicks.
The SFL 8x40 are currently my go-to binos and I have used them a lot since December on hikes here in the Velebit mountains as well as in the Wienerwald. Imvho they are robust enough. I carry them in a AGC Kodiak Cub Max. The focus wheel is firm but not stiff like the Habicht wheels, and that suits me fine.
I've bought mine (8x40) last august. After my first seawatch, I think some beach-sandparticles found their way into my focuswheel and the wheel got stuck for 3-4 times after that. I just pressed through it. Ever since I feel like the wheel itself has become more uneven and a little more stiff. I think I am going to send them in and ask them if they can make it rotate smoother again. I have been using them day after day after day in normal birding and 'take a look at everything' conditions as well as in more demanding fieldwork in the Scandinavian mountains. My eyebrowes have slightly shaped the form of the eyecups but that's non of an issue. The view through them is brilliant. I don't see any difference in viewing 'Quality'(!) when comparing (many times) SF-Noctivid-Swaro's over and over again.

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