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Binoculars review

Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T*

Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T*
19 March 2010
Optyczne.pl 
The new line of the Conquest binoculars was launched at the beginning of the 21st century. It consists of roof prism models with the following parameters: 8x30, 10x30, 8x40, 10x40, 12x45, 15x45, 8x50, 10x50, 8x56 and 10x56. The producer gave up using very expensive fluorite glass, the field of view was narrowed down a bit and the assembly was moved to the Hungarian Zeiss factory in MßtÚszalka near Debrecen. The changes resulted in a significant price reduction – this series of binoculars is often twice cheaper than the Victory series produced entirely in Germany. Their parameters and the quality of used materials are still impressive, though: 4 element objective lenses, all air-to-glass surfaces covered by T* antireflection multicoatings, high quality roof prisms put in the Abbe-Koenig system, which is optically very efficient, and P* phase correction coatings. Additionally, the binoculars are shockproof, waterproof and nitrogen-filled.
Pictures
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T*
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T*
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T*
  • Lornetka Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T*
Manufacturer data

Manufacturer:

Carl Zeiss
web site

Distribution / Sales:

Olbrycht Trade sp. z.o.o.
web site

Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 40 105/1000(6o) BaK-4/roof 16 mm 810 g 3475 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   40+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  40+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 9.81+/- 0.2x 3/3.0
Transmission 92+/- 3% 19.5/25.0
Chromatic aberration Medium in the centre and at the edge. 5.2/10.0
Astigmatism Low. 8.4/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius : 25% +\- 4% 2/10.0
Coma Negligible. 9.2/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 81% +\- 5% from the field of view centre. 6/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Low. 4.2/5.0
Whiteness of the image Light but distinct yellow. 3.6/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T* - Internal reflections - Left Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T* - Internal reflections - Right
Very low.
4.5/5.0
Housing Super solid and handy at the same time. Regulated eyecups. Heavy. Lack of objectives caps. 7.7/8.0
Focusing Central screw is comfortable. The right eyepiece focusing through a wheel positioned in the usual place of a tripod exit. 4.8/5.0
Tripod There is a possibility of using a brand-name tripod foot. 2/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 53 to 74.3mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 2.30 m. 1.5/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 59.2 deg (according to simple formula) and 54.9 deg (according to tangent formula). 10/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.06 +\- 0.03 degrees and was in full accordance with the specifications. 5.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black and matt. Bottom black and only minimally shiny. Without any dust but you can notice some grease on the cell with prisms. 4.8/5.0
Vignetting
Left: Right:
Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T* - Vignetting - Left Carl Zeiss Conquest 10x40 T* - Vignetting - Right
No. OL: 0.0%, OR: 0.0%.
8/8.0
Prisms quality High quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Purple-pink on objectives. Pink-orange on prisms and eyepieces. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 10 4.5/6.0
Final result
76.5%
12th place in the overall ranking of the 10x42 binoculars test.
145.4 / 190 pkt
Econo result 32nd place in the econo ranking of the 10x42 binoculars test. -0.4pkt.

Summary


Pros:
  • solid and handy housing, comfortable to hold
  • exemplary corrected coma,
  • low astigmatism,
  • low brightness loss at the edge,
  • very good transmission,
  • high quality Abbe-Koenig prisms made of BaK-4 glass,
  • excellent antireflection coatings,
  • very good blackening inside the inner tubes,
  • circular and untruncated exit pupils,
  • low flares.

Wady:
  • high distortion.


From among three the most reputable companies currently present on the binoculars market, namely Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss, the tactics of the latter took out fancy the most. If you want to buy a Leica roof prism 42 mm instrument you can choose between a Trinovid and an Ultravid. Both of them cost over 1500 USD and the price difference is slight. If you can afford the one, you can also afford the other – there’s practically no choice then. In the case of Swarovski the situation is similar, only the prices are higher – when it comes to SLC and EL models we speak about the price class of about 2000 USD.

The Zeiss used another tactics. The best and the most expensive Victory series costs abou 2000 USD. The company took into account the fact that not everybody can foot such a bill and, by and large, everyone would like to own a set of binoculars with the Zeiss logo on the casing. The company launched the Conquest series, with a bit worse parameters than the Victory but twice cheaper. If you can’t afford a 2000 USD equipment, you don’t have to give up your dream about a Zeiss and you can start saving up for a Conquest. A very sensible approach, especially that our test proved the 10x40 Conquest to be a very well-made instrument with just one flaw – the high distortion level – and plenty of other advantages plus several categories with near average results. It is indeed a set of binoculars worth your interest. High quality product with excellent optics made by a reputable company and the price is twice lower than that of the most expensive devices in this class. Undoubtedly it is one of the more interesting options on the market.

It is worth drawing one more comparison at the end. There’s a pair of binoculars on the market with the same parameters, made by an equally reputable manufacturer and even a tad cheaper than the Zeiss. We speak of course about a Swarovski Habicht 10x40 which test score is a bit worse than the Conquest’s. Although the score and the price are very much alike, the instruments couldn’t have been more different. The Swarovski is a Porro construction, physically light and classic to the extreme - it was designed in 1949. The Conquest is a heavier roof prism instrument and one of the Zeiss stable’s newest designs. Those differences are also a reason why both devices will find their fans. Perhaps equally good results of significantly cheaper binoculars like an Olympus EXWP I, a Vortex Viper or a Kowa will be also food for thought for everyone.