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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 19:04   #51
WJC
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Being the quintessential underdog, I love stories of the underdog coming out on top. It’s kinda like when one of the best fighter pilots of WWII, and test pilots directly after, (Chuck Yeager, first to break the sound barrier) was not allowed to be an astronaut because he wasn’t a college grad.

Early in the life of the Zeiss Night Owl, I was visited by two Zeiss reps—one local, one national. Knowing that I had ordered a few and that I was a Zeiss fan, they—showing much pride—asked me what I thought of the Night Owl.

Bill: Two years.

Zeiss: What do you mean “two years”?

Bill: That’s about as much time as I will give it on the market.

Zeiss: It’s one of our newest and best products. What do you see that we don’t. It has our best optics.

Bill: Oh, I think your optics are superb—Zeiss all the way. It’s the mechanics that concern me. You drive a desk; and I drive 5 display cases visited by real live customers who often share their observations.

It is too heavy, it lacks balance, the focus mechanisms are atrocious and ... it’s ugly. Aunt Myrtle the retired birdwatcher likes lightweight and ... pretty.

The foremost focus wheel is not bad. However, the one most frequently used is hard to actuate—your finger often slides over the top with little movement. And, if you need gloves ... forget it.

After that, we got into more reasonable manufacturer / dealer discussion of many things.

As they left, one said: And, as far as the Night Owl, I guess time will tell.

TWO YEARS LATER

All the northwest Zeiss dealers were invited to a conference in Portland where we were introduced to the new Victory.

During the meeting, one dealer brought up the Night Owl. He was told that the Night Owl was being replaced by the Victory.

At that time, I raised my hand to ask just how long the Night Owl was in production. His response: “Two years.”

Knowing he had been one of my national visitors from two years prior, I asked again: “How long?”

Somewhere in his response, he recognized me, as he responded: “two ...... years.”

No one else knew the story and I didn’t pursue the matter. We both knew and that was good enough.

Screw turner 1: Zeiss engineer 0

Bill
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 19:12   #52
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Yep, I own one and everything you said was true. Amazing that they thought such a brick would appeal to the masses, regardless of how ''good'' it may have been optically.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 19:23   #53
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Yep, I own one and everything you said was true. Amazing that they thought such a brick would appeal to the masses, regardless of how ''good'' it may have been optically.
Thanks! Sadly, some people get wrapped around the axle because of my straight talk. But, they would grow old scanning the various forums for where I made something up for the purpose of having something to say. Thus, not being able to find fault with my words, they are required to find fault with my delivery.

Doc Holliday died in bed.

Bill
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 20:43   #54
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Thanks! Sadly, some people get wrapped around the axle because of my straight talk. But, they would grow old scanning the various forums for where I made something up for the purpose of having something to say. Thus, not being able to find fault with my words, they are required to find fault with my delivery.

Doc Holliday died in bed.

Bill
To paraphrase:

"There are none so deaf as those who will not hear."

(or something like that)
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 22:00   #55
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Back in the day, I wanted that Night Owl so badly I couldn't see straight. At the time there was no way I could afford it. I could go on a "trip" out west for the same price as these binoculars. There was a nice, customer service oriented sporting goods store where I lived. They knew my name and me theirs. I'd go in there and when they weren't busy we'd talk binoculars. Chad introduced me to the Swarovski SLC at that time. Of course they WERE less than the Night Owls but still way out of my league price wise. Chad handed me a 10X42 and told me to take it home and try them for a few days, no obligation. Well I did....what a binocular! I brought them back and was like....AWESOME but.... Chad was like..."Have you got $300? If you do, you can pay me 1/3 now, 1/3 in 30 days, and 1/3 in 60 days." I never signed a piece of paper but I was true to my word and Chad his. Probably the single best optic purchase I've ever made. Well you have to know Chad made an impact on me and so did the Swarovski SLC 10x42 as I still have them.

Sorry off topic kinda...well not KINDA!

Hat's off to the independent sporting goods retailer of yesteryear that made so many things possible for I'm sure so many of us!
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 22:18   #56
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Originally Posted by WJC View Post
Being the quintessential underdog, I love stories of the underdog coming out on top. It’s kinda like when one of the best fighter pilots of WWII, and test pilots directly after, (Chuck Yeager, first to break the sound barrier) was not allowed to be an astronaut because he wasn’t a college grad.

Early in the life of the Zeiss Night Owl, I was visited by two Zeiss reps—one local, one national. Knowing that I had ordered a few and that I was a Zeiss fan, they—showing much pride—asked me what I thought of the Night Owl.

Bill: Two years.

Zeiss: What do you mean “two years”?

Bill: That’s about as much time as I will give it on the market.

Zeiss: It’s one of our newest and best products. What do you see that we don’t. It has our best optics.

Bill: Oh, I think your optics are superb—Zeiss all the way. It’s the mechanics that concern me. You drive a desk; and I drive 5 display cases visited by real live customers who often share their observations.

It is too heavy, it lacks balance, the focus mechanisms are atrocious and ... it’s ugly. Aunt Myrtle the retired birdwatcher likes lightweight and ... pretty.

The foremost focus wheel is not bad. However, the one most frequently used is hard to actuate—your finger often slides over the top with little movement. And, if you need gloves ... forget it.

After that, we got into more reasonable manufacturer / dealer discussion of many things.

As they left, one said: And, as far as the Night Owl, I guess time will tell.

TWO YEARS LATER

All the northwest Zeiss dealers were invited to a conference in Portland where we were introduced to the new Victory.

During the meeting, one dealer brought up the Night Owl. He was told that the Night Owl was being replaced by the Victory.

At that time, I raised my hand to ask just how long the Night Owl was in production. His response: “Two years.”

Knowing he had been one of my national visitors from two years prior, I asked again: “How long?”

Somewhere in his response, he recognized me, as he responded: “two ...... years.”

No one else knew the story and I didn’t pursue the matter. We both knew and that was good enough.

Screw turner 1: Zeiss engineer 0

Bill
Are you talking about this model made for 6 years 1994-2000 ?

https://www.allbinos.com/1687-Carl_Z...fications.html
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 23:21   #57
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Are you talking about this model made for 6 years 1994-2000 ?

https://www.allbinos.com/1687-Carl_Z...fications.html
Nope. I am talking about the model that SOLD for 6 years; there's a difference. It’s like the official Fujinon ad that says the 7x50 FMT-SX has a 7.5-degree APPARENT FIELD OF VIEW when, in fact, it has a 52.5-degree APPARENT FIELD OF VIEW. (page 20 of my book)

Of course, it could be that the Zeiss reps lied. But, if so, I will be glad not to take responsibility for that. I think that’s fair. I don't always share the most accurate information. However, I do my very best. When a company THINKS a product is going to be a big seller they gear up for sales. When the product lays an egg, they are stuck with a surplus in inventory that takes a while to liquidate.

I am not picking on the Allbinos ad. However, throughout my career I have seen so many things in print that are pure horse dung that’s eaten up by the consumer, I chose not to believe everything I see in print.

As Richard Anderson said to Neville Brand in Tora, Tora, Tora

“Confirmation, Kaminski ... I want confirmation!”

Bill
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 00:08   #58
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Back in the day, I wanted that Night Owl so badly I couldn't see straight. At the time there was no way I could afford it. I could go on a "trip" out west for the same price as these binoculars. There was a nice, customer service oriented sporting goods store where I lived. They knew my name and me theirs. I'd go in there and when they weren't busy we'd talk binoculars. Chad introduced me to the Swarovski SLC at that time. Of course they WERE less than the Night Owls but still way out of my league price wise. Chad handed me a 10X42 and told me to take it home and try them for a few days, no obligation. Well I did....what a binocular! I brought them back and was like....AWESOME but.... Chad was like..."Have you got $300? If you do, you can pay me 1/3 now, 1/3 in 30 days, and 1/3 in 60 days." I never signed a piece of paper but I was true to my word and Chad his. Probably the single best optic purchase I've ever made. Well you have to know Chad made an impact on me and so did the Swarovski SLC 10x42 as I still have them.

Sorry off topic kinda...well not KINDA!

Hat's off to the independent sporting goods retailer of yesteryear that made so many things possible for I'm sure so many of us!
I really enjoyed reading that Chuck. Thank you for sharing.
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 00:27   #59
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I know where there is a gray pair with warranty card for $1999 US.

Would anybody here bite?
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 00:45   #60
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I know where there is a gray pair with warranty card for $1999 US.

Would anybody here bite?
Maljunulo:

I assume you are speaking of my comment, as opposed to Jack’s. If so, that gray Fujinon FMTR-SX was Charlie Nemoto’s idea as a special offering to celebrate the 1992 America’s Cup race. From what I heard, my shop was not the only one in which they didn’t sell well and Charlie didn’t win any brownie points for the idea.

Bill
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 01:18   #61
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Back in the day, I wanted that Night Owl so badly I couldn't see straight. At the time there was no way I could afford it. I could go on a "trip" out west for the same price as these binoculars. There was a nice, customer service oriented sporting goods store where I lived. They knew my name and me theirs. I'd go in there and when they weren't busy we'd talk binoculars. Chad introduced me to the Swarovski SLC at that time. Of course they WERE less than the Night Owls but still way out of my league price wise. Chad handed me a 10X42 and told me to take it home and try them for a few days, no obligation. Well I did....what a binocular! I brought them back and was like....AWESOME but.... Chad was like..."Have you got $300? If you do, you can pay me 1/3 now, 1/3 in 30 days, and 1/3 in 60 days." I never signed a piece of paper but I was true to my word and Chad his. Probably the single best optic purchase I've ever made. Well you have to know Chad made an impact on me and so did the Swarovski SLC 10x42 as I still have them.

Sorry off topic kinda...well not KINDA!

Hat's off to the independent sporting goods retailer of yesteryear that made so many things possible for I'm sure so many of us!
Chuck:

This thread has drifted all the way off topic. I had the 10x56 DS, and it was proclaimed as the last of the best leaded glass Zeiss binoculars.
That may be true. It had very nice optics, but poor ergos. I also had a
Swarovski 10x50 SLC Neu, at the same time. The SLC was lighter, brighter
and better.

The Zeiss Design Selection binoculars are valued as a collector model.

Jerry
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 01:26   #62
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Maljunulo:

I assume you are speaking of my comment, as opposed to Jack’s. If so, that gray Fujinon FMTR-SX was Charlie Nemoto’s idea as a special offering to celebrate the 1992 America’s Cup race. From what I heard, my shop was not the only one in which they didn’t sell well and Charlie didn’t win any brownie points for the idea.

Bill
Sorry, Bill.

It was a straight-up question.

I thought the price was a bit high, so I was curious.
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 01:32   #63
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Jerry

It is indeed irritating when what you consider to be important attributes of a bino get dismissed or go unmentioned by someone who appears to have spent hardly any time with it. But we all have different priorities and tastes and sometimes folks don't get the opportunity to try binos out in decent circumstances. Even the British Bird Fair doesn't always provide good conditions for trialling binos especially on the busiest days when folks are crowding around you while you try to hold a new model of binos steady.

And there is nothing wrong with being thin-skinned if it motivates you to post how your experience and assessment of a bino differs from someone else's, all it takes is to always assume that folks have the best of intentions and to word your replies to them accordingly.

Did you notice that Dennis came up with a great observation? He was talking about SF but it applies to all binos and he said we should appreciate them for what they are and not get obsessed with what they aren't. This is sage advice because for sure, no bino is perfect.

Lee
Lee:

My words speak for themselves. I don't want or need you to be a moderator of my posts.

I acknowledge the post that was quoted from Dennis, and I agree with it. I only read it, as it was quoted by another member.

The ignore feature is useful.

Jerry
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 01:32   #64
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Sorry, Bill.

It was a straight-up question.

I thought the price was a bit high, so I was curious.
You are not the only one, my friend. It is a sad situation for those who think they have to have a new bino every month. What I have will last me a lifetime. I see no need for the expensive "shell game."

Bill
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 02:29   #65
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Lee,
And that is the one thing I love with people like Jerry who have heaps of experience vs us young ones. They stuff the political “niceties”. They just get straight to the point. So that allows one self to spend more time birding, discussing the best bino, watching Sir David Attenbrough or what ever tickle ones fancy.
I guess that is a fault of mine, but it is useful in many ways. I have been
involved in many things in my community, some elected positions, and there is no wondering about where I stand on some issues.

Politically correct is not a strong point of mine.

I like the forum, and I can do better, to be more tolerant of others.

In order to help myself maintain that, I have added another one to my
ignore list. I don't have high blood pressure, but this should help.

My wife has told me, I have lots of patience, as I have never used any....

Jerry
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 08:48   #66
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Hi MacHector,

you write that you`re on the cusp of buying an SF, you may have by now, obviously you like the view so I would`nt be overly concerned over comments about build quality, its a Zeiss flagship, its a G Dobler creation, its going to be just fine for some serious use.

On a personal note, and I do not own an SF, plus I have only spent time with the grey model, if I may express an opinion about the material quality or the luxuriousness of some of the materials used, then for me it perhaps doesn`t "feel" quite as premium as the SVFP and NV in the hand. But this is nothing to do with the build quality and a lot to do with our own expectations when spending £2k on a binocular.

I`d buy one in a heartbeat along with a NV if I could get away with owning both plus my SVFP !

John.
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 17:32   #67
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Hi MacHector,
I`d buy one in a heartbeat along with a NV if I could get away with owning both plus my SVFP !John.
As would I, had I an unlimited budget, but alas .............

I guess I'll struggle along with my EL SV 10X42 supplemented by my Fujinon FMT-SX 16X70.
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Old Wednesday 22nd November 2017, 14:05   #68
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I really enjoyed reading that Chuck. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Jack!
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Old Wednesday 22nd November 2017, 18:01   #69
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Zeiss: It’s one of our newest and best products. What do you see that we don’t. It has our best optics.

Bill: Oh, I think your optics are superb—Zeiss all the way. It’s the mechanics that concern me. You drive a desk; and I drive 5 display cases visited by real live customers who often share their observations.

It is too heavy, it lacks balance, the focus mechanisms are atrocious and ... it’s ugly. Aunt Myrtle the retired birdwatcher likes lightweight and ... pretty.

The foremost focus wheel is not bad. However, the one most frequently used is hard to actuate—your finger often slides over the top with little movement. And, if you need gloves ... forget it.

Bill
Well it's a funny ol' world as I rather like my 8x56's aesthetic and never notice the weight until I remove them at the end of the day!

I'm pleased you conceed the engineering of the primary focusing wheel is reasonable as my pair exhibit exelent smoothness and uniform resistance. Something I value highly in any set of bins. Focusing with thick winter gloves poses a challenge as you rightly observe but as my cold weather gloves have a hunter' s trigger finger detail I've managed just fine.

The Night Owls may be a collectors instrument but they remain my go-to bin and in consequence are exposed all but daily to the vageries of British Weather and not a display cabinet.

I'm sure the SF is an exelent binocular.

LGM
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 16:56   #70
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Thanks to everyone for their (usually) useful responses to my question. I have learnt a lot, including the surprising amount of passion that can be evoked by eyecups!

I'll let you know how things work out.

MacHector
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 17:03   #71
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Thanks to everyone for their (usually) useful responses to my question. I have learnt a lot, including the surprising amount of passion that can be evoked by eyecups!

I'll let you know how things work out.

MacHector
They say that 'eyes are the window to the soul' but this due to a typographic error, the correct rendition is 'eyecups are the window to the soul'.

Lee
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 20:16   #72
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Originally Posted by MacHector View Post
Thanks to everyone for their (usually) useful responses to my question. I have learnt a lot, including the surprising amount of passion that can be evoked by eyecups!

I'll let you know how things work out.
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They say that 'eyes are the window to the soul' but this due to a typographic error, the correct rendition is 'eyecups are the window to the soul'.
Well - the eyecups are certainly the window to the binocular!



Chosun
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Old Friday 24th November 2017, 00:10   #73
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I'm not quite sure why Zeiss seems to have trouble with eyecups. People complained about some of the FL's we all remember the Conquest HD unto problems with eye relief and the first version of the SF's. In fact the only model I don't remember hearing about problems with was the HT's. The HT's by the way are the most solidly built bin I have ever spent time with except my Kowa Genesis which ae built like a tank. Yes Lee I know they weigh as much as a tank so I'll save you the trouble.LOL
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Old Friday 24th November 2017, 07:32   #74
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I'm not quite sure why Zeiss seems to have trouble with eyecups. People complained about some of the FL's we all remember the Conquest HD unto problems with eye relief and the first version of the SF's. In fact the only model I don't remember hearing about problems with was the HT's. The HT's by the way are the most solidly built bin I have ever spent time with except my Kowa Genesis which ae built like a tank. Yes Lee I know they weigh as much as a tank so I'll save you the trouble.LOL
Stev
Dagnabbit Steve I've been saving that little quip for months , but the Genesis binos are all gems.

Zeiss must not treat eyecups as a priority item and seem content to use a similar 3-component moulded plastic design all the way up to and including their flagship SF. And I can see the logic of giving a higher priority to optics and focus system but if GPO can do wonderfully precise machined aluminium eyecups at their price points I do wonder why Zeiss can't.

Lee
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Old Friday 24th November 2017, 14:35   #75
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I'm not quite sure why Zeiss seems to have trouble with eyecups. People complained about some of the FL's we all remember the Conquest HD unto problems with eye relief and the first version of the SF's. In fact the only model I don't remember hearing about problems with was the HT's. The HT's by the way are the most solidly built bin I have ever spent time with except my Kowa Genesis which ae built like a tank. Yes Lee I know they weigh as much as a tank so I'll save you the trouble.LOL
Stev


I never heard of any problems with the eye cups on the Victory FLs. In fact I think that the eye cups on my Zeiss Victory 7x42 T* FL have the best, most comfortable eye cups I have had the pleasure of using! Additionally they are easy to remove when cleaning the oculars and they lock very precisely into their positions.

Bob
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