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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 19:31   #1
Patriot222
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Need Zeiss Diadem Advice

As a binocular and optics nut, I picked up a 3.6 X 12 Zeiss Diadem of Ebay, simply because the price was right at $95. Upon arrival everything looked great...factory box, factory papers, yellow warranty card, cleaning cloth and neckstrap. The optics have nice blue-green coatings and appear to be typical high quality. I took a quick peak through them in the house and immediatly recognized that they had a problem. I took the bins outside and just as I suspected, there was a terrible double image. They're out of collimation by at least 1/3 of the FOV but possibly more. I've never seen a bin which was that far off before, including a child's $5 Bushnell from the drug store which I bought for my girlfriend's son, who's five year old. The bins look absolutely new in the box with no signs of damage. They were sold "as new" and I don't doubt the seller's claim. One thing that did throw me off was that print under the bridge stating "made in China" Are these really made in China? Did I purchase some sort of counterfeit? The view through the individual tubes are actually very good considering the tiny 12mm objectives. It's only when they're brought up to both eyes that they literally unusable.

I'll probably box them up and sent them back to the seller at this point. I'm just curious if anyone knows if the Diadem or any other Zeiss model is made in China.

Thanks in advance for any help :)



http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t...sDiadem001.jpg
http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t...sDiadem002.jpg
http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t...sDiadem003.jpg
http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t...sDiadem004.jpg

Last edited by Patriot222 : Tuesday 12th August 2008 at 19:33.
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Old Wednesday 13th August 2008, 01:53   #2
jimtrader11
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Hi Patriot,

I also bought a pair a few months ago for a similar price because I too am a binocular lover. However, I sold them because eye relief was way too short for someone with glasses. The Zeiss adds and specs for them make no mention of the eye relief which I think is a deliberate omission.
I think I recall that they were also said made in China.
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Old Wednesday 13th August 2008, 13:50   #3
ThoLa
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Originally Posted by Patriot222 View Post
As a binocular and optics nut, I picked up a 3.6 X 12 Zeiss Diadem of Ebay, ....
One thing that did throw me off was that print under the bridge stating "made in China" Are these really made in China?

... I'm just curious if anyone knows if the Diadem or any other Zeiss model is made in China.
No way is it a real one!
There are no production facilities in China.
It's a fake.
Best send them to Zeiss to have a look at it.
Under all circumstances, inform Zeiss Sports Optics headquarters about this incidence!!

It tells something about internet auctions, particularly those making offers at "irresistable" budget prices!

Tom
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Old Wednesday 13th August 2008, 14:07   #4
ThoLa
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Originally Posted by Patriot222 View Post
As a binocular and optics nut, I picked up a 3.6 X 12 Zeiss Diadem of Ebay,

I'm just curious if anyone knows if the Diadem or any other Zeiss model is made in China.
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Old Wednesday 13th August 2008, 17:23   #5
Alexis Powell
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Originally Posted by ThoLa View Post
No way is it a real one!
There are no production facilities in China.
It's a fake.
Best send them to Zeiss to have a look at it.
Under all circumstances, inform Zeiss Sports Optics headquarters about this incidence!!
Are you sure this wasn't a Zeiss marketing/labeling experiment? They are junk, but I think the Zeiss label is real--the saddest example of the diminution of Zeiss prestige through endorsement of inferiorly designed and manufactured product. This model is apparently discontinued but is still widely available in the USA from many reputable dealers, usually selling from $60-$150.

--AP
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Old Wednesday 13th August 2008, 18:17   #6
ThoLa
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Are you sure this wasn't a Zeiss marketing/labeling experiment? They are junk, but I think the Zeiss label is real--....

--AP
Sure?
What can we be really sure of?
I've never heard Zeiss has production in China. They have facilities in Hungary, because due to the extention of the european union to the east it is heavily subsidised (and workforce is .... very affordable).
If it's genuine (I am still in doubt), I begin to understand why opera glasses are not in the catalogue anymore!

T
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Old Wednesday 13th August 2008, 18:33   #7
Alexis Powell
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Sure? What can we be really sure of?
Ha! You take language too literally, or maybe this is just your manner of being playful?

Yes, I think Zeiss is trying to clean house a bit, or at least I hope so. We haven't seen any more Diafun (or lower) level products since the FL driven resurgence.

--AP
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Old Wednesday 13th August 2008, 18:49   #8
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I bought a pair of the "newer" Zeiss Diadems 3.5x12 which I believe are roof prism bins and mine are made in China, but they work perfectly. The 3x25 Galilean model Diadem shown in this thread was discontinued many years ago. The new Diadems are fully multicoated but not likely phase coated. The eye relief is short, that's true, but since I have many opera glasses (which is what the Diadem is marketed as in most countries), it compares very favorably to all of them except perhaps some of the best Russian opera glasses (opera and binoculars are taken pretty seriously in Russia).

The Zeiss Sports Optics people will probably tell you that in order to make a "better" Diadem at a reasonable price, they had to have them made in China. In fact China probably gave them a better chance to get a high-end product made, since the Chinese producers have experience making some very good binoculars. High end EO, Vortex, Celestron Regal, and a variety of other high end bins have been made in China for a while. Those manufacturers that don't make their high end bins in China often buy sub-assemblies from them. A spec is a spec. If a bin meets a high spec then it meets the high spec, just look at Minox.

Zeiss may have their own facility in China, because Zeiss makes microscopes and other products like sunglasses that would also benefit greatly from lower production costs. If so then unlike Minox that is supposed to QC each bin in Germany, Zeiss probably QCs their bins in China. If the Diadem QC stinks, that is a Zeiss Germany Corporate failing that has nothing to do with what a Chinese plant is "capable" of. Chinese factories tend to focus on making the least expensive kinds of products because that is where the largest sales numbers are. Factory tooling is easier to write off against zillions of units of production. But these same factories learn by their experiences, and in some cases, companies like Nikon teach them how to make things and then this info gets disseminated across the entire Chinese business-scape.

Carson XM/Ultrawide bins are made in China and in many ways they are excellent, and the prices are low. It won't be long before the Chinese start branding high end products on their own, and when that happens, and the products stand up well alongside German, Russian and Japanese optical products then the Chinese factories will raise their prices dramatically and you will see main line optics companies around the world being bought out by successful Chinese companies. This is what happens when an industry (like the stereo/audio) business goes global and production moves from one country (like Marantz from the USA to Japan Marantz Inc.) to another. Then the brand just becomes a niche identifier, not something where it's all about the town it's made in. Just remember they make make Armani suits for NA in Canada and BMWs in France and a bunch of other countries, but as long as Armani/BMW controls things properly, those clothes/cars still look good, feel good and hold together well. The right specs, designs and QC mean everything, but where it's made means allot less.
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Old Monday 18th August 2008, 19:55   #9
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Thanks for the thoughts and replies everyone. My feeling is that they're also genuine and the box and bar code match the leftover ones being sold by reputable Zeiss dealers. All of the paperwork is 100% Zeiss and matches my other Zeiss paperwork. Unfortunately it looks as if I've just got a terrible example and whether or not that has anything to do with them being made in China, the fact remains that they're not usable. The seller offered me a refund so I'm returning them.

If nothing else was gained by my unfortunate purchase, at least we know that Zeiss actually has, or had at one time, a bin manufactured in China. Personally I think it was a terrible move on their part but maybe part of the reason why this bin isn't in production anymore. It's interesting that they would have to produce them in China with a retail price of $279. They typically sell for about $125 and I purchased mine for a bit less.



ksbird/foxranch - Yes, the optical coatings are of very high quality and compare in color to my other European optics. Also, it wouldn't need to be phase coated as it's a porro prism bin. I agree with your perspective about manufacturers outsourcing but I also believe that the further a project gets from "home base" the less control the parent manufacturer has on quality. This is especially true in the transitional phase of outsourcing, before full support is able to to work as it's supposed to.
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Old Monday 18th August 2008, 20:01   #10
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Great pictures, thank you. Judging from the serial number, those are quite early binoculars aren't they? I wish my set was built to the same quality level as yours were. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be as important to Zeiss on their lower end products, as it once was.
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