SIG SAUER Zulu 9 9x45
Designed by SIG Sauer Electro-Optics, Portland, Oregon
Assembled in Japan by ? (Kamakura?)
Beside the Zulu 9 models, SIG SAUER also sells:
Zulu 3 (8x32, 10x32)
Zulu 5 (8x42, 10x42)
Zulu 7 (8x42, 10x42) ((the product booklet also mentions a 15x56, but is not on SIG’s website))
The Zulu 9 line of products consists of 2 models: 9x45, 11x45
I reviewed the Zulu 9 9x45. Some data:
- RFOV 7.2 o = 126m/1000m
- Eye relief: 17mm
- IPD: 56-74mm
- Close focus: 1.9m
- Effective aperture: 45mm (measured)
- Length: 190.5mm
- Prisms: Abbe-König
- Weight acc. to spec. “naked”: 950g.
- Weight measured with strap and eye caps: 1086g
- Guarantee period: unlimited, fully transferrable ***
Excellent finish, the armour fits the binocular body perfectly; the grip is very good, dry or wet. The binocular appears rather heavy, but is well balanced.
Impeccable - bridge, eyecups (positions: fully in / 2 distinct intermediate click stops / fully out), central focusing (smooth, precise), dpt. adjustment on right eyepiece - everything makes a solid, precise and extremely robust impression.
Nice round exit pupils, no false pupils and almost perfectly dark areas around the EP; some vignetting but quite within limits.
Ease of view (“Einblickverhalten”) good. Collimation / alignment good. The field of view is with 7.2 degrees not overwhelming, but decent.
Excellent central sharpness and contrast, nice bright image. Off-axis sharpness deteriorates from about 70% outwards towards the edge of the image.
There is quite a bit of rectilinear distortion, but (consequently) very little globe effect; nice, easy and relaxed panning.
There is also quite a bit of field curvature. This is clearly NOT a flat field binocular.
Stray-light suppression appears very good, almost no veiling glare, very little reflections. Almost no spikes.
CA: there is CA, to me it is clearly visible even at the center of the image, further out it is even more pronounced. For a relatively expensive binocular with ED glass, CA could be better corrected. Comparing the Zulu to to other “subprime” binos with ED glass, e.g. the Vortex Razor 8x42 and the Kowa Genesis 8.5x44: the Kowa shows clearly less CA, the Razor shows similar amounts as the Zulu. This is the only area where I disagree with Piergiovanni Salimbeni’s recent very positive review of the Zulu 11x45 model (he found CA very well corrected). I am not very sensitive to CA, but I recognize it when I see it, and I think it can be better corrected than in the Zulu.
Color fidelity (paper test acc. to W. Schön): very good. Natural colors in field use.
This is an expensive bino, but it’s overall optical and mechanical performance is impressive and puts the Zulu in the upper range of quality binoculars. The image is bright and despite clearly visible CA quite sharp and rich in contrast. But flat-field enthusiasts and people sensitive to CA might not get happy with the Zulu.
The question raised by Matt about the Maven B2 got me thinking. The B2 also comes in the two configurations 9x45 and 11x45; their shape (apart form armour) and weight is similar to the Zulus, their length is identical, and some of the specs, e.g. eye relief, field of view etc. are exactly the same. Are they in essence the same binos ?
Text excerpts regarding guarantee in the manual: “…will repair or replace … in the event it becomes damaged or defective, at no charge to you. … It doesn’t matter how it happened, whose fault it was, or where you purchased it. … our Infinite Guarantee does not provide coverage for intentional damage, misuse, cosmetic damage that does not affect the performance of the optic, loss, theft or unauthorized repair or modification.”
Edited by Pinac, 08 May 2018 - 01:24 PM.