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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Reviews by Yeti Man

Recommended
Yes
Price
1649$
Pros
  • Image quality, build quality, balance, warranty
Cons
  • price, focus mechanism could have a better feel
This was my first binocular purchased. I have been a photographer for many years and have owned most of Canons top lenses, and while in Florida someone handed me a pair of Leica Trinovid binoculars to look through.
When I got home i went binocular shopping with a budget of $600 in mind. My budget went out the window when I picked up a pair of Swarovski 10x42 SLCs.
The models I considered came down to the Swaravski SLC and EL, and the Leica Ultravids.
I selected the Ultravids because to me they had more contrast and a more three dimentional image than the others, and I liked the way they rendered certain shades of green better (very slight difference).
They also felt better in my hands than the others.

I liked the shorter close focus of the Swaro ELs, but not enough to tilt the scale, and the close focus of the Ultravids is still pretty excellent.

Overall I have been remarkably happy with them (I am not easy to please where it comes to optics).
They are light weight and easy to carry (the supplied strap is excellent, as it should be).

I can view for hours without eye strain, and I see incredible detail in birds and spend much more time in the field than I used to. I find I dont carry my camera with me nearly as often, preferring to simply observe and enjoy.
I never feel like I spent the day looking through glass, but rather getting closer to nature.

I have since had friends want to compare them with some less expensive binoculars (mid price Eagle brand, Ziess venture, Minox and my Nikon Monarch). All of them had a flat image by comparison, not the detailed three dimentional image of the Leica, as well as a handfull of other optical shortcomings the Leicas dont exibit.

I dont wear glasses so I cant really comment on compatability there.

My only complaints (other than price) is that the focus wheel has a little free play in it. Not a major complaint, But I have bought a Nikon Monarch binocular for use in my canoe (wanted something cheaper for that use), and the mechanism on the Monarch is far smoother with no free play at all.

Also there is a slight amount of chromatic aberation in extreme backlit situations. It is still a pretty admirable performance, just not _perfect_.
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