Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

  Home · Search · Member List · Register  
Home » Medium & Compact Binoculars  
73568x20bl.jpg
>

Leica Ultravid 8x20 BL
Reviews Views Date of last review
7 32972 Tue October 8, 2019
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $557.00 9.5
73568x20bl.jpg


Description: Leica Ultravid 8x20 BL

Published FoV 110m @ 1km;
Published weight: 245g
Closest focus: 2.2m


Keywords: Leica Ultravid 8x20 BL compact binocular



Author
Post A Reply 
zurtfox
Registered User

Registered: March 2004
Location: Wales
Posts: 99
Review Date: Thu August 10, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Leica Ultravid 8x20 BL – User Report



Feeling the need for something smaller than my Nikon 8x32 HGs as a walking/cycling companion, I spent an hour or so comparing compacts in my Local Binocular Shop. Compared to all the other top name compacts it soon became apparent that the Leica Ultravid compacts are almost* in a league of their own. I used my Nikon 8x32 for comparison purposes and, from the first quick glimpse, it was obvious the Leica compacts were exceptional.



In the back of my mind was Scampo’s extremely positive comments about the 10x25 Ultravid and how he found them to be brighter than the 8x20s. His superlatives are well deserved but I found the 8x to be equally as bright and, more importantly, much steadier in my hand. However, I left the shop wondering how I could justify spending so much on what would be, after all, binoculars that were likely to spend much of their time in the glove compartment/bike panniers/jacket pocket.



In the end I located an ex-demo pair and, having been assured that these were “as new”, bought them. Even at £285 they are still very expensive, but having now had them for 48 hours I have proof positive why I should have parted with so much money for a compact binocular.



Yesterday I spent much of a glorious sunny day putting them through their paces. In those conditions they excel. These are my findings:


Published FoV 110m @ 1km; I measured them at 112m (AFoV=51°).
Published weight: 245g – actual: 225g.
Closest focus: “2.2m” turned out to be a genuine 1.7m! Wonderful!
Focus wheel: 1.5 turns. Smooth.
Resolution... Hand held at 10m they achieved 1.8 line-pair/mm compared to 1.9 for my Nikons! (I suspect this difference may be due, in part, to the inertia of the heavy Nikons making them more stable).
Sharpness across the field: Central 60% exceptionally crisp, falling away a little towards the edges.
Contrast: extremely good.
Chromatic aberration: (bare branches against bright white clouds): slight yellow fringing which could be virtually eliminated with careful centering of the eye in the eyepiece.
Colour Rendition: neutral
Edge sharpness & distortion: not as good as the Nikon (but what other binocular is?) but better in both respects than my 7x42 Ultravids.
Eye relief: very good (the sliding eyecups were about half-way extended for me [I wear spectacles]); I calculate 16mm.
Flare: some at about 10° either side of a low sun, but not enough to cause concern. Nor were there any unwanted reflections in the eyepiece.


The hinges are stiff enough to hold the IPD at the user’s setting and the eyecups, despite not having intermediate click-stops, held my chosen mid-position (and that is with spectacles).



After sunset I took them into a local wood. Yes, they are far less bright than their full-sized cousins, but I found myself agreeing with Stephen Ingraham’s opinion that brightness does not significantly affect good binoculars’ ability to show detail.



Late that night, stars were perfect pinpoints, planets were clearly defined orbs although Jupiter’s Galilean moons could not be seen.



There are a few of criticisms: firstly, the diopter adjustment button (on the underside) is exactly where my left thumb goes. It has a soft spring and so it is fairly easy to change the setting. However, I am now in the process of educating my thumb! The ‘leather’ covering is lifting in one corner and my final criticism is that when I put them down and pick up the Nikon 8x32s it feels as though I have picked up a pair of 10x50 Trinovids! The leather case is exquisite but I think the Cordura version that comes with the BR is probably more practical.



And that’s it! Glove compartment? Cycle panniers? Jacket pocket? Yes, yes and yes. But I suspect they will be about my person much more than that.



*The Nikon 8x20 HGL is a serious competitor. Optically it is the Leica’s equal, slightly better for full-field sharpness/distortion, slightly less bright, but £70 cheaper. However, I was not comfortable using my little finger to focus and they never came to my eye as easily as the Leicas.



Footnote: Its now 3 months since I bought them and I don’t retract a single word from the above report. I would emphasise however, that they really are bright light binoculars, when the diameter of the user’s pupil is equal to or less than the bino’s exit pupil (2.5mm).
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
Sancho

Registered User

Registered: August 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 8964
Review Date: Fri March 2, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $460.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compacts with the view of Top Full-Size bins.
Cons: None.

I got the BR version (rubber-armoured), and I\'ve nothing to add to Zurtfox\'s excellent review, except that they live in my pocket for hillwalking, cycling, walks with the kids, etc. They only lose light well into dusk, and if the FOV were a little greater, I wouldn\'t feel a need for any other bins. Exceptional.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
timexchen
Registered User

Registered: June 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Review Date: Sun June 24, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros: compact, waterproof, super
Cons: dust inside , no object lens caps

I got my br8*20 and found it is a good friend when I am fishing. it applies to all weather and is really robust with the rubber armor. What I think not so perfect is that I find some dust on the surface of the lenses inside, which makes me a little bit uncomfortable.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
tonyc4793

TC

Registered: March 2009
Location: Manchester, Britain
Posts: 11
Review Date: Thu October 15, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ultra compact and pristine clear images.
Cons: None.

Leica had a promotion giving away a pair of these when you purchased their Ultravid HD full sized binoculars so I yielded to temptation.

For nature observation, I prefer 10x magnification but this is a personal choice so I tend to use these mostly for days out to old houses and cathedral's where I can keep these in my pocket and use them to see close up architectural details.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
Jehan F Belinge
Registered User

Registered: May 2011
Location: North Bay Ontario
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sat May 21, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $654.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fine optics, smart diopter corrector,light and rugged
Cons: Undistinguished case and neck strap

I have just received a pair of rubber coated 8x20 from the Canadian importer/distributor.I had little choice but to buy them sight unseen and untried as I live in a remote community where quality optics are not available. I had narrowed down my choice to 3 European manufacturers offering similar sized and priced products and opted for this one basing myself on my experience with their cameras and equally on older reviews (2005) found elsewhere on this site. I am elated with my choice as the optical quality is by this layman s standard outstanding, the design thoughtful, and the execution flawless. The locking diopter compensation with its scale is a bonus for an eyeglass wearer. The end product is a rugged, light and well designed package. My only reserve has to do with the supplied case and neck strap which are not made of leather nor available as an option in Canada. The factory sealed silver packaging proved difficult to open as I suffer from weakened hands. My expectations were high and fully met. As of next week I will fully try them out in remote forested Cuban mountains and parks seeking the native parrot.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
vop

Registered User

Registered: October 2009
Location: Uppsala
Posts: 712
Review Date: Sat March 16, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Ergonomics, focus wheel, stray light, the view.
Cons: No objective caps, price?

Bought the BR. These are truly a class of their own. Almost the ergonomics of a full size bino. Well, you can use two fingers to focus and it's possible to wrap your ring and pinky fingers around the barrel. Optics are super! I think this is close to as good as a compact can be.

------------------------------
*(\_/)
(='.'=)
'(_||_)
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
dalethorn
Registered User

Registered: August 2008
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 98
Review Date: Tue October 8, 2019 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, light transmission, sharpness, features.
Cons: Extremely difficult with glasses.

Mine are the Ultravid BCL (leather) version, $869 USD from the Leica Store. Compared to my Leitz Trinovid 10x25 from the 1970's, it's slightly brighter, but about the same sharpness and clarity as best I can see. The features and build quality are great, but getting the single round image with my Rayban glasses (clear prescription lenses) is extremely difficult.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Visit dalethorn's homepage! Find more posts by this user  


Powered by: ReviewPost PHP vB3 Enhanced
Copyright 2006 All Enthusiast, Inc.



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:20.