Specifications:

Objective diameter:  45 mm
Magnification:    9x
Exit pupil:     5 mm
Eye relief acc. to spec: 17 mm
IPD:  56 – 74  mm
RFOV:    7.2 degrees =  126 m / 1000m
True aperture:  45 mm (measured)
Length:   190.5 cm
Waterproof: yes
Weight (measured, with eyepiece cover and strap):  1086  g
Made in: Japan
Guarantee period: unlimited, fully  transferrable

 

Remarks:

Heavy, robust binocular in a tough looking military / hunting/ futuristic type of design (designed by someone who had been watching too many episodes of Star Wars ?) with good optical performance. See more detailed review below.

Ratings:

Review:

Designed by SIG Sauer Electro-Optics, Portland, Oregon
Made/Assembled in Japan (by Kamakura?)

Beside the Zulu 9 models, SIG SAUER also sells:

Zulu 3 (8×32, 10×32)
Zulu 5 (8×42, 10×42)
Zulu 7 (8×42, 10×42) ((the product booklet also mentions a 15×56, but is not on SIG’s website)

The Zulu 9 line of products consists of 2 models: 9×45, 11×45. Reviewed hereafter is the 9×45 model.
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Excellent finish, the armour fits the binocular body perfectly; the grip is very good, dry or wet. The binocular appears rather heavy, but is well balanced.

Mechanics:
Impeccable – bridge, eyecups (positions: fully in / 2 distinct intermediate click stops / fully out), central focusing (smooth, precise), dpt. adjustment on right eyepiece – everything makes a solid, precise and extremely robust impression.

Optics:
Nice round exit pupils, no false pupils and almost perfectly dark areas around the EP; some vignetting but quite within limits.

Ease of view (“Einblickverhalten”) good. Collimation / alignment good. The field of view is with 7.2 degrees not overwhelming, but decent.

Excellent central sharpness and contrast, nice bright image. Off-axis sharpness deteriorates from about 70% outwards towards the edge of the image.
There is quite a bit of rectilinear distortion, but (consequently) very little globe effect; nice, easy and relaxed panning.

There is also quite a bit of field curvature. This is clearly NOT a flat field binocular.

Stray-light suppression appears very good, almost no veiling glare, very little reflections. Almost no spikes.

CA: there is CA, to me it is clearly visible even at the center of the image, further out it is even more pronounced. Comparing the Zulu to to other “subprime” binos with ED glass, e.g.  the Vortex Razor 8×42 and the Kowa Genesis 8.5×44: the Kowa shows clearly less CA, the Razor shows similar amounts as the Zulu.

Color fidelity (paper test acc. to W. Schön): very good. Natural colors in field use.

Preliminary conclusion:

This is an expensive bino, but it’s overall optical and mechanical performance is impressive and puts the Zulu in the upper range of quality binoculars. The image is bright and despite clearly visible CA quite sharp and rich in contrast. But flat-field enthusiasts and people sensitive to CA might not get happy with the Zulu.

The Maven B2 also comes in the two configurations 9×45 and 11×45; their shape (apart form armour)  and weight is similar to the Zulus, their length is identical, and some of the specs, e.g. eye relief, field of view etc. are exactly the same. Are they in essence the same binos ?

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