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Leica Ultravid vs HD-Plus versions

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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 11:00   #1
yves0071
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Leica Ultravid vs HD-Plus versions

Hi,
We are seing now Leica Ultravid HD-Plus binoculars on market. Does it exist non HD plus versions?
When Leica Ultravid HD-Plus has been introduce on market?
Thanks in advance and best regards
Yves
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 13:18   #2
Lightbender
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yves0071 View Post
Hi,
We are seing now Leica Ultravid HD-Plus binoculars on market. Does it exist non HD plus versions?
When Leica Ultravid HD-Plus has been introduce on market?
Thanks in advance and best regards
Yves
The Ultravid HD was launched in 2007; the HD-Plus in 2014, I think.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 13:43   #3
eronald
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Originally Posted by Lightbender View Post
The Ultravid HD was launched in 2007; the HD-Plus in 2014, I think.

There seem to be a lot of new-old-stock of HD versions still in retail.

Edmund
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 14:17   #4
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Leica still sells special edition non-hds like their Silverline Edition which comes in 8x42 and 10x42.

https://cameralandny.com/shop/brands...iation=1090884

Bob
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 23:27   #5
John A Roberts
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The Ultravid chronology is:
2003 - BR
2007 - HD (addition of HD glass in the objectives, AquaDura external lens coatings, and an improved focusing mechanism)
2015 - HD Plus (and Schott HT glass prisms)

See both the the information from a flyer issued on the introduction of the HD version
(the original and many other early- to mid-2000 Leica pamphlets can be found here: http://www.company7.com/library/leica/notes.html ),
and the page from the 2015 catalogue on introduction of the HD Plus version

n.b. the BR designation on the original production helps distinguish it from the previous Trinovid BA and BN models


Identification:
- HD models are marked ‘HD’ on the ID panel on the left hand barrel, and
- HD Plus models have the same marking, except that the ‘HD’ is in red instead of white (see the image from the 2015 catalogue)


Additionally, there are also BL and SL versions that are leatherette finished, instead of rubber armoured:
Blackline/ BL - with black coloured metalwork
Silverline/ SL - with silver coloured metalwork


John


p.s. to pick up on Bob's comment, both the BL and SL models seem to have pre-HD technology
- the units aren't marked HD
- and in the same catalogues as HD or HD+ models, the BL and SL pages never indicate that they have HD or HD+ glass
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Last edited by John A Roberts : Friday 14th June 2019 at 01:41.
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 00:22   #6
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Yves:

John has presented a very nice order of the Leica Ultravid history, well done John.

If you go back on the Leica subforum, spend some time and read about the Ultravid models, this will
take some time. You can find out how members have posted about the UV, the HD and HD+.

I have the Leica Ultravid HD 8x42. It is a nice binocular, and some reviews have found the HD+, does not offer anything better that is observable in the optics.
The main thing promoted with the HD+ is a different glass type in some lenses. The construction of both is very similar.

Jerry
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 12:44   #7
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[quote=John A Roberts;3859638]

Identification:
- HD models are marked ‘HD’ on the ID panel on the left hand barrel, and
- HD Plus models have the same marking, except that the ‘HD’ is in red instead of white (see the image from the 2015 catalogue)

John

Hi Yves,

Just to add a note of caution if buying secondhand...

Unlikely you'll come across the following but be aware of what I was told by the staff of Ace Optics in Bath when I bought an Ultravid HD Plus from them. Mine was new and is excellent but they warned me that they had come across instances of people trying to pass off used HDs for sale as HD Pluses after painting over the white HD logo with red paint! Luckily they checked the serial numbers and the model number on the boxes and caught the scammers out.

Tom
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 14:52   #8
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Another twist to the story...
I bought a 7X42 BR in 2004. In early 2018 I had it repaired to address the "speckles" I could see inside both tubes. It was returned in perfect, like-new condition with noticeably less CA. The invoice noted "Optical Upgrade" but there were no labeling changes to the exterior.

Personally, I don't care about external labels but I do believe the upgrade is either HD or HD+. After seeing an HD+ (latest version) I tend to think my upgrade was to HD. It's hard to say without confirmation from Leica.

I don't see many BR's for sale and I would encourage people looking for used Ultravid's to go for the HD/HD+. The CA in the original BR's often intruded on the "view" and I was quite pleased to see it minimized in my upgraded version.
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 15:03   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pileatus View Post
Another twist to the story...
I bought a 7X42 BR in 2004. In early 2018 I had it repaired to address the "speckles" I could see inside both tubes. It was returned in perfect, like-new condition with noticeably less CA. The invoice noted "Optical Upgrade" but there were no labeling changes to the exterior.

Personally, I don't care about external labels but I do believe the upgrade is either HD or HD+. After seeing an HD+ (latest version) I tend to think my upgrade was to HD. It's hard to say without confirmation from Leica.

I don't see many BR's for sale and I would encourage people looking for used Ultravid's to go for the HD/HD+. The CA in the original BR's often intruded on the "view" and I was quite pleased to see it minimized in my upgraded version.
I have a feeling you would be correct; if the glass needed replaced for whatever reason (to address the 'speckles'), it would be likely they would only have the newer lenses in stock (just an assumption on my part, of course).
The difference in CA was minor but that was the only real thing (aside from the hydrophobic coating) that I had noticed when doing side by side comparisons between the UV and UVHD. In direct comparison between the UVHD and UVHD+, I maybe noticed a slightly more 'neutral' cast but it was very difficult to say for certain.

Justin
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 15:38   #10
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Nice and encouraging to hear Pileatus got a significant upgrade.

Justin, what you say about replacement with new lenses makes perfect sense and seems confirmed by P's experience.

Several years ago I compared side by side a friend's UV 10x50 with my UVHD+ 10x50. I neglected to do the comparison blind which may have skewed the results but the + did seem slightly but noticeably brighter. i didn't notice any difference in CA or color cast but wasn't really looking for either, just comparing brightness.

Mike
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 17:37   #11
yves0071
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Thanks to all of you for information & advices!
Regards
Yves
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Old Monday 17th June 2019, 23:09   #12
John A Roberts
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More re Leatherette Versions

The BL/ Blackline was introduced in 2003 at the same time as the BR
And the SL/ Silverline was introduced in 2010
Both are still listed on the Leica website and both are available in 8x42 and 10x42


HD & HD+ upgrades?
I previously used the qualifier that it ‘seems’ both the BL and SL models have pre-HD optical technology, since I hadn’t seen any clear information to the contrary


But looking at Leica’s order numbers
When the BL was introduced the order numbers were: 8x42 - 40 271; and 10x42 - 40 272
And when the SL was introduced the numbers were: 8x42 - 40 653; and 10x42 - 40 654

Significantly these are still the order numbers used in both the current catalogue and website listings
(in contrast, the numbers for the rubber armoured BR, HD and HD+ versions change: for the 8x42 from 40 261 to 40 293 then 40 093; and for the 10x42 from 40 262 to 40 294 then 40 094)

So the BL has pre-HD optics, and presumedly the SL has the same pre-HD optics - since there's no indication by Leica that it has superior optics to the BL


However in contrast to the above, there are non-rubber armoured Ultravids that do have HD Plus optics - see my next post


John


p.s. for comparison with the images in the next post I've added a BL and an SL image
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Last edited by John A Roberts : Tuesday 18th June 2019 at 08:52.
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Old Tuesday 18th June 2019, 05:04   #13
John A Roberts
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Other Non-Rubber Armoured Ultravids

Leica (and Leitz before it) has long been a producer of de luxe versions of it’s basic product lines
While these Ultravid offerings are mainly of interest to collectors, I’ve included them as many will have a passing interest


A) Regular Production
Customised
In January 2019 the Customised version of the HD Plus was introduced (see https://en.leica-camera.com/World-of...meets-elegance )
It’s offered in 8x32, 10x32, 8x42 and 10x42, and appears to be an ongoing production item

The Customised model has titanium coloured metal on the main body, with a contrasting black bridge and focuser, and brown leather body covering (not leatherette),
see the image



B) Limited/ Specially Numbered Editions
Edition Safari
There have been 2 production runs of this model:
- In 2016, a pre-HD version with 100 units each in 8x42 and 10x42, and
- In 2017, an HD Plus version with 100 units each in 8x32, 10x32, 8x42 and 10x42

The Safari model has olive green coloured metal on the main body, with a contrasting black bridge and focuser, and olive green leather body covering (not leatherette),
see the image of the HD plus version
It comes with a brown leather neck strap and a matching bag from the Aneas leather goods company


Edition Hermes
In January 2016 the Edition Hermes version of the HD Plus was introduced (see https://en.leica-camera.com/World-of...Hermes-Edition )
It was offered in 8x32 and 10x32, with 111 units of each produced. And it is still listed on the the Leica website

The Hermes model is black, with a body covering of brown Hermes leather, and it is readily identified by the ‘vintage’ eyepieces, see the image
It comes with matching wrist and neck straps and a bag with matching trim from Hermes



Edition Zagato
In September 2015, the Edition Zagato of the HD Plus was introduced. It was offered in 8x32, with 1,000 units produced
It was the result of a collaboration with the Zagato design company, see the description

The Zagato model is silver coloured aluminium with milled full length grooves
n.b. in the photo the silver coloured metal is visible within the objective barrel!


For comprehensive sets of high quality images of Leica binoculars, including the Silverline, Safari, Hermes and Zagato models
(along with various Leica photo gear) see: https://www.ebay.com/str/leicastorel...cat=1242201019
It’s also interesting to compare the prices asked for the various models!


John
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Last edited by John A Roberts : Tuesday 18th June 2019 at 23:58.
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