So, one of the questions I get the most is, “What bino’s and/or spotter should I get?” Well there are a lot of great choices out there and it seems that each top-end manufacturer has their benefits. This year while at the SHOT show I had the chance to take a look at all the new gear. Let’s talk about the new Zeiss SF 10X42’s, not only their benefits but also what makes them unique.
It is no secret that Zeiss makes some of the best glass for hunting the West. The new Victory SF 10×42 model is a great addition to their top tier of binoculars. The 1 lb. 11.7oz glass really impressed me when I opened up the box, their feel and comfort in the hands is what I have come to expect from this manufacturer.
These binoculars were built to enhance small movements at a distance making it easier to spot game. Small movements, like the flicker of an ear or antlers twisting in the sage after a buck beds down that would be unnoticeable otherwise, are now easily visible. The glass and coatings were formulated to maintain clarity even when the target is in motion. This way it keeps the “movement blur” to a minimum.
I was able to put this to the test on a recent trip to Mike’s homestead where many bucks and bulls are wintering. Animals that are in motion are easily distorted and can have edge clarity issues, even with top-end glass that make it a chore to pick apart antler details if the animal isn’t holding still. Elk and deer antlers are often defined by their details and these binoculars do a great job of enhancing the details and character that we all look for in western trophy game.
This feature is also nice for picking out the small movements of animals who are surrounding the target buck . Not much is worse than bumping a smaller buck that managed to hide from me while glassing a stalking path to the buck I want to harvest. The Zeiss Victory SF models will excel in picking apart the details on a steep hillside where mule deer bucks like to hide.
However, these binoculars will also perform well in the up close and personal situations that are a bowhunter’s dream. The clarity of images within the 100 yard mark is exceptional, meaning that picking out a buck or bull’s antlers behind a snag of branches can be done with confidence. This is the red zone and missing an opportunity because your binoculars aren’t clear is worth the price tag in and of itself.
The next thing that struck me was how much the color ranges popped from the lenses. Grey ghosts are hard to find with any glass based on their color and habitat, especially during flat light. Binoculars that differentiate colors the way this pair does makes finding the grey coats and patches of hair through the brush much easier. These binoculars won’t magically make the deer appear but they will certainly make different colors pop to differentiate sage from a mule deer coat.
To some degree these features are a carry over from the bird watching community but what isn’t to like about their attention to detail and clarity? Especially when a small movement can mean the difference between seeing a bedded animal in the high country or missing it all together!
Once again, Zeiss has set the bar on new optic technologies. These new Victory SF 10X42’s have made glassing in low light for that slight ear twitch or antler movement much easier. Remember you can’t hunt what you can’t see.