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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 05:59   #1
denco@comcast.n
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SV's didn't really blow the little BN's away!

I have been trying to get some compact binoculars to carry in situations where I don't want to carry my bigger SV's and I have tried almost every small 8x20 and 10x25 compact out there without satisfaction. So I decided alright I will get the smallest and lightest 32mm I can find. It came down to the Zeiss 8x32 FL or the Leica 8x32 BN because they are both small with the Leica being a little smaller. I went with the BN because it is about half the price of the baby Zeiss. I picked up a like new refurbished one for $600.00 on the famous auction site. I figured my SV would just make it look like crap when it came to optics but not so. That little sucker as old as it is still has very good optics. The SV is a little brighter and of course is sharper at the edges but the BN has a wider FOV and a very natural view. It surprised the heck out of me. For a really small compact 32mm the Leica BN has to be one of the best bargains out there still. Excellent build quality and smooth focus too.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 06:14   #2
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Will wonders never cease. My BN, the magnahonkin' 12x50, is really ok. It isn't "God's binocular" (poke, poke), but really is ok. Would love to try the 8x32, the most famous of the lot. Good on you Dennis, enjoy.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 07:00   #3
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Dennis,
I remember how enthusiastic you were a few years back with it's big brother, the 7 x 42 Trinovid BN. I hope this isn't just a "meaningful overnight relationship" with it's little sister.
Bob
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 07:05   #4
Hermann
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Will wonders never cease. My BN, the magnahonkin' 12x50, is really ok. It isn't "God's binocular" (poke, poke), but really is ok.
Not even made by aliens, like the Swarovision? *ggg*

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Would love to try the 8x32, the most famous of the lot.
The 8x32 has a combination of features not found in many binoculars - very good optics (although some modern 8x32s are somewhat better), small size and ruggedness. I think it is the best of the Trinovid BA/BN range.

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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 07:11   #5
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Will wonders never cease. My BN, the magnahonkin' 12x50, is really ok. It isn't "God's binocular" (poke, poke), but really is ok. Would love to try the 8x32, the most famous of the lot. Good on you Dennis, enjoy.
Ron
There is something about the Leica Trinovid 8x32 BN view I have always liked. It has a little more CA than the newer ED glass but it just has a natural likelike easy relaxed view that is hard to describe. I guess you would say it doesn't introduce any optical aberrations into the picture. Just pulls the bird 8x closer like you weren't looking through a binocular. That 12x50 must be a brick though. Even the little 8x32 is amazingly solidly built for it's size. Feels good in the hand too. Good DOF. In fact better than the Zeiss 8x32 FL in DOF I believe if memory serves me correctly.

Last edited by denco@comcast.n : Tuesday 12th July 2011 at 07:16.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 07:15   #6
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Not even made by aliens, like the Swarovision? *ggg*



The 8x32 has a combination of features not found in many binoculars - very good optics (although some modern 8x32s are somewhat better), small size and ruggedness. I think it is the best of the Trinovid BA/BN range.

Hermann
The size is what I like. Small enough to take anywhere and yet amazing optics. No compact comes even close to it that I have seen but it is almost but not quite as small. You can get some good bargains on them now too.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 07:22   #7
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I have an SV 8.5x42 and it is the best binocular I have looked through, but my 16 year old 8x32 BAs can still hold their own, and as my first alpha binocular, they are keepers. They are still almost like new.

Ben.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 07:37   #8
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Dennis

Guess that just goes to show you that - you can go backa!

What are the differences between the 8x32 BN & BA other than the closer focus on the BN model?

Tom
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 08:27   #9
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What are the differences between the 8x32 BN & BA other than the closer focus on the BN model?
It's just the closer focus.

Hermann
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 09:12   #10
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I have been trying to get some compact binoculars to carry in situations where I don't want to carry my bigger SV's and I have tried almost every small 8x20 and 10x25 compact out there without satisfaction. So I decided alright I will get the smallest and lightest 32mm I can find. It came down to the Zeiss 8x32 FL or the Leica 8x32 BN because they are both small with the Leica being a little smaller. I went with the BN because it is about half the price of the baby Zeiss. I picked up a like new refurbished one for $600.00 on the famous auction site. I figured my SV would just make it look like crap when it came to optics but not so. That little sucker as old as it is still has very good optics. The SV is a little brighter and of course is sharper at the edges but the BN has a wider FOV and a very natural view. It surprised the heck out of me. For a really small compact 32mm the Leica BN has to be one of the best bargains out there still. Excellent build quality and smooth focus too.
1993
http://www.betterviewdesired.com/Leica-Ultra-8X32.php

The SV has
1. Much better eye relief (32mm Leica is too short for eyeglasses)
2. Sharper edges
3. A brighter image
4. Higher light transmission

Last edited by Pileatus : Tuesday 12th July 2011 at 09:26.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 09:15   #11
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In fact better than the Zeiss 8x32 FL in DOF I believe if memory serves me correctly.
That's the problem: you go round and round chasing your own tail because you can't actually compare much of anything. It's a sad, scientific fact: memory does not serve you correctly in such situations. By now Dennis your memory is so full of competing and overlapping "views" that I really can't put much credence in any of it.

Good luck with all this buying and selling, but don't expect to ever come to rest with anything. You're in consumer limbo.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 10:56   #12
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1993
http://www.betterviewdesired.com/Leica-Ultra-8X32.php

The SV has
1. Much better eye relief (32mm Leica is too short for eyeglasses)
2. Sharper edges
3. A brighter image
4. Higher light transmission
I agree with these but I don't wear glasses so the ER is ok. The SV definitely has sharper edges but you don't really notice the edges alot because the FOV is larger on the BN. The SV has a better view but it doesn't have the huge advantage I thought it would.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 10:58   #13
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It's just the closer focus.

Hermann
I also think the BN has updated harder coatings. I read that somewhere but not sure where.

"The BN versions have a harder coating on the front element (not sure about the inner coatings), closer focussing and better seals. They are waterproof to 5 metres (in case you want to snorkel with them). Leica actually recommends cleaning by washing them under running water. "

Last edited by denco@comcast.n : Tuesday 12th July 2011 at 11:30.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 11:02   #14
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I also think the BN has updated harder coatings. I read that somewhere but not sure where.
Maybe. We've got two 8x32 BA's in the family, both bought almost immediately after they came out, and one in particular has seen a lot of hard use over all those years. No scratches, nothing. Quite amazing.

Hermann
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 11:09   #15
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I agree with these but I don't wear glasses so the ER is ok. The SV definitely has sharper edges but you don't really notice the edges alot because the FOV is larger on the BN. The SV has a better view but it doesn't have the huge advantage I thought it would.
Dennis,
The 8X32 BN is one of the best 8X32's ever produced and there will be no "huge advantage" in comparison to the SV. Try them both in low light and see what you think. There's also less CA in the SV though the BN handles CA fairly well.

How soon before your SV goes on sale?
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 11:11   #16
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That's the problem: you go round and round chasing your own tail because you can't actually compare much of anything. It's a sad, scientific fact: memory does not serve you correctly in such situations. By now Dennis your memory is so full of competing and overlapping "views" that I really can't put much credence in any of it.

Good luck with all this buying and selling, but don't expect to ever come to rest with anything. You're in consumer limbo.
Your probably are right but I do remember a few people on the forum saying that also and I think it was from a direct comparison. One person said they had to constantly refocus the Zeiss FL. I would like to have the Zeiss now to compare. Do take credence in this though the BN compares very well to the SV for such an old design and smaller aperture and the BN at todays prices is a very good buy if you want a really small compact solid 32mm for traveling or hiking where you don't want to carry the big 42mm. I think in that Cornell Study if you take credence in that the Leica 8x32 BN was fourth among the 19 alpha binoculars even ahead of the older Swarovski 8.5x42. That is pretty impressive for a little 32mm binocular.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 11:18   #17
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Dennis,
The 8X32 BN is one of the best 8X32's ever produced and there will be no "huge advantage" in comparison to the SV. Try them both in low light and see what you think. There's also less CA in the SV though the BN handles CA fairly well.

How soon before your SV goes on sale?
No the SV stays! I just wanted a compact smaller binocular for when I feel like going light and hiking as such. None of the true compacts did it for me so the BN will fill that bill. I did try them in low light last night at sundown and the BN held up quite well. It is quite bright for a 12 year old design roof prism. Not as bright as the SV but still good.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 11:40   #18
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Following an accident with my new Minox HGs, which are away being repaired, I am back using my 8x32 Trinovid BNs once more and I have to say that it is no hardship.

For some reason they really seem to suit my eyes. The eyecups fit my eye sockets perfectly and the eye relief is adequate as I do not wear glasses when birding. I don't have any problems with black-outs and find the view very relaxing. I have not used the SV but, compared to the HGs, they are much quicker to get onto a bird. I find that I can instantly get the bird in focus, whereas with the HGs I have to tweak the focusing knob back and forth slightly to get perfect focus. No such fidgeting with the BN.

I think there is slightly less CA with the BN too and, although I bought the Minox bins as I thought they might be a little brighter in dull conditions, in fact there seems to be very little difference between them. Both bins are extremely sharp.

Mechanically they feel unbreakable, the IPD remains constant once set and the pop-up eye cups click out positively and stay in place. I think that the diopter adjustment is a work of art too. The only niggle I have noticed when returning to them is that I find the ribs on the body a little annoying after extended use. I can live with that, though.

I am sure there are slight advances in the new leading binoculars but, for me, the BNs are much too good to ever let them go.

Ron
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 11:46   #19
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Dennis

Guess that just goes to show you that - you can go backa!

What are the differences between the 8x32 BN & BA other than the closer focus on the BN model?

Tom
I am not really going backa. I would consider the Leica 8x32 BN an alpha. In fact in the Cornell Study it was fourth among 19 alpha binoculars ahead of even the Swarovski 8.5x42(older model). If you look on the internet you might be able to find the backa issue.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 11:52   #20
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Following an accident with my new Minox HGs, which are away being repaired, I am back using my 8x32 Trinovid BNs once more and I have to say that it is no hardship.

For some reason they really seem to suit my eyes. The eyecups fit my eye sockets perfectly and the eye relief is adequate as I do not wear glasses when birding. I don't have any problems with black-outs and find the view very relaxing. I have not used the SV but, compared to the HGs, they are much quicker to get onto a bird. I find that I can instantly get the bird in focus, whereas with the HGs I have to tweak the focusing knob back and forth slightly to get perfect focus. No such fidgeting with the BN.

I think there is slightly less CA with the BN too and, although I bought the Minox bins as I thought they might be a little brighter in dull conditions, in fact there seems to be very little difference between them. Both bins are extremely sharp.

Mechanically they feel unbreakable, the IPD remains constant once set and the pop-up eye cups click out positively and stay in place. I think that the diopter adjustment is a work of art too. The only niggle I have noticed when returning to them is that I find the ribs on the body a little annoying after extended use. I can live with that, though.

I am sure there are slight advances in the new leading binoculars but, for me, the BNs are much too good to ever let them go.

Ron
"I find that I can instantly get the bird in focus, whereas with the HGs I have to tweak the focusing knob back and forth slightly to get perfect focus. No such fidgeting with the BN."

That's probably due to the BN's excellent DOF. I noticed that too. Yes and the mechanics work good too. Simple and rugged and I agree on the diopter.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 13:02   #21
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"I find that I can instantly get the bird in focus, whereas with the HGs I have to tweak the focusing knob back and forth slightly to get perfect focus. No such fidgeting with the BN."

That's probably due to the BN's excellent DOF. I noticed that too. Yes and the mechanics work good too. Simple and rugged and I agree on the diopter.
That's probably due to focus speed. The Minox and Zeiss are both very fast. One turn from min to infinity for the Zeiss. About the same, as I recall, for the Minox. And both probably focus closer than the Leica. Dennis, what does the Leica do? If it's more than one turn, or if it doesn't focus down to 6 feet or so, it'll probably be easier to tweak.

Mark

PS: Let me rephrase that: "That may be due to focus speed." I know conventional wisdom says DOF depends soley on configuration (in this case 8x32) but I'll go to my grave believing that the 8x SE has a deeper DOF than the FL. Is there a definitive answer to this question? Is it just field curvature and sharp edges?

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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 13:38   #22
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I think one of the reasons why I find it easier to get onto a bird with the BN is that, unlike the Minox, it focuses in the clockwise direction, which still seems more natural to me. However, if I am scanning across a view I find that I have to continually refocus the Minox a tiny amount but this is required less frequently with the BN. I had put this down to a deeper DOF but whether this is correct or not I don't know.

Ron
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 16:56   #23
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Dennis, as I recall you've already gone on record (years ago) as being a fan of the 8x32BN. In this latest romance with it, I think you've lost some perspective though. Few would dispute that the Leica 8x32 BA/BN is a great binocular, indeed one of the all-time greats. But your latest statements imply that it might have qualities that make it superior to the latest crop of alphas. I would disagree with that assessment (despite being a big fan of the 8x32 BN myself) unless the argument is about the ergonomics or rugged build, either of which might appeal more to a particular user more than other alternatives regardless of their vintage. I own and have compared the 8x32 BA side by side with the Zeiss FL, Swarovski EL, Nikon SE, Nikon EII, and several lesser 8x32 models. I don't think there is anything exceptional about its depth of field. It does have better edge sharpness than some others (once you correct for curvature of field by refocusing) and it has an easier view than the FL from the standpoint that eye positioning is less critical to get a high quality view. Maybe you're mistaking the field curvature for better DOF since it helps bring the foreground into focus.

When it comes to optics, I think you'll find that all the latest alpha compacts are significantly brighter and have better contrast (especially affecting ability to see into shadows) than the 8x32BN. And anything you like about the optics of the BN ought to be true of the 8x32 Ultravid HD, which has essentially the same optical design but with better glass and coatings, and is more compact to boot. Sure, the BN is a great bin, and it is cheaper than a new alpha. But if you want better brightness, contrast, close focus, eye-relief (at least in the case of the Zeiss and Nikon offerings), and rain-shedding coatings, the latest alphas offer these benefits without giving up anything to the BN (except as noted above about ergonomics).

--AP

P.S. Corollary to what I'm arguing here: If the SV doesn't blow away the Leica 8x32 BN, then it shouldn't be judged to blow away any of the latest crop of alpha 8x32 models, or for that matter any of their full-sized equivalents, ... or for that matter the full-sized alpha contemporaries of the 8x32 BN.... Dennis, it's just not like you to make any other claim than that your latest binocular acquisition blows everything else away, and so it is hard to compute the implications of what you are saying here (unless it is just that you still put the SV on top but you want to acknowledge that a person might legitimately use something else, such as the 8x32BN in some situations when its size was advantageous over the SV and cost attractively less than the latest better 8x32 models. For our sanity and yours, don't go there! :)

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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 17:29   #24
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I agree with everything Alexis did write. That said, I have to say that no other 32mm bin including the Leica Ultravids does feel so comfortable in my hands (with 8x32 Swaro being the only exception) than the good old Trinovids. I do love the small ribs. Eyecups when used without glasses are also the most comfortable ones I've ever experienced. The Trinovid series could surely regarded as an archetype for all the modern roof binoculars came out after them.

Steve
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 21:21   #25
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I agree with everything Alexis did write. That said, I have to say that no other 32mm bin including the Leica Ultravids does feel so comfortable in my hands (with 8x32 Swaro being the only exception) than the good old Trinovids. I do love the small ribs. Eyecups when used without glasses are also the most comfortable ones I've ever experienced. The Trinovid series could surely regarded as an archetype for all the modern roof binoculars came out after them.

Steve
It's not just the optics that I like about the BN although they are good if not the best. It's the ergonomics, the feel of the binocular, the build quality and the comfortable relaxed view it gives you say compared to the almost on edge view I got through the SE series . I guess it is hard to pinpoint one reason why it is such a nice binocular to use. The optics to me seem very natural to me. Could be a combination of contrast,DOF, sharpness, color saturation or more factors. It just seems like you are moving 8x times closer to the bird without a bunch of lenses in between you and the bird. Interesting that the people in the Cornell Study felt that way also scoring it higher than the Zeiss 10x42 FL and some other more modern highly touted binoculars.
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