Specifications:

Objective diameter:  40 mm
Magnification:  8 x
Exit pupil: 5 mm
Eye relief (according to spec:): 18 mm
Usable eye relief (measured from rim of folded eyecups): 15.5 mm
IPD (measured): 54 – 74 mm
RFOV(acc. to spec.):  8  degrees = 140 m
AFOV (acc. to spec.): 60 degrees
Minimum focus distance (measured): 1.45 m
Focus type: CF (direction of rotation from close to infinity: > clockwise)
Degrees of rotation of focus wheel from 3 m to infinity (measured): 18o degrees
Range of diopter adjustment (acc. to spec.): +/- 4 dpt*
Excess travel of focus wheel beyond infinity position (estimate): 6.5 dpt*
Prism system:  Schmidt-Pechan
Waterproof: yes
Weight (acc. to spec, without accessories): 640 g
Weight (measured, with eyepiece cover and strap): 710 g
Made in: Japan
*range of diopter adjustment not affected by position of focus wheel

 

Remarks:

Long gone are the days when your Zeiss binoculars were proudly marked “Made in Germany” – the future is in Asia! Zeiss leaves no doubt about that:  the new SFL is not only marked “Made in  Japan”,  but also “Designed by Zeiss” (not: Made by Zeiss). For the older generation, that is a big shift, whereas the younger ones certainly won’t care at all, as long as the quality is ok. – The SFL is an interesting proposition. Only few performance characteristics stick out: very fast focus system; lighter than the entire 8×42 competition; very short near focus. Otherwise, the SFL plays in the middle of the field, not at the top, of the upper market and premium competition; sharpness, contrast, CA correction, field of view etc. are all good, but not as good as e.g. in the Victory SF or the top Swarovski binoculars. So Zeiss had the courage to bring a binocular to the market that for once does not intend to outperform existing top binoculars, the SFL rather presents a very well “rounded”, solid optical and mechanical performance in a lightweight, compact and ergonomically excellent body, at a price considerably below the top of the market (production cost must also be lower than for Zeiss’ top offerings).  Perhaps Zeiss has found a way to make more money than with its prestigious Victory line ? The initial market response to the SFL has been positive.

Ratings:

Review:

A very brief initial opinion and comparison can be found here:
https://www.birdforum.net/threads/new-zeiss-binos-8×40-sfl-and-10×40-sfl.420872/page-37#post-4345038

See also comparison with the Maven B1.2 8×42 in separate post, https://binocular.ch/macen-b1-2-8×42/

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