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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Looking for opinions, You can only choose 1..... (1 Viewer)

Passerine Dream

Passerine Dream
Im already looking at upgrading in the near future. Im looking for a pair that will be my forever pair of bino's for birdwatching. Im an eyeglass wearer. I dont have ready access to all these pairs to try out ATM. But which pair would you choose assuming they are all relatively close in price. Build quality is also important to me. These are mid ranged, or maybe save up for an alpha pair? Here are the three:

1. Vortex Razor HD 8x42

2. Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42

3. Leica Trinovid HD 8x42

Thanks guys for any input. Ive been reading on all of these lately. And have heard good and bad things about all except really havent heard much negative about the Vortex Razor....

Cheers
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Hello again PD.

All of those models have great reputations. I have tried the Zeiss and the Leica and they are both terrific. A Conquest HD 8x32 is one of my favourite binos even though I have some that are much more expensive.

The Vortex has a stellar reputation but production moved last year from Japan to China and while I doubt whether Vortex would let standards slip lets just say that they are in the process of proving this whereas the previous made in Japan models had proved this already.

Good luck with your choice.

Lee
 

Passerine Dream

Passerine Dream
Thanks Troubador! Its a tough one for sure. Im hoping more people with experience with these brands will chime in. Especially the Leica's. Im curios about these.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
For my eyes and money the Conquest is the superior of those three. I've logged nearly 1000 days in the field in the tropics with a pair and they are excellent and haven't missed a beat. I have better binoculars as well, but going up to alpha level really only gets you slight improvements in ergonomics (depending on your preferences of course), edge sharpness, and FOV (the last depending on which alpha). But the Conquest is all you can ask for in terms of a bin, honestly, and I can't say that I ever failed to ID a bird or see anything due to any shortcoming of the binocular. For me it is optically superior to, and a better value than, the Vortex. I don't have as much exposure to the Trinovid but the Conquest has a better FOV and, to me, is sharper, particularly off center.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
One other thought - from what I hear / see, in that price range the most widely lauded binoculars are the Conquest HD and the Nikon Monarch HG. The Monarch HG was impressive (very sharp and bright, one of the best FOV of any 8x42 - comparable to the Victory SF, and very nice and lightweight), but I didn't get enough time with it to form a really strong opinion. The one sample I did see had a wonky diopter problem but I've seen a drifting diopter problem in a Conquest HD and heard of problems in the Vortex and Leica and every other binocular made so I don't put too much stock in one technical incident.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hey PD, I think that there is reason enough to believe that the three you mentioned are all essentially the same Japanese sourced design with some minor variation (certainly confirmed for the Zeiss and Vortex).

I've always liked the Vortex, with it's light weight, and great warranty for US folk (not sure how that would translate for you?) - though for me it's CCW focuser rules it straight out (I really Must have CW). I distinctly don't like the Conquest HD for its dirty brown colour cast (to my eyes), and it's just plain difficult for me to use (I always wear eyeglasses). I have scant time with the Leica.

One other bin that you really should consider (and probably choose) is the Nikon Monarch HG. Much wider Fov, bigger sweet spot, lighter than the three you mentioned, and the build quality feels very high class. The ergonomics are also superb.

I'd suggest you try and place those 4 bins up to your eyes to see how you personally get on with them, but if I had to recommend one it would be the Nikon Monarch HG. :t:


Chosun :gh:
 

Canip

Well-known member
.....
.....
1. Vortex Razor HD 8x42

2. Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42

3. Leica Trinovid HD 8x42

Thanks guys for any input. ..... ..... really havent heard much negative about the Vortex Razor....

My 2 cent (I happen to have all three of the above in the collection which I am co-hosting):

1. I was quite impressed with the Vortex, which was acquired only recently. Build quality is at premium level, for a Chinese made bino (still) surprisingly good. Largest FOV of the above three; image quality very good and not far from the Conquest, which I consider somewhat the „reference“ of the sub-prime class. I definitely prefer the Vortex over the Trinovid HD.

2. The Conquest HD has an almost premium central sharpness and very satisfactory off-axis characteristics as well. Nice bright color neutral image. Depending on whether you observe with or without glasses, you will have to check whether the Zeiss fits your way of placing the bino in front of your eyes, kidney beaning may be an issue (as has been widely reported) with the 8x model (not the 10x42). I have found a way to avoid the problem, and I like the Zeiss much.

3. The Trinovid HD for me clearly takes 3rd place. It is a well finished robust bino with excellent mechanics, but despite the HD, I find it to exhibit still a bit of CA, and above all, the FOV is not only the narrowest of the three, it appears in my eyes even narrower than the spec (124m) would indicate. I have to say that I actually like the previous (non-HD) model more.

So I personally would go for the Zeiss, if it fits your eyes. If not, I would next try the Vortex, it gets good marks for good reason. If it does not convince you, I would try to find a used Ultravid if you can, instead of the Trinovid HD.

Again, just my 2 cent.
Canip
 

Passerine Dream

Passerine Dream
Hey PD, I think that there is reason enough to believe that the three you mentioned are all essentially the same Japanese sourced design with some minor variation (certainly confirmed for the Zeiss and Vortex).

I've always liked the Vortex, with it's light weight, and great warranty for US folk (not sure how that would translate for you?) - though for me it's CCW focuser rules it straight out (I really Must have CW). I distinctly don't like the Conquest HD for its dirty brown colour cast (to my eyes), and it's just plain difficult for me to use (I always wear eyeglasses). I have scant time with the Leica.

One other bin that you really should consider (and probably choose) is the Nikon Monarch HG. Much wider Fov, bigger sweet spot, lighter than the three you mentioned, and the build quality feels very high class. The ergonomics are also superb.

I'd suggest you try and place those 4 bins up to your eyes to see how you personally get on with them, but if I had to recommend one it would be the Nikon Monarch HG. :t:


Chosun :gh:

Interesting I didnt know they had a similar design. I will also check out the Monarch HG's.
 
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Passerine Dream

Passerine Dream
My 2 cent (I happen to have all three of the above in the collection which I am co-hosting):

1. I was quite impressed with the Vortex, which was acquired only recently. Build quality is at premium level, for a Chinese made bino (still) surprisingly good. Largest FOV of the above three; image quality very good and not far from the Conquest, which I consider somewhat the „reference“ of the sub-prime class. I definitely prefer the Vortex over the Trinovid HD.

2. The Conquest HD has an almost premium central sharpness and very satisfactory off-axis characteristics as well. Nice bright color neutral image. Depending on whether you observe with or without glasses, you will have to check whether the Zeiss fits your way of placing the bino in front of your eyes, kidney beaning may be an issue (as has been widely reported) with the 8x model (not the 10x42). I have found a way to avoid the problem, and I like the Zeiss much.

3. The Trinovid HD for me clearly takes 3rd place. It is a well finished robust bino with excellent mechanics, but despite the HD, I find it to exhibit still a bit of CA, and above all, the FOV is not only the narrowest of the three, it appears in my eyes even narrower than the spec (124m) would indicate. I have to say that I actually like the previous (non-HD) model more.

So I personally would go for the Zeiss, if it fits your eyes. If not, I would next try the Vortex, it gets good marks for good reason. If it does not convince you, I would try to find a used Ultravid if you can, instead of the Trinovid HD.

Again, just my 2 cent.
Canip

TBH I dont want to spend $1400 on Chinese made binoculars.... Im going to look into the Conquest HD and Monarch HG's. The kidney issue you mentioned, how do you deal with this? I have had that from time to time on Nikon Prostaff 7's, but not all the time.. I dont know why that is? Im very new to this.
 

Passerine Dream

Passerine Dream
Hello again PD.

All of those models have great reputations. I have tried the Zeiss and the Leica and they are both terrific. A Conquest HD 8x32 is one of my favourite binos even though I have some that are much more expensive.

The Vortex has a stellar reputation but production moved last year from Japan to China and while I doubt whether Vortex would let standards slip lets just say that they are in the process of proving this whereas the previous made in Japan models had proved this already.

Good luck with your choice.

Lee

Yeah im trying to avoid made in China if im going to spend that kind of money.
 

Passerine Dream

Passerine Dream
One other thought - from what I hear / see, in that price range the most widely lauded binoculars are the Conquest HD and the Nikon Monarch HG. The Monarch HG was impressive (very sharp and bright, one of the best FOV of any 8x42 - comparable to the Victory SF, and very nice and lightweight), but I didn't get enough time with it to form a really strong opinion. The one sample I did see had a wonky diopter problem but I've seen a drifting diopter problem in a Conquest HD and heard of problems in the Vortex and Leica and every other binocular made so I don't put too much stock in one technical incident.

I hope when I buy I dont get a bum pair. I guess the warranty's are usually really good. Do you wear glasses? Thats two people who mentioned the Monarch HG's.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
TBH I dont want to spend $1400 on Chinese made binoculars.... Im going to look into the Conquest HD and Monarch HG's. The kidney issue you mentioned, how do you deal with this? I have had that from time to time on Nikon Prostaff 7's, but not all the time.. I dont know why that is? Im very new to this.

PD

There are a few different effects that happen if the eyecups don't deliver your eyes to the right place. And there are no eyecups on earth that can do this perfectly for everyone. Think of the different shaped faces we have with some eyes prominent and some sunken and if you wear spectacles then several other variables come into play.
With the Conquest if you have problems like this after experimenting with the eyecup positions then contact Zeiss for free extended eyecups and they will send you a pair of eyecups that are slightly longer and this cures the issue for most folks. I didn't need these extended eyecups with previous spectacles but with my latest pair I did and this sorted the problem out.
BTW I might have missed this but do you wear spectacles?

Good luck with your choice.

Lee
 
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Passerine Dream

Passerine Dream
PD

There are a few different effects that happen if the eyecups don't deliver your eyes to the right place. And there are no eyecups on earth that can do this perfectly for everyone. Think of the different shaped faces we have with some eyes prominent and some sunken and if you wear spectacles then several other variables come into play.
With the Conquest if you have problems like this after experimenting with the eyecup positions then contact Zeiss for free extended eyecups and they will send you a pair of eyecups that are slightly longer and this cures the issue for most folks. I didn't need these extended eyecups with previous spectacles but with my latest pair I did and this sorted the problem out.
BTW I might have missed this but do you wear spectacles?

Good luck with your choice.

Lee

Yes Lee I do. As of right now my first and only pair of Bino's are Nikon Prostaff 7's which I like allot. But again I have nothing to compare them to. So im guessing the The Conquest HD's will be a little better than these....That being said from time to time, very infrequently I get black outs or kidney beaning... But like for example last night I was out there for about an hour and the black outs didn't occur until the end of my walk.....Weird but thats what happened, maybe i was fatigued after a while and wasn't holding them properly. But yes I like the prostaff's so far.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I hope when I buy I dont get a bum pair. I guess the warranty's are usually really good. Do you wear glasses? Thats two people who mentioned the Monarch HG's.

I do, no problems getting a comfy view with either pair. I generally need about 15-16mm of eye-relief (without wading into "available" eye relief issue) to get the whole field of view.

Along with warranty service considerations based upon manufacturer chosen and a person's country of residence, there is value in buying from a decent retailer so that you can simply return or exchange if you get a faulty example.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
So far im leaning towards the Zeiss Conquest HD's 8x42.

If your Nikon's are Prostaff 7S 8x42 then the Conquest will give you almost 16% bigger field of view by area and the close focus is less than half the distance at 1.5 metres vs 4 metres.

The close focus may not be important if you only use binos for birding but if you don't then you might find yourself using binos to look at everything which is what I do.

All Nikons are sound binos though and I would keep those if you can. No such thing as too many binos.

Lee
 

Passerine Dream

Passerine Dream
If your Nikon's are Prostaff 7S 8x42 then the Conquest will give you almost 16% bigger field of view by area and the close focus is less than half the distance at 1.5 metres vs 4 metres.

The close focus may not be important if you only use binos for birding but if you don't then you might find yourself using binos to look at everything which is what I do.

All Nikons are sound binos though and I would keep those if you can. No such thing as too many binos.

Lee

Close focus doesnt mean much to me at this point. But the increase in FOV size looks quite good. Again ive only ever tried Prostaff 7s, so I dont have much experience with other Bin's ATM. BTW did I mention I love this hobby o:)
 

Dally

Well-known member
Im already looking at upgrading in the near future. Im looking for a pair that will be my forever pair of bino's for birdwatching. Im an eyeglass wearer. I dont have ready access to all these pairs to try out ATM. But which pair would you choose assuming they are all relatively close in price. Build quality is also important to me. These are mid ranged, or maybe save up for an alpha pair? Here are the three:

1. Vortex Razor HD 8x42

2. Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42

3. Leica Trinovid HD 8x42

Thanks guys for any input. Ive been reading on all of these lately. And have heard good and bad things about all except really havent heard much negative about the Vortex Razor....

Cheers

Tested them all today. Conquest by a mile the best. Trinovid poor.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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