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Anyone feels going back from Noctivid to the Ultravid HD...? (6 Viewers)

chill6x6

Well-known member
Sorry Chill6X6, I should have caught that there were two NVD’s in play in your comments.

I myself sold the 8x42 UVHD+ and 7x42 UVHD+ in favor of the NVD 8X42.

Sorry again, really just inexcusable to make someone look like their affections/opinion shifted when they had not.

No problem Doug.....it's all behind us!:t:
 

Swarovski Man

Well-known member
Interesting views on some excellent bins.

I recently spent a very pleasant afternoon at Loch Leven RSPB reserve, comparing HD+s and Noctovids. To my eyes, the view through the Noctovids was far superior - noticeably clearer and more immersive, with a real "wow" factor that I didn't get with the HD+s. What I didn't like so much was the handling; with the focus wheel too far up the body for comfort and the strap lugs not positioned further round to the back and out of the way. Interestingly, I found that the focussing action was different on the two models. The 8s had a lovely, smooth, almost mechanical feel to them, combined with excellent precision and a little sort of click at full-rotation - one of the nicest focussers I've tried. The 10s weren't bad - just not as precise and without the same feel to them. It's a pity that they don't combine the handling of the HD+ with the view of the Noctovid.
 

Canip

Well-known member
.....
.....
I recently spent a very pleasant afternoon at Loch Leven RSPB reserve, comparing HD+s and Noctovids. To my eyes, the view through the Noctovids was far superior - noticeably clearer and more immersive, with a real "wow" factor that I didn't get with the HD+s. What I didn't like so much was the handling; with the focus wheel too far up the body for comfort and the strap lugs not positioned further round to the back and out of the way. .....
.....
..... It's a pity that they don't combine the handling of the HD+ with the view of the Noctovid.

I couldn't agree more, Swarovski Man.

I like the Ultravids and also the Noctivid - you seem to call it "Noctovid" - binoculars, but I find it a pity that the Noctivid, which is a step up optically (the more "immersive" experience which you describe may have to do, among other things, with the better off-axis sharpness and the wider field of view), is a step back for me in terms of design and ergonomics.

I find the UV HD+ an "industrial design icon"; the bino feels right all around, and it rests perfectly in my hand; the Noctivid doesn't, the double hinge his too small to place my fingers, the focus wheel is too far "up" and not comfortable for my index finger. The Noctivid's optics are superb, though!

The optics of the Noctivid in the body of the UV HD+ could also for me be the ultimate Leica bino - for the time being, if I had to choose, I would probably stick with the UV HD+ (I am sure many here would rather go with the Noctivid).

BTW: I think Leica has the best line-up of all premium binos with their Ultravids:
8x20, 10x25, 8x32, 10x32, 7x42, 8x42, 10x42, 8x50, 10x50, 12x50,
each one of them a great instrument.

Canip
 
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wdc

Well-known member
....the bino feels right all around, and it rests perfectly in my hand; the Noctivid doesn't, the double hinge his too small to place my fingers, the focus wheel is too far "up" and not comfortable for my index finger. The Noctivid's optics are superb, though!

Canip

Your comments for me apply equally to a comparison with the Zeiss SF. When I put my right hand on the 10x42 Noctivid, my focussing finger falls naturally below the focuser, unlike the Zeiss. Also the extra weight, combined with the restricted grip positions, due to the close set barrels, mean my left hand is using a finger and thumb sort of grip. After a few hours I noticed my thumbs were a bit tired. However, a few sessions later, I didn't even think about it. The view is wonderful, the focus smooth, so you adjust, everything becomes second nature, and the bins 'disappear'. The differences are more akin to driving 2 different cars that you like. A slight trade off in mechanical ease for performance that one appreciates. A Les Paul vs. a Strat, or some such thing...

From a design perspective though, I wonder about their motives for the end result ergonomically. Did they feel the need to create a physically different layout to differentiate from the Ultravid? Did the optical design drive the positioning of the focuser, etc.

Still a wonderful bin, but definitely not the best in terms of grip 'ease'.

-Bill
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
I've only looked through a 10x42 Noctivid briefly. While I looked through a fellow birder's brand new Noctivid he asked to try my UVid+ 7x42. I thought his Noctivid had great focus (very smooth and precise) and I liked what I saw of the view. It felt nice too, but once we switched back and I had my bino back in my hands I noticed the weight difference and felt the fit of the Uvid for me was better. I was assured again that I have the right bino for me. It's difficult to think of parting with it or "upgrading" after getting used to the nice DOF and large EP of 7x42. Also, the view is so pretty.

I now have 7 x 42 Ultravid HD Plus and I can't imagine wanting to trade them in for any other binocular. Size, magnification, and image quality are just what I want and every time I look through them it is an exciting experience. (In 8 x 42 I get almost the same excitement from Zeiss Victory HTs which are also a pleasure to use but not as compact or as shake-free for me. Also the colour rendition is of course different but both renditions are very pleasant.)

Tom
 
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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
I now have 7 x 42 Ultravid HD Plus and I can't imagine wanting to trade them in for any other binocular. Size, magnification, and image quality are just what I want and every time I look through them it is an exciting experience. (In 8 x 42 I get almost the same excitement from Zeiss Victory HTs which are also a pleasure to use but not as compact or as shake-free for me. Also the colour rendition is of course different but both renditions are very pleasant.)

Tom

congrats Tom. I still really enjoy using mine after having it over 3yrs now. The view never gets old. It's my only binocular now. I do think I'll acquire an 8x32 at some point perhaps this year and that should do it for optics purchases for me ... unless someday a quality 7x32 comes out o:)
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
congrats Tom. I still really enjoy using mine after having it over 3yrs now. The view never gets old. It's my only binocular now. I do think I'll acquire an 8x32 at some point perhaps this year and that should do it for optics purchases for me ... unless someday a quality 7x32 comes out o:)

Hello Beth,

Thank you. The 7x42 is fantastic and I'm not surprised it's your favourite.

Your mention of the 8x32 caught my attention, the reason being that I feel very spoilt, having managed to get hold of an 8x32 Ultravid HD Plus as well. It's very impressive and ticks a lot of boxes for me. I had read comments about fiddling about to get the right eye placement and insufficient pull-out length of the eyecups (Leica keeping them nice and compact to compete with the other makes) but once I was absorbed looking at something interesting instead of just testing them out I found they were fine. The small size is just the job when out taking long walks or on a long distance run when it's about getting the miles in rather than running for a time. I'm sure you will test them to check whether they suit you. o:)

There are good comparisons and write-ups by Tobias Mennle if you search for them. He reckons the 8x32 image character is a bit different from that of the 7x42 and I agree with him. The 8x32 is a bit darker (still very bright, so nothing to worry about at all) and this makes the image a touch contrastier with really saturated, beautiful reds and browns. He also thinks both are superb but if someone put a gun to his head he would go for 7x42, not because of the image but the 32 has uncomfortable handling for him personally. I loved both the 7x42 and 8x32 at first sight and from first look through the barrels and though the 32 is smaller I think unless you have gargantuan hands -- I'm sure you don't! -- you will be very happy with that bino too and appreciate the small size and low weight. Actually I like it that there's a slight difference in the picture you see as it's nice to have a change and a bit of individual character.

An admission: going back to 7x42, I am a sucker for anything 7x and have been very lucky to get some great secondhand purchases -- oh, there's no such thing as secondhand any more; it's called pre-loved, I think! 7x32... yes, that would be very handy and bright.

All the best,

Tom
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
Hey Tom,

I gave the 8x32+ a whirl right after it came out, but eye relief was too short for me unfortunately.
A significant portion of the FOV was cut out.
I wear glasses and usually need about 16mm or more. However, Zeiss FL 8x32 at 15.5mm ER actually works for me and I may buy one sometime this year. It's an awful lot of money though and I'm inclined to maybe give Kowa Genesis 8x33 a whirl since it's one that has always intrigued me. Problem is ER is stated at only 15mm on the Genesis and eyecups look to rise above the ocular lenses by approx 2mm so it probably won't work. So I may end up with a big purchase for the FL, but it would be another long term bino; a keeper like my 7x42 Uvid. I've already tried the little FL and like it a lot and it works well with my eyeglasses too. I've always wanted the 8x32 Ultravid though, so that was a bit unfortunate it didn't work for me.
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
Hey Tom,

I gave the 8x32+ a whirl right after it came out, but eye relief was too short for me unfortunately.
A significant portion of the FOV was cut out.
I wear glasses and usually need about 16mm or more. However, Zeiss FL 8x32 at 15.5mm ER actually works for me and I may buy one sometime this year. It's an awful lot of money though and I'm inclined to maybe give Kowa Genesis 8x33 a whirl since it's one that has always intrigued me. Problem is ER is stated at only 15mm on the Genesis and eyecups look to rise above the ocular lenses by approx 2mm so it probably won't work. So I may end up with a big purchase for the FL, but it would be another long term bino; a keeper like my 7x42 Uvid. I've already tried the little FL and like it a lot and it works well with my eyeglasses too. I've always wanted the 8x32 Ultravid though, so that was a bit unfortunate it didn't work for me.
I'm curious what you expect from an 8X32 that the 7X42 Ultravid doesn't deliver.
 

TXdefender

Well-known member
I'm curious what you expect from an 8X32 that the 7X42 Ultravid doesn't deliver.

It’s a size and weight issue for me. The UVHD 8x32 is almost half size (well, significantly smaller) than UVHD 7x42. I don’t know how other brands would compare, the 7x42 is pretty compact for a 42.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
I'm curious what you expect from an 8X32 that the 7X42 Ultravid doesn't deliver.

Nothing optically if that's what you're asking. Lighter weight, smaller option for times when I'd not like to carry the heavier, bulkier 42mm. That's it. My shoulders get a bit sore after about 3-4hrs or so and I have those moments when I wish I had a lighter bin. 7x42 would still be my primary though. Nice to have another lighter weight bin on hand I think. I considered a pocket, but 8x32 is about as small as I can go for comfort with eyeglasses. I don't want to go smaller than 4mm EP. That's about the smallest I can tolerate. I'd like to have just the 2 binos at my disposal and no more than that. I could just keep using the 7x42 as my only bino, but I think it's nice to have 1 more option.
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
It’s a size and weight issue for me. The UVHD 8x32 is almost half size (well, significantly smaller) than UVHD 7x42. I don’t know how other brands would compare, the 7x42 is pretty compact for a 42.
Weight I understand since my wife would not use a 27 ounce model. She has an 8X32 SE and an 8X32 SV...both in the 21/22 ounce class.
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
Nothing optically if that's what you're asking. Lighter weight, smaller option for times when I'd not like to carry the heavier, bulkier 42mm. That's it. My shoulders get a bit sore after about 3-4hrs or so and I have those moments when I wish I had a lighter bin. 7x42 would still be my primary though. Nice to have another lighter weight bin on hand I think. I considered a pocket, but 8x32 is about as small as I can go for comfort with eyeglasses. I don't want to go smaller than 4mm EP. That's about the smallest I can tolerate. I'd like to have just the 2 binos at my disposal and no more than that. I could just keep using the 7x42 as my only bino, but I think it's nice to have 1 more option.
If you ever get the chance try an 8X32 Swarovision. It's every bit as good as the heavier 42mm models and is perfect for eyeglasses. The problem is if you owned it you'd probably use it exclusively. It's that amazing.

PS
The Ultravid is so sharp in the center field you'll run the risk of "downgrading" your view if you choose an 8X32 with any less quality. Trust me, you'll notice the difference and it can truly be bothersome.

Good Luck!
 
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Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
It’s a size and weight issue for me. The UVHD 8x32 is almost half size (well, significantly smaller) than UVHD 7x42. I don’t know how other brands would compare, the 7x42 is pretty compact for a 42.

Hey TX,
When I had the FL 8x32 last year briefly I liked how compact it is and noticeably lighter than the Uvid 42. It's about an inch or so shorter. 7x42 much better with glasses and I enjoy it more in general. But the little FL is unique and I liked it quite a bit and from my experience with it I'd like to have it again. Only reason I'm considering the Kowa 8x33 is price and close performance to the FL (I've heard), but it's a little bigger and slightly heavier than FL. The Zeiss is the big front runner of the 2 choices.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
If you ever get the chance try an 8X32 Swarovision. It's every bit as good as the heavier 42mm models and is perfect for eyeglasses. The problem is if you owned it you'd probably use it exclusively. It's that amazing.

I did couple years ago. I had it for a few hours at a park. I've always admired it.
It's about as tall as the ultravid 42 but a lot lighter. I thought it was good with glasses for 8x32, but still not coming close to the comfort of 6mm EP of 7x42 for me. I did notice some of the glare issues people note sometimes here on the forum. That's the only negative I could find.

Between FL and SV 8x32 I slightly prefer the FL for its compact size and super-sized fast and smooth focus. SV is nicer to hold and the huge usable FOV from the field flatteners is impressive. It's a real beautiful bino on top of all that.
I do have the SV in the back of my mind so it's a possibility, but I'm
a little skewed towards FL. There's just something about it.
Kowa Genesis has always been intriguing but i have a feeling it may not work.
I'm not sure if I should give it a whirl or not.

I'm due for eye exam in Feb. and I'll probably get new, thinner frames which should work better with binos in general. I'll decide after I get new frames which 32 binos to try. I may change my mind altogether and put it off like I've done the past few years.
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
I did couple years ago. I had it for a few hours at a park. I've always admired it.
It's about as tall as the ultravid 42 but a lot lighter. I thought it was good with glasses for 8x32, but still not coming close to the comfort of 6mm EP of 7x42 for me. I did notice some of the glare issues people note sometimes here on the forum. That's the only negative I could find.

Between FL and SV 8x32 I slightly prefer the FL for its compact size and super-sized fast and smooth focus. SV is nicer to hold and the huge usable FOV from the field flatteners is impressive. It's a real beautiful bino on top of all that.
I do have the SV in the back of my mind so it's a possibility, but I'm
a little skewed towards FL. There's just something about it.
Kowa Genesis has always been intriguing but i have a feeling it may not work.
I'm not sure if I should give it a whirl or not.

I'm due for eye exam in Feb. and I'll probably get new, thinner frames which should work better with binos in general. I'll decide after I get new frames which 32 binos to try. I may change my mind altogether and put it off like I've done the past few years.
The FL is a great bin and if you like you like it. I never argue with success!
 

TXdefender

Well-known member
Hey TX,
When I had the FL 8x32 last year briefly I liked how compact it is and noticeably lighter than the Uvid 42. It's about an inch or so shorter. 7x42 much better with glasses and I enjoy it more in general. But the little FL is unique and I liked it quite a bit and from my experience with it I'd like to have it again. Only reason I'm considering the Kowa 8x33 is price and close performance to the FL (I've heard), but it's a little bigger and slightly heavier than FL. The Zeiss is the big front runner of the 2 choices.

Ya, I don’t wear glasses and eye relied on the Leica is the only issue for some. I like Zeiss no doubt but the Leica seemed a bit smaller still for me. That little 8x32 UVHD is a favorite.
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
The FL is a great bin and if you like you like it. I never argue with success!

Thanks Pilly :) I'm always back and forth about getting a 32. Maybe part of it is I'm so satisfied with the 7x42 and the weight is manageable most of the time. A 8x32 is not not high priority so I'll take my time. Yes, the ultravid is very sharp in the center and I'm still really enjoying the view. I spotted a rare winter Pine Warbler today in my neighborhood in a Pine tree and also a Peregrine Falcon perched atop a cell phone tower across the street from the Pine Warbler. Great day just walking a couple blocks in my neighborhood with the bino. I reported them on ebird. Storm coming tonight into tomorrow. Supposed to be a blood moon tomorrow night, but I won't be able to see it due to the storm :(
 

jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
Nothing optically if that's what you're asking. Lighter weight, smaller option for times when I'd not like to carry the heavier, bulkier 42mm. That's it. My shoulders get a bit sore after about 3-4hrs or so and I have those moments when I wish I had a lighter bin. 7x42 would still be my primary though. Nice to have another lighter weight bin on hand I think. I considered a pocket, but 8x32 is about as small as I can go for comfort with eyeglasses. I don't want to go smaller than 4mm EP. That's about the smallest I can tolerate. I'd like to have just the 2 binos at my disposal and no more than that. I could just keep using the 7x42 as my only bino, but I think it's nice to have 1 more option.
Not to further derail this thread, but have you ever considered the Victory Pocket 8x25? I was in the same boat as you as I've never really found a comfortable 8x32 with my glasses, even including the Victory T*FL, but the little Pocket is something of a miracle in that sense. Very little apparent astigmatism or CA, great eye relief for glasses, and a razor sharp central sweetspot. I've used it for several 2+hr sessions with no discomfort, and Alexis had reported using it for long days of deep canopy field work.
My 7x42 is certainly better for full day viewing sessions or for really dim lighting conditions, but I plan to use my 8x25 for field surveys this year and would recommend it without hesitation to users with eyeglasses.

Justin
 
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