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Zeiss 20x60S Monocular

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Old Wednesday 13th January 2010, 04:04   #1
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Zeiss 20x60S Monocular

I understand that this model has been discontinued, but I have an opportunity to purchase one in excellent used condition from a friend for $800.

Looks just like this one:

Anyone out there own one and care to share on their experiences? How rugged are they? I think it only had a 5 year warranty which has now passed. Any problems needing warranty work?

And one last thing, how about the price. Is $800 a good deal?

Just curious. I will be mostly using it for spotting birds and game in a truck or on a porch.
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Old Wednesday 13th January 2010, 10:01   #2
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Grab it, $800 is a good deal (assuming it is in good condition/not broken). You probably cannot find a reference price for these easily on the used market, since they have always been rare. Some collector will surely buy it from you for more if you end up not liking it.

I have not used one, but my friend has the 20x60 stabilized binocular so I have some sense of the optics. Expect a sharp image with stabilization that works very well. The image will not be quite at the level of good ED-scopes at 20x, but close enough for all practical birding. I have talked to one birder who used one of these 20x60 stabilized monoculars as his prime birding tool for over a decade and was very happy with it. Now he finally "upgraded" to the new Leica Apo-Televid 82 with a 25-50x zoom.

The stabilization system is mechanical, so it should age well. No electronics to oxidize or burn. As with all instruments like this, you have to handle it with more care than you would regular binoculars. If only because in case of malfunction, repair is likely to be more costly. But, it is intended to be field-worthy.

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Old Wednesday 13th January 2010, 10:46   #3
Fernando np
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I've never seen one ot that. Obviously it has't had a blockbuster. If I write is because this product is, optically, a half of the 20X60 stabilized binoculars which I've used, severals. The stabilized system is an overwhelming sample of virtuosity in engineering. The narrowest tolerances in the Zeiss production chain, at least in sports optics, are here. The stabilization overpass most part of the alternatives, and without batteries! The reason for the short warranty period is the bunch of mobile pieces involve in the stabilization. It's the weak point, apart of prize, of these optics. My experience is mixed. One unit, from Miami, runs perfect after more than 12 years hunting in exotics places. It's owner send every years his Toyota truck full of gadgets overseas, mainly Russia, Mongolia and Central Asia. Of course, the 20X60 binoculars are among the gadgets. Other two units I known has had a poorer performance. Warranty wasn't a big help. In every case, when the stabilization fails the excellent optics keeps running. Really the bulk and weight of the binoculars make some some people prefer to use tripod. Sometimes, I've wonder about the monoculars if I were to win the lottery thinking in putting it in the backpack as an lighter alternative to binocular plus telescope in mountains looking for big mammals. In porch and truck my first idea would be tripod and window mount. For a general use in birding monoculars tend to be tiring. The prize is interesting. In case you buy, try to be extra careful avoiding hits. Over the dashboard the ride is rougher than in the copilot sea over some clothes.

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Old Friday 15th January 2010, 04:24   #4
John Dracon
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I bought one when they first came out and used it extensively. It always functioned flawlessly, although the short warranty period (5 years) suggested that Zeiss was aware of the potentiaL for damage if it were dropped or bumped hard. The large leather foam lined case is a bit of overkill but probably necessary for protection. It has a good FOV and of course Zeiss lens are superior. I found one aspect of the the resolution when the spotting scope is being stabilized from a solid rest, i.e., images look like they are cut from ice- extra-ordinarilly sharp. The eye accommodates some shakiness to a point when holding high power optical instruments. But when stabilization is added, the resolution is even better. You will discover this when you use the spotting scope.
$800 is a good price. John
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