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Zeiss Victory SF and HT - technical data, diagrams, cutaway views and more (1 Viewer)

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
After I recently posted the introductory tables about Swarovski, Zeiss and Leica roof prism binoculars, Troubador PM’d with a query about the Zeiss table
This prompted me to refer to what I’d downloaded about the SF and HT models, and it occurred to me that the information would be of wider interest

Attached below is:
1) The introductory SF brochure of 60 pages
Although it’s primarily about the SF there are a lot of comparisons to the HT

In relation to the ergonomic advantage of the SF demonstrated in the diagrams on pages 18 and 19,
my practice with the EL SV is to simply place my middle finger on the bridge arm, so that the index finger then lies straight across the focuser

2) A correctly labelled version of the diagram shown on page 13 above

This version is from the Zeiss publication ‘Beyond’ from 2015

3) Patent US9459441 covering the main aspects of the hinge design
It also includes another diagram of the optical construction

Also, Gijs van Ginkel has posted some clear photos of a cutaway SF (including one in comparison to a Swarovski EL SV) here:
https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3189335&postcount=29

4) The introductory HT brochure, and

5) The clearest version that I could find of this cutaway HT image (it’s from Allbinos: https://www.allbinos.com/305-binoculars_review-Carl_Zeiss_Victory_HT_10x42.html )


OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

TRANSMISSION DATA
GIJS van GINKEL
Gijs of course provides the most comprehensive source of transmission data. His reviews typically contain several comparative graphs,
see: https://www.houseofoutdoor.com/verrekijkers/verrekijkers-testen-en-vergelijken/
A test of the SF 8x42 can be found here: https://www.houseofoutdoor.com/wp-c...Leica-Swarovski-en-Zeiss-def-MAART-2016-1.pdf
And one of the HT 8x42 here: https://www.houseofoutdoor.com/testrapporten/Test_Zeiss_Victory_HT.pdf


ALLBINOS

Allbinos also includes a transmission graph in many of it’s reviews at: https://www.allbinos.com
I find it a useful secondary source as it includes models that Gijs has not tested
But be aware that the data from Allbinos and Gijs cannot be directly compared
- as they use different methodologies, they produce different measurements of the same transmission in a particular model of binocular
However, the Allbinos data seems to show the same relative outcomes as Gijs’ does - the ranking of models is consistent - high is high, low is low


REVIEWS
ROGER VINE
Roger Vine of ScopeViews provides a set of comprehensive reviews. Although his overall perspective is that of astronomical use:
- much of his comment is relevant to general use, and
- he also specifically addresses terrestrial use (see the sections: In Use - Daytime, and - Dusk, and; the Summary)

Roger has reviewed both the Zeiss SF 10x42 and the HT 10x54, and a list of his reviews can be found here: http://www.scopeviews.co.uk/BinoReviews.htm
Unlike many other reviewers, he mainly concentrates on models of 10x and larger, and those with 50 or 56 mm objectives


TOBIAS MENNLE
Tobias Mennle provides another useful source of information at his Greatest Binoculars website: http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/index.html

Tobias conducted a mammoth review of premium 8x42 binoculars, including both the Zeiss SF and HT models
and the summary page can be found here: http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/allpages/reviews/shootouts/shootoutpremier8x42s/8x42shootout.html

What seems to me to be the most significant - though largely unappreciated - point to be taken from the review,
is that Tobias allows transmission (via Gijs’ data) to be put into context with other design considerations
He allows us to consider objectively high transmission verses subjective brightness and image quality
i.e. how the image is perceived by the viewer - particularly under demanding conditions

The difficulty for the new reader to get to this point, is to move past the mass of the data in the summary page
One way to reduce things to a manageable size is to - after an initial read through:
- only consider the Zeiss HT and the Leica HD Plus
- and only in relation to their optical performance

Both perform really well across the optical criteria. However, as per Gijs, we know that while the HT has the highest measured transmission, the HD Plus has the lowest
As to why the performance is so, see Tobias' comments at: http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/allpages/articles/itsthebaffling.html


I hope the above will give people new insights into the SF and HT models

John
 

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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
John A Roberts;3792151 Attached below is: 1) The introductory SF brochure of 60 pages Although it’s primarily about the SF there are a lot of comparisons to the HT In relation to the ergonomic advantage of the SF demonstrated in the diagrams on pages 18 and 19 said:
John
I do the same with EL and something similar with Leica's Noctivid too.

But if one agrees with the idea that the open bridge design is there to facilitate gripping the opitical tube securely with three fingers while comfortably using the first finger to focus, then both EL and Noctivid fail to deliver this as you have to abandon this grip in order to deliver the first finger to the focuser or put up with your first finger being bent to reach the focuser.

This doesn't mean that one can't grip and use EL or Noctivid successfully but that they might as well have not bothered with the open bridge format.

Below is a pic of Carina Schiestel Swarovski showing how Swaro envisaged the EL being gripped. She is using the three-fingered grip of the optical tube and tolerating the angling of the first finger necessary to reach the focuser. It is this that SF avoids.

If you only use your binos briefly before using your scope then SF's advantage may not be significant for you but if you use your binos for extended periods, to view behaviour for example, then the SF is more comfortable in my opinion.

Lee
 

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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
In relation to the ergonomic advantage of the SF demonstrated in the diagrams on pages 18 and 19,
my practice with the EL SV is to simply place my middle finger on the bridge arm, so that the index finger then lies straight across the focuser........
John

I have to agree with this wholeheartedly.

That is spot on. :t:

In fact it's exactly the way that I hold my Zen-Ray ED3 - perhaps the best ergonomics in the business. With it's curved hump in the middle bridge, it is super comfortable to place your middle finger there, and the oversized focus wheel means you can operate the (thankfully) fast focus wheel in a push/pull arrangement with both forefingers.

Quite simply there is no faster, better focusing ergonomics (absolute zero gap) in the business.

I really could have done with the extra 20ft FOV of the SF today, but I refuse to buy a compromised instrument for that price.
Part of the supposed 'touted' ergonomics of the SF is based in fact - the wide spaced objective set with doublet front and FL elements, and the extra element moved to the eyepiece. Fair enough.
The other part though of the 'rearward weight bias' is contrived. Smoke and mirrors. BS. Contrived in that the holding point is artificially moved so far forward of the c of g that the bins cannot help but tip backwards about the holding pivot point (if I hold my Zens by the front of the objective tubes I can get them to do exactly the same thing - more so - obviously) . The big drawback of this contrivance though is the increased distance of the hands from the body - introducing a much larger turning moment of force about the shoulder - something I notice dramatically. A massive negative.

I would far prefer it if the bridge on the SF was reversed, along with of course speeding up the pokey Slow Focuser (saying it's faster than the pedestrian SV is no great claim to fame - and none too 'Smart' in my book :)

Apart from that I also refuse to pay that amount of money for something so lacking in blue transmission spectrum that it has a green ham colour cast to my (and some others) eyes.

Perhaps Zeiss will address all these issues in a 2.0 version replete with CFRP chassis, though they should probably realise that the whole world has already moved on to Magnesium Metal Matrix Composites and Carbotanium by now - heck there may even be room in there for some transparent compressed cellulose lenses by then to really shake things up - beam me up Scotty! :)





Chosun :gh:
 

dries1

Member
Zen

The Zen Ray kind of looks like a Bushnell Legend, does it have the same fov?

Andy W.
 

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james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
It's all personal preference so it would be nice if people stopped making their personal preference appear universal.

Not the SF, but I find the ergo's of the HT (compared to the 12 other bins I have) to be the best - best hand-feel, best balance and best ease-of-use.....but that's just me....;)
 

dries1

Member
Yes James it is down to personal preference, EDG here hands down at last for my eyes along with the Leica. I like a glass the size of a 8X42 not a 10X50, unless it is a UV 10X50.

Andy W.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
It's all personal preference so it would be nice if people stopped making their personal preference appear universal.

Not the SF, but I find the ergo's of the HT (compared to the 12 other bins I have) to be the best - best hand-feel, best balance and best ease-of-use.....but that's just me....;)

HT was an eye opener for me with regard to handling and I always said its handling improvements over FL was as important as its optical improvements.

Lee
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
The Zen Ray kind of looks like a Bushnell Legend, does it have the same fov?

Andy W.
That picture illustrates the Zen's nicely sculpted curvy bridge well.

Yes, it is exactly (or near as dammit - there appear to be different iterations of coatings of each floating around) the same as the Bushnell Legend M optically. The Zen eyecups are pretty sweet too - totally maximising the available ER if you wear glasses. Their feel and quality puts the high $ Zeiss SF to shame.

Bushnell have put it in a slightly different chassis (possibly some derivation too?) - supposedly it has less focus slack - but there is wide unit to unit variation at this price point. The general rule seems to be less focus tension = more slack, stiffer focus tension = less slack ..... worthwhile noting if your are in the Outback or Death Valley in summer, or conversely a Montana, Saskatchewan, or Alaskan winter, etc. It's a matter of striking a happy medium for your climate and preferences.

For what it is worth, the Bushnell has none of the sensuous curves of the Zen, and has opted for more Vortex Talon like 'Predator' ridges, cutaways, and surfacing. For something so dimensionally similar it feels nowhere as good in the hand. (It is also currently available, supported, and generally much cheaper than the Zen was too).

The Zen-Ray ED3 is still :king:

Sorry to say (for some), but this is more of a universal thing than not o:)

It is also rather moot since the Zen-Ray's have now attained "classic" status, what with the company being effectively defunct.



Chosun :gh:
 
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dries1

Member
ZRay

Here is a possible replacement for the Zenrays, now that the Co. is gone. A bit on the heavy side though.

Andy W.
 

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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
After watching the Ultravid Plus video Ad last year, I started holding the bino like Nanette does in the video; index finger on the lower wheel where your hand aligns more comfortably and finger rests straight across with no reaching/bending upwards. Occasionally, I'll revert back to using two fingers (one on each wheel from my right hand), but I found Nanette's way is more ergonomic and guessing this was always the intended way to hold the Ultravid (see pic from video).

Regarding SF, I did find it comfortable and the placement of the focus wheel forward a bit made it feel more natural to hold. I think they did a good job with it.
 

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NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
The Zeiss Victory SF does have the best ergos of all of the full sized binoculars. I tried the Zeiss
Victory HT, and was not sure where to place my fingers, that is not good, and I can see why Zeiss
has cancelled that one. The Zeiss Victory FL is better than that.

The Victory SF is better than the Swarovski EL models in my opinion. Zeiss went all out with the
design, the balance and handling are superb.

Jerry
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
James for a few hundred or less, what should one expect these days.

Andy W.

Many users [myself and friends included] suffered through snapping dioptre rings in the Ultra HD's - I just thought they would ditch that and make it something more durable.

The plastic rings on the HD were even snapping due to cold, so they were particularly unfieldworthy, IMO.
 

PHA

Well-known member
Hello,

To me, the 42 Zeiss HT have the best ergonomics of all binoculars I have had or tried! When I pick it up, my hands fall naturally in the right place without any stretch or additional finger movement.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
How I hold the Swarovski 8.5x42 ELSV, which I find superb for handling, but not as perfect as the 8x32 EL or Zeiss 7x42 BGATP!

I focus using both index and middle fingers.

--AP
 

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Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
Many users [myself and friends included] suffered through snapping dioptre rings in the Ultra HD's - I just thought they would ditch that and make it something more durable.

The plastic rings on the HD were even snapping due to cold, so they were particularly unfieldworthy, IMO.

Plastic rings can be super durable, but those ones on the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD were made out of some kind of material that spontaneously self-destructed in a year or two or three, regardless of treatment. I'm sure Bushnell got many returns for that problem alone. Let's hope they spec'ed a better polymer for the newer models such as the M.

--AP
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Plastic rings can be super durable, but those ones on the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD were made out of some kind of material that spontaneously self-destructed in a year or two or three, regardless of treatment. I'm sure Bushnell got many returns for that problem alone. Let's hope they spec'ed a better polymer for the newer models such as the M.

--AP

Alexis:

Rest easy, Bushnell uses metal in the Legend M series diopter ring.
I use the tooth test, very scientific. For those in the know, that works well. ;)

It seems Bushnell changes binocular models as often as some change underwear.

Jerry
 

SuperDuty

Well-known member
I remember being impressed with the HT I tried.
 

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