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Great optics, not so great accessories
Phil W from North Bend, Oregon
We paid $265 for a demo pair. While we're still evaluating, our initial assessment is that these are the best optics we've seen for anywhere near that price.
The focus and hinge mechanisms are also smooth, while appearing sturdy. The covering material also seems durable while providing a nice grippy feel.
These bins fell a bit heavier than the Nikon Monarchs I've carried the past 4 years, but not out of scale with the improved optics. Plus the nice contoured neckstrap pad helps distribute the weight.
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Turning to the accessories ... the field case Eagle provided is far superior to the plastic jewel display case the bins shipped in, but it's a bit too small for these bins.
The neck strap seems long enough for a moderately-sized giraffe, meaning each side is almost doubled all the way to the padded neck piece. Which is more distracting than troublesome.
The large-end lens caps are nice enough, but don't fit well in the aforementioned too-small field case. And the snap clip on one side's detachable cord broke the first time I unsnapped it.
The one-piece eyepiece lens caps would likely keep out dust and water at a molecular scale, but the tradeoff is that they're extremely tight. Which means they must be carefully teased off every time you want to view something. Or else you just leave them off, which defeats the entire point of them.
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Since the optics are the main thing, on balance we're giving these bins four stars. But you'd think Zeiss could produce a better all-around package.
Most pleased with purchase.
ROBERT WEIR from WASHINGTON, MICHIGAN
This was my first purchase through Eagle Optics. After reading many reviews from other purchasers of various brands of binoculars, I decided to buy the Zeiss Terra ED 8 x 42.
Since I normally wear eye glasses in the field, I was drawn to the comments of other purchasers who praised the quality of viewing, while adorning their eye glasses. I am most pleased with my purchase. The field of view and the clarity are everything that I could have hoped for.
Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 Binocular with field case
JUDITH S. from columbus ohio
Absolutely love these binoculars. Clear, crisp sharp pictures, easily handled and used. I have owned several brands and Zeiss Terra the very best at a good price. Also good customer service
Kathleen from Oregon
I was delighted to try the Zeiss Terra ED binoculars from a friend in March. So much better than my own pair and I was very pleasantly surprised by the price. Since I received my own pair, they have been used frequently for birding and sporting events. I am very pleased, especially in how much light comes in. Thank you.
Couldn't be better
Holly B. from Beaver Dam, WI
Really like the clarity and sharpness. Easy to focus. Lightweight. Have recommended them to a couple of birding friends. A good value for the money.
A fantastic experience
Kah H.P. from Teaneck, NJ
I bought the Zeiss Terra ED 8X42 for my wife as we will be going on safari to South Africa. We tested it and it was not too heavy for her. The 42 mm objective lens meant that images could be seen even in dim light.I had to exchange for another as the earlier one that came was defective. I called customer service and the request for the exchange went smoothly and seamlessly and lo and behold, I got the substitute within two days! Thank you Eagle Optics. I am a very satisfied customer.
excellent binoculars for the price
infrequent birdwatcher from North Dakota
I do not think one can expect more from a pair of binoculars for $350 (with case). I have Nikon Monarch 10X42 and Monarch 8x36 which I like. However, the ED Terra are brighter in low light than both Monarchs. The difference is not huge, but distinct. The image is crispier and the colors are better. It is not worth a replacement (I just needed another pair), but if one is trying to choose, I would recommend the ED Terra. They are not too heavy, stick well in hand and are overall high quality binoculars. This price segment seem to be crowded with several decent models, but I am certain that nobody will be sorry after choosing ED Terra.
From a novice birder
Alice Ham. from Austin, TX
Excellent for novice as advertised.
Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 Binocular With Free Field Case
Ken B. from Ottawa, Canada
I use binoculars for birding.
I found the clear field of view visibly restricted to the centre of the glass, then quickly getting softer.
I found that there was no lock for the diopter adjustment.
The front lens covers were not very secure.
I found the focus adjustment too coarse.
Therefore I returned the binocular.
I compared this binocular to the non-HD vortex Viper 10X50 that I have used for about 5-6 years.
I now wanted a 8x42 binocular for closer distance work to view warblers.
After returning the Ziess binocular I bought a Vortex Viper 8x42 HD binocular here in Ottawa, so I could evaluate it outside the store.
I found it had good edge to edge clarity, was quite bright and have found subsequently that they are at least a bright as my 10x50s on dull days or at dusk.
Has lock for diopter adjustment, secure front covers and finer focus control.
More expensive than the Zeiss but has the quality and functionality I need for frequent birding.
So far, so good...
Jim D. from Florida Keys
Really had hoped to find a decent pair of 7x in my price range and was really disappointed when Leupold pulled their line out of the Eagle Optics inventory, just a year or so earlier, Nikon had also ended their relationship with Eagle Optics. As the Leica 7x42 Ultravid HD and the Nikon 7x42 EDG Binoculars were well outside my budget, I was trying to choose between the Leupold 7x42 Hawthorne binoculars and (Eagle Optics) Atlas Optics Intrepid ED 7x36 Binoculars. The Leupold Hawthornes looked especially good to me, and Eagle Optics sales staff said they were a good choice for my demanding environment (sub-tropical coastline with salt air and frequent changes from air-conditioned vehicles to sweat-inducing heat and humidity).
But, placing a high value on the exceptional service I have gotten for so long from Eagle Optics, and unable to wait any longer, I ordered the Zeiss 8x42 Terra ED. Hopefully, Nikon and Leupold will reconsider.
This weekend I took them out for their trail run, volunteering to participate in a field survey for endangered Schaus' swallowtail butterflies.
So far, I am very happy with Zeiss Terra ED. They seem a bit s smaller and perhaps lighter than other (typically rubber-armored) 8x roof prisms I have held. Their minimum focus is less than 6 feet. I was half-anticipating and half-concerned about something I noticed in every on-line advertisement I had seen for the Zeiss Terra ED: the objective lenses appear to have a red tint in every photo of these binoculars. With some relief, I can say there is no red lens-coating. I am still not sure the field of view is optimal for butterfly watching (especially for small, erratic-flight species like the Cassius blue butterfly), but I'm willing to give that more time.
A great Buy for an Excellent Product
John B. from Arlington VA
Read a review of the Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars that was very favorable. The price through Eagle Optics was quite attractive and the purchase even qualified for a $50 manufacturers rebate. The bins are light, an important consideration, and the optics are excellent. No issues after a month. I would heartily recommend these bins.
George N. from United States
I was looking for a new pair of binoculars to replace my old pair that have been worn out and to my surprise I stumbled upon this guy. Upon reading the reviews I made the decision to go for it and I am not disappointed! With wildlife being my career I would recommend these binoculars to anyone looking for a decent pair to start off with.
Good for beginner or advanced birder
Angie from in Indiana
My current pair of binoculars is 10 years old and it's time for an upgrade. After reading many reviews, I ordered the Zeiss Terra binoculars - the price plus rebate (for a pair of Zeiss) makes for an exceptional bargain. I'm not an expert by any means but these are good glasses.
The Terras are lightweight binocs that feels good in the hand and would be easy to carry in the field. The clarity is crisp, the light is bright and the colors seem enhanced. As I've gotten older, I need to wear my bifocals much more often. With glasses on, the binoculars are easy to look through and there was no vignetting. The FOV was good - in fact, I preferred it over a pair of Nikon Monarch 7 which are good but just not quite as good. Overall, I would highly recommend these to anyone interested in birding.
Useful travel binos
Bill from Santa Fe, NM
I bought these relatively-inexpensive binos for a recent trip to Europe. We also have some high-end optics but didn't want to risk them on our lightweight trip to France. I reasoned that I could afford to lose a $350 pair of binos rather than a $2k pair. Our intended uses for the Zeiss Terra binos were birding, and viewing of scenery and architecture. These binos worked just fine for our applications --- they are relatively lightweight and have good brightness under the conditions we used them. We used them for a few weeks only so we haven't given them an exhaustive test, nor have we used them under demanding conditions in the field. As a spectacles-wearer, I found the eye relief good. The binos will also focus close up --- to about 5 feet.
The binos are assembled in China using Zeiss optics. Quality control seems good, judging from this pair. Other users on the Internet have kvetched about the dilution of the Zeiss brand but the strategy of a low-cost, entry-level pair of Zeiss-badged binos seems reasonable to me.
(1) The covers for the objective lenses do not fit well and they often fall off. I compensated for this flaw by shortening the retaining straps.
(2) The focus adjustment is quite sharp --- compared to my Leicas--- but not objectionable.
(3) The packaging of the binos is a bit excessive --- a big plastic box holds the binos and the accessories (case, straps, lens cleaning cloth, and a black bag the purpose of which escapes me).
Best deal for these binos
Adam from Charleston, SC
I have been watching prices on the Terras for a while and $350 is the lowest I have seen. I have been using Steiner Rallye's for ten years and the quality of the Terras is a huge advancement. Excellent clarity and definition. I would recommend these to a friend.
I love my binoculars!
Patricia C. from Whitesboro, tx
Easy and fast to focus, great color, perfect for bird watching. Packaging is completely inadequate: they arrived with the plastic packaging smashed. The binoculars appeared okay, though I was concerned. Eagle Optics' customer service was excellent, and I received a replacement the very next day. Still I would hesitate to mail order. Love the binoculars, though!
High-quality & easy to use
Taylor C. from Maryland
I ordered these to use on a Hawaiian birding trip based on a recommendation from an Eagle Optics representative. They are great and I would buy them again. They haven't fogged up and I've used them in the rain with no problem. They let in a lot of light so it is easy to see birds even in dense forest.
George K. from Lancaster, PA
Purchased the Terra 8x42 in December as a Christmas present for myself and to replace an Atlas Intrepid that ended up at the bottom of a river. The Terra is an excellent binoc for the money with optics equal to the Intrepid and with a better build quality. It is relatively small, has no focus wheel play and is well made in every aspect. Also has a very nice carry case and good lens covers. In addition, the Terra is the best binoc for glasses wearers that I have used. Excellent choice .
Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 Binocular
Paul G. from Keene, NH
They seem excellent. Bright, close focusing, and lightweight.
It's hard to believe we can get this quality in some Zeisses for this price. Hope they will stand up to our tough birding trips.
Time will tell.
I love it
Stephanie R. from United States
The binocs are terrific - very easy to use and give a great view. I use them for bird watching and they work perfectly.
Alfred R. from United States
I bought my wife the 8X42 Zeiss Terra Ed Binocs for Christmas. At first I was worried that they were going to be too heavy (based on the weight of the display packaging box they come in). Turns out that the plastic packing case is incredibly heavy and the binocs are just fine for her. Very bright and incredible detail. She loves them and now I am a bit jealous when I compare them to my Eagle Ranger ED 10X42's. They are definitely brighter.
Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 Binocular
Eve G. from Virginia
This binocular is bright and clear. Easy to focus and still relatively light weight considering the quality of the glass. I was ready to step up a notch from my Nikon Monarch but unable to afford high end binocular. When I learned that Zeiss was offering an "entry level" binocular at an affordable price, I decided to make the switch. I have not been disappointed! They are a bit heavier than the Monarch but so much brighter and clearer due to the quality of the glass. I would highly recommend these binoculars. Also very pleased with the soft case and customer service at Eagle Optics.
Zeiss Terra ED 8X42 Bins
Don G. from Schenectady, NY
I upgraded from a pair of Audobon 8X42's and didn't want to spend a lot. These have fit the bill beautifully. They feel great in my hand and perform well in the early morning and late afternoon. I'm very pleased with its light gathering glass.
Bob W. from Eugene, Oregon
The binocs are a great value and the buying experience was superb.
Great binoculars for the price
Mike from Normal, il
Great value purchase. I challenge anyone to buy a better pair for the price.
Joe S. from Lexington, KY
The ED glass is great, the size and feel of the binoculars is great. The one flaw I find is that the focus is too course. This takes some getting used to. Overall a good buy.
quaility of Terra ED Binoculars
steve t. from Belton TX
This product has lived up to its reputation. A very durable binocular with excellent clarity. For its price range it is far better than other brands which I have owned. It has also held up well when out in adverse weather. Would recommend to any one who desires to have a Zeiss product.
Diane from New Mexico
I love these binoculars! So easy and fast to focus in on the birds that flit about. And at close range, they are great too. I see the feathers with such clarity. Thank you for such a wonderful product that I will enjoy for years to come.
A Zeiss for mere mortals...
John from Southern Idaho
While trying out the new Zeiss Conquest HD, the guy at the counter said "have you heard about Zeiss's entry level binocular? And he handed me the new Zeiss Terra ED. At first blush it looks a little like the new Conquest - the black armor presentation, objective lens covers and of course the little blue Zeiss badge with the lettering under the eyepiece showing the model name. This was the 8x42 (and there is an 10x42 as well).
So what to compare it to...the Vortex Diamondback, also in 8x42 and long a favorite of mine, which I will use as a benchmark for my review.
To begin with, both binoculars have 18 mm of eye relief. The Diamondback has a close focus of 4.5 feet, while the Terra ED has 5.25 feet. The Diamondback has a field of view of 420 feet/1000 yards, while the Terra ED presents with 375 feet/1000 yards. The Diamondback weighs 25.2 ounces to the Terra ED's 25.4. Dimensions for the Diamondback (H&W) 5.9 x 5.6 inches, while the Terra ED is - by H&W - is 5.5 x 4.7 inches...smaller and it feels compact. Both are comfortable to use.
In the field: here's where I began to notice some differences. The Diamondback's field of view, while generous, is not as bright and sharp as the Zeiss. The differences are marked - with the Zeiss giving the impression that someone turned on a bright light in the field. Both the Zeiss and Diamondback give the "walked in" feeling - which means that I don't have to push the ocular lens hard into my glasses to get the full field of view. That full field with the Terra ED is sharp for 75% (plus or minus) or more of the field, and then you start to get a gradual fall off in optic performance to a soft edge. The Diamondback cannot match this...it has a clear - but not as sharp - field at 50% when compared to the Zeiss and a more pronounced fall off to very soft edges. The apparent field of view advantage of the Diamondback is minimized by the increase in the sweet spot by the Zeiss. I did not feel that I was missing anything when using it in the field. Of special note is the Terra ED's ability to resolve detail through the center of the field. It performed better than the Diamondback and compared favorably to the Vortex Viper HD in that aspect. To make it simple, the Terra ED makes for relaxed birding. I am not straining to get the full field of view and that view is pretty nice. All very subjective of course.
Some details: the Zeiss eyepieces work well, they are adjustable for those who do not wear glasses. The diopter works...not as easily as the one on the Vortex Diamondback but it gets the job done. It is hard to adjust, especially for us folks with big fingers. The focus wheel is smooth and fast. Less than a full turn from near to infinity. And no slop. The Terra comes with ocular and objective lens covers. The ocular cover works well - it does not come off easily. The objective lens covers are the same system as found on the new Conquest HD. They are...odd. I do not know why Zeiss didn't stick with the system they used on the Victory series and which are found on many of their competitors binoculars - the rubber band around the barrel and the cover attached. Finally, the strap attachments are further down towards the objective lens than on the benchmark (the Diamondback), if you have big hands, they will interfere with your grip.
A big gripe: Zeiss sends a "soft cover," to put the binocular in instead of a carrying case. My opinion is that they should include the carrying case...period. Yes...you can get one by sending in a request and paying a shipping charge for what should have come with the optic to begin with.
Yet...despite my grumps, I really like this binocular. The Zeiss Terra ED is a good binocular with great optics - fully multi-coated lenses with Zeiss proprietary lens coatings, Schott ED glass - extra low dispersion glass, and is phase corrected for a great center field view - there, all the buzzwords in one sentence! The Terra ED's great strength is the exceptional optics for a moderate price. Four and a half stars.
Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 Excellent Quality & Value
Barry R. from Florida
Calling the Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars a nice entry level binocular, is like calling a BMW a nice entry level car. These binoculars are better quality than 95% of birders will ever need. The biggest difference between the Zeiss Terra ED and the Zeiss Victory FL 8x42 (a top of the line model over $2K) is the brightness of the image. If you compare the Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 vs. the Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42 (for years the Nikon Monarch has been considered by many as the best binocular in terms of value}, the Zeiss Terra has some advantages. The Zeiss Terra has an amazing close focus. The Zeiss Terra ED has better eye piece rain guards and better lens caps, both the only thing Monarch users chronically found to complain about. Zeiss includes a soft pouch and depending on who you purchase it from, the same quality carrying case that come with more expensive Zeiss Conquest binoculars. For this price range Zeiss will give Nikon a serious challenge for market share in a niche formerly dominated by Nikon. In my opinon, there are no better binoculars than the Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 in the under $400 price range. They have my highest recommendation.