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Binoculars review

Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42

Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42
8 July 2016
Optyczne.pl 
In February 2012, right before the IWA fairs, two Zeiss models belonging to a brand new Victory HT series were launched on the market: the 8x42 and the 10x42.


At that time everybody thought these two were fully-fledged successors of the Victory FL series although at first glance there were few differences between them and the older models, especially when it came to the parameters. Their field of view, eye relief and Abbe-Koenig prism systems remained the same but the minimum focusing distance slightly improved. The properties of their casings also seemed to be rather similar: the same immersion resistance (400 mbar), the same temperature ranges (from -30 to +63 degrees Celsius); the physical weight and dimensions changed but only slightly. Still the new Victory HT instruments looked very modern, featuring a big focusing wheel in a very comfortable position.


When it comes to the optical construction of the Victory HT you get a 4-element objective lens with low-dispersion fluorite FL glass. It features a 1+2+1 layout and the last element is used for focusing. The other part consists of Abbe-Koenig prisms we’ve already mentioned above, and behind the prisms you see a 5-element eyepiece (2+2+1).



All of this reminds us of the Victory FL optics as its layout of elements was exactly the same. Still now Zeiss boasts of new high transmission glass (Schott HT) which, combined with Abbe-Koenig roof prisms using total internal reflection, should guarantee a sensational 95% of the whole instrument’s transmission.


Buyers get joined caps for eyepieces and objectives, a wide strap to put round your neck, a stylish case with another strap and a cleaning cloth. The binoculars come with a 10-year guarantee period.

Pictures
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42
Manufacturer data

Manufacturer:

Carl Zeiss
web site

Distribution / Sales:

M.K. Szuster
web site

Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 42 110/1000(6.3o) BaK-4/roof 16 mm 795 g 8999 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   42.02+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  42.01+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 10.01+/- 0.1x 3/3.0
Transmission 93.4+/- 1% 14/15.0
Chromatic aberration Low in the centre and on the edge. 7.6/10.0
Astigmatism Slight. 7.1/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of vision radius: 54% ± 5% 6/10.0
Coma Starts in a distance of about 65-70% of the field of view radius and is a bit lower than medium on the very edge. 7/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV Blur occurs in a distance of 89% ± 3% from the field of view centre. 8/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Imperceptible. 5/5.0
Whiteness of the image Very good. 4.4/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42 - Internal reflections - Left Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42 - Internal reflections - Right
Visible false pupils.
2.9/5.0
Housing Compact and solid, its dimensions fit between those of the Conquest HD and the Victory SF. The rubber armour less slippery than that of the Conquest HD so it sticks to your hand better and doesn’t get dirty so easily. Rubber doesn’t stick out in any place. Ruberized eyecups with 4 stops of regulation, very comfortable to use. Perhaps the most beautiful and the most stylish 42 mm pair of binoculars in the Zeiss line-up. 8/8.0
Focusing Huge, rubberized central wheel. Very comfortable to use, moving smoothly in a range of 610 degrees. Individual focusing with a click-stop knob on another screw, positioned on the other side of the bridge. Nothing moves outside. 5/5.0
Tripod There is a possibility to use a brand name adapter for the tripod. 2/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 55.6 to 75.6mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 1.80 metra 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 63.2 degrees. 7/10.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.31 ± 0.04 degrees and it was in accordance with the specifications. The field of view quite large for this class of equipment. 7/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Very nicely blackened and matted interior of tubes. Dark bottom. Includes a lot of apertures (contrary to the Victory SF). Very clean! 4.8/5.0
Vignetting
Left: Right:
Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42 - Vignetting - Left Carl Zeiss Victory HT 10x42 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 0.0%, OR: 0.0%.
8/8.0
Prisms quality High quality BaK-4 set in Abbe-Koenig system. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Pink-orange on objectives, pink on prisms, pink-yellow-purple on eyepieces. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 10 4.5/6.0
Final result
84.9%
144.3 / 170 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.

Summary


Pros:
  • very solid, stylish and comfortable housing,
  • high transmission,
  • low chromatic aberration,
  • slight astigmatism,
  • moderate coma,
  • imperceptible brightness loss,
  • sharp, clear image for most of the field of vision,
  • good quality Abbe-Koenig prisms,
  • high quality antireflection coatings,
  • very good whiteness rendering,
  • nicely blackened, very clean tubes,
  • perfectly circular exit pupils.

Wady:
  • false exit pupils.


When the Victory HT series was launched I was really glad because I thought it would be a fully-fledged successor of the Victory FL models. After getting acquainted with the specifications of new pairs of binoculars I found out that the decrease of the minimum focusing distance was the main change. Of course the producer also boasted of the new type of glass with a higher transmission level and a new casing but the optical system of the new devices seemed to remain very similar to the optical system of the old binoculars. It seems the Victory SF models should be treated as real successors; the Victory HT models are just slightly improved Victory FL binoculars, only encased in a new, more stylish and more ergonomic housing.

As the Schott HT glass seems to be the main change let’s check the transmission of the tested pair of binoculars.


The graph looks nice indeed – the maximum transmission is able to get to 94% and, what’s important, that result is reached in the middle of the visible spectrum. The red and blue light transmission levels are good as well – the Victory HT should render colors properly. Unfortunately we can’t compare this graph to the one of the Victory FL 10x42 as that set of binoculars was tested by us without measuring the transmission across the whole visible spectrum. Still we can use here the transmission graph of the Victory FL 8x42 model which contains the same number of optical elements. It’s clear that in the middle of the visible spectrum both pairs of binoculars have results on almost the same level but the new Victory HT fares better for blue light so the overall amount of light delivered to your eye is higher.


We praised the Victory FL models so it would be difficult not to praise a tad improved Victory HT as well. The changes in optics are slight but the new casing in my opinion looks better – it seems to be even more solid, it’s more comfortable to hold and to look through. It’s a pity, though, that the price of the Victory HT is noticeably higher than the price of the Victory FL models. If you want to save a significant sum of money I suppose it’s better to hunt for second-hand Victory FL devices after all.