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8x32 UVHD+ vs 7x35 Retrovid (1 Viewer)

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Einaltman, post 19,
The Leica Ultravid 8x32 is a very compact and nice binocular, but the GPO Passion ED 8x32 is almost exactly the same size and has very good optical and handling properties, so it would be nice to compare them especially since the GPO is much lower in price. Could offer a nice surprise.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
My post was specifically referring to "premium" offerings, so I intentionally didn't mention the many nice small/light lower cost options such as the GPO or the Opticron Traveller ED, both of which I've owned (photo below). Actually, I owned the Spectra (not the Passion) but GPO claims they are basically the same other than slightly better "ED" glass in the Passion.

I was impressed with the GPO's handling and build quality, the finish and materials are at a level well beyond the typical entry at the price point, and optically they were very bright and sharp (especially for the price). However, I was bothered by the extreme off axis distortions which always gave me the impression of a very small sweet spot and a view that wasn't relaxing for extended use. To a lesser extent I didn't love the color balance, I am preferential towards the Leica-style view (strong contrast and saturation, rich colors with a slightly warm lean) whereas the GPO have more of a Zeiss-style view (no surprise given the origins). I could have lived with the latter if I was a little happier with the overall optics, but I ultimately ended up not keeping them. If GPO made a premium version of the 8x32 with better overall optics and build quality, they would certainly have my attention!

Regardless, while I think they are a great choice as a small/light backup for traveling and casual use, they are not in the same class as the binoculars under discussion (not saying that's what you were implying, to be clear). It's correct that size-wize these are about the same as the Leica UV 8x32 -- in fact, the GPO is almost exactly the same size and weight as the Leica -- but to me that just reinforces my point about the uniqueness of the Ultravid. They pack the optics of the premium alphas into the size of a mid-range 8x30. Every other premium 8x32 is physically a good bit larger and 70-100g or more heavier. The compromise, of course, is eye relief and FOV, but that's a worthy trade-off for some.

1642199907079.png
 

ZDHart

Registered User
Supporter
United States
I regret that I cannot speak to whether the 8x32 UVHD+ makes a better comparison to the Trinovid x42s, nor to the Retrovid 7x35, neither of which I have.

I did closely compare UVHD+ 10x32 to Trinovid HD 10x32, and observed a somewhat minimal, though perceptible and appreciable, increase in sharpness/clarity with the UVHD+, though the Trinovid HD were certainly wonderfully enjoyable, and highly serviceable.

What I can clearly speak to is my impressions of both the 8x32 and 10x32 UVHD+ models, overall. In a nutshell... I am exceptionally pleased with both of the offerings. Not only for the exceptionally compact size and form factors, but also for the image quality, mechanical and materials quality, and especially for "the view" (which I once, famously, termed "delicious" - but, of course, that term today, for some, seems to have become anathema. :LOL: So be it! It lives on.)

Regarding comparison between the 7x42 UVHD+ and the 8x32 UVHD+, I find the optical qualities quite similar between them, though I view them as very distinct with regard to size and weight. (UVHD+ 8x32 and 10x32 are virtually identical in terms of size and weight.)

51361852001_31b04d1df2_k.jpg


Regarding the Opticron Traveler 8x32, overall... I did very much enjoy the Opticron Traveler 8x32, which were quite similar in size to the UVHD+ 8x32/10x32,

51468908620_b9b25fb6b9_k.jpg


but, I found that the Leicas handily suppressed what I personally found to be a slightly troublesome bit of glare evident with the Opticron. For the price, however, I found the Opticron Travelers to be a quite wonderful choice!

No doubt, in any x32 binocular, it requires an exceptional design to reduce glare to insignificance... and that costs a bit extra in price. Leica UVHD+ comes through in delivering that performance. I have both 8x32 and 10x32 UVHD+ and glare is close to non-existent in my personal experience.

As for size, the UVHD+ 8x32/10x32 are considerably more compact than most of the field of x32s... here, in comparison to my much appreciated 8x32 SF.

51580224804_4538fd6909_k.jpg


We are all so fortunate to benefit from having a wide and wonderful world of binoculars to choose from, in terms of price and performance.

I hope that my reported experience may be of some help to you.
 
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Brummie

Well-known member
I went a bit crazy over the last month. I thought I was pretty much set for binoculars, but after coming across one pair that could serve a niche role for me, I started reading some of the reviews in this forum on recent models, and it all went downhill from there.

I bought a pair of 7x35 Retrovids just after Christmas, which only just arrived, having been caught up in the havoc that COVID and winter weather wreaked on USPS in the DMV. While waiting, I also bought a pair of 8x32 UVHD+, which arrived a few days earlier, despite having crossed the Atlantic, rather than a few states. So I now have both, although I think I'll struggle to justify keeping both.

To get to the point of the thread, initial impressions are that both give that warm, welcoming, high-contrast Leica view. The Retrovid has more pin cushion effect, and more CA (although still only a little until you get out towards the edge of the field). But the Retrovid also has more DOF and 3D effect, a more relaxed view (less fussy eye placement with the larger exit pupils and longer eyecups), and will carry more discretely (particularly under a jacket - although a little longer, they're significantly slimmer). I haven't yet compared low-light performance, nor have much of a sense of how they handle stray light. [UPDATE - the 7x35 is noticeably better in low light, but it's not a huge difference.]

Obviously the UV has an advantage in weatherproofing, although with its thin armor I’d still be cautious about treating it roughly. But that’s not a consideration for me - my first choice general-purpose binocular for extended field use is my Zeiss SF 10x32.

I'm more in love with the Retrovid right now largely because of the styling. I had a similar reaction to my 10x40 Habicht when I first got them, but over time the novelty wore off and the limitations became more obvious. So, I'll keep using both gently to see how I feel over the coming days.

3B0571F9-AB2F-4BE0-A212-CC29F14ECD9C.jpeg
123F024A-2B66-4091-B3DC-4B1F0BFCDAFF.jpeg
 
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MiddleRiver

Well-known member
United States
Brummie,
Do you wear eyeglasses? I have the same 7x35 and have been thinking about the 8x32. My biggest fear is use with glasses.
 

Mac308

Well-known member
Obviously the UV has an advantage in weatherproofing, although with its thin armor I’d still be cautious about treating it roughly.
That’s crazy talk! :)

I got the 8x32 BR in 2007 (which replaced an excellent 8x32 BN) and carried them exposed in very rough conditions for the next 7 years for 100’s of miles here in the Rocky Mountains in all kinds of weather. I replaced them in 2014 with the 8x32 HD and have treated them equally badly, using them in weather from -30*F to over 100*F. Leica Ultravid’s are built like the proverbial Teutonic Tank.
 

Brummie

Well-known member
Brummie,
Do you wear eyeglasses? I have the same 7x35 and have been thinking about the 8x32. My biggest fear is use with glasses.
I only wear glasses when working at a computer screen.
That’s crazy talk! :)

I got the 8x32 BR in 2007 (which replaced an excellent 8x32 BN) and carried them exposed in very rough conditions for the next 7 years for 100’s of miles here in the Rocky Mountains in all kinds of weather. I replaced them in 2014 with the 8x32 HD and have treated them equally badly, using them in weather from -30*F to over 100*F. Leica Ultravid’s are built like the proverbial Teutonic Tank.
I don’t think the armor has much to do with resilience to temperature change. I was thinking more in terms of the impact resistance, which will be a function of both armor and internal build. Still, I’ve dropped a pair of NL 12x42 onto concrete from waist height with very little visible consequence. I would be afraid of dropping the UV onto concrete, at least in terms of keeping them looking pristine.
 
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Trinovid 8x32b

Well-known member
United States
I’ve dropped a pair of NL 12x42 onto concrete from waste height with very little visible consequence. I would be afraid of dropping the UV onto concrete, at least in terms of keeping them looking pristine.
I'll have to remember to drop my binoculars onto concrete from the correct height to see if I'm comfortable with them, or better yet, buy an NL series model for such purposes.
 

Mac308

Well-known member
I only wear glasses when working at a computer screen.

I don’t think the armor has much to do with resilience to temperature change. I was thinking more in terms of the impact resistance, which will be a function of both armor and internal build. Still, I’ve dropped a pair of NL 12x42 onto concrete from waste height with very little visible consequence. I would be afraid of dropping the UV onto concrete, at least in terms of keeping them looking pristine.
Like I said, CARRIED hundreds of miles… not sure why you chose to dwell on temperatures. That’s the least of it…
 

Brummie

Well-known member
Because your phrasing suggested you were talking largely about exposure to weather and temperature, whereas I was thinking primarily about impact resistance.
. . carried them exposed in very rough conditions . . in all kinds of weather . . in weather from -30*F to over 100*F
Anyway, I don’t want to get into a BirdForum nit-picking contest. My point was only that the thin armor didn’t inspire as much confidence as some other designs. Others may have thrown them through the fan blades of a jet engine and know better.
 

Mac308

Well-known member
Because your phrasing suggested you were talking largely about exposure to weather and temperature, whereas I was thinking primarily about impact resistance.

Anyway, I don’t want to get into a BirdForum nit-picking contest. My point was only that the thin armor didn’t inspire as much confidence as some other designs. Others may have thrown them through the fan blades of a jet engine and know better.
Not sure what you don’t understand about backpacking and off-trail climbing for 100’s of miles in the Rocky Mountains… I don’t need any other evidence than my own experience. Where do you live?
 

Brummie

Well-known member
Not sure what you don’t understand about backpacking and off-trail climbing
The part where you didn't specify that. This is a birding forum, and many birders aren't clambering over rocks or doing multi-day wilderness trips.
I don’t need any other evidence than my own experience.
I wasn't at any point invalidating your experience, just clarifying what I was referring to. If you were referring to the same thing, you could have just confirmed that without implying I'm an idiot.
Where do you live?
In DC. I've spent a grand total of about a week in the Rockies.
However, I have lived in the Himalayas and carried out extensive field work in the North Tien Shan, so I can usually recognize a mountain when I see one.
 
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Mac308

Well-known member
You made a guess about the Leica Ultravid armoring, and I contradicted that guess with real world experience going back 15 years which you dismissed. You obviously have a problem being contradicted…
 
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Brummie

Well-known member
You made a guess about the Leica Ultravid armoring,
I stated my reaction to the armor of the only UV model I’ve handled.
and I contradicted that guess with real world experience going back 15 years which you dismissed.
No. I responded with a clarification based on my understanding of what you were saying. Clearly that was a misinterpretation, but I think a reasonable interpretation based on what you wrote.
You obviously have a problem being contradicted…
No. I welcome it, if the factual basis is clear. It wasn’t your objective statements that rankled.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
I regret that I cannot speak to whether the 8x32 UVHD+ makes a better comparison to the Trinovid x42s, nor to the Retrovid 7x35, neither of which I have.

I did closely compare UVHD+ 10x32 to Trinovid HD 10x32, and observed a somewhat minimal, though perceptible and appreciable, increase in sharpness/clarity with the UVHD+, though the Trinovid HD were certainly wonderfully enjoyable, and highly serviceable.

What I can clearly speak to is my impressions of both the 8x32 and 10x32 UVHD+ models, overall. In a nutshell... I am exceptionally pleased with both of the offerings. Not only for the exceptionally compact size and form factors, but also for the image quality, mechanical and materials quality, and especially for "the view" (which I once, famously, termed "delicious" - but, of course, that term today, for some, seems to have become anathema. :LOL: So be it! It lives on.)

Regarding comparison between the 7x42 UVHD+ and the 8x32 UVHD+, I find the optical qualities quite similar between them, though I view them as very distinct with regard to size and weight. (UVHD+ 8x32 and 10x32 are virtually identical in terms of size and weight.)

51361852001_31b04d1df2_k.jpg


Regarding the Opticron Traveler 8x32, overall... I did very much enjoy the Opticron Traveler 8x32, which were quite similar in size to the UVHD+ 8x32/10x32,

51468908620_b9b25fb6b9_k.jpg


but, I found that the Leicas handily suppressed what I personally found to be a slightly troublesome bit of glare evident with the Opticron. For the price, however, I found the Opticron Travelers to be a quite wonderful choice!

No doubt, in any x32 binocular, it requires an exceptional design to reduce glare to insignificance... and that costs a bit extra in price. Leica UVHD+ comes through in delivering that performance. I have both 8x32 and 10x32 UVHD+ and glare is close to non-existent in my personal experience.

As for size, the UVHD+ 8x32/10x32 are considerably more compact than most of the field of x32s... here, in comparison to my much appreciated 8x32 SF.

51580224804_4538fd6909_k.jpg


We are all so fortunate to benefit from having a wide and wonderful world of binoculars to choose from, in terms of price and performance.

I hope that my reported experience may be of some help to you.
Hi Don & eitanaltman

What can you tell us/me about the differences between the 8x32 and the 7x42 UV HD's ?
How do they compliment each other?
What application is there for the 7x42 that the 8 doesn't fill? Other than a few minutes of viewing time late afternoon or early morning ?

Is one more pleasurable to use because of larger oculars and bigger eyeball?

Thank you

Paul
 

ZDHart

Registered User
Supporter
United States
Paul... aside from size and weight, there isn't a great difference, practically speaking. I find it similarly easy to use either one. The 8x32 is dramatically smaller and lighter. (See my photo above with the 10x32 and 7x42 - 10x32 is the same size as the 8x32.)

Yes, a bit more brightness toward the end of the day with the 7x42, as the light drifts down. And, larger exit pupil/eyebox on the 7x42 is something that one may find preferable.

I enjoy using both, but many might say that they reasonably cover the same bases, more or less. Sometimes that small difference is enjoyable, but it isn't a dramatic difference (aside from size/weight).

The 8x32 is highly suited to applications where going small and light weight is desired, without running into the compromises involved with even smaller binoculars. If there is no desire for smaller and lighter, the 7x42 makes a wonderful pair of looking glasses.

I don't use eyeglasses with either one. Hope this helps.
 
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Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Paul... aside from size and weight, there isn't a great difference, practically speaking. I find it similarly easy to use either one. The 8x32 is dramatically smaller and lighter. (See my photo above with the 10x32 and 7x42 - 10x32 is the same size as the 8x32.)

Yes, a bit more brightness toward the end of the day with the 7x42, as the light drifts down. And, larger exit pupil/eyebox on the 7x42 is something that one may find preferable.

I enjoy using both, but many might say that they reasonably cover the same bases, more or less. Sometimes that small difference is enjoyable, but it isn't a dramatic difference (aside from size/weight).

The 8x32 is highly suited to applications where going small and light weight is desired, without running into the compromises involved with even smaller binoculars. If there is no desire for smaller and lighter, the 7x42 makes a wonderful pair of looking glasses.

I don't use eyeglasses with either one. Hope this helps.
Thank you. I’m looking for excuses to buy another binocular. Was hoping you we’re going to say something like’ the sevens are so much more enjoyable to use, and that’s the one you grab most of the time because of how wonderful they are. 😞

paul
 

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