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Leica Ultravid 10x42
Reviews Views Date of last review
7 28862 Wed September 5, 2012
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
86% of reviewers $1,648.00 9.4
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Description: 10x42 wtaerproof
27.3 oz
Eye relief 16mm
Close focus 9.7 feet
Submersable & nitrogen purged
Magnesium die-cast housing and titanium center hinge
Keywords: Leica binocular



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Yeti Man

Registered User

Registered: April 2006
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 26
Review Date: Sat April 15, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $1,649.00 | Rating: 9 

 
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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St. Elmo
Registered User

Registered: December 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 531
Review Date: Mon December 18, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $1,750.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optical quality (especially in high flare situations)
Cons: Stiff focus, play in focusing mecanism

I test drove the Leica and the Swaro EL for about the same time - sometimes, side by side. I found both to be excellent. The deciding factor was the color rendition. Greens were spot on with the Leica, but far to the grey side with the Swaro. I\'ve had the Leica about a year now and have used it in all conditions. It\'s built like a truck.
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Cap'n Ahab
Registered User

Registered: March 2009
Location: S.W. UK
Posts: 4
Review Date: Tue March 24, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quality, Quality, Quality
Cons: Price (Ouch!)

My Mother always said, "You get what you pay for". Everything about these bins (mine are the 8X42) is first class and just oozes quality.
The overall package is superb and I now realise how 'average' all my other bins have been.
The focus wheel has a strange (at first) feel, sort of 'micro-notchey', "they all do that, Sir", but it stays the same, whatever the temperature. It also stays where you stop, if you see what I mean?
I always thought Leicas to be overpriced, but the sheer quality and attention to detail is just so impressive. In my opinion, and experience, anything else is less!
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LHB1
Registered User

Registered: June 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 13
Review Date: Thu October 1, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: QUALITY, OPTICS, weight, fit/feel, eye relief
Cons: Price ($350 rebate helped some)

This is the Leica binocular I've been wanting despite already having Leica Trinovid 10x42 BA, 10x32 BN, and 8x32 BA. The new HD bino is slimmer, sharper, with better feel in the hands, longer eye relief, improved optics (coatings), closer near focus, and several ounces less weight. You can definitely feel the slimmer size and lower weight. When compared against my 10x42 Trinovids, the new binos gave a slightly sharper image. I also compared the 10x42 Ultravid binos against current Swarovski models before buying and for me the choice was clearly in favor of the Leicas. Note that I prefer Swarovski spotting scopes over Leica, so am not prejudiced in favor of one brand. This new Leica Ultravid bino is THE bino for me and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a top notch bino.
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tonyc4793

TC

Registered: March 2009
Location: Manchester, Britain
Posts: 11
Review Date: Sat November 14, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality and build quality
Cons: They are expensive but so are the nearest rivals

After many months of consideration I bought the HD 10x42 binoculars having decided to upgrade my binoculars to the high end and Leica is the brand that I like the most. The other German and Austrian binoculars are excellent and in the end it all came down to personal preference.

They do become better the more you use them and I believe a pair of Leicas will serve you for life and although expensive will last a life time with no need to upgrade.
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St. Elmo
Registered User

Registered: December 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 531
Review Date: Sun February 19, 2012 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: $1,545.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great view and handling
Cons: Nagging free play in focus

Seven years ago, I chose these over the Swaro EL because of the color balance. I just sold them. I was using my Zeiss Victory 8x42 exclusively for the last two years and the Leicas were sitting on the shelf. I got $900 for them (wholesale to a birding specialty shop).

Pros: they always felt great in the hands, gave a great contrasty sharp view, colors were true, elegantly styled, easy to set diopter adjustment, rugged build, and they held their value despite the fact that the HD model had been out for quite a while.

Cons: there was always some free play in the focusing mechanism (Leica repair took out some of it, but not all of it), the diopter was always 2-1/2 points off (Leica should have fixed this but didn't).

When I decided to sell, I considered the fact that I was giving up a lifetime Leica Passport replacement warranty (now discontinued), and the fact that I hear nothing but horror stories about Leica repair (from incredible long waits, to bins coming back with same thing wrong).

Moreover, because birders do a lot of focusing, the free play in the focus mechanism was a constant reminder of Leica's arrogance. In plain English, an alpha bin should not have any free play. Not at that price. That said, I think if I has purchased the Swaro EL back then, I would still have two bins - the EL and the Victories.
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salty

geordie birder

Registered: August 2004
Location: newcastle upon tyne
Posts: 9356
Review Date: Wed September 5, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image, fitment
Cons: None

One of the best views you will ever have using these, I used them for everything, hence preferred the x10 over x8 etc.....raptors, sky watching etc, amazing for this!
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