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First light (of sorts): Zeiss BGAT Dialyt 7x42


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I bought a pair of Zeiss BGAT Dialyt seven years ago, wanting a general purpose terrestrial binocular. After shortlisting them, it was probably fortuitous that walking in a local store to browse, I saw them selling their last pair at a discount, since they were shutting down. There wasn't a happier man than me that weekend.

Over the last few years, I used them for everything, from counting thrushes at yon trees to planespotting at airshows. Then, the astronomy bug, which had lain dormant like the herpes virus, bit deep.

Of course, Galileo's unstated law, as you are all aware, is that the expenditure of prodigious amounts of money on optics is always accompanied by a wave of nimbostratus that outlasts your enthusiasm.

Watching gaps in the clouds develop, the quickest lens I could point at the heavens was the one that lies permanently on the book case next to the to the window sill. And I was initiated, into observing with binoculars.

The Pros:

The 7x42 set up is fairly light weight and quite portable. I have not yet needed a tripod or a rest. Within limits of my physiological tremor, objects are fairly easily acquired and held. Often, before a long observing session with a telescope, I use them to starhop to get a general idea. The optics, unsurprisingly, are grand. Even terrestrial viewing is extremely comfortable and relaxing. The eye relief is adaptable, which is important as I wear spectacles.

The cons:

There is not a lot of magnification offered. Stars and star clusters show great, but I would not look for the rings of Saturn. I suppose anybody going out with binoculars of this specification will be aware of these limitations. My biggest grouse, however, is that for an equipment of this quality and cost, the accompanying case is shoddy and low grade.

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