Zeiss Victory RF Series Binoculars Review: Pricey But Worth It

Zeiss Victory RF 8x45 rangefinder binoculars
Zeiss Victory RF 8×45 rangefinder binoculars

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Zeiss makes 4 models of rangefinder binoculars in their Victory RF series. In this review, I’ll look at each of them, mainly so you can see the similarities and differences from one model to the next.

If you already know you want one of these top notch Victory RF binoculars, you can click one of the links below to check the pricing on Amazon.

Don’t confuse these binoculars with the Zeiss Victory 8×26 T* Pocket Rangefinder (PRF). It would have been nice if Zeiss had put a little more thought and effort into distinguishing the names of these items.

As it is, it can be confusing if you’re not paying close attention, so pay close attention so you get what you want.

If you want to skip to a certain section of the review, click a link in the box below. Otherwise, just keep on reading as usual.

What Are the Differences from One Victory RF to Another?

Other than the obvious differences, such as overall dimensions, weight, objective lens size, and magnification strength – all of which are important – there really are only a handful of features that distinguish one of these Zeiss rangefinder binoculars from another.

Here is the short list of differences. FOV is Field of View at 1000 yards. Pupil Distance is commonly called interpupillary distance – the measurement between the left and right eyepieces.

Feature 8×45 10×45 8×56 10×56
Exit Pupil (mm) 5.6 4.5 7.0 5.6
FOV (ft.) 375 330 345 330
Close Focus (ft.) 18 18 16 16
Pupil Distance (mm) 54-76 54-76 57-76 57-76
Eye Relief (mm) 16.0 15.5 17.0 16.0

As you can see, there isn’t much difference even within one of these features, except for FOV where the Victory RF 8×45 wins by 30 feet or more.

Exit pupil isn’t a measurement you are likely to be concerned about. Close focus probably doesn’t matter, since you are more likely to be ranging targets far away. Pupil distance should be sufficient, no matter how close or far apart your eyes are spaced. All eye relief measurements are roughly only a millimeter apart, and should be fine for the vast majority of glasses wearers.

So it probably comes down to magnification power and objective lens size (and the accompanying dimension and weight differences) when trying to narrow your choices amongst these Victory RF binoculars.

Here is a comparison of those features. Width is measured when pupil distance is set to 65 millimeters. (Pardon me for stating the obvious with magnification and lens size.)

Feature 8×45 10×45 8×56 10×56
Magnification 8x 10x 8x 10x
Objective Lens (mm) 45 45 56 56
Height (in.) 6.6 6.6 7.64 7.5
Width (in.) 5.3 5.3 5.47 5.47
Weight (oz.) 35 35 40.59 40.59

I’m not sure why the 8×56 and 10×56 don’t have the same height measurement, but these are the figures given by Zeiss.

What you intend to use these rangefinder binoculars for will help determine which one is best for you.

Note that the objective lens sizes are all a tad larger than “standard” binoculars. Much more common are 8×42 and 10×50 sizes, for example. This mean that Zeiss wants to give you a little more light gathering capability than usual. That’s a good thing.

If you need the extra power boost, you’ll opt for a pair that magnifies object 10 times their normal size (10x). If you need more light gathering capability that the larger objective lens provides, then you’ll want either the 8×56 or the 10×56.

Zeiss tries hard to downplay the heavy weight of the larger models. When describing the 8×56 model, they say this.

“The only heavyweights in sight are the arguments in favor of the Victory 8×56 T* RF. In all other respects, at around 40.6 oz the 56 mm Victory RF is a genuine lightweight.”

I’m not certain I even understand that first sentence (from their website). The second sentence is both not true and doesn’t cast their product in a good light. Forty ounces is well over 2 pounds. That’s not lightweight. And calling your product a lightweight is generally not considered a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying these are bad binoculars. They better be high quality for the price you will pay. It’s just that they will feel heavy after a few hours of use, and Zeiss needs better copywriting for marketing purposes.

What Features Are the Same among All Victory RF Binoculars?

Zeiss lists 16 different features that are the same across the entire Victory RF line of rangefinder binoculars.

Zeiss Victory RF
Zeiss Victory RF

Let’s start with the features that affect the binoculars. I’ll cover the rangefinder aspects later.

The lenses are obviously one of the most important parts of a set of binoculars. Zeiss uses a set of 4 lenses in an achromat, or achromatic, system in an attempt at preventing, or at least minimizing chromatic aberration that single lenses can otherwise produce.

The prisms are the other main part of any pair of binoculars. Here Zeiss implements the Abbe-König system. This system accomplishes the same thing as the more common Porro system but is less bulky overall. Basically, it assures that you see your target in the proper orientation.

The diopters have +/- 3.5 clicks so you can set them according to your individual eye strength.

The binocular unit is water resistant to a pressure of 4 millibars. That may not mean much to you. Suffice it to say that you can get them a little wet without damaging the internal mechanisms.

In addition, they are nitrogen filled to make them waterproof and fogproof. The lenses also have the Zeiss LotuTec coatings that (quoting the manufacturer) “ensures that water simply rolls off the lenses and dirt can be removed without a trace.”

Furthermore, “Zeiss T* multi-layer coating enhance the razor-sharp detail, the color intensity and the image brightness, particularly in twilight conditions.”

On the rangefinding side of things, you should be able to get measurements quickly – in less than a second, actually closer of 0.5 seconds. The Class 1 laser has a wavelength of 904 nm. It gives you accurate ranging within 1 yard (0.5%) of the true distance (at 600 yards).

The divergence of the laser beam is rated at 1.6 x 0.5 mrad. This another measurement that might not mean much to you on its own. The tighter, or narrower, the beam stays as it goes out to your target, the more accurate your measurement will be. This beam stays nice and tight.

As one reviewer at Precision Rifle Blog put it…

“Anytime the Zeiss Victory RF [10×45] displays a range, you can pretty much take it the bank. It is extremely accurate. However, if you need to range beyond 1,200 yards … you should pick a different rangefinder. The Zeiss Victory RF also had a significant amount of “no reads” offhand at 600 and 800 yard targets.”

The laser in the Victory RF is unusual in another regard. Quoting Zeiss again: “Unlike other systems with a third laser eye, the Victory RF has a fully integrated laser system, which means it can always be adjusted with precision, even in the face of severe shaking.”

The software inside the unit contains the Zeiss ballistic information system (BIS®). To give you the holdover point, it uses a ballistic curve, the caliber class of your ammunition, and the target distance to calculate the proper correction so you can zero in on your target accurately.

You can also choose whether you want 100 meter zeroing or GEE (a German acronym meaning most favorable zeroing range).

The function buttons let you quickly get to settings such as BIS, the ballistics program, and units of measurement, which can be meters and centimeters or yards and inches.

What’s the Verdict on the Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars?

Make no mistake, these are not inexpensive rangefinding binoculars. That said, you will get a top of the line unit that should last forever. If these sound like what you’ve been looking for, check them out here…

See the latest pricing and availability of the Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars at Amazon now.

If these aren’t your cup o’ tea, check this article on other rangefinding binoculars.

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