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Zeiss Experience Needed

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2007 at 23:03
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I've finally decided to bite the bullet and purchase my first high end binoculars. The bargain hunter (alias cheapskate) still lingers from within.... and I ran across a pair of older model zeiss 10 X 40 classics with a "T" and "P" on the focus ring. I'm very impressed with this pair of binoculars.  For those of you that have been able to do a side by side comparison, can I expect much better performance from the newer Zeiss models, or any of the other top end glass out there than this older classic Zeiss?

I would appreciate your opinions.

Thanks!

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 08:37
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Sled2Live -

 

Welcome.  Yes, you can do better than the Zeiss Classic.  It's just a function of the cost vs. value equation that only you can decide.  Here are some recommendations for you, all of which will outperform the Classic:

 

Zeiss FL

Swarovski SLC and EL

Leica Trinovid and Ultravid

NIkon Premiere

Vortex Razor

Minox HG

 

There are others from Steiner (Peregrine XP) and Leupold (Golden Ring), but I would never recommend someone buying them.  The XPs are simply way overpriced and the Golden Rings are too heavy with very uncomfortable eye cups (at least for my eyes).

 

ND2000

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 12:44
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Thanks.  

 I appreciate your help.

So can you guys educate me about Zeiss?  I see lots of claims of companies associating themselves with Zeiss. For example, the Minox company claims they are using Zeiss glass???  What about Zeiss Jena...Zeiss Haibicht...Zeiss Hensoldt...Zeiss Wetzlar....Jenoptyk etc.  Are these claims legit?  Is it lower quality glass?

Which of these has the highest quality stuff...or better yet, which do I stay away from?

Any inormation will help me.

I've been reading all that I can on this and other forums,  still confused.

Thanks

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 13:31
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Zeiss owns Schott optical, a glass manufacturer who provides lenses for some Minox binoculars.  However, many different optics use Schott glass.  It's high quality glass, but what they do with the glass once they get it is as important, maybe more so than the glass itself.  Companies want to associate themselves with Zeiss because of Zeiss' solid world-wide reputation for making some of the best optics available.

 

Zeiss Jena is an old East German division of Carl Zeiss (I believe), Habicht is a model name Swarovski uses for their riflescopes (which is an Austrian name for a mountain in the Alps).  Hensoldt is a european brand name division of Carl Zeiss, and I'm not sure about the other two.

 

There are no Zeiss products I'm aware of that you should really stay away from.  Any optics in the current Zeiss lineup is good.  The Victory series scopes and binos are their best, but the rest of their stuff is very good as well.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 13:32
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I think it would be somewhat incorrect to say that companies are associating themselves with Zeiss.  For instance, Minox is not using Zeiss glass (primarily because Zeiss doesn't use Zeiss glass!), they both use Schott AG, at least Minox does in their HG series.

 

I guess I'm wondering what it is your confused about.  Perhaps let us know a little more about how much you want to spend adn what your primary application will be.

 

ND2000

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 13:57
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Here is perhaps another little known fact. Zeiss also uses glass from other sorces as well so long as it is up to their "specs". I am talking about the raw glass itself. They have stated that the source is not necessarly important so long as it meets their specification. It's what happens to this raw glass after Zeiss performs their magic (cutting, grinding, polishing and coating) that makes Zeiss, well, a ZEISS.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 16:04
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Zeiss Jena is not a divison of Zeiss.................

 

Carl Zeiss factory was in Jena up until 1945, well they had other factories as well all over the world but Jena was the center. They have had Zeiss London and Zeiss Wienna to meantion two.

1945 did unfortunately Jena be on the Russian ocuation zone and the owners and best techniquans escaped to the west and started a new factory in Oberkoshen.

Up until this, have Zeiss never produced any dialyt scopes or binoculars, as Dialyt is a Hensoldt brandname.

THe majority of the stocks of Hensoldt was aquired by Zeiss in 1929 but during the war and the the first decades after the war did Zeiss and Hensoldt still have their own productlines.

I belive in 1963 was the Hensoldt products marked with Zeiss instead and the later on was the binocular production in Oberkoshen closed.

So since (somewhere betwen 1963 and 72) have mostly Zeiss products been produced in Wetzlar by the Hensoldt factory.

When Zeiss took over hensoldt products , the older zeiss products was stopped and Hensoldt name was only used for military products.

It's kinda funna to see those two products.

 

Typical Zeiss products made before 1945

DF7x50 military binocular with porro construction.         ;           ;           ;           ;           ;           ;           ;           ;           ;           ;           ;           ;

 

Zeiss DF 8x60 with Porro 2 construction.

This is probably the best optical solution for low light binoculars, unfortunatly very expensive and therefor is mostly the best military glasses made this way but very few civilian glasses.

Typical Hensoldt Marinedialyt made before 1919, this model was produed betwen 1910 and 24

The Dialyt was Hensoldt way around Zeiss patent on the prismatic binocular.

 

After 1945 was the Jena factory runned by the comunists and they held of course a lower quality but still farily good

Here is a Zeiss Binoctar from the early fifties and those can only be distigiused from the pre 45 production by serialnumbers.

 

Otherwise same markings and serialnumberrange.



Edited by www.technika.nu
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 16:59
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Thanks for all who have replied.

As I have stated earlier, I was hoping to buy my one and only set of quality binos, but choked on the $1500 to $2000 + price tag they seem to fetch now days. I  was planning on spending about $1000.  After reading the forums for a while, and looking thru quite a few sets across the store etc.  I was convinced by the forums that $1000 could still buy some quality binos.  Since I'm a hunter, and have been saving for my Alaska sheep hunt while still hunting here in the west for deer and elk..., I wanted some glass that was light weight but had enough resolution/image quality to discern trophy quality.  I found a few bargains out there which I purchased with the intent of selecting the best of the lot and selling the rest.

  I've bought some bushnell elite 10 X 43, leupold golden ring 10 X 32, and borrowed a pair of Zeiss classic 10 X 40 TP. and have been doing my own comparisons.  Under low light (O'dark 30) when I can't see the deer with my naked eye, the Zeiss and the leupold had very equivalent resolution(?) and I could make out antlers and details.  The Zeiss were brighter than the leupolds but both had an equally sharp view.  The elite's were the brightest of the three, but I couldn't make out the antler detail.  I could see more deer further away with the elite's, but the view wasn't as sharp.  Low light ranking: 1) Zeiss, 2) Leupolds, 3) Bushnells.

  Early morning shadows before the sun was directly on the hill, gave similar results until the sun got a few degrees higher, then the elites had much better clarity and sharper image.  I could see the antler points better with the elite's than with either the zeiss or the leupolds.  Daylight under all conditions, the bushnells were much sharper, bigger sweet pot so to speak and easier on my eyes.  Ranking: 1) Bushnells, 2) Zeiss, 3) Leupolds.

  I really like the lighter weight of the bushnells vs the leupolds. The low light ability of the bushnells leaves me wanting.  So in summary, I was impressed with the zeiss, and can only imagine how much better the newer technology is that the Classics.  As I began looking for what's out there, I ran across all of these other descriptions with the name zeiss attached. I appreciate your input and the suggested list.  I'll be glad to listen to all suggestions....the cheapskate is still in me, so I am still looking.

Thanks

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 17:05
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Thanks technika,

  That clears up a few things.  So when I see Zeiss Jena, or Zeiss Hendoldt in the classifeds, I'm probably looking at some of the very old stuff. I'm sure the new technology outshines the older stuff.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 17:22
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Hi

 

Hensoldt are still making very good binoculars for military use and those does surface on the civilian market from time to time.

I think the Hensoldt 10x50 is some of the greatest Wide angle binoculars of all time, its truly great, but its heavy and big to.

 

In my world Zeiss can never compare with Leupold and Bushnell, espesially not in low light.

I am often using Zeiss 7x50B Marine (still in produciton, and quite expensive)for low light use.

 

I don't own any centerfocus binoculars that i use, as centerfocus is only slow and stupid in my opinion and only good for people with tired old eyes, like around 50-60 and upwards.

Regards Technika

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 18:23
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Hi,

  I do have tired old eyes along with tired legs....that's why I want some great optics so I can determine from across the canyon whether I should stalk that particular animal. ;-)

  I appreciate your input. When you say 7 X 50 B, what does the B stand for?  I see letters after many of their binoculars.

Thanks

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 21:14
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Sled2live, do yourself a big favor and ONLY consider a center focus binocular for hunting. I cannot think of one serious hunter nor have I ever read of a serious unter that stated an individual focus binocular was better than a center focus binocular (Steiner being the only exception to this rule). I would bet large sums of money that the serious bird watchers that frequent here from time to time would concur as well. Having good, bad, or exceptional eyesight has nothing to do with the benefits of a center focus binocular.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2007 at 22:01
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Thanks Roy  I hear you.  I've had some of the individual eye focusing types...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2007 at 09:52
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+1 for Roy Finn's comments!  There's a reason individual focus binoculars aren't commonly encountered in the US.  Most people have found that center focus works better for them! 

 

"...slow and stupid...and only good for people with tired old eyes..."?  By implication, then,  Zeiss, Swarovski and Leitz are in the business of manufacturing "slow and stupid" binoculars as their top-of-the-line models.   Hardly likely!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2007 at 10:25
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 ND2000,

Taking your advise listed earlier in this thread, I'm looking harder at the newer zeiss or the swarovski line. (That $ pill is still hard to swallow) and I'm looking at the used or demo market. I see that there are some Zeiss victory binos out there that don't have the "FL" as part of their name that can be had for much closer to my $1000 comfort zone.  How do they compare with the much costlier FL's and other (better than the Classics) binos you've listed?

 

Also, what is the difference between a swarovski 10 X 42 B and their 10 X 42 WB?

 

Thanks

Scott

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/13/2007 at 10:30
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It's certanly slower to adjust a centerfocus wheel than to not adjust anything at all.

I bet that all of you that say individual focus is sh*t not have tried a good pair.

I have owned and used some of the better centerfocus binoculars and I can't find any reason in the world for me now to use those anymore when the individual focus is so much faster and easyer.

A second hand pair of Zeiss 7x50 B often costs around 450-500 dollars and that is cheap, great binocular for the money.

 

A pair of individually focused binoculars are adjusted in once for the user and then not they do not have to refocused again. For mostly people this works great from 10-20 yards and upwards, and rarely do we hunters have to look at anything closer than that.

The birdwatcher is looking down to 2 yards and needs the centerfocus wheel.

 

Why do you have to refocus your binoculars all the time, but you are never fumbling around with your scopes?

 

But please before you comment, give it a serous try before you say it's sh*t.

 

Regards Technika

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2007 at 00:36
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well said.Individual is the best way to go.
Originally posted by www.technika.nu www.technika.nu wrote:

It's certanly slower to adjust a centerfocus wheel than to not adjust anything at all.


I bet that all of you that say individual focus is sh*t not have tried a good pair.


I have owned and used some of the better centerfocus binoculars and I can't find any reason in the world for me now to use those anymore when the individual focus is so much faster and easyer.


A second hand pair of Zeiss 7x50 B often costs around 450-500 dollars and that is cheap, great binocular for the money.


 


A pair of individually focused binoculars are adjusted in once for the user and then not they do not have to refocused again. For mostly people this works great from 10-20 yards and upwards, and rarely do we hunters have to look at anything closer than that.


The birdwatcher is looking down to 2 yards and needs the centerfocus wheel.


 


Why do you have to refocus your binoculars all the time, but you are never fumbling around with your scopes?


 


But please before you comment, give it a serous try before you say it's sh*t.


 


Regards Technika

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2007 at 09:12
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technika & zeissoem,

Obviously, the sales market of binoculars is much different in your part of the world, according to what you "imply" in your posts.

In America, IF/Individual Focus binocular are very limited, especially for hunting, and even more so for birding applications.   Most people think only of Steiner, IOR, or Fujinon binoculars when contemplating IF. There is the occasional Nikon IF models, but, rarely do we see anything but center focus in our stores, with the exception of Steiner.

IOR seeems to have a very small market here, and even they are coming out with more center focus models for the American market.

Personally, I have NEVER seen a Leica, Swarovski, or Zeiss IF binocular in ANY of the stores that I visit, on a regular basis, nor do we see them advertised/sold on the internet here in America as NEW binoculars.

The fact that the both of you are into "older" (military ?) binoculars is probably the best explanation as to why your collection consists of so many IF binoculars.

One final observation, IF binoculars are popular here in America, but, mostly as Astronomy/Stargazing binoculars, not very many used for hunting, birding, etc. (there is a market for IF in Marine binoculars)

There are ALOT of binocular enthusiasts here in our county who are 50+ years of age. Many are hunters, many are bird watchers, many from all different walks of life, and, yes, we do have tired old eyes.

Trying to MAKE people fit into "your category of thinking", only, is silly and ridiculous.

Again, you are some what ignorant of our sales market here in the States. The bulk, the majority of binoculars sold in the USA are center focus models.




Edited by Bird Watcher
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2007 at 09:43
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technika & zeissoem, I have more than a little experience with IF bino's (half dozen Steiner's) and while they do offer the ability to scan various distances without the need to refocus, I have found center focus bino's have the ability to fine focus objects better than IF bino's. If someone was to follow your advise regarding IF bino's they would be better suited for tired old eye's that no longer have the ability to resolve fine details, not the other way around.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2007 at 11:42
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Originally posted by Sled2live Sled2live wrote:

I've finally decided to bite the bullet and purchase my first high end binoculars. The bargain hunter (alias cheapskate) still lingers from within.... and I ran across a pair of older model zeiss 10 X 40 classics with a "T" and "P" on the focus ring. I'm very impressed with this pair of binoculars.  For those of you that have been able to do a side by side comparison, can I expect much better performance from the newer Zeiss models, or any of the other top end glass out there than this older classic Zeiss?

I would appreciate your opinions.

Thanks!

 

 

That is an excellent pair of binoculars. If the price is right I would buy them and never look back.

You can expect better performance from some of the newer glasses but at what cost?

Don't worry about this CF vs. IF stuff going on here. I prefer CF, but more will be coming on this on another thread. It is not simply set and forget about it, though. Especially for those of us that are 45+ in age. You simply cannot go from a 40 yd focus to several hundred on the same setting.

A lot of birders I see at the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory use this same model (10x40) of Zeiss. I see them more than any other bino. The 10x40 has a 4mm exit pupil which won't be as good in low light as the 7x42, though.

I use a 7x42 T and it is an excellent glass. Two others in my family have a Swaro 7x42 porro and a 7x42 Leica roof and the difference between the three is very minor.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2007 at 15:38
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CF is far more common in Europe than IF, just like in the US.

But just like on gunstocks (where monte carlo was the fashion years ago and classic is it today) is there fashion and trends in binoculars.

Zeiss, Swarovski and Leica military binoculars are all IF, and not CF.

Leica Vector or Vectronix as the name now are that are the BIG binocular in military circuits (price range from 10000 Dollars and upwards) are all IF.

 

And if we are looking in low light, IF is definitaly the way to go as there not is sufficient light to focus the binocular in low light. In those cases you are just focusing forward and backwards and never really satisfied.

In mostly cases the choise betwen IF and CF is fashion and availibility, not tested preference.

All people that have borrowed a Zeiss 7x50B Marine (of course IF) from me have been more than satisfied (current production, not pre-45 binocular)

 

Regards Technika

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2007 at 18:03
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Once again you have missed the point entirely.

A V A I L A B I L I T Y & D E M A N D

The binoculars you are talking about are "rare" over here, NOT common.

Even if the Marine and Military European binoculars offer superb performance they are not readily available to us, also, there does not seem to be the demand from consumers.

You are beating a drum and playing a tune that is mostly foreign in this country.




Edited by Bird Watcher
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technika,

I have used IF binos extensively, and I DO NOT think they are in any way superior to CF binos.  I've heard the argument over and over again about not having to focus, but outside of the optimal depth of field of the IF binos, everything else isn't in optimal focus and therefore images extremely close or extremely far away do not appear as sharp as they could be.  I've also heard the argument that your eyes automatically adjust to focus through the optic, but this isn't entirely true, because if the bino is grossly out of focus for the distance, your eyes cannot compensate.  In addition, you say that CF binos are "slow," but with modern, fast CF mechanisms, it takes less than 5 seconds and not even one full turn to focus objects.  In short, I wouldn't personally own a pair of IF binos if you gave them to me!  To me, they are next to useless.  When I look at anything through binoculars, I want the absolute sharpest image possible at any and all distances.  Plus, Bird Watcher is correct -- IF binos are very rare in the U.S., and for good reason -- very few people want them!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2007 at 23:19
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They are out of fashion, few people have tried them, and therefor nobody wants them.

 

"It takes less than five seconds" to adjust a CF binocular  with IF binoculars it takes a few tenths of a second.

And the CF can't be correctly adjusted in low light.

 

Why do you have to adjust a binocular but not yor scope? is your scope out of focus?

Is a scope with AO sharper than without? Nope it's not, at least no below 12X, and same thing with the binoculars.

No becuase just like your eyes are used and constructed to do this readjustment as they now are looking into the screen 25" away, next tenth of a second you are looking throught the window on an objext 500 yards away and that is sharp.

 

Avalitbility in the US and in Europe is probably the same, IF is certainly scarce in the stores.

But when i buy a gun i does not buy .30-06 if I have decided to give .280 a try, just because the store doesent have it in stock, same thing with binoculars.

 

You are all free to belive what you want, but to say that IF is rubbish when you not have tried a quality IF binocular is really to limiting your equipment. This is like a four year old kid who refuses to eat his muchrooms as he have decided that they are not tasty even though he not ever have tried them before.

 

Regards Technika

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Tahqua for helping get this thread back on track.  I appreciate you sharing your experiences with the different glass you've used. I was very impressed with the zeiss classics I borrowed...I just haven't had availability to use some of the other high end binocs, so your input is a great help to me.

  I also appreciate all of the other comments including the IF debate going on.  Technika provided me a lot of answers about some of the older zeiss I'd been seeing and I know I won't turn down an opportunity to look thru some of the IF binocs out there. I've been quite impressed with my steiner 8 X 30 mil glasses with the IF, but they don't give me the resolution I'm looking for.  I figured that was an element of these steiners being part of their lower end stuff not because of the IF feature. They are always in the truck, and I love them for watching sporting events.

  Again, Thanks to all for the advise...keep it coming...

 

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