Zeiss terra ed 8×42 binoculars
RRP $699 www.osaaustralia.com.au
Heading bush for an outdoor escape not only gives you the opportunity to experience amazing landscapes, but also a good chance of spotting some of Australia’s unique wildlife. More often than not, said wildlife will be too far away for a decent squizz – unless you’ve packed a set of binoculars for that up-close view from afar.
Zeiss is one of the world’s most famous optical brands and its Terra ED binoculars are tailor-made for the outdoors; weighing just 690g and wrapped in a waterproof casing (it is fibreglass-reinforced) with a grippy outer surface, these binos are up to the demands of outdoor adventurers.
The big feature of the Terra ED is, of course, the quality optics. The lens glass is a product of Zeiss associate company, Schott, and it includes a hydrophobic multilayer coating that makes for great performance in wet weather.
The view is superb through this glass and it’s very easy to make your subject sharp thanks to the focussing wheel. The wheel is quite large (thankfully, for this tester’s big hands) and very easy to operate with a smooth action ensuring accurate focus is achieved quickly – ideal for when that bird of prey in the distance is moving quickly.
I tracked a falcon for quite some time with little drama, the raptor staying in sharp focus the entire time.
For a product that excels at long-distance viewing, the Terra ED binos are also impressive for up-close viewing.
The Terra ED has a minimum focus distance of 1.6 metres and this close-up capability was great for a recent encounter with a sluggish (it was a cold morning) tiger snake that took its time moving off the hiking track I was walking along.
I have never hiked with a set of binoculars before – dismissing them as unnecessary dead weight – but after a few months with the Terra ED I reckon I might be a convert.
The combination of light weight, robust construction, sharp viewing and ease of use, plus the fact it opens up another dimension in regards to any outdoor adventure, might see the Terra ED become a part of my must-pack gear when heading into the wild.