Binoculars review

Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL

Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL
18 August 2010
The legendary Carl Zeiss company doesn’t have to be introduced I suppose. Every amateur of good optics has heard about them and about their high-end binoculars series – Victory T* FL – which consists of roof prism models in a variety of configurations, including: 8x32, 10x32, 7x42, 8x42, 10x42, 8x56, 10x56 and 12x56.

Optical properties of these instruments are very impressive indeed. Fluoride glass was used for objective lenses to ensure ideal chromatic and spherical aberration correction. All air-to glass surfaces are covered by the highest quality anti-reflection T* coatings. The roof prisms are put in the Abbe-Koenig system and additionally covered by P*phase correction coatings. Such a system guarantees minimal stray light level - the manufacturer assures that the whole instrument’s transmission will significantly exceed the value of 90%.

You must add a high-class, shock- resistant housing, completely watertight and nitrogen-purged, a large field of view, a comfortable eye relief and a long guarantee period.

  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL
Manufacturer data


Carl Zeiss
web site

Distribution / Sales:

Olbrycht Trade sp. z.o.o.
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 765 g 5900 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   42.15+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  42.15+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 9.79+/- 0.2x 3/3.0
Transmission 94+/- 3% 21.5/25.0
Chromatic aberration Very low in the centre. Almost perfect. 9.5/10.0
Astigmatism Properly corrected. 8.5/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of vision radius: 37% +- 8% 3.5/10.0
Coma Perfect. Minimal even at the very edge. 9.7/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur appears in the distance of 88% +- 4% from the field of view centre. 7.5/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Very low. 4.7/5.0
Whiteness of the image Very good. 4.3/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL - Internal reflections - Left Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL - Internal reflections - Right
A small slip-up here - false pupils are visible.
Housing Very solid. It can be hold and look through very conveniently. Big dimensions caused by the type of the prisms used. 7.8/8.0
Focusing Very comfortable central wheel. Individual focusing with a click-stop knob. Not very ergonomic – on pressing it you can sometimes spoil the sharpness set previously. 4.6/5.0
Tripod A possibility to use a brand-name tripod adapter. 2/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 54.4 to 75.5mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 1.7-m 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 61.6 deg (according to simple formula) and 56.6 deg (according to tangent formula). 11.5/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.29 +- 0.03 degrees and it was in accordance with the specifications. The field of view quite large for this class of equipment. 6.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Very dark and almost perfectly matt. Microscopic flecks of dust. 4.7/5.0
Left: Right:
Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL - Vignetting - Left Carl Zeiss Victory 10x42 T* FL - Vignetting - Right
Perfectly circular pupils.
Prisms quality High class BaK-4 in Abbe-Koenig system. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Purple-pink everywhere. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 10 4.5/6.0
Final result
1 place in global rank
157.6 / 190 pkt
Econo result 29 place in econo rank 0pkt.


  • high quality of housing,
  • excellent transmission,
  • simply perfect coma correction,
  • negligible chromatic aberration,
  • low astigmatism,
  • perfect blackening,
  • very low edge brightness loss,
  • very good whiteness reproduction,
  • high class optical elements,
  • sharp image in almost all the field,
  • minimal focus already from 1.7 meters
  • wide range of IPD.

  • distortion a bit too high,
  • false pupils – something that shouldn’t exist in the equipment of this class.

These are the binoculars which won our big 10x42 instruments test. Such a feat was accomplished due to their better-than-average and sometimes even exemplary optical properties. We haven’t found a better transmission, coma correction and chromatic aberration correction level in any other 42 mm class device. Not much worse performance, because also almost perfect, was noted in the categories of astigmatism, whiteness rendition, light fall-off or central vignetting. The high quality workmanship also lefts nothing to carp about: expensive low-dispersion glass, outstanding coatings, efficient Abbe-Koenig prisms, the highest build quality, excellent blackening, high ergonomics standards…the list seems to have no end!

We are bothered by two significant slip-ups, though, which shouldn’t exist in a case of a device of such a high class. When we pay as much as 2000 USD for a set of binoculars we expect a lower distortion level and a better-looking exit pupils area. If Zeiss managed to correct these two faults we would get a perfect instrument. Okay, almost perfect. It would still lack a bit wider field of view – a property Zeiss has always been famous for.

The AllBinos.com/Optyczne.pl editorial team decided to award this set of binoculars the “ The Choice of the AllBinos.com Editorial Team” distinction for winning the 1st place in the 10x42 binoculars ranking.