MIKE WEE­DON’S RE­VIEW

Bird Watching (UK) - - Gear -

Each year at the Bird­fair, when it was sunny, one of the Zeiss team would de­clare it ‘rub­bish op­tics weather’. When the light is su­perb, even ‘rub­bish’ op­tics make things look good. It is only when the weather is gloomy that you can sep­a­rate the op­ti­cal wheat from the chaff; the finest gear comes to the fore and the best op­tics bring out a level of clar­ity and de­tail that lesser equip­ment can only dream of. It was just as well, then, that when a group of jour­nal­ists and deal­ers were in­vited to Poland to try out the Zeiss Con­quest Gavia scope in spring 2016, that the weather was of­ten poor! Bird­ing in the gloom of driz­zle in a Pol­ish for­est is a great test for any op­ti­cal equip­ment. Of course, it helps you want to ex­tract the very best from a tele­scope when the sub­ject is a bedrag­gled Ural Owl or a hunt­ing Pygmy Owl, or per­haps one of the sev­eral wood­pecker species found in these mag­nif­i­cent woods. And it was here that the Gavia shone through, de­liv­er­ing ex­cel­lent im­ages with a speedy and ac­cu­rate fo­cus mech­a­nism mak­ing for­est bird­ing a plea­sure. It may not pro­duce the mind-blow­ing views you get from a scope cost­ing twice as much. But it comes very close and the whole point of the Con­quest range is to pro­duce op­ti­cal ex­cel­lence and us­abil­ity at an af­ford­able price. And in this, the Con­quest Gavia re­ally shines.

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