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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Reviews by Pinewood

  • Bright and contrasty optics; large sweet spot
  • naff and low utility accessories; unfriendly; prone to blackouts
Although I find that most of the optical characteristics attributed to this binocular, by others, to be accurate. I am one of the minority who found this binocular's tendency to blackouts made it extremely unfriendly in use. Wearers of eyeglasses seem to be more prone to this problem than others. After owning it for years, I was happy to sell it to someone who was convinced that he would enjoy it.
Although the Field of View is wide, it is less generous than many other fine binoculars in the 8x30/32 class but it was brighter than more expensive binoculars of that class. Compared to roof glasss, the focussing was definitely stiff but it was about standard for Porro binoculars.
The accessories include a case with no strap; a neckstrap with the manufacturers name embroidered in large yelow letters; a rain guard which cannot stay attached to the strap and objective lens caps of the most ordinary kind. I replaced the caps with tethered caps and the rain guard with a Zeiss Classic rain guard.
I readily admit that my opinion is a minority one. I certainly advise any prospective owner to field test one before buying or deal with a vendor with a generous returns policy.
  • great colour rendition; good minimal IPD setting
  • Less than perfect shielding from strong light outside field of view
I have the version without Lotutec but I presume that it is optically the same as the latest version.
Inherent in any 8x32 or 8x30 binocular is the need for careful eye placement but this binocular seems to be more forgiving than some other binoculars.
I find this binocular to be a delight to use and it has replaced my Leica BN as my first choice when I want to carry a single binocular. Although there is significant softening of resolution at the very edge of the field, the center sharpness and the reasonable sharpness, near that very edge, along with an outstanding FOV make for an excellent and "relaxed" viewing.
There are occasions when strong light, outside the FOV and to the side, like a low sun, will cause unwanted reflections, some small coloured arcs but this binocular displays this problem less than many others. Strong backlighting, as with the sun directly ahead but out the FOV, will cause "light bleeding" but I am not certain how this may compare with other binoculars. On the other hand, shadow detail against a bright sky was unequalled. Colour rendition, especially colur contrast puts this binocular in a special class. I think that this quality of the FL glass, which is also responsible for reduced chromatic aberration. Some pincushion distortion is revealed on close examination but this is probably part of the desing to eliminate "rolling ball" effects when panning.
Ergonomically, it suits me. This binouclar must have one of the narrowest possible Inter-Pupillary Distance settings, possible. I especially like the big wide focussing knob, which I finder to neither "fast" or "slow," but this is a matter of personal taste. However, it is not difficult to pull the knob out and change the dioptre setting and risk water damage. The user should take care when removing the binocular from a case. The accessories seem fine but mounting the tethered lens caps takes some care. Once done, they are fine. I have not used the case or the neckstrap, as I do prefer a strap in camouflage and the case is superfluous to my needs.
As I wear eyeglasses, I cannot comment on the adjustable eyecups, as I keept them down. The eye relief is adequate for me but I am of the opinion that each user must determince this for himself. In point of fact, I see a wider FOV with my glasses on and the cups down than without my specs and the cups up.
A recent German consumer publication found that its durability was very high even with its light weight.
As always, many of my impressions are subjective but I think that this glass is worthy of consideration and examination by those who are interested in a binocular with cutting edge technology.