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Interview with Zeiss Senior Optical Scientist (1 Viewer)

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I have to admit that must be another Sebzwo or Petra who deserve your thanks. Not related myself to this industry.


Seb

Petra works for Zeiss and I spontaneously wanted to thank her for her help with this interview.

Lee
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Hello Lee,

Thank you very much for the interview. Soon, Zeiss is going to announce their exit from the hunting optics market (i.e. no more Zeiss riflescopes) This will give Herr Steinich ample time to balance the weight distribution in all Zeiss binoculars and spotting scopes.

;)
-Omid

LOL, first, you are welcome and second, I can see you are in a playful mood just now or have you got a trace of 'isolation hysteria'? I suffer from this from time to time myself and can recommend a strong cup of coffee and half an hour watching local birds, especially the juveniles from this year's broods who are now starting to moult into adult plumage. Both parents and young seem to be unsure about how to manage the changing relationships, much like humans with their teenage offspring.

Lee
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hello Lee,

Thank you very much for the interview. Soon, Zeiss is going to announce their exit from the hunting optics market (i.e. no more Zeiss riflescopes) This will give Herr Steinich ample time to balance the weight distribution in all Zeiss binoculars and spotting scopes.

;)
-Omid

You should start a thread on how that will affect their business model going forward :storm: ;)


Chosun :gh:
 
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Sebzwo

Well-known member
Was this retreat from hunting meant to be a fact or a joke? There is no point just debating somebody's fantasy.
I very much doubt it. There are a lot of hunters in Germany that form one of the core groups of the Zeiss binocular customers over here. Their Hensoldts will need replacement one day.

Time to better think about some 7, 8 and 10x56 SF next after those tiny ones if it is about fantasies.
 
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eronald

Well-known member
Lee,

With respect, the various interviewees seem to be competing with each other in how little they give away. That's their fault, not yours. It might be time to force them to talk, when sending in the questions, while giving them room to put their best foot forward and promote their work. In other words nice slow generic balls.

-----
Why did you wish to update your previous product with a new design, and what do you think you have gained?

Do you think there is an evolution in what users want to use, as products?

Does your design continue some exiting optics tradition at your company?

Does your design build on some specific manufacturing expertise at your company? Could it be easily copied for a low price instrument?

In the long term, is it intended to be feasible to realign or repair your product outside your own facilities? What equipment would be necessary?
------

My idea is that these are questions which are reasonable, generic, and where an evasive answer really makes the subject think "if I'm not allowed to answer that, then maybe I shouldn't be doing this at all".

Edmund
 

PHA

Well-known member
Hello Troubador,

Very informative interview, indeed!! And carried with that warm and personal style I like.

Thank you and kind regards.

PHA
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Lee,

With respect, the various interviewees seem to be competing with each other in how little they give away. That's their fault, not yours. It might be time to force them to talk, when sending in the questions, while giving them room to put their best foot forward and promote their work. In other words nice slow generic balls.

-----

Edmund

Edmund - agree (which is why I haven't commented much in these type of things .....)






Chosun :gh:
 

Omid

Well-known member
United States
Wild speculation or insider knowledge?

Hermann

Hi Hermann,

The hint I gave was based on information from highly-credible sources.


Lee said:
LOL, first, you are welcome and second, I can see you are in a playful mood just now or have you got a trace of 'isolation hysteria'? I suffer from this from time to time myself and can recommend a strong cup of coffee and half an hour watching local birds, especially the juveniles from this year's broods who are now starting to moult into adult plumage. Both parents and young seem to be unsure about how to manage the changing relationships, much like humans with their teenage offspring.

Lee

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the advice. I will try to take my binoculars and go out more often. As you said, I am an isolated person "birdforum-wise", but not nearly as isolated when it comes to the sports optics industry ;). Let's change the subject and pray that a miracle happens on Christmas eve and Zeiss riflescopes continue. As a person who owns more than $20,000 worth of high-end Zeiss and Hensoldt riflescopes it doesn't give me any pleasure to see that my predictions about the donward trajectory of Zeiss rifle scopes are going to be fulfilled. Zeiss riflescope's reached their highest peak with Victory Diavari and Varipoint models in early 2000s, went flat with the HT models and straight down with the current [and final] V8 models. Hensoldt has been separate from Zeiss for a while now, they were part of Airbus, then sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, then went public in Germany just on week ago. Anyhow, let's keep this among ourselves and change the subject; Who knows, maybe a miracle happens on Christmas eve and ..


Thomas: Two of the main driving targets for the new SF32 are the enormous FOV and the Ergo Balance concept meaning you have to shift the centre of gravity closer to the user.

So [changing the subject now, back to my playful mood], did Herr Thomas tell you who exactly came up with the highly original idea of re-distributing weight in a 32mm binocular? Have they instructed Herr Thomas to incorporate Ergo Balance concept in 10X25 and 8X20 models too? A well-ballanced 8X32 SF weighs only 600gr according to official specifications, a Leica 8X32 Ultravid weighs a hefty 535 grams. What if Leica copies this concept by glueing 65 gram extra weight to the eyepiece side of their 8X32 binoculars?

:)

-Omid
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Lee,

With respect, the various interviewees seem to be competing with each other in how little they give away. That's their fault, not yours. It might be time to force them to talk, when sending in the questions, while giving them room to put their best foot forward and promote their work. In other words nice slow generic balls.

-----
Why did you wish to update your previous product with a new design, and what do you think you have gained?

Do you think there is an evolution in what users want to use, as products?

Does your design continue some exiting optics tradition at your company?

Does your design build on some specific manufacturing expertise at your company? Could it be easily copied for a low price instrument?

In the long term, is it intended to be feasible to realign or repair your product outside your own facilities? What equipment would be necessary?
------

My idea is that these are questions which are reasonable, generic, and where an evasive answer really makes the subject think "if I'm not allowed to answer that, then maybe I shouldn't be doing this at all".

Edmund

Thank you for your suggestions Edmund, I will bear this approach in mind when planning future interviews.

Lee
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
So [changing the subject now, back to my playful mood], did Herr Thomas tell you who exactly came up with the highly original idea of re-distributing weight in a 32mm binocular? Have they instructed Herr Thomas to incorporate Ergo Balance concept in 10X25 and 8X20 models too? A well-ballanced 8X32 SF weighs only 600gr according to official specifications, a Leica 8X32 Ultravid weighs a hefty 535 grams. What if Leica copies this concept by glueing 65 gram extra weight to the eyepiece side of their 8X32 binoculars?

:) -Omid


Hi Omid

It is a matter of public record that the concept for the SF binos came from Gerold Dobler, the man behind the original Swarovski EL and who was invited by Richard Schmidt (who was running Zeiss Sports Optics at the time) to develop a new kind of nature observation binocular. The 42s came out first and now we have the 32s.

I am on record as doubting whether the balance of the 42s could be replicated in a 32 but this has been achieved.

And yes, if Leica was feeling lazy or lacking in technical ability, they could fit some super-heavy eyecups to their Uvid to achieve a similar balance. Except for two things. You couldn't use lead today for health and safety reasons and the cost of brass or copper would rule them out, not to mention the deterioration in appearance over time, the coldness against the face in winter etc etc. But above all would be the shame that they could only achieve the balance with a crude 'bolt-on' solution would prevent them taking such a path. I am sure Leica would not need such a solution and neither did Zeiss.

For me this kind of balance is an enhancement of the experience of using binoculars, especially when observing behaviour for extended periods.

Lee
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hi Omid

It is a matter of public record that the concept for the SF binos came from Gerold Dobler, the man behind the original Swarovski EL and who was invited by Richard Schmidt (who was running Zeiss Sports Optics at the time) to develop a new kind of nature observation binocular. The 42s came out first and now we have the 32s.

I am on record as doubting whether the balance of the 42s could be replicated in a 32 but this has been achieved.

And yes, if Leica was feeling lazy or lacking in technical ability, they could fit some super-heavy eyecups to their Uvid to achieve a similar balance. Except for two things. You couldn't use lead today for health and safety reasons and the cost of brass or copper would rule them out, not to mention the deterioration in appearance over time, the coldness against the face in winter etc etc. But above all would be the shame that they could only achieve the balance with a crude 'bolt-on' solution would prevent them taking such a path. I am sure Leica would not need such a solution and neither did Zeiss.

For me this kind of balance is an enhancement of the experience of using binoculars, especially when observing behaviour for extended periods.

Lee

Lee, I've never picked up a 32mm SV and thought - crikey ! :eek!: This thing is in danger of tipping forward out of my hands and dropping onto my freshly painted toenails - crushing my lil' tootsies in the process ! :-O

I would rather have a lightweight 42mm Nikon MHG style body (all that is required) and save ~50 ~100grams from the weight - which is more noticeable hanging around the neck than in the hand.

It's no secret that I think a triple bridge 32 SF is waaaaay OTT. :eek!:

I can see a case though, for a nicely balanced 42mm, or 50mm (I don't seem to recall that being a question !?! :-O :)


Chosun :gh:
 
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pm42

Well-known member
A well-ballanced 8X32 SF weighs only 600gr according to official specifications, a Leica 8X32 Ultravid weighs a hefty 535 grams.
The Leica is much shorter and it changes the way weight is perceived. I have the Zeiss SF 8x32 and a Trinovid 8x32. I tried the Ultravid.
With the Leicas, the weight is 100% in the palm of the hands and this is confortable.
With longer binoculars such as the Zeiss, the Ergo Balance is useful but I'm not sure it would be the case if it were as short as the Ultravid.
 

Troubador

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Staff member
Supporter
The Leica is much shorter and it changes the way weight is perceived. I have the Zeiss SF 8x32 and a Trinovid 8x32. I tried the Ultravid.
With the Leicas, the weight is 100% in the palm of the hands and this is confortable.
With longer binoculars such as the Zeiss, the Ergo Balance is useful but I'm not sure it would be the case if it were as short as the Ultravid.

This is exactly right and the difference between the Uvid and SF is the latter's open hinge grip, that allows the user's fingers to grip around the barrels. If the designer gives enough room for this to be possible it pushes the objectives away from the eyepieces, taking their weight with it and magnifying it somewhat due to the leverage effect. Shifting weight away from the objectives and towards the eyepieces compensates for this effect.

Lee
 

Omid

Well-known member
United States
Lee,
With respect, the various interviewees seem to be competing with each other in how little they give away. That's their fault, not yours.

{Question 1: }Why did you wish to update your previous product with a new design, and what do you think you have gained?


Edmund

Hi Edmund,

Allow me to answer your first question on behalf of a hypothetical optical designer who works in a hypothetical prestigious sports optics company:

The updates to an existing alpha-class binocular model are not driven by technical reasons. However, "change" is needed for marketing purposes (i.e. to create hype). Every five years or so a "new model" must be introduced based on a marketing concept called "just noticeable difference" to create hype and an illusion of change in the mind of the consumer. This is good for everybody: the company, the optical designer, and the consumer. It keeps the market alive, the company stays in business and the optical designer remains employed.

This cosmetic change is necessary because YOU (i.e. the consumers) will get bored of things eventually even if they are perfect. The market demands something "new" so our companies have to create a "new product" every few years. When the "new product" is introduced, those who buy into the hype will buy the new product and will feel happy. Those who see the superficiality of the new product will feel a renewed appreciation of the older product they have [now called a "classic''] and feel happy. The optical designer keeps his job and will feel happy. The company executives stay in business and will feel happy.

So, the answer to your question "Why did you wish to update your previous product?" is "to make everyone happy".

;)

-Omid
 
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