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Leica’s weather sealing issues persist

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Old Wednesday 13th March 2019, 19:01   #1
dwever
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Leica’s weather sealing issues persist

A few years ago Leica was blasted in a review covered in numerous threads on this site for it’s UVHD+ sample and it’s Geovid coming no where near the claimed water resistance, and being the only two alphas in the test to blow it. More recently, Field and Stream has a problem in 2017 with their sample of a 10x42 Noctivid (bolding mine):

“When you bring this binocular to your eyes, the world looks like a better place. They’re that good. With perfect scores in build and ergonomics, resolution, and image quality, the Noctivid is what you get when you combine German glass, precision engineering, and few, if any, limits on production costs. All the moving parts—eyecups, focus wheel, and locking center-dial diopter control—are smooth and positive. The plasma-coated Schott glass delivers a stunning picture with eye-popping detail. At $2,700, the Noctivid got low marks for value. But surprisingly, the binocular also fell down on weather resistance, showing condensation inside the right barrel that lingered for days. Leica says that this is highly unusual and would be covered under warranty, but still, we had to ding it.”

I will say my own 8X42 NVD’s have routinely been in sub-zero weather through two Alaskan Winters without any issues (hard to see against the dark parka) moving back into a warm vehicle or building. My UVHD+ pictured on Robbin Island South Africa never had issues. But they have not had a really good dousing either.
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 02:13   #2
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I am wondering why you brought this topic up for discussion.

It seems you do not have experience with sealing issues yourself.

This post seems out of place, and just a blast on Leica, and uncalled for.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 03:29   #3
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Jerry, pouncing posts is sort of a thing with you after the way you similarly went after mksb on or about December 1 as one of numerous examples of your general animus, even telling litebeam on or about Feb 19 to mind his own business and drawing a rebuke from other members across numerous threads asking you to be civil such as dries1 and Upland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
Your post is too cute to be real. I question your post as picking on a particular binocular model, . . . . . I have a strong BS detector.
Jerry
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Originally Posted by Upland View Post
Hey Jerry: My folks used to say “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”. I think all of us here, myself included, would benefit from that advice. mskb is being quite earnest and that’s a trait I admire. We don’t need to chastise those who seek advice here.
Or as litebeam posted when he was offended by a different post:

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Originally Posted by litebeam View Post
Completely unacceptable posting, ND. Classless. . . .
I am not trying to bash Leica as I have purchased Leica’s 4 to 1 over any other manufacturer.

This is called for as this is the third high-end Leica that has had trouble with weather sealing with two of them in utter failure (link to test with two out of two Leica failures https://www.allbinos.com/18.1-binocu...inoculars.html). I feel both potentially alarmed on this issue and fortunate with my own samples, and I’m wondering why Zeiss and Swaro never seem to have this issue.

If my concerns are overblown, well good, I own Leicas, and the extent of this issue if any is what I’m trying to learn from this community.
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 10:44   #4
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If in your first post you are referencing the issues found in AllBinos' tests, I believe those were explained by old stock being improperly stored?

I've yet to have an issue with my 7x42 UVHD despite using it in sub-zero temperatures and during a few times of unseasonably warm, humid temperatures. I've only had it 3 months, however, so time will certainly tell; that said, I've so far had good experience with Leica CS regarding questions and concerns.

The problems with reviews such as this they only look at 1-2 samples most times, and who knows how those samples were stored/handled.

Justin
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 12:49   #5
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My 2004 7X42 Ultravid has been soaked countless times without fault. It's why I use it on the ocean. I know several Leica owners who have never had a problem with anything.

The other brands mentioned have all experienced similar issues but there's no point in discussing it because these are not systemic problems. Leica produces superb waterproof binoculars as do Swarovski and Zeiss.
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 13:04   #6
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Troubadoris has had her Ultravid 8x32 HD since 2012 and we have spent many days in pouring rain without the slightest sign of water ingress. This is not the same as dunking them in 1m of water for 24 hours but it is the kind of tough conditions that we need our binos to withstand and these have done so.

Lee
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 13:32   #7
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Well, I stand by my comment, you put a big jab on Leica, that was not called for.

So, I called you out on that. That is what it was all about, I felt it was unfair to the company.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 15:11   #8
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Check out the Noctivid weather sealing test https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8783PsIMo1M

I experienced a water seal failure with one of my Ultravids after washing it with warm water and dove soap in the sink.

That’s one failure out of the five I’ve owned and washed under the tap.

Ultravid HD 10x32, Ultravid HD 7x42, Ultravid HD+ 8x42, Ultravid HD 10x42, Ultravid HD+ 10x42

For what it’s worth had a similar problem with a Bushnell Elite 12.5x50 after it was serviced for a wonky focuser.
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 15:11   #9
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Would never consider buying a Leica Product. Customer service according to those who have dealt with them is very poor.
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 17:32   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzzzzz View Post
Check out the Noctivid weather sealing test https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8783PsIMo1M

I experienced a water seal failure with one of my Ultravids after washing it with warm water and dove soap in the sink.

That’s one failure out of the five I’ve owned and washed under the tap.

Ultravid HD 10x32, Ultravid HD 7x42, Ultravid HD+ 8x42, Ultravid HD 10x42, Ultravid HD+ 10x42

For what it’s worth had a similar problem with a Bushnell Elite 12.5x50 after it was serviced for a wonky focuser.
Yep, that's how nitrogen filled binoculars should work.
And I don't think that Leica is worse than any of the other european brands.
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 21:19   #11
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Would never consider buying a Leica Product. Customer service according to those who have dealt with them is very poor.
I've DEALT with Leica and the service was EXCELLENT.
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 21:48   #12
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I've DEALT with Leica and the service was EXCELLENT.
You are very lucky then. Those birders who had APO 77 telescopes have different experiences.
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 07:56   #13
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Would never consider buying a Leica Product. Customer service according to those who have dealt with them is very poor.
Mark, like Pileatus I have also had extremely positive experiences of Leica service (Leica UK) in the past few years, and there have been many reports of the fact that Leica has well and truly pulled itself up by the bootstraps in that area.

Are you really denying yourself the wonderful world of Leica because of that? Go on - treat yourself!
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 10:26   #14
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I have had positive experience with Leica repair service in te Netherlands:
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=373084.
Negative news seems to draw more attention though.
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 20:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Batten View Post
Would never consider buying a Leica Product. Customer service according to those who have dealt with them is very poor.
Well, I'd prefer you not speak for me.

I've had three occasions in 30 some years of Leica/Leitz binocular ownership to avail myself of their (USA) customer service.

All three times they delivered beyond my expectations.

And FWIW, except for the Leitz I've always washed my Leicas under a faucet with soap and never had an issue.
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 21:00   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwever View Post
A few years ago Leica was blasted in a review covered in numerous threads on this site for it’s UVHD+ sample and it’s Geovid coming no where near the claimed water resistance, and being the only two alphas in the test to blow it. More recently, Field and Stream has a problem in 2017 with their sample of a 10x42 Noctivid (bolding mine):

“When you bring this binocular to your eyes, the world looks like a better place. They’re that good. With perfect scores in build and ergonomics, resolution, and image quality, the Noctivid is what you get when you combine German glass, precision engineering, and few, if any, limits on production costs. All the moving parts—eyecups, focus wheel, and locking center-dial diopter control—are smooth and positive. The plasma-coated Schott glass delivers a stunning picture with eye-popping detail. At $2,700, the Noctivid got low marks for value. But surprisingly, the binocular also fell down on weather resistance, showing condensation inside the right barrel that lingered for days. Leica says that this is highly unusual and would be covered under warranty, but still, we had to ding it.”

I will say my own 8X42 NVD’s have routinely been in sub-zero weather through two Alaskan Winters without any issues (hard to see against the dark parka) moving back into a warm vehicle or building. My UVHD+ pictured on Robbin Island South Africa never had issues. But they have not had a really good dousing either.
BTW, how do you get eye popping detail with fog in one scope? I wonder how this sample was treated, tested or handled.
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Old Saturday 16th March 2019, 13:15   #17
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Perhaps the scope problem should be addressed in the appropriate sub-forum... obviously some have had at one time or another a problem with a premium glass with water infiltration, (moisture) it can happen on any brand/model. However, it appears to not happen that often or at all.
My experience is that of older premium glass in which the seals have deteriorated over time 15-20 years, some infiltration of moisture has been evident, the key is to get it serviced right away, or preemptive service on an older premier glass if bought used.

But if it happens on a cheap Chinese bin, and under warranty, they will replace it with a new one.
Instead of Warranty they should call it the Replacement Policy.

Andy W.
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Old Sunday 17th March 2019, 21:32   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Batten View Post
Would never consider buying a Leica Product. Customer service according to those who have dealt with them is very poor.
Which those? You can do as you like, but claims like this always seem doubtful about a reputable company.

I've used Leica service twice in the last 15 years or so, getting a BN bino and even a 1975 SLR(!) cleaned and adjusted, with excellent and prompt results for both, the more recent bino at no charge.
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 03:29   #19
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Well this thread has put my mind at ease and raised my confidence in Leica’s weather sealing. I am returning today from viewing bald eagles in Haines Alaska, and hope to come back in late November when there is a concentration of four to five thousand about fifteen miles outside the small town.

The eagle picture is by the Alaska State Government. The other is my ride on Harris Air today between Haines and Juneau.
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 15:45   #20
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Well this thread has put my mind at ease and raised my confidence in Leica’s weather sealing. I am returning today from viewing bald eagles in Haines Alaska, and hope to come back in late November when there is a concentration of four to five thousand about fifteen miles outside the small town.

The eagle picture is by the Alaska State Government. The other is my ride on Harris Air today between Haines and Juneau.
Hi Dwever,

I spent a couple of days in Haines in the summer of 1967 (Centennial year) at their Strawberry Festival. Didn't see many eagles there at that time but saw plenty of them otherwise. I was working on a Purse Seiner out of Ketchikan. It was a good year to be there except the salmon run was low that year.

Bob

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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 13:25   #21
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You are very lucky then. Those birders who had APO 77 telescopes have different experiences.
Now, that was how many years ago? 20? 25?

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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 14:26   #22
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I appreciate a person's brand loyalty. We all have them in various products if we were to be honest about it. I bought a Leica Geovid last Fall from a sponsor of many forums. I called Leica customer service so i could get the binoculars registered for warranty purposes, and was told the protocol was to do that online so that's what I attempted to do. Turned out there was a glitch in the online portal, so I called and spoke to a customer service rep named B Olesin and told her the problem. She said she would get the product registered for me, and I was pleased to hear that. A couple of weeks went by and I heard nothing, so I contacted her again and asked for the status. She said it had slipped through the cracks but she would take care of it. Another couple of weeks passed, nothing. I attempted to call her again several times, sent her and the rest of Leica USA customer service several emails on the subject, and never heard a word from any of them, zero. As far as I know the binoculars never did get registered. So in my actual experience with Leica USA, I rate them as pathetic, substandard, and shameful given what they charge for their products.

Leica is now dead last on my list of companies to buy optics from.
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 20:48   #23
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I experienced the same glitch in the on-line registration system. I called Leica and they said that they would register the bins for me. I didn't hear anything for a month, so I called back to check and was told that it had been done.

--AP
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Old Tuesday 30th April 2019, 18:15   #24
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My Nocts 10x42 are superb in all areas, if i've been out, or on holiday, Turkey x2, i always clean the glass with the power of running water, dislodges dirts easily, and never have had a problem.
If posters want to voice their concerns about the product, so be it, no Dramas......
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Old Wednesday 1st May 2019, 13:52   #25
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My Nocts 10x42 are superb in all areas, if i've been out, or on holiday, Turkey x2, i always clean the glass with the power of running water, dislodges dirts easily, and never have had a problem.
If posters want to voice their concerns about the product, so be it, no Dramas......
The experience of users of the same products can actually be quite different from one to the next, something that has surprised me time and again, esp. if we talk about expensive binos.

I happen to own a substantial number of what is sometimes called „premium“ binoculars, and if I had to „measure“ the reliability of products by counting the number of times I had to send an instrument in for service or repair during the last 10 years (note: I am NOT abusing my instruments, quite the contrary), then Zeiss and Nikon would be the best (1 count each: replacement of grey SF due to focuser problems; fixing collimation in EDG), Leica would be second (2 counts, decollimation of compact 8x20 and malfunction of Geovid), Swarovski would be third (3 counts, 1 fixing collimation in SLC 15x56, 2 fixing focuser in EL and SLC).

Luckily, the responsiveness and service quality has been good for all four producers and their service centers (including Nikon Switzerland).

The above is true for binoculars currently on the market. If I try to figure out how this is different to the experience with binoculars 30 years ago (yes, I happen to be what they call „of advanced age“), then it seems to me that reasons for service have been shifting. If I had to send in binoculars like Habicht or Zeiss 8x30 (roof) for service, that was mostly due to „internal fogging“ and the like, an issue that I have not encountered with the more recent sealed (and nitrogen purged) binos. On the other hand, focuser problems were not an issue at the time, and I find it somewhat annyoing that it is apparently not easy even for the „best“ in the market to assure 100% reliability with today‘s sophisticated internal focusing mechanisms (judging just that aspect, Leica would come out first for me, esp. their Ultravids have never let me down in this respect).

Maybe one or the other forum colleague will understand why I still hold the good, old external focus porro design in high esteem ... :-)
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