World premiere: Zeiss SFL 8x30 and SFL 10x30, two extremely compact stalking binoculars that will be launched in June 2023

Optics manufacturer Zeiss is expanding its SFL (SmartFocus Lightweight) binoculars series with the two new Zeiss SFL 8x30 and SFL 10x30 models. As with the already familiar SFL 8x40 and 10x40 models, the new binoculars were designed to be as lightweight and compact as possible, according to Zeiss. To achieve this, the designers reduced the lens diameter from the usual 32 mm to 30 mm and also used extremely compact lens elements with very thin lenses.

This, of course, also allowed them to make the rubber-reinforced and nitrogen-filled magnesium housing correspondingly smaller and about 20 percent lighter than the 8x32 and 10x32 Ferglas models from the Zeiss Victory SF line, and to bring the weight just below 500 g for the SFL models with 30-mm lenses.

Further technical specs of the new Zeiss SFL 8x30 and SFL 10x30 binoculars

According to the manufacturer, the field of view at 1,000 m is 142 m for the SFL 8x30 and 120 m for the SFL 10x30. The close-focusing distance is claimed to be 1.5 m for both models.  

On the new Zeiss SFL 8x30 and 10x30, a black rubber armor protects the nitrogen-filled magnesium housing. 

The new SFL lenses with 30 mm objectives once again follow the Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) concept, which is intended to ensure true-to-life color reproduction and maximum detail recognition. For the lenses, Zeiss is again relying on the proven T* coating for the 8x30 and 10x30 SFL, which is claimed to enable a 90% light transmission. The lenses also feature the dirt-repellent LotuTec coating. 

The eyecups can be locked in a total of four positions to adjust the individual interpupillary distance. This makes the new Zeiss SFL 8x30 and 10x30 binoculars also suitable for eyeglass wearers.

At Zeiss, SmartFocus Concept means that the generously dimensioned focus wheel is conveniently located in the front half of the center bridge within reach of the index finger. The finger can rest on the wheel while observing and the hunter does not have to reach around to focus. With just 1.4 turns, the complete focusing range is covered. The wheel is smooth-running and easy to operate even when wearing gloves. The optimized ergonomics are designed to allow relaxed and undisturbed observation. The new Zeiss SFL models have eyecups that can be locked in a total of four positions and are also suitable for eyeglass wearers. The diopter setting can be varied from -4 to +4 dpt.

The team already had the opportunity to see the new Zeiss SFL 10x30 in the flesh. We were extremely impressed by the compact, lightweight design as well as the high optical quality with which Zeiss brings this binocular to the market, which almost combines the performance of a very good 10x32 binocular in the housing of a pocket binocular. 

When developing the two new Zeiss SFL 8x30 and SFL 10x30 binoculars (top), the focus was on making the optics lighter and more compact as well as ergonomic. For example, the large focus wheel at the front of the center bridge allows convenient focusing with the index finger while observing, without having to reach around first. Both models will be available in stores from June 2023.

Prices and availability as well as scope of delivery of the two new SFL 8x30 and SFL 10x30 binoculars from Zeiss

The scope of delivery of the Zeiss SFL binoculars naturally also includes the clip-on bikini eyepiece protection covers that are customary for Zeiss (the two separate eyepiece protection covers can be slid on and off), a carrying strap, as well as a carrying case with carrying strap and an optics cleaning cloth. A quick reference guide rounds off the package.

The two new Zeiss SFL 8x30 and SFL 10x30 binoculars will probably be available in stores from June 2023. The SFL 8x30 is expected to cost around 1,500 euro and the SFL 10x30 1,550 euro. Zeiss thus places the new binoculars in the range between its mid-priced Conquest HD 8x32 and 10x32 and its high-end Victory SF 8x32 and 10x42 models, thus creating a new price class in the lower premium segment that other premium manufacturers have not yet occupied in the field of lightweight day or stalking binoculars.

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