The Zeiss SFL series of binoculars is a relatively new line in the German brand’s catalog. These binoculars are designed to be incredibly lightweight, making them the perfect companion for wildlife photographers already carting around large super-telephoto lenses.
Zeiss SFL binoculars are available in four configurations: 8×40, 10×40, 8×30 and 10×30. You can’t beat the 30mm models for compact, pocketable portability; my choice is the SFL 8X30. I absolutely love these things! They easily slip into my jacket or camera bag’s top pocket. They only weigh 16.2 oz / 459 g and are just 4.7″ long.
From now until the end of November, you can save $250 on these incredible binoculars.
I own larger binoculars, but when I’m packing a 600mm lens, a couple of cameras, and a few other zoom lenses, it’s hard to find space (or strength!) to carry them. I’ve also dabbled with dual-hinged so-called “pocket binoculars” before that fold into a smaller size. They usually have an objective lens of 20-25mm, which just doesn’t let in enough light at dusk and dawn for comfortable wildlife viewing.
The Zeiss SFLs fall into the “compact” binocular category and offer better optics than any foldable “pocket binoculars” I have seen, but the 8×30 and 10×30 models are compact enough to be put into a pocket. From that standpoint, they’re a win-win. Better optics, a brighter view, and still small enough to fit into a jacket pocket.