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zeiss spotting scope review

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imdunworkin View Drop Down
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    Posted: November/26/2011 at 17:14
How does Zeiss spotting scopes compare to Swarovski spotting scopes?  I am looking to make a purchase in the near future and I would appreciate your advice.  I will be using for hunting and general use in the field.  I am looking for a 80mm with HD glass (I think).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bitterroot Bulls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/26/2011 at 18:58
I was in your spot:
 
 
I still really like the Razor 85HD.
-Matt
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/17/2011 at 00:22

U asking about two ” king spotters “ in the civil market

Spotting (civil)

Zeiss

Diascope 85

Swarovski

ATM HD 80

w.

kg 1.45

kg 1.28

l.

mm 345

mm 355

lens

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/17/2011 at 09:00
[QUOTE=G Kurtz]

U asking about two ” king spotters “ in the civil market

Spotting (civil)

Zeiss

Diascope 85

Swarovski

ATM HD 80

w.

kg 1.45

kg 1.28

l.

mm 345

mm 355

lens

Opinion,untempered by fact,is ignorance.

There are some who do not fear death... for they are more afraid of not really living
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G Kurtz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/17/2011 at 21:24
Yes it's small but U add 170g here, one pound there, 250g in the other stuff ... in the end U have a difference of 5 to 10 kg. I mean a LOT of walking in HIGH mountains ... oh, for "a lot" I mean to stay "without television" (hehe, this is blessing!) for two weeks  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/17/2011 at 21:36
By the way, there is some special reason U did'nt included the Leica?
The Televid APO 82mm is in the same class of the two U mentioned
With the 20-50x is at kg.1.80, i.e. the heavier one, but opticals are same or maybe even little better than Zeiss. I've seen some pix done on digiscoping and they look impressive
 
Pls consider that I'm not sure of the prices; it seems the Leica is quite siginificantly more expensive ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/17/2011 at 22:33
Perhaps you need to prioritize...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/17/2011 at 22:43
...ooh. And I told this because U were asking about hunting / general use. But if U want the world top spotter, including military grade, I think U can go no further than the Zeiss Spotter 60
20-60 x 72mm
1600g
lenght 334 mm (!!)
FFP reticle (ur choice), illuminated, adjustable
MIL-STD 810C .. etc
neoprene protective cover (desert or olive drab)
reticle-laser protection
can accomodate up to 5 Picatinny
civilian can buy ... 5000$
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/17/2011 at 23:49
Yes, priorities will be related to kind of usage and environment (plus budget of course). And once said that all this spotters are top level and one cannot do real "mistakes", then factors I will consider are: portability, optical performances, and "tactical" (meaning overall capacity, including roughness, versatility, capacity  of concealment etc.) 
 
- Portability: Swaro or (budget not an issue) Spotter 60
- Pure optical: Leica
- Tactical: Spotter 60
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2011 at 08:07
I'm with Bitterroot.  Get 95% of the performance of the alpha stuff with the Razor HD.  If you want the best spotter on the planet, regardless of cost, go with the Kowa Prominar 883/884.  If portability/fantastic glass is a major concern get the Swaro 65HD. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2011 at 09:30
Originally posted by G Kurtz G Kurtz wrote:

Yes, priorities will be related to kind of usage and environment (plus budget of course). And once said that all this spotters are top level and one cannot do real "mistakes", then factors I will consider are: portability, optical performances, and "tactical" (meaning overall capacity, including roughness, versatility, capacity  of concealment etc.) 
 
- Portability: Swaro or (budget not an issue) Spotter 60
- Pure optical: Leica
- Tactical: Spotter 60
 
 
 

The priorities are that if you are carrying so much stuff in your bag that 6 oz in a spotter makes a difference, you probably need to reevaluate what you are carrying.  Personally, I don't care what how much anything weighs... IF I NEED IT, I'm carrying it.  Nice to haves get eliminated pretty quickly.  I need little in the way of "creature comforts", but refuse to skimp on things that are vital.  Choices...  "choose wisely"...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2011 at 09:40
I basically agree with U but that +5% of the performance sometime can have a very high value: it's digital, not analogic = see Y/N, identify Y/N etc. The Swaro65HD can be extremely good choice for field, however mr Imdunworkin was asking for a 80mm ...
 
I've read various impressive reviews of the Kowas, but I hadn't the chance to see trough one, so ... just from the reviews and the pictures / specs it seems to me a different machine compared to the Spotter 60.  I think the Kowa is more oriented toward birdwatching and target shooters, while the zeiss Spotter is more a purely MIL things: first focal plane, enlarging Mil-DOT, very sturdy ...
 
Performances = I will be very interested to read some data; MTF, light transmission ... the claim of transmission >99% for the Kowa seems really a little tooo much
 
K
 
 
  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2011 at 14:47
My eyes have seen the Zeiss 85 T FL side by side with my Kowa 884 many, many times in the field, hunting.  The Zeiss isn't in the same league as the Kowa, not even very close IMO.  The Kowa is crystal clear to the edge, sharp, bright, and has no peer.  The Swaro 80 HD is close, but no cigar either.   

Mils in spotters are for the benchrest/tactical guys, not serious hunters.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2011 at 19:04

Interesting. Will try to have a look to these Kowas one of these days.

 

Yes as I told the Spotter 60 is essentially a military / tactical device. In this role it remains my preferred. Lenses are T-coated fluorite apochromatic, keep chroma and sferic aberrations under superior control: colors are true and dimensions also. Measured light transmission is 85% (and is ok like this, one don't need 100% light transmission, it is the quality/trueness of the transmitted light/image that counts) plus we have other things for low-light observation. Then this thing it is short, one can use handheld in emergency, is more easy to keep stealth; sturdy, can bear "unchalantly" high levels of mechanical/thermal abuse (I mean: -40 to +52 Centigrades). The mil are useful to quickly estimate range, reticle L shaped keep unobstructed view of target, it is in First Focal Plane so can be used at any magnification, spotter can pass detailed info to sniper real time. There is nothing like this on the market. It is a war machine and one can see this at first glance. Defects: cost (price), weight ... and lack of the snow-white neoprene cover!(this last can be easily corrected).

 

But if U say this is not useful for your kind of hunts then is ok, I’ve zero experience of hunt in America.

 

Mr Kickboxer be reassured I do not carry “luxury” items on field, maybe only some chocolate bar, hehe

 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bitterroot Bulls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2011 at 19:43
Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

My eyes have seen the Zeiss 85 T FL side by side with my Kowa 884 many, many times in the field, hunting.  The Zeiss isn't in the same league as the Kowa, not even very close IMO.  The Kowa is crystal clear to the edge, sharp, bright, and has no peer.  The Swaro 80 HD is close, but no cigar either.   

Mils in spotters are for the benchrest/tactical guys, not serious hunters.

 
 
JG, apparently the newest Diascope with the newest 20-75 eyepiece is a legitimate competitor to the Prominar 88.  I haven't seen one of these new Diascopes yet, but I hope to.  That eyepiece is a real tallboy, though.
 
The Spotter 60 has lower light transmission due to its various military-specific features, including the reticle.
 
Also, a mil-reticle eyepiece is available for the Vortex Razor HD, and reasonably priced.
 
 
 
-Matt
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2011 at 21:44
Good point Bitterroot.  I failed to mention that the Zeiss 85 I keep looking through (neighbor/hunting buddy) is the older style, twin focus.

As good as the 884 is, if I had it to do over again I'd buy the Razor HD and pocket the extra $$$. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/18/2011 at 23:34
It's true lens calculation remains an esotheric mix of art and science, however improved computerized algorithms are effectively continuosly increasing lens performances. JG, can I ask how much old (more or less) is your buddy's Zeiss 85?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2011 at 00:30
Guys, keep in mind that the Spotter 60 is a completely different design than Zeiss Diascope and the two have little in common other than the manufacturer.  Diascope is a conventional spotter of very high quality (I was very impressed with its latest iteration).

Spotter 60 is a folding path design with absolutely insane depth of field owing to a longer focal length for the obective lens.  That same focal length also makes comparatively easier to correct for aberrations so the image of Spotter 60 is very clean.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2011 at 09:39
The Zeiss 85 is 6 years old.  My 884 is 2 years old.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bitterroot Bulls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2011 at 09:52
Originally posted by G Kurtz G Kurtz wrote:

It's true lens calculation remains an esotheric mix of art and science, however improved computerized algorithms are effectively continuosly increasing lens performances.
 
?
 
Sounds like something out of a Countersniper advertisement. 


Edited by Bitterroot Bulls - December/20/2011 at 09:29
-Matt
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2011 at 22:44
Well, Mr JG: true that back at home I'm still using the Hensoldt 40x60 of my grandfather (ehy, it's still quite ok and I'm NOT a rich guy!) but these times 6 years are "something". I think they have recalculated their lens 85 (maybe with some new software ... + some "esotheric inspire" haha)
 
Ja Spotter 60 is an absolutely different projekt and BTW: remember here 60 is the max magnification (it is a 20-60x) the lens is 72mm
 
A+
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2011 at 11:06
Originally posted by G Kurtz G Kurtz wrote:

Well, Mr JG: true that back at home I'm still using the Hensoldt 40x60 of my grandfather (ehy, it's still quite ok and I'm NOT a rich guy!) but these times 6 years are "something". I think they have recalculated their lens 85 (maybe with some new software ... + some "esotheric inspire" haha)
 
Ja Spotter 60 is an absolutely different projekt and BTW: remember here 60 is the max magnification (it is a 20-60x) the lens is 72mm
 
A+
K


Well Mr. Kurtz....after using my 884 in the field for the past couple of years, I'm not the least bit interested in any other spotter, period.  Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2011 at 19:38

Yes of course U are not ... ehy I'm NOT a seller of Nazi-scopes hahaha!

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