Here is a first picture of my new Zeiss Pocket 8x25's in their sealed box that I opened yesterday
Zeiss from Japan. What is the world coming too?
I see this happening everywhere from the former "alpha", and I use that term loosely, binocular companies in Europe. As these companies compete against Chinese optics that continue to get better and better on the high end, I'm sure it's killing companies like Zeiss and forcing them to look at less expensive ways of manufacturing. I have some binoculars from China that I cannot find any sensible defects in at $500. Why oh why, would I spend $3000 for the same binocular, but only with Germany written on it?
In fact, I recently had an issue with a Zeiss Conquest HD binocular from Germany. I paid $1000 for it 4 years ago and wanted to see if the Zeisses were that much better than the others I have. They weren't, but it satisfied my curiosity. I hadn't used it in about a year, and when I removed it from my climate controlled environment, my bedroom closet where they are kept, they had a white powder coating all over them. When I rubbed it, you could feel what I thought was some of the original rubber coating coming off. Ahhh! I was told to use some glycerin on them to remove the powdered coating, which seems to have worked okay. I shouldn't have to do that with quality binoculars.
And before everyone jumps on me and says they weren't made in Germany, like they have before, I will post pictures of the "Made in Germany" on the box AND on the binoculars themselves. If that's not proof enough, I invite the person doing the jumping to prove that their Zeiss Victorys are actually entirely made in Germany. Or better yet, tell me what percentage of the Conquest HDs and Victorys are made in Germany. I'm guessing only Zeiss knows that.
Another little tidbit. I purchased a binocular microscope about 5 years ago as well for around $250. They were made in China and are perfect for what I needed. The manufacturer had a picture of their assembly line with the brand I bought, right next to the line that was making the Zeiss microscopes, for which Zeiss probably was charging thousands of dollars.