Best Leica or Zeiss Scope and Binoculars for Eyeglass wearer

Kenneth McMillan

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I am looking to purchase a new scope either a Leica or Zeiss Scope and Binoculars, however I wear glasses all the time as I am short sighted but have still managed to shoot and hit the target with a scope but I have to hold the binoculars slightly off my glasses to be able to see. What I would like to know is what scope and binoculars would be best for a shooter with glasses.
 

Bushpig4Ever

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I never had Leica scopes but plenty from Zeiss. All worked. Since more than 30 years I have a 8x40 Leitz and a 8x56 Zeiss. Perfect with glasses. Buy whatever you want, all are usable with glasses.
 

Ray B

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I'd have to check on Zeiss, Leica construction, however the various scopes that I have seen are adjustable for vision correction. Adjustment is done by turning the ocular housing on the threaded portion of the main tube, thus increasing or decreasing the distance from the ocular lens to the other lenses. Remove your glasses, have the scope sitting in a solid position where you may look through it at a distant object. With ocular lens turned as close as possible to the other lenses, i.e. turned to the end of the threaded portion, look through the scope and begin turning the ocular toward your eye (generally it is a left hand(counter-clockwise) turning). Initially the view will be very blurred but as the lens is turned the view will come into focus. Part of the focusing will be done by your eye, so it is necessary to stop looking through the scope, let your eyes adjust to "normal" then look through the scope. The process is repeated until you have fine tuned the position of the ocular so that when you initially look through it, things including the reticle will be in sharp focus. The diopter added or subtracted that is equivalent to your eye glasses will have been added to your scope, so no glasses would be needed.
 

flatwater bill

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Kenneth...........you asked the right question. Many ask, "what is the best........"?.............but there is no "best". there is only what is best for you. You said "short sighted" by which I assume you mean "near sighted" or myopic......If your refractive error (prescription correction) is not worse than -6.0 diopters, and you are over about 43 years of age, then The Swarovski Companion binoculars are among the best. Get the 8X30, not the 10 power. (about $990) For the scope, there are dozens of suitable choices. As a myopic, you can easily focus binocs and scope clearly without the use of glasses.....but this is totally impractical in the field.....................best of luck in whatever you choose..............FWB
 

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As a glasses wearer for 44 years (*and then got Lasik), I can offer some opinion. The best answer I can give has to do with whether or not you use the glasses with the bins or if you take them off. Leaving them on brings up the question of eye relief.

(*I have the following for comparison sake: Minox 8.5x42 HG's, Minox HG 8x33, Leica 10x42 Ultravid, Zeiss FL 10x32 and FL 8x32)

I started with Leica's and they worked great when I wore contacts...but they also had the shortest eye relief. That meant I really had to shove them up against the lens (cups down) to get the eye relief right. IIRC, the Leica 10x42 Ultravids had about 3.5mm of eye relief.

My next move was to Zeiss Victory FL 8x32 (*and 10x32's later) bins gave me 4mm of eye relief. They were much easier to use with glasses.

Now that I have Lasik, the Leica's are the best for me...except I prefer the size and weight of the Zeiss. Soooo, I carry the Leica's to the blind and the Zeiss in the field. I suppose in my perfect world I'd have Leica 10x32's...I just love that size for the portability. The 10x42's are a bit heavy to carry all day.

Regardless, yes, there is a visible difference in the visual quality of the Alpha bins vs. the second tier bins. Some may say it's small (and it is) but dang is it nice when you can see clearly deep into the late night. The clarity and flare control of the Alpha's are worth the money...

My best advice? Go to a Cabela's or Bass Pro and try out the bins. Look through them into the shadows. Look at the doorways with the light streaming in and into the door shadows. Look into the creases and try to read bar codes and labels. Where the Alpha's shine is in the extreme details.

And find the ones that work best with your glasses. Good Luck!
 

bones

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I also wear spectacles and have been using Zeiss FL victory 10x42 for the last few years.
I never take my specs off when using it and it is a comfort to use.
 

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I have used binoculars and riflescopes while wearing eyeglasses during all of my hunting for about 25 years, then got laser surgery and was able to hunt 10 years or so without glasses, and most recently have found my vision has deteriorated and I must again use glasses for best vision.

I have come to like and use European style quick focus rifle scopes almost exclusively. If you are like me and your vision seems to change a bit depending if you have been doing a lot of close work or a lot of distance viewing, a quick focus eyepiece is a very handy option. The old style fine thread focus used on most USA brands and bargain models is a far poorer choice. I use and like Zeiss, Leica, Meopta and Kahles rifle scopes. All are good with glasses or without. Some newer Leupold models with quick focus would be worth considering.
I have used binoculars from Leica, Zeiss, and Swarovski as well as several cheaper brands like Pentax and Burris and Bushnell. The best for me was the Swarovski EL 8.5x42. I find the ability to see a full field of view and hold without fatigue is better for me when I don't have 10X magnification. 8x is enough for almost all of my hunting situations, but I also keep a pair of Steiner 10x strictly for mountain hunting. The big objective lenses on my 8.5 x 42's mean the user does not have to have the binoculars positioned "just right" and they still offer a full field of view. They also have very long eye relief, and quick adjust eyecups with positive click stops. All critical if you want comfort while wearing glasses while using the binoculars. Because the eyecups are placed directly on the lenses of my glasses, and have been adjusted for proper eye relief, I can raise them up with one hand and quickly scan without fiddling around adjusting my grip for a good view.
I once had a very well built and expensive Leica Ultravid 10x32 binocular that I thought would be the best of all worlds - light and handy, powerful, clear, and rugged. Alas, the exit pupil was so small, and the eye relief so short that using them with glasses for most purposes was frustrating. I sold them.
There are many good choices on the market, I strongly suggest you try some out for yourself in a store that offers several good quality brands and styles. I cannot recommend specific models, but I believe both Leica and Zeiss offer scopes and binoculars that will suit your needs. But remember that while good optical design is important, what is even more important is that you can use the glass with a minimum of fuss and bother.
 
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shootist~

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Maybe it's your glasses?

I'm near sighted and in no-line bi-focals, but my shooting glasses are distance vision only. As they were way back before I had to switch to bifocals.

I get a much better focus with scope or irons. Binoculars focus better with distance vision too (Vs my bifocals), but I'm hardly an expert there.

I've used Decott for about 40 years for my Rx shooting glasses - they are geared for shooters and give good advise:
Sportglasses.com
 

V.Veritas

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+1 for Swarovski EL.
I own a pair of 8.5x42EL, but while in Africa I’ve realized that most of the hunting is done in bright daylight and a lighter pair with a smaller objective will be more suitable for my purpose. A 8x32 is about perfect. I have tried a few splendid Leica binoculars (on sale at the time) but the eye relief did not worked for me. So I ended up with another pair of Swarovski 8x32 EL and I’m very happy with them.
 

VerhoRad

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Do you consider only ordinary or digital binoculars? It seems to me that you need to think about digital, especially if you wear glasses. In practice, I did not check, but I think that digital tools can be a little better. If someone had experience with this, I think you will be prompted!
 

Jeff 907

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Before I had eye surgery I wore Oakley square wire glasses. They sat a little further from my face and my buddies Vortex Talon HD worked best with the glasses on. My sunglasses were M-frames and no binos worked well with them. I usually just lifted my glasses up. I think the specific frames and facial structure will play the biggest role in what works. Good luck. Let us know what you end up choosing.
 

VerhoRad

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Before I had eye surgery I wore Oakley square wire glasses. They sat a little further from my face and my buddies Vortex Talon HD worked best with the glasses on. My sunglasses were M-frames and no binos worked well with them. I usually just lifted my glasses up. I think the specific frames and facial structure will play the biggest role in what works. Good luck. Let us know what you end up choosing.
Please tell me you can buy one of these digital binoculars. I strongly doubt, but it seems to be professional equipment. But I think, is it worth spending money on it or is it not necessary?
 

Red Leg

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I don't believe I understand the issue. Quality binoculars like Zeiss, Swarovski, and Leica have adjustable eyepieces (I currently own all three). Screw them down flat and they work perfectly with glasses. I have never had an issue in the 25 years I have been wearing glasses for distance correction. A quality scope is equally easy to use. Simply adjust the the eyepiece a few millimeters left or right and it easily will accommodate the corrected vision of your glasses. Again, a non issue for 25 years.

Have no idea how "digital" binoculars would simplify an already simple solution. It is my understanding that they are nothing but binoculars (usually not very good ones) with a digital camera attached.
 

VerhoRad

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I don't believe I understand the issue. Quality binoculars like Zeiss, Swarovski, and Leica have adjustable eyepieces (I currently own all three). Screw them down flat and they work perfectly with glasses. I have never had an issue in the 25 years I have been wearing glasses for distance correction. A quality scope is equally easy to use. Simply adjust the the eyepiece a few millimeters left or right and it easily will accommodate the corrected vision of your glasses. Again, a non issue for 25 years.

Have no idea how "digital" binoculars would simplify an already simple solution. It is my understanding that they are nothing but binoculars (usually not very good ones) with a digital camera attached.
All the sellers I listened to always talk very colorfully about their advantages, so I doubt that they are so good, and you confirm my doubts.
 

rookhawk

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I'll jump in here too:

For binos, the ONLY bino that will have amazing technical performance until their patents run dry is the Leica Ranging Binos. If you don't care about a ballistic rangefinder (you should...very much...and it costs little more) you can always pay the same price for lesser technology and go with the Swaros.

For rifle scopes, THE scope you need is the Swarovski 1-8x24 Z6i Illuminated. They make a model noted as EE for extended eye relief. It has a full 5" of eye relief so you can use it with a clear picture at any distance, especially important to keep those glasses away from objective lens of the scope!

FYI - I own Leica scopes, have new ones in the box in my safe right now. I buy them when they hit 50% to 70% off of MSRP. Paying full price for a Leica scope is something I would never ever do, same for the Zeiss stuff they currently sell in the USA. They are both a great deal at $500 to $700 but if you're dropping $1200-$1500 on an optic you can do much better, go with the swaro or S&B.
 
 

 

 

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