Zeiss Terra ED 8×32

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I’m on a search for an 8×32 binocular, so I am reviewing the candidates in the field. My main comparisons are the Leica Ultravid BR 8×20 or Swarovski 8.5×42 FPro (yes, those are way more expensive than this pair).

Leica Ultravid 8×20 BR, Zeiss Terra HD 8×32, Swarovski 8.5×42 EL FPro

I really like the handling and size.  It is nearly as compact as the Nikon Monarch 7 8×30, but in a x32 design.  I think the optics are very good.  If it fits your face, you probably have a winner, but for me, I need to tilt it up and away from my cheekbones, so it is not a keeper.  This is, I stress, a fully subjective test and for you the design might be wonderful.

It has an impressive 5.2ft close focus distance, which is much better than the 8.2ft of the Minox BL 8×33 HD.  It is not the 3.3ft of the Meopta Meopro HD 8×32 or the Leica Trinovid HD 8×32, but it is very good.

The handling is great.  There is no play in the focuser, and it turns the right way for me — clockwise is out.  The diopter adjustment is pretty easy to use after loosening it a few turns.  My thumb saddle does hit the strap eyelet if I try to use a straight index finger to focus.  Eye relief is continuously adjustable and stiff.  Once you set it to a position, it will stay there, though if you use a position between all the way in and all the way out, there’s no way to save it.

The barrel diameter is 44.4mm at the top of the bridge to 44.6mm at the tip of the objective.  Compare that to the 39.8mm – 41.9mm of the Vanguard Endeavor II 8×32 or the 46mm of the Minox.  The Terra’s feel good, but not especially compact or large.

The eye cups do not extend far enough for me.  I measured 13.3mm from the ocular glass to the top of the eye cup when extended.  It is marginal for me and I cannot use them fully around my eye, I need to tilt them a little.  So far, the only 8x32s that truly fit me are the Minox or Meopro.

The eyecup inner diameter is 32.3, compared to 31.8mm in the Minox and 30.9mm in the Meopta.  It should be large enough for my eye, so that is why I suspect it is the eye relief distance that is a problem.

The view looks sharp, but out in the field I have trouble keeping both eyes comfortable without tilting the binoculars away from my cheek.  There is something about the design that gives my right eye problems with alignment through them, similar to the Opticron Traveller.  The Minox BL 8×33 HD or Meopta Meopro HD 8×32 are more comfortable and easier on my eyes.

There is a modest amount of flaring when used near the setting sun.  A worse than the Leica Ultravid 8×20 BR, perhaps on par with the Meopta Meopro.  Given a choice, between these, the Ultravid, and the Meopta, I would pick the Meopta for comfort and the Ultravid for flare control.  The Minox are about as comfortable as the Meopta and I think they do a better job with flare control, though still not as good as the Leica.

  • Weight: 497g (naked), 541g (with ocular and objective covers)
  • Eye cup distance: 13.3mm
  • Barrel diameter: 44.4mm – 44.6mm
  • Verdict: Not a keeper.  They are not comfortable over my eyes.  The flare when used towards the sun is a bit much for me too.

With the eye cup fully extended, the distance from the top of the eye cup to the ocular glass.