From Dave in Wisconsin:
I bought my Zeiss Victory FL 8X42 binoculars as a retirement present to myself a couple of years ago. As luck would have it, I was able to make outdoor, side-by-side comparisons of the Zeiss with the comparable Leica and Swarovski models before buying -- same time, same place, same lighting conditions. All three were good, of course, but to my eyes the Zeiss had the edge in brightness, sharpness and color quality. The Zeiss also had better eyecups and eye relief, although that judgement is subjective. The field of view and near focus of the Zeiss are also superior,as is the speed and "weight" of the focus mechanism. For an all-around birding binocular, the 8X42 Victory FL is beyond compare.
With one exception: I still believe that for woodland birding and other close viewing situations that require the greatest possible depth of field, field of view and low-light performance, the good ol' Zeiss ClassiC 7X42s are the ultimate, and feel better in the hands than any other binocular I have ever owned or tried. I'm glad I got the Victories, but I'm also glad I kept the Classics.