Zeiss SFL 8×30

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Objective diameter:  30 mm
Magnification:  8 x
Exit pupil: 3.75 mm
Eye relief (according to spec:): 18 mm
Usable eye relief (measured from rim of folded eyecups): 17 mm
IPD (measured): 54 – 74 mm
RFOV(acc. to spec.):  8.1  degrees = 142 m
AFOV (acc. to spec.): 63 degrees
Minimum focus distance (measured): 1.5 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): 5.5 dpt*
Prism system:  Schmidt-Pechan
Waterproof: yes
Weight (acc. to spec, without accessories): 460 g
Weight (measured, with eyepiece cover and strap): 534 g
Made in: Japan
*range of diopter adjustment not affected by position of focus wheel


Shortly after its launch of the new “SFL” 8×40 and 10×40 models, Zeiss follows up with an 8×30 and a 10×30 model, with similar characteristics especially targeted at birders and nature enthusiasts who like to use a small, lightweight binocular with good ergonomics, plenty of eye relief, a wide field of view and bright image, low chromatic aberration and good color fidelity, and in particular a pleasant panning experience by avoiding all sorts of “funny” distortion profiles and instead using some of Holger Merlitz’ well-known work on ideal distortion profiles (the SFL has something we like to call “Merlitz Distortion”). The 8×30 shares many of the advantages that made the larger 8×40 a success, including a price that is considerably lower than the one of current top of the range binos, and this could be another success story for Zeiss. The only slight criticism that BINOCULARS TODAY can think of is the fact that we found it a bit more tricky on the 8×30 than on the 8×40 to find a good and comfortable ease of view position (“Einblickverhalten”); we found it, but only after experimenting a bit with eye positions and eyecup clickstops. But this does not impair the overall very good impression.



A brief review including short comparisons with other 8×30 / 8×32 roof binoculars can be found here:
>> scroll to posts # 1, 32, 42, 45, 90, 116, 124, 160, 169, 185 and 186.


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