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Zeiss 10X40 Clasics

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2005 at 14:09
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Optics GrassHopper
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I'm looking for a good pair of Hunting/General  purpose binoculars and for $700 (@Cabelas) the Zeiss 10X40's seem hard to beat. Anyone have any opinion of these binoculars or any others that I should be looking at? I can spend more but obviously don't want to if I don't have to.

 

Thanks,

Dave

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2005 at 22:29
lucznik View Drop Down
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I have never known anyone who owned a Zeiss 10X40 Classic that was anything less than thrilled with them.  For that price range I don't think you can buy a better 10X40 binocular.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2005 at 09:20
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You may be right....but the Pentax 10x43SP is awesome....for less money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2005 at 09:30
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Optics GrassHopper
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Quote For that price range I don't think you can buy a better 10X40 binocular.


That's what I figured but I'm open to other ideas as well. Thanks for the input.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2005 at 19:03
lucznik View Drop Down
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Grubbs,
 
I agree with you.  My personal primary binocular is a Pentax DCF WP (the forerunner to the SP model) and they are fantastic.  They certainly provide alot of bang for the buck. My point was only that anyone who buys the Zeiss (as opposed to the other options in their price range) is never disappointed. If I had $700 to drop on another binocular, I would look closely at buying another Pentax, but that Zeiss sure has been a powerful temptation. I honestly don't know which I would end up purchasing.  (And my wife is quite happy that I am not in a position to make that decision right now!)
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2005 at 09:22
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Optics GrassHopper
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lucznik....I agree with you.  Every Zeiss I have ever seen is fantastic.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2005 at 17:32
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Approximately eight years ago in Alaska I had my first chance to look through the Zeiss 10x40 "Classics" you are talking about. I was using Swaro SLC 8x30 and the other hunter was using Leica I believe they were 10x42. (Forgot model) Anyhoot..

 

Before this trip I was not much a believer in Zeiss Optics other than knowing they were equal or better than most. The Zeiss 10x40 is a very good binocular and was the only optics other than a Leupold Rifle Scope that didn't flood with water or some part did not break. As for the shadow detail at dusk and dawn they were whole notch better than any of the other binos out on this adventure. I would recommend them.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2005 at 17:38
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thank you for the recommendation. I figured they were good, especially for the money. For my needs, is there any reason to spend about twice as much for the new models Zeiss, Leica etc? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2005 at 18:33
noddah View Drop Down
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I actually bought a Zeiss 10x42 FL Bino just recently after looking and comparing models between the Zeiss Victory (8 &10 Power) Leica Ultravid (8&10 Power) and Swaro. I bought the Zeiss for boating, hunting / glassing, hiking, and the basic outdoors. I believe most folks would be thrilled with any of the models I tested and without knowing all the aspects of your needs. I would highly recommend both Leica and Zeiss Products.

 

Saying with a disclaimer the purchase of the bleeding edge may not be necessary in your case but the more expensive models are really and truly excellent. If you have the means and these are for life then by all means compare and purchase the more expensive unit; and I believe you will be happy. I would buy my Zeiss FLs again for sure.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/12/2005 at 18:47
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Optics GrassHopper
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Noddah, thanks again. I'll check them all out before I make a decision. I'll be attending the SHOT show later this month and will have the opportunity to try them all. I can buy whichever I decide on. I would just rather not spend twice as much for something that isn't significantly better for my needs. I will not be using them daily. They will mainly be used for hunting and occasional general outdoors activities.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2005 at 06:26
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Here is a copy of a post I wrote on a birding forum, in response to a 10x40 Classic owner who wondered how much better can the new FL be :

 

>>>I bought the 10x40 Classic in 1992, with T* and P coatings. Now I have the 10x42 FL, and there are a lot of improvements :

The FL is brighter, and not by a small margin. Itís hard to believe but thatís the truth. In low light conditions, the brightness is really impressive.

The colour rendition is excellent, clearly better than the Classic, which has a yellow cast easily noticeable in direct comparison.

The contrast of the image is higher in the FL : black objects appear a tad darker in the FL.

The sharpness in the centre of the field is outstanding, but no better than the Classic. I have carefully tested the binoculars tripod mounted on high contrast objects like branches with clouds on the background, and I can hardly see improvements due to the elimination of chromatic aberration. Either Iím not sensitive to C.A, either the Classics are very well corrected from C.A, I donít know. Off-axis, the falloff of sharpness is nearly identical in both binoculars. At the very edge (where I never look), the Classic is somewhat better.

There is a perceptible pincushion distortion in the FL, which gives sometimes a strange image on architectural objects. In the field however, Iím not bothered by this small amount of distortion. The Classic on the other hand has no perceptible distortion on static views, but shows a compression of the image near the edges on sweeping views, unlike the FL.

Iíve not noticed any flares in the FL. It happens rarely with the Classic, though itís not a real problem.

The eye relief is about 3 mm longer in the FL, which makes a clear difference for an eyeglasses wearer like me : I can always see the entire field of view, without pushing my glasses on my nose.

The closest focus distance is really 2 m, as advertised by Zeiss. (instead of 4.60 m for the Classic). There is no play at all in the focus mechanism, contrary to my Classic, which has furthermore different plays in right and both barrels ( that really bothers me ).
The focus wheel turns much more easily, and is twice as fast as the Classic :
To focus from 6 m to 30 m, the Classic requires 1/2 turn, and the FL 1/4 turn.
To focus from 25 m to infinity, the Classic requires 1/8 turn, and the FL 1/16 turn.
I can still achieve a very good focus, so itís a nice feature for me.

The handling is better. The barrels of the FL are bigger, and this allows a stronger grip of the binocular, resulting in a more steady view. Because of the bigger body, the FL seems lighter than the Classic, despite it is not the case. The strap lugs are badly positioned in the Classic : the objectives are leaning against the belly when the binocular is held by the strap. In the FL the strap lugs are near the sides, so the binocular hangs nearly vertically and is far more pleasant to carry around the neck.

The FL comes with better accessories : a nice and wide strap, useful objective covers, a light eyepiece cover, and a very thick and protective case.

In conclusion, Iíd say that none of the improvements listed above can justify in itself an upgrade from the Classic to the FL, but the sum of improvements can be worth it. I still believe that the 10x40 Classic is a very fine binocular : for example Iíve not found details which would be visible in the FL and not in the Classic.<<<

Jean-Charles

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2005 at 10:50
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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The FL represent the absolute best binocular that Zeiss has ever made.  I hunted with a pair in WY this year and had the opportunity to compare them side by side against Swarovski and a Zeiss Conquest binocular.  It got to the point where we just shared the FLs   because no one wanted to use the others.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2005 at 22:54
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks guys for the great reviews. I guess I'll have to wait and try out the FL's to see if its worth it to me to pay the extra bucks.
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