Having grown up during the cold war era, I am always biased toward gear that has come from that time. If you know me I'm particularly fond of anything German especially those items marked "Made in W. Germany." The following two Zeiss optics have a special place in my heart.
The first is a Zeiss 30x60B and the second is a Dialyt 8x30B. Both are rubber armored. Rubber, being a natural material, has a tendency to be problematic since in can dry out, crack or rip among other things. In fact my own 30x60B needs a new lens cover (as you can see by the photos below) as it has gone brittle and torn. The Dialyt has had its skin replaced already once. This is probably why, for the most part, soft rubber has gone out of favor.
With all its weaknesses, I still love rubber armored optics. Its so Cold War, it takes me back to the days of Checkpoint Charlie, Regan, Gorbie, USSR, West v East Germany, Stasi, Kremlin, etc. To me those were the days...
I remember back in those days being a youngster going to the now long gone South Coast Gun Club with my father shooting his HK 300 and 770, looking through this spotting scope checking our groupings from 100 yards away. So this scope has sentimental value to me.
As you can see the rubber lens cap is now falling apart. I've contact Zeiss and I will be getting a replacement. I'm not sure if I should just send the whole unit back to replace the entire rubber and have the unit serviced while there. This unit is over 25 years old and although the armor is still good, I hate to think that in future when the rubber does go bad that replacement parts have become obsolete.
Another view of the broken lens cap.
The unit sits on a removable motorized focusing motor drive. It takes 4 AA batteries and focuses via these two buttons. I remember being a kid and absolutely loving this feature. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
View from the top. The rifle sights help, since being so high powered and therefore having a very narrow field of view, getting your optic on the intended target.
With a 60mm objective it is quite bright, bright enough for star gazing which I used to do as a child.
The next Zeiss is a Dialyt 9x30B in green armor. This unit is older than I am. In fact my father bought this years before I was born. As a child I used to try to play this Zeiss when I played army. I can tell you my dad was none to happy when I did. Now as an adult I can see why.
This Dialyt has been on countless wild boar and deer hunts back in the day.
Honestly I find this style far more attractive than its modern counterparts. Although I do like and own modern Leicas, they do not evoke the type of emotional response like this Zeiss. I think this has such a classic appearance it just timeless. It is my opinion this binocular looks much better paired with a double rifle on safari than any modern Zeiss, Leica, or Swarovski ever will.