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does zeiss compare

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2009 at 21:52
spoony7 View Drop Down
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How are the zeiss diascope 65m spotting scopes for about 1600 with 15 45 zoom? Are they in the same category as the other big 2?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2009 at 08:49
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From what I hear from people who own it is that it's very good.  I don't think it's quite in the Swaro 65HD class but it's not nearly as expensive either.  If I were buying a 65mm class spotter in that class I'd take a hard look at the Kowa 663/664 Prominar.  You get the advantage of a 60x zoom, which is usable in that scope under the right conditions.  It can be had for around $1100.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2009 at 17:28
spoony7 View Drop Down
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Thanks a bunch JR
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2009 at 17:35
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How does the pentax pf 65 EDII compare with the Kowa?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 14:12
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I have owned the Pentax and the Diascope 65.  I have also spent a lot of time behind a swarvoski 65 hd.  The Pentax would compare well, if it had the better eyepiece.  The 20-60 that comes with the 65 ed2 is good, but not great.  Brightness falls off in powers over 40.  I know, such is the plight of small exit pupils.  However, the Swaro stays noticeably brighter with a similar (identical?) exit pupil.

The Diascope and Swaro HD are absolutely in the same "class."  My own observations are that center-field resolution of the Diascope outdid the Swaros I've looked through.  This has also been the findings of some online side-by-side comparisons I remember reading.  Of course some individual units of both brands are going to be better than others.  Some people have a problem with the Zeiss zoom eyepiece's minor astigmatism at the lowest power.  This is a result of it's extremely wide field of view.  The Swaro is sharp right to the edge, but is much narrower (in the 20-60).  the Zeiss actually has a wider "useable" sharp field of view.  I have not checked out Swarovoski's new ultra-expensive 20-50 wide angle eyepiece, however.

Good luck in choosing!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2009 at 21:16
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Bitterroot Bulls,

What Pentax eyepiece were you using on your 65ED? From what I understand their are two eyepieces available.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2009 at 09:12
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Sparky,
 
There are actually many wide and varied eyepieces that fit the Pentax.  It will accept any astronomical 1 1/4" eyepiece.  This includes Pentax's awesome XW fixed power eyepieces, Nagler astro eyepieces, Baader Planetarium, etc.  That is a great feature on its own.
 
I had the most common eyepiece packaged with the Pentax 65:  the XF SMC 20-60 designed for the 65.   The physically bigger, more expensive XW SMC Zoom is a 20-60 on the 80mm pentax (the body it was designed for), but roughly a 15-45 power on the 65.  This makes it a similar performer to the Zeiss 65.  I haven't seen the XW zoom as a scope/eyepiece in a discounted package with the 65, and I never actually looked through that eyepiece on my 65.  There are many third party zoom and fixed eyepieces that can be used with the Pentax.  It is very versatile.
 
The optical performance of the Pentax was pretty darn good with the eyepiece I had.  It did get dim in higher powers.  The biggest issue i had was durability.  I had mine in its included cordura case, wrapped in a fleece jacket and packed away in my Eberlestock backpack for a 3 mile hike to a glassing spot.  When I got there I pulled out the scope and WHOA! the scope body had broken completely.  Now I didn't fall or even rest against a tree with my pack.  Pentax honored the warranty (cost me the worry-free fee of $20) and replaced the scope, but I just put it straight on ebay for a birder to use, because I must have confidence in my gear.  Maybe it was just my particular scope, but why risk it when bucks and bulls are at stake! 
 
Enter the Diascope 65, which in my opinion is better in every way, especially the robust build of the scope.
 
My diascope is a fine optical instrument that also happens to be really tough.  It resolves more detail at 45 power than my Pentax did at 60.  Check it out ... put it right next to the Pentax and Swaro HD ... I did.  Put a credit card on a fencepost 80 yards away and check resolution.  I bet you will be astounded.  I much prefer the dual focus rate feature on the Zeiss to the Swaro full-ring focus style. 
 
The thing is there is some particular unit-to-unit variation with all brands of spotting scopes.  Maybe I had a great Zeiss when I compared it to a not-so-great Swaro.  Maybe I would see something different if I got two different units.  The point to my posts, if I can get to it without rambling any further, is the Diascopes ARE comparable to the Swaro and others.  I suggest you compare them before you choose.
 
I am keeping my Zeiss.
Enjoy whatever you choose to get.Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2009 at 10:18
JGRaider View Drop Down
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Bitterroot, that's some good info.  I much prefer the dual focus like the Zeiss and Kowa over the Swaro and Nikon Fieldscopes, even though the view through my Fieldscope 82ED is very much on par with my neighbor's Zeiss 85T FL.  The metal body on my Nikon is very tough also. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2009 at 11:35
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The Zeiss Diascope is competitive with the very best.  When you get to this level of glass, they are all good.  It's just a matter of which subtle optical differences and features each brand & model offers that you prefer.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2009 at 14:43
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RifleDude,
 
You are spot on.  Sometimes we put a little too much weight on what somebody online types to us.  At these levels of performance, it is best to judge a scope with one's eye up to the eyepiece.
 
Whacko 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2009 at 18:21
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Hi - Don't know if you are interested, but I just today posted my Zeiss Diascope T* FL along with the 15-45x eyepiece and neoprene cover for $800.  It is superb, sharp optics with no scratches or whatever, and the focus smooth and accurate. The ebay number is 130329171641. Let me know if you want more info on it. If you are in the US I will mail it from Calais, ME.  I bought it from a birder in Arlington, VA about a year ago. It is an official Zeiss USA scope.

Whatever you do - good luck sorting out finding a great scope. At the really high end like Zeiss, Kowa, Swarovski, they are all good and rugged. Alas, so are the prices.
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