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New 12x50 UVHD+ lens issue

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Old Sunday 7th June 2020, 14:57   #26
Mike F
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Hi Mike,

I am very pleased for you that you had a chance to compare two instruments and weigh up and dispel your doubts. I have never had the privilege of looking through any 12 power binoculars but your photo shows they are at least very attractive on the outside: a beautiful design with a classy finish. (I know the word classy isn't itself very classy!)

Let's hope you get many hours of happy strain-free viewing now that you have had a chance to 'hand grade' the different specimens!

Tom

PS I'd be very interested to know how you find the 12x50's size and weight; do they take much getting used to in practice? (Sorry if you have mentioned this before - I haven't read the earlier posts for a while now as I think the thread has been running for some time.)
Hi Tom,

Sorry for the somewhat tardy response!

I don't personally find the size or weight a problem, but I suspect it will very much depend on the sort of viewing that you're doing. Additionally, I've come to the conclusion that I don't hold binoculars in the generally common manner. For many years my only bin was my trusty (and still very lovely to use) 10x25 BCA. I have fairly large hands (or at least long fingers) so I always held those with my right hand nearer my face (to operate the focuser) and my left hand further away, so that they didn't interfere with each other too much. I have transferred that hold to all of my larger bins including the 12x50, so I get much greater stability (I believe) and the weight is more evenly distributed between the hands - the right hand supporting the ocular lens end and the left hand supporting the objective lens end. I hope that helps!

I know (IIRC) that you also only had the 8x20 (BCA or UV?) for years, so perhaps you can relate?

Last edited by Mike F : Sunday 7th June 2020 at 19:55.
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 08:24   #27
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Hi Tom,

Sorry for the somewhat tardy response!

I don't personally find the size or weight a problem, but I suspect it will very much depend on the sort of viewing that you're doing. Additionally, I've come to the conclusion that I don't hold binoculars in the generally common manner. For many years my only bin was my trusty (and still very lovely to use) 10x25 BCA. I have fairly large hands (or at least long fingers) so I always held those with my right hand nearer my face (to operate the focuser) and my left hand further away, so that they didn't interfere with each other too much. I have transferred that hold to all of my larger bins including the 12x50, so I get much greater stability (I believe) and the weight is more evenly distributed between the hands - the right hand supporting the ocular lens end and the left hand supporting the objective lens end. I hope that helps!

I know (IIRC) that you also only had the 8x20 (BCA or UV?) for years, so perhaps you can relate?
Hi Mike,

I can relate to your hand-holding method for binoculars as it's pretty much what I do with larger binoculars especially if they are a bit front heavy (thinking 8x56 T*FL and 8x42 HT). I have a feeling Lee may have given me the idea if I hadn't already instinctively got there myself from his comments about the HT, which incidentally I bought from him in 2018 or 2019.

Since starting with larger (32 and above) binoculars a couple of years ago the 8x20 Trinovid BCAs have seemed very awkward and fiddly to hold and operate but when they were the only thing I knew I don't remember having any difficulty at all! They are a bit better now since Gary serviced them -- the collimation had got out -- and tightened up the hinges but the small diameter eyecups aren't the greatest thing. All the same I will stick with them for all the 'wrong' reasons: they are pretty, they are a nice piece of engineering and very compact, they have a sentimental value, and I like the leather etui they come in! And of course there are times when anything bigger is just a nuisance, though Leica's and Zeiss's 8x32s would not be a lot bigger for a long walk etc.

Another question if I may, Mike - what is the balance like with your 12x50s? Presumably not quite like an SF but is it noticeably front heavy like an HT or fairly even like a 7x or 8x42 UV?

I hope you are now having fun with the 12x50 since resolving the earlier niggle.

Tom

Last edited by SeldomPerched : Tuesday 9th June 2020 at 08:27.
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Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 09:12   #28
Mike F
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Hi Mike,

I can relate to your hand-holding method for binoculars as it's pretty much what I do with larger binoculars especially if they are a bit front heavy (thinking 8x56 T*FL and 8x42 HT). I have a feeling Lee may have given me the idea if I hadn't already instinctively got there myself from his comments about the HT, which incidentally I bought from him in 2018 or 2019.

Since starting with larger (32 and above) binoculars a couple of years ago the 8x20 Trinovid BCAs have seemed very awkward and fiddly to hold and operate but when they were the only thing I knew I don't remember having any difficulty at all! They are a bit better now since Gary serviced them -- the collimation had got out -- and tightened up the hinges but the small diameter eyecups aren't the greatest thing. All the same I will stick with them for all the 'wrong' reasons: they are pretty, they are a nice piece of engineering and very compact, they have a sentimental value, and I like the leather etui they come in! And of course there are times when anything bigger is just a nuisance, though Leica's and Zeiss's 8x32s would not be a lot bigger for a long walk etc.

Another question if I may, Mike - what is the balance like with your 12x50s? Presumably not quite like an SF but is it noticeably front heavy like an HT or fairly even like a 7x or 8x42 UV?

I hope you are now having fun with the 12x50 since resolving the earlier niggle.

Tom
Hi Tom,

Yes, I know exactly what you mean about the small BCA's feeling awkward and fiddly after a larger bin, especially when one has been used for so long to the compact size. I deliberately continued to use my 10x25 BCA's on a regular basis after getting my first 'full size' bin several years ago, just so that I could remain comfortable with them. It was unpleasant at first, but now I just go from my biggest bins to the smallest without a second thought. The remarkable thing is how well the compact Leicas stand up to the larger ones, in terms of image quality (in good daylight at least), when you get used to how different they feel.

I find the balance on the 12x50's to be excellent, but then I'm holding them cross handed as I explained before (and as you do) so i'm never trying to support them just from the ocular end. Nonetheless, they seem very well balanced to me. And..... I absolutely love them! I'll post some viewing impressions soon.
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Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 13:02   #29
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Looks like some beautiful weather Mike!
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Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 13:09   #30
Mike F
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Looks like some beautiful weather Mike!
Indeed! It gets a bit darker at about 01.00, but not that much! The sun does go down for a few hours though. Lovely here in the summer (and the winter!).

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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 00:22   #31
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Hi Tom,

Nonetheless, they seem very well balanced to me. And..... I absolutely love them! I'll post some viewing impressions soon.
Please do; I'll look forward to that, Mike.

Tom
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Old Friday 12th June 2020, 13:50   #32
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So, a few words about how they actually perform!

The first thing to say (or rather confirm) is that there’s no way to get the full FOV if you wear glasses. I do normally wear glasses for reading music (not reading text which would be closer) and for distance, but it’s not so much that I need to wear them all the time, and generally I just don’t wear them. My full distance prescription is -1.00 and for reading music I use either -0.25 or -0.50 depending on how close the music stand is. I also just much prefer the experience of using binoculars without them so I never use them, even on bins that I could. I may have mentioned this before, but I’m pretty sure that I find the built in distortion and astigmatism of Leica bins (i.e. because they don’t have a flat field) to cancel the slight astigmatism in my eyes. I find I can get a pin sharp image at about 1/3 from the field stop - sharper than dead centre, so that works well for me. At that point in the FOV pincushion is not disturbing. I also often find myself looking at distant objects when the horizon, and therefore the sky, is visible. It just seems to be a more sensible and complete view to have more of the foreground and less of the sky in such situations so my preferred way of viewing works well.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy they are to hand hold. I think I have pretty steady hands anyway and I’ve certainly never had any issue with hand holding a 10x bin, but I was still nonetheless a bit apprehensive about the 12x. I find the balance of the 12x50 to be very good and the weight well distributed, front to back, and because I use a cross-handed hold on binoculars (RH at the ocular end and LH at the objective end) I find it very easy to get a good stable balance. The weight isn’t a problem for me, but I tend to take frequent breaks when I’m using any binocular anyway.

They do of course have a much shallower DOF than lower powered bins and this is especially noticeable when going from the 7x42 UVHD+. This would be a real disadvantage for birding at closer distances I would think, but I suspect that’s not how they would be used, and in any case I’m not a birder (yet!) so it’s not an issue for me. However, at or near infinity (which is where you are most of the time on a 12X I expect) it’s not an issue, and the focus ’snap’ is as good as on any of my other Leicas.

I would say that the ease of view is extremely good for a 12x, but I have nothing to compare them to so I can’t draw any comparisons. However, the ease of view is not what it is on my 8x42 Trinovids or 7x42 UV’s, but that’s just to be expected I guess. Still, it can’t be said to be difficult or uncomfortable - that’s for sure!

To be honest I haven’t had much chance, certainly recently, to check their low light performance, but in general they give a very bright and vibrant image. On the few occasions hat I was able to use them at dusk I found that they easily had the ability to make covered areas under trees or bushes appear much lighter than with the naked eye and reveal surprising levels of detail, the 50mm objectives still capturing huge amounts of light, even if the exit pupils are just a fraction smaller than a 10x42. In direct comparison to my 10x42 NV I would say that the 12x50 UV is slightly brighter, revealing more detail in shaded areas, but that could well be just the 'twilight factor'. FWIW I think that they have the highest twilight factor of any Leica. Star gazing will have to wait until it starts getting dark at nights here again(!), but on a few occasions when the moon was visible in the evening sky the detail of the craters an other surface features was stunning.

Otherwise, they just seem to have that great ‘Leica view’ which I love so much. Great contrast, colours and a throughly involving view. The FOV isn’t especially big, but for me a 12x is all about detail retrieval and I’m simply not looking for an expansive view. In fact, I find the narrower FOV (compared to the 7x42 for example) to be helpful in concentrating the attention on the subject - distant boats or landmarks for example.

One thing lastly that I would say is that the minimum IPD is not especially small. I’m not sure what it actually measures (haven’t checked Leicas figures) but it must be closer than any of my others. Still it’s not a problem because although my eyes are relatively close set I’m still comfortably away from the minimum so I can close them down as far as I need to when close focusing. (I do find adjusting the IPD when focusing close to be helpful)

I hope that my very amateur ramblings are at least somewhat interesting, and apologies for not being able to compare them to another 12x50.
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Old Friday 12th June 2020, 14:36   #33
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Thanks Mike for the report.

The sharp image at 1/3 from the field stop may be field curvature rather than distortion.

I have no trouble keeping my old Ultravid 12x50 steady when hand holding.
In fact my standard binoculars were 12x45 and 12x50 hand held for many years.

I find that 15x50 binoculars are not steady hand held for me.
13x56 Minox is good hand held.

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B
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Old Friday 12th June 2020, 18:28   #34
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Thanks Mike for the report.

The sharp image at 1/3 from the field stop may be field curvature rather than distortion.
Thanks, Binastro. That makes sense.
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Old Friday 19th June 2020, 07:56   #35
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I've had my new 12x50 Ultravid+ for a week. First thing I did was to examine everywhere for any marks, anything whatsoever. They were perfect.
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Old Friday 19th June 2020, 10:43   #36
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I've had my new 12x50 Ultravid+ for a week. First thing I did was to examine everywhere for any marks, anything whatsoever. They were perfect.
Great to hear! I'm sure I could find something though!

Enjoy! I think they are spectacular binoculars.

PS As a matter of interest, what was the date of manufacture?
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Old Friday 19th June 2020, 15:37   #37
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I did notice striation manufacturing marks on the inside of one the rubber objective covers...
The quality control card...passed in 2018.

Agreed, they are spectacular binoculars. Almost the first thing I looked at was a blackbird perched on top of a cypress conifer in the afternoon sun maybe 50 feet away, black and the yellow against the bright blue sky. I like the 3D, contrast and colour Leica's UVs give me. These fall naturally into my hands, easy focus, lovely size, and while heavy on the neck they don't seem heavy to hold.

It's taken a few days to become familiar with positioning my eyes, they are no easy 7x42.
But they passed my other test: on handing them to my younger daughter, she took them and adjusted them without any comment; then stood taking a good long long look at the goldfinch on our feeders and I knew she was checking the feather details.
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Old Friday 19th June 2020, 21:13   #38
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I did notice striation manufacturing marks on the inside of one the rubber objective covers...
The quality control card...passed in 2018.

Agreed, they are spectacular binoculars. Almost the first thing I looked at was a blackbird perched on top of a cypress conifer in the afternoon sun maybe 50 feet away, black and the yellow against the bright blue sky. I like the 3D, contrast and colour Leica's UVs give me. These fall naturally into my hands, easy focus, lovely size, and while heavy on the neck they don't seem heavy to hold.

It's taken a few days to become familiar with positioning my eyes, they are no easy 7x42.
But they passed my other test: on handing them to my younger daughter, she took them and adjusted them without any comment; then stood taking a good long long look at the goldfinch on our feeders and I knew she was checking the feather details.
Great to hear! Your viewing and handling impressions mirror mine. I agree especially that the IPD setting is critical (and diopter!). The date of manufacture of the one I kept (the original one) was 12/12/19 and the potential replacement was 11/3/20. if yours was passed in 2018 it's been sitting around somewhere for a while. Nothing wrong with that.........

I trust that you haven't shone a strong light down the wrong end? I don't recommend it. I have closely inspected eight Leica binoculars and only three of those have been completely free of dust. But does it matter? No. Does it matter if there are practically invisible lens imperfections (which would only be detectable at all if they happened to be on the outside of either the ocular or objective lens)? No. Does it matter if there are some fit and finish imperfections (and trust me, I could find some on any binocular!)? No. Does it matter if the focuser is a PITA or the view isn't comfortable? Yes.

If you don't see any imperfections and the focus and view are good, then just enjoy them! I'm loving mine (imperfections and all!)!
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Old Saturday 20th June 2020, 06:19   #39
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My IPD is 57/58mm (self/family measured) and in order to use these 12x50 at their closest focus (about 2.98m) I find the barrels need to be almost touching...with the rubber objective covers removed!

I had guessed from the excellent price (27.5% off UK RRP) that this pair had probably sat on the shop shelf for a while, which is as you say, not a problem when still mint.

As the Scopeviews review says, there is something very elegant and refined about these 12x50.
Here I'm not talking about any magical crystal optical clarity; maybe it's the shape, the overall feel in use, they seem to have character, a certain gravitas.
In contrast the 10x32 are a very practical option that don't evoke any of this.
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Old Saturday 20th June 2020, 09:58   #40
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My IPD is 57/58mm (self/family measured) and in order to use these 12x50 at their closest focus (about 2.98m) I find the barrels need to be almost touching...with the rubber objective covers removed!
Charely, my IDP is identical to yours (as best as I can measure it) so I find exactly the same with regard to close focusing.

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I had guessed from the excellent price (27.5% off UK RRP) that this pair had probably sat on the shop shelf for a while, which is as you say, not a problem when still mint.
Heck! That's a good price! I guess it was the last one?

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As the Scopeviews review says, there is something very elegant and refined about these 12x50.
Here I'm not talking about any magical crystal optical clarity; maybe it's the shape, the overall feel in use, they seem to have character, a certain gravitas.
In contrast the 10x32 are a very practical option that don't evoke any of this.
Totally agree with this! There's definitely something special about the Leica UV x50's!
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Old Saturday 20th June 2020, 15:15   #41
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Mike,
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Heck! That's a good price! I guess it was the last one?
Yes, none left in stock. Incidentally the prices of the 12x50 vary a lot, perhaps because relatively few are sold? In the UK, 1850-2100 seems to be the norm. However there's one on ebay from Sweden priced at 2883 which is 550 above(!) the UK RRP, and which I thought may be a typo...until I found this gem LOL:
https://www.onbuy.com/gb/leica-ultra...SABEgLTKPD_BwE

Regards
Andy
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Old Saturday 20th June 2020, 18:48   #42
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Mike,


Yes, none left in stock. Incidentally the prices of the 12x50 vary a lot, perhaps because relatively few are sold? In the UK, 1850-2100 seems to be the norm. However there's one on ebay from Sweden priced at 2883 which is 550 above(!) the UK RRP, and which I thought may be a typo...until I found this gem LOL:
https://www.onbuy.com/gb/leica-ultra...SABEgLTKPD_BwE

Regards
Andy
Seller does not ship to Finland. What a pity........!
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