We just finished up our review of the Zeiss Terra ED.
It is amazing to me that several other review companies have called these the product of the year. Just do not agree.
Here are our thoughts.
Zeiss Terra ED Binoculars are a lightweight lowers cost binocular (compared to other ZEISS) that have a focus from 5.25 feet to infinity.
This binocular is targeted for the Hunting, birdwatching, and recreational enthusiast.
Just the Facts:
TERRA ED 10×42
Magnification 10 x
Effective Lens Diameter 42 mm
Exit Pupil Diameter 4.2 mm
Twilight Factors 20.5
Field of View at 1000 yd 330 ft
Subjective Viewing Angle 60 °
Close Focus in Ft 5.25 ft
Diopter Adjustment Range + | 4 dpt
Pupil Distance 57.5 – 76 mm
Eye Relief 14 mm
Lens Type HD-Type
Water Resistance 100 mbar
Nitrogen Filling yes
Functional Temperature in °F -14 | +171 °F
Height in Inch 5.5 inch
Width in Inch
at an eye width of 65 mm 4.7 inch
Weight in Use in oz 25.4 oz
Order Number 524206
Zeiss is NOT known for making binoculars in the mid to low price range ($400 or less) They are however known for making some of the very best optics! They are an outstanding company that has been making Optics, and optoelectronics, for many years. They produce some of the finest glass and coatings in the world.
I was very excited to see Zeiss come out with a binocular in the $400 price range, this binocular can be purchased for $339-$399 in many online and physical store locations.
This price puts the Zeiss in direct competition with several binoculars from popular glass companies such as:
Nikon, Vortex, and Leupold binoculars, typically an area that Zeiss has stayed out of.
On receiving the binoculars, I immediately put them to the test in the field. I had been asked to help on a late season elk hunt in the state of Utah. My first day alone, I glassed for 3 hours with the new Zeiss Terra EDs. I made sure that I gave the binoculars a good run through over the course of the next several weeks.
I carried the binocular around in a bino harness from Horn Hunter.
I spent time glassing out of a car window (not my favorites), I glassed from my hiking vantage points, I also used them with and without a tripod. I added up the hours…by the time we were ready to hunt I had used the binoculars for over 32 hours.
I used them as mentioned in a variety of settings and ways.
I glassed early in the day, late at night and during the mid day. I gave them a thorough test! Up close, far away, on hiking trips, from a car, and with and without the use of some stabilizer.
Here is what I found:
-The binocular is ergonomically very good. If fits in your hands very well, feel comfortable against your eyes, and in your hands, and they are LIGHT.
-The eye cups are well made, and can extend out, or in, based on preference.
-The focus is VERY fine, and a little finicky. I felt they were a little harder than other binos to get focused, and were very sensitive.
-The biggest surprise, and the largest disappointment, was the clarity of the glass. The very center of the binocular view is crisp and clear, however there was distortion around the edges, and a halo was present that circled the view.
As mention earlier, the name Zeiss is typically associated with high prices, but outstanding products. I had hoped that the move into the less expensive binoculars would give me Zeiss clarity and quality at this lower price.
I did not find this to be true, the binocular has clarity issues, and did not meet my expectation of what I expected out of Zeiss. Frankly they did not meet my expectations related to a $400 pair of binoculars.
If you are looking to spend $400 on a pair of binoculars, I would look elsewhere. I feel better glass can be found in this price range from a number of other binoculars.
What they could do better:
Improve the clarity, or drop the price. The clarity compared to a $100 pair of binoculars.
Improve the sensitivity of the focus, it is just too finicky.