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The Swarovski CL Pocket 8x25 and Zeiss Terra ED Pocket 8x25, a review

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#76 MagisterM

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 11:55 PM

That is an unusual experience with these binoculars  :scratchhead:

 

In comparison, the Swarovski Pocket CL's have a somewhat easier view to take in, so that may be of benefit to you.

 

As mentioned before in this thread, I tried several samples of the little Terra's and they were all superb. Those were 8x25's. I've only evaluated one pair of the Terra ED 10x25's, which was excellent.

 

Yes it was weird. Your review was so different than what I experienced. I may or may not have received a dud, but will never know as I'm not interested in pursuing another copy for comparison.



#77 Erik Bakker

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 05:31 AM

Fair enough.



#78 MagisterM

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 06:32 PM

Went birding this weekend and was able to have a look into a Swarovski 8x25 CL Pocket courtesy of another birder close by. It was a very nice view indeed. Sharp and bright as I would expect from an compact Alpha. It was brighter than my Nikon Premier LXL 10x25, but that was to be expected due to magnification and exit pupil size. My Nikons did hold their own with regards to resolution and CA control and the view was equally impressive and clean, if not as bright.

 

If I was in the market for a compact 8x, this would be at the top of my list. It is slightly bigger and heavier but I would call it an advantage as when binos get too light, they start to feel really cheap and are hard to hold, if too compact.


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#79 Photog-2

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 10:15 PM

Thanks for all the info on these two compact binoculars.  Today I got the Zeiss 8x25's from B&H, and the first thing I noticed is how stiff the focusing nob is.  Not practical for me to focus with one finger.    I imagine my technique focusing with two fingers would improve over time, but that too feels awkward.

This is my first pair of binocs in 25 years, so I have nothing to compare to.  I'm a professional photographer, and am used to autofocus as well as smooth manual focus on Nikon camera lenses, so the stiff manual focus on the Zeiss was rough to accept.  I wanted a compact for its portability and lightness.  Would store them in my car, and use for street viewing mostly.

 

Also, I don't understand the double folding hinges.  Seems that using one hinge would simply things, make it easier and quicker to adjust.  But it must just be so they fold up smaller.

 

They look like well made binoculars, but just not for me.  I'm looking for ease of use.  Maybe I should look at some 8x30 or 42s.  Any thoughts?



#80 Erik Bakker

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 02:16 AM

A warm welcome to Cloudy Nights Photog-2!

 

My advice is to try them a little longer. Mine has a little stiffens too, but focusses perfectly with one finger. The feel of a Nikon Ai-s focussing ring (have those too) is not to be found in ANY binocular. One reason is the much larger diameter of the focusing ring of the photo lens. Some binoculars do come closer to that feel than others of course. The advantage of a little stiffness in the focuser is that they get out of focus at the slightest touch when you grab them for another look at the same observing distance. 

 

For your intended use, the 8x25 Terra ED is very well suited. I have mine with me in my car since late 2015 and they do a wonderful job at any thing that fits in it's field of view and is bright enough to show up in that field.

 

As far as ergonomics go, I too prefer a 1-hinged design. The only small quality binocular I know of that has that is the Kowa BD 8x25 DCF .

Had them too for that reason. But the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 have better clarity, sharpness and contrast. Great binoculars for the price and wonderful ergonomics though. The only binoculars that come close tot the Zeiss and do certain things a bit better/differently are the Swarovski Pocket 8x25, but these are double-hinged too. Focussing in the Swaro is a bit lighter/smoother, but handling is not as nice for my hands. The Swaro CL 8x30 have 1 hinge, but the best small binoculars with 1 hinge are the Swarovski EL 8x32's. But these are MUCH bigger and MUCH more expensive than any of the 25 and 30mm models.



#81 Photog-2

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 11:07 AM

Thanks for the welcome, and for the advice.  I'm impatient sometimes. So I'll take your advice and try them out several times and see if I can get used to it.  I understand no binocular is perfect.  I had just read that the Swaro 8x25's focussing wheel was much lighter, or had less friction when turning.  

When shopping for these binocs, it's tough, because I can't actually try them out.  Unless I drive a long way to the nearest Cabellas I suppose.  But the grass is always greener applies with my binoc search.  The Leica 8x25s are pretty solid so I'll hopefully get used to them.

 

I'd like to try the Swaro CL 8x30 though. Thanks again.



#82 Erik Bakker

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 01:39 PM

You're welcome.

 

I am in the fortunate position to be able to try them all (Swarovski, Nikon, Leica, Zeiss, Kowa) side-side over a period of several days or weeks and many clear nights. That really helps to full appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of binoculars.

 

Of the current production pocket binoculars, I find the Zeiss 8x25 Terra ED outstanding in their performance and ergonomics. But as always that is a personal assessment.



#83 samovu

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 03:40 PM

Thanks for all the info on these two compact binoculars.  Today I got the Zeiss 8x25's from B&H, and the first thing I noticed is how stiff the focusing nob is.  Not practical for me to focus with one finger.    I imagine my technique focusing with two fingers would improve over time, but that too feels awkward.

This is my first pair of binocs in 25 years, so I have nothing to compare to.  I'm a professional photographer, and am used to autofocus as well as smooth manual focus on Nikon camera lenses, so the stiff manual focus on the Zeiss was rough to accept.  I wanted a compact for its portability and lightness.  Would store them in my car, and use for street viewing mostly.

 

Also, I don't understand the double folding hinges.  Seems that using one hinge would simply things, make it easier and quicker to adjust.  But it must just be so they fold up smaller.

 

They look like well made binoculars, but just not for me.  I'm looking for ease of use.  Maybe I should look at some 8x30 or 42s.  Any thoughts?

 

Welcome to CN, Photog-2!

 

I like dealing with B&H. They have a great return policy. I wouldn't hesitate trying another sample of what you have or another model and keeping what works best.

 

I also prefer a single hinge. For example, there's the Zeiss Victory compact models in 8 and 10 power that has a single hinge. But I've read that the design/coatings are old. I eventually got the Zeiss Compact (double hinge) versions in 8 and 10.

 

Whatever you end up with...... enjoy.

 

Cheers,

John



#84 Photog-2

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 08:01 PM

Thanks for the help guys.  This is quite the friendly forum.  I see there's some astronomers here.  I go out to a local astronomy club sometimes and take photos of them soaking up photons.  There aren't many binoculars out there, mostly telescopes, but I like the idea of using binocs to start out if I was going to do that eventually.  For now I'll stick with what I have.  Some of those astronomers from my local club are on this forum I bet. 



#85 Photog-2

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 12:31 AM

Question!

 

While looking fairly far away (say, 25 feet or more) with these Zeiss 8x25s, everything looks good.  I see just one crisp circle.  But when I view a closeup object, I'm seeing one circle, but also a vertical oval within that circle.  Any idea what that is?  Is it my perifferal vision messing it up?  Or is it just a characteristic of binoculars when you view closeup like that?  

 

Thanks.  I've adjusted the diopter, and long distance viewing looks excellent.  It's just the closeups where I notice it.



#86 Erik Bakker

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 02:25 AM

At these close distances, you can no longer merge the 2 image circles. The overlapping part is the "oval" you see.



#87 Photog-2

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 10:18 AM

Ok I understand.  At the very close viewing distance the object is in sharp focus though, so the lens is working, but yet the oval is there.  So it has a close minimum focus distance, but at a price?  I'm wondering if it is normal for all binocs like this when viewing at close distances.

 

I have already gotten used to the focus nob.  Not bad at all.  I probably won't view many things up close anyway.  Just was curious.

 

Thanks!  Mark



#88 Rich V.

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 11:17 AM

Hi, Mark, at close distances your eyes cross slightly to merge images (like reading a book) but with binoculars you have to deal with the parallax created by the spacing between the individual barrels.  You can merge the images with your eyes but the circles framed by each barrel will be a bit out of registration.  That's normal...

 

Rich



#89 Photog-2

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:44 PM

Ok thanks



#90 hakann

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 04:00 PM

I'm into get the Terra ED 25 mm or the Swarovski CL 25 mm this fall.

My dealer can get me both and he say go for the Swarros.

But as this set will be my walk hand hold bino so I'm really into the Swarro EL 32 mm.

But that is a bigger bino to wear on trek abroad, but will show me more ( and way more price and I know birders love them and I seen them in daytime = absolut great ,, but for astronomy ? )

But more pricy one will be more careful.

The Terras is really low in price.



#91 NDfarmer

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 05:25 PM

hakann, on 18 Jul 2016 - 4:00 PM, said:

I'm into get the Terra ED 25 mm or the Swarovski CL 25 mm this fall.

My dealer can get me both and he say go for the Swarros.

But as this set will be my walk hand hold bino so I'm really into the Swarro EL 32 mm.

But that is a bigger bino to wear on trek abroad, but will show me more ( and way more price and I know birders love them and I seen them in daytime = absolut great ,, but for astronomy ? )

But more pricy one will be more careful.

The Terras is really low in price.

If you use your EL 8x32 most of the time, then you will not be happy with any

of the smaller binoculars mentioned, they will be a disappointment. 

That means those will not get used much.

 

Good time to check out the Zeiss, half the price of the Swaro.  I am looking

forward to trying the Zeiss 8x25, I did try the Swaro. and the big thing with the

small ones is comfortable viewing.  They do not compare well to many larger

models.



#92 Photog-2

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 08:47 PM

I am using the Zeiss Terra 8x25s right now, but this pair is all I know - first pair of binocs in 25 years for me.  They are working fine, but are a bit challenging to get them the right distance from my eyes to stabilize the view.  From what I read here, this is just how smaller binocs are.  And $300 is a great price compared to the Swaro 8x25s.

 

If I get another pair, it might be these.



#93 hakann

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 12:02 AM

Intresting size and half price from a Swarro 32 mm. Also almost same weight/height as a EL 32 mm but this one at 42 mm.
I guss 42 mm vs astro is worth it.
My guess the Swarro EL 32 mm rock this 42 mm Nikon in daylight, but astro diameter might win - or ?
Maybe a China bino this ?

But not to pricy so a good fast and ruff buddy on trek or walk at home checking the sky.
In rewiev, keep us posted !

Nikon has a more pricy 42 mm so this might be budget 'or' new technology but normal you get what you pay for, but astro is special use..

Edited by hakann, 19 July 2016 - 12:04 AM.


#94 Erik Bakker

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 10:09 AM

for astro use, a 42mm will start to open up the Milky Way and Deep Sky in general. That said, an EL 8x32 or Habicht 8x30 will still do very well at night and is much lighter and more compact than the 42mm models.

 

Viewing comfort starts to become really nice at 30-32mm, with the EL 8x32 being better than the CL 8x30. But for extended travel/climbing, these are already on the big side. Having owned premium hand-held binoculars in 20,25,30,32,42,50 and 56mm, I find I use my Terra *x25 ED's the most.



#95 hakann

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 11:41 AM

Erik,

 

I will try to test theese smaller binos in September on a star party.

 

You can be 'little' un-carefyl whit a Terra ED 25 mm, but not whit a Swarovski EL 32 mm..

As you say even the small EL 32 mm is kind of big on trek trips, tuffer travell abroad.

 

Lets say you are up in Machu Picchu or at Lasa in Tibet or in Guatemala jungle.

You has the Terra ED 25 mm or might carry the EL 32 mm.

You might loose it, hurt it, get it stolen etc.. so what would you carry, and lets say luck on trip out there open up sky beutiful.

How much more will you see in the EL 32 mm vs the Terra ED 25 mm ;-) ?

Worth all the fuzz ?

But as I Heard astro starts at 42 mm so this smaller might not be to much argue about, or ?

 

One thinh I do know ( as I seen them ) the EL's 32 mm is wonderful in optics all way out and great in day light, but at astro ?



#96 Erik Bakker

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 04:34 PM

For astro, the biggest you can carry and hold is the size to go for. This summer, I will be traveling to the Austrian Alps and observe at altitudes between 1.150 and 3.000 m. Guess what I carry with me?

 

During the day, the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25.

At night, the Zeiss Victory FL 10x56.

 

It's that easy  :)



#97 glacier

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 02:07 PM

Just found this great forum. I'm thinking of buying some compact general use binos. Use would not be for astronomical, maybe more bird wathcing etc in a city environment. Also plans to give those for my kids to use (7 & 4 yrs) so weight also matters. I'm living in a northern Europe which means that it's quite dark out there almost half of the year.

I'm quite convinced that Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 would be nice peace of equipment, especially now when local dealers is selling that with price of 189 euros. Another option would be used Nikon Sporter EX 8x42 with half the price. It's a quite a bit bigger but if we forget physical size and only think of optical quality, usability (forgetting weight) and durability, which one you would choose?


Edited by glacier, 27 December 2016 - 02:11 PM.


#98 Erik Bakker

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 03:38 PM

Glacier, first of all a warm welcome to CloudyNights.

 

If you can buy the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 locally for € 189, I would act on that quickly. These small powerhouse binoculars have outstanding optical quality. And for that price, they are a steel. 


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#99 Erik Bakker

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 05:04 AM

A year later:

 

Zeiss has now made the Terra ED 25 country of origin easier to read  :)

 

The latest shipments have "Japan" in white on bottom of the bridge where you can easily find it, instead of molded in relief in the rubber armor that was much harder to find.

See attached picture of my Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 from the first production run on the left vs current production just in on the right.

 

Optical quality is the same and excellent. Focus wheel turn was a little more sticky and the twist lock of the eyecups locked a little less positive. But overall it very comparable in quality a year after it's introduction  :waytogo:

 

IMG_7965.jpg


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#100 Jerry Barnett

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 12:15 PM

I continue to be amazed by my Zeiss Terra 8x25's. It was actually Erik's first review of these binoculars that persuaded me to purchase them. They really do perform way above their price point. High quality optical performance for a reasonable price. 


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