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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

A new (old) toy - Leitz Trinovid 6x24 (1 Viewer)

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Impulse bought these recently, what a gem!

I was not prepared for how much of a little tank these old Leitz are, it tips my postal scale at 454g vs 530g for the UVHD 8x32. Serial No is 6968xx so that makes it 1968-ish from what JR has documented?

These are in really excellent mechanical and optical condition except, unfortunately, for some haze in the right barrel that really degrades the color and contrast (especially because I'm right eye dominant). Hopefully SOR can clear it up, because the view through the good barrel is quite lovely!

More to come, but in the meantime here's a couple of comparison photos with the Ultravid HD 8x32:

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And a photo comparison (looking down the objective end) showing the impact of the haze in the right barrel.... but also how vivid and contrasty the good barrel is! Not bad for a 50+ year old binocular! And a whopping 12 degree FOV!!

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jring

Well-known member
Hi Eitan,

congratulations to a very collectible piece in great condition... keeping my fingers crossed that some TLC by the right hands can get the haze removed!

Do I see it correctly that this example has fold-down eyecups?

Joachim
 

Foss

Well-known member
Very nice Eitan. Thanks for posting the pix and good luck with the resto. They're in very good hands at SOR.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Joachim - no, these are the fixed (non-folding) hard rubber eyecups, the "ring" at the end screws off the main barrel:

1621365259702.png 1621365856314.png

It looks like originally they had a single-piece fixed rubber eyecup. JR's Leitz serial number info mentions "one piece eyecup" for the first production of the Leitz Trinovids, and then has a note about the introduction of "hard rubber eyecup rim" which is what I assume mine (above) is.

I found this images online, which appear to illustrate the "one piece eyecup" design:

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Patudo

Well-known member
Congrats on your acquisition eitan! After you've been able to evaluate them for a while it would be really interesting to have your thoughts on how useful a device they are for birding, and whether you feel the lack of phase coating (supposedly less of an issue in lower magnification roofs) and single-coated lenses/prisms are much of a hindrance in actual use. I'm guessing you are one of the fortunate who don't need glasses/spectacles?

This has to be one of the more lusted after classic binoculars and would, frankly, have represented a really unique proposition if Leica had incorporated it in the Retrovid range. Multi-coated glass, phase-coated prisms, dielectric mirrors, maybe with eyepieces tweaked for longer eye relief... I mean, even if the field of view was reduced from 212m to a mere 195m it'd still comfortably exceed the Kowa 6.5! And the size of the thing would make it marketable to the "general purpose" user - it'd fit nicely into a fashionable handbag at Royal Ascot, or at the Auckland waterfront watching the America's Cup. Sure, it'd be pricey as hell (especially if the prism-mirror system was reproduced) - but that's not an issue for the LEICAMAN...
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
No doubt, I wish 6x24 was a more common format compared to the typical compacts with their tiny exit pupils (8x20, 10x25, etc). A modernized version would be a delight, and yes the Kowa 6.5x32 definitely came to mind when using them!

But having a 4mm exit pupil really obviates many of the concerns of the typical compact.

You are correct that I don't wear glasses. The eye relief is quite tight, and since I have somewhat longish eyelashes it's a bit of an adventure trying to stuff my eyes in there and get the full FOV. The nice thing about the crazy 12 degree FOV is that I can sacrifice a bit of that for slightly more comfortable eye position, and still get a huge FOV.

I was really shocked at how good the view is through the good barrel. It's obviously not as bright as the modern roofs I have on hand, but I expected it to be much farther behind in this respect. Sharpness is quite impressive for a non-phase-coated roof (the low magnification helps I'm sure), and despite being >50 years old it still has a vivid, contrasty, "Leica-like" view that I wasn't expecting. I was anticipating a much duller presentation, but to be honest (by memory) it doesn't feel that far off the Trinovid BA 8x32 that I had recently in terms of color saturation / contrast / pop. There is obviously quite a bit of pincushion and curvature, but the sweet spot is quite large and the field is very usable well off axis.

My initial impression is that I could happily use these for casual birding (backyard views, walks in the park, etc) if the right barrel were at the same level as the left. The focuser is wonderfully smooth, if a bit slow, and the 4mm exit pupil makes it easy to use, unlike most compacts. Also, as a side bonus, the close focus appears to be a bit under 3m, similar to my 7x42 Ultravid, so I don't even have to worry about that limitation common to many classic roofs.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Took a quick iPhone comparison snap in the yard of the 6x24's good barrel vs the 7x42 UVHD... standard caveats apply, but not too shabby for something from 1968 vs 2008!

1621391253889.png 1621391295848.png
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi Eitan,

thank you for showing the EP mechanics and the test images. I assume upper is Trini 6x24?

Joachim
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Yes, correct, with that enormous FOV it is hard to miss! It was quite difficult to even get a clear photo, with the short eye relief and huge field, as you can see I couldn't get the full field stop for the entire circle in view like I could with the 7x42.

I think the auto exposure comp of the iPhone also minimizes the brightness gap a bit, you can see that the UVHD colors are more vivid (most obvious in the purple flowers in that photo) but the overall level of "brightness" doesn't appear that different. In reality the brightness difference is pretty apparent when you swap, but it surprised me that it wasn't even greater. It's like underexposing a photo by one stop at most, perhaps less.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

edge performance in the Trini is decidedly so-so - as it is to be expected for a classic wide angle pair.
The question is whether it's just field curvature (and can thus be focused out) or other aberrations too?

Joachim
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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