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Final Choice on Binocular

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2005 at 21:33
BobH View Drop Down
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I could really use a little help on a final choice of binocular here, and would appreciate any feedback I could get here.  I am relatively new to the bino world and have been reading throught these forums to try and educate myself.  I finally went to one of the retailers today to get some hands on experience, but still have a major question.  I spent several hours looking through the different 10 x 40ish binoculars including the Swarovski EL, the Leica Ultravid, Duovid, & Geovid, Bushnell Elite, Leopold Gold Ring, Pentax SP, and finally the Zeiss ClassiC and FL. 

 

First impressions were that the EL was very nice and handy, but also very high priced.  The Leicas were either a little heavy or awkward (but the Ultravids were definitely my 2nd choice).  I couldn't bring myself to spend $1K on Bushnell.  Leupold were way to heavy.  Tried the SP's because everyone raves about them as the best 2nd tier, but focus from the edge to the center was way differenct.  Finally decided to take the Zeiss Classics home (no reason to explain that choice) and the FL's as these were my favorites in the store.

 

Once home I compared the two side by side in a creek bottom in daylight and noticed very little difference, other than the FL's looked a little "richer" than the others.  I also took them out tonight until dark, and again noticed a slight edge to the FL's but not huge.

 

My question is, what am I missing?  While cost is certainly a factor, as I am sure it is for most, it would not keep me from buying the FL's if I saw a significant difference.  But to my inexperienced eye, I could not tell a huge difference b/w the two in optics quality.  They were both very sharp from edge to center, handling was very good, and light transmission was great.  I will say that the eye relief on the FL's was much better, but probably not $1000 different/

 

Thanks to everyone in advance, I would really appreciate some good feedback on this.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2005 at 10:41
Stud Duck View Drop Down
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In my opinion, you answered your own question in the last paragraph! You're not missing anything. You done what you were supposed to do; take them home, compare them side by side, decide which ones your eyes and hands like best and base your decision upon that information. Not upon what they cost. Congradulations!

 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2005 at 13:33
Rusty View Drop Down
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FL vs Classic:

 

According to some birders reviews, the Classics are still very good, however they aren't as bright, not waterproof, not as ergonomic, and lack a few bells and whistles (eye cups).  The new FL is a great binocular, and so is the Classic. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2005 at 13:43
BobH View Drop Down
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Thanks for the update, Rusty.  You mentioned that they are not waterproof, is that "they are not waterproof" or they are not "as waterproof" as others?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2005 at 16:17
Buster1 View Drop Down
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Zeiss guarantees all of their binos to be completely fog/waterproof....

 

Limited Lifetime Transferable Warranty
All Zeiss Binoculars, Riflescopes, and Spotting Scopes (EXCLUDING THE PARTS and SPECIALTY PRODUCTS LISTED BELOW) sold through a United States Authorized Zeiss Dealer come with a Lifetime Transferable Warranty. This warranty gives the purchaser ("you") specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

Company ("Zeiss"/"we"/"us") warrants that products sold will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use. If determined to be defective, Zeiss will pay for the cost of labor and materials required for the repair. If product cannot be repaired due to defect, Zeiss will replace with same or equivalent product at Zeiss' discretion. All products have been designed to meet ISO 9022 Standards and are guaranteed to be fog and waterproof. The Company's liability is expressly limited to either repair or replacement of nonconforming merchandise or, if the Company in its sole discretion should determine that it is not possible or practical to repair or replace the nonconforming merchandise, refund of the Dealer's purchase price if the nonconforming merchandise is returned. Written notice of any claimed nonconformity or need of repair, specifying the nonconformity of the repair needed, must be received by the Company from Dealer within ten (10) days of receipt of the merchandise by Dealer.

This warranty is subject to the following terms and limitations:

(1) Warranty coverage begins on the date of purchase. In order to make it easier to provide you with warranty service, Product registration must be made within 60 days of purchase. Online warranty registration at www.zeiss.com is the preferred method of registration, however, registration cards may be mailed to Zeiss.

(2) This warranty will be null and void if repairs are attempted on the product by anyone other than Zeiss or the product has been subjected to misuse or abuse.

(3) This warranty is given exclusively by Zeiss and not by the dealer from whom you purchased the product.

ITEMS NOT COVERED FOR THE LIFE OF THE PRODUCT:
(4) WEARING PARTS, SUCH AS BUT NOT LIMITED TO CARRYING STRAPS, PROTECTIVE CAPS, RUBBER EYECUPS, RUBBER ARMORING, POUCHES, CASES, RUBBER EYEPIECE RINGS AND/OR PROTECTIVE CAPS ARE WARRANTED FOR ONE (1) YEAR FROM THE DATE OF PURCHASE.

PRODUCTS THAT CARRY A FIVE (5) YEAR WARRANTY FROM THE DATE OF PURCHASE ARE AS FOLLOWS:
  • 20x60 Stabilized Binocular
  • 20x60 Stabilized Monocular
  • 1.2x62 Victory Night Vision Monocular, 5.6x62 Victory Night Vision Monocular, 5.6x60 Night Vision Monocular
  • Z-Point

PRODUCTS THAT CARRY A ONE (1) YEAR WARRANTY FROM THE DATE OF PURCHASE ARE AS FOLLOWS:
  • SCOPZTM Sporting Glasses

Disclaimer:
The warranties contained herein are in lieu of and exclude all other warranties, express or implied, by operation of law or otherwise, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for particular use. IN NO EVENT WILL ZEISS BE LIABLE FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES. THE MAXIMUM LIMIT OF LIABILITY FOR LOSSES OR DAMAGE FROM ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER, SHALL BE THE PRICE PAID FOR THE PRODUCT. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of consequential or incidental damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/10/2005 at 01:07
xenophobe View Drop Down
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Zeiss 7x42 and 10x40b Classics are NOT waterproof.  If you've ever handled them you would know this.

Anyways, the 10x40b's are great binoculars and up until several years ago, were still Zeiss' top dog.  Those were my first high-end binocular.  About a month ago I bought a 10x42 Ultravid and it's now my main pair, but I won't be getting rid of my 10x40 Classics.  Sure, the Ultravids are lighter, a bit brighter and have a sharper sweet spot, but they don't make the Classics look like a second rate binocular by any means.

When you're talking about >$1000 binoculars, you're squeezing the very last percentages of sharpness, contrast and brightness out of any given design.  In most cases many other less expensive binoculars will preform nearly as well or equally for standard daytime viewing.

The real benefit of these botique binoculars can only be seen during dawn and dusk, the few minutes before and after, as well as looking towards the setting/rising sun during these times. 

So, the extra $1000 you would spend on the FL only give you less chromatic aberation, minimally better contrast, sharpness, and resolution.  In some cases due to sample varation, the difference might not even be perceivable by someone not knowing how to judge optical quality. 

Even though the 10x40B Classics are discontinued (and only offered by Cabelas), they're still much better than 95% or more of the existing binoculars on the market today, IMO. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2005 at 11:20
Buster1 View Drop Down
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The ClassiC's may not be waterproof according to JISO (Japanese) standards, but my understanding is that German standards have always been more stringent. They're not nitrogen purged, but are completely o-ring sealed. I've owned several 10x40 ClassiC's over the years and never had an ounce of trouble with any of them in any weather conditions. In fact, I often ran them under the sink to wash dust and crap off the lenses and never had a problem.

As you stated, the ClassiC's are still being produced for Cabelas. I copied and pasted the warranty info directly from Zeiss' web-page, and as you'll note, it states ALL their binos, with the exception of their stabilized binos and some monoculars, ARE guaranteed to be completely fog and waterproof.

After all this time, the Zeiss ClassiC's are still the binos which all others are judged against. The simple reason for this is because they've proven themselves world-wide for decades, in all types of weather conditions. If you can find a documented case of Zeiss ClassiC's ever taking on water, I'd love to hear about it...

In short, if the ClassiC's were on my short list of binos, I wouldn't loose a seconds sleep worrying about them not being weatherproof. I'd call Cabelas with credit card in hand, wait patiently for the big brown truck to arrive, and would grin ear-to-ear everytime I used them.....


Edited by Buster1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2005 at 18:25
BobH View Drop Down
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As a post script, I gave the 2 sets of binoculars to my father to compare, and to compare with a pair of 7x50 Nikon porro prism's that he has had for years.  He told me that they were top of the line at the time of purchase, probably some time in the 50's.   He said that there was a significant difference in the Zeiss' clarity to to the older Nikons. But he agreed with me, that the difference in the Classic to the FL wasn't that significant.  He also thought that the older 7x50's, with their larger pupil, actually were brighter than either of the Zeiss binoculars.  I was surprised to hear that one, even with the larger pupil.  Is exit pupil that much more of a differentiating factor, over the newer coatings?

 

Thanks to everyone for contributing here, it has been interesting to read your takes on this subject.  I had tried to find other strings that compared the top of the line, to an older model that was once the best.  I think it would be interesting to talk about the EL's vs. the SLC's next.   

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2005 at 22:53
xenophobe View Drop Down
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Waterproofing is overrated, IMO.  It's not something that will affect my decision to buy a binocular. 

The 10x40B Classics have a moving Objective to focus, and the 7x42 have a moving ocular.  Sure they may be rubber O-ring sealed, but I wouldn't subject either of them to immersion.  Washing them under a running tap is hardly a significant test of waterproofing.  Regardless, I've never seen either model being advertised or talked about as being waterproof.  Neither Zeiss' literature on them, or any other website makes this distinction.  Waterproofing has always been considered a sales feature, and if either of them truly were, it would most probably be stated as such.

I agree they're great binoculars, especially for the prices you would pick them up for, and you're not likely to get much of a better view from them, but my 10x42 Ultravids do smoke my Classics.  Even though the 7x42 was by far the most crisp view I've seen compared to 99% of what's out there, I sold them.  7x is not enough for me.
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