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Comparison between Leica UV 8x20, Zeiss Terra 8x25

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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 00:22   #1
LucaPCP
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Comparison between Leica UV 8x20, Zeiss Terra 8x25

I have both the Leica UV 8x20 BL, and the Zeiss Terra 8x25 ED.

My impression is that optically, the Zeiss Terra are better. They have better contrast, and better resistance to flare, and the image just snaps into focus.

The Leica UV 8x20 are still quite good, but the contrast is not up to the Zeiss level. Also, the images snap less into focus, and for some reason, I have the hardest time finding the correct diopter setting; I oscillate between -1 and 0 every time I try. I also noticed something peculiar. If I look at something small and bright with darker background, such as a leaf stem, and I defocus, with the left eye I see uniform blurriness increasing, but with the right eye, I can see a double image forming. Interesting, I would have thought the two tubes behaved in the same way.

Build quality wise, the Leica are quite a bit better. I don't particularly like the way in which the diopter knobs are attached on my Zeiss; it once came off and I had to send it in for repair; the rubber is not strongly attached to the mechanism underneath.

In the end, I like having both. The Leica UV 8x20 is invaluable as it fits in a tiny neoprene case in the side pocket of my backpack, so it's always ready when I am hiking or biking, and it's so light that I am never tempted to leave it behind. The Zeiss are wonderful for when I consciously choose to take binoculars with me. I just wish they came with a reasonable case and eyepiece covers... the supplied hard case is ridicously large.

Thanks to the many posters in this forum; it's here that I learned about the Zeiss Terra.
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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 01:41   #2
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Luca,

I have and love both as well. I agree with everything you say except I do find the UV optically better. However, in light of your comments I will compare them side by side with your observations in mind.

Re accessories for the Terra, the Vortex compact rain guard and objective covers fit perfectly and the Vortex case for 8x28 model fits well with these accessories and with bin adjusted to correct IP setting. Of course there are a number of other smaller after market cases as well if you prefer more compact carry with the Terra folded as with your UV.

Hope this helps.

Mike
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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 03:07   #3
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Enjoyed your review!

I've considered the Ultravid BR/BLs myself. I'd probably have one if they made a 8X25.
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Old Friday 13th September 2019, 19:23   #4
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I think I know the problem with the Leica UVs...

I checked more, and I think I found the problem with my Leica UV 8x20. At infinity, the best diopter setting is 0. At close range, it is -2: two dots to the left. Is this normal? Probably not, right? This may be a factor into why normally I find the Zeiss Terra sharper in the sweet spot. Should I consider sending in the Leica for adjustment?

Luca
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Old Friday 13th September 2019, 19:28   #5
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I've owned or tried several of each. I much prefer the Leica, esp. for its lack of off-axis astigmatism compared to the Zeiss which is (in a non-defective unit), consequently, really only critically sharp (in the ~8 or so that I've tried) in the very center of the view. Based on your issues with contrast, defocus asymmetry, and diopter setting, it seems to me that something is wrong with your Leica. I would send them in for evaluation.

--AP
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Old Friday 13th September 2019, 22:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucaPCP View Post
I checked more, and I think I found the problem with my Leica UV 8x20. At infinity, the best diopter setting is 0. At close range, it is -2: two dots to the left. Is this normal? Probably not, right? This may be a factor into why normally I find the Zeiss Terra sharper in the sweet spot. Should I consider sending in the Leica for adjustment?

Luca
Sometimes the correct diopter position is tricky, and also some peoples
eyes are not up to the task.

So considering all of this, we may sum this up to personal opinion.
Enjoy those optics they are both very good.

Jerry
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 04:58   #7
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In the end, I realized that the Leica diopter setting depended on how far away I was focusing, and this was likely not normal. After discussing the matter with Leica, I sent back my binoculars for evaluation, and they exchanged it for a new pair of Ultravid Silverline 8x20.

The new Silverline are simply absolutely outstanding! Now I understand why people love the Ultravid 8x20. Their sharpness is outstanding, and optically they are better than my (already good) Zeiss Terra 8x25.
Initially I was worried that the Silverline, due to their light-colored lens barrels, would suffer from flare more than the blacklines, but I don't notice any undue flare.
So I am very grateful to Leica's outstanding customer service, and I am in love with my UV 8x20 Silverline.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 10:41   #8
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Hello All,

Has anybody compared the Swarovski 8 x 25 CL to these 2 binoculars.

It will be interesting to know.

Cheers.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 13:33   #9
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In the end, I realized that the Leica diopter setting depended on how far away I was focusing, and this was likely not normal. After discussing the matter with Leica, I sent back my binoculars for evaluation, and they exchanged it for a new pair of Ultravid Silverline 8x20.

The new Silverline are simply absolutely outstanding! Now I understand why people love the Ultravid 8x20. Their sharpness is outstanding, and optically they are better than my (already good) Zeiss Terra 8x25.
Initially I was worried that the Silverline, due to their light-colored lens barrels, would suffer from flare more than the blacklines, but I don't notice any undue flare.
So I am very grateful to Leica's outstanding customer service, and I am in love with my UV 8x20 Silverline.
Glad you got this sorted and thanks for reporting back. I wonder why they exchanged for the Silverline. Is back-stock of this bin dwindling?

--AP
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 14:17   #10
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Hello All,

Has anybody compared the Swarovski 8 x 25 CL to these 2 binoculars.

It will be interesting to know.

Cheers.
I have and IMO the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P is in a class above both of these. It has better optics than both and is more a competitor of the Zeiss Victory 8x25. I prefer the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P over the Zeiss Victory 8x25 because the eye cups match the eye relief better for me and even though the Victory has a wider FOV the CL-P has sharper edges and a bigger sweet spot so it makes up for the smaller FOV with more usable FOV that is in sharp focus instead of having the softer edges of the Victory.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 15:11   #11
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I purchased a Leica UV 8x20 a few weeks ago, and with glasses it's very difficult to enjoy using them. I intend to add the Swarovski 8x25 CL later this month. In all of my research and reading about the Swaro, the consensus seems overwhelming in its favor, and the exit pupil advantage over the Leica (3.1 to 2.5 mm) will help a lot.

Last edited by dalethorn : Tuesday 15th October 2019 at 15:11. Reason: spelling
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 16:07   #12
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I purchased a Leica UV 8x20 a few weeks ago, and with glasses it's very difficult to enjoy using them. I intend to add the Swarovski 8x25 CL later this month. In all of my research and reading about the Swaro, the consensus seems overwhelming in its favor, and the exit pupil advantage over the Leica (3.1 to 2.5 mm) will help a lot.
I recommend that you try the Zeiss 8x25 Victory before getting the Swarovski 8x25 CL. A good number of users prefer the Zeiss for various reasons, and it is certainly a joy to use with glasses.

As for your issues with the Leica 8x20 Ultravid, are you not getting enough eye-relief? If it is not that and more a matter of maintaining pupil alignment, make sure you are unfolding them asymmetrically to get a consistent grip (First, on the side corresponding to the hand you use for focus, fold it out _all_ the way to the stop. Next, unfold the other side the appropriate amount to get the right IPD for your eyes).

--AP

Last edited by Alexis Powell : Tuesday 15th October 2019 at 16:12.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 16:26   #13
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I own, and regularly use/compare all four pockets discussed above. All work well for me with close fitting sunglasses - 100% FOV - and without glasses with eyecups either fully up or down depending on lighting conditions. Based on personal preferences and ergonomics I rank them:

1. Zeiss VP 8x25. Widest and most immersive FOV. Single hinge design works best for me. Superb handling for a pocket.

2/3. Tie SW 8x25 and Leica UV 8x20. Ergonomics of the Leica actually work better for me than the SW. If bigger EP is important to you the edge goes to the SW, if ultra compact is more important, the Leica is a jewel.

4. Zeiss Terra 8x25. Assuming you get an example with good hinge tension, this is a very good buy. Ergonomics second only to the VP. As expected given the difference in price the overall image quality lags a bit behind the alphas.

Mike
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 17:34   #14
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"A good number of users prefer the Zeiss for various reasons, and it is certainly a joy to use with glasses."

That is the critical factor in liking the Zeiss Victory 8x25. If you wear glasses you will probably like it but if you don't the eye cups are too short for the eye relief so unless you float it away from your face you will get blackout's. Then you have to decide if you like a bigger FOV with soft edges as in the Zeiss or a smaller FOV with sharp edges as in the Swarovski. It is a matter of preference.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 19:43   #15
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I recommend that you try the Zeiss 8x25 Victory before getting the Swarovski 8x25 CL. A good number of users prefer the Zeiss for various reasons, and it is certainly a joy to use with glasses.
As for your issues with the Leica 8x20 Ultravid, are you not getting enough eye-relief? If it is not that and more a matter of maintaining pupil alignment, make sure you are unfolding them asymmetrically to get a consistent grip (First, on the side corresponding to the hand you use for focus, fold it out _all_ the way to the stop. Next, unfold the other side the appropriate amount to get the right IPD for your eyes).
--AP
I won't have access to the Zeiss. When the Leica is folded out so that I get the perfect circle picture with best FOV, just a microscopic shift on my glasses and the view collapses. It's the tiny exit pupils I'm sure.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 20:02   #16
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"A good number of users prefer the Zeiss for various reasons, and it is certainly a joy to use with glasses."

That is the critical factor in liking the Zeiss Victory 8x25. If you wear glasses you will probably like it but if you don't the eye cups are too short for the eye relief so unless you float it away from your face you will get blackout's. Then you have to decide if you like a bigger FOV with soft edges as in the Zeiss or a smaller FOV with sharp edges as in the Swarovski. It is a matter of preference.
Dennis,

Not to argue with you, nor repeat myself, but:

The 8x25 VP works perfectly for me with or without close fitting glasses including without glasses with eyecups either fully down or fully extended either braced comfortably against my lower brow or inserted comfortably in my eye sockets. Any/all variations above result in effortless eye placement, 100% FOV and immediate pin point target acquisition for me. While undoubtedly the ER does not work for you and others without eyeglasses, based on my experience and similar experience of others, I do not think the fact that someone does not use glasses should be considered a drop dead deal breaker unless a person confirms that problem by actually trying the VP for themselves.

Did I mention I love my SW 8x25 as well !!

Mike
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 20:13   #17
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...I won't have access to the Zeiss...
Oh, well, that's a shame. The Swarovski is a fine bin but I find the Zeiss worlds better for handling and view, and I find it somehow one of the great bins of all time rather than just another capable bin. In this assessment, I am not alone, as you'll seen in the review thread on it. https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=359737

You won't find too many reviews of them side-by-side because the Victory was released well after the Swarovski.

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...When the Leica is folded out so that I get the perfect circle picture with best FOV, just a microscopic shift on my glasses and the view collapses. It's the tiny exit pupils I'm sure.
The larger exit pupil of an 8x25 will help in this regard, and the Zeiss 8x25 is especially good in this regard, but again, I encourage you to experiment as I described before to find a comfortable repeatable precise grip (I suggest the asymmetrical unfold to facilitate this). It will help a lot and you might be able to get a lot more out of your Leica 8x20 Ultravid than you realize.

--AP
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 21:24   #18
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I won't have access to the Zeiss. When the Leica is folded out so that I get the perfect circle picture with best FOV, just a microscopic shift on my glasses and the view collapses. It's the tiny exit pupils I'm sure.
The little Leica is way finickier than either the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P or Zeiss 8x25 Victory. It has a smaller FOV also. It simply is not going to perform like the bigger 25mm compacts. Just like an 8x25 is not going to perform like an 8x32 or 8x42. IMO for example there is no comparison between the Zeiss Victory 8x25 and the Zeiss SF 8x42 in all around performance or comfort. No way.

Last edited by [email protected] : Tuesday 15th October 2019 at 22:46.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 21:29   #19
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Dennis,

Not to argue with you, nor repeat myself, but:

The 8x25 VP works perfectly for me with or without close fitting glasses including without glasses with eyecups either fully down or fully extended either braced comfortably against my lower brow or inserted comfortably in my eye sockets. Any/all variations above result in effortless eye placement, 100% FOV and immediate pin point target acquisition for me. While undoubtedly the ER does not work for you and others without eyeglasses, based on my experience and similar experience of others, I do not think the fact that someone does not use glasses should be considered a drop dead deal breaker unless a person confirms that problem by actually trying the VP for themselves.

Did I mention I love my SW 8x25 as well !!

Mike
It is probably all about the depth of your eye sockets. Mine are shallow and yours are probably deeper. The Zeiss Victory is not as good for people with shallow eye sockets like me. Your right you probably have to try them yourself. The Zeiss will work for me but I have to cup my hands around them and rest my hands on my forehead. I have moved away from compacts except for the tiny Nikon MIcron 7x15 which I carry in my front pocket. Give me a good 32mm or 42mm and I am happy.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 21:56   #20
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The little Leica is way finickier than either the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P or Zeiss 8x25 Victory. It has a smaller FOV also. It simply is not going to perform like the bigger 25mm compacts. Just like an 8x25 is not going to perform like an 8x32 or 8x42. IMO there is no comparison between the Zeiss Victory 8x25 and the Zeiss SF 8x42 in all around performance. No way.
Speaking of the Zeiss 8x25 Victory, I was comparing the specs to the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25, and couldn't see a significant difference. I checked the 23 reviews of the Terra at B&H, and where B&H reviewers tend to be extremely picky, they were extremely favorable to the Terra 8x25.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 22:02   #21
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Speaking of the Zeiss 8x25 Victory, I was comparing the specs to the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25, and couldn't see a significant difference. I checked the 23 reviews of the Terra at B&H, and where B&H reviewers tend to be extremely picky, they were extremely favorable to the Terra 8x25.
Be wary of reviews. VERY wary! $100.00 binocular's on Amazon.com have 5 star reviews because the reviewers have never had an alpha binocular. I have had both the Terra and the Victory and there is a significant difference. A good rule of thumb which is better in most cases than all the reviews you can shake a stick at is "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR." LOL.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 22:12   #22
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Be wary of reviews. VERY wary! $100.00 binocular's on Amazon.com have 5 star reviews because the reviewers have never had an alpha binocular. I have had both the Terra and the Victory and there is a significant difference. A good rule of thumb which is better in most cases than all the reviews you can shake a stick at is "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR." LOL.
As a long-time reviewer myself, and extensive reader of reviews before purchasing SOTA products, I was very careful with this one comparing the two Zeiss's. And so that's why I asked for more info here, to see if anyone had experience with both.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 23:22   #23
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Speaking of the Zeiss 8x25 Victory, I was comparing the specs to the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25, and couldn't see a significant difference. I checked the 23 reviews of the Terra at B&H, and where B&H reviewers tend to be extremely picky, they were extremely favorable to the Terra 8x25.
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As a long-time reviewer myself, and extensive reader of reviews before purchasing SOTA products, I was very careful with this one comparing the two Zeiss's. And so that's why I asked for more info here, to see if anyone had experience with both.
I've handled a good number of the 8x25 Terra. I don't use them regularly myself, but I've bought them as a kid's bin. I own and regularly use the 8x25 Victory. I've written posts on BirdForum reviewing each and comparing them, so you could check the archive and read those threads. The Victory is an outstanding binocular compared to other pocket bins and even some 8x30 or 8x32 models. It is a very capable birding binocular. It is _far_ superior to the 8x25 Terra in build, design, handling, and optics. The Terra is OK as a pocket bin but all-in-all it is a mediocre birding binocular. For $200 on sale, it makes a good kid's bin (tight minimum IPD, easy to reach focus, very close focus).

--AP
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 23:35   #24
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Dale,

The numerous 4 and 5 star reviews of the Terra are undoubtedly warranted, again considering the price and I really appreciate my Terras. But in your post #20 you mention you did not see a "significant difference in the specs" vis-a-vis the Victory. In terms of the specs per se, the 390'+ FOV of the Victory versus the good but standard 357' FOV of the Terra is in actual use a game changing difference all on its own. Moreover, regarding the several other individual strengths of the VP, I can only resort to that cliche "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts". Especially since you wear glasses I recommend you consider buying and trying the 8x25 VP since they are not available for you to test otherwise and returning in the event they do not work for you.

Mike
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Old Friday 18th October 2019, 01:40   #25
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I have the Leica UV 10x25 and Zeiss Terra 8x25. The Leica wins in just about every area for me. The experience with the Leica doesn't feel too far from a mid-size binocular to me where the Terra feels very constraining. I think it has to do with the excessive ER of the Zeiss--it has pretty long eye cups and I need them all the way out to eliminate blackouts. I also much prefer the warm tint of the Leica compared to the very cool Zeiss.
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