Review by David Fisher

I was keen to try my ZEISS Victory SF 8×42 Binoculars as soon as they arrived. Normally I would be testing them out on birds, of course, but the day of their arrival, I had planned to go Badger watching. So I christened them in the gloom of a wood at dusk, initially watching a Robin on the ground in front of the set and then on the Badgers themselves.

I wasn’t disappointed – in fact, I was pleasantly impressed. They were bright and razor sharp, even in the fading evening light. I was able to watch the animals long past the time when I would be able to see them properly with my naked eye.

This was a “wild” setting so naturally, the animals were unhabituated and nervous. It was essential to keep completely still – I couldn’t afford to keep raising and lowering my bins and risk spooking them. I watched through the bins continually becoming grateful for their new design.

Thankfully my arms didn’t feel the least bit tired when the animals finally moved away from the sett and out of view. As we left the wood a Little Owl called, and scanning quickly, I was able to spot two of them in a tree across the width of a large field – only silhouettes it’s true, but readily identifiable.

The focusing wheel, now closer to the eye-piece, which has created the perfect balance and feel of them being comparatively light.

The next morning I used them in my back garden and was impressed with the colour rendition, which looked extremely accurate to what I saw with the naked eye.

The minimum focusing distance was very appealing, allowing me to focus on the butterflies on my Buddleia with no problem at all! I am now looking forward to testing my bins with the next Sunbird tour abroad.

David Fisher

He is director of Sunbird Tours and a passionate birder and traveller.

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