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Zeiss Conquest 8x32 Users - How's Your Focus Wheel?

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#1 tmichaelbanks

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 05:47 PM

Hello fellow CNers, I'm looking for some feedback here.

 

I just purchased a Zeiss Conquest 8x32.  The first unit shipped had a very stiff focus wheel, so much so it hampered fine focusing.  I sent it back and the replacement unit is near perfect:  clean exterior, VERY sharp optics, everything Mr. Roger Vine described in his review:  http://scopeviews.co...quest8x32HD.htm.

 

EXCEPT...

 

The focuser on the replacement unit is very smooth, but it appears to have some play.  It's smooth enough to slide right into a sharp focus snap from either direction.  BUT if you miss the focus snap point and reverse direction you have to overshoot and come back from the opposite direction.  Applying a small amount of force for a little nudge moves the focus wheel a little bit but does not change the focus.  I probably could learn to live with it, especially if my prospects for getting a unit without the play are low.

 

Sooo, I really like the ergonomics and the view is outstanding, BUT I'd like to hear from those of you who have this model and if you've had any trouble with your focuser.

 

Thanks,

Mike B.



#2 sydney

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 08:15 PM

I have the 8x42 and have looked for backlash and free-play in the focus wheel and found none. It snaps to focus with no fuss. Play in the focuser would annoy me.

#3 CSG

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 03:20 AM

It's good enough that it's never been an issue or crossed my mind.  The eyecups however...



#4 Pinac

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 04:21 AM

Reading posts like the one here from Mike B., I am always amazed about how much difference there is in focusing quality between different samples of one and the same binocular model.

Probably an indication how complicated these modern internal focusing mechanisms have become when even the top of the range binos from the big 3 (less so in my experience for Nikon, but that is just my personal experience) exhibit such a variety in their mechanics.

 

My own Conquest HD 8x32 has a butter-smooth focuser with zero play, very good and even better than on many of my other Zeiss models.

 

The behaviour you describe, Mike, with the play of the focusing wheel when changing direction of rotation can be very annoying. It's always a hassle to have to send an instrument in for service, but with a Zeiss, I would not hesitate to do it.

 

Pinac



#5 Binojunky

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 10:48 AM

I have an earlier Conquest 8x30, focus is fine with no issues, from the information  I glean from the Internet the Alpha brands seem to give more issues than the prices they ask should allow, maybe its like a lot of things in life where QC has been allowed to slip a tad over the quest for the almighty buck?, Dave.



#6 tmichaelbanks

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 11:47 AM

Thank you everyone for your responses.  It certainly appears that my particular unit is defective with regard to the play in the focuser.  Thank you as well Pinac, I was hoping to hear from you. I know you have a lot of binocular experience in general, but you also have experience with many Zeiss models over the years.

 

The focuser on my Conquest 8x32 is also buttery smooth, much more so than on my Nikon HG 10x42 for example.  As a practical matter, the focuser smoothness and the sharp focus snap of the 8x32 sort of compensate for the focuser play.  In use, sliding into a sharp focus snap can usually be achieved without reversing direction.  Everything else about the unit is fine, and the view is even good enough to make me consider giving up my HG 10x42.

 

Zeiss has modified their warranty since the last time I checked.  There is now a 5-year "no fault" period, followed by a lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects only.  If the play gets worse I suppose I can always send it in for service.

 

Does anyone know if you have to pay for shipping to get Zeiss service for warranty repairs from the U.S., and if so how much it might cost?



#7 tmichaelbanks

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 12:56 PM

Well, I just put this issue to an equitable end.

 

I really like the binoculars overall and didn't want to send them back in the hopes of getting another pair with a tighter focuser.  I called the Zeiss customer service center in Kentucky and was told that "tightening up focuser motion is a routine repair" that can be done at the Kentucky center, i.e., without having to send it to Germany.  I was also told that this type of issue is indeed considered a manufacturing defect and would be handled under Zeiss' limited lifetime warranty.  I would only be responsible for shipping and insurance to the Kentucky service center.

 

With that information I contacted my salesperson at Sport Optics.  I proposed that if they credit me $35 for the shipping and insurance that I would keep this pair rather than send it back in the hopes that exchange for another pair would be better.  If the focuser play increases further I can send it in and have it adjusted under warranty.

 

I'm happy with this arrangement, and also happy with the treatment from Zeiss customer service.  A very pleasant representative picked up my call on the first ring and gave me assurance that this particular focuser issue could be taken care of.

 

Thank you all very much for your replies, and best wishes for a pleasant and safe holiday season, one with clear and steady skies.


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