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LEICA NOCTIVID 8x42 Fogged-up/Leaker

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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 13:08   #1
Hugh Delaney
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LEICA NOCTIVID 8x42 Fogged-up/Leaker

Hi folks,

I got a pair of Leica Noctivid 8x42 at UK Birdfair 14 months ago. Suffice to say I was very pleased with them and reckoned they deserved all the plaudits, I'd spent 2 days there comparing them with their rivals and optically thought they were the best, if they could have been designed like Zeiss SF's that would have been my dream bins.. well, we can't have everything!

A month ago I was using them in some light rain the west of Ireland, using the rain guard as usual to keep the worst of it off, as usual a very happy day out in low light watching an American Black Tern (for the birders here!). A few hours later I looked through them on a ferry to the Aran Islands. I couldn't believe it, the right barrel was more or less completely fogged-up (pic below), left barrel was ok and clear. To say I was shocked is an understatement..at first I thought I was imagining it. Then reality set in

To cut a long story short it took about 10 days for the worst of the fogging to clear, I can now use them relatively ok but some fogging is still present, especially visible in certain lights. On one other point about six months ago on a wetter day I noticed some water beading INSIDE the clear plastic cover over the single eye diopter scale in the centre of the bins, it set alarms off at the time but I didn't pay it much attention assuming it wouldn't effect the optics, or? Could it?!! Surely not? I've never even dunked these bins in water, sprayed a little water on the glass once or twice to remove salt is about it.

Have there been many leaker noctivids? Seem to remember someone on here getting a 'test' pair that fogged up? I'll have to hang onto to them until birding season dies down in a week or two and then decide what to do, send them back to Germany?

Thanks in advance
Hugh
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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 16:12   #2
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Of course send them back that's an unacceptable situation. I'm sorry to hear your pair was faulty but I'm sure Leica will make it right. Have you contacted them?
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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 17:14   #3
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What are you waiting for, send them in for service before it gets worse..you know, the dreaded fungus. Hopefully you have a backup glass, it will likely take weeks/months?

Andy W.
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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 18:17   #4
Hugh Delaney
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Of course send them back that's an unacceptable situation. I'm sorry to hear your pair was faulty but I'm sure Leica will make it right. Have you contacted them?
No not yet, will do shortly. Just thought I'd check here first what to do.
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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 18:23   #5
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What are you waiting for, send them in for service before it gets worse..you know, the dreaded fungus. Hopefully you have a backup glass, it will likely take weeks/months?

Andy W.
Hi Andy,

I'll be looking for a replacement pair or my money back, to be honest I think I'd nearly prefer the latter and jump off the noctivid bandwagon. I have a pair of Zeiss 7x42 BGAT that did not give me an once of trouble in 27 years of hard use. They are fine, just have have got a bit 'dimmer', but are missing the right eyepiece cup (that screws off), I gave them to someone recently for a lend and they managed to unscrew it off and lose it. It doesn't rain but it pours!
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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 18:34   #6
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I think there is very little doubt that Leica will go the distance in order to preserve their reputation - if you are after a new pair then make a note of the serial number of the faulty unit, and request you would like a new unit, not a repair. The retailer you bought them from may be able to assist you regarding the return but why hang about?
Good luck.
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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 22:38   #7
Hugh Delaney
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Of course send them back that's an unacceptable situation. I'm sorry to hear your pair was faulty but I'm sure Leica will make it right. Have you contacted them?
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Originally Posted by PYRTLE View Post
I think there is very little doubt that Leica will go the distance in order to preserve their reputation - if you are after a new pair then make a note of the serial number of the faulty unit, and request you would like a new unit, not a repair. The retailer you bought them from may be able to assist you regarding the return but why hang about?
Good luck.
Thanks, will be on the case to them very shortly.
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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 23:04   #8
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I remember reading quite a few cases of Noctivid's and Leica's in general leaking. Even Allbino's had a couple of leaking Leica's didn't they? Even the alpha's aren't perfect. As much as you pay for them it seems like they should be. I am not saying Swarovski, Zeiss or Nikon are free from defects either. That is definitely not the case.

"Perhaps "many" isn't the ideal terminology, when considering only the cases that we've heard about here at BF. But if I create a loose composite of those cases here at BF, then consider the two flooded Leica optics at Allbinos, (unbelievable in itself) my own leaking Trinovid 8x32 BN (sat overnight in the rain) a friend's fogged up Ultravid non-HD (inside a damp truck cab) and all the scattered cases of fogged or leaking Leica optics on the various shooting and hunting forums, which I occasion, it's a complete enough picture that it's concerning to me. Now we hear of a BF member's fogged NV already?
Swarovski seems to be the predominant high end optics brand here in the desert southwest US, among archers, shooters, and hunters. As a general example, I can't really think of a time where I was at the archery range, or the shooting range, or around hunting camp when someone mentioned a fogged Swarovski. I don't doubt that it happens, it's just that I never run into it with non-Leica optics, including all the different Monarchs in circulation which are also popular here.
"Let me be clear that I'm not anti-Leica. I love the history of the brand and still own several including that 8x32 BN, 8x42 UV HD, Televid APO, LRF 1200 and darn, I still miss the 10x50BA that I traded in years ago! These days, I can really relate to what Maljunulo stated, in that I just don't want to deal with sending my optics in for repair work. I feel that Leica is at significantly higher 'leak' risk than my other optics, including my cheap Nikon 7x35 EX's which I routinely run under the faucet."

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread...=350393&page=3

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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 00:55   #9
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Most of the birders in Ireland using top end binoculars -and indeed scopes- are using Swarovski, much smaller numbers are using Zeiss and other brands, I know just one other birder using Noctivid Bino's here so far. Leica were more popular in the 90's until Swarovski raised the bar with the EL's. My last Leica product was the APO Televid 77 Scope, no end of trouble with it, the coatings came off after your first seawatch! It's in two halves now in the garage now if someone wants a half? share in it!
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 03:55   #10
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Sorry the OP got an outlier - hope it is replaced.

3rd brutal Winter in Alaska, no issues.
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 04:11   #11
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I know that other branded glass in the premium sector have had this occur, so lets not jump on the goshawk so fast.

Andy W.
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 07:39   #12
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Hello All,

I very seldom see Leica's being used by the hunters that I know , the high end binoculars that I mostly see being used are Zeiss , Swarovski and Nikon , and then they are mostly older models.
Many use lower end binoculars.
And yes , they can afford the good stuff.

There must be a reason for this.



Cheers.
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 09:01   #13
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I know that other branded glass in the premium sector have had this occur, so lets not jump on the goshawk so fast.

Andy W.
Agreed, Andy. And still .....

I think that given the many Leica binos in my collection, nobody will suspect that I am in any way anti-Leica.
But with the many reports (some of which - not all - I find worrysome), the unfortunate allbinos story, then my own experience (for whatever reason, I never had a leakage issue with either Zeiss, Swaro or Nikon), etc. - is it just me, or has anybody else also been catching himself or herself hesitating on a rainy day to take their UV or NV along?

If it‘s just me, then please ignore this post.

But if I am not the only one, then some conclusions should possibly been drawn at some level. After all, as far as I am aware, 90% of the reported cases seem to have to do with quality control (I am not at all sure about that number, so take it with at least two grains of salt).

In the end, it cannot be that people only take their Noctivids out on a sunny day.

To be fair to Leica: all of the premium manufacturers, all of which are having their quality issues from time to time as we know, ought to keep in mind that paying premium prices comes with some expectations. Having myself been in large companies, I know how difficult it can be to maintain „perfect“ quality over some period of time. It‘s a constant struggle, in fact, a Sisyphean task, made even more difficult when financial numbers seem to indicate that cutting corners is the better way to go ....

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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 09:32   #14
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It seems an inordinate amount of hype seems to precede every new Leica product, watching the YouTube videos about Noctivids you'd swear they were developed by the top NASA engineers. Metal used, glass used, etc, I wouldn't mind if I'd spent a year in a monsoon zone but they didn't pass Irish weather. Houston, we have a problem!
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 10:28   #15
Hugh Delaney
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Sorry the OP got an outlier - hope it is replaced.

3rd brutal Winter in Alaska, no issues.
Wow, that's hardcore, I didn't put mine through that!
Does the focusing wheel still operate as smoothly at -20 !
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 13:15   #16
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Agreed, Andy. And still .....

I think that given the many Leica binos in my collection, nobody will suspect that I am in any way anti-Leica.
But with the many reports (some of which - not all - I find worrysome), the unfortunate allbinos story, then my own experience (for whatever reason, I never had a leakage issue with either Zeiss, Swaro or Nikon), etc. - is it just me, or has anybody else also been catching himself or herself hesitating on a rainy day to take their UV or NV along?

If it‘s just me, then please ignore this post.

But if I am not the only one, then some conclusions should possibly been drawn at some level. After all, as far as I am aware, 90% of the reported cases seem to have to do with quality control (I am not at all sure about that number, so take it with at least two grains of salt).

In the end, it cannot be that people only take their Noctivids out on a sunny day.

To be fair to Leica: all of the premium manufacturers, all of which are having their quality issues from time to time as we know, ought to keep in mind that paying premium prices comes with some expectations. Having myself been in large companies, I know how difficult it can be to maintain „perfect“ quality over some period of time. It‘s a constant struggle, in fact, a Sisyphean task, made even more difficult when financial numbers seem to indicate that cutting corners is the better way to go ....

Canip
No hesitation whatsoever at all for me...in FACT...

Just this past August I think....I was out birding and had two binoculars with me. One was the Silverline 8X42 and the other the UVHD+ 8X42....comparing the two. I was about as far as I go from my Jeep and was about to make my way back towards it when I saw a nice place for a picture. A railing over the water as it were. I guess I wasn't paying attention and "plunk!" There goes the UV into the water!! About four feet deep there so I knew I had a chance to retrieve. Four feet of water and about three feet TO the water so I needed something about 7-8 feet. I had my multitool with me and after about 30 minutes found a limb LOW enough to get to and LONG enough to work to cut off. And no it isn't a good feeling to know about $2000 is at the bottom of the lake! So I got the limb and fished for it....it took a while. Water was muddy and I didn't know exactly where it was. FINALLY I hit something and saw a little bit of the RYUL harness! I kept fishing for it and FINALLY pulled it out with the hook of the limb on the RYUL harness! So I took the UVHD+ home....washed it off and wiped it off and literally as good as new! So four feet in the bottom of muddy backwater for 45 minutes or so....that more than any rainstorm one is likely to ever be in!
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 14:53   #17
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Wow Chuck! One of the most gripping entries ever on BF. Very glad of the happy ending!
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 16:30   #18
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I can only echo: Wow Chuck. Nice story but not so nice at the time. Better take fisherman's waders, a snorkel and maybe some flippers next time.

Glad the Uvids were OK.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 16:43   #19
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Once the fish has been caught and landed.
Then weighed.
Shouldn't it be returned to the the water (:

If an almost waterproof binocular gets moisture inside, I think it might be a long time till the moisture leaks out.
Maybe that is why it stayed fogged up for so long.

B.
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 17:17   #20
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No hesitation taking mine out in the rain though I haven't (mostly due to ME not wanting to go out in the rain). In fact, IF my glasses are going to leak i WANT to know about it and now so we can get the issue resolved! Now I'm thinking I aim to test mine now.
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 17:42   #21
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Wow, that's hardcore, I didn't put mine through that!
Does the focusing wheel still operate as smoothly at -20 !
As smoothly, yes; as freely, probably not, but no problem with the minor resistance.
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 23:54   #22
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No hesitation taking mine out in the rain though I haven't (mostly due to ME not wanting to go out in the rain). In fact, IF my glasses are going to leak i WANT to know about it and now so we can get the issue resolved! Now I'm thinking I aim to test mine now.
Canon's 10x42IS instruction manual recommends rinsing the glass using a bucket of cold water if it has been on a salt water excursion. That is the kind of waterproofing I can relate to.
Still, it did not last forever either, only about 10 years. There is probably nothing totally reliable, so best to just be aware and be quick to act if there are signs of trouble. Leica will doubtless be interested to see what failed in your glass, if only to see whether a potentially costly weakness can be eliminated.
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Old Thursday 24th October 2019, 01:59   #23
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Chuck:

A very good story, and thus you need one of these....

Jerry
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Old Thursday 24th October 2019, 04:43   #24
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Wow Chuck! One of the most gripping entries ever on BF. Very glad of the happy ending!
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I can only echo: Wow Chuck. Nice story but not so nice at the time. Better take fisherman's waders, a snorkel and maybe some flippers next time.

Glad the Uvids were OK.

Lee
I know right! You would think I would have taken some pictures! Kind of Fight/flight syndrome and had a one track mind. I wanted to fish them out ASAP. Waterproofness is a function of exposure TO the water so I knew the longer they were on the bottom, the greater the chance of an issue. Not knowing EXACTLY where the fell in was an issue. Once I hooked them I wanted to wash them off ASAP because the water was muddy and the bottom soft mud. The only thing I did was rush home, remove the eyecups, filled up the sink and cleaned them up. Look and function as new!

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Chuck:

A very good story, and thus you need one of these....

Jerry
Hi Jerry,

I ACTUALLY have one of those and a couple of "floats" made to attach to binoculars. I use them while canoeing. Of course I take Vortex Viper HDs canoeing not Leica's!
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Old Thursday 24th October 2019, 09:28   #25
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Surely it’s in the nature of things that one is going to see more reports of problems than reports of situations where there could have been a problem but wasn’t. I don’t recall reading any post saying ‘my Leicas got a good dousing today but they’re OK’. In fact even exceptional events which don’t have any result don’t normally get reported. I’ve been here for a while now and that’s the first time I’ve read Chuck’s story about his UV’s. Just sayin’........
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