Friday, February 14, 2014

Full- or mid-sized Zeiss bin for a 70-year-old birder?

Dear Eagle Optics,

I am considering giving myself a special birthday present. For the last 20+ years I have used Bausch & Lomb Elite 8x42.  

From what I've read present-day optics and such are much much improved.  Cannot find any top-of-the-line bins in my area to try out and actually handle, but I am intrigued by reports on both the  Zeiss Victory 8x42 T* HT Binocular or the Zeiss Victory 8x32 T* FL LT Binocular.  

Do you think that one is apt to be better for me than the other?  Compared to what I am used to?  Given my age?...almost 70.  

Do you anticipate putting either model on sale this spring?

Many thanks,

Karin H.


Hi Karen,

Thanks for your inquiry. Those are both fantastic binoculars with top-notch glass, and I think you would probably be happy with either one. However, there are some differences between the two.

The Zeiss Victory 8x42 T* HT Binocular does have notably better optics – a brighter image with less chromatic aberration (color fringing), and better edge-to-edge sharpness.  However, it is a  larger binocular with long barrels, 6.3 inches long and weighs 27.7 ounces, which some people may find too large/heavy for everyday use.

The Zeiss Victory 8x32 T* FL LT Binocular won’t have those quite the optical quality that I listed above, and it also won’t be as bright an image in low light (dawn and dusk) as with a 42mm lens, just in terms of light gathering ability.  However, it is a great mid-sized binocular--nice and compact at 4.6 inches long and 19.75 ounces. It does also has a slightly wider field of view than the 8x42.  So it’s probably up to your personal choice and budget as to which you would prefer: whether the size and weight of the 42s is a fair tradeoff for the  increase in optic quality.

I don’t know currently of any upcoming sales, but both of these models are available as demos, which we receive directly from the manufacturer and just means that they have been used for something like displays or at a trade show but are still in top condition and the optics are like-new. The 8x32 demos run at $1,399, and the 8x42s at $1,899, which are both great deals for these pieces.

I hope this helps, and please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any other questions!


Eagle Optics

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