The newest Zeiss Victory binocular is the SF, for “Smart Focus.” This roof-prism bino is of open-bridge design, which helps you maintain control. There’s nothing to keep your fingers from curling around one barrel. Three attachment points—front, rear and center—help the SF maintain collimation when the bino is dropped or banged against rocks. A shock-absorbing jacket affords more protection. The focus wheel is located near the SF’s balance point, and you’ll get full focal range (5 feet to infinity) in just 1.8 revolutions.

Two SF’s are offered: the 8×42 ($2,649) with a field of view of 444 feet at 1,000 yards, and the 10x42  ($2,699) with a field of view of 360 feet at 1,000 yards,. As increasing field can impair edge resolution, Zeiss added a field flattener in front of the ocular assembly, hiking weight a little, but Zeiss engineers employed Schmidt-Pechan prisms, shifting balance rearward, making it feel lighter. This design trims front lens weight by 35 percent! Sure, the SF’s seven-lens ocular system is heavier; but I didn’t notice that as much as I did the lack of forward tilt.

Zeiss gave its newest Victory an equally innovative case. The stiff, lightweight shell, with shock-absorbent lining and dual zippers, tilts open and can be carried that way—or partially or fully closed. Its magnetic flap keeps your SF handy, yet secure enough for any activity short of bronc riding. Contact Zeiss Sports Optics, Dept. OT; Tel.: (800) 441-3005; Web: