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Thread: New Zeiss Diascope+Zoom, or stick with Leica?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Question New Zeiss Diascope+Zoom, or stick with Leica?

    I have been using a Kowa TSN-3 Prominar 77mm with 20W (with Slik D2) for years and think it is time for an upgrade. Ideas are to reduce weight and have higher magnification possibilities still with good optical quality.
    From what reviews and comments I can find (and price deals currently available) I am leaning towards a new Leica with 20-50.
    The Zeiss DiaScope came off behind Leica/Swaro/Kowa in previous reviews, but what about the new version (all black) and the new 20-75/15-56 zoom?
    I can't find any experience or comments.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member michael23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    derbyshire uk


    I have looked through the new diascope back at the rutland bird fair, and I was very impressed with it, In my eyes the new zeiss was one of the best scopes I looked through, the zoom eyepiece was brilliant, retaining its sharpness all the way through to 75x, colour and contrast at all magnifications was also brilliant, and I can only say the same for the brightness, to me the leica is a superb scope, but personally I wouldnt be able to justify the extra cost. For what the zeiss offers in terms of quality and zoom flexibility, it is deffinately worth checking out. Hope this is of some help,

  3. #3
    Senior Member SzimiStyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Milton Keynes, UK


    I recommend two options. One is to try the updated Swarovski HD 80 which is a very light scope with outstanding optical performance.
    The other affordable option is the KOWA TSN-883. That is a fantastic product with so much lights gathering and having the largest front lens diameter.

    I tried both and currently using the Swaro which is a perfect support for my daily birding.

    Cheers, Szimi
    Gyorgy Szimuly
    The New Shorebirds Handbook
    Personal blog:
    Skype: thenewshorebirds
    Location: Milton Keynes, UK

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    Thanks a lot for the helpful comments.
    I'm in Germany at the moment, and there is an interesting price situation (all new with wide-zooms):

    Leica 65 + zoom = €1530 (~1300)
    New Zeiss 65 + zoom = €1900 (~1600)
    Swa 65HD + zoom = €2230 (~1900)

    Leica 82 + zoom = €2125 (~1800)
    New Zeiss 85 + zoom = €2255 (~1900)
    Swa 80HD + zoom = €2840 (~2400)
    Kowa 883 + zoom = €2840 (~2400)

    On price grounds swa/kowa are ruled out I think, although I'm sure they're great scopes. If I go for a 65 scope the leica price seems unbeatable. But how will the optical performance compare - a modern 65 with the old 77mm kowa prominar?
    If I should stick with a larger scope, the leica and zeiss compete. The zeiss zoom power is interesting, but the question is the optical quality compared to the leica. The zeiss is also nearly 500g heavier I think.
    If I change the tripod, the weight issue may be resolved to an extent but nonetheless..
    I'll be back in the UK soon but prices there don't seem that inviting (although I noticed some advertising the older swa ats65hd+zoom ~1600, ats80hd+zoom ~2040).
    What do you think, with that info in mind?
    Last edited by Shyal; December 19th, 2010 at 09:34 PM.

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