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Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 - oh my! (1 Viewer)

justabirdwatcher

Well-known member
Where have these been all my life?

I will confess I have a problem with binoculars. I'm a bit addicted. I bet I've owned 30 pairs over the past 5 years, including two pairs of Conquest HD x42's (8's and 10's). I always considered the Conquest HDs' the class of their price range based on a number of factors. However, I also thought they had a slightly narrow FOV for their price range. That is very likely why I sold both pairs when I think about it.

But after reading all the great things about the 8x32's, and after realizing that I just don't really need x42's for the things I do, I ordered a pair of 8x32 HD's and just wow. All the great reviews are indeed true. Finally, enough FOV to forget you're looking through tubes, and just enjoy the image.

They handle great. I love the size and weight (I have very large hands, so mid-size binocular actually suits me better than a small binocular). And with the 8x32's the eyecups seem to extend far enough to cover the eye relief, unlike the 8x42's that need the extended eyecups for folks that don't wear eyeglasses.

I just wanted to share my impressions (and enthusiasm) for finally finding the pair of binoculars I feel I've been looking for for years. If you are thinking of buying the 8x32 Conquest HD's, I can highly recommend them.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Where have these been all my life?

I will confess I have a problem with binoculars. I'm a bit addicted. I bet I've owned 30 pairs over the past 5 years, including two pairs of Conquest HD x42's (8's and 10's). I always considered the Conquest HDs' the class of their price range based on a number of factors. However, I also thought they had a slightly narrow FOV for their price range. That is very likely why I sold both pairs when I think about it.

But after reading all the great things about the 8x32's, and after realizing that I just don't really need x42's for the things I do, I ordered a pair of 8x32 HD's and just wow. All the great reviews are indeed true. Finally, enough FOV to forget you're looking through tubes, and just enjoy the image.

They handle great. I love the size and weight (I have very large hands, so mid-size binocular actually suits me better than a small binocular). And with the 8x32's the eyecups seem to extend far enough to cover the eye relief, unlike the 8x42's that need the extended eyecups for folks that don't wear eyeglasses.

I just wanted to share my impressions (and enthusiasm) for finally finding the pair of binoculars I feel I've been looking for for years. If you are thinking of buying the 8x32 Conquest HD's, I can highly recommend them.
"And with the 8x32's the eyecups seem to extend far enough to cover the eye relief,"

If you can find binocular's that fit you like that. You have found your binoculars! Is is all about fit.
 

justabirdwatcher

Well-known member
"And with the 8x32's the eyecups seem to extend far enough to cover the eye relief,"

If you can find binocular's that fit you like that. You have found your binoculars! Is is all about fit.

It's rather amazing to me how many lower priced binoculars do this correctly and how many higher priced binoculars have eyecups that can't cover the amount of eye relief the binoculars have.

I have a theory about this though... (hear me out).

It's a decision by the optics manufacturers to err in preference of those who wear glasses. Why? Because most older folks wear glasses. And it's mostly older folks who can afford the more expensive binoculars. Crazy? I am not sure.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
It's rather amazing to me how many lower priced binoculars do this correctly and how many higher priced binoculars have eyecups that can't cover the amount of eye relief the binoculars have.

I have a theory about this though... (hear me out).

It's a decision by the optics manufacturers to err in preference of those who wear glasses. Why? Because most older folks wear glasses. And it's mostly older folks who can afford the more expensive binoculars. Crazy? I am not sure.
I don't tolerate short eye cups that don't cover the eye relief. I am not floating binocular's over my eye socket's. I use Nikon EDG's and they are perfect for me just like your Conquest's. It is not just the length of the eye cups that must match the eye relief it is the diameter of the eye cups that must match your eye socket diameter so you don't have to stick them too far into your eye socket's. Most compact's come up short in this area with their small eye cups and that is one reason I stay away from them. The Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 is a nice binocular. Nice big FOV and very bright and a good value for the money. Troubador loves his because they are good for insect's and bug's also with their fast focus.
 
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Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Because most older folks wear glasses. And it's mostly older folks who can afford the more expensive binoculars. Crazy? I am not sure.

Hi,

no, not only the older ones are now wearing a lot of younger ones everywhere!

Over 60% of Europeans are now wearing glasses, and the trend is rising, due to increasing computerization!

Congratulations on the conquest 8x32, I think it's the best glass in the conquest series.;)

Andreas
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Completely agree with you assessment of the Conquest HD 8X32. FANTASTIC binocular. Definitely a keeper!
 

justabirdwatcher

Well-known member
Yes, the diameter of the eyecups is very important as well - for properly fitting a binocular to one's face. I really like the fact that the 8x32's use the same eyecups as the full size Conquests, since they fit my eye sockets almost perfectly. I have a rather large bridge to my nose, and although I'm a pretty good sized guy, if the eye cups are too large in diameter, they will put too much pressure on the bridge of my nose. I had two pairs of Japanese-made Cabelas Outfitter HD's that were just fantastic binoculars in every other way, but the eyecups were just ever-so-slightly too big, and they were not very comfortable to use. That was very unfortunate because they were near-Conquest HD quality and I found both pairs for under $200 ea. One was brand new in fact.

While the 8x42's had too much eye relief for the original eyecups to cover (and the extended eyecups barely covered it too), these 8x32's have just enough less that the original eyecups are perfect in 90% of lighting situations. I noticed that the extended eyecups on my x42's made it appear as though you were sacrificing a little field of view, and I like these 8x32's just like they are, so I doubt I'll try the extended eyecups on them. But you never know. I know Zeiss will send them out for free, so I may request a set just as a backup in case anything ever happens to the eyecups I have.
 
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CSG

Well-known member
United States
When Zeiss finally redid the eyecups for these, they became my favorite binoculars. The redesigned eyecups were don some years ago now and I recall a few threads about the issue. They remain my most used binoculars, even over the superior 8x42 HT's I own. The size and weight is perfect for me for my all around needs, not just birding.
 

CMB

Well-known member
Yes, these should definitely be on the short list of folks looking for new bins. The 8x32 and 10x32 Conquest HDs are impressive binoculars given their price point. We all know that when dealing with price points designers are faced with trade-offs, and so are buyers. But the Conquest HD line has some pretty impressive optics, and their focus speed is very nice.

I used a pair of 10x32s daily for a year. Have used them in the dead of winter, summer heat, rain, snow, dust, etc. They are quite remarkable and robust. I did have to get the extended eyecups for them, but Zeiss was great about sending out a pair free of charge.

Because they are not the top tier line one should expect some optical limitations and some handling differences, but when comparing them to the top tier Alphas you really have to ask yourself if the difference in optical quality and handling is worth the price to you.

I A/B tested Conquest HD 8x32 and 10x32 models before buying. With the samples I was comparing the 10x32 controlled CA much better than the 8x32. I was surprised at how much variation there was between the two units. I told the retailer that the 8x32s should probably be sent back as defective, and that if they kept that pair as their demo model they would not be selling many. It was that much of a difference.

After using the 10x32s for a couple months I found the diopter on mine would shift positions internally in the tube after time in the field moving the focus in and out. The diopter ring would not change positions, but the internal mechanism on the right tube would shift causing the binoculars to go out of focus in the right eye. It took two rounds of sending them in for service to get this corrected.

So my take from this is that when buying at this price point there will be variation in quality of samples. You really need to compare samples in a store and buy the best of the lot; or order a couple on-line, and keep the best of the lot and send the rest back. And then after some time using them in the field don't be afraid to use the generous warranty if you think something is off.

I find the 10x32 does have a lot of flare, and I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand it can be annoying, but on the other hand it has given me a warning when I'm panning too close to the sun while following raptors in flight, etc.

I was able to compare the 10x32 Conquest HDs to a pair of Swaro 10x32 ELs during that year. The ELs were more clear, had better resolution, better depth of field, and controled flare better. But the 10x32 ELs also exhibited noticeable Rolling Ball effect where the 10x32 Conquest HDs did not.

I am someone who notices rolling ball effect, am very sensitive to CA, and I really like images to be infocus and crisp edge to edge. Comparing the 32mm Conquest HD and 32mm EL left me liking aspects about each one and wishing I could combine the two and come up with a third binocular.

At less than half the price of the top tier Alphas, the optics of Conquest HD line is impressive and allows for a lot of birding and wildlife viewing.

Recently I have had an extended opportunity to use a set of Swaro 8.5x42 ELs on a daily basis. It was intersting to go back and use the 10x32 Conquest HDs again. The 8.5x42 ELs are more clear, transparent, have better resolution, control flare much better, and do not exhibit the rollling ball effect like the 10x32 ELs did. It was very easy to say that the Swaro ELs were optically better and more comfortable to use than the Conquest HD, but, as with the Victory SFs, you pay a premium for that.

In the Conquest HD line eye relief was the biggest limitation I found with them. For some eyeglass wearers that tried them the eye relief was too short.

Even with the issues I related, I would not hesitate to recommend the Conquest HD line to folks. The possibility of issues are a bit of a trade off for the price point, and the generous warranty gives the buyer an avenue to address them if they find them.

They should be on the short list of folks looking for a 32mm binocular.

Chris
 

justabirdwatcher

Well-known member
Had a reason to use my 8x32's today, and I whipped them out, spotted what I wanted to see, and put them away without a thought. Looking back, that is all I've ever asked from a pair of binoculars - to not get in my way. And there is nothing I can find about the 8x32 HD's that "gets in my way." They just plain work.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I think technology has caught up with many optics....cameras, lens....bins, scopes .... I like Alpha's...I have one, .... just sold another....but also see value in non-alphas given the tech advancement.
 

eronald

Well-known member
I think technology has caught up with many optics....cameras, lens....bins, scopes .... I like Alpha's...I have one, .... just sold another....but also see value in non-alphas given the tech advancement.

I agree. The Conquest is a good example of tech democratisation. They are Good Enough as well as Seriously Tough.

Edmund
 

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