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ZEISS 15x 60 B/GA Binoculars? (1 Viewer)

tenex

reality-based
My 15x60 (which I had for 30 years) was the GAT* of the late 1980s and while an improvement on the 1960s model, surely wouldn't have been usable with eyeglasses. I also suspect the view may be somewhat sharper in the final "B" version which I unfortunately never saw.

The 15x60 is a lovely classic glass, quite large and heavy, has a minimum focus around 30 ft, and is optically outperformed by recent models like the SLC 56. A different experience.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Unfortunately, I never warmed up to the Swarovski SLC series of bins. At 2 or 3 times the price, they SHOULD BE BETTER though.

The classic look of these Zeiss bins has some eye appeal to me as well. If I ever sell my 8x32's, I might consider the older Swarovski Habicht 10x40's too. I guess I'm a bit of an 'old school' bin fan myself.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
If you have your heart on a big eyes Zeiss, the Conquest HD 15x56 is a worthy choice. The 15x60 now has collector status,
and is priced accordingly.

Jerry
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
If you have your heart on a big eyes Zeiss, the Conquest HD 15x56 is a worthy choice. The 15x60 now has collector status,
and is priced accordingly.

Jerry

Jan is tempting me with a pair he has. I'm waiting for some info when he gets back into the store. on Wednesday Whether they are practical for me or a status symbol for collectibility reasons, it is an itch I want to scratch.

I also considered the Swarovski 10x40's but, with 13mm of eye relief, those are a total no-go for a classic old school pair of bins. If the 7 powers weren't so redundant with current bins in my arsenal, I'd also add one of those to the search. At the right price though, I could see getting one to play with while I'm still able too (eyesight and age are catching up with me in my mid-50's ;)).
 

range

Well-known member
A quick question for current owners, are these compatible with eyeglasses? I'm thinking I want a pair like the Gummi's listed in Jan's post above with the T marking. I'm not sure if they are the newest generation with a 7-digit serial number or not though.

The "B" typically means eyeglass compatible but, with marketing, the meaning of the "B" in the name may be lost over time.

Also, I'm guessing the T marked models are the latest generation as well. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

TIA!
Sid
I believe the B stands for eyeglasses in German.
The rubber eyecups can be folded down or completely removed for eyeglass users.
There are earlier models which have been marked T, but optically they are not the same.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
I believe the B stands for eyeglasses in German.
The rubber eyecups can be folded down or completely removed for eyeglass users.
There are earlier models which have been marked T, but optically they are not the same.

I believe B stands for Brille which is German for eyeglasses.
 

tenex

reality-based
Unfortunately, I never warmed up to the Swarovski SLC series of bins. At 2 or 3 times the price, they SHOULD BE BETTER though.
Actually the Zeiss was more expensive. What mine cost back then would be $3800 in today's dollars, more even than a Swaro NL. It makes current "collector" prices seem more reasonable, at least for a minty one, and the SLC a bargain.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Actually the Zeiss was more expensive. What mine cost back then would be $3800 in today's dollars, more even than a Swaro NL. It makes current "collector" prices seem more reasonable, at least for a minty one, and the SLC a bargain.

Used Zeiss classics are a whole lot cheaper than the Swarovski SLC's I have seen. SLC's are good bins but, I just never warmed up to them.

The 15 power models are easily over $2K for new or newish Swarovski options so, to me, a clean used Zeiss classic is a better deal if you can find one that isn't bid up for collectibility reasons.

In terms of sheer optical performance, the classic Zeiss 15x60's might be better or worse than other current options depending on how you use them and where you do your shopping in terms of value.

For the $2K prices I see on eBay, I wouldn't be in the market for one of these though. For that kind of money, I really need to stay with a more universal use set of bins that I would actually carry normally than these specialists.

In terms of eBay, I'm finding that to be a terrible place to shop. Everyone there seems to think their bins are the last ones on Earth or are super rare and collectible. When I can buy new for less than used, I'd call that a big fail for eBay in general and Buyer beware! For a touch over $2K, there are a lot of 12 power bin options that are really good so, that puts an upper limit on these for me. YMMV
 

Thotmosis

Member
Netherlands
I'm not sure. Never saw a 21th century produced one with 6-digit.
Mine has serial no. 649443. According to Zeiss Sportoptics in Germany it is produced in 2002.

I found an old discussion here on BF where they talk about serial numbers, maybe that explains the 7-digit numbers in the US:
 

Thotmosis

Member
Netherlands
I read a few online sources that indicated the last production run which I believe ended in 2002 were all 7-digit serial numbers.
I found an old advertisment with 6-digit number -649452- somebody purchased new in 2003, which says nothing about the exact production date but can give an indication.


I feel like some kind of Sherlock Holmes now 🕵️‍♂️
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

I purchased my 15x60 BGAT, after 2002, it has a seven digit serial number #265xxxx. As production resumed in 2002, it must have continued for several years. I certainly recall seeing it in the Zeiss catalogue, with an accompanying photo of a moose drinking water in the wild. If anyone is truly curious, I might dig up the receipt, if I still have it.

I may haul it, and its tripod, 500 hundred metres, and down to the shore of the Hudson River to get a good view of the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on the 21st, inst.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
FWIW, Zeiss in the USA said the 6-digit serial number I called in was a 2005 model without rubber eyecups. The rubber eyecup version and the metal eyepiece version are a different part number. From the pictures online, I'm seeing rubber eyecups!

From what I have gathered online, there is some confusion over serial number ranges for unknown reasons with several reports of 7-digit numbers being most recent but, a few like this one being 6-digits!

This makes me wonder if they used some older bin frames with the last production run. From a practical standpoint, a new or rebuilt frame with current internals is a don't care to me but, understanding what you actually have in hand in terms of a 'build sheet' is more challenging.

Such is life with expensive things with limited production runs and scattered distributions.
 

Thotmosis

Member
Netherlands
Hello,

I purchased my 15x60 BGAT, after 2002, it has a seven digit serial number #265xxxx. As production resumed in 2002, it must have continued for several years. I certainly recall seeing it in the Zeiss catalogue, with an accompanying photo of a moose drinking water in the wild. If anyone is truly curious, I might dig up the receipt, if I still have it.

I may haul it, and its tripod, 500 hundred metres, and down to the shore of the Hudson River to get a good view of the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on the 21st, inst.

Stay safe,
Arthur
Arthur, I hope you will have a perfect sky the 21st and be safe there on the shore of the Hudson River, can be slippery!
 

Thotmosis

Member
Netherlands
FWIW, Zeiss in the USA said the 6-digit serial number I called in was a 2005 model without rubber eyecups. The rubber eyecup version and the metal eyepiece version are a different part number. From the pictures online, I'm seeing rubber eyecups!

From what I have gathered online, there is some confusion over serial number ranges for unknown reasons with several reports of 7-digit numbers being most recent but, a few like this one being 6-digits!

This makes me wonder if they used some older bin frames with the last production run. From a practical standpoint, a new or rebuilt frame with current internals is a don't care to me but, understanding what you actually have in hand in terms of a 'build sheet' is more challenging.

Such is life with expensive things with limited production runs and scattered distributions.
FWIW, Zeiss in the USA said the 6-digit serial number I called in was a 2005 model without rubber eyecups. The rubber eyecup version and the metal eyepiece version are a different part number. From the pictures online, I'm seeing rubber eyecups!

From what I have gathered online, there is some confusion over serial number ranges for unknown reasons with several reports of 7-digit numbers being most recent but, a few like this one being 6-digits!

This makes me wonder if they used some older bin frames with the last production run. From a practical standpoint, a new or rebuilt frame with current internals is a don't care to me but, understanding what you actually have in hand in terms of a 'build sheet' is more challenging.

Such is life with expensive things with limited production runs and scattered distributions.
I have never seen a post 1989 model (after "Die Wende" so made in Germany) without rubber eyecups. Interesting, maybe a special production?
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
I have never seen a post 1989 model (after "Die Wende" so made in Germany) without rubber eyecups. Interesting, maybe a special production?

It turns out the bins in question are marked "Made in West Germany" so, the serial number in question was confused by Zeiss USA apparently. This makes them a lot older than the post-2002 series.

They are still great bins but, wearing eyeglasses makes me hesitant to commit to the purchase sight unseen, even from a top vendor.

As I understand it, this generation of 15x60's has a 13~14mm eye relief so pretty much ruling out people like myself who wear eyeglasses. :(
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Hello Sid,

In my part of Manhattan, we have paved paths. If there is ice on the street, I stay home.

Stay safe,
Arthur

I wish Texans stayed home. 3 snowflakes on the Interstate is a multi-vehicle pile-up! Most are totally clueless about winter weather driving, and that's being polite!!!
 

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