Zeiss Dialyt Review

By Zach Bowhay

Like everyone, I have always heard about the quality of Zeiss optics, so when I found out I was going to get to field test the Dialyt spotting scope in 2011, I was excited. When I received it in the mail and pulled it out of the box, the first thing I liked about the scope was the rubber that coats the scope. I have always worried about my spotting scopes in my pack, but with this scope you just put on the supplied rubber scope caps and throw it in the pack and forget about it.

The next unique thing I noticed about the scope was that there was not a traditional dial for focusing the scope. Instead, the last four or so inches of the objective lens was a dial that you twisted to focus the scope. At first, I thought this would be kind of difficult, but it’s actually a quite convenient and natural feature once you get used to it.

The first time I was able to really use the scope was on a summer elk and mule deer scouting trip here in the high country of Idaho. I’ve always wanted to have a good scope to use in the backcountry, but never wanted to pack the big, bulky spotter that accompanies high-end glass. So, I’ve always settled for a cheaper spotter for my backpack trips. At only 15-1/2 inches long and just over 42 ounces, this scope is fairly lightweight and compact. Add in a lightweight tripod and this setup is just about perfect for backcountry scouting trips.

We got into our camping spot and did a little looking around and spotted a few elk way off. I dialed the scope in and was able to tell that the one was a nice bull. By this time, it was getting to be very low light and the scope gathered the light extremely well. I was very impressed with its performance – this is the time of day when you really see how well a spotting scope measures up.

Early the next morning, we were up spotting again and the scope performed great in low-light conditions. Around 8:30 a.m. the sun started moving over the top of the peaks and the scope performed well while looking into the sun. This time of day can be interesting for glassing because the sun’s angle makes it tough to see detail, but I was very impressed with the scope in these conditions.

Overall, I‘ve been very happy with the scope in most situations, but there was one small thing I didn’t like. On the lowest power, which is 18, the edge-to-edge clarity was lost a little bit. You only notice this on the lowest power setting and it completely goes away as you turn up the power - this in no way affected the functionality of the scope.

Another thing I would like to see would maybe be an even more compact version - five or six inches shorter and a little lighter, even if that meant not having as much power. Costing around $1200, this scope is as good of a value as you can get for a high-quality scope to have with you on a backcountry hunt. With its tough-as-nails armor, ease of use and superb clarity, the Dialyt should be considered if you’re in the market for a new spotting scope.