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I still love my Zeiss 10x40 B/GA T*P* Dialyt / ClassiC. (1 Viewer)

berryns

Well-known member
In 2009, after much research, I purchased my first pair of really good binoculars - the Zeiss Dialyt 10x40 B/GA T*P*. After consulting with Zeiss I learned that my pair was built in 2004 - the second to the last year of production.

At the time I was very happy with them and couldn’t imagine a better pair of binoculars. Needless to say I had little experience with other brands or models.

Eventually, I would own a number of lesser Nikon models, the 7x42 T*P Dialyt, 7x50 Dialyt, 7x42 FL, 8x40 Conquest T*, 8x20 Conquest T*P*, 6x30 Swarovski Habicht, and the Leica 8x42 Ultravid. I have since sold all the aforementioned binoculars for one reason or another. I still have a pair of 8x30 B/GA T*P Dialyts and 8x30 B/GA Safaris.

I still have the 10x40 Dialyt, and there is something about the 10x40 Dialyt that makes it one of my favorites. That something is what I intend to place my finger on.

The Dialyt’s colors are very rich and vibrant, the depth of field and field of view are large, the eye relief and eyecups work perfectly for me, at 25oz they are light weight, the diopter adjustment is precise and out of the way, I find the ergonomics very agreeable, and stray light is controlled extremely well. The Dialyts excel in their ability to see in tricky light situations - backlit, shadows, stray light, etc. It’s probably due to the extensive internal baffling. It is rare when I am unable to see details and color in harsh backlight. It has taken me years and many hours behind glass to appreciate optical performance in tricky lighting.

These binoculars are tough - they have traveled all over the West, accompanied me on numerous backpacking trips in Colorado (some as long as 10 days), been hunting more than a few times, dropped once due to a strap failure, subjected to humidity and precipitation, and have never failed.

Over time I have developed a strong sense of nostalgia for the Dialyts that my other binoculars do not have. My rare birds and favorite optical experiences have been through the Dialyts - Ross’s Gull (Colorado), Aplomado Falcon (Texas), my first Peregrine Falcon, and many lifers along the way. Not to mention airshows, celestial events, an Attack Submarine off Point Loma in San Diego, and firework shows etc.

To sum it up, I feel like the rich colors, small size, and their excellence in harsh light are the strong points of the 10x40 Dialyt.

Now for the shortcomings: the focus leaves something to be desired with a certain amount of play and tension that changes with temperature; the resolution isn’t on par with the FL, HT, or SV; the close focus is 13 feet or so; my sample has truncated pupils; and there is off axis CA with backlit targets.

In the last three years, I have had an opportunity to compare my dad’s Zen Ray ED2 10x43’s to the Dialyts for hours at a time. To the untrained eyes they might appear equal; but after much comparison, the Dialyts are smaller, have better color rendition, have a larger depth of field, and are noticeably better with tricky light situations - particularly with backlit subjects. The ZR’s flare quite badly in direct light and the image falls apart when backlit. The ZR’s have a smooth focuser, focus close, and have modern, adjustable eyecups.

Even though the venerable 10x40 Dialyt has been surpassed by more modern offerings I’m keeping the 10x40 Dialyts. I suspect that in a few years I will buy a pair 10x42 HTs or SFs for I’ve tested both at the big box sporting good stores and I am impressed. I’m particularly drawn to the HT for its reported harsh / tricky lighting performance.

I’m curious to hear about other people’s experiences with the 10x40 Dialyt.
 

berryns

Well-known member
Dialyt minutes after seeing the Aplomado Falcon. Brownsville, TX. April 2016.

Dialyt around my neck during White-tailed Ptarmigan Count. Guanella Pass, CO. March 2010.

White-tailed Ptarmigan through 10x40 Dialyt. March 2010.
 

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Hermann

Well-known member
I still have my Dialyt 10x40, bought in April 1980 - still without multicoatings, no phase-correction. I think I got more lifers with that pair over here than with any other pair. I don't really use it anymore, the optics just can't compete, mainly because of the lack of phase-coatings of my pair.

But I'll never ever sell it.

Hermann
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Bought my 10x40 BGA in 1986 (no phase coating) and used them exclusively for 17 years. The went to within sight of the arctic circle and down to South Africa and never missed a beat.

I swapped them for an early EL 8.5x42 because I wanted to get away from the constant refocussing of a 10x and also wanted a closer focusing model. The Swaro was soon swapped for an FL 8x42.

The Dialyt gave me many fantastic moments that are more important to me than the details of its optical performance. Moments like finding a male Dotterel with his chicks on a mountain top or an unfeasibly friendly Slavonian Grebe swimming close on a still Scottish loch and many, many otters.

My FLs were better in every way but the memory of what that Dialyt gave me remains unfaded.

Lee
 

Torview

Registered User
Supporter
And, boy do they look cool......as a young birder they were the holy grail - I lusted after a pair for years.

Totally agree, I feel the same about the 32mm Trinovid BA/N.

I still have my first decent watch, a Bulova diver, its the only watch I`v never considered selling in 35 years.
 

Fernando np

Well-known member
They were my main tool during the nineties, when I was working as hunting guide. Really, they looked smart. For birding, both, my 8.5X42EL and 8X32SE are superior in colour rendition. On the other hand, sometimes I miss how the old Zeiss highlighted some greens in a way what made very easy, by contrast to see, some brown animals as deers and roe deers. I suspect, this the reason why, among the people I know who spent more hours behind binoculars, some has come back to the Classic of Zeiss, mainly 8X56 and 7X42, after having been using FLs.
 

John Frink

Well-known member
I’m curious to hear about other people’s experiences with the 10x40 Dialyt.

I got my Zeiss 10x40 Dialyt in 1983, and it was my #1 for quite a few years. Although its performance is easily surpassed by today's alpha glasses, there are so many great birding and sightseeing memories associated with that one that I can't let it go; it rests proudly on a shelf in my office.
 

Dialyt

The Definitive Binocular
I am a great fan of the Dialyt range, as you can tell from my name!

I think they are the coolest binocular design ever made. Next up would be the 1990s Leica Trinovid design.

The Zeiss Dialyt are very comfortable to hold, and my 7x42 delivers a very cool, clear image which is a joy and a pleasure to use.

The Zeiss also had a brilliant advertising campaign during the 1990s in British Birds and Birdwatching magazines. Black and white narrow column adverts with an image of the binoculars and one tagline: ''As dusk falls, the dedicated watch on with Zeiss Dialyt binoculars''. They were also 'the definitive binocular'.

I feel sorry that so many of the modern binoculars lack the classic design.

I would LOVE if Leica or Zeiss were to bring back a classic binocular design, either the 1980s Trinovid or Dialyt, but with internal focusing and waterproofing.

I tried the Zeiss Dialyt 8x30, 10x40, and 7x42, butfor my first premium bino settled on the Leica Trinovid 8x32 BA in 1995, and sold it in 2000 to secure on of the last Dialyt 7x42s. I love them but rather sadly I don't use them - they are kept in a drawer! Shame. I use the Leica Ultravid 8x32 BR as my everyday binocular.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I am a great fan of the Dialyt range, as you can tell from my name!

I think they are the coolest binocular design ever made. Next up would be the 1990s Leica Trinovid design.

The Zeiss Dialyt are very comfortable to hold, and my 7x42 delivers a very cool, clear image which is a joy and a pleasure to use.

The Zeiss also had a brilliant advertising campaign during the 1990s in British Birds and Birdwatching magazines. Black and white narrow column adverts with an image of the binoculars and one tagline: ''As dusk falls, the dedicated watch on with Zeiss Dialyt binoculars''. They were also 'the definitive binocular'.

I feel sorry that so many of the modern binoculars lack the classic design.

I would LOVE if Leica or Zeiss were to bring back a classic binocular design, either the 1980s Trinovid or Dialyt, but with internal focusing and waterproofing.

I tried the Zeiss Dialyt 8x30, 10x40, and 7x42, butfor my first premium bino settled on the Leica Trinovid 8x32 BA in 1995, and sold it in 2000 to secure on of the last Dialyt 7x42s. I love them but rather sadly I don't use them - they are kept in a drawer! Shame. I use the Leica Ultravid 8x32 BR as my everyday binocular.

Hi D

Of today's binoculars I would say Zeiss's HT has the most 'classic' lines although Leica's Ultravid is quite cool, just lacking a bit of the grace and poise of HT.

My original leatherette covered Dialyt 10x40s were very attractive but back then the Leitz / Leica Trinovids reversed todays position (in my opinion) and were the most graceful of all.

Lee
 

Dialyt

The Definitive Binocular
Hi D

Of today's binoculars I would say Zeiss's HT has the most 'classic' lines although Leica's Ultravid is quite cool, just lacking a bit of the grace and poise of HT.

My original leatherette covered Dialyt 10x40s were very attractive but back then the Leitz / Leica Trinovids reversed todays position (in my opinion) and were the most graceful of all.

Lee

Yeah I always thought the HT was a re-interpretation of the Dialyt design.

Retro design is all in with digital cameras; from Olympus to Fuji, many makers are imitating the classic Leica M rangefinder design. I would like to see a similar retro design concept within the binocular market. I think the old binocular designs were practical and effective, and looked good.
 
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galwayguy

Active member
I have a pair of 8x30 Dialyts originally bought in 93 for around £1000 in today's money. I have never used anything better. I remember being surprised at their weight - good sign of quality :)

I asked a few experts & they all said that they were the best that you could buy & it was good advice.

I am considering selling them as they are rarely used.
 

Dialyt

The Definitive Binocular
I have a pair of 8x30 Dialyts originally bought in 93 for around £1000 in today's money. I have never used anything better. I remember being surprised at their weight - good sign of quality :)

I asked a few experts & they all said that they were the best that you could buy & it was good advice.

I am considering selling them as they are rarely used.

Keep them. You'll regret it later. And you won't get what they are worth.
 

Dialyt

The Definitive Binocular
They are used maybe twice a year & I would like some Victory Compacts which would be used almost every day.

Selling them in birdforum classifieds might be a better option than a trade-in at a dealer. It's worth a thought.

As an aside, I rarely use my Dialyt 7x42; maybe once every three years!
 

breydon

Well-known member
Always wanted a pair of these back in the day. But they were way out of my budget back then. Got a pair of Zeiss Jenoptem 10x50s mail order and paid for them monthly. {1982 } I have had a lot of other bins in between top end and between but now I have the pair of BGs T&Ps I always wanted won them on the bay for £380 all in. Had them serviced my Zeiss and I love them real old school birding binoculars makes me smile when I hang them round my neck. Also have a 7x42 BG also T&P version these cost me a lot more they were still boxed so you know what I mean about what they cost me. But another superb optic with a fantastic view and depth of field, These will do me now for the rest of my time in this life, Mite take the 10x40s with me to the next HE HE
 
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Rathaus

Well-known member
Selling them in birdforum classifieds might be a better option than a trade-in at a dealer. It's worth a thought.

As an aside, I rarely use my Dialyt 7x42; maybe once every three years!

How can a Dialyt fan not use the legendary 7x42? Are they the t*p* model?

Rathaus
 

Dialyt

The Definitive Binocular
How can a Dialyt fan not use the legendary 7x42? Are they the t*p* model?

Rathaus

I use the Leica Ultravid 8x32 BR as my regular binocular. The Zeiss aren't waterproof and they did let in water once and had to go to Germany. But they should see more use I admit!

Yes, they are the latest model, bought in 2000, just before they were discontinued.
 

Robert Wallace

Well-known member
I bought my 10x40 BGT Dialyt almost 30 years ago and next month the guarantee runs out. When I bought them they were the "must have" binocular. They had style unlike the 7x42 Dialyt which IMO looks ugly.
Having said that after experience of using the 10x in Abernethy Forest in Scotland I bought the 7x42 BGTP or "The Definitive Binocular" which despite their looks and old fashioned focussing are still great binoculars. So function beats style.
It seems to me that the old fashioned 40mm objective lens binocular produced a much more compact and attractive looking binocular than their modern 42mm equivalents. The 10x Dialyt fitted easily onto the classic early editions of the Peterson, Mountfort and Hollom Field Guide. I could go on about the size of modern field guides but that's another topic.
I rarely use the 10x for birding but come July I'll use them to watch Ben Ainslie at the America's Cup Trials off Southsea.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Reviving this thread, as I am still looking for a nice clean 10x40 BTP. I would like to know
from those who have compared, how the T* coated version would compare to the T*P*
model ? What advantages does the phase coating add to the model.

I know condition is important, and these will be mostly for my collection, I have others that I
use regularly. Is slack in the focuser a given, or are some better when not used as much.

I had a 10x40 BT*P*, and after twice sending it to Zeiss, they could not get the slack out, so they
replaced it with a Conquest HD.

A lead is appreciated also.

Thanks, Jerry
 

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