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Conquest HD - CA and edge sharpness details needed

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Old Tuesday 8th July 2014, 22:04   #1
Ruger270
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Conquest HD - CA and edge sharpness details needed

I have been reading through countless posts both here and elsewhere on the internet, and I continue to come up with conflicting information about CA and sweet spot size/edge sharpness for the Zeiss Conquest HD. For those of you with personal experience looking through a pair of Zeiss Conquest HD, would you please comment. How was the CA? How well was it controlled throughout the FOV? What percentage of the FOV does the sweet spot encompass? How bad is the fall off at the edges?

I am really interested in the 10x42, but any experience is appreciated.

Thank you!
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 00:33   #2
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I have used my 10x42 Conquest HD since Oct. 2013, and I have had time to use and
compare it to some of my other binoculars.
I view the sweet spot as around 75% of the viewing area, with some fall off towards the field edge.
They work very well in all around use. For CA, the center view is very good in that respect, and when
pushing against a high contrast test, you will see some CA out from the inner 25%.
My comparisons for CA are the Nikon EDG 10x42 and the SV 8.5x42, which both are a bit better
but also show lateral CA, when doing a edge test.

Some things I like about the Conquest are the nice armor, handling and balance. The focuser
is very nice and smooth, and they have nice fit and finish. These have very good light transmission
and they are very bright at low light, I really like that.

The eyecups are all plastic, and adjust well, but over time, a metal version would lead to more confidence. They offer several detents and Zeiss has also offered another eyecup version for those with glasses, so all bases should be covered. The only other thing I will mention, is the objective covers are weak, they are
flimsy and do not stay put.

Overall, these are very nice binoculars, and I give them very high marks in this price range.
These would be a great choice for any user.

Jerry
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 01:57   #3
perterra
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I concur with Mr Jerry though mine are 8X. I dont really see any CA and I would put the sweet spot at a little bigger.
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 08:39   #4
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I'd also tend to agree with Jerry. I couldn't give an accurate figure on the sweet spot being 75% but regardless, the fall off in focus towards the edges is neither severe or bothersome. (my Leupold Mojave 8x42's fall off very quickly by comparison and the edges of them are too blurred to be useful). If I look at a field of distant sheep, I notice a very minor color fringe on them when they are towards the edges. There's no fringing apparent in the center.....30% or so? Again, this is really minor and you have to deliberately look for it.

They always surprise me with their weight when I pick them up - for their size, they're pretty hefty. Focus is smooth and very quick - from infinity to 15m or so only seems to be about 1/4 of a turn.

Mine are the 8x42's so the 10's could well be different with their wider afov. After looking through the same power in the Victory FL and seeing the fall off in focus in them, I wouldn't swap the HD's for the FL's even though the FL's are nearly two and half times the price.

From everything I've read - the HD's seem to punch well above their weight. Look through a pair if you can.
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 14:38   #5
Samandag
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I use an 8x32 Conquest HD as a knockabout bin for all weathers ; daytime hunts, incidential birding, walks on the beach.

Being very sensitive to CA I find slight but evident CA in the centre field when viewing high contrast objects, this is much more pronounced and substantial in the periphery and can be overwhelming at the edges.

For non-high contrast viewing and in low light CA is not an issue.

Having said that my unit benefits from a substantial sweet spot encompassing about 85% of the field which is noticeably better at the top and bottom compared to the lateral edges (I appreciate that this may be a factor of eye placement).

The fall off is barely noticeable although I have owned an NM5 8x42 which was better edge to edge.

There's a lot to like about this binocular despite the very poor objective covers and the finnicky eye relief, the latter probably being the main reason why these are so frequently available pre-owned ('I liked it but couldn't get in with it' is a common comment), try a few if you can.
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 14:49   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perterra View Post
I dont really see any CA
I'm going to quote you, if you don't mind, bud.

Ruger, mine isn't a conflicting report, it's just how different the view can be for different people.

Perterra and I could view side by side and even with the assistance of a few six packs and several quarts of bloody marys we wouldn't see it the same way
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 15:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samandag View Post
I'm going to quote you, if you don't mind, bud.

Ruger, mine isn't a conflicting report, it's just how different the view can be for different people.

Perterra and I could view side by side and even with the assistance of a few six packs and several quarts of bloody marys we wouldn't see it the same way

Thats very true, I dont think anyone can quantify what you will see but you.
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 16:18   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samandag View Post
I use an 8x32 Conquest HD as a knockabout bin for all weathers ; daytime hunts, incidential birding, walks on the beach.

Being very sensitive to CA I find slight but evident CA in the centre field when viewing high contrast objects, this is much more pronounced and substantial in the periphery and can be overwhelming at the edges.

For non-high contrast viewing and in low light CA is not an issue.

Having said that my unit benefits from a substantial sweet spot encompassing about 85% of the field which is noticeably better at the top and bottom compared to the lateral edges (I appreciate that this may be a factor of eye placement).

The fall off is barely noticeable although I have owned an NM5 8x42 which was better edge to edge.

There's a lot to like about this binocular despite the very poor objective covers and the finnicky eye relief, the latter probably being the main reason why these are so frequently available pre-owned ('I liked it but couldn't get in with it' is a common comment), try a few if you can.
Zeiss came out with longer replacement eyecups, which they will send you for free. Not sure if that's the reason for the finicky ER in your case, but if so, the new eyecups could help.

Brock
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 17:04   #9
Samandag
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brocknroller View Post
Zeiss came out with longer replacement eyecups, which they will send you for free. Not sure if that's the reason for the finicky ER in your case, but if so, the new eyecups could help.

Brock
Thanks, but you are overthinking it.

The ER on these is best for me with glasses but finnicky without. I have three sets of eyecups from Zeiss ; low, extra-low, and extra-f'ing low, it's just my fit, not the bin.

Best wishes,
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Last edited by Samandag : Wednesday 9th July 2014 at 18:47. Reason: typo
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 17:26   #10
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I appreciate all of the insight, and I do realize that the view is subjective and we all differ in our susceptibility to CA and ability to see falloff in edge sharpness. I have had the opportunity to look through a 10x42 Conquest HD inside a store a time or two, but I really hate the hassle of buying and returning optics...I am sure EO would prefer I make a choice on the first go around also! :)

That all being said, I bird in Arizona where very high contrast situations are the norm, and I am a bit leery of the reports of CA in the Zeiss Conquest. What would be a better binocular for really good CA control? I am really looking for a good 10x42 that I can use in all situations...maybe I should be posting this in the general binocular forum.

Last edited by Ruger270 : Wednesday 9th July 2014 at 17:37.
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 18:05   #11
james holdsworth
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I'm very sensitive to CA and I find the 8x32 Conquest does very well, only slightly more than an FL, with colour in the sweetspot very low.

Edge sharpness is better than my FL and, as others have also said, I think the Conquest has the better overall view.
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 18:10   #12
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James,

One of my big concerns with the 8x32 Conquest is the 16mm of ER. I wear glasses, and I am not sure 16mm is adequate.
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 18:36   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruger270 View Post
inside a store a time or two
This is a challenge for all of us but trying outside is always best. Afterall most of us use them outside.

A while ago someone mentioned that he had found the NM X 8.5x45 just 'okay' but neglected to qualify the statement with the reality that the bin had been 'handled briefly instore'.

Outside is where the real world is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruger270 View Post
but I really hate the hassle of buying and returning optics
Possibly, with an understanding retailer, it would be feasible to order on approval two units of the same bin, e.g. two Conquest HD 10x42s, and keep the better one ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruger270 View Post
That all being said, I bird in Arizona where very high contrast situations are the norm, and I am a bit leery of the reports of CA in the Zeiss Conquest. What would be a better binocular for really good CA control ? I am really looking for a good 10x42 that I can use in all situations
They are not available here, so I haven't seen them, but if I had the chance I would look at the ZR Prime HD 10x42.

This might be useful if you haven't seen it : http://www.firearmreviews.net/zen-ra...42-binoculars/

I'm currently in a similar situation looking for a mid-market knockabout bin that can really control environmental glare and give high resolution when glassing grassland during the day and will probably end up with one with a polarising coating on the optics, it won't be a Zeiss.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 20:21   #14
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I'll second Samandag's suggestion to check out the Zen Prime. I have the 8x instead of the 10x, but that one handles CA extremely well. I was out this AM and ran across lots of Phoebes, Pewees, Vireos, etc, many of which were perched on wires or dead limbs against bright overcast skies. No problem with CA for me, and my guess is the Zen edges would better the Zeiss. Plenty of eye relief as well, a real 20mm.

And if I read the Zen website correctly, you can get a 10x Prime demo for $520 right now, which is $380 less than the Zeiss!

Actually, getting a Zeiss 10x42 HD, and 10x42 Primes side by side would be an interesting comparison. Like you I don't like to return optics, but I've had to from time to time. These things are big investments.

Mark
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Old Wednesday 9th July 2014, 23:29   #15
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James,

One of my big concerns with the 8x32 Conquest is the 16mm of ER. I wear glasses, and I am not sure 16mm is adequate.
Ditto here. The 10x42 SLC's and the 8x 42 FL's were both 16mm and too short for my glasses. The 18mm of the 8x42 Conquests is fine for me. I get the full field of view without having to push them into my glasses.
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Old Thursday 10th July 2014, 03:52   #16
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I'll agree with Sam and Kam, the Zen Prime HD is very impressive.
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