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Notes on Zeiss 20x60S Stabilized Binoculars

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#1 knightowl

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 08:19 AM

I have written a review on my Zeiss 20x60 binoculars and would appreciate any comments you may have. Please comment directly on my website so I can more easily adjust the review as necessary. My goal is to learn as much as possible about these binos and to share that information with would-be converts and spenders like me.

http://www.paullknight.com/?p=2151


Edited by knightowl, 04 October 2015 - 09:27 AM.


#2 oldmanrick

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 10:06 AM

I have written a review on my Zeiss 20x60 binoculars and would appreciate any comments you may have. Please comment directly on my website so I can more easily adjust the review as necessary. My goal is to learn as much as possible about these binos and to share that information with would-be converts and spenders like me.

http://www.paullknight.com/?p=2151

Paul,

Review provided on your website.  Thanks for an  interesting, informative, and well-written article/review of these binoculars.  



#3 Stellarfire

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 12:52 PM

Paul,

 

Really interesting and in-depth read, the very best Zeiss 20x60S review I have read so far.

 

Unique in the review is also the comparison of effectiveness of the stabilizer at different viewing angles. The estimates of tremor reduction (hand tremor / heart beat / body sway) at varying degrees of altitude are THE info I always looked for – and never found.

Also Zeiss itself - for whatsever reason - never provided such data.

 

Since there is no other source on the Zeiss 20x60S tremor reduction effectiveness, I find it well worth to mention and share your results here, too (copied from the review): 

 

Viewing Altitude | Hand Tremor | Heart Beat | Body Sway
0-20°                    99%                 90%             10%
20-60°                  99%                 70%               5%
60-90°                  99%                 20%               0%

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience and congrats on your outstanding review! 

 

Stephan


Edited by Stellarfire, 05 October 2015 - 03:54 AM.


#4 edwincjones

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 08:30 PM

I agree-a great review, clear that you enjoy them,

but

 $8000 for 1993 or earlier technology ???

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 04 October 2015 - 08:30 PM.


#5 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 07:26 AM

Great review, great binos.  Here is an additional small expenditure that should help further reduce body movements:

 

https://www.google.c...h&dpr=1#imgrc=_

 

 

I notice that the review shows a camping stool beside the tripod.  Do you also sit while hand-holding the binos?  That should help with stabilization, virtually eliminating the body sway.  It does for my Canon 10x42 IS binos.  Sitting will also tend to reduce heart rate.  Never stand when you can sit, especially when observing.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 05 October 2015 - 07:59 AM.


#6 Mark9473

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 07:31 AM

I don't know if people would have interest in a Zeiss 20x60 non-IS, i.e. one where the IS has been disabled. Sounds like a good opportunity to get a potentially great set of optics at a much reduced price. EBay Germany has a listing with a €999 buy-me-know price. Not my ad.

http://www.ebay.de/i...984.m1555.l2649



#7 ianatcn

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 10:16 AM

I agree-a great review, clear that you enjoy them,

but

 $8000 for 1993 or earlier technology ???

 

edj

Just think of them being way ahead of their time when initially released. I have used my current pair more than any other binoculars I own. I still don't think there is anything on the market to match them, let alone exceed them. One of the great attractions for me is that they don't need batteries! 

 

The only thing I would like in an update is a wider field of view, providing the quality across the field could be maintained.


Edited by ianatcn, 07 October 2015 - 10:19 AM.


#8 hakann

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 07:01 PM

Can this bino be handhold ? ( for a while )
What astronomical objects is it great for ?
Is it more details than wide angle.
intresting thing.

#9 edwincjones

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 05:52 AM

it is the ultimate hand held binocular

 

edj



#10 ianatcn

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 10:03 AM

All my observations with the 20x60s are hand held. Either standing, reclining on a lounger or lying flat on a groundsheet. I have never felt the need to attach this binocular to a tripod as I really like the unencumbered viewing, just the binocular to carry.

 

Because of the excellent contrast provided by the optical system low contrast objects such as milky way dark clouds and rifts are well seen. The 3° field of view also allows objects like M33 to really stand out from the dark background. Wide double stars and star colours are also lovely to view. My favourite objects in this instrument are probably open clusters and asterisms. The absolutely pinpoint stellar images across the full field of view is entrancing.



#11 hakann

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 11:07 AM

I held a thread on 'Zeiss SF 42 mm for astronomy' here at CN.

 

I'm in process to get a good high end bino. I know more light in vs astronomy is good but it has a price.

The new SF 42 mm is a very light bino but little long ( 17 cm ) and rather pricy for it's package.

But I think its pupil size of 5.3 and angle at 8.6 do sounds great ( I'm into the 8 X )

I heard many say, get a low price but quality parro instead if just astronomy. Wey better too.

Well a parro at 50 or 60 cm and no IS is not what I like really.

The roof is more compact and could be carry very easy on trips, trekk etc and be used for my telescope search also later on haning around neck.

I'm a guy belive new things almost all time get better. Old things and old technology is never leading edge.

I seen the SF it in daylight and that was of course great. I compared it to Swarovski EL 8.5 and it was ok but 'darker' ( in daylight ) I Heard of the Zeiss HT was best in light ( 93% ) But I thought SF was more clear ( in daylight )

 

But over to this thread. The Zeiss 2060S.

So how is it aganist a 42 mm Zeiss modern SF roof. 

 

Here is what one source I talked to said ;

 

"Probably sharper over most of the field, and brighter because of larger exit pupil and newer coatings."

 

He also meant that a 650 USD Takahashi 22x60, which are "FAR better binoculars"

 

But as I said, I'm not into a parro that style.

 

So why do I ask on the Zeiss ? ( parro )

Well first it is a Zeiss, then it is VERY expensive. I know technology is very old here and/but it is 60 mm.

So the advice I got that a Zeiss roof SF 42 mm is give me better, is that correct.

The owner of this pice might has a ide if he look throu a Zeiss SF 42 mm and compare.



#12 ianatcn

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 01:00 PM

I have zeiss 7x42fl, Swarovski 10x50 EL, Swarovski 15x56 SLC New. They all provide different views. The 7x42 has widest true field but not sharp to the edge. The SLC comes closest to the 20x60, but hand held the Zeiss wins out to a large extent because of the stabiliser. The view of stars in the central portion of the field in the 7x42 comes closest to matching star images in the 20x60s, but only the larger Zeiss is virtually perfect over the whole field. Both the Swarovski binoculars have field flatteners and again essentially perfect star images over the whole field. I could not choose one over the other and this is why I have these as my hand held group along with the little Vixen/Miyauchi Constellation glass. The choice you make will depend on your observing targets and essentially the best deal you can strike. I would be happy with any of these on its own. I don't have a big telescope, so most of my funds go into instruments that are easy to use and deliver great views.



#13 hakann

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 03:59 PM

Hi Ian,
Intresting group of binos!
Has you a Zeiss 20x60S or just test it/compare to yours ?
I know if I get a Swaro EL 42 mm or a Zeiss SF 42 mm, I will be in god hands vs the size. I can go bigger in this models to but at 8x and 800 grams I has a great bino, but I'm kind of intrsted on the Zeiss 2060S bino. Just to hear on the powers.
I Heard today there are way better tripoids or non tripods that beat the 2060S at way lower price. But if you locate up a good price 2060S, maybe.

#14 hakann

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 02:54 PM

I bought this Zeiss 2060S bino that was for sale in Germany and I hope I will have some fun whit it!
I will let Zeiss fix the broken IS function and let them go over optics.
Ian told me Zeiss might changed coatingson the newer to the T coatings but he was not shore. Or if it give something. Anyway, I will make shore Zeiss look it over so it is capable doing what it should do.
I guess I need to get a Zeiss SF 42 mm 8X down the road. As this 2 things can't be compared. Now I hope I has a good 60 mm bino anyway.
What did me bought it vs very old technology, well I must hand hold it, and the Taksaki, Fujinont etc in bigger size is more heavy and no IS.
Second I truly beleive Zeiss can do pro optics. I hope to see jet-black background, nice sharp stars. The 20X was also make me intrest up as to see Deep sky objects still use a binocular - not a telescope.s
-If I wanted more Mag-X, I could bought me a telecope.. ;-)

If Zeiss will be able to fix it, this bino goes whit me to LA Palma sky's in december. Report will come.
In information etc on this bino vs performance, etc, etc, please write.

Edited by hakann, 09 October 2015 - 02:58 PM.


#15 Scott99

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 05:07 PM

wow Paul, great review and information on these!  My favorite binos ever were a pair of 1980's vintage Zeiss 8X56 in the black rubber armor.  I can only imagine what the 20X60 are like with the stabilization. 



#16 hakann

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 09:35 AM

As newcomer in hobby I learning the sky step by step, and one the reason to get a bino was for learning educations. Use papermaps and SkySafari as a help. People therfore told me to not go to heavy and not to high mag-X and wide wy. Well here it Went reverse ;-) ( heavy, high mag-X and short wy ) But I can Always get me the 8X42 mm in a low or high tech bino. I working on a dob 18" that I will build up myself and learn the process of how optic works. But importent is to know the sky and learn it the hard way. I'm not into a telescope and use Go-To, and that's it. But I hope this Zeiss will be useful and give me great joy.As it is really narrow I hope now I can use it whitout a tripod ( as the hole deal for me having a bino ) Will I manage ?

#17 Scott99

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 12:53 PM

hakann - I agree, using binos alongside your telescope is a great idea, you can scope out the FOV around the object and get oriented for star-hopping.  So you have the Zeiss 8X42  Victory?   Those would be awesome binos.   Currently I have 8X42 Nikons.  

 

These are plenty of aperture to see Messier objects and have a nice wide FOV.  50mm or 56mm or larger are better for pure astronomy use, but then I find them too large and bulky for bird-watching, boating, and other daytime use.  8X42 is a good all-around size, it's the one most birders use too.



#18 Mad Matt

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 01:17 PM

I bought this Zeiss 2060S bino that was for sale in Germany and I hope I will have some fun whit it!
I will let Zeiss fix the broken IS function and let them go over optics.
Ian told me Zeiss might changed coatingson the newer to the T coatings but he was not shore. Or if it give something. Anyway, I will make shore Zeiss look it over so it is capable doing what it should do.
I guess I need to get a Zeiss SF 42 mm 8X down the road. As this 2 things can't be compared. Now I hope I has a good 60 mm bino anyway.
What did me bought it vs very old technology, well I must hand hold it, and the Taksaki, Fujinont etc in bigger size is more heavy and no IS.
Second I truly beleive Zeiss can do pro optics. I hope to see jet-black background, nice sharp stars. The 20X was also make me intrest up as to see Deep sky objects still use a binocular - not a telescope.s
-If I wanted more Mag-X, I could bought me a telecope.. ;-)

If Zeiss will be able to fix it, this bino goes whit me to LA Palma sky's in december. Report will come.
In information etc on this bino vs performance, etc, etc, please write.

 

I think you made the right choice and I can't wait to here your impressions of it. Especially after having looked though some modern alpha binoculars.

 

I personally think 20x magnification is better suited for the skies in December. You will not really need 10x and a wide FOV until the summer milky way is back  :smirk:



#19 hakann

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 01:27 PM

No I was planning to get the Zeiss SF 42 mm at 8X, but then I notice this thread here.. about the Zeiss 2060S.

-So I saw one had one for sale in Germany so I bought it yesterday.

That guy who had it used it on a tripod as IS function is broken, and now he bought a Kowa 30X80 mm, and seems to enjoy that one.

I guess the Zeiss is a rather decent bino but kind of heavy ( for handheld ) at 1.6 Kg and narrow FOV at 2.9 degree.

I guess I will get the SF 42 mm later on since it is light and good ergo, and FOV at 8.6 and pupil at 5.3.

But first I must fix the IS function at Zeiss as my deal on a bino is grab & go, not on a tripod.

If it was no IS on this bino, I should not bought it.

FOV is narrow so I hope I will find objects and meanwhile there enjoy it. Things will be seen here a SF 42 8X can't show. I'm exited.

 

Perfect deal would if Zeiss had done a astronomy 'only' bino whit roof design whit latest coatings and optics and little wider FOV and larger pupil ( more light ) whit a IS function. And maybe 60 mm at 1.1-1.2 kg or so, but they will problably not. They told me, few will pay the price it will cost. This 2060S is very old in technology. But guess great unit.

Very few things to read on astronomy on it.



#20 hakann

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 04:59 PM

Do anyone knows if this binos 2060S was T coated or just later versions ?
If so when did it came in production ?
Will it helps from not T coated to T coated ?

#21 hakann

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 05:45 PM

Now my Zeiss will be going to Zeiss for IS repair. I has ask on T coatings, lets see. I hope operation will be fair as I bought this pair to be able to be hand hold, that was my idea in my resesach of binos.

#22 Mark9473

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 02:31 AM

I'm curious what they will quote you, as the previous owner paid €557 just for cleaning, without repairing the IS.



#23 ianatcn

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 04:42 AM

Do anyone knows if this binos 2060S was T coated or just later versions ?
If so when did it came in production ?
Will it helps from not T coated to T coated ?

 Hi Hakan,

 

My current pair which is about three years old and was purchased  new has the T* coatings. I think that the previous pair that I purchased second hand and would be over ten years old also had the T* coatings. It would be unlikely that Zeiss would not put their best coatings on such a premium glass. 



#24 Stellarfire

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 04:55 AM

Zeiss introduced the enhanced multi-layer T* coating in 1979.

 

For some info on the Zeiss T and T* coatings see also here:

http://www.zeiss.com...ns-coating.html

 

Stephan


Edited by Stellarfire, 13 October 2015 - 04:57 AM.


#25 hakann

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 10:05 AM

Mark & Stephan.

I posted under wrong thread ( sorry ) on the Zeiss pricing so moderator removed it.
I has a ruff price from Zeiis at 700 to 1.000 Euros to repair the broken IS.
They said once they got the binoculars they can get me a real quote.
I will get them back after 2 to 3 weeks.
Ny binos was serviced at 2007 so my guess they is all ok and the gent that had them seems to be really importent his stuff was ok.
I hope I will be a happy owner.
It was a geat night 2 days ago here in Sweden, so I miss them, but soon La Palma and use them for 30 Days in december.

By the way Mark, BIG thank's to tell about this set here at CN.

Edited by hakann, 15 October 2015 - 10:06 AM.



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