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Zeiss RF Binos

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2012 at 11:54
supertool73 View Drop Down
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So I picked up a pair of these off the sample list.   I got the 10x45s.  I sold my Leica Geovid HDs to pay for them.  I spent a couple hours out with them the other evening.   Glass, in technical terms is"super duper good"  I was looking at a few deer near dark, they were less than 100 yards away, I had a hard time making them out with my eyes, but I could see them very easily with the bino's.  My wife had her Meopta and we were comparing them.  In regular light I honestly could not tell much diff, but in low light the Zeiss seemed just a tad bit better to both of us.  The deer seemed a little easier to see, and seeing into shadows seemed a little better.  But if you did not have them side by side I honestly don't think you could tell much diff.  Looking into shadows in good light the Zeiss also seemed to perform just a little better.  But for the most part I think the mid $$ binos these day are really pushing the envelope vs the big boys.  I just don't think you are gaining much in image quality for that extra $1000+

I got a really good deal on the Leica's a which is why I bought them in the first place.  Shortly after I got them I took them to a local shop that had the Zeiss RF in stock.  They let me take them outside for 30 min or so and compare them.  The images both looked excellent to me.  I think the Leica's had a slightly larger sweet spot in them, but the Zeiss seemed to be a little brighter to me.  The image in the Leica's popped out a little more to me, but both had such outstanding optics I would have been happy with either.  But the laser on the Zeiss is what made me want to trade, it was impressive.  So ever since then I have been waiting for a good chance to trade.  When SWFA put these on the sample list I decided now was the time. 

On to the range finder.  It ranges so so much faster than the Leica, I could not believe it.  You release the button and almost instantaneously it had a reading.  The Leica seemed like using a 10 year old computer vs a new one, it was very noticeable.  I ranged out to 1830 yards with them so far.  The Leica farthest I think I ever got was around 1400 IIRC.  The Leica button is on the left side, while the Zeiss is on the right, I like the right better.  I am not a bow hunter, but bow hunters comment on that often about the Leica, it just does not work well for them being on the left side.  Also the Zeiss requires you to hold down the button and then let it up for the reading, the Leica you push down to get the reading.  This becomes problematic ranging small objects at long range.  Pushing that button down causes a lot of movement in the bino and makes it hard to actually get the reading.  With the Zeiss it is much easier to hold steady while just letting off of the button.  It will be much easier to get a reading on small objects. 

Downside is they are a little larger than the Leica's and a lot larger than my wife's Meotpa's.  So if you are looking for compact, then these are not it.  But it might still be better than carrying two separate tools. 

On costs, there is no way in heck I would ever pay $2900 for these, (or any bino for that matter) that is just crazy IMO.  While having a bino and RF in one is very nice, they just are not worth that much money IMO.  The image quality is just not that much better than the Meopta's and with the Meopta HD's and other brands out now that are so good for under $1000 I just don't see the point.  These were $1700 on the sample list, you can barely tell they have been used.  $1700 is about what a good bino and good RF would cost, so having a bino and RF in one at this cost I think is worth it (obviously since I bought them).  But if it were much more than that I would have a hard time swallowing the cost and probably just have separate systems.   It is awesome having them combined, I love being able to just push a button right from the binos and I know the distance.

So overall Leica's vs Zeiss.  Optically they are close, Leica's have the better sweet spot, but the Zeiss seem to be a bit brighter.  Leica's are a little more compact (which I am sure I will miss).  The RF in the Zeiss completely smokes the one in the Leica though, that is the part that sold me.  The actual usage and how the laser works is just flat out better on the Zeiss unit.  Either unit is spectacular, the optical quality is right up there with the best and both have a great RF system in them. 


Edited by supertool73 - August/17/2012 at 12:02
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2012 at 12:18
SVT_Tactical View Drop Down
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Great review.  Good job ST
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2012 at 13:41
jonoMT View Drop Down
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When I first saw bin/LRF combos I really wanted one...until looking at the prices. You got a great deal on the Zeiss. I have the Zeiss PRF and have been impressed with it. I used to have the Swaro and it would range farther, but weight and size were issues. The Zeiss will range out to 1200-1300, which is plenty.
If someone would come out with a combo as good as the Zeiss PRF for ranging and say as good as Zen glass, I'd consider that in the $1200-1500 range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2012 at 22:42
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Nothing wrong with dreaming jonoWink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2013 at 17:26
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I wonder how they would compare to the new Leica's.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2014 at 23:44
mcaeal View Drop Down
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great comparison.
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