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CEO of Zeiss Sports Optics responds to our questions (1 Viewer)

Troubador

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Staff member
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In one of his replies, Herr Scherle says this about Zeiss's developing new models and new model lines:

"we are on the way to close any significant gaps".​

This indicates that Zeiss has by no means finished introducing new product or new product lines.

Lee
 

Troubador

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The responses may be super lame, but the questions were not much better. They were like what you would expect on a news cast without any follow up. Especially on the origin question, he could have been requested again to answer the question, "what is exactly done in Germany", no one asked him to detail his suppliers he was asked what is done in Germany that makes them "Made in Germany". This was just more babble like you get from a 10 second news story from a conference room floor. Nothing was learned about the optics at all. I would not doubt this guy was in charge of the release of the APS-C series lenses released for Fuji X-series (and that's not to say the optics were bad).

EtV

Unfortunately this was not a face to face interview in which I could repeat questions or word them in a different way or challenge answers. It was done at long distance.

The responses here provide a platform for me to take another swipe when I see Herr Scherle at the Bird Fair in a week's time.

Lee
 

Troubador

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Staff member
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What you say may be true, but a good company will be happy and proud to tell you their operations involved in their quality made product.

EtV

You would think so wouldn't you? But actually its not so simple.

How Zeiss has arrived at the quality that the Conquest line possesses at the retail price that it sells for, is not something Zeiss is going to explain in public so that the competition can do the same thing.

You wouldn't feed this information to your competitors and neither would I.

But having said all that, there are certainly things that could have been explained more fully and I am disappointed that the opportunity was taken to do so. However, as explained elsewhere, I suspected this might be the case and I intend to use the reaction here on BF, including yours, to elicit a more helpful reply from Zeiss.

Lee
 

gulf1263

Well-known member
CEO of Zeiss Optics responds to our questions

OK, at least he took the time to answer some questions....if he had said we are bringing back a killer 7x42 a bunch of folks would have wanted 7x40's or 7x45's.
Whatever specific answer he gave would not have pleased a portion of our "gang".
OK has any other CEO done an interview lately from Leica, Nikon or Swaro.
When was the last time anyone of the top people from one of the other three top dogs deigned to speak to the "little people" who buy and use their products?
Most optical companies are cutting support for birding teams and such and discontinuing some of our favorite products (hey Nikon, how about those 8x32 porro's).
At least he cared enough to come down off the mountain and speak to us however vaguely.
Zeiss cared enough to hire Stephan Ingram and their products for birding have really improved.
The three tier system gives you moderate priced optics IMHO of very good to excellent performance, allowing a new buyer to purchase from a known company and get a decent deal.
Latter they can move up, Nikon has a similar system also as does Leupold and others.
Ask any manufacturer outside of China where all there components and pieces and parts come from and you will get a vague answer or silence.
If they maintain their QC and service I really don't care that the screws were made in Hungary or the focuser wheel was built by Meopta.
I have several Leica's that were assembled in Portugal and love them just the same.
I am pretty sure the leather on the Leica's wasn't "made in Germany" or the rubber for the coverings in the Nikon EDG did not come from Japan.
Art
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Hi Lee,

He does dodge the bullet for sure.
A CEO of any corporation can't hide, IMHO, himself behind a statement that he is bound to follow international industry conventions(?).
Pointing to other (I assume he means Swaro and Leica and I never had the impression that they outsource, concerning Leica they own the plant in Portugal since ages) manufacturers that they also are linked to a network of different supliers(?), is an non-answer to the simple question that was asked.

In the case for the reason of the difference in after-sales issues, his answer was more bold than I could have dreamed.
Does he really wants me to believe that there are countries where the customer would reject the No-fault/limited lifetime warranty and prefer a two year!!!!! or a 10 year guarantee period instead?

Jan
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Hi Lee,

He does dodge the bullet for sure.
A CEO of any corporation can't hide, IMHO, himself behind a statement that he is bound to follow international industry conventions(?).
Pointing to other (I assume he means Swaro and Leica and I never had the impression that they outsource, concerning Leica they own the plant in Portugal since ages) manufacturers that they also are linked to a network of different supliers(?), is an non-answer to the simple question that was asked.

In the case for the reason of the difference in after-sales issues, his answer was more bold than I could have dreamed.
Does he really wants me to believe that there are countries where the customer would reject the No-fault/limited lifetime warranty and prefer a two year!!!!! or a 10 year guarantee period instead?

Jan

I agree Jan.

And we both know there are legal factors in the EU regarding spare parts support that cause complications with regard to the warranties that can be given. I gave an opportunity for this to be explained here and that opportunity wasn't taken.

I will pursue both warranties and 'made in Germany' at Bird Fair.

Lee
 

paddy7

Well-known member
What would be interesting to know would be how much he knows of the intended readership of his comments (i.e. how familiar he is with BF and the binocular forum and the level of much of the discussion). You don't have to go far to hear a company executive or politician trotting out the agreed response these days, and he may have not known the level of interest or knowledge within the Binocular forum. Maybe he - or his people - should have done. Whether the interview was by phone, or by emailed questions - i agree with Lee that it's not the same as a face-to-face discussion, where points within a response can be individually picked up as they occur.
For a company of Zeiss' size, a loose hint or implication could severely skew a 3 year marketing plan and any 'jump' on the opposition - of course the man was careful and guarded!
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
I agree Jan.

And we both know there are legal factors in the EU regarding spare parts support that cause complications with regard to the warranties that can be given. I gave an opportunity for this to be explained here and that opportunity wasn't taken.

I will pursue both warranties and 'made in Germany' at Bird Fair.

Lee

You've hit the hammer right on the nail with this response.
Why couldn't he have pointed it out this way?
No vague respons but pointing out that legal factors dictate these issues.
Better next time;)

Jan
 

ceasar

Well-known member
In America, he would have answered your questions by repeating one phrase:

I plead the 5th.
I plead the 5th.
I plead the 5th.

You probably got better answers off the record which you can't share than you did on the record. I can relate. Every time I ask some pointed questions of state and national oil & gas industry groups, not only do they dodge my questions but their replies are prepackaged propaganda statements that help further their agenda but do nothing to inform our readers about the important issues being discussed. It's frustrating at times.

After three 5h Amendment dodges, I would have gone Megyn Kelly on him, but probably with no better results.

Question:
Herr Scherle...
Please, call me Winnie...
Ah, Winnie... Which, if any, Zeiss binoculars are wholly manufactured in Germany?

Answer: Ich plädiere die fünften.

Regardless of where the 8x32 Terra ED was "made," Zeiss did a very good job of designing it and maintaining quality control (at least on this sample). It does what the Swaro CL was claimed to do -- introduce the buyer to the company's family of optics.

I'm a fan of Zeiss porros, but I've never been interested in buying the original Victory or the FLs or the original Conquests whereas I was interested in trying the ELs, SLCs, and the Nikon EDG, all of which I have tried. Up until the SF, the only Zeiss roof that interested me was the 7x42 Dailyt.

But after using the 8x32 TED, and watching the extreme tested Conquest HD video, I am curious about trying the next level up, but not much on the top shelf. Take off the blue shield and "Made in German" label, and the price gets cut in half.

Brock

Brock

The "blue shield" fell off my 8x42 Terra ED.

Do you think Zeiss will send me another one to glue back on it?

Bob
 

ceasar

Well-known member
Hi Lee,


In the case for the reason of the difference in after-sales issues, his answer was more bold than I could have dreamed.
Does he really wants me to believe that there are countries where the customer would reject the No-fault/limited lifetime warranty and prefer a two year!!!!! or a 10 year guarantee period instead?

Jan

If they offered the binoculars at a lower price for the shorter guarantee period I will bet they would prefer it!

Bob
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
Brock

The "blue shield" fell off my 8x42 Terra ED.

Do you think Zeiss will send me another one to glue back on it?

Bob

Same happened to me and, apart from sending back the entire binoc [which I wasn't going to do] Zeiss seems incapable of supplying me with a new shield after more than a year.

Zeiss Canada [Gentech] said this was a special order part from Germany....LOL.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Lee,

Thanks for the effort. I think the answers were pretty interesting and said a lot, in spite of not seeming to say a lot.

The "Made in Germany" business kind of stinks. I prefer a company that has no fear of saying what is what.

Not often you see an executive of his position show up for any sort of a Q&A session.
 

perterra

Well-known member
If they offered the binoculars at a lower price for the shorter guarantee period I will bet they would prefer it!

Bob

I wonder the real impact of no fault warranty on cost. I have read that insiders say in the world of fly rod no fault warranties the impact is around a million dollars a year for some of the larger makers. I know Orvis dropped it to 25 years and it sounds like others may be comtemplating following suit. It has been batted around that dropping the no fault on a $800 fly rod would drop $200 off the cost.
 

gulf1263

Well-known member
CEO of Zeiss Optics responds to our questions

Again the question, what other CEO of the remaining big four, Leica, Nikon or Swarovski has come to this forum.
Even with vague answers this puts Zeiss ahead at 1 to 0.
I have one pair of Zeiss bino's, my others are Leica, Leupold, Nikon and Swaro and Weaver
None of the others have showed up so Zeiss is ahead.
This is interesting, but I buy based on my mission specs and whether the product meets my criteria.
Brock, have you been able to get the CEO of Nikon to tell you why they discontinued your beloved 8x32 porro's?
We have not had Swaro's CEO tell yet if they plan to upgrade the 7x42 Habichts.
From what I have heard many times the distributors and dealers are left out in the cold and told to just lump it by the big four.
I have not heard of a CEO even attending a large distributor/dealer meeting.
Art
 

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