No, this post is not about a battle between the two top optical brands, nor a side by side sophisticated review. This post simply reflects my actual personal preference of the desired ultimate optical products for my needs. Last year, at the British BridFair, I could enjoy my time with the magical Swarovski ATX 30-70×95 modular scope. That was a kind of love at first sight.
Besides looking through probably the best equipment for my shorebird watching/counting needs, I came across another optical masterpiece, the Zeiss Victory HT x42 binoculars. Just a couple of minutes were enough to fall in love again. No, I am not cheating… I want them both. ‘Sadly’, money talks, so those extraordinary pair of binoculars is coming sooner than the modular scope, but they are coming for sure.
While I had a very very poor and careless customer care experience with one of the branches of the InFocus group, I tried to enjoy my time with a pair of Zeiss Victory HT 10×42 binoculars.
The brightness of those lenses was simply mind blowing. I have never ever experienced such a great light transmission capability than that of the Victory HT binoculars have. Zeiss says:
A revolution with up to more than 95% light transmission.
Indeed the feeding birds in the dark tree looked way brighter than I could see them with naked eyes. The sharpness is literally edge-to-edge, the balance and feel excellent and the close focus is brilliant. The focusing wheel is dreamy smooth. I have spent enough time in tough light conditions at the Old Lake of Tata with one of my best friends, László Musicz, while searching and counting night roosting wild geese before they blasted off by a hunting White-tailed Eagle. By using poor optical equipments we simply should not have had a chance to get even an estimate of the numbers if they left the lake at dawn.
At the moment the only hesitation is whether I should buy the 8x or 10x model. I tend to vote for the wider field of view than the larger magnification though I have never used an 8x model.