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Engineered to overcome the challenges faced during deep twilight observation, the Zeiss Victory HT binocular garners the interest of all optics enthusiasts. The high-transmission lenses offer light transmission capable of delivering critical details even in the most challenging conditions. Paired with the superior brightness of the Abbe-Konig roof prisms and the maximum image sharpness and color correction of flouride lenses, HT lenses provide new standards for unrivaled brightness. The comfortable, innovative ergonomics of the Zeiss HT binocular and the excellent, water-repelling action of the LotuTec® coating makes this binocular a perfect companion for the long days and rugged use of all your outdoor activities. Zeiss provides a limited lifetime transferable warranty.
FL Glass Objective Lenses
Enhance resolution, color, and contrast.
Schott High Transmission (HT) Glass Ocular Lenses
Enhance resolution, color, and contrast.
Fully Multi-coated Lenses
Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. T*Coatings.
Enhances resolution and contrast through roof prisms.
Appreciated for a streamlined shape and durability.
Is sturdy and resistant to corrosion.
Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
Twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
Center Focus Wheel
Adjusts both binocular barrels at the same time.
Right Eye Diopter
Adjusts for differences in a user's eyes. Located by the center focus wheel.
Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular.
Barrels are filled with nitrogen gas to inhibit internal fogging.
I bought a decent pair of binocs (modestly priced Kahles 8x42)when I first started birding several years ago, but after looking through several friends' Swarovski's and seeing the difference, I knew I needed to upgrade. Also, my first out-of-country birding trip is scheduled for March 2014 and I wanted something I could really see those brightly colored birds with. Since I had a fantastic Zeiss scope, I decided to check out the Zeiss binoculars and have not been disappointed. The price is something you just have to gulp and accept, but the super clear vision a person can see when looking through them is worth it. I was concerned about the length of them which was quite a bit more than my old pair, but my woman hands handle them quite nicely. It's pure delight to raise these glasses up to my eyes even in low light conditions. I go out birding at least 3-4 times a week and these have performed well in all conditions so far. I use my old pair in the house looking at backyard birds and I can't believe I stuck with that old pair so long. I put them down and run for the Zeiss pair! I hope to continue birding for many more years and these should be the last pair I will ever need.
As good as it gets
Rick U. from Modesto, CA
Having had all of the "alpha" binoculars I can fully appreciate why the professional reviewers can't quite declare a winner at the highest level. The image quality in a Leica, Zeiss or Swarovski is outstanding and one's preference ultimately comes down to issues like color saturation, field of view, brightness, ergonomics and focusing mechanisms/speed. Having said that, I am of the opinion that the newest offering by Zeiss does all of these things quite well and even if it is not categorically superior to the competition it is unexcelled when all of the variables are taken into consideration. The addition of the no fault warranty is also a major plus, although these HT's appear to be very robust in their construction and housing. If one is looking for the best in binoculars, the new Zeiss Victory HT's are about as good as it gets.
a top-notch instrument, but not perfect
hayleyBirder from Pennsylvania
This is the first pair of top-notch optics I have ever owned, and my experience in moving up to this level of optics has led me to conclude that the improvement over mid-level optics is not worth the price. I was also going to upgrade my spotting scope too, but after owning these, I will NOT do that. The diopter adjustment is very stiff, to the point I have to take the binoculars away from my eyes to get a good enough grip on it with my fingers to make it turn. Also, it is extremely precise. It took a long time to get it set because being so hard to turn, it is hard to set it precisely where it needs to be. And if it is off just a fraction of a degree, because the optics are so good, you get immediate eyestrain and ultimately a headache. If you are not used to top-notch optics, this can be frustrating, as I did not have this problem with my cheaper bins. (I often get the urge to grab my old bins.) The lens cover cord is too short, so that it sometimes gets stretched when I am pulling the shoulder strap to adjust it around my neck (a minor problem). There is no doubt this is a sturdy instrument, the optics are bright and clear, loaded with quality. But if you're expecting perfection, you won't get it. I will probably resell these and go back to a low-$1,000 good quality product, as I can't justify the extra $800-$1,000 for very minor improvements, while retaining some problems anyway. (You can buy problems for a lot less.) I used to think, when I was using my old bins, that if I had ZEISS, I would be able to ID that bird. Now when I can't ID the bird, I know its because it's not possible. Problem is, I am still finding birds I can not see well enough to ID. I can be in that situation for a lot less money. And I have learned now that even with the best, I will not see every bird well enough to ID it. (I paid a lot of money for that lesson!) In Consumer Reports terminology, these are at the top of the ratings, but they are definitely NOT a "Best Buy." If you're currently using mid-range bins, I doubt if you bought these that you will ID any more birds than you are getting now.
Right up there
Bill from Ohio
I have had the Zeiss Victory 8x42 T* HT bins almost from the day they were made available to the public in December, 2012. I've used them in the field casually a number of times and did one extensive overseas birding trip that involved dawn to dusk (and beyond) birding every day for about three weeks.
I'd love to tell you that they blow away everything else out there, but that would be rather silly. At this level, the top offerings of several major brands can be nearly indistinguishable in terms of optical performance. And where distinctions do exist, they typically take the form of trade-offs. The idea that one offering will completely dominate the field is pretty unrealistic.
What I can tell you is that these bins offer a no-holds-barred assault on state-of-the-art. Optically, images are very crisp and detailed. I've had a slight preference for the Zeiss "you are there" brightness and clarity for years; these are perhaps not quite as bright subjectively as the previous Victory models; I suspect that they are better on the test bench, but still have the typical Zeiss "closer to reality" look. It's hard to express, but in my experience using Zeiss binoculars is like simply walking closer to whatever you are looking at. Obviously any binoculars bring you "closer" to the subject, but with Zeiss I tend to be less conscious of the intervening optics and feel more directly involved with the subject. As they say, your mileage may vary.
As with previous Victory models, some chromatic abberation (purple fringing) can be seen if you look for it in test situations, but in real life I rarely to never notice any such thing. The color rendition is very neutral as well. In careful tests of resolution against a few competitors, these bins stack up very well. OK, the top models from each major manufacturer all are outstanding; while the Zeiss are at least as good as any, it really is difficult to see real world differences in this department.
For me, the big plus is field of view: it's huge. As might be expected, that gives rise to some slight distortion at the edges of the field, but again nothing noticeable when using them, as opposed to when testing. The one drawback is that the eye relief is a little less than I would like, although for most people if will be more than adequate. (I wear glasses and have deep set eyes, so there aren't many choices that work for me.) And the eye relief is way better than some competitors (Leica, are you listening?), though not up to the best of the Swarovski line or the rather amazing Nikons.
In addition, the ergonomics of these are great. They feel light and well-balanced in the hand; the focus wheel is very smooth and takes little effort to move but is stable. Speaking of focus, I find that I hunt for focus somewhat less with these than I have with, say, Nikon Premieres; these pop into focus pretty easily. (Yes, that's another subjective judgment but that's consistently my experience.) They also feel close to indestructible. Granted, I've not tried to destroy them, but they do feel solid and rigid; it seems unlikely that purchasers will have much call to use the excellent warranty. (BTW, I have sent "classic" Zeiss binoculars in for repair in the past, very much a no hassle experience with quick turnaround.)
A few other usage notes: The rain guard actually is usable and useful, which is not nearly as common as you might think! The objective lens covers are, as typical, pretty useless in the field but I do pop them on for storage; no big deal either way. The case is a lined soft side nylon/suede affair; that may sound wimpy but the case, like the binoculars, shows no sighs of wear after hard use and has the huge advantage over a hard shell case of packing easily in a carryon bag. Finally, and this is subjective indeed, I think these look pretty nice. The finish is mostly a grainy flat black (trust me, looks good) with some aesthetically pleasing accents and a couple of partially squared lines that shape the barrels quite nicely. As mentioned above, after some fairly hard use they show no wear or scuffs at all.
I previously used 10x bins and admit that I miss the extra power at least sometimes. But I really enjoy the wide, wide field (those pesky kinglets have a harder time escaping my view now!), not to mention the excellent ergonomics. Very much recommended.
Simply, I love these binoculars
Steve K. from Boise,ID
First, I must say that I was hesitant to spend this much on a pair of binoculars. I really was skeptical that there could be that much difference to make the higher cost justifiable. However, as I read reviews, they all said to buy as high as you can afford. So I took that advise to heart as I started my search.
I went to several local stores and looked at all price ranges. Unfortunately, none of them had these Zeiss binoculars, but I did look seriously at the Swarovski's, which they all seemed to have (except in 8x42). They were very nice, but there is only so much that you can tell in a store. But they did stand out when compared with the others that looked at.
I really wanted to try the Zeiss before I bought, since I had read some good reviews on them. Since I could not see them, and my local stores did not have the 8x42 Swarovski's in stock, I decided to take a chance and order the Zeiss 8x42 from Eagle Optics, which had the best price, best shipping deal, and an excellent return policy. I figured I could always return them if I was not impressed with the Zeiss.
This turned out to be one of the best shopping moves I have ever made. These binoculars wow me every day, and I have had these for almost two months now! I have used them every day since they arrived, mostly in my backyard, but also at some local birding spots.
Is the extra cost worth it? I can say without any hesitation that it is. My doubts all disappeared after I had the chance to use these for an afternoon. The optics are amazing and they are so comfortable to use. The focus wheel is the smoothest and most natural feeling of any of the binoculars that I tried. I can honestly say that I could not be more pleased than I am with these Zeiss 8x42s. They are a joy to use. I simply love them!
Zeiss Victory 8x42 T*HT
Vince C. from DeWitt, MI
I've had my Zeiss Victory HT for about a month now and I can't express enough how impressed I am with them everytime I hold them up to my eyes. The first thing you notice about them is how clear and bright the image is when you first look through them. I have heard someone else use the analogy that when you compare them with another binocular "its like when you take the protective plastic covering off of the screen of a cell phone or tablet" and I believe that is pretty accurate. Compared with my old Nikon 8X32 Superior E (an excellent binocular and one that saw me through nearly 13 years of field work in often tough conditions)the image is just far and above clearer and brighter. I've been truly impressed with their performance in low light conditions and I have to say the image quality stays high even during twilight.
I am a wildlife biologist and often need to read color bands so high resolution and clear color transmission is very important to me and the victory HT does not disappoint at all in this regard. They have a pretty wide "sweet spot" with only a very small area at the very edge of the image that may not be in focus at all times. All in all optically they compare well with their Leica and Swarovski brethren and I think surpass them a bit in brightness and perhaps resolution.
I love the design and can easily hold and focus them with one hand. They may be a bit on the heavy end for some people who are used to a mid-size binocular but for someone like me with big hands they are just about perfect and I prefer the design a bit over the Swarovski ELs. They are well armored and the grip feels good in the hands.
So far the only flaw I have seen (aside of course from the price, which like all of the "alpha" binoculars now is very expensive) is the eye cups. They are a little loose and have slipped out of position (I have eye glasses) multiple times. Its not a huge issue but something I wouldn't have expected on otherwise so fine an instrument.
I recommend them highly to anyone who wants what is probably very close to if not the best image quality in any binocular available today.