High-quality optics are a must for Catherine Hamilton, a professional artist, bird-tour leader, and keynote and workshop presenter. She often spends full days in the field and requires top-end binoculars so she can see birds clearly and point them out to clients.
Catherine, whose bird art has been published in bird magazines, nature journals, and the authoritative 2013 book The Warbler Guide, has carried the ZEISS Victory SF 42 binocular for many years. Now, she’s thrilled to add its smaller, lighter cousin, the Victory SF 32, to her repertoire.
“Like a lot of people, I had been anxiously awaiting the new ZEISS Victory SF 32s, and I am thrilled that they exceed my expectations,” she says. “Lighter weight and compact size coupled with a wide field of view and premium optical quality enable top-notch and lightning-fast birding for those long days in the field.”
Two models, 8×32 and 10×32, will be available later this summer. The 8×32 offers a field of view of 465 feet at 1,000 yards, which is about 42 feet wider than other competing 8×32 binoculars. The 10×32 presents a field of view of 390 feet at 1,000 yards, which is about 30 feet wider than 10x32s from competing brands. This extended field of view provides a more relaxed viewing experience through the Victory SF 32 binocular.
Earlier this year, Catherine field tested the SF 32s in marshes and estuaries, along a coast for seabirds, and in riparian and woodland environments. “These might well be my new favorite binocular,” she says. “Having that wide field of view gives you a little extra peripheral perception to pick up on small passerines in dense habitats, for example. For me, there was no learning curve or adjustment period with these bins; they were instantly a trusted partner in bird finding.”
Catherine’s SF 42 has been her go-to glass for a long time, “so I was uncertain that I ever needed anything else from a binocular. I could always use something that is more compact and lighter weight, but would the optics be good enough in a smaller binocular? It turns out, yes. Kudos to the designers of the lenses. To me it seems they have bent the laws of physics. These bins have the same back-weighted design that had proven so successful on the 42s for reducing arm and neck fatigue, the focusing is quick and crisp, and the lighter weight makes them so effortless on extended birding days.”
Catherine predicts the new binocular will be quite popular among birders.
“I think the SF 32 is a perfect all-purpose top-end binocular for travel or for people who spend full days in the field. As a side bonus, its smaller size makes it suited for a wider range of hand and physical height sizes; everyone will appreciate its compactness and lighter weight, and it could be a true game changer for serious birders with smaller hands or who want to carry a premium binocular for extended hours without fatigue.”
To learn more about the ZEISS Victory SF 32, visit zeiss.com/morediscoveries.