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Zeiss Dialyt 7x42 was on my bucket list.

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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 00:13   #1
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Zeiss Dialyt 7x42 was on my bucket list.

I have always kind of wanted A Zeiss 7x42 Dialyt. They come up on Ebay from time to time and generally sell for between $800 and as high as $1600. Since I had some extra cash burning a hole in my pocket from NOT buying the new Zeiss SF due to a myriad of production problems I decided to blow it on the Dialyt. This binocular is highly regarded and has been around for years and is now considered a collectible classic and is known as one of the best birding binoculars ever built. It offers the same huge FOV as the SF at 450 feet in the 7x42 configuration and is well known for having an easy view and being very bright with the big AK prisms and 6mm exit pupil. I snagged one on Ebay for $900 which is in like new condition and came with a new Pelican case and it looks like the original Zeiss strap which is kind of big and bulky and the Zeiss rainguard which is heavy and big and shows a little wear. I replaced the strap with a much lighter Vero Vellini and I had a Zeiss 8x42 FL case which works very well with the strap tucked in off to the left side. The Dialyt is narrow so there is room for the strap off to the side. I can't see myself using the bigger Pelican case too often except for may be traveling. It is a very protective case though. The Zeiss Dialyt binocular itself is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and I can see why so many people want one. Even though it is 27.5 oz it is so superbly balanced so it doesn't feel that heavy and feels wonderful in your hands and is also very steady because it is long. The armour on it is a delightful slightly tack grippy rubber that is different than most modern binoculars but it find really pleasing to use. The focus is perfect with a silky smooth action and just the right tension. It uses rubber eyecups which work quite well and are very comfortable. The eye relief for me is about perfect with very little blackouts. If you haven't noticed I like these quite a bit. These binoculars are built WELL and are very sturdy. Zeiss guarantees them against water intrusion although they don't seem to be gas filled like modern binoculars but Zeiss says they have never had any water or fogging problems with them and that is why they guarantee them. Now to the optics.
WOW. These are fantastic binoculars even if they weren't 20 years old. Huge comfortable FOV and very bright. I can't describe how easy the view is on these. Very sharp on-axis with a slight drop off at the edge that is not as noticeable as say the Nikon 8x30 EII. Huge sweet spot makes for an excellent binocular for scanning wide areas quickly. Incredible DOF with the 7x and very easy to hold steady. If you could summarize these binoculars in one word it would be "EASY!" Easy to use and an easy view. The 6mm exit pupil I am sure plays a part in that. I was amazed how easy I could pick up tons of warblers in some dense shrubbery on my birding outing today. I don't see much CA and I think it is due to the longer FL. Zeiss really hit a home run when they made these. The new FL's,HT"s and SF's are not built like these. They are trying to make them lighter and I think they might be getting to fragile. As they say they don't build them like this anymore. That is why these are in such demand and despite being long in the tooth they still have a lot of bite and fetch almost as much as an alpha on Ebay.

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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 00:37   #2
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How is the eye relief on them? Many years ago in the late 1980s or early 1990s I met a birder at Hawk Mountain who used one. He complained that the eye relief was much too long and he had trouble using it. He ultimately got rid of it.

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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 01:04   #3
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A lot of words but you kinda missed the most important feature to consider...P* or no P? For $900.00 I would think not.

I have a BGAT/P and they are nice, although not near the equal of the newest alpha glass, IMO.
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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 01:10   #4
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How is the eye relief on them? Many years ago in the late 1980s or early 1990s I met a birder at Hawk Mountain who used one. He complained that the eye relief was much too long and he had trouble using it. He ultimately got rid of it.

Bob
That is all in the depth of your eye sockets versus the eye relief and the length of the eye cups. With the rubber eyecups they either work or they don't. I have tried a lot of binoculars that don't work that way. These work for me but just because they didn't work for your friend doesn't mean they won't work for you. The rubber eyecups are very comfortable. I have seen some people cut bicycle innertubes and stick them over the end when the eye relief was too long.
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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 01:19   #5
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The 7x42 Dialyt is still the only glass that really made me gasp, the field of view was such a revelation.
Their 'picture window' image is still unsurpassed afaik. They are truly classics.
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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 01:23   #6
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A lot of words but you kinda missed the most important feature to consider...P* or no P? For $900.00 I would think not.

I have a BGAT/P and they are nice, although not near the equal of the newest alpha glass, IMO.
I had a friend that had a P*(Phase Coated) model and an regular model and said there was not much difference in the view. Others have said that also I believe even on this forum. The value of the Dialyt from a collectibility standpoint places more emphasis on the condition of the binocular rather than if they are P or no P. The selling price is still $800 to $1600 P or no P on Ebay. Does that sound right? As far as compared to alpha glass I was rather impressed when comparing them to my Swarovski Swarovision's 8x32. They hold their own and have the advantage of the bigger FOV which is marvelous and can only be equaled with perhaps the Nikon 8x30 EII and the bigger exit pupil is a big advantage also meaning more comfort than an 8x32 can offer. What impresses me is the build quality is so much better than the newer Zeiss models including the FL, HT, and SF. I think people like the classic look of them also.

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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 01:27   #7
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...
I was amazed how easy I could pick up tons of warblers in some dense shrubbery on my birding outing today. I don't see much CA and I think it is due to the longer FL. Zeiss really hit a home run when they made these. The new FL's,HT"s and SF's are not built like these. They are trying to make them lighter and I think they might be getting to fragile. As they say they don't build them like this anymore. That is why these are in such demand and despite being long in the tooth they still have a lot of bite and fetch almost as much as an alpha on Ebay.
Umm, you could "pick up tons of warblers," in Colorado, today? Dang, those Zeiss must be good.

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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 01:30   #8
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The 7x42 Dialyt is still the only glass that really made me gasp, the field of view was such a revelation.
Their 'picture window' image is still unsurpassed afaik. They are truly classics.
Yes, the huge FOV is what WOWED me. The edges are better than a Nikon 8x30 EII and they are sharper on-axis so in a way they are even more impressive than the Nikon when it comes to that immersive view.(Oh,Oh I can hear Brocks ears perking up when I mentioned EII.). The Dialyt is a very optically sharp and bright binocular. The big AK prism doesn't need Dielectric coatings to bring a lot of light in.
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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 03:46   #9
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Dennis,

They were outstanding and ahead of their time but their wide FOV hasn't been news for some time. They had the same FOV as the 7x45 Night Owl had which came after them and the same FOV that the recently discontinued 7x42 Victory FL had which replaced the Night Owl. Those latter models also had updated, and much better, coatings than the 7x42 Dialyt.

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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 04:27   #10
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Dennis,

They were outstanding and ahead of their time but their wide FOV hasn't been news for some time. They had the same FOV as the 7x45 Night Owl had which came after them and the same FOV that the recently discontinued 7x42 Victory FL had which replaced the Night Owl. Those latter models also had updated, and much better, coatings than the 7x42 Dialyt.

Bob
Their appeal is their excellent performance with their classic look and build quality. They are a good all around binocular. It is funny Zeiss nixed the 7x42's. Seems like a pretty good format to me but maybe it didn't sell hence the new 8x42 SF with the same wide FOV. They seem to have a lot of problems to iron out with that one though after following the thread on them for awhile. I don't know how much better the later coatings were. I have compared the 7x42 FL to the 7x42 Dialyt and each one has it's advantages but the FL certainly doesn't blow the Dialyt away in my opinion.
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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 13:21   #11
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I had a friend that had a P*(Phase Coated) model and an regular model and said there was not much difference in the view. Others have said that also I believe even on this forum.
I know. That doesn't mean they're wrong. The difference isn't as big as with bins with smallish exit pupils and/or higher magnifications, and on bright days you can use just one half of the exit pupil. But the difference *is* there, and it's rather clearcut.

In addition, I think later versions of the 7x42 have better coatings, and that's something you'll see in the field in a direct comparison, especially when viewing against the light.

Hermann

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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 13:51   #12
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First of all, you can't really compare the Zeiss 7x42 BGATP with modern binoculars. Modern roofs have internal focusing and are therefore waterproof, and they have a much closer focusing distance. Both these features mean that it's much more difficult to get the optics right. Some might even say it's impossible. I'm quite sure a 7x42 BGATP with modern glass types and up-to-date coatings would be optically as good as the very best modern roofs, and in some ways probably better. Glare resistance for instance appears to have suffered quite a bit with the introduction of internal focussing, and only a very few modern roofs are as good as the Zeiss 7x42.

The great thing about the 7x42 BGATP is that it's so simple - no funky focuser (that may go wrong or requires springs and the like in its mechanism to work properly), no internal focusing, just simple rubber eyecups and so on. And no sharp edges - who needs them with such a wide field of view anyway? The sweetspot is plenty big enough.

Second point: The large exit pupil of the 7x42 BGATP *does* make a huge big difference, even in bright daylight. The bigger the exit pupil, the easier it is to use a binocular. There's a reason why many (including many Swarovski fans here) say the 10x50 Swarovision is so good (and rather better than, for instance, the 10x42). Coupled with a low magnification that means you can hold the binoculars very steady *and* you've got better depth of field compared to an 8x or 10x.

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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 13:53   #13
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I know. That doesn't mean they're wrong. The difference isn't as big as with bins with smallish exit pupils and/or higher magnifications, and on bright days you can use just one half of the exit pupil. But the difference *is* there, and it's rather clearcut.

In addition, I think later versions of the 7x42 have better coatings, and that's something you'll see in the field in a direct comparison, especially when viewing against the light.

Hermann
I don't think I am real good at noticing differences in coatings updates. People always said the Nikon SE had coatings updates and it made a big difference but I never saw a huge difference between the models. To my eyes the SE was the SE. HaHa! Never the less in either form the Dialyt is overall an excellent performer and the big FOV and slightly lower magnification at 7x is a nice contrast to my Swarovision's 8x32. I can see why they are such hot sellers on Ebay. Very nice easy relaxing binocular to use.
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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 14:06   #14
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First of all, you can't really compare the Zeiss 7x42 BGATP with modern binoculars. Modern roofs have internal focusing and are therefore waterproof, and they have a much closer focusing distance. Both these features mean that it's much more difficult to get the optics right. Some might even say it's impossible. I'm quite sure a 7x42 BGATP with modern glass types and up-to-date coatings would be optically as good as the very best modern roofs, and in some ways probably better. Glare resistance for instance appears to have suffered quite a bit with the introduction of internal focussing, and only a very few modern roofs are as good as the Zeiss 7x42.

The great thing about the 7x42 BGATP is that it's so simple - no funky focuser (that may go wrong or requires springs and the like in its mechanism to work properly), no internal focusing, just simple rubber eyecups and so on. And no sharp edges - who needs them with such a wide field of view anyway? The sweetspot is plenty big enough.

Second point: The large exit pupil of the 7x42 BGATP *does* make a huge big difference, even in bright daylight. The bigger the exit pupil, the easier it is to use a binocular. There's a reason why many (including many Swarovski fans here) say the 10x50 Swarovision is so good (and rather better than, for instance, the 10x42). Coupled with a low magnification that means you can hold the binoculars very steady *and* you've got better depth of field compared to an 8x or 10x.

Hermann
Very good points Hermann. I agree with you about the simplicity of Dialyt. The binocular should be a heirloom because even if something did happen to it it would be easy to repair. The focus even though it is a simple external focus works remarkably smooth in BOTH directions and has just the right amount of tension. You are correct about the great DOF and the big exit pupil making the binocular comfortable and easy to use. I am curious to see how the glare control is compared to my Swarovision's. I hope it is sunny tomorrow. The build quality of the Dialyt reminds me of the Swarovski Habicht porro with it's just amazing attention to detail and classic look. I know what you mean about the Swarovski's 10x50. Even though they are heavier a lot of birders have always used them for all the advantages that bigger aperture gives you.
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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 15:44   #15
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congrats! 800 grams om bino history!
would love to have a pair myself,
the 7x42 Dialyt is very cool to look at, (it's a true product design classic! as the 10x40 Dialyt)
the enormous FOV is very much a predecessor to the
7x42 FL:s and the SF:s,

maybe you should try to look at some stars with them,
they might sparkle as Swarovski diamonds…
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Old Saturday 28th February 2015, 20:29   #16
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Zeiss Dialyt 7x42 was my very first experience of a Zeiss, It was around 1990. At first when I saw the price I could hardly believe a binocular could cost so much(7000 SEK which at that time was a monthly salary for me). But I was overwhelmingly impressed by the image quality: for the very first time I got the feeling of not looking through a binocular but with my own eyes standing 7x closer the object.
It would be really interesting to compare a Dialyt 7x42 side by side with my Conquest HD 8x42; to see how I would perceive the image of the Dialyt today.
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Old Sunday 1st March 2015, 15:55   #17
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I saw the auction for your 7x42's they look really nice.

Last year I sold my FL 7x42 and haven't missed it at all; I sold my Classic 7x42 T*P* years ago and still regret it. The 7x42 Classics are truly something special.
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Old Sunday 1st March 2015, 15:57   #18
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Zeiss Dialyt 7x42 was my very first experience of a Zeiss, It was around 1990. At first when I saw the price I could hardly believe a binocular could cost so much(7000 SEK which at that time was a monthly salary for me). But I was overwhelmingly impressed by the image quality: for the very first time I got the feeling of not looking through a binocular but with my own eyes standing 7x closer the object.
It would be really interesting to compare a Dialyt 7x42 side by side with my Conquest HD 8x42; to see how I would perceive the image of the Dialyt today.
Last year I was lucky enough to be able to try an SF 8x42 and a mint Dialyt 7x42 at the same time (thanks Gary).

The Dialyt had nothing to be ashamed about, it was a peach, a really nice relaxing view.

Lee
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Old Sunday 1st March 2015, 16:14   #19
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Last year I was lucky enough to be able to try an SF 8x42 and a mint Dialyt 7x42 at the same time (thanks Gary).

The Dialyt had nothing to be ashamed about, it was a peach, a really nice relaxing view.

Lee
How about the contrast and color saturation? How did they compare?

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Old Sunday 1st March 2015, 16:39   #20
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Hello,

We have the "pump," with the conspicuous absence of an answer to whether it has phase coating, and no explanation of the warblers in Colorado, in February. I am waiting for the "dump."

I could join the discussion of this fine glass, but I do not care to play Chariie Brown to his Lucy.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Sunday 1st March 2015, 20:20   #21
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Arthur,

We know by omission that this particular 7x42 does not have phase-coated prisms. If it did, we would have been told so with no uncertain terms as soon as the question came up.

Kimmo
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Old Sunday 1st March 2015, 23:35   #22
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Arthur,

We know by omission that this particular 7x42 does not have phase-coated prisms. If it did, we would have been told so with no uncertain terms as soon as the question came up.

Kimmo
Hello Kimmo,

Yes, I am drawing attention to the obvious but I refuse to be used.

I am also going to infer that the Dialyt in question did not have the closer minimal focussing of the later ones. I think that the improvement was rather more than 1 m, but I am uncertain.

Happy bird watching [and I do bird watch],
Arthur

P.S. Kimmo your private message box is full.
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Old Monday 2nd March 2015, 16:46   #23
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...We have the "pump," with the conspicuous absence of an answer to whether it has phase coating, and no explanation of the warblers in Colorado, in February. I am waiting for the "dump."...
My thoughts exactly.

--AP
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Old Monday 2nd March 2015, 16:56   #24
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...The great thing about the 7x42 BGATP is that it's so simple - no funky focuser (that may go wrong or requires springs and the like in its mechanism to work properly)...
I'm a huge fan of the Zeiss 7x42 BGATP but I regret having to report that for me, the focusing is not perfect despite its simplicity. In my experience, it can have problems at both high and low temperatures. The bridge/yoke holding the oculars on my unit changes shape slightly according to temperature, thus requiring a slightly different diopter setting to compensate. In addition, the focusing becomes quite stiff at high (yes, high) temperatures. I've had it back to Zeiss three times to service to try to fix these problem with only partial success.

--AP

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Old Monday 2nd March 2015, 17:01   #25
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Hi guys! I was just wondering which 7x42 Dialyt version is the most advanced/modern? The long line of letters after the bin's name confuse me...
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