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View Full Version : Zeiss 8x30B Oberkochen / 8x30 BGAT*P and 8x20 BGAT*P Dialyt's


james holdsworth
Monday 10th December 2012, 23:31
I recently acquired three new Zeiss bins, at least new to me. Here is a brief review of all three....

Zeiss 8x30B Oberkochen - near mint, almost unmarked, this seems a late version [serial #935XXX] marked ''made in west germany'' and lug attachments on the body rather than the hinge.

Jewel-like build quality, absolutely beautiful fit and finish and appearance, tiny for a 8x30, nestles nicely in the palm of your hand.

The view is superb for an older porro. Wonderful sharpness, good contrast, fairly wide field, only a trace of warmth to the colour cast, great 3D view and sense of depth. Big sweetspot with very good edges. Transmission [as would be expected] isn't great, probably in the 75-80% range, but the image is gorgeous in most lighting conditions. Almost no CA. Immensely satisfying to look through, handle and look at - could very well become one of my all-time favourites.

I'm not likely to lug these jewels into the field much but they are very nice just sitting on a shelf over my desk, where I can look at their Zeiss-ness ;]

Zeiss 8x30 BGAT*P Dialyt - I have owned a non P of this model for awhile and dismissed the whole series as ''pretty average'' based on this non P. So, trading up to this P version was a revelation, as this model doesn't seem to get much love. This version seems a late issue as well, with coatings that have an FL-like magenta hue.

To me, the view is on par with my 7x42 BGAT*P - wonderfully sharp, contrasty with a huge sweetspot and very minimal edge softness, nice wide field and minimal distortion. Head-to-head, the 8x30 appeared a hair sharper and a tad more contrasty than the 7x42 - maybe due to newer coatings. Also appeared more colour neutral [coolish] than the slightly warm 7x42. Transmission seems very good, and would look to be close to 90%. Almost zero CA [a big problem for me], even at the edge of the field - equalling my FL and surpassing lots of other current alphas in this regard. Lower lateral colour than the FL. The P version is such a jump up from the non P that they hardly seem the same model.

I was in the market for a good 8x32 for fieldwork, and was looking at FL's but this 8x30 is so good I may just have found my answer.

Zeiss 8x20 BGAT*P Dialyt - I also owned a non P of this model and was completely underwhelmed with its performance - tons of distortion, tiny sweetspot, dim and pretty much undeserving of the Zeiss name. I kept it only for its collectability. The P version seems quite rare - I have only ever seen two for sale on the bay and elsewhere.

The P is loads better, although I must admit to hating most every compact I have ever tried. Much bigger sweetspot, flatter field, brighter and sharper - better in most every way. Still, this bin is a boutique version, and is most unlikely to find their way into the field for serious birding. Seems a great bin for the pocket, for travel or fishing or the like.

Anyway, thought I would share my thoughts on these three.....

Pinewood
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 00:17
Hello James,

Do you have any idea of the date of manufacture of the 8x30B Porro? Some German binoculars, made around 1951 had trouble with aging Canadian Balsam, giving the view a warmish tone. My Leitz Binuxit, 8x30, of that year suffers from that. Another one, made in 1953, has no such problem.

The 8x30 BGAT has problems when aimed in the direction of the sun. Have you noticed the glare?

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood :hi:

james holdsworth
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 00:59
Hello James,

Do you have any idea of the date of manufacture of the 8x30B Porro? Some German binoculars, made around 1951 had trouble with aging Canadian Balsam, giving the view a warmish tone. My Leitz Binuxit, 8x30, of that year suffers from that. Another one, made in 1953, has no such problem.

The 8x30 BGAT has problems when aimed in the direction of the sun. Have you noticed the glare?

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood :hi:


The porro I think is late run, maybe late 70's. I need to check with Gary or Henry about that. I think only the latest examples were labelled ''made in west germany.''

The 8x30 BGAT does suffer from a bit of washout on the lower edge of the FOV when viewing near the sun, but it is pretty unobtrusive. It should prove to be a very capable woodland birder, with my 10 FL used for open spaces and most distant viewing.

henry link
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 01:22
James,

The serial number on your 8x30B Porro suggests it may be one of the later 60º versions made between 1968 and 1978. As I recall the body is slightly different from the older 50º version. I believe the objective tubes are a little longer and the eyepiece housings a little shorter on the later model.

Yes, P coating made all the difference and I'm not surprised to hear that there's less lateral color in the old 8x30 BGAT*P than in the FL, since it used a cemented doublet objective. In my experience that kind of simple objective never causes the excessive lateral color seen in so many later roof prism designs from the 90's that use complex objectives with wide air spaces to achieve internal focus. IMO, ED glass in binoculars like the FL's has really only partially corrected a totally self-inflicted problem caused by that design choice.

Pinewood
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 01:30
The porro I think is late run, maybe late 70's. I need to check with Gary or Henry about that. I think only the latest examples were labelled ''made in west germany.''

The 8x30 BGAT does suffer from a bit of washout on the lower edge of the FOV when viewing near the sun, but it is pretty unobtrusive. It should prove to be a very capable woodland birder, with my 10 FL used for open spaces and most distant viewing.

Hello James,

The 8x30 and 10x sound like a good combination.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood :scribe:

james holdsworth
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 03:06
James,

The serial number on your 8x30B Porro suggests it may be one of the later 60º versions made between 1968 and 1978. As I recall the body is slightly different from the older 50º version. I believe the objective tubes are a little longer and the eyepiece housings a little shorter on the later model.

Yes, P coating made all the difference and I'm not surprised to hear that there's less lateral color in the old 8x30 BGAT*P than in the FL, since it used a cemented doublet objective. In my experience that kind of simple objective never causes the excessive lateral color seen in so many later roof prism designs from the 90's that use complex objectives with wide air spaces to achieve internal focus. IMO, ED glass in binoculars like the FL's has really only partially corrected a totally self-inflicted problem caused by that design choice.

Thanks Henry. I did compare my 8x30B porro to another B, lower serial # version labelled ''made in germany'' and mine did have a wider field. I'm not sure if either version is multi-coated though - looking at the oculars and objectives, some elements appear entirely uncoated, reflecting quite white light.

Troubador
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 07:58
Hi James

What lovely acquisitions.

Does your 8x20 have a conventional focusing wheel or is it one with the 'telephone dial' focuser located concentrically around the logo/model name?


Lee

garymh
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 10:34
The 8x30 Porro was manufactured in 1972.

Gary.

normjackson
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 13:25
James,
The serial number on your 8x30B Porro suggests it may be one of the later 60º versions made between 1968 and 1978. As I recall the body is slightly different from the older 50º version. I believe the objective tubes are a little longer and the eyepiece housings a little shorter on the later model.

Eyecandy here :
http://web.archive.org/web/20070805080453/http://binofan.home.att.net/z8x30b.htm

http://www.binocularsexplained.com/2012/01/carl-zeiss-west-german-binoculars-and.html

chartwell99
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 14:35
I have, at different times, owned all of these binoculars and agree with your comments. My 8 x 30B Oberkochen, unfortunately, suffered from a distinctly yellow image, probably due to the dreaded aging Canada balsam problem. It also suffered from a stiff focuser, which, thanks to its US lifetime transferable warranty, Zeiss willingly fixed with a thorough cleaning and lubrication.

The best of the bunch in my view (which I now regret selling) is the 8 x 30 P* Dialyt (marketed at the end of its run as the "Classic"). It was, sadly, overshadowed by its 10 x 40B P* Dialyt sibling, which I still own. The 10 x 40B is admittedly dated by its lack of close focus capability but not by its brilliant, wide field images or exceptional handling ease.

PHA
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 14:38
Hello James,

I agree with you about the 8x20 BGAT P*. Central focus. I had one for a few years. Mine (I understand all the P* made of this model) had only the P* but not the T*...
The built quality seemed very good but the optics were horrible!!! Exactly as you said, the so called sweet spot was very small and the view extremely unconfortable!! Was a pitty...I liked the size and the mechanical design. I trade it for other things, I don´t remember. Perhaps its collector`s value is high because it was made for a short time.

PHA

Troubador
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 14:53
Hi James

Regarding compact pocket bins. I struggled with these and even had a Leica 8x20 BCA in my cars glove compartment for years that I never came to grips with.

However I can heartily recommend the current Victory Compact 8x20B. I have been able to use this extensively at home and on holiday. Its no substitute for a full size bin but its a fantastic stand-by near a window or in your pocket on the way to the shops. I have been full of my bigger purchases this year (FL 32 and HT 42) but the little Compact has established its own territory.

By the way it may superficially look like a Design Selection unit with its assymetric body but it is built very differently with a metal chassis and central dioptre adjustment.

Lee

Robert Wallace
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 15:46
Hello James

Congratulations on purchasing your Zeiss 8x30B porro. I obtained a pair a few years ago 510038 with the thin leather lanyard attached to the centre hinge. I was pleased to be able to replace the rubber eyecups as the previous owner had used them folded down.
They are a very elegant binocular which I use for my BTO Garden Birdwatch observations from the dining room window. I would say the optical quality of mine is about the same as my 10x40BGT dialyts (1985).
I guess my 8x30s are late 60s, Gary?
Did I read somewhere that the Nikon 8x30s (version before the 8x30 E11) were based on this design or did I imagine it?

james holdsworth
Wednesday 12th December 2012, 16:44
The 8x30 Porro was manufactured in 1972.

Gary.


Thanks Gary. All the more impressive from a 40 year old bin!

Troub., my 8x20 Dialyt looks like a miniature version of the Classic series, at least the prism housing, and has a typical, top-end focusser. I have tried the Victory compact and it was the best [of that type] I have seen, although give me full-size every time.

Renze de Vries
Thursday 13th December 2012, 14:49
James et al,

Thanks for posting this. Especially with respect to the Zeiss 8x30B porro every snippet of information is welcome.

The problem with this model is that Zeiss issued two types, differing in field of view. As not too many people have seen both types, it's not widely known that they differ in appearance as well. Henry is correct, the differences are in the objective tubes' lenght and the oculars' height and shape. Here's a picture of both types, with the 7.5 deg. (130/1000m) on the left.

Another issue is how to distinguish the two types by serial number and years of manufacturing. Over the years I have collected data of the 8x30B, mostly from eBay, and if I combine these data with the information supplied by Gary (and a couple of years ago by his collegue 'mak' (sorry 'mak' I lost our correspondence and so, your name)) we're able to draw some conclusions.

1. The serial numbers for the 6.5 deg. type (110/1000m) I've collected, go from 507535 to 798330. Now let's try to add years of manufacturing to these numbers. As it is highly probable that the low number matches the year the 8x30B was put to the market, 1958, and the high number corresponds with 1971 (source: Zeiss), we can draw the conclusion that the 6.5 deg. type was made from 1958 through 1971
2. The serial numbers for the 7.5 deg. type I've collected are in the range from 934319 to 1357121. As Gary has supplied us with the year of manufacturing for James' specimen (935xxx = 1972) and the high serial number can be dated (source: Zeiss) to 1975, the conclusion is that the 7.5 deg. type came in production in 1971 or 1972 while production was stopped in 1975.
3. This means that the manufacturing dates for the two types of Zeiss 8x30B porro, usually quoted from http://home.europa.com/~telscope/zeissbn2.txt (1958-1978 with the type change after 1968) must be incorrect. In the way that production of the first type must have been several years longer (1958-1971) and the second type several years shorter (1971/2-1975). It always puzzled me why the second type 8x30B has been so much rarer than the first type, but with these new figures I feel there's an explanation.
4. Note that there's a remarkable gap in my serial numbers between the last 6.5 deg. and the first 7.5 deg. type recorded: no serial numbers starting with 8. I think it's possible that Zeiss made a fresh start with their serial numbers for the 7.5 deg. type, i.e. from 900000 on.

Renze

Renze de Vries
Thursday 13th December 2012, 15:11
Zeiss 8x30 BGAT*P Dialyt - I have owned a non P of this model for awhile and dismissed the whole series as ''pretty average'' based on this non P. So, trading up to this P version was a revelation, as this model doesn't seem to get much love. This version seems a late issue as well, with coatings that have an FL-like magenta hue.

To me, the view is on par with my 7x42 BGAT*P - wonderfully sharp, contrasty with a huge sweetspot and very minimal edge softness, nice wide field and minimal distortion. Head-to-head, the 8x30 appeared a hair sharper and a tad more contrasty than the 7x42 - maybe due to newer coatings. Also appeared more colour neutral [coolish] than the slightly warm 7x42. Transmission seems very good, and would look to be close to 90%. Almost zero CA [a big problem for me], even at the edge of the field - equalling my FL and surpassing lots of other current alphas in this regard. Lower lateral colour than the FL. The P version is such a jump up from the non P that they hardly seem the same model.

I was in the market for a good 8x32 for fieldwork, and was looking at FL's but this 8x30 is so good I may just have found my answer.


James,

Well, an 8x30B T*P performing better than the large exit pupil 7x42 is a suprise, if not to say against all optical laws. But maybe you've found yourself a cherry?! A more appropriate comparison however would be to test the Dialyt against the Leica Trinovid 8x32 BA or BN. I think this hasn't been done regularly on BF, if at all, while it's well worth the effort since both models are still very usable and respected instruments.

Renze

John Dracon
Thursday 13th December 2012, 16:49
James - If one likes to tinker, "breaking into" a West German Zeiss 8x30B porro binocular to clean the prisms is a revelation of its own kind. The craftsmanship is superb. The prism seats are so precise, that replacing them after cleaning (done with care of course) rarely affects collimation. The prisms themselves have a taper on the sides unlike most porro prisms.

Under the top and bottom lids you will find is a reusable neoprene gasket which is carefully formed to create an air tight seal. Neoprene, a synthetic rubber, was a DuPont invention in 1930, and seems to have great longevity.

Unfortunately, I've yet to find that particular Zeiss porro model which does not have a haze deposited on the prism faces, degrading the brightness of the image. But that is easily corrected with a clean micro weave cloth. Whether this is the result of contaminated air brought in via the bellows effect or some kind of gassification process relating to the neoprene gaskets or something else, I cannot say. The monoculars from that same design also show haze on the prisms.

Compared to other porro housings from other manufacturers, in terms of exterior and interior finishes, the Zeiss is tops. Now I'm going to venture an opinion and unquestionably provoke some controversy, viz., that Zeiss began abandoning the porro models (except for a few) in favor ot the roof models partially because of the the significant cost of casting the porro bodies. I'm not familiar with the process. It could be what is called the lost wax casting process. But it has to be labor intensive. The lens have to be mounted offset (objective to ocular), and the prism seats precisely cast, not to mention the top and bottom lid screw holes matching the fixed "nuts." Then both sides have to be hinged together with precision cast integral rings. I would like to see the jig(s) used in accomplishing that on a mass production basis.

Machining precision drawn tubes for roof prisms, both cutting and threading is a relatively easy process, but as we have seen, getting a focusing mechanism that is well timed and reliable and water proof, is another issue.

James, your Zeiss 8x30 B porros are real jewels and perfectly usable for a live time. Use the heck out of them.

John

james holdsworth
Thursday 13th December 2012, 17:25
Renze, John,

Based on the photo's, mine is the 7.5*

Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough, but a flashlight test shows the internals to be spotless and free of any hazing.

As to the 8x30 Dialyt being better optically than my 7x42 - well probably not in sum total. The 7 is brighter and a more pleasant, easier view - with less focus hunting. The 8 does seem a smidge sharper / more contrasty but [as mentioned] it may be newer coatings. My 7 is from about 1992 while the 8 is later - not really sure but it has the serial number 2482XXX in white paint on the focus knob and the bold Zeiss logo.

james holdsworth
Thursday 13th December 2012, 17:30
Here is a pic. of all three...pardon the quality as I re sized the photo well below what the system can take, I think.

Troubador
Thursday 13th December 2012, 17:59
Here is a pic. of all three...pardon the quality as I re sized the photo well below what the system can take, I think.

James

Lovely pic and I realise now that I had somehow jumped to the conclusion that your 8x20 was a compact Z-folding model, not the 20mm little sister to your 8x30.

Despite my HT I am totally envious of your growing Dialyt family. Enjoy in good health.

Lee

Pinewood
Thursday 13th December 2012, 23:31
Hello,

I took my 8x30 BGAT*P from the cupboard and looked over garden behind my block of flats. It felt really good in the hand and comfortable with my glasses on or off. With the winter sun low on the horizon, there were some problems eith internal reflections but moving it a little way from the sun, the view was first rate.
This binocular may not be a match for current models, especially in colour rendition compared to the Victory FL line, but is well suited to the stadium the arena and my infrequent lofty perch at the opera.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood :scribe:

Hermann
Friday 28th December 2012, 16:12
I did compare my 8x30B porro to another B, lower serial # version labelled ''made in germany'' and mine did have a wider field. I'm not sure if either version is multi-coated though - looking at the oculars and objectives, some elements appear entirely uncoated, reflecting quite white light.

You've got the latest version, and that's a very nice binocular, very sharp in the centre with pinpoint star images with excellent handling. The mechanical quality of the 8x30B is spectacular, there simply aren't any binoculars made today that are as good as the Zeiss. The optical quality is also very good indeed, even by today's standards. I'm sure a Zeiss 8x30B with up-to-date coatings could compete with virtually every 8x30/32 on the market. Until the P-coating was introduced it ran circles around *every* roof prism binocular, it was so much better in every respect.

And yet, Zeiss stopped making it long before the P-coatings were introduced, simply because the great majority of customers went for the "more modern" roofs.

Hermann

Hermann
Friday 28th December 2012, 16:16
I took my 8x30 BGAT*P from the cupboard and looked over garden behind my block of flats. It felt really good in the hand and comfortable with my glasses on or off. With the winter sun low on the horizon, there were some problems eith internal reflections but moving it a little way from the sun, the view was first rate.

I've also still got an 8x30BGAT*P, and I fully agree. Good optics, very sharp in the centre, but some problems with internal reflections, transmission across the spectrum quite clearly not as good as many modern binoculars. Still, it's one of the nicer oldies, optically not quite as good as the Leica 8x32 BA, but a very nice pair in the field with a very smooth and precise focuser.

Hermann

Hermann
Friday 28th December 2012, 16:21
As to the 8x30 Dialyt being better optically than my 7x42 - well probably not in sum total. The 7 is brighter and a more pleasant, easier view - with less focus hunting. The 8 does seem a smidge sharper / more contrasty but [as mentioned] it may be newer coatings.

I always felt the 8x30 was *very* sharp in the centre, but overall I prefer the view through the 7x42, it's so much easier on the eye.

BTW, I once did a fairly thorough comparison between my 8x30BGAT*P and a Zeiss 8x56B GAT*P - the 8x30 was clearly sharper in the centre, but the 8x56 had a much easier view. For daytime use I preferred the small and light 8x30 though.

Hermann

Pinewood
Sunday 30th December 2012, 03:57
I've also still got an 8x30BGAT*P, and I fully agree. Good optics, very sharp in the centre, but some problems with internal reflections, transmission across the spectrum quite clearly not as good as many modern binoculars. Still, it's one of the nicer oldies, optically not quite as good as the Leica 8x32 BA, but a very nice pair in the field with a very smooth and precise focuser.

Hermann

I know the Leica 8x32BN, which has many virtues: waterproof, better control of reflections, perhaps a little sharper. Nevertheless, the 8x30 Classic is just friendlier.
You wrote about the optical qualities of the 7x42 Dialyt and I am in agreement. The focussing may be a little slow, and the latest HD, Fl, ED, etc. glasses give better colour rendition but the Dialyt is just a pleasure to use. I guess that its longer focal length minimises chromatic aberration, as well as FL glass does.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur :scribe:

james holdsworth
Sunday 30th December 2012, 15:12
I know the Leica 8x32BN, which has many virtues: waterproof, better control of reflections, perhaps a little sharper. Nevertheless, the 8x30 Classic is just friendlier.
You wrote about the optical qualities of the 7x42 Dialyt and I am in agreement. The focussing may be a little slow, and the latest HD, Fl, ED, etc. glasses give better colour rendition but the Dialyt is just a pleasure to use. I guess that its longer focal length minimises chromatic aberration, as well as FL glass does.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur :scribe:

To me, the 8x30 has less CA than the 7x42. While the 8x30 has none centrally and very, very little at the edge [and very diffuse], the 7x42 shows a tiny bit a few degrees off centre and moderate amounts at the edge, fairly bright.

The 8x30 also has less lateral colour and [to me] more neutral whiteness.

Yes, the 8x30 shows some flare at the upper and / or lower parts of the FOV , but not in bright sun - it tends to be in bright overcast. Looking closely at the exit pupils, you can see a thin band of illumination but I can't tell what is causing it, perhaps a bit of reflective metal within the housing.

Overall, both the 8x30 and 7x42 are very enjoyable, with different attributes. The 7 is beautifully bright with rich colours, sharp with a huge FOV, current alpha level glare control and great sweetspot while the 8 is exceptionally compact, very sharp, very colour neutral with a super clean view due to low aberrations. Very pleased with both.

PJ Anway
Sunday 10th February 2013, 11:48
I recently acquired three new Zeiss bins, at least new to me. Here is a brief review of all three....

Zeiss 8x30B Oberkochen - near mint, almost unmarked, this seems a late version [serial #935XXX] marked ''made in west germany'' and lug attachments on the body rather than the hinge.

Jewel-like build quality, absolutely beautiful fit and finish and appearance, tiny for a 8x30, nestles nicely in the palm of your hand.

The view is superb for an older porro. Wonderful sharpness, good contrast, fairly wide field, only a trace of warmth to the colour cast, great 3D view and sense of depth. Big sweetspot with very good edges. Transmission [as would be expected] isn't great, probably in the 75-80% range, but the image is gorgeous in most lighting conditions. Almost no CA. Immensely satisfying to look through, handle and look at - could very well become one of my all-time favourites.

I'm not likely to lug these jewels into the field much but they are very nice just sitting on a shelf over my desk, where I can look at their Zeiss-ness ;]



James,

I know I'm a little late to this thread, but I just joined Bird Forum.

I love the Zeiss Oberkochen's. I own a pair of 10X50's and a pair of 15X60's and couldn't agree more with your assessment. Both are superb, but I prefer the 10X50's for birding. Though 10X, the 7.4° field make them a pleasure to handhold. I have not used the 8X30's but can only imagine how nice they are. Here is a cross-sectional of them:
http://doublestarobserver.com/pics/Zeiss 8 X 30.jpg

My pairs:

Troubador
Sunday 10th February 2013, 12:31
Thats a lovely cross section view PJ, thanks for posting.

Lee

coolhand68
Sunday 10th February 2013, 15:33
Does anyone know if you can still get the rubber eyecups for the Oberkochen 8x30?

PJ Anway
Sunday 10th February 2013, 20:10
Does anyone know if you can still get the rubber eyecups for the Oberkochen 8x30?

I see them occasionally on ebay, here's a couple of links:

8X30b
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ZEISS-WEST-OBERKOCHEN-8X30B-BINOCULAR-EYE-CUPS-/221145919755?pt=Binocular&hash=item337d52f10b

8X30
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ZEISS-WEST-OBERKOCHEN-8X30-BINOCULAR-EYE-CUPS-/221113181888?pt=Binocular&hash=item337b5f66c0

PJ

james holdsworth
Sunday 10th February 2013, 20:25
James,

I know I'm a little late to this thread, but I just joined Bird Forum.

I love the Zeiss Oberkochen's. I own a pair of 10X50's and a pair of 15X60's and couldn't agree more with your assessment. Both are superb, but I prefer the 10X50's for birding. Though 10X, the 7.4° field make them a pleasure to handhold. I have not used the 8X30's but can only imagine how nice they are. Here is a cross-sectional of them:
http://doublestarobserver.com/pics/Zeiss 8 X 30.jpg

My pairs:


Very nice set! Do you find that you can use the 15x60 without a mount?

PJ Anway
Monday 11th February 2013, 00:41
Hi James,

No, I find I need a mount for the 15X60's, pretty difficult to handhold. However, on a mount they are great for birding, but even more so for exploring the night sky.

PJ

PJ Anway
Monday 11th February 2013, 01:11
Hi Lee,

The Cross Section diagram is from a Zeiss Binocular Brochure - 1964. It covers the 8X30, 8X30B, 7X50B, 8X50B, 10X50 and 15X60 binoculars and accessories. It also has some interesting facts, like - "1958, Zeiss introduces the first B-type binocular giving a maximum field of view to spectacle wearers." The "B" of course stands for "Brillenträger" - German for "eyeglass wearers".

It also states for the 10X50's and 15X60's: "The outstanding innovation on this glass is the use of a semi-apochromatic objective for maximum color correction." I contacted Zeiss to try and find out what this glass was and although they did reply, I was unable to get a definitive answer on the glass type. Zeiss marketing hype at the time called the 10X50's "the glass of the century". While the description is charming, it doesn't help with discovering the glass type.

PJ

Renze de Vries
Monday 11th February 2013, 07:25
[QUOTE=PJIt also states for the 10X50's and 15X60's: "The outstanding innovation on this glass is the use of a semi-apochromatic objective for maximum color correction." I contacted Zeiss to try and find out what this glass was and although they did reply, I was unable to get a definitive answer on the glass type. Zeiss marketing hype at the time called the 10X50's "the glass of the century". While the description is charming, it doesn't help with discovering the glass type.[/QUOTE]

Possibly confusion arises from 'glass' being used for both the material for lenses and prisms and the binocular as a whole. Like in the German Fernglas. There's nothing unusual about the (Schott) glass used for Zeiss binoculars in comparison to other makes.

Renze

garymh
Tuesday 12th February 2013, 06:27
Does anyone know if you can still get the rubber eyecups for the Oberkochen 8x30?


The rubber eyecups for the 8x30 porro are still available - as are those for the 8x50, and 15x60.

Hermann
Wednesday 3rd July 2013, 17:53
I recently acquired three new Zeiss bins, at least new to me. Here is a brief review of all three....

Zeiss 8x30B Oberkochen - near mint, almost unmarked, this seems a late version [serial #935XXX] marked ''made in west germany'' and lug attachments on the body rather than the hinge.

Jewel-like build quality, absolutely beautiful fit and finish and appearance, tiny for a 8x30, nestles nicely in the palm of your hand.

The view is superb for an older porro. Wonderful sharpness, good contrast, fairly wide field, only a trace of warmth to the colour cast, great 3D view and sense of depth. Big sweetspot with very good edges. Transmission [as would be expected] isn't great, probably in the 75-80% range, but the image is gorgeous in most lighting conditions. Almost no CA. Immensely satisfying to look through, handle and look at - could very well become one of my all-time favourites.

I finally got hold of one these 8x30B's as well. I had been looking for one for years, this was the first one in good condition I found at an acceptable price. A bit earlier than yours (mine is #934xxx), in very good condition, only the dioptre adjustment is a bit too soft and the rubber eyecups need replacing. Collimation spot on, clear optics with no haze, almost neutral colour cast. Very good image quality, centre sharpness at least on a par with my 8x30BGAT*P, gradual fall-off towards the edges. Like I said before - this pair with modern coatings would give *any* of the modern roofs a run for their money, it really is that good. Despite the somewhat lower transmission and the lower contrast I prefer its handling and strongly three-dimensional image to that of the 8x30BGAT*P and the Leica 8x32BA, two phase-coated roofs I know very well.

I sent my 8x30B off to Wetzlar for a service. These old porros are well worth it. Not sure this particular pair really *needs* a service, but in my experience it's always better to send off such old pairs as long as Zeiss still have the technicians to service them. For once, these bins have a rubber seal between the eyepieces and the body to make sure dust and water doesn't get into the binocular that may need replacing. (1) Then that pair should be ready for the next 40 years ...

I'm very pleased.

Hermann

(1) For those who don't know about the rubber seal:
It's visible in the cross-section (http://doublestarobserver.com/pics/Zeiss%208%20X%2030.jpg), it's that red line between the eyepieces and the body. This gasket that is attached to the eyepiece and the body is a far more effective seal than a simple O-ring.
These seals really do work very well. A friend of mine once dropped his 15x60 in a small stream when trying to cross it. After retrieving it from a depth of about 40cm after a couple of minutes he found there was no water inside the binocular ...

james holdsworth
Wednesday 3rd July 2013, 18:46
I finally got hold of one these 8x30B's as well. I've been looking for one for years, this is the first one in good condition I found at an acceptable price. A bit earlier than yours (mine is #934xxx), in very good condition, only the dioptre adjustment is a bit too soft and the rubber eyecups need replacing. Collimation spot on, clear optics with no haze, almost neutral colour cast. Very good image quality, centre sharpness at least on a par with my 8x30BGAT*P, gradual fall-off towards the edges. Like I said before - this pair with modern coatings would give *any* of the modern roofs a run for their money, it really is that good. Despite the somewhat lower transmission and the lower contrast I prefer its handling and strongly three-dimensional image to that of the 8x30BGAT*P and the Leica 8x32BA, two phase-coated roofs I know very well.

I sent my 8x30B off to Wetzlar for a service. These old porros are well worth it. Not sure this particular pair really *needs* a service, but in my experience it's always better to send off such old pairs as long as Zeiss still have the technicians to service them. For once, these bins have a rubber seal between the eyepieces and the body to make sure dust and water doesn't get into the binocular that may need replacing. (1) Then that pair should be ready for the next 40 years ...

I'm very pleased.

Hermann

(1) For those who don't know about the rubber seal:
It's visible in the cross-section (http://doublestarobserver.com/pics/Zeiss%208%20X%2030.jpg), it's that red line between the eyepieces and the body. This gasket that is attached to the eyepiece and the body is a far more effective seal than a simple O-ring.
These seals really do work very well. A friend of mine once dropped his 15x60 in a small stream when trying to cross it. After retrieving it from a depth of about 40cm after a couple of minutes he found there was no water inside the binocular ...

Nice. One of the few things that I agree with Dennis is the ease of view of a good porro, just so uncomplicated that your eye has very little work to do, just enjoy the view.

Mine is so nice that I'm reluctant to take it into the field much, mostly backyard glassing but its good to know they are so robust.

Simon S
Wednesday 3rd July 2013, 20:11
The 8x30 Porro is a great binocular and when new as close to waterproof as any Porro ever made thanks to gaskets on the focusing system. They do however fog up over time, it seems to be a problem with the internal grease sweating a cloudy gas onto the internals.

Hermann
Wednesday 3rd July 2013, 22:06
The 8x30 Porro is a great binocular and when new as close to waterproof as any Porro ever made thanks to gaskets on the focusing system. They do however fog up over time, it seems to be a problem with the internal grease sweating a cloudy gas onto the internals.

Yes, I think that's what happens. I think it's mainly the older porros that suffer from this problem. I've seen 15x60's from the 1970's that had never been back to Zeiss and were not fogged up.

BTW, I believe Zeiss are aware of this problem and deal with the source when a pair comes in for a cleaning. In the early 1990's I sent my father-in-law's 10x50 to Wetzlar for a service. The pair is from 1960, it had been dropped and was also fogged up. When I talked to the technician on the phone, I mentioned the fogging. He replied that it shouldn't happen again. It didn't, the pair is still crystal-clear. My own 8x50B also didn't fog up again after a cleaning in Wetzlar some 20 years ago.

Interesting stuff.

Hermann

jaymoynihan
Thursday 11th July 2013, 23:33
I have the P versions of the 30mm and 42mm. I was unaware of the tiny 8x20 family member. Would love to try that one. You have some interesting glass there.

joejeweler
Monday 16th September 2013, 02:17
I finally got hold of one these 8x30B's as well. I had been looking for one for years, this was the first one in good condition I found at an acceptable price. A bit earlier than yours (mine is #934xxx), in very good condition, only the dioptre adjustment is a bit too soft and the rubber eyecups need replacing. Collimation spot on, clear optics with no haze, almost neutral colour cast. Very good image quality, centre sharpness at least on a par with my 8x30BGAT*P, gradual fall-off towards the edges. Like I said before - this pair with modern coatings would give *any* of the modern roofs a run for their money, it really is that good. Despite the somewhat lower transmission and the lower contrast I prefer its handling and strongly three-dimensional image to that of the 8x30BGAT*P and the Leica 8x32BA, two phase-coated roofs I know very well.

I sent my 8x30B off to Wetzlar for a service. These old porros are well worth it. Not sure this particular pair really *needs* a service, but in my experience it's always better to send off such old pairs as long as Zeiss still have the technicians to service them. For once, these bins have a rubber seal between the eyepieces and the body to make sure dust and water doesn't get into the binocular that may need replacing. (1) Then that pair should be ready for the next 40 years ...

I'm very pleased.

Hermann

(1) For those who don't know about the rubber seal:
It's visible in the cross-section (http://doublestarobserver.com/pics/Zeiss%208%20X%2030.jpg), it's that red line between the eyepieces and the body. This gasket that is attached to the eyepiece and the body is a far more effective seal than a simple O-ring.
These seals really do work very well. A friend of mine once dropped his 15x60 in a small stream when trying to cross it. After retrieving it from a depth of about 40cm after a couple of minutes he found there was no water inside the binocular ...

Coming across this thread caused me to pull my mint looking Zeiss 8X30B Porro binos out of storage. I haven't done much with them since i bought them a few years ago, since i have a variety of other reasonably good glass to go to. (Leitz Trinovid in 6X24, 7X42, 10X40, 8X32B....Zeiss 8X30B Dialyt, the handy and sharp Nippon Kogaku 7X35 coated lens porros, uncoated Nippon Kogaku 7X50 Mikron individual focus porros and Leitz 7X50 Marsept individual focus porros for low light "sitciations" ;) among others.......

Anyway, were it not for the faintest but fairly even haze in the Zeiss 8X30B porros i would not even consider having them serviced, as all the controls are smooth and stay in position when moved.

Unfortunately, after reading through this thread, my early serial numbered example (# 508192) is of the 6.5 deg. type (110/1000m), and i as so many others never knew there were two versions. :eek!:

I'm wondering "IF" i should bother with the expense of sending them back to Wetzlar for a cleaning of the internals and relube? I also have never used their services before, and have no idea what to expect cost wise? They are usuable as is and quite sharp,....but i know i am losing a lot of the light gathering ability with the haze coating. I also know i would use them more if they were as good as they could be with clean internals.

I doubt any warrantee is transferable in this case because of their age, although except for the slight haze they appear as new??? But you never know? ;)

So,.....what can i expect it to cost (ballpark) if i sent these "mint looking" Zeiss 8X30B porros back to the factory for a basic clean and relube, and is it worth it considering they're the older 110/1000m FOV example??

Specifically, is the FOV differences (110 vrs 130/1000m) so much that i would be better off waiting for a nice example of the later serial numbered version, and put any service dollars into THAT one?

.....on the other hand,..... man these Zeiss 8X32B porros sure look sweet and feel great in the hands!

Bencw
Monday 16th September 2013, 09:30
So,.....what can i expect it to cost (ballpark) if i sent these "mint looking" Zeiss 8X30B porros back to the factory for a basic clean and relube, and is it worth it considering they're the older 110/1000m FOV example??

.....on the other hand,..... man these Zeiss 8X32B porros sure look sweet and feel great in the hands!

I too would be interested to know the cost of a service, I have a mint Zeiss 8X30B porro, pretty clean inside but it would be nice to know for future ref.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/95019762@N07/9322493318/in/photostream/

Hermann
Monday 16th September 2013, 14:41
I doubt any warrantee is transferable in this case because of their age, although except for the slight haze they appear as new??? But you never know? ;)

Well, these went out of production well over 30 years ago, so I doubt Zeiss would clean and relube them for free.

So,.....what can i expect it to cost (ballpark) if i sent these "mint looking" Zeiss 8X30B porros back to the factory for a basic clean and relube, and is it worth it considering they're the older 110/1000m FOV example??

I paid about €250 for mine in the summer. That included cleaning them (*very* slight haze) and cleaning/relubing the centre focusing and the dioptre adjustment. They basically "feel" like a new pair now.

Quite a lot of money, but OTOH these old porros have to be collimated by hand which takes some time.

Hermann

coolhand68
Tuesday 24th September 2013, 00:49
Coming across this thread caused me to pull my mint looking Zeiss 8X30B Porro binos out of storage. I haven't done much with them since i bought them a few years ago, since i have a variety of other reasonably good glass to go to. (Leitz Trinovid in 6X24, 7X42, 10X40, 8X32B....Zeiss 8X30B Dialyt, the handy and sharp Nippon Kogaku 7X35 coated lens porros, uncoated Nippon Kogaku 7X50 Mikron individual focus porros and Leitz 7X50 Marsept individual focus porros for low light "sitciations" ;) among others.......

Anyway, were it not for the faintest but fairly even haze in the Zeiss 8X30B porros i would not even consider having them serviced, as all the controls are smooth and stay in position when moved.

Unfortunately, after reading through this thread, my early serial numbered example (# 508192) is of the 6.5 deg. type (110/1000m), and i as so many others never knew there were two versions. :eek!:

I'm wondering "IF" i should bother with the expense of sending them back to Wetzlar for a cleaning of the internals and relube? I also have never used their services before, and have no idea what to expect cost wise? They are usuable as is and quite sharp,....but i know i am losing a lot of the light gathering ability with the haze coating. I also know i would use them more if they were as good as they could be with clean internals.

I doubt any warrantee is transferable in this case because of their age, although except for the slight haze they appear as new??? But you never know? ;)

So,.....what can i expect it to cost (ballpark) if i sent these "mint looking" Zeiss 8X30B porros back to the factory for a basic clean and relube, and is it worth it considering they're the older 110/1000m FOV example??

Specifically, is the FOV differences (110 vrs 130/1000m) so much that i would be better off waiting for a nice example of the later serial numbered version, and put any service dollars into THAT one?

.....on the other hand,..... man these Zeiss 8X32B porros sure look sweet and feel great in the hands!

I have a pair of each, one close to your serial number and one with the wider FOV made in the 70's. Optically I can't see any difference in quality at all. The wider angle isn't that much of a difference to justify another pair of the later models, at least not for me. If you want to improve your FOV and a slight boost in optically performance find an old pair of Nikon 8x30 E.

joejeweler
Friday 27th September 2013, 20:56
Well, these went out of production well over 30 years ago, so I doubt Zeiss would clean and relube them for free.



I paid about €250 for mine in the summer. That included cleaning them (*very* slight haze) and cleaning/relubing the centre focusing and the dioptre adjustment. They basically "feel" like a new pair now.

Quite a lot of money, but OTOH these old porros have to be collimated by hand which takes some time.

Hermann

Well,.....i must say i feel like a bit of a :king: right now!

My old (mint) Zeiss Oberkochen 8X30B porros ARRIVED back to me today from the US service center in Virgina in MIGHTY fine shape. These are well past the time period i would have expected them to honor any warrentee,....BUT THEY DID!

These binoculars are 45-50 years old or a bit more perhaps, and Zeiss did the following work without charge,.....even the return shipping. Simply outstanding service in this day and age!

The packing invoice detailed:

CLEANED FOGGED OPTICS
LUBRICATED FOCUS
RESET FOCUS AND ALIGNMENT

Also, i found it interesting that the packing invoice stated the following:

Ordering party
Carl Zeiss Sports Optics GmbH
Attention-Klaus Felgenhauer
Postfach 17 60
D-35527 WETZLAR

So it appears the Virginia, USA repair facility got the "OK" for warrantee service from Germany on these ancient porros. That's impressive,....and certainly does more good than dollars spent on general advertizing in my book. Considering i made it quite clear i was not the original owner,.....this just blows me away!

Additionally, they just recieved them into their service center 8 days ago according to my tracking. I hadn't heard anything until now, but was going to wait another week before checking.

Considering return shipping of maybe 2 days via UPS (Virginia to upstate New York), that means turn around time for service was just 4-5 days,.....and probably less (in working days) because there was a weekend involved.

I'll just add one additional kudo here.

The Zeiss porros arrived while i was opening a couple of USPS packages containing a new Zeiss neck strap for my also ancient (1960 or so?) Zeiss 8X30B Dialyt binos, as well as a set of new eyecups. These were sent without charge also! (I just paid $75, for another alpha company's strap!)

The eyecups recieved were for the Zeiss 8X30B/GA binos, and besides having male threading on them (i need female threading on the eyecups), they were way too small.

I took some accurate measurements of my old eyecups (dried out rubber is cracking), and the ID of the threads measured 1.224" , and having a central hole ID of .986".

I called the service center in Virginia today and the lady i talked to found the right eyecups based on my measurements. They will go out today or tomorrow.

I don't know about you,....but i cannot adequately express how much respect and admiration i feel toward Zeiss right now.

"ZEISS IS NICE",......No Lie! :t:

cheers,
Joe T