On a recent birding trip, my backup pair of bins was stolen, and I finally got around to replacing it. I thought about buying a less expensive selection, but my wife convinced me to get a good set and retire my current ones to backup. After consulting numerous sites on the web, I selected these for my new pair. I am delighted with the choice. I chose to get 8 rather than 10 power to take advantage of the larger field of view they provide. I find that I don't miss the extra magnification for most birding, and these are definitely better for dragonflies and butterflies.
The focusing is superb: from infinity to about 6 feet (2 meters) requires a mere 1.5 turns of the wheel. The optics, as you would expect from Zeiss, are sharp, with no color aberration.
Like most new binocs, these are completely waterproof and nitrogen sealed to prevent fogging.
The eyecups twist to accommodate eyeglass wearers. Unlike some other binocs I own, these have several intermediate settings, each with an easily detected click, that lets you set the eye relief to just the level you want.
The diopter adjustment is set by pulling up on the focusing ring, eliminating an extra wheel. Once set, you lock the adjustment in place to prevent slippage.
There are many good binoculars available today, in many different price ranges. These are definitely intended for the SERIOUS user, someone such as me who takes them along even when walking the dog around the neighborhood.
I have been birding for more than 35 years, and have watched the equipment available get better each year. These new Zeiss may let their manufacturer reclaim the position at the top of the heap, where it sat for many years.
If you can afford the price, you'll love these binoculars.
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Thought about a cheaper option and did manage to save something on these 'refurbished' victory's. At the end of the day though this is probably the last pair of binocs I'll buy -so stuff it -why not get some quality? They really are a joy to handle and use and although they are probably too good for my fading eyesight they still give birding an added pleasure. Rememeber though folks, if you are buying ex USA into NZ probably a good idea to keep it under $1000 to avoid that nasty little GST bill from NZ customs!
Bought these at a store that stocked Zeiss, Leica, Swaro and Nikon top-of-the-line bins, and allowed me to take all four outdoors for instant comparison on a cloudy late afternoon. My ranking was: Zeiss FL, Swaro 8.5 EL, Leica, Nikon, in that order. Zeiss were sharper, brighter, better with glasses and felt better in the hands. Zeiss were also slightly less expensive, so it wasn't hard to make the choice. Hint: optically there's nothing wrong with the older Zeiss ClassiCs. For up close woodland birding -- warblers, thrushes, vireos, etc. -- where a large field of view, depth of field, a steady hold and great brightness are vital, it's hard to beat the Zeiss ClassiC 7X42. If most of your birding is at close range, check these out before dropping the big bucks on the Victory FL 8X42. But if you do everything from hawks to hummers, the 8X42s are the best compromise.
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