Binoculars History

How it all began

The design of binoculars as we know them today was invented more than 100 years ago. By combining two monocular telescopes, ZEISS brought binoculars to market that delivered a natural image with increased three-dimensional perception. ZEISS has been using telescopic lenses since 1954 to enable a more compact design. These intentions culminated in 1969 with the introduction of pocket binoculars, the ZEISS 8x20, which could be folded small enough to fit into a pocket.

Another high point was when the 20x60 came on the market in 1990 with its revolutionary image stabilization. The Victory® FL introduced in 2004 reduced color aberrations as never before thanks to fluoride in the lenses, and in 2012 the Victory® HT offered light transmission of more than 95% for the first time ever.


Prism binoculars with a greater distance between the objective lenses improve the imaging quality due to increased field depth.


Moritz Carl Hensoldt introduces the world’s first binoculars with roof prisms – the Penta 7x29 Model A.


Tin-can telescope 


Introduction of wide-angle eyepieces with a binocular design.


Hand-held telescope with adjustable 4–20x magnification. 


Invention of the anti-reflective T-coating by Alexander Smakula increases the light transmission of binoculars by 50%.


The use of teleobjective lenses allows for more compact designs.


Dialyt binoculars unveiled with direct-vision prism-erecting system based on the Schmidt design. The light path is strongly “coiled,” resulting in small, slim binoculars.


Revolutionary innovation for the binoculars market by introducing the ZEISS pocket binoculars (8x20). Biaxial double joint allows binoculars to be folded up to fit in a pocket; use of glass- fiber-reinforced plastic for the housing reduces the weight of the binoculars to 135 g.


P-coating from ZEISS – a phase-correcting coating for the roof surfaces of roof prisms – eliminates interference effects caused by phase shifts in the image erection process. This increases the quality by improving the contrast and resolution.


With the 20x60 S, ZEISS is the world’s first manufacturer to introduce binoculars with mechanical image stabilization. This technology compensates for user hand tremor and allows for successful freehand observation at 20x magnification.


Launch of the Victory 8/10x40 and 8/10x56 binoculars.


Spotting scopes and interchangeable eyepieces provide birdwatchers with new options.


Victory Conquest 8/10x30 and 12/15x45 binoculars introduced.


Victory FL models now incorporate fluoride glass in binoculars for the first time, facilitating unprecedented sharp focus and eliminating color fringes.


LotuTec coating is added.


Victory RF binoculars and monoculars are equipped with a fully integrated laser rangefinder and a ballistic program that indicates the bullet drop.


The PhotoScope is a high-quality spotting scope with 15–45x magnification and an integrated 7-megapixel camera for simultaneous observation and photography. It enabled simultaneous observation and photography.


CONQUEST HD (High Definition) 8/10x42 binoculars with ED (Extralow Dispersion) glass.


VICTORY HT (High Transmission) binoculars with unparalleled light transmission.