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8x32 T*FL back from Zeiss svc in Germany (1 Viewer)

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
I remember reading some lukewarm reports and worse of Zeiss q/c and service at times over the last few months or more.

A good condition black 8x32 FL that I know has had a busy life but looks well looked after began to show signs of being out of adjustment and was therefore sent on to Zeiss in Germany for recollimation and a check-over. This was in late October via East Coast Binocular Repairs in Norfolk (England not USA) and they came back to me directly from Germany in early December, having been away about 6-7 weeks.

They are now absolutely fine and I am entirely happy.

I'm just mentioning this as my feeling is that the turn-round time was perfectly satisfactory and the work done to my satisfaction also.

And, as with my Dialyt ClassiC 7x42 which was serviced in house at ECBR by Gary Hawkins a little while earlier, no charge!

Happy days,
Tom
 
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paddy7

Well-known member
As a fellow UK 8x32FL owner, i'd support all this. I bought mine on Ebay some years ago, and discovered via the serial no. it was made in 2007. On its 10th birthday (and not knowing the previous owner's history, although suspecting they were little-used), i took them to Gary at ECBR for a check-up, service and anything else that needed doing.
Couple of weeks later, they were back and perfect.
I've also dealt directly with Zeiss in Cambridge (to get some new eyecups) and this was equally prompt - and free of charge.
This is the kind of action that breeds 'brand loyalty,' and good on the companies that realise this.
 

Sebzwo

Well-known member
Don't get me wrong please. It's good to know Zeiss keeps it's promises and has some great service. Burt doesn't all this backend service add cost to the product that price it out of the market over time? See some binoculars are made elsewhere already and technology seems to get streamlined and standardized to make it cheaper all the time while prices remain high. Who develops new Abbe König prisms anymore? It's mass market SP only.

One day we might all buy the same china made binoculars and "the brand" will just be differentiated (and be paid for) by the after sales service.
 

temmie

Well-known member
Don't get me wrong please. It's good to know Zeiss keeps it's promises and has some great service. Burt doesn't all this backend service add cost to the product that price it out of the market over time? See some binoculars are made elsewhere already and technology seems to get streamlined and standardized to make it cheaper all the time while prices remain high. Who develops new Abbe König prisms anymore? It's mass market SP only.

One day we might all buy the same china made binoculars and "the brand" will just be differentiated (and be paid for) by the after sales service.

exactly the reason why Swaro is so expensive. But it seems their marketing model works (expensive but excellent service), especially in the top end.
 

paddy7

Well-known member
Indeed so. There is not just the after-sales, but all the R and D that goes into pre-production, not only of binoculars but all the other optics that might be made - camera lenses, microscopes, lab equipment - plus (in the main) making them themselves (although some of the more budget models may now be made under licence elsewhere).
I also think part of the answer is in my first post - my binoculars were made in 2007, and it was only in 2017 that i thought they might 'like' a service - not because anything was wrong, like a sticky focus, or a jammed eyecup, or being out of colimation. I thought a clean-up and re-purging might be a good idea.
Of course, you could probably get 80% as good as an FL for considerably less, and just throw them out when something goes wrong, but i know what i'd prefer.
:t:
 

paddy7

Well-known member
Sorry - forgot to mention i bought the FL on ebay for less than a Conquest 32mm costs now. When i sent them in (or asked for new eye cups), there were no questions like 'When did you buy them? Are they still under guarantee? Are you the first owner?' - kind of indicates the company has some respect for their own products too.
There's very little left of that in this wicked old world.
 

Sebzwo

Well-known member
One day the price might climb to a point where not enough people will or can afford to buy it. Open end guarantees are nice but a service like this is like an insurance fee the first original customer has to pay on top for any possible service over the lifetime of his binoculars. There is no free lunch. Mind you while Zeiss service in Germany is rock solid and helpful this Zeiss US "free forever" guarantee is not given when buying new Zeiss binoculars within Germany itself.

Sometimes it feels like people buy cheap 2nd hand "wrecks" on the internet, let them service for free (sometimes associated with some drama on certain sites) and then wonder why the binocular business case seems to erode and alpha pricing goes through the roof. I'd certainly hope for a little cheaper binoculars. Especially for yesterday's top-models that must have paid off their tooling costs and initial investments.
 
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paddy7

Well-known member
The way you'd do that is to remove the 'global premium' associated with the willingness (even if not within the terms of guarantee) to fix, re-armour, service, re-align etc. through the life of the binocular and just pay for this when you need it.
It also would need to be borne in mind that this service is prolonging the life of these binoculars - thus negating a possible new sale, as it might with cheaper, more disposable bins where the cost of repair just isn't worth it.
So, in order to generate new sales, you either need to appeal to birders who are upgrading (or just starting out), or to come up with new, better bins - again, going back to the R and D premium.
I expect none of this will ever happen, however!
 

dries1

Member
The FL has to rank as one of the best 8X32s ever made, hands down. It will be a tough one to eclipse, since Zeiss is supposedly in the process of making an SF 8X32. The was a time when the FLs could be bought used at a decent price, I believe Roger Vine mentioned it in his review of the FL 8X32. Used prices today are up there.

Andy W.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Going back to the first post -- in that I started the thread -- the point made was not so much about the ethics of free and continuous after-sales service but that Zeiss carried out the repair to a very high standard. That shouldn't need to be doubted or even mentioned in an ideal world of course but my impression from posts over the last year or so was that Zeiss was getting a name for poor quality control of some binoculars in manufacture and also (relevant to my post) in service and repair.

So I was simply pleased to get my 8x32 T*FL back in tip top condition and not have to worry about reports of a dwindling standard of reliability of service. The free of charge aspect was really just an afterthought though I will say that as the two Zeiss items that I have had serviced free of charge are also first class examples of design excellence it does a lot to recommend the marque and its alpha products to me.

Personally I would rather pay more up front and then be assured of continuing generous service back-up à la Swarovski and Zeiss, but here I will just have to agree to disagree as I fully understand the counter-arguments.

Here's to a well adjusted and happy viewing year, everybody!

Tom
 

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