The new Zeiss Victory SF binocular is the best bird watcher’s binocular in the world, according to Zeiss. And they may be right. But it’s just as effective for hunting. Thanks to a newly designed objective lens system, a seven-lens eyepiece, dielectric prism mirrors, SCHOTT glass, multiple fluoride lenses and all the best Zeiss lens coatings, 92 percent of the light that enters this binocular exits the eyepieces. You’ll want it, but probably can’t afford it. That shouldn’t stop you from dreaming and drooling, however, because some day, some day...
Yeah, it’s bright. But that’s not all. Here are five things you need to know.
1. It's lightweight. You know how some binoculars seem to hang from your neck like an albatross and tire your hand as you hold them up? At 27.5 ounces the 10x42 Victory SF is an ounce or two lighter than most top-end 10x42s. More significantly, its weight has been pushed back toward the eyepiece rather than out near the objectives. This keeps the unit nestled against your face rather than pulling away from it.
2. There's a wide field of view that's sharp, edge to edge. Wide fields of view are nothing new, but sharp ones are. Zeiss uses a field flattener lens to keep the edges as sharp as the center despite covering 360 feet at 1,000 yards (36 feet at 100 yards.)
3. You can fast focus. You know how you have to crank and crank to get some binoculars to focus from the end of the field to the buck sneaking under your tree stand? Not this one. A fast-focus ring gets you from infinity to five feet in 1.8 turns of the wheel.
4. It's Strong. Three hinge bridges connect the two barrels. Armor coated, waterproof and dustproof, too.
5. It's expensive. MSRP of $2945 may keep this in dreamland for most of us, but if you’re going to dream, dream big.