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Swarovski 80 HD vs. Zeiss Diascope 85

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Old Friday 28th July 2006, 11:46   #1
Modo
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Swarovski 80 HD vs. Zeiss Diascope 85

Hello!

I am currently looking for a new spoting-scope.

I have looked at:
1. Zeiss Diascope 85mm with 20-60x zoom. In all ca. 1600 USD
2. Swarovski 80 HD with 20-60x zoom. In all about 23-2400 USD

But i am not sure if it is worth the price...
What are your opinions in regard to clearness, contrast, colour etc. etc.?
Is it worth the extra?

Is there any review comparing the two scopes?

Thank you very much for your help

Is there other cheaper alternatives that comes cloes to the two scopes?
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Old Saturday 29th July 2006, 18:19   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modo
Is there any review comparing the two scopes?
http://www.alula.fi/gb/optics.htm


Quote:
Is there other cheaper alternatives that comes cloes to the two scopes?
Leica APO Televid 77 (not necessarily cheaper)
Nikon Fieldscope ED82
Kowa TSN823M

... and lots and lots of discussion about all of them on this forum.

Good luck,

Ilkka
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Old Saturday 29th July 2006, 18:53   #3
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Hi Modo. Consider the Pentax PF80. Has worked great for me, with lots of different eyepieces to choose from. Jose
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Old Saturday 29th July 2006, 20:46   #4
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ok, thanks.
iīll take a closer look on the alternatives :-)

Any comments on the Zeiss and Swarowski? in comparison?

Btw, thanks for the link
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Old Sunday 30th July 2006, 17:02   #5
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I would advise you to go to a dealer and let him put you both scopes side by side for you to test.

I tried both the Zeiss and Swarovski together intending to buy the Swaro, but found to my eyes the Zeiss was much brighter and suited me. My friend hates the Zeiss with its fiddley focusing and swears by the Swarovski. Its personal choice what suits one person may not be anothers choice.

People in this forum will swear by Swarovski's because they bought and use them. It will be the same in the Zeiss forum. You really must test them for yourself. Never buy such an expensive instrument without trying it for yourself. You will never be happy and may regret it.......
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Old Sunday 30th July 2006, 18:08   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickporter
I would advise you to go to a dealer and let him put you both scopes side by side for you to test.

I tried both the Zeiss and Swarovski together intending to buy the Swaro, but found to my eyes the Zeiss was much brighter and suited me. My friend hates the Zeiss with its fiddley focusing and swears by the Swarovski. Its personal choice what suits one person may not be anothers choice.

People in this forum will swear by Swarovski's because they bought and use them. It will be the same in the Zeiss forum. You really must test them for yourself. Never buy such an expensive instrument without trying it for yourself. You will never be happy and may regret it.......
Very good advice from Mick.
I went shopping for a '60mm scope', convinced that the small Leica was what I wanted. When I called into the shop (with good viewing facilities) I tried Swaro/Leica/Zeiss side by side, and thought the Zeiss won hands down, so bought one....BUT...another birder might have done exactly the same and picked one of the others. I'm convinced we all 'see' through scope's differently, and as Mick says you really must test them yourself (rather than just 'plumping' for a mail-order Scope, as many have done).
Incidentally, IMO the Zeiss is a great 65mm scope. I cannot comment on the bigger version, although many swear by them.
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Old Monday 31st July 2006, 17:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modo
Hello!

I am currently looking for a new spoting-scope.

I have looked at:
1. Zeiss Diascope 85mm with 20-60x zoom. In all ca. 1600 USD
2. Swarovski 80 HD with 20-60x zoom. In all about 23-2400 USD

But i am not sure if it is worth the price...
What are your opinions in regard to clearness, contrast, colour etc. etc.?
Is it worth the extra?

Is there any review comparing the two scopes?

Thank you very much for your help

Is there other cheaper alternatives that comes cloes to the two scopes?
The main difference between the two scopes with zoom eyepieces is regarding field of view and edge sharpness. The Zeiss offers unparalleled field of view, up to 50% greater in area when compared to the Swarovski. That's why I prefer the Zeiss.

But the uniquely wide view the Zeiss offers comes at a cost: its edge sharpness is nothing like as good as the edge sharpness of the Swarovski. That said - the Zeiss is, overall, an exceedingly sharp eyepiece.

Another minor difference is in "colouration" - the Swaro offers a more "blue" rather cooler than neutral view, the Zeiss offers a somewhat warmer more yellowish view. This is only noticeable in direct comparison - used alone each scope seems to offer a fairly neutral view.

The Zeiss also seems to offer you a much lower price. I'd go for it!
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Old Monday 31st July 2006, 22:30   #8
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Ok, thank you!

I have compared a swaro 65 & 80 to a zeiss 65, but it was a close call.
I think ill go for the zeiss, due to the cost-difference...

Thabks for your help!
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Old Saturday 26th August 2006, 20:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scampo
The main difference between the two scopes with zoom eyepieces is regarding field of view and edge sharpness. The Zeiss offers unparalleled field of view, up to 50% greater in area when compared to the Swarovski. That's why I prefer the Zeiss.

But the uniquely wide view the Zeiss offers comes at a cost: its edge sharpness is nothing like as good as the edge sharpness of the Swarovski. That said - the Zeiss is, overall, an exceedingly sharp eyepiece.

Another minor difference is in "colouration" - the Swaro offers a more "blue" rather cooler than neutral view, the Zeiss offers a somewhat warmer more yellowish view. This is only noticeable in direct comparison - used alone each scope seems to offer a fairly neutral view.

The Zeiss also seems to offer you a much lower price. I'd go for it!

I was able to compare both these scopes side by side this spring at a dealer and I completly agree with the above. The Zeiss was "yellow" and the Swaro "blue" to my eye. I prefer the blue, it just seems more natural to me. There was no difference in brightness per se just a sense of coloring.

I had intended to buy the swaro. after looking through the Zeiss it made my decision tougher. They are both great scopes. i did settle with the Swaro 80hd ats.

The focus ring / knob was also a big issue for me. I did not at all care for the Zeiss focusing system. The swaro. focus seemed easer for me. It was a bit firm at first but I am either completely used to it now or it has eased up with use.
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Old Saturday 26th August 2006, 20:43   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauze
I was able to compare both these scopes side by side this spring at a dealer and I completly agree with the above. The Zeiss was "yellow" and the Swaro "blue" to my eye. I prefer the blue, it just seems more natural to me. There was no difference in brightness per se just a sense of coloring.

I had intended to buy the swaro. after looking through the Zeiss it made my decision tougher. They are both great scopes. i did settle with the Swaro 80hd ats.

The focus ring / knob was also a big issue for me. I did not at all care for the Zeiss focusing system. The swaro. focus seemed easer for me. It was a bit firm at first but I am either completely used to it now or it has eased up with use.
You've got a great piece of kit. Really - at this level it's personal preference. For me the uniquely wide fov of the Zeiss zoom swings it easily - but that's just me!
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Old Monday 11th September 2006, 17:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modo
Hello!

I am currently looking for a new spoting-scope.

I have looked at:
1. Zeiss Diascope 85mm with 20-60x zoom. In all ca. 1600 USD
2. Swarovski 80 HD with 20-60x zoom. In all about 23-2400 USD

But i am not sure if it is worth the price...
What are your opinions in regard to clearness, contrast, colour etc. etc.?
Is it worth the extra?

Is there any review comparing the two scopes?

Thank you very much for your help

Is there other cheaper alternatives that comes cloes to the two scopes?

Hi Modo

Not sure if the thread has 'gone cold', or if you've already made up your mind, but the following might help. I have had a Swarovski 80HD since 2003. I chose it over the competition because it was the lightest and most compact. I also found the Zeiss a little yellow, but I agree that unless you spend your days comparing scopes you probably won't notice ! The Swarovski is not perfect. I find the focus ring stiff. Others have reported this in this forum and others I've read. I find the stiffness temperature-sensitive, and contrary to every other piece of optical equipment I've ever used, it stiffens up as it gets hotter. It effectively locked up on me during the UK record 38.5 centigrade (101.3F) in August 2003, and I had to quit bird watching early. I was birding within a couple of miles of where the temperature was recorded at the time. It went back to Swarovski, and they lent me a scope while it was away, but it still stiffens up as the temperature gets towards 30C. The stiffness may vary between scopes. Check out the focussing at x60 when you need very small movements. I bought the zoom because it was well reviewed and I'd never had one, and have always been disappointed with the field of view at x20 whenever I look through it after looking through someone elses Zeiss zoom. But as has been pointed out there are always compromises, and the price of the extra FOV is less edge sharpness. Lately I've been thinking of having another look at the Zeiss - then again perhaps I'll wait for the (rumoured) new Leica 80 !
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Old Sunday 26th November 2006, 00:32   #12
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[quote=Modo]Hello!

I have looked at:
1. Zeiss Diascope 85mm with 20-60x zoom. In all ca. 1600 USD
2. Swarovski 80 HD with 20-60x zoom. In all about 23-2400 USD

But i am not sure if it is worth the price...
What are your opinions in regard to clearness, contrast, colour etc. etc.?
Is it worth the extra?

Modo,
Today I returned a loaner 60mm scope with the intention of looking at the Zeiss 85 and maybe purchasing it. While there I was able to compare the Swarov 80HD with a 20-60 and Zeiss 85 with a 20-60. There were some white gulls flying and landing about. To my surprise I liked the Swarov. The yellow hue that I'd heard of was so apparent when looking at the chest feathers. If the scopes had been stand alone I don't think I would have noticed. But the advice from the forum here rang so true that you have to try the "exact" model your considering side by side with the other models. These are all great scopes but it is your personal tastes. Now the money is a different story.
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Old Sunday 26th November 2006, 12:30   #13
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Get the nikon 80ed 60ed or the pentax 80 or 65 pf . I have them all.They are great scopes & spend the money you save on a good pair of bins or a great birding trip.
Brian.
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Old Monday 11th December 2006, 19:35   #14
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I'm looking into these two scopes as well. Here's a short summary I put together, forgive not using scientific optical terms

OPTICS
Zeiss
- PROs: wider angle, more light
- CONs: understandably less sharp edges may distract some users; yellowish colour
Swarovski
- PROs: a slight bit more contrast and focus, especially in the middle
- CONs: blueish colour

USER FRIENDLINESS
Zeiss
- PROs: a bit shorter
- CONs: smaller focus regulators
Swarovski
- PROs: nice, big regulators; better stay-on protective case; a bit lighter
- CONs: regulation may stall in low temperatures

PRICE (all from BH Photo)
Zeiss Swarovski Difference
Body 1499,95 1899 -399,05
Eyepiece 20-60 399,99 440 -40,01
Protective Case 178,95 198,95 -20
SLR Digisc. Adapter 349,95 459,95 -110
Digis. Bracket 349,95 399,95 -50
Car Window Mount 27,5 58,05 -30,55
UV haze filter 109,95 104,95 5
Polarizer filter 124,95 97,95 27
TOTAL 3041,19 3658,8 -617,61

All in all, I am still not any smarter and don't know which one to chose

But I got to say I'm leaning towards Swarovski as:
- knowing my attention to details, lower sharpness at the edges of Zeiss might be a problem for me
- test shows that Swarovski does almost as good in low light conditions as Zeiss, despite 5mm difference
- I use Sigma lenses and their filters should fit on Swarovski
- Swarovski's stay-on-case seems much better

But then again, that 5-6 hundred $ difference in price...

3 questions to Swarovski users:
Am I right that Sigma lense filters would fit Swarovski as both are 82mm and require 82mm filters?
Do you use filters for spotting scopes at all?
Is the protective case good enough or you don't use protective cases at all ?

2 questions to Zeiss users:
What is your experience with Zeiss accessories, especially car mount and digiscoping bracket ?
Is the extra viewing angle important since you're using spotting scope mostly for very distant objects or motionless?
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Old Monday 11th December 2006, 20:44   #15
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But I got to say I'm leaning towards Swarovski as:
- knowing my attention to details, lower sharpness at the edges of Zeiss might be a problem for me
- test shows that Swarovski does almost as good in low light conditions as Zeiss, despite 5mm difference
- I use Sigma lenses and their filters should fit on Swarovski
- Swarovski's stay-on-case seems much better

The Swarovski stay-on case fits too tightly, especially the objective lens cover (ie, you can't put the case on if you have the plastic cover disc in place); it rubs against the screw that operates the swivel mechanism, making it come loose, which is v. irritating; the zip lining on mine has come off. It isn't padded; it's expensive. I bought a Swarovski, but now rarely use the SOC.

Sean
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Old Monday 11th December 2006, 21:23   #16
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[quote=greg g]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Modo
... But the advice from the forum here rang so true that you have to try the "exact" model your considering side by side with the other models. These are all great scopes but it is your personal tastes. Now the money is a different story.
The Swaro has a cooler blue cast which is less noticeable against the Zeiss because Zeiss have purposefully introduced a slightly yellowish hue (it's purpose is to help cut through UV haze, I believe). If you were to put a Swaro next to a Nikon, you'd see a cold blueness in the Swaro because the Nikon seems to be the most faithful of all scopes.

I cannot see why it should make sense to put scopes side by side in this way as someone has suggested. It does seem to make good sense but it surely creates an unnatural situation for the eyes (both of which see colours slightly differently themselves, of course, but which the brain corrects for); the eyes will become confused and what you will see are exaggerated effects which, ironically, acts to prevent an objective evaluation to be made.

When I use my Zeiss, I will see a faithfully true colour spectrum within milliseconds if I haven't looked through my son's Nikon immediately beforehand, or, for that matter, through my brother's Swaro. Of course, white birds will always look pure white through a Zeiss once your eyes have adjusted to the Zeiss and so with other scopes.

I think the best way to test a scope is to use it for some time in as near to real conditions as possible. Borrow a friends - whatever it takes. I chose Zeiss having owned both Opticron, Swaro and Nikon; others choose Nikon and others Leica or Swaro. But side by side comparisons create confusion not clarity, I remain sure of that.
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Last edited by scampo : Monday 11th December 2006 at 21:25.
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Old Monday 11th December 2006, 21:33   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogfish
But I got to say I'm leaning towards Swarovski as:
- knowing my attention to details, lower sharpness at the edges of Zeiss might be a problem for me
- test shows that Swarovski does almost as good in low light conditions as Zeiss, despite 5mm difference
- I use Sigma lenses and their filters should fit on Swarovski
- Swarovski's stay-on-case seems much better

The Swarovski stay-on case fits too tightly, especially the objective lens cover (ie, you can't put the case on if you have the plastic cover disc in place); it rubs against the screw that operates the swivel mechanism, making it come loose, which is v. irritating; the zip lining on mine has come off. It isn't padded; it's expensive. I bought a Swarovski, but now rarely use the SOC.

Sean
You make a good point about your need for sharp edges - maybe you should buy the Swaro in that case. I felt that way and that's why I first bought a Swaro. You know the rest as when I saw the Zeiss zoom, I just could not get used to the relatively narrow Swaro zoom, whatever the edges - I found, when all said and done, that I didn't look at edges, if you take my meaning - and my brother bought the Swaro from me.

I don't like using a scope without a case, though. My Nikon ED50 has no case yet and I worry about knocking it against a wall or whatever. That Swaro rubber feels good but there have been enough posters here talking about it bubbling that I'd prefer it to remain pristine.
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Old Monday 11th December 2006, 21:42   #18
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Thanks dogfish for your reply.

Scampo, you are theJEWEL on this forum, wirting so much and so rich in content, thanks !!!

Did you use Zeiss car glass mount or any other accessories like digiscoping mount ?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...cessory_detail


I haven't noticed but Zeiss car mount has a small handle while Swarovski doesn't and costs much more... I had so many good observations while traveling by car with my family and I definitely need to get one.
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Old Monday 11th December 2006, 22:14   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szybszy
Thanks dogfish for your reply.

Scampo, you are theJEWEL on this forum, wirting so much and so rich in content, thanks !!!

Did you use Zeiss car glass mount or any other accessories like digiscoping mount ?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...cessory_detail


I haven't noticed but Zeiss car mount has a small handle while Swarovski doesn't and costs much more... I had so many good observations while traveling by car with my family and I definitely need to get one.
I'm blushing. You're too kind. It's because I'm off work poorly at the moment that I have time to write all this! Back after Christmas, though.

No - I never view from the car but if Zeiss gear is anything like Swaro gear - and it's around the same price point - it'll be as good as it gets, I expect and their warranty is exceptional. Re: the adapter, I've just got the new SRB-Griturn swing adapter because it's so light, compact and, especially, well priced. I have been eyeing the Zeiss for an age but I never was sure if it would fit my son's scope, too - a Nikon. The SRB has cheap adapters that fit any scope and camera combination.
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Old Wednesday 13th December 2006, 21:37   #20
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Scampo, have you ever used screwed in UV filter glass as a protective measure for the main spottin scope lense ?
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Old Wednesday 13th December 2006, 21:43   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szybszy
Scampo, have you ever used screwed in UV filter glass as a protective measure for the main spottin scope lense ?
When I bought it, I was going to, but it's an expensive filter if you buy a good make, so I've never bothered. I just keep the scope in a stay-on case but I still feel that a filter would be a wise investment. Maybe one day!
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Old Wednesday 13th December 2006, 23:19   #22
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I have a filter on my Nikon 60mm EDIII as it is supposed to take a bit more beating on travels than the Leica 77Apo which has to stay home on those occasions. It would seem both ways are fine as long as one tries to keep the objective cover on whenever the scope is being packed up.
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Old Thursday 14th December 2006, 11:32   #23
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Quote:
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I have a filter on my Nikon 60mm EDIII as it is supposed to take a bit more beating on travels than the Leica 77Apo which has to stay home on those occasions. It would seem both ways are fine as long as one tries to keep the objective cover on whenever the scope is being packed up.
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I too have an ED111. Are these filters easy to fit?
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Old Thursday 14th December 2006, 13:05   #24
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Polarizer filter 124,95 97,95 27
szybszy.
That's a good idea about using a filter for protection on the scope, I hadn't considered it. I've used a polarized filter on a Nikon SLR camera for a long time and have always felt it gave great protection and enhanced contrast on many of the shots, especially when mountan,snow glacier and blue sky were together. I know the lens cover screws on a Kowa scope, so that scope end has threads. I'll have to look at a swaro scope to see if a threaded filter will work because it has the spring-clip lens cover.
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Old Thursday 14th December 2006, 14:52   #25
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Robert
I too have an ED111. Are these filters easy to fit?
Jim
They just screw into the thread on the front of your scope. You'll need to know the exact size.
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