Zeiss Binoculars

Carl Zeiss is a name to be reckoned with in the world of binoculars. Born in Weimar, Germany in 1818, Zeiss gained notoriety as a lens maker in the 1840s. Opening a workshop in the town of Jena, his lenses were praised for their large aperture and clarity.

In 1866, Zeiss began collaborating with physicist Ernst Abbe, whose theoretical work and experimentation helped bring the company to new heights. Though Zeiss died in 1888 (in the same town in which he opened his workshop), his company lived on with Abbe, who formed the Carl Zeiss Foundation in 1889, which has become one of the most respected names in the optics and opto-electrical industry.

In its more than 150 years of existence, the Carl Zeiss company has made, and seen, a lot of history. After World War II, the company was forced to split, as was its home country. The Carl Zeiss foundation formed the Optische Werke Oberkochen, based in West Germany; and the East German Zeiss company, VEB Carl Zeiss JENA, remained in Jena. It wasn’t until 1971 that both Oberkochen and Jena were allowed to use the Zeiss name. In 1990, after the political climate had changed, the two companies announced they would reunite under the same umbrella.

In addition to its work in the field of optometry (Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH is the number two provider of eyeglasses in the world), Zeiss is also at the forefront of sports optics and maintains its pioneering spirit. In January 2008, Zeiss received the prestigious “Gray’s Best” award for its LotuTec water-repellent coating from Gray’s Sporting Journal. The coating repels raindrops from lenses, keeping them clear during “even the hardest downpour,” according to Gray’s. LotuTec is available on Zeiss’ entire Victory series of binoculars. Called “crisp” and “bright” in a review published in the May/June 2007 issue of Birding, the Victory FL series—available in 7×42, 8×42 and 10×42, as well as two compact binoculars models that feature 7×32 and 8×32 magnification—is well-suited for hunters, bird watchers and other nature observers.

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