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Zeiss Diascope 85 T* FL year of manufacture (1 Viewer)

Joker9937

Well-known member
Hello. I had posted in another section that I was considering a Swarovski AT80 HD, and still might go that route, but found a Zeiss Diascope that is far less money, and comes with tripod, etc. It does not have original boxes, and stuff, but looks pristine.

I was wondering if anyone would have an idea of the age. It is the silver body with the small blue square with "Zeiss" in white letters. On the large part of the barrel it says "Carl Zeiss" with "Diascope 85 T* FL" under that. It has a black sliding dewshield.

I am just curious about the age, and if I should steer towards something different. Price, I think is pretty good at $850, but not sure.

Reviews are excellent, but I am not sure how many versions or updates have taken place since this specific scope was produced. This is the exact version, but I did not think I should post random pics from google searches, so I posted the link instead.

Any issues or thoughts? Would I be better off paying more money for the Swarovski?

Digiscoping whitetail and maybe occasional lunar observation would be my uses. Thanks, in advance.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

I only remember one Diascope which was only ok. But it was a very old version and didn't have the Zeiss zoom but an adapted Baader astro EP. Was reasonably sharp but quite yellow.

In general with used spotting scopes - try before you buy - exactly the example you are going to buy. Either in person or with a no questions asked return policy. Sample variation really exists and while extremely bad cases might end up in warranty, the merely not so great ones might just get sold on.

Joachim
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Hi

You will no doubt get expert advise about the silver Diascope from others but from my (an amateurs) point of view it will be pre 2013. I bought a black 85 Diascope Victory FL with the single dual purpose focus wheel 2 months ago from a seller in Australia. Mine is the upgraded 2013 model with 20-75 zoom. Like you I read the reviews and they rated it very highly and believe me the optics and image are superb and it's ideal for digiscoping. It really is a class bit of kit but needs a very stable tripod because of its weight.
BUT Joachim is right.....best to try first if you are not sure.
The Diascope, along with the ATS 80 were the the 2 best scopes 10 years ago and in my opinion are still supreme.
Regards... Ian
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
Thanks, for both replies. I look forward to more input.

I wish that there was a local store that carried anything from the better optics sources. Actually, there are a few places with the lower-end Vortex, Zeiss, and the like. But, the problem is, none of the staff have even as much of a clue about optics as I do. AND...that is saying that they know VERY little then.

On top of that, no one carries used stuff to compare. But, you are both right. It would be smarter to go that route. I hope to make a trip to Cabela's, which is not THAT far away. But, not in the cards right now.

The deal got better and cheaper as we talked, so I did end up paying him. It is supposed to be here Saturday. I hope that you are thinking of a different version, Joachim. We will see. Based on a bit of market research, I should be able to get my money back, if for whatever reason I don't like it. My experience is limited to astronomical telescopes, and binoculars. Not that there is a vast difference, but there is enough that I have much to learn.

We will see how it goes. Thanks, again.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

well, since you bit the bullet, we only can hope for the best -I'll certainly keep my fingers crossed for you to get a good example.

Please let us know how it turned out - if you have experience with astro kit, you might know about star testing...

Joachim
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Good luck with it.....

I don't think you can go to far wrong. If it is within 10 years old of manufacture, there is still also the warranty that Zeiss will honour if there's a problem.

If your going to digiscope with your smart phone then PhoneSkope do a good package. You might have to hunt for zoom attachment as the width of the lens is 60mm .... As big as they get!

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

Regards..... Ian
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
Hi,

well, since you bit the bullet, we only can hope for the best -I'll certainly keep my fingers crossed for you to get a good example.

Please let us know how it turned out - if you have experience with astro kit, you might know about star testing...

Joachim

Thanks. I actually posted, and then talked to the seller again. Then, the deal sort of erupted. If I had read your post prior to paying the guy, I would have held off. Live and learn again.

Like you said, I am crossing my fingers pretty tightly. LOL.

I do know about star testing. Not a pro at it, but can fumble along somewhat.

And, Ian, congrats on your Victory. Too late I figured out that there was a Diascope and a VICTORY Diascope. I read the reviews for the Diascope, and later comprehended that it was a newer version, which was the Victory. The one hope I have, is the that one of the reviews I read commented on an "already excellent scope was made even better". So, hopefully it will live up to that. I did find other reviews that spoke highly of the older version, so we will see.

I do appreciate both of you responding. I will let you know how it goes.
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
Good luck with it.....

I don't think you can go to far wrong. If it is within 10 years old of manufacture, there is still also the warranty that Zeiss will honour if there's a problem.

If your going to digiscope with your smart phone then PhoneSkope do a good package. You might have to hunt for zoom attachment as the width of the lens is 60mm .... As big as they get!

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

Regards..... Ian

I think we were posting at the same time. LOL.

Good info on the warranty. I did not think of that, since I am the second owner. Hopefully it won't be necessary.

It is supposed to be here tomorrow. Well, that is the "estimated delivery time". Busy day, but I have a feeling I will find some time, if it actually arrives then.

Thanks for the PhoneSkope tip. Much appreciated.
 

Sancho

Well-known member
I had the 'old' silver 85mm Diascope, and to be honest I miss it. I found it superb. I sold the vario zoom, and used instead a Baader Hyperion Mk. II. Fantastic combo. Don't fret, I have no doubt you will be amazed!
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
Thank you. I hope you are right, Sancho.

The Fedex app says that the scope is on the truck for delivery, so I might really receive it today.

I ordered the PhoneSkope too, because I have been looking for a new adapter for my astro telescope anyway. I ordered the attachment specifically for the Diascope, and the general purpose attachment as well. I guess it won't be here until next week.

Crossing my fingers for the scope.
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
It showed up unscathed. It is gray and dreary here today. Plus, I could only take handheld photos. But, it doesn't look too bad to me.

I figure for the money (less than $800 shipped) it is a good start, at minimum. It came with the scope, tripod and head, and a Kowa stay on cover.

The tripod seems a little shaky when focusing, which was a bit of a disappointment, but not bad. Any recommendations, or is that to be expected?

At 60x it seems to be a bit less than at 30 and 40. Would that change with a different (newer) ep? The gray day certainly factors into my first impressions, but taking that into consideration, this scope seems very sharp. I look forward to star testing it.

The focus knobs are smooth. As silly as it sounds, the fine vs coarse focus knobs are not easily identified by me. If anyone has a suggestion on where to obtain a manual, I would be open to the info. I found focus with no issues, but a manual would be nice to have.

It needs a little overall cleaning, and the glass cleaned too, but it is in really nice shape. One hairline scratch, around an inch or two long, on the body. It is barely discernible. There is a spot on the ep where something scratched the outside edge of the rim around the glass. It is missing the dustcovers.

The eyecup is annoying. It would be nice to be able to push it down, to allow my eye to get a little closer, but I do not see that it is possible. The ER is much tighter than I expected, but I think it might feel tight because of the cup.

Overall, I think it is great deal, and going to work well as I learn how to use my phone/digiscoping adapter with it. My adapter should be here by Monday. I will post some legit pics when it arrives.

The pics include shots of my neighbor's grain dryer/elevator, which is around 1000 to 1500 yards away. One pic is at 20x and one is 60. I think that the 60x pic was taken with the app "Firstlight". Other than that, I made no modifications. Obviously, through the ep is much nicer than the handheld shots.

I will say that the dewshield seems plasticky to me.
 

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Joker9937

Well-known member
After I posted, I saw that there was a Fox Squirrel sitting still for a few minutes. Snapped a quick photo with the "Firstlight" app. First photo is only modified to work on the forum. Obviously, the second one is heavily cropped.

The scope was at 60x. The squirrel was roughly 50 yds away.

Does it look hopeful?
 

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Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Its quite funny to see how you are getting on.....you seem just like me....an amateur ;) !!
I was like a kid with a new toy when mine arrived and did pretty much the same as you.....took shots of squirrels in the garden.
From the photos it looks pretty good and the tripods a Manfrotto, which are usually good also. The package looks impressive.
I take shots with an old IPhone 5s ... I took this today....bit blurry.uu
How did you down load more than one photo....I can only ever get one at a time to appear?

Regards Ian
 

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jring

Well-known member
Hi,

seems you got a good deal - congratulations. The images look sharp enough at 60x. Let us know how the star test looks like.

The images look about as yellow as I remember the one example I tried. On the other hand you can correct it in images and while observing the brain tends to adapt after a few seconds...

The objective lens does not look like it needs cleaning - you know the astronomer joke about how to best clean optical surfaces and the answer being not.

If you have astro EPs, there is an adapter available to use 1.25" ones in the diascope. The question is, if all come to focus though, as spotting scopes tend to have a bit less focus travel than your average astro scope.

https://www.teleskop-express.de/sho...ZEISS-Diascope-Okularbajonett-auf-1-1-4-.html

I probably would first try to get a better tripod - the one shown looks a bit flimsy and is maybe better used for a small camera. A good tripod will also shake a little when you are manipulating the focus at high magnification, but it will be steady again in less than a second.

Joachim
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
Its quite funny to see how you are getting on.....you seem just like me....an amateur ;) !!
I was like a kid with a new toy when mine arrived and did pretty much the same as you.....took shots of squirrels in the garden.
From the photos it looks pretty good and the tripods a Manfrotto, which are usually good also. The package looks impressive.
I take shots with an old IPhone 5s ... I took this today....bit blurry.uu
How did you down load more than one photo....I can only ever get one at a time to appear?

Regards Ian

Thanks! It is pretty bad, the way I get excited about new (to me) equipment. I checked my phone 10 times this morning, just to see the tracking progress. 3:)

Your photo looks really good. I don't know what it is, but the photo is great.

I am going to have a hard time concentrating at work on Monday, because my PhoneSkope stuff should arrive by then.

Regarding multiple photos, I am not sure I can explain it exactly. I go to "Attach Files" and click on the "Manage Attachments" button. Once there, I go to "Browse", and click there. I select my file, and then click "Upload". Once the file uploads, the window for the file should say "No file selected". I then click "Browse" and start the process over again. Once I have all of the files uploaded, I scroll to the bottom of the "Manage Attachments" window, and click "Close this Window".

I hope that helps you. Feel free to post more photos.

Hi,

seems you got a good deal - congratulations. The images look sharp enough at 60x. Let us know how the star test looks like.

The images look about as yellow as I remember the one example I tried. On the other hand you can correct it in images and while observing the brain tends to adapt after a few seconds...

The objective lens does not look like it needs cleaning - you know the astronomer joke about how to best clean optical surfaces and the answer being not.

If you have astro EPs, there is an adapter available to use 1.25" ones in the diascope. The question is, if all come to focus though, as spotting scopes tend to have a bit less focus travel than your average astro scope.

https://www.teleskop-express.de/sho...ZEISS-Diascope-Okularbajonett-auf-1-1-4-.html

I probably would first try to get a better tripod - the one shown looks a bit flimsy and is maybe better used for a small camera. A good tripod will also shake a little when you are manipulating the focus at high magnification, but it will be steady again in less than a second.

Joachim

Joachim, thank you for the observations. I THINK I did get a decent deal. I did notice some internal dust, that I did not see at first. Also, there is a minuscule scratch on the ep eye-lens. That was disappointing. It is barely discernible, but now that I know it is there, it just bugs me. Totally invisible unless the lighting is perfect. No effect on the image.

I wonder if I could send it to Zeiss for cleaning. (?)

Yes, the image seems to be tinted yellow. It does not bother me, but might bother some. Sometimes I prefer this over a more bluish tint. It is early, so I am not sure how I feel about it.

Thank you for the link to the adapter. I will probably pursue that. Maybe not immediately, but soon. I have a Celestron C102F, so I use that pretty frequently, but something as light as this scope would be very convenient.

Speaking of its weight, I found specs at BH Photo that said the scope was 3.9#. However, I do not know if that includes the ep or not. I will have to look into that a bit.

The tripod and head are the Manfrotto 055XB and 128RC. From what I could find, they are rated for 9# and 8# respectively. Not sure what the rule of thumb is for weight capacity ratings and real-life capacity. Based on these weights, would you consider this tripod/mount sufficient for this scope? It doesn't vibrate horribly at all, but more than I expected. It is minimal enough that I am not in a rush to replace it, but just wondered about your opinion.

For anyone that is interested, I found that a Fujinon 16x70 objective cover, somehow, fits the Diascope objective. I happened to find one that had been lost. I previously sold the binoculars, so the cover has been in a bag of miscellaneous caps and plugs for awhile. I also found a random Swift bino cap for the ep.

The Kowa case had cat hair, or some kind of animal hair, all over it. Well, not covering it, but enough that it was obvious. I swept it, and cleaned it as thoroughly as possible. When I posted the photo of the cap, I see that one hair escaped me. :C
 

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jring

Well-known member
Hi,

first of all, please don't panic about a few specks of dust or a tiny scratch. They will not diminish the perfomance! Keep the visit to Zeiss for when there is really some defect.

Weight of the diascope body is 1.5kg, so the 3.9 pound was probably with EP.

The 055 should be ok, interesting how perspective can be misleading - it didn't look like a full size tripod on that shot... the 128RC is often recommended for spotting scopes but my nearly unused example shows that it is not my favourite, at least not for full size scopes - I prefer the 500AH for that due to the possibility to properly balance the scope with a long rail and the counterbalance.

Regarding the two speed focus drive - the fine focus should be the front one...

Joachim
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Hi Joker9937

I don't know what I enjoy more - birding or the equipment. I have to check my many deliveries also so that I can get to the door before my wife...so that she doesn't say ' what have bought now!!'

Birding, binoculars and scopes are a real delight and addictive. A day doesn't pass that I don't go out looking for new species. Corona virus is going to be a real problem as Britain are asking for self confinement for the over 70's and I'm 69 so think I should may be do the same as I've got the health problems which put me at risk. I live in the depths of the countryside so am away from heavily populated areas so can still get out locally to do my birding.

Back to the scope....mine has a few air bubbles in the objective lense which irritate a little but don't detract from the performance. What phone will you be using with your PhoneSkope? You obviously had no trouble getting the 20-60 lense attachment. The fit with mine is very good.

So I'll try and download a few more pics......

NO....failed again oh well....;)

image.jpeg
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
Hi,

first of all, please don't panic about a few specks of dust or a tiny scratch. They will not diminish the perfomance! Keep the visit to Zeiss for when there is really some defect.

Weight of the diascope body is 1.5kg, so the 3.9 pound was probably with EP.

The 055 should be ok, interesting how perspective can be misleading - it didn't look like a full size tripod on that shot... the 128RC is often recommended for spotting scopes but my nearly unused example shows that it is not my favourite, at least not for full size scopes - I prefer the 500AH for that due to the possibility to properly balance the scope with a long rail and the counterbalance.

Regarding the two speed focus drive - the fine focus should be the front one...

Joachim

Thanks, Joachim. I am not too worried about the dust. At least, I THINK it is dust. It is a little weird. I see some specks when I am at 20x, but not not at the higher power(s). And, it is only when I put my eye off axis. So, the black band, when your eye has not found the center of the fov, is when the specks are there. Looking backward through the scope, I can see what I think are the dust specks. As long as that is all that it is, I am not worried. I get a little OCD about stuff like that, so I am trying to ignore it. 3:)

I am happy with the tripod, at this point. But, I might look into a different one. For now, until I give it a bit more time, I will continue to test it out. The head you mentioned, though, is on my radar. Thank you!

Thank you, regarding the focuser explanation.
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
Hi Joker9937

I don't know what I enjoy more - birding or the equipment. I have to check my many deliveries also so that I can get to the door before my wife...so that she doesn't say ' what have bought now!!'

Birding, binoculars and scopes are a real delight and addictive. A day doesn't pass that I don't go out looking for new species. Corona virus is going to be a real problem as Britain are asking for self confinement for the over 70's and I'm 69 so think I should may be do the same as I've got the health problems which put me at risk. I live in the depths of the countryside so am away from heavily populated areas so can still get out locally to do my birding.

Back to the scope....mine has a few air bubbles in the objective lense which irritate a little but don't detract from the performance. What phone will you be using with your PhoneSkope? You obviously had no trouble getting the 20-60 lense attachment. The fit with mine is very good.

So I'll try and download a few more pics......

NO....failed again oh well....;)

View attachment 721169

Funny you mention that the indecisiveness on what part of the hobby you like the best. I feel that way too. It is a bit of a black hole for me. LOL. My sweet wife, and our two youngest that are still at home for a few more years, tolerate my obsessions. LOL. Most of my binoculars are older than I am, but I have so many, and have been through so many, that it is almost ridiculous.

I hope and pray that the Coronavirus dies on the vine. It is a wake up call to humanity. We are not invincible. A lowly microscopic organism is bringing us low. Hang in there and stay healthy!

Maybe what I see are air bubbles and not dust??? I never thought of that. Hmmm...

I definitely took your advice on ordering the connector. I looked for the one made specifically for the Diascope. I hope it is the correct one. We will see tomorrow.

I wish I could give you better instruction on uploading multiple pics. Not sure what to say. I wonder if you have a different computer than I do. I am just using a Microsoft Surface. Not sure if that factors in or not.

I love the Cormorant photo. Great job with that! I have always liked those birds. Your pic looks like he is getting ready to dive any second. Love it.

I tried to get a pic of a Lesser Scaup today, but without the adapter, I could not stay on him. Next time.

I am using a Samsung Note 10+. It has a great camera, but I am a bit inept. Not quite 50, but I am sort of a knuckle-dragger when it comes to technology. Learning, though.

Even though I do not have the adapter, I hiked back into the woods behind our house before church this morning. I fumbled around with taking some handheld pics with the scope.

These are all at 60x. The Cardinal pic had the contrast bumped a couple of points, but that is it. I took it through a few branches, so it is not very sharp as a result. The same thing affected the pic of the Bald Eagle. I included the untouched photo of the eagle, as well as the modified one.

I still need to star test it, but I am pretty hopeful that it is a performer. The camera on my phone, though, is pretty amazing, so not sure what gets the most credit. LOL.
 

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