When Zeiss introduced new line of binoculars called Victory HT (HT stands for High Transmission) with 42mm objective lenses in 2013 one question was repeated many times. Will there be any models with bigger lenses since this are “the” binoculars to have in low light situations. Now on IWA 2014 it is clear that the bigger Victory HT binoculars will have a 54mm objective lenses. This is a depart from a standard 56mm lens dimension used before on Victory FL models. Schott HT glass used in Victory HT series has such high light transmission rate that these binoculars are achieving 95% of light transmission rate in the visible spectrum. This is why a smaller objective lens diameter is really not a downside if you consider the gain from the Schott HT glass. If we are honest Abbe-Koenig prisms also significantly increases light transmission and so does the excellent Zeiss T* multi-layer coating. The Schott HT glass is actually only a small part of this success story.
Compact design of Victory HT 54 binoculars
With 54mm objective lenses Zeiss has made a binoculars that are compact and light and can be compared to most of the 50mm models. At the same time features like Abbe-Koenig prisms, Schott HT Glass and Zeiss T* coatings are giving the light transmission results achieved by almost no one before. And certainly not in a binoculars of this size. This way Zeiss had made the "brightest" binoculars for low light use on the market and at 20% smaller in size and mass than competitors.
Comfort focus and double link bridge
Zeiss Victory HT 8x54 and 10x54 binoculars have the same comfort focus and double link bridge design as smaller Victory HT 8x42 and 10x42 models and thus providing good ergonomics and easy focusing. With an axis of focus mechanism supported on both sides of the focus knob these binoculars are also more robust and reliable than previous models.
LotuTec coating on Zeiss Victory HT 54
Zeiss LotuTec coating on outer lens surfaces protects lenses against particles and especially water. These coatings are know from previous Zeiss Victory binoculars, however are still worth mentioning. LotuTec provides great protection against outer fogging of warm breath on lenses in cold weather. Really important feature for all of those hunting in winter.
There is not much what could anyone mark as a downside of these Zeiss Victory HT 8x54 and 10x54 binoculars. They are meant for hunters so even if the focusing is not designed for bird watchers this is not a real disadvantage. Some also argued that the colors in Zeiss Victory HT binoculars are a bit "cold" but again these binoculars are intended for low light hunting situations when they excel and when warm colors have no meaning. These binoculars provide the best possible brightness (highest light transmission rate – 95%) among all binoculars (I have tested Victory HT 8x42 versus other premium 42mm binoculars and have not found any other to be brighter) and in smaller housing than 56mm competitors. What could any hunter had wished more.
You can get all technical details and specifications of Zeiss Victory HT 8x54 and 10x54 binoculars in the following PDF: Zeiss Victory HT 54 binoculars PDF
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Hello Teodor, thanks for the information
I'm looking for the ultimate hunting binos for low light and mid to long distance watching. I'd like to ask you some questions. Do t worry if you can't answer them all...
1- which is the winner between 8x42HT vs 10x54HT in low light? I PREFER 10x for hunting....
Is it worth the weight increment of the 54mmm?
2- how do you compare the Swarovski EL 10x50 (my current binos) to the Zeiss HT 10x54?? And how do they perform in low light
3- how would the Zeiss 10x54HT perform vs the Swarovski SLC HD 15x56 and 10x56??
And how good is the Swarovski 15x56 HD in low light?
Thanks for your support
1. The winner for low light use would be 10×54 HT because of the bigger lens diameter which collects more light. It is, however, heavier and has a higher price.
2. Both of the models mentioned above are among the optically most advanced and at the same time the most suitable binoculars for low light use; bigger lens diameter is crucial, and the quality of coatings is also extremely important.
3. Please, read more about this matter here: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/binoculars/swarovski-slc-15x56-w-b.html and here:
I really hope this helps, if not, do not hesitate to leave another comment!
Hello Teodor. Great reviews, love your work. Im a big Zeiss fan. Im splitting hairs here but in your opinion for low light do I go for 8 x 54 or 10 x 54 weight is not a consideration?
Hello and thank you!
If you want to use these binoculars in low-light, I would recommend the 8x54. The exit pupil is bigger in this model, so the image appears brighter.