Zeiss Terra ED 8×42: The Most Comprehensive Review

You are caring about Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 binoculars, but you do not know whether they are suitable for you? Let’s find out their characteristics via our review.

Overview of Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 binoculars

Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 Binoculars, BlackGrey
Zeiss Terra ED Binoculars, Black grey

Unlike its brothers, Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 is not in the top luxurious choices for binoculars users. However, if you intend to spend money on this toy, it is still better for you to know about it thoroughly.  

To help you with this, we analyze characteristics of Zeiss Terra ED 8×42, then compare it with another pair of 8×42 binoculars as well as the Zeiss Terra ED 10×42. 

On top of that, let’s view this technical data:

Technical DataZeiss Terra ED 8×42Zeiss Terra ED 10×42
Magnification8x10x
Effective Objective Lens Diameter (mm)42 mm42 mm
Exit Pupil Diameter (mm)5.25 mm4.2 mm
Twilight Factors18.320.5
Field of view 
375 ft/ 1000 yds330 ft/ 1000 yds
Shortest focusing distance (ft / m) (Close Focus)5.3 ft/ 1.6 m5.3 ft/ 1.6 m
Eye Relief18 mm14 mm
Prism SystemRoof PrismRoof Prism
Optical QualityPrisms & Prism Coatings: reflective dielectricThe lens coating: Fully Multi-coated (FMC) Optics.The glass type used: ED = Extra-low dispersion.Light transmission = 85 %Prisms & Prism Coatings: reflective dielectricThe lens coating: Fully Multi-Coated (FMC) OpticsThe glass type used: ED = Extra-low dispersion.Light transmission = 85 %
Chassis MaterialGlass-reinforced PolyamideGlass-reinforced Polyamide
FocusingCentre Focusing (CF)Centre Focusing (CF)
Diopter AdjustmentStandard Diopter AdjustmentStandard Diopter Adjustment
WeatherproofingWaterproof and fog-proofWaterproof and fog-proof
Gas Filled NitrogenNitrogen
UsesBirdwatching Wildlife observationHuntingBirdwatching Wildlife observationHunting
SizeStandard size Binoculars Standard size Binoculars 
BrandZeissZeiss

The above chart has indicated all of the necessary information on the configuration of Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 and Zeiss Terra ED 10×42. Made by one manufacturer in the same product line, they are very similar in many aspects. 

Zeiss Terra ED Special Edition 8x42 Binoculars - Green
Zeiss Terra ED Special Edition Binoculars – Green
Zeiss TERRA ED 8x42 Grey binocular
Zeiss TERRA ED Grey binocular
Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 Black
Zeiss Terra ED Black

Well, we might discuss the Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 further in the next articles. Here, since you need to learn about Zeiss Terra ED 10×42, see what they feature as followings:   

Strong points of Zeiss Terra ED

  • Compact and elegant

The Terras offer a small frame and low weight that you can feel obviously the moment you pick them up. They are just roughly 5.5 inches high and 24.6 ounces heavy with the covers.

With eye-catchy and compact design, these binoculars are great for you to carry along anytime and anywhere.

  • Vivid pictures reproduction

When it comes to optical properties, Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 binoculars are somewhat better than average. Besides admirable 375 ft/ 1000 yds FOV and 5.3 ft/ 1.6 m close focus, the high-resolution optics enable users to view scenes clearly and deeply without chromatic aberration.

The color is neutral and brilliant enough though not too superb. In other words, these binoculars allow you to see things in the most realistic way at a farther distance and in a broader area. At around $400, the performance of this item is considered to be high. 

  • Durable construction

Being lightweight does not mean a lack of strength. In addition to robust rubber armor covering all parts, this product has a glass-reinforced polyamide chassis.

The rain guard coming with the item seems to be made of hard rubber and supplies sufficient friction on the eyecups to keep itself in place. Nonetheless, you are likely to find this unnecessary as the binoculars are already very good at preventing water and debris from getting inside. 

  • Low price for great value

Although Zeiss is famous for its excellent yet pricey products, Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 is exceptionally affordable. Of course, perhaps there are many other rivals that are comparable. However, if we compare the value that Zeiss Terra brings about in comparison with its cost, this is a big bargain.

Search around the current market, and you can scarcely find $400 binoculars with incredible vision, fantastic design and reliable construction.

Weak points and notes

  • Uncomfortable for a number of users

The interpupillary distance of these binoculars ranges from 57.5 to 76 mm. As a result, narrow-face users hardly find them comfortable to view. However, others can utilize them conveniently. 

Plus, there is not any thumb groove or flange to fit the webbing between your forefinger and thumb, so it is a bit tricky to grip. 

  • No scale or marked point 

We tried to find if there is any default scale on the binocular frame and the knob above it to show the current level of adjustment. Unfortunately, there is none. 

Indeed, the marked center point to indicate the right position for equal eyes even does not exist. Instead, users might need to create one for themselves by centering the emergent mark between the + and – symbols on the binoculars’ diopter adjustment ring. 

  • Unlockable diopter adjustment ring

Since you cannot lock the diopter adjustment ring, the position is likely to get lost sometimes. Then, you must spend quite a lot of time readjusting the appropriate setting if you have not marked it.

Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 vs Vortex Viper HD 8×42

In terms of 8×42 binoculars, Vortex Viper HD 8×42 is renowned enough for us to compare with Zeiss Terra ED 8×42

Vortex Viper HD 8x42
Vortex Viper HD 8×42

We can see how well the product from Zeiss is doing compared with another good opponent in the same market here! 

FactorsZeiss Terra ED 8×42 Vortex Viper HD 8×42 
CLARITY99
BRIGHTNESS89
EASE OF ADJUSTMENT89
CONSTRUCTION QUALITY99.5
COMFORT79.5
CLOSE FOCUS RANGE98
FIELD OF VIEW99
BRAND & WARRANTY98
PRICE98.5

Both of these two products are in the medium-price 8×42 binoculars segment, but there are quite many things to say about their differences.

First of all, we need to say that the Vortex Viper HD is a bit more expensive than the Zeiss Terra ED. Although the prices may vary among vendors, their gap should be approx $100.

Hence, it is not too strange that the Vortex product offers the better light-gathering ability, ease of use, construction quality and convenience. 

Because Zeiss Terra ED is a budget-friendly product line of Zeiss, its binoculars deliver rather dark images and somewhat uncomfortable handling. Luckily, the excellent close focus range and field of view can be a proper offset.

Furthermore, the reputable name of Zeiss guarantees its products’ quality regardless of their prices. 

Overall, if you want to trade off quality for a low expense, you might like to go for Zeiss Terra ED 8×42. On the contrary, Vortex Viper HD 8×42 seems to be generally superior with some extra bucks.

Final words

In the end, we have reviewed the Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 thoroughly for you. Now that you have not only an overview but also an insight into it, you must have known whether it is an ideal choice for you or not.

Besides, you can also consider other binoculars that we mentioned throughout the article as they are likely to be suitable alternatives for you, too.

After all, thanks for reading!

Vilis-bino

References:

https://www.zeiss.com/sports-optics/en_de/nature/binoculars/terra-binoculars/terra-ed-binoculars.html

https://vortexoptics.com/binoculars/viper-hd-binoculars.html