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Leica 7X42 BN versus Ultravid 7X42

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Old Wednesday 1st September 2004, 01:57   #1
Pileatus
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Leica 7X42 BN versus Ultravid 7X42

Leica
7X42 BN versus Ultravid 7X42

Has anyone compared these 2 bins purely on an optical basis?

I compared a 7X42 BN, 8X42 BN, and an 8X42 Ultravid. The 8X's seemed very close to one another in sharpness, contrast and color. The Ultravid seemed a hair brighter.

The view through the 7X BN was great.

I did not carefully evaluate edge sharpness, distortion, etc. so I'd like to know how others evaluated these 2 bins...based on optical performance only. Obviously, the Ultravid weighs less and is not so bulky but is it optically superior to the BN's?

I love the flat image of the SE and the EL so if anyone can comment on the Leicas with that in mind, I'd appreciate it.

John
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Old Wednesday 1st September 2004, 18:57   #2
gorank
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I like the 7x42 models best of all the Leicas. Eye-relief is ample and the FOV is great. Below you see the points from the review att www.Kikkertspesialisten.no. The edge-sharpness is a bit better in the Trinovids (and they are SHARP). Brightness and contrast is a bit better in the Ultravids. I pretty much agree with that. FYI the 7x42 BN are not produced any more.

Ultravid 7x42
Resolution 10+
Contrast 10+
Brightness 10-
Edge sharpness 10+
Eye-Glass 11+
--
Trinovid 7x42 BN
Resolution 10+
Contrast 10
Brightness 9+
Edge sharpness 11
Eye-Glass 11

Last edited by gorank : Wednesday 1st September 2004 at 19:00.
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Old Thursday 2nd September 2004, 10:57   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorank
I like the 7x42 models best of all the Leicas. Eye-relief is ample and the FOV is great. Below you see the points from the review att www.Kikkertspesialisten.no. The edge-sharpness is a bit better in the Trinovids (and they are SHARP). Brightness and contrast is a bit better in the Ultravids. I pretty much agree with that. FYI the 7x42 BN are not produced any more.
7x42 Leica Trinovid BN was the first bino I experienced the famous Wow effect with a piece of optics. I will never forget my first use when another birder let me try it: the vivid colors and three-dimensional view when panning over a lake full of waterfowl. I still like them very much and I think they are one of the best wide field binos ever built. AFAIK Leica is still producing them just like the other Trinovids.

Steve
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Old Thursday 2nd September 2004, 12:45   #4
gorank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hinnark
7x42 Leica Trinovid BN was the first bino I experienced the famous Wow effect with a piece of optics. I will never forget my first use when another birder let me try it: the vivid colors and three-dimensional view when panning over a lake full of waterfowl. I still like them very much and I think they are one of the best wide field binos ever built. AFAIK Leica is still producing them just like the other Trinovids.

Steve
They are not listed on Leicas hompage any more...and the same information ...that they are outdated...i got from kikkertspesialisten.com...it seems that way...and i wonder how long the rest of the Trinovids will last....until the stock is sold out maybe..??
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Old Thursday 2nd September 2004, 13:09   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorank
They are not listed on Leicas hompage any more...
I did overlook this, you are right. BTW I have some informations about eye relief of Leica binoculars. Maybe this is new for some of us.

Steve


Eye Relief
in mm
Trinovid
8x20 BC/BCA 13,9
10x25 BC/BCA 13,7
32er Trinovid
8x32 BN 13,3
10x32 BN 13,5
42er Trinovid
7x42 BN 17,0
8x42 BN 15,9
10x42 BN 13,9
Duovid 8+12x42 14,5
50er Trinovid
8x50 BN 18,1
10x50 BN 14,6
12x50 BN 13,2
Duovid 10+15x50 14,5
Laser Range Finder
LRF 900 14,0
LRF 1200 14,0
Pinmaster 14,0
Ultravid
8x20 BR/BL 15,0
10x25 BR/BL 15,0
32er Ultravid
8x32 BR 13,0
10x32 BR 13,0
42er Ultravid
7x42 BR 17,0
8x42 BR/BL 15,9
10x42 BR/BL 15,8
50er Ultravid
8x50 BR 18,1
10x50 BR 14,6
12x50 BR 13,2
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Old Thursday 2nd September 2004, 20:16   #6
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[QUOTE=hinnark BTW I have some informations about eye relief of Leica binoculars. Maybe this is new for some of us.

Steve


Thanks, Steve, for Leica products this info is always hard to find.

Robert
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Old Saturday 4th September 2004, 08:52   #7
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[quote=Swissboy][quote=hinnark BTW I have some informations about eye relief of Leica binoculars. Maybe this is new for some of us.

Steve


Thanks, Steve, for Leica products this info is always hard to find.

Robert[/QUOTE]



These informations will be published in Leicas new bino brochures soon.

Steve
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Old Saturday 4th September 2004, 12:44   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hinnark
These informations will be published in Leicas new bino brochures soon.

Steve
Steve,

Has another eyeglass wearer looked at the eyecup on the Ultravid? Compared to the BN's, the Ultravid eyecup is much higher off the glass resulting in less usable eye relief...at least for me. It is made of a nice pliable rubber-like compound that might compress if I pressed it hard against my eyeglass, but I never do that. Have any other eyeglass wearers noticed the same thing on the Ultravid?

I almost purchased an Ultravid yesterday morning. However, missing the full view and the tiring focus wheel killed the deal. I was willing to ignore the eye relief shortcoming because the view was so good, but the focus wheel just tired me out. On this board we talked about guarantees, first quality instruments, etc. and it dawned on me that this is exactly the type of issue a company should address. Leica should put a note in the box that guarantees that focus wheel will SMOOOOOTH out in a few weeks of steady use or the company will immediately remedy it. It's ridiculous to ask a consumer to purchase a $1300 bin whose focus mechanism is difficult to use. If nothing else, they should have a broken-in model for demonstration purposes! I tried other Ultravids, in other stores, and they were slightly better than this new out-of-the box sample, so maybe they all improve over time. I just kept asking myself "What if it doesn't" and that kept my money in my pocket.

John
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Old Saturday 4th September 2004, 13:35   #9
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I wear glasses and the eyecup design is one of the things I like about the Ultravids. I have plenty eyerelief even with the cups at the outer setting. But I press my glasses up against the cups. The cups staying out alittle keeps any glasss to glass contact from happening.

The focus is a tiny bit gritty, but OK with me. Closer would be nice, but not a big deal for me.

My issues with the Ultravids are:

1. They don't quite have the resolving capability of my old 8x32 BAs.
2. They have an annoying amount of flare.
3. The thumb ridges are really starting to annoy me.
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Old Sunday 5th September 2004, 11:25   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Traynor
Steve,

Has another eyeglass wearer looked at the eyecup on the Ultravid? Compared to the BN's, the Ultravid eyecup is much higher off the glass resulting in less usable eye relief...at least for me. It is made of a nice pliable rubber-like compound that might compress if I pressed it hard against my eyeglass, but I never do that. Have any other eyeglass wearers noticed the same thing on the Ultravid?

I almost purchased an Ultravid yesterday morning. However, missing the full view and the tiring focus wheel killed the deal. I was willing to ignore the eye relief shortcoming because the view was so good, but the focus wheel just tired me out. On this board we talked about guarantees, first quality instruments, etc. and it dawned on me that this is exactly the type of issue a company should address. Leica should put a note in the box that guarantees that focus wheel will SMOOOOOTH out in a few weeks of steady use or the company will immediately remedy it. It's ridiculous to ask a consumer to purchase a $1300 bin whose focus mechanism is difficult to use. If nothing else, they should have a broken-in model for demonstration purposes! I tried other Ultravids, in other stores, and they were slightly better than this new out-of-the box sample, so maybe they all improve over time. I just kept asking myself "What if it doesn't" and that kept my money in my pocket.

John
John,

the eyecups of the Utravids looks a bit higher but I´m not sure if they really are because I didn´t noticed a difference when using them. I wear eyeglasses too and press the bino always against them but not hard. I had never a problem with that, scratches or so with different kind of eyeglasses.
If you got a problem with the focuss and it´s still there in a few weeks I would say this is a matter of warrenty you shouldn´t hesitate to reclaim. I had a simmilar problem with my scope, Zeiss 85 Diascope where the focus mechanism was too stiff. I gave my scope back to Zeiss as a case of warranty and they cleared that issue away within 3 weeks.

Steve

Steve
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Old Monday 6th September 2004, 02:24   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hinnark
John,

the eyecups of the Utravids looks a bit higher but I´m not sure if they really are because I didn´t noticed a difference when using them. I wear eyeglasses too and press the bino always against them but not hard. I had never a problem with that, scratches or so with different kind of eyeglasses.
If you got a problem with the focuss and it´s still there in a few weeks I would say this is a matter of warrenty you shouldn´t hesitate to reclaim. I had a simmilar problem with my scope, Zeiss 85 Diascope where the focus mechanism was too stiff. I gave my scope back to Zeiss as a case of warranty and they cleared that issue away within 3 weeks.

Steve

Steve
Steve,

The Ultravids have a very nice, soft, compressible, tube-like eyecup that impressed me from a design standpoint. My eyeglasses are AR coated and I've deliberately avoided pressing my SE against them to avoid scratches. Since I'm going to get new lenses soon, I've been pressing my SE eyepiece against my eyeglass lens and I've yet to notice any scratches. Apparently, the AR coating is tougher than the optician thought. That's good news for me because it will reduce my need for eye relief. Eyeglasses are such a pain!

I'd really like to see a comparison of the Ultravid to the new Zeiss FL. Based on the opinions expressed so far, it seems the FL optically beats the EL. I was very impressed with the Ultravid in a direct comparison with my SE, so I'd be interested in an Ultravid/FL debate.

John

PS
I didn't buy the Ultravid...I'm still looking!
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