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Leica 10x50 BA vs new models

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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 00:36   #1
Bhauer
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Leica 10x50 BA vs new models

Thank you for letting me join the group.
I have a 10x50 BA pair of Leicaís I bought new decades ago. Lately Iíve been looking at Leicaís newer models and I am wondering if some of you have an opinion on whether or not there is a noticeable difference between what I have or the Ultravid Plus model and Noctivid to justify the price. Can you really see a substantial difference in these new Leicaís?
I use binoculars quite a bit where I live. Iím thinking an 8x50 would be good for low light. Or is the 8x42 Noctivid the way to go? I really like the low light capabilities of the higher end binoculars.
Iíve been using Leica ever since 1981 when I heard a German Professional Hunter in Zimbabwe describe Leica 10x50ís as ďMAGICĒ. When I got home I saved my money until I could get a pair and have been using them ever since.
Thanks for any help or advice!!!!!
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 01:23   #2
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Bhauer,

I have the BA, UV BR and the UVHD+ there is a difference, the UVs show slightly more at dusk, they are also I believe substantially lighter in weight about 150 grams, a bit more than 5 ounces in weight. The UVs are bit more comfortable to use (ergonomically), for me anyway. The BA during provides some great views even by today's standards for a 10X50, I still enjoy them.
Now it looks like you are looking for an 8X42 or a 8X50. There are many choices for the 8X42 but the Leica 8X50 BR or HD can be found for substantially less than what a Noctivid would cost.
For me, no, the cost is not justified, however the cost of that justification will be up to you, after a view through both.

Enjoy the BAs,

Andy W.
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 01:30   #3
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Thanks Andy. I appreciate your answer. Leica 10x50’s are pretty heavy around the neck. I would think that the Ultravid HD plus in 8x50 would have much better light gathering ability early morning and late evening than the 8x42 Noctivid. That is one of the more important factors for me.
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 01:49   #4
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If you can, you should try them out. As one's eye ages, its maximum dilation diminishes. It may be that you would not see much benefit from a 7mm exit pupil compared to a 5mm or 6mm. It's probably a little tricky to measure looking through binoculars, as they all have different transmissions.

I think there are some other posts that say how to measure your eyes.

Maybe this one of these:

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=151347
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=132642
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 01:54   #5
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There are specials on the 8X50 HD models, and to me I do not think the difference in performance, (nil) IMHO is worth the price the difference between the HD and the HD+. The HD + model has slightly better focusing action, but IMHO, I would go for the HD at likely a much reduced price.
Keep your eyes out.

Andy W.
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 02:47   #6
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Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
There are specials on the 8X50 HD models, and to me I do not think the difference in performance, (nil) IMHO is worth the price the difference between the HD and the HD+. The HD + model has slightly better focusing action, but IMHO, I would go for the HD at likely a much reduced price.
Keep your eyes out.

Andy W.
Thatís great advice! Thanks!!!!
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 02:51   #7
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Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
There are specials on the 8X50 HD models, and to me I do not think the difference in performance, (nil) IMHO is worth the price the difference between the HD and the HD+. The HD + model has slightly better focusing action, but IMHO, I would go for the HD at likely a much reduced price.
Keep your eyes out.

Andy W.
There is a new pair on EBay for $1567 and free shipping
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 03:48   #8
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I have a 10x50 BA pair of Leicaís I bought new decades ago. Lately Iíve been looking at Leicaís newer models and I am wondering if some of you have an opinion on whether or not there is a noticeable difference between what I have or the Ultravid Plus model and Noctivid to justify the price. Can you really see a substantial difference in these new Leicaís?
I use binoculars quite a bit where I live. Iím thinking an 8x50 would be good for low light. Or is the 8x42 Noctivid the way to go? I really like the low light capabilities of the higher end binoculars.
Iíve been using Leica ever since 1981...
The UVHD+ will be lighter weight and slightly brighter than the BA. I've also noticed that UVs bring out some subtle details in low-contrast subjects better. But these are modest improvements. The BA/BN were excellent already.

If you really want something with better low light performance, check out a Swarovski SLC 10x56. (There's an 8x too but you may not have the pupil dilation for it.) It's about the weight of your BA, and an amazing glass. (And I say that having used Leicas for years myself, before discovering the SLCs.)
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 04:15   #9
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The UVHD+ will be lighter weight and slightly brighter than the BA. I've also noticed that UVs bring out some subtle details in low-contrast subjects better. But these are modest improvements. The BA/BN were excellent already.

If you really want something with better low light performance, check out a Swarovski SLC 10x56. (There's an 8x too but you may not have the pupil dilation for it.) It's about the weight of your BA, and an amazing glass. (And I say that having used Leicas for years myself, before discovering the SLCs.)
Thanks!!!! I will check those out!!! I have a friend who is a Swarovski fan.
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 05:52   #10
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I have used a lot of Leica's from the BA's up to the UVHD + and IMO I never noticed a very big difference in them optically. If you have a BA I don't really think it is worth upgrading for the optics at least. Looking at the scores of the three Leica 10x42's in Allbino's there is hardly any difference and in fact the UVHD scores HIGHER than the UVHD+.Here also is what Allbino's has to say about the three generations of Leica's.

Allbino's Scores for Leica's 10x42
UVHD 142.6
UVHD+ 142.1
BA 139.0


'Why am I writing about it? On our website you can find tests of all 10x42 models, from the Trinovid BN to the Ultravid HD-Plus. It is easy to check what the customers gained throughout all these years. Firstly the results show unanimously that, within the margin of measurement error, the HD-Plus model is practically the same as the HD model. Maybe the transmission level varies a bit but even if you compare the measurements taken with a spectrophotometer the differences remain very slight; it is really difficult to say whether they are an effect of measurement errors, natural differences between two specimens or the actual influence of Schott HT glass. If the spectrophotometer doesn’t show any distinct difference, it won’t be visible to the naked eye either. So we have a situation where the Ultravid HD doesn’t differ markedly from the Ultravid BR and the Ultravid BR is an almost identical copy of the Trinovid but closed in a lighter casing. It seems that for almost 25 years Leica haven’t introduced any innovative optical solutions to its key series of binoculars. Of course the weight reduction and hydrophobic coatings are appreciated, along with a slight transmission increase or a tad wider field of view. Still such a reputable company should have done better, especially if you take into account the length of the period of time we are talking about. As a result of such stagnation Leica devices started to compete with each other: you can still buy second-hand specimen of Trinovids in mint condition for half the price of the new Ultravids HD-Plus."

https://www.allbinos.com/302-binocul...lus_10x42.html
https://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ra...ing-10x42.html

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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 06:16   #11
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Originally Posted by tenex View Post
The UVHD+ will be lighter weight and slightly brighter than the BA. I've also noticed that UVs bring out some subtle details in low-contrast subjects better. But these are modest improvements. The BA/BN were excellent already.

If you really want something with better low light performance, check out a Swarovski SLC 10x56. (There's an 8x too but you may not have the pupil dilation for it.) It's about the weight of your BA, and an amazing glass. (And I say that having used Leicas for years myself, before discovering the SLCs.)
The Swarovski SLC 10x56 would be better in low light than the SLC 8x56 regardless of how much your pupils dilate. 10x allows you to see more detail in low light the same way it does in daylight.
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 13:42   #12
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I have used a lot of Leica's from the BA's up to the UVHD + and IMO I never noticed a very big difference in them optically. If you have a BA I don't really think it is worth upgrading for the optics at least. Looking at the scores of the three Leica 10x42's in Allbino's there is hardly any difference and in fact the UVHD scores HIGHER than the UVHD+.Here also is what Allbino's has to say about the three generations of Leica's.

Allbino's Scores for Leica's 10x42
UVHD 142.6
UVHD+ 142.1
BA 139.0


'Why am I writing about it? On our website you can find tests of all 10x42 models, from the Trinovid BN to the Ultravid HD-Plus. It is easy to check what the customers gained throughout all these years. Firstly the results show unanimously that, within the margin of measurement error, the HD-Plus model is practically the same as the HD model. Maybe the transmission level varies a bit but even if you compare the measurements taken with a spectrophotometer the differences remain very slight; it is really difficult to say whether they are an effect of measurement errors, natural differences between two specimens or the actual influence of Schott HT glass. If the spectrophotometer doesnít show any distinct difference, it wonít be visible to the naked eye either. So we have a situation where the Ultravid HD doesnít differ markedly from the Ultravid BR and the Ultravid BR is an almost identical copy of the Trinovid but closed in a lighter casing. It seems that for almost 25 years Leica havenít introduced any innovative optical solutions to its key series of binoculars. Of course the weight reduction and hydrophobic coatings are appreciated, along with a slight transmission increase or a tad wider field of view. Still such a reputable company should have done better, especially if you take into account the length of the period of time we are talking about. As a result of such stagnation Leica devices started to compete with each other: you can still buy second-hand specimen of Trinovids in mint condition for half the price of the new Ultravids HD-Plus."

https://www.allbinos.com/302-binocul...lus_10x42.html
https://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ra...ing-10x42.html
This is really interesting and helpful. Thank you. I may just stick with my 10x 50 BAís unless I decide the size and weight of 10x40ís changes my mind.
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 17:05   #13
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The UVHD+ will be lighter weight and slightly brighter than the BA. I've also noticed that UVs bring out some subtle details in low-contrast subjects better. But these are modest improvements. The BA/BN were excellent already.
That's probably about right. A LITTLE more FOV, a LITTLE more ER, 5 ounces less weight, better eye cups, maybe a more ergonomic design, 1-3% or so more light transmission.

I have a 8X50 UVHD+ but no 50mm BA/BN to compare.

Allbinos is a good source of info BUT is not the end-all solution to binocular choice.
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 17:36   #14
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That's probably about right. A LITTLE more FOV, a LITTLE more ER, 5 ounces less weight, better eye cups, maybe a more ergonomic design, 1-3% or so more light transmission.

I have a 8X50 UVHD+ but no 50mm BA/BN to compare.

Allbinos is a good source of info BUT is not the end-all solution to binocular choice.
"Better eye cups" is debatable... some UV models (42, never tried 50) were unusable for me because the eyecups wouldn't extend far enough for the ER. And I've never needed steps; in or out works fine.

I seem to have read or been pointed to that particular paragraph on Allbinos many times, and find it tiresome. I think they're being unfair, essentially criticizing Leica for already being too good. The "improvements" others have made (e.g. flat field) are not what everyone wants.
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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 19:50   #15
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"Better eye cups" is debatable... some UV models (42, never tried 50) were unusable for me because the eyecups wouldn't extend far enough for the ER. And I've never needed steps; in or out works fine.

I seem to have read or been pointed to that particular paragraph on Allbinos many times, and find it tiresome. I think they're being unfair, essentially criticizing Leica for already being too good. The "improvements" others have made (e.g. flat field) are not what everyone wants.
That is true that not everybody want's a flat field but the point Allbino's is making is there is not much difference optically between the BR, BA, UVHD or UVHD+. Save yourself some money and buy a mint BA or BN.

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Old Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 22:56   #16
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This is really interesting and helpful. Thank you. I may just stick with my 10x 50 BAís unless I decide the size and weight of 10x40ís changes my mind.
Welcome to the Birdforum, I am your neighbor to the north, good to see you join in. A while back I had a chance to use a 10x50 Trinovid BA, and I really liked it. I found it to have a very comfortable view, is bright and was very good overall. I have experience with other 10x50's and many 10x42's.

Enjoy in good health. I have experience with several Leica's, and this model
and the 8x32 BN are my favorites.

Jerry
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Old Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 00:18   #17
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Welcome to the Birdforum, I am your neighbor to the north, good to see you join in. A while back I had a chance to use a 10x50 Trinovid BA, and I really liked it. I found it to have a very comfortable view, is bright and was very good overall. I have experience with other 10x50's and many 10x42's.

Enjoy in good health. I have experience with several Leica's, and this model
and the 8x32 BN are my favorites.

Jerry
Thanks Jerry! Iíve had the 10x50ís for almost 25 years. Iíd like to try a pair of 8x50 or 8x42ís partly for size difference. 10x50ís are heavy and large to carry in the woods.
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Old Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 00:21   #18
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That's probably about right. A LITTLE more FOV, a LITTLE more ER, 5 ounces less weight, better eye cups, maybe a more ergonomic design, 1-3% or so more light transmission.

I have a 8X50 UVHD+ but no 50mm BA/BN to compare.

Allbinos is a good source of info BUT is not the end-all solution to binocular choice.
Thanks Chuck! It would be nice to be able to compare. I donít think there are any outlets where I live to get my hands on Leicaís.
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Old Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 00:34   #19
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Thanks Chuck! It would be nice to be able to compare. I donít think there are any outlets where I live to get my hands on Leicaís.
The american birding association has a SD mailing list. I bet if you join that (or another SD birding club) you could find someone willing to meet up and compare binoculars.

http://birding.aba.org/

Probably hunting groups too, if that is more your thing.

Marc
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Old Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 23:15   #20
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The american birding association has a SD mailing list. I bet if you join that (or another SD birding club) you could find someone willing to meet up and compare binoculars.

http://birding.aba.org/

Probably hunting groups too, if that is more your thing.

Marc
Thatís a good idea. Thanks!
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Old Thursday 4th July 2019, 00:05   #21
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Hello,

The Leica BA line, like the BN's had silver coated prisms to provide high reflection [unneeded in Porro binoculars].
Later models had dielectric coatings on those prism surfaces. Dielectric coatings are supposed to provide better colour rendition and perhaps greater transmission. I would guess that the colour rendition and contrast would be noticeably different between the BA and current models.

Happy bird watching,
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Old Thursday 4th July 2019, 22:01   #22
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Hello,

The Leica BA line, like the BN's had silver coated prisms to provide high reflection [unneeded in Porro binoculars].
Later models had dielectric coatings on those prism surfaces. Dielectric coatings are supposed to provide better colour rendition and perhaps greater transmission. I would guess that the colour rendition and contrast would be noticeably different between the BA and current models.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
That would probably make a noticeable difference. Thank you for that information!
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Old Thursday 4th July 2019, 22:04   #23
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The good news is I had a fairly large sale last week in Real Estate. (That’s what I do.). So I am considering heavily the 8x50 Noctivids. There is a seller on EBay who sells them for less than 2k and has 100% perfect feedback. I may go that direction as this sale firms up.
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Old Thursday 4th July 2019, 22:33   #24
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Do you mean 8x50 Ultravids or 8X42 Noctivids, which one?, the 8X50 Noctivid does not exist.

Andy W.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 13:48   #25
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Do you mean 8x50 Ultravids or 8X42 Noctivids, which one?, the 8X50 Noctivid does not exist.

Andy W.
Sorry,... I meant 8x42 Noctivids. Leaning that way because of the size for travel.
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