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How to Choose the Best Zeiss Binoculars: A 2019 Buying Guide

By VB Team / March 22, 2017
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One of the best ways to choose a great pair of binoculars is by choosing a reliable brand. Zeiss binoculars are known for having some of the best optics around. Even so, choosing between their many pairs can be a difficult and daunting task.

Zeiss has been in the optics business since the 1800s, so they have had lots of time to perfect their craft. In doing so, they have positioned themselves at the top of the many binocular brands. They also make medical optic devices and space telescopes.

First Choice  

AMAREY ZEISS 524206-0000-000 Terra Binoculars (10 x 42mm) by Zeiss

 ZEISS 524206-0000-000 Terra Binoculars (10 x 42mm) by Zeiss $$$ 4.8/5
Second Choice   

Zeiss 10x42 Conquest HD Binocular with LotuTec Protective Coating (Black)

Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars 10x42 $$ 4.5/5
Third Choice   

ZEISS Victory SF 8x42 Binocular, Gray and Black

  Zeiss Victory SF 8x42 Binocular, Gray and Black $$$ 4.5/5
Fourth Choice   

Zeiss 10x42 TERRA ED Water Proof Roof Prism Binocular with 6.3 Degree Angle of View, 16mm

  Zeiss 10x42 TERRA ED Water Proof Roof Prism Binocular $$$ 4.5/5

Since they have been around for so long, Zeiss offers a large variety of binoculars to choose from. Choosing does not need to be a taxing task, however. By following a simple guide and reading some Zeiss binoculars reviews, you will certainly find the best pair for you.

How to choose the best Zeiss binoculars:

Choosing the best binoculars in general largely depends on what you are personally looking for. Choosing the best Zeiss binoculars is no different. It is important to consider your expectations and needs prior to making a purchase. There is an option out there for everyone.

An important consideration is the price you are willing to pay. Because they offer such a large variety, Zeiss binoculars also come in a variety of price points. Determining what you are willing to pay in advance will help you narrow the options and pick the best pair for you.

Another consideration to make is the type of activity you plan on using the binoculars for. For instance, if you plan on birdwatching, a fast focus is crucial. If you plan on stargazing, however, you will need something different. Make sure to know what you need for your lifestyle.

What to look for in good Zeiss binoculars:

The first thing to look for in good Zeiss binoculars is the image quality. Though Zeiss is known for crisp, clear optics, there is some variation across price points. One way to ensure you are buying the best option is by reading Zeiss binocular reviews if you cannot test them out.

Secondly, look for Zeiss binoculars with comfortable eye cups and eye pieces. This will ensure that you can comfortably use the binoculars all day. It is also extremely important for people who wear glasses. If the eye cups are not made correctly, it can be very uncomfortable.

The third thing to look for in good Zeiss binoculars is durability. Make sure the pair you are purchasing will last you a good long time. You do not want to invest money into something that will not last a good long time. Ensure you only go through the choosing process once.

Zeiss Terra 10x42 ED Binoculars:

Zeiss Terra 10x42 ED Binoculars (Black)


If you are looking for a relatively affordable option for Zeiss binoculars, the Zeiss Terra 10×42 ED Binoculars are an excellent option. They offer the same excellent optics as the more expensive Zeiss binoculars, but at a fraction of the price tag.

One nice feature of these binoculars is that they are extremely comfortable to hold and use. The ergonomic design of the binoculars is comfortable and simple to use, both for people with larger hands and those with smaller hands. The eye pieces also provide adjustable comfort.

The focus and adjustment features of the Terra ED Binoculars also make them stand out from the pack. They focus smoothly and easily, allowing you to keep a steady view of your target. Combined with the crystal clear image quality, these binoculars are an excellent buy.

The lens caps do pose a bit of an issue for these binoculars, though. They are fairly finicky and of a lesser quality than the other components. Additionally, they are pretty loose, which means your lenses might be open to scratches.

Another potential drawback are the rubber eye cups. Though they are very comfortable and adjustable for everyone, they wear out quickly. With repeated adjustments over time, the eye cups get worn out, loose, and adjust farther than they should, weakening them.

Even with the couple setbacks, the Zeiss Terra 10×42 ED Binoculars are still a great buy. While they incorporate the wonderful glass and optics that Zeiss is known for, they come in at a fraction of the cost. They are a great, affordable way to break into the quality binocular sphere.

Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars 10x42:

Zeiss 10x42 Conquest HD Binocular with LotuTec Protective Coating (Black)



If you are willing to pay a bit more than the previous option, the Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars 10×42 are another excellent choice. They come in at a mid-range price point for Zeiss binoculars and offer a few more features than lower end options.

One especially wonderful feature of these binoculars is that they are totally waterproof. If you plan on using the binoculars outside, hiking, or on a boat, they will be protected. They also are entirely armored so they are protected from drops.

The image quality is also crystal on these binoculars. The colors are true, the image is sharp, crisp, and bright consistently. Even in low light environments, these binoculars will not disappoint. On top of that, they have a protective layer on the lenses to protect from scratches.

As with the previous pair, however, the eye cups are less than ideal. They are likely the least durable part of the binocular build overall. With repeated adjustments, the rubber wears out, cracks, and eventually detaches from the binocular body. This is not ideal.

The other downside is the sensitivity of the focus knob. While it can be an asset to have a simple focus, the focus on these binoculars is very touchy. This means that a slight bump while in use can throw off your focus easily.

Despite the couple drawbacks, the pros of the Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars 10×42 far out way any cons. The optics will not disappoint. Plus, the added protection to the lenses, rubber armor, and waterproofing will keep these binoculars working for years to come.

Zeiss Under Arm ED Binoculars 8x32:

ZEISS Under Arm ED Binoculars, 8 x 32



The Zeiss Under Arm ED Binoculars come in at around the same price point as the Terras, but offer some different features to appeal to other buyers. These binoculars have a rugged feel and are durable for all your adventures.

Aesthetically speaking, these binoculars are very pleasing to look at. They are, however, also ergonomically designed for comfortable use. The construction is sturdy without feeling bulky, making them a pleasure to hold and use for longer periods of time.

Another nice feature is that they can focus at relatively close distances. This is an especially important aspect for birdwatchers. It can be a real disadvantage to lose clarity when a bird flutters too close to your position. These do not have that issue.

One significant disadvantage of these binoculars is the included case. The case they come with is too loose to be protective in any meaningful way. Also, the case does not close tightly, which could lead to dropping your brand new binoculars on the grounds while carrying them.

Depending on your preference, the weight of these binoculars can be a significant con. At well over two pounds in weight, these are not for the faint of heart (or arms). If you are looking for something for extended use, these may be rather tiring.

In the grand scheme of things, the downsides of the Zeiss Under Arm ED Binoculars 8×32 are far outweighed by the value overall. The image quality does not disappoint, especially in close range. They are an especially good choice for birdwatchers.

Zeiss 10x42 TERRA ED Waterproof Roof Prism Binocular with 6.3 Degree Angle of View:

Zeiss 10x42 TERRA ED Water Proof Roof Prism Binocular with 6.3 Degree Angle of View, 16mm



If you are looking for an excellent pair of sports binoculars, the Zeiss 10×42 TERRA ED Waterproof Roof Prism Binocular with 6.3 Degree Angle of View are the right choice. They have 10X magnification at only two pounds of weight, which cannot be beaten.

The brightness of the image quality is really where these binoculars can shine. While the crispness and clarity of the image is about the same as other Zeiss binoculars in the same price bracket, the brightness level of these is truly outstanding for the lower price point.

The eye relief is also very nice on these binoculars. They advertise 16mm eye relief, which accommodates both people who wear glasses and those who do not. No matter your eyesight needs, these binoculars will be comfortable all day.

One potential drawback is that the eye relief is not quite as extensive as advertised. While they are advertised as 16mm eye relief, they are closer to 14mm. While this is still extensive, it is not as much relief as advertised initially. Keep this in mind when purchasing.

The other setback is that the lens caps are a lesser quality than the binoculars as a whole. The main issue is that they are too loose, so they fall off when in use. This could expose your binocular lenses to scratches and damages.

Despite some minor setbacks, the Zeiss 10×42 TERRA ED Waterproof Roof Prism Binoculars with 6.3 Degree Angle of View are still a great choice. The image quality is really lovely on these binoculars and the eye relief will keep you comfortable all day long.

Zeiss 524206-0000-000 Terra Binoculars 10x42:

AMAREY ZEISS 524206-0000-000 Terra Binoculars (10 x 42mm) by Zeiss



The Zeiss 524206-0000-000 Terra Binoculars are another viable option at a mid-range price point. It will come as a surprise to no one that the optics quality on these binoculars is truly superior. Zeiss does not mess around when it comes to image and optic quality.

One nice feature of these binoculars is that the focus wheel is oversized. This means that you can easily find and operate it quickly and without needing to take your eyes off of your target. The larger focus wheel lets you focus on the view, not on adjustments.

These binoculars are also waterproof. You can easily use them in any weather or in any environment without worrying about damaging them. For outdoor explorers, boaters, or even birdwatchers, the waterproofing is an invaluable asset to have at your disposal.

One significant downside of these binoculars is that they do not come with a protective carrying case. Instead, they come with a plastic display case. While this is a nice addition, it will not protect your binoculars while you are carrying them around.

Another drawback is the weight. These binoculars come in at over three pounds – by far the heaviest of the options covered thus far. While this makes them durable, it can also be very tiring if you plan on using them for any extended period of time.

If you are alright with the weight, though, the other setbacks are easy to overlook. The benefits of the Zeiss 524206-0000-000 Terra Binoculars 10×42 make them a great buy. You will not be disappointed by the image quality and easy focusing abilities.

Zeiss Victory SF 8x42 Binocular:

ZEISS Victory SF 8x42 Binocular, Gray and Black


If you are looking for something at the top of the line, the Zeiss Victory SF 8×42 Binoculars are a wonderful option. They are near the top end of the price spectrum of Zeiss binoculars for good reason. The image quality is truly phenomenal.

The physical design of these binoculars make them noticeable in the crowd. Because there is a wide open area between the two sides, your hands have more room to grasp around. This offers better stability and more comfortable ergonomics.

As far as optics goes, you cannot really get a better pair of binoculars. When it comes to glass quality, the price you pay does make a difference. The quality of light and sharpness is unsurpassable. Even in low light conditions, you will not be disappointed.

One downside is the strap included with the binocular purchase. It really does not hold up to the quality of the binoculars themselves. The strap is fairly flimsy, which could mean the binoculars fall. At the high price point, having a strong strap is essential.

For some, the price tag can also be very daunting. If you are just beginning your foray into binoculars, these might be a bit out of your price range. You do, however, get what you pay for often. These, at the very least, will provide nearly perfect optical quality.

If you are willing to pay the higher price, the Zeiss Victory SF 8×42 Binoculars are an excellent choice. They have the highest quality glass available with an interesting and modernistic design. They provide an excellent quality all around.

Carl Zeiss Victory FL Binoculars 10x42:

ZEISS Carl Victory FL Binoculars (10x42)



For those scared away by the price tag on the previous pair, the Carl Zeiss Victory FL Binoculars offer a great alternative. They are still at a pretty pricey point, but they are a step below the previous option, making them a bit more accessible to the average buyer.

One especially nice feature of these binoculars is that they are waterproof and have a nitrogen-filled housing. This keeps them dry in the rain, but also keeps them from fogging. Even in humid conditions, the lenses will remain clear and fog-free.

The focusing knob is also a feature. It is super sensitive, allowing you to make tiny adjustments, never surpassing your targeted focus level. The focus is also extremely smooth so that it will not jump as you focus. Some focusing knobs shake a bit, but these do not.

These binoculars, however, are not totally without issue. One setback is the feel of the material the binoculars are made from. While there is a rubber coating armor on the binoculars, they feel more plastic-like than rubber and anti-slip.

Another drawback is the locking mechanism on the eye pieces. With repeated use, it tends to break before the rest of the binoculars even begin to wear out. At the higher price point, these breaking should really not happen at all.

Despite the couple drawbacks, the image quality of the Carl Zeiss Victory FL Binoculars is superb. For those looking to get top of the line binoculars at a slightly lower price point, these are a top notch choice for all conditions and pursuits.

Zeiss 524205 Binoculars:

ZEISS 524205 Binoculars



The Zeiss 524205 Binoculars are another solid choice for more affordable binoculars. They are also waterproof with excellent optics, so they do not leave the important qualities behind while keeping the price down. They are a valuable choice.

One very nice feature of these binoculars is that they are lightweight. While other options come in over two pounds, these remain at about a pound and a half. If you plan on carrying them with you on a long hike, that lightweight status is invaluable.

The image quality of these binoculars is also consistently bright, clear, and true to color. Even in low light conditions, the image quality is still great. Additionally, the image quality stays true even in close range, an important factor for bird and nature watchers.

Like many other pairs of binoculars, the lens covers leave a lot to be desired on these binoculars. They are far too loose to be helpful and are not made of a durable material. Not only could they fall off while in use, but they may also simply break down over time.

Another downside is that these binoculars often fog in humid conditions. While waterproofing helps a bit, fog proofing is a valuable feature. A feature, unfortunately, that these binoculars are lacking. They may not be best for boaters.

At the end of the day, given the affordable price tag, the Zeiss 524205 Binoculars are still a decent choice. The optic quality, which is the real draw of binoculars, is superb. Even with the setbacks, these binoculars are still a good bang for your buck.

Carl Zeiss Optical Inc. Victory RF Binoculars 10x45:

ZEISS Carl Optical Inc Victory RF Binoculars (10x45 T RF)



If you want to go with the very top of the line option, the Carl Zeiss Optical Inc. Victory RF Binoculars 10×45 cannot be beaten. They offer the best of the best optical quality that Zeiss makes along with many spectacular features thrown in.

One of the best features of these binoculars is the laser rangefinder. For people planning on using their binoculars for marine trips, this feature is priceless. Plus, the Victory RF rangefinder allows you to set it for both ballistic curve and sight-in distance independently.

Also, these binoculars cannot be surpassed in low light conditions. While not true night vision binoculars, the image quality is crystal clear in any light setting. They will transition from morning to afternoon to evening right along with you without losing image quality.

One significant downside to these binoculars is the blocky design. For smaller hands, these binoculars will likely feel clumsy and a bit ungainly. They are also quite heavy at over two pounds. They are not the most compact or portable of binocular choices.

Another issue depending on your desired use is that the rangefinder becomes less accurate after about 1,200 yards. Prior to this point, however, the rangefinder is extremely accurate. It is unfortunate that it lacks accuracy at farther distances, though.

If you are willing to pay the higher price tag, the Carl Zeiss Optical Inc. Victory RF Binoculars 10×45 will not disappoint in the optics department. Also, even though they are not without negatives, having the added rangefinder is an excellent and valuable resource.


At the end of the day, regardless of your price range and needs, Zeiss binoculars are top notch. To find the best Zeiss binoculars for your needs, it is important to do your research prior to purchasing. There are dozens of options to choose for – something for everyone.

Before heading out to purchase a pair, make sure to read Zeiss binoculars reviews. This ensures that you can make an informed choice. Quality binoculars do not often come cheaply, so it is important to purchase something you will love for many years to come.

Once you have weighed your own personal needs and desires and read some reviews, you should find the best Zeiss binoculars for your needs. They offer a wide range of price points, features, and perks for everyone’s individual needs.

About the author

VB Team

Vision Binoculars Team is a team of individuals dedicated to providing the most up to date information on Binoculars and other optic's related items.

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