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Question on a Couple of Spotting Scopes

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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 12:57   #1
BMR
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Question on a Couple of Spotting Scopes

Hi,

This is my first post on here, but I've been reading a lot of posts here for awhile and have gained some really useful information. You guys definitely know your optics. I recently bought a Zeiss 65 with the 15-45X eyepiece that is a refurbished scope sold through an authorized dealer with full US lifetime warranty. The scope looks absolutely new in all respects, without a blemish on the scope or glass. The optical quality of this scope is outstanding. I purchased it for $800 US, which was far less than any other place I've ever seen it. I have a Nikon XL 16-47 roof prism scope with the phase-correction which is brand new, but it is not with me, so I have not been able to compare the two. I plan on keeping only one them. I do like the packability of the Nikon, but I'm wondering if the Zeiss is going to be worth the $300 extra over the Nikon? Are these high-end scopes really significantly better than the best of the roof prism scopes? Thanks for any input you can give me on this.

Last edited by BMR : Tuesday 4th May 2004 at 22:36.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 22:36   #2
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Hello BMR and welcome to bird forum. If you want information on birding and optics this is certainly the place to come. As for your question, im not sure on a answer but there are plenty of extremely knowledgeable people on here, who i'm sure will be able to give you any suggestions soon.Enjoy!!
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 22:39   #3
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Hello BMR, and welcome to the forum. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as we all do. Someone will be along to answer your questions soon.

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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 22:43   #4
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Hi BMR and welcome from the Moderators and Admin.
Your query seems to have been overlooked a bit,but I'm sure one of our resident optics Buffs will be along shortly.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 23:18   #5
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Well, I can understand, as my question is a bit vague. What I mean is that I only have so long of a window in which to return the Zeiss if I do not want it. As I am overseas away from home, I cannot compare it to my Nikon. If there would be a noticeable, significant difference between the two scopes I sure would hate to send the Zeiss back and regret it down the road. I suppose I could always wait until I get back to Texas in two months, compare the two, and if I find the Zeiss is not worth the extra money, put it up for sale. I would imagine I could get my money back out of it.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 23:39   #6
mickporter
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I have not long had a Zeiss 85mm, and it is the brightest scope I have ever looked through. Admittedly I have only owned a couple previously, but have compared it with many others in the same league and supposidly better. I saw none to compare. This includes Swarovski, Nikon, Opticron, and Leica.

Assuming the 65mm has the same quality optics then snatch their hands off!!!!
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 23:52   #7
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One thing that I really like a lot about the Zeiss, aside from its brightness and optical qualities, is how easy it is to look through without the image "blacking out," meaning the image stays in full view without having to keep my eye in exactly the right position.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 23:57   #8
Andy Bright
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Hi BMR, is it the 65fl version? If it is, i'd certainly keep it.....besides which, it will hold it's value if you ever think of selling it in the future, think of Zeiss like Mercedes
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 12:44   #9
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Hi Andy, yes it is the 65 FL version.
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 13:02   #10
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I did have the earlier version of the Nikon 16x-47x. I have not had a go at the Zeiss 65 FL, but if I were a betting man I would go with the Zeiss (Optically speaking). I imagine the Zeiss will be significantly brighter and have a better eye relief. And I don't think the 65 will be much worse than the Nikon for packing. The Nikon was a decent scope for travelling. As always you can't be absolutely sure without a side by side examination.
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 13:44   #11
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BMR: I seem to recall that the Nikon spotter has a rather narrow field of view. That's why I never considered buying one.
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 14:28   #12
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Thanks, does anyone know of a place to buy the Zeiss cordura nylon case for this scope at a reasonable price? This scope really needs a case to pack it along, but man, $130 or so for a nylon Zeiss fitted case sure is steep!
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 15:00   #13
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So far as I know, nobody has a "decent" price on that case; somebody did post a link to a knock-off version that was much cheaper, and if I can find it I'll pass it along. Anybody else remember that?

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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 15:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif
BMR: I seem to recall that the Nikon spotter has a rather narrow field of view. That's why I never considered buying one.
It depends on which eyepiece you use, as with most other scopes.
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 19:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill lord
It depends on which eyepiece you use, as with most other scopes.
Looking at Nikon's info it looks as if the eyepiece is not interchangeable so the zoom is the only option. At 16x the apparent FOV is poor at ~35 degrees but no worse than other zooms e.g. the Leica zoom at 20x. No-one seems to quote the AFOV at 48x. Maybe there's something to hide? However, the Zeiss zoom is MUCH wider at low power. Also the Zeiss should have noticeably better correction of CA than the Nikon due to the Flourite (glass?) element, though curiously I never could see any CA through the Nikon RAII 60mm scope with 20x eyepiece.
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 23:10   #16
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I know Zeiss only makes one type of spotting scope. Is this scope an APO like Leica calls their's or what Swarovski calls their HD?
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 23:25   #17
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Oddly enough i didn't realise that Zeiss don't produce a standard glass version of the 65 and 85mm scopes (Fl is equiv to APO,HD or whatever)....probably makes sense. They do offer two colour finishes though, as well as straight or angled eyepiece designs for both scopes.
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Old Thursday 6th May 2004, 08:05   #18
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BMR be careful with the Zeiss case. I got one with my 85 mm model and it was horrible. It is more like a loose bag. Ok it looks ok, and is well made but it fits horribly. I couldn't use the controls properly with it on, cause it kept getting in the way. It was so sloppy. I have been told that Zeiss are redesigning it.

I took mine back and got a refund and accepted a free opticron stay on case. This one fits perfectly, although a bit tight, but you can control the scope properly with it on. It also appears much more waterproof, although with the Zeiss scope that is not a huge problem. The carrying strap is a bit naff.

All that said, my opinion is that all stay on cases are a bit of a problem. They certainly hinder your use of the scope. I suppose the reason I use on is to protect my investment, and keep my scope clean and tidy. Otherwise I certainly wouldn't use it.
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Old Thursday 6th May 2004, 11:51   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif
Looking at Nikon's info it looks as if the eyepiece is not interchangeable so the zoom is the only option. At 16x the apparent FOV is poor at ~35 degrees but no worse than other zooms e.g. the Leica zoom at 20x. No-one seems to quote the AFOV at 48x. Maybe there's something to hide? However, the Zeiss zoom is MUCH wider at low power. Also the Zeiss should have noticeably better correction of CA than the Nikon due to the Flourite (glass?) element, though curiously I never could see any CA through the Nikon RAII 60mm scope with 20x eyepiece.
All the Nikon scopes that I have ever seen have a complete range of eyepieces for them but I couldn't find anything about the Nikon XL scope. The Nikon zom is the one that does have a wide FOV at it's lowest setting but it's fixed lenses give no aprecciable wider FOV than those of other similar fixed eyepieces from other manufacturers. As to the Glass, Nikon do not use Fluorite glass but do use other non standard glasses in thier lenses. My old RA1 scope produced no CA that I could see and ny new ED 78 is so bright and clear and free from Ca that I doubt that the Zeiss could improve on it.
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Old Thursday 6th May 2004, 15:26   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif
Looking at Nikon's info it looks as if the eyepiece is not interchangeable so the zoom is the only option. At 16x the apparent FOV is poor at ~35 degrees but no worse than other zooms e.g. the Leica zoom at 20x. No-one seems to quote the AFOV at 48x. Maybe there's something to hide? However, the Zeiss zoom is MUCH wider at low power. Also the Zeiss should have noticeably better correction of CA than the Nikon due to the Flourite (glass?) element, though curiously I never could see any CA through the Nikon RAII 60mm scope with 20x eyepiece.
Ah I've now found the XL scope and it has as you say no facility to change the eyepiece, plus it seems to be of the same sort of ability as the Nikon RAII this being the case I would expect the Zeis to be a much better scope than the nikon.
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