Thursday, March 1, 2007

"Compacts-Take Me Away!"

MARCH 1st:

---I hope the old saying of "in like a lion, out like a lamb" holds true. Today is definitely "a lion" for many parts of the country so why not take a break from the road and weather reports and read about the wonderful world of high end compact binoculars. I trust you found the last blog post regarding the Nikon Premier LX L 8x20 to be informative. Today spotlights the Zeiss Victory Compact 8x20 B T*. These compacts plus the Leica Ultravid 8x20 and Swarovski 8x20 make this a class of optics I have fallen in love with! The handy size and high performance views are like therapy; a getaway from your hectic, overloaded lifestyle. What could be more refreshing than having these binoculars at your fingertips for looking at nature's beauty outside the office window, or a butterfly spotted on a walk? Read on to discover if a Zeiss Victory 8x20 binocular might top your gift list.

Zeiss heralds their Victory FL binoculars as their "most superb, state of the art binocular". Lucky for compact users and fans of Zeiss, the same high quality performance has been integrated into their Zeiss B T* 8x20 Victory. Zeiss Fluoride glass (FL) performs as promised to provide very good edge sharpness. I noticed only slight color aberration and field curvature. Resolution was also very good and comparable to the Swarovski 8x20. The contrast between light and dark areas proved above average, equaling the Swarovski and the Leica Ultravid performances. Color displayed a little less brightness when looking at whites and I did not observe quite the same depth and luminance exhibited by the other three in this category. This compact offers a wide field of view at 351 feet/1000 yards and was the second largest of the four compacts compared.

While the Zeiss Victory Compact is a roof prism like the others in its class, Zeiss's design choices make this compact unique. The most obvious difference is Zeiss's single, left of center hinge which aligns with the focus wheel and diopter. The focus wheel is located at the top of the hinge by the left ocular lens. The diopter sits at the other end by the left objective lens. Once you get a grip on the smooth diopter knob, actually moving the small wheel could be a challenge because of its closeness to the objective lens.

Personally I felt the Zeiss Victory was slightly less favorable in ergonomics and build quality due to the feel of the off-center hinge. Yet the size of 4"Hx3.8"W, and weight of 7.9oz makes this lighter and somewhat more compact than the Nikon. The binocular works best by holding it barely away from your eyes and the lockable push-pull eyecups maneuver easily. The Victory comes with a Velcro black Cordura pouch and belt loop attachment. The lifetime transferable warranty, waterproof and fogproof features, plus a company with a history of excellence, makes the Zeiss Victory Compact a dependable choice for many uses.

Heads up "Leica Admirers". The Leica Ultravid 8x20 compact is next.


Eagle Optics Staff

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