The 2022 lightweight surprise

“That’s not heavy at all” would be the summary of Klaas de Jong, birdwatcher and owner of Calidris Bird Safari’s on the island and bird paradise of Texel on the new ZEISS SFL binoculars. As one of the ZEISS ambassadors, he was able to test the binoculars and take them on his tours.

“For me, the SFL is the surprise of ’22. Just when we thought that top-end binoculars could not be of any less weight, ZEISS comes up with an incredible high-performance new member of the ZEISS family, the SFL (Smart Focus Light). The focus wheel is as smart as the name sounds, known from the Victory SF, and gives fantastic focus in a split second. The weight is less than 700 grams, even when you include the strap. The wide angle lenses give an enormous horizon which is sharp from edge to edge and gives a lot of light, so that this little new fellow may seem as lightweight, but in performance it is running with the big dogs, like the ZEISS Victory SF, the Swarovski EL and the Leica Ultravid.

The SFL is light in weight, but even for its size. I handed the binoculars to a couple of participants in my bird safaris and they immediately responded with “hey, that’s not heavy at all!”. I have been using the Victory SF for a few years now, and although this may well be better, not to mention that it is the best binoculars in the ZEISS family, the SFL is only 2/3 of the price (and 3/4 of the weight!). So if I was buying a new binoculars now, I would definitely choose the SFL.”

Klaas de Jong is a keen birdwatcher and a full time bird guide on the birding hotspot of the Netherlands, the island of Texel. Year round around 300 bird species are found and Klaas knows all about them, which he shares with the participants in his half or full day bird safari’s. With his bird safari bus (or actually a minivan) he picks up his participants and shows them the best nature areas filled with birds. You are likely to encounter Spoonbills, Marsh Harriers and if you’re lucky, you might see the beautiful Bluethroat. Klaas provides background stories and shares tricks how to make good pictures. Be careful, after a tour you might want to become a birdwatcher!

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