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Leica Still Tops In My Book...

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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 05:34   #26
Holger Merlitz
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Maybe you just weren't paying attention James.

Leica, with the Trinovid "Ultras" were the first with:
Pop up eyecups
Center diopter adjustment
Truly waterproof design
Hard coatings on the lenses
Greaseless focus mechanism
Serious armor

Along with phase coated prisms and brilliant optics

They were, and are, the prototype for all modern roof prism binoculars.

They were, to me, at the time, heads and shoulders above anything else available. And that's why I bought them.

Except that the phase coating was invented by Zeiss. And regarding truly waterproof: The Zeiss submarine binoculars of the 1930s could be submerged to 40m below sea level ;-)

Yet, the classic Trinovids (with Uppendahl prisms) were definitely outstanding: Very compact, with wide and pleasant fields of view. Later Trinovids were superior, but with reduced field of view. Then, with the Ultravids, improvements turned marginal (only the price was increasing frequently :-)

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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 05:59   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holger Merlitz View Post
Except that the phase coating was invented by Zeiss. And regarding truly waterproof: The Zeiss submarine binoculars of the 1930s could be submerged to 40m below sea level ;-)

Yet, the classic Trinovids (with Uppendahl prisms) were definitely outstanding: Very compact, with wide and pleasant fields of view. Later Trinovids were superior, but with reduced field of view. Then, with the Ultravids, improvements turned marginal (only the price was increasing frequently :-)

Cheers,
Holger
I didn't say Leica was the first with phase coated prisms. I mentioned it, because at the time it wasn't a given. In fact it was unique.

Good luck birding with those Zeiss submarine bins!
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 07:57   #28
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I didn't say Leica was the first with phase coated prisms. I mentioned it, because at the time it wasn't a given. In fact it was unique.
Zeiss introduced phase-coating in 1988 or 1989. In fact, some early phase-coated roofs weren't even marked as such, not even on the box. The difference in optical quality compared to models without phase-coating was obvious in the field, especially with binoculars with exit pupils of less than 5-6mm. These phase-coated Dialyts murdered *every* other roof on the market and were the first roofs that could compete with well-made porros.

I remember doing a very thorough comparison between a Zeiss 10x40 BGAT*P from 1990 and, among others, a Zeiss 10x40 BGAT* and a late Leitz/Leica 10x40B without phase-coating, and the difference just wasn't funny. Contrary to what some people claim, the difference wasn't just in contrast, there was a clear-cut difference in resolution as well.

Leica was the first of the big players to follow Zeiss a few years later when they introduced the Trinovid BA series, first the 7x42BA, the 8x42BA and the 10x42BA. These bins had good optics, were waterproof and *extremely* robust, but a bit on the heavy side. Many of those Leica BA are still in use over here, and quite a few of those have never been serviced. They didn't need to be.

And yes, one could say these were the model most modern roofs for birding are based on, with completely internal focussing and so on.

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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 15:00   #29
jgraider
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Good luck birding with those Zeiss submarine bins!

Good luck selling or buying a 2nd hand Leica with zero warranty. That's a joke in itself.
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 15:12   #30
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And yes, one could say these were the model most modern roofs for birding are based on, with completely internal focussing and so on.

Hermann
As everyone knows on BF, I am a Zeiss fan-boy, but I think you are absolutely right Hermann.

Lee
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 15:38   #31
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Originally Posted by Holger Merlitz View Post

Then with the Ultravids, improvements turned marginal (only the price was increasing frequently :-)

Holger
Except for the Ultravids being lighter, more ergonomic, with noticeably improved optics over the Trinovids, while keeping their title of most rugged binocular, what you say is true.

When the Ultravids went HD, that's when I started to question the value versus cost ratio, but that's a road all brands seem to be heading down.

Last edited by CloseFocus : Friday 28th February 2014 at 15:42.
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 15:49   #32
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Good luck selling or buying a 2nd hand Leica with zero warranty. That's a joke in itself.
Honestly, Leica does just fine on the used market which surprises me due to the lack of transferrable warranty. I know I'd never purchase one used but I regularly see old Trinovids sold for high prices.
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 16:00   #33
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I've just traded a pair in to a dealer.. I got them 2nd hand, and used them for all my birding over 12 years. They had a lot of use.. they lost 150 in value (650 down to 500). So, they cost me just under 15 per year lol.
I have never owned anything that's held it's value that well.
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 16:04   #34
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Good luck selling or buying a 2nd hand Leica with zero warranty. That's a joke in itself.
Google "eBay," type in "Leica Trinovid Binoculars," click on "Search"....
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 19:43   #35
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Good luck selling or buying a 2nd hand Leica with zero warranty. That's a joke in itself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter.jones View Post
I've just traded a pair in to a dealer.. I got them 2nd hand, and used them for all my birding over 12 years. They had a lot of use.. they lost 150 in value (650 down to 500). So, they cost me just under 15 per year lol.
I have never owned anything that's held it's value that well.

I sold my 10x42 BAs in 2008 for $850. I bought them new in 1991 for $1050.
$200. for 17 years, and they saw a lot of use, though well cared for. Not taking into account inflation, that is $11.75 per year.

I've also bought and sold several used Uvids with similar value retention.

Yeah JG is super pissy about Leica's USA warranty situation as it appears to him these days and has commented many times on many different threads about it, often with anger. He may have a point, but the reality is some of us just aren't excited about it. I've never needed it.
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 19:47   #36
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Quote:
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Yeah JG is super pissy about Leica's USA warranty situation as it appears to him these days and has commented many times on many different threads about it, often with anger. He may have a point, but the reality is some of us just aren't excited about it. I've never needed it.
All of the above...
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 20:24   #37
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To be honest, I'm amazed at the quantity and level of discussion in this part of birdforum.. they are just binocs!

Joking, I'm not trying to turn all of you onto me!
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 20:29   #38
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Originally Posted by peter.jones View Post
To be honest, I'm amazed at the quantity and level of discussion in this part of birdforum.. they are just binocs!

Joking, I'm not trying to turn all of you onto me!
True that binoculars get a lot of airplay, but around here for the last couple of years it's been a Swaro / Zeiss lovefest. Not Leica. So, go pick on them!

This might be the cue for a certain fanboy to now chime in and say something like That's because there's only one binocular to buy
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 20:39   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Conville View Post
True that binoculars get a lot of airplay, but around here for the last couple of years it's been a Swaro / Zeiss lovefest. Not Leica. So, go pick on them!

This might be the cue for a certain fanboy to now chime in and say something like That's because there's only one binocular to buy
Now, who could that be?

Arthur
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 20:55   #40
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My Leica Apo82 scope and 12 yr old BN 8x32's are the only material objects I really covet - in fact I think I love them

There...I said it!

Roll on the groaning posts......
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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 21:04   #41
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Around here for the last couple of years it's been a Swaro / Zeiss lovefest.
Maybe, but I predict that in ten years we will still be talking about selling our used Ultravids at a slight loss. I'll be curious to see how the other brands function after a decade of use.

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Old Friday 28th February 2014, 21:18   #42
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I sold my 10x42 BAs in 2008 for $850. I bought them new in 1991 for $1050.
$200. for 17 years, and they saw a lot of use, though well cared for. Not taking into account inflation, that is $11.75 per year.

I've also bought and sold several used Uvids with similar value retention.

Yeah JG is super pissy about Leica's USA warranty situation as it appears to him these days and has commented many times on many different threads about it, often with anger. He may have a point, but the reality is some of us just aren't excited about it. I've never needed it.
With Leica, love and hate is very close related.

Last week we sold a old Trinnie 7x42 BN in mint condition for 900,00 euro's and there is a waitinglist!! The brandnew one is at this moment 1.125,00 euro!

A lot of problems are caused by the fact that Meopta produced their scopes and refuses to deliver spare parts AND the fact that higher powers decided that Leica Customers Services (repairs) has to work (at least) cost neutral.
The guys on the workfloor are magicians and not to blame. It is, unfortunately, not possible to send in a bin/scope and have a certain defect repaired if CS discovers more defects. It is all or nothing! Does the client says no to the bill, it is 45,00 euro inspection costs and the bin/scope unrepaired retour.
Stories like these makes Leica moves often hard to follow, because when all the defects are falling under the warranty, the bin comes back brandnew without any bill.

Higher powers at Swarovski and Zeiss Customer Service decided otherwise and thats why their customers service is much more appriciated.

Jan
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Old Saturday 1st March 2014, 00:39   #43
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Maybe, but I predict that in ten years we will still be talking about selling our used Ultravids at a slight loss. I'll be curious to see how the other brands function after a decade of use.

This is a true strawman - Leica is NOT the only brand that holds its value well - I would argue that Zeiss and Swaro do just as well, maybe a bit better for some models - nor does Leica have any sort of tangible advantage on long-term reliability or durability.

This is not a bash on Leica, as I think many of the products are quite nice, but more a temper on hyperbole.

It should also be remembered that $1000.00 today does not equate to the same $1000.00 ten or twenty years ago. A nice Zeiss 7x42 BGAT/P will sell for a bit more than $1000.00 today - near what it cost new twenty years ago - but you can't really claim a ''slight loss'', if you make a fair comparison of inflation and all that....

Now, if you bought it today, for that $1000.00 price, you have a much better chance of seeing a ''slight loss'' ten years down the road. Me, I hope my collection goes up in value, based on purchase price, and have seen prices creep up in the past few months for most older Zeiss models.

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Old Saturday 1st March 2014, 09:26   #44
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No, but in response to "good luck in selling a 2nd hand Leica" it is a valid argument.
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Old Saturday 1st March 2014, 11:48   #45
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Last week we sold a old Trinnie 7x42 BN in mint condition for 900,00 euro's and there is a waitinglist!! The brand new one is at this moment 1.125,00 euro!
Jan
From what I see in the UK Leica hold value very well, the used Trinovid BA and BN sell for pretty close to original price if they are in top condition. I have the 8x32BN but have have been looking out for a good 7x42 for ages but as you say Jan, the demand for them is high.
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Old Saturday 1st March 2014, 13:48   #46
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All of the above...
Not pissy, as I could care less. Too many great products out there nowadays. Listening to you Lieca lovers makes me wonder why Leica even has or needs a CS/repair facility. Good luck if you ever need it.

BTW, one of my most favorite binos I ever owned or used was my 10x42BA's.
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Old Monday 3rd March 2014, 17:21   #47
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I would argue that Zeiss and Swaro do just as well, maybe a bit better for some models - nor does Leica have any sort of tangible advantage on long-term reliability or durability.

This is not a bash on Leica, as I think many of the products are quite nice, but more a temper on hyperbole.
I'm just curious - which Zeiss and Swaro models are you talking about?
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Old Monday 3rd March 2014, 18:41   #48
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I'm just curious - which Zeiss and Swaro models are you talking about?

I'll speak to Zeiss, as I own a few. The 10x40 BGAT/P goes for about $1000.00, minty, same for the 7X42 BGAT/P. The Night Owl series can go for up to $1500.00.

Much older Oberkochen porro's still command up to $500.00 for the 8x30 and up to 700-800 for the 8x50 and 10x50. The 15x60 BGAT never seems to be found for less than $2000.00. These are asking prices gleaned from e-bay and other ''sell'' sites but they give you an idea of ''value.''

In terms of durability, I can't make an argument one way or the other but I have some Zeiss models that are 45 years old and work as new, as do the rest in my collection. I haven't yet seen any sort of comprehensive reliability comparison between older alpha's, but I sure wouldn't use the number of units up for sale as an indication of durability.
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Old Monday 3rd March 2014, 19:20   #49
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I'll speak to Zeiss, as I own a few. The 10x40 BGAT/P goes for about $1000.00, minty, same for the 7X42 BGAT/P. The Night Owl series can go for up to $1500.00.

Much older Oberkochen porro's still command up to $500.00 for the 8x30 and up to 700-800 for the 8x50 and 10x50. The 15x60 BGAT never seems to be found for less than $2000.00. These are asking prices gleaned from e-bay and other ''sell'' sites but they give you an idea of ''value.''

In terms of durability, I can't make an argument one way or the other but I have some Zeiss models that are 45 years old and work as new, as do the rest in my collection. I haven't yet seen any sort of comprehensive reliability comparison between older alpha's, but I sure wouldn't use the number of units up for sale as an indication of durability.
It's interesting that you focus mainly on a binocular line (the BGAT/P's) that were near the end of their life cycle when Leica first came out with their Trinovid line. But to be fair, when I was trying to think of a Zeiss binocular that would prove your point, it was the BGAT/P and Night Owl lines that came to mind. They always struck me as particularly well built binoculars.

The Night Owl "Design Selection" line was basically two binoculars - an 8x56 and 7x45. When I was buying my first pair of high end binoculars in the early 90's, these were the only other models that tempted me, but the 8x56 was big and heavy, and the 7x45, though nice, could not compete with the Trinovids, at least not in the features I was looking for - it still had fold down rubber eyecups, and the focus knob simply did not have enough surface area. I have never seen a 7x45 for sale, so I don't what they would sell for, or how they have held up over the years, but it's a binocular I have always wanted to look through again.
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Old Monday 3rd March 2014, 19:37   #50
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Leica was the first of the big players to follow Zeiss a few years later when they introduced the Trinovid BA series, first the 7x42BA, the 8x42BA and the 10x42BA. These bins had good optics, were waterproof and *extremely* robust, but a bit on the heavy side. Many of those Leica BA are still in use over here, and quite a few of those have never been serviced. They didn't need to be.
Hermann
Have to agree. I bought my 8x42BA's when they first came out. I've used them daily ( they were, untill recently, my only bins ) on 5 continents and I've recently had them serviced for the first time. I must admit I never found them heavy, but that could be because my previous pair were Zeiss Jena 10x50, and I'm convinced they were built to double up as tank destroyers for use when your ammunition ran out There again, I bought them to use and because they suited me, not as an investment or for the badge.
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