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Are Leica UV HD+ 7x42 or 8x42 bins as punchy/contrasty as their 8x32 Ultravid HD + bins are? (2 Viewers)

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I've been trying out the Ultravid 8x32HD+ and finding them a bit on the small/fiddly size and also, the focus wheel is quite stiff - requires more pressure to focus than I enjoy with my Zeiss Victory 8x32.

So... I've been thinking perhaps I might try the UV HD+ 7x42, instead. What I do love about these 8x32 UV HD+ is the punchy, contrasty image that they provide. I'm wondering if the punchy, contrasty image quality carries over to the UV 7x42 HD+, or the UV 8x42 HD+?
 

quincy88

Well-known member
In my opinion, they are similarly contrasty and punchy. I don't think you will be left wanting in this respect if you switched to the 7s.
I have the 7x42HD+ and my partner has the 8x32HD+. I've used the 7x42s as my primary bino for a couple years, and I have used the 8x32s quite a bit as well. I have compared them side by side on a couple occasions.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
In my opinion, they are similarly contrasty and punchy. I don't think you will be left wanting in this respect if you switched to the 7s.
I have the 7x42HD+ and my partner has the 8x32HD+. I've used the 7x42s as my primary bino for a couple years, and I have used the 8x32s quite a bit as well. I have compared them side by side on a couple occasions.

Thanks for your comments quincy.

I really love the great sharpness, high contrast, and saturated colors of the Ultravid 8x32HD+. And, the build quality is stellar.

But... I'm not loving that they seem a little "fiddly" in their ultra-compact form factor. They do not have great ease of use. And, the focus wheel stiffness makes it a little more difficult to finely-adjust focus - as compared to my Zeiss Victory SF 8x32 pair, which has superb handling, ease of use, and excellently-mild focus wheel resistance.

Is the focus wheel tension on the UV 7x42 HD+ better than on the UV 8x32 HD+?

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that I will be returning these Ultravid 8x32 HD+ bins, for a pair of the Ultravid 7x42 HD+.
 

quincy88

Well-known member
...
But... I'm not loving that they seem a little "fiddly" in their ultra-compact form factor. They do not have great ease of use. And, the focus wheel stiffness makes it a little more difficult to finely-adjust focus - as compared to my Zeiss Victory SF 8x32 pair, which has superb handling, ease of use, and excellently-mild focus wheel resistance.

Is the focus wheel tension on the UV 7x42 HD+ better than on the UV 8x32 HD+?

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that I will be returning these Ultravid 8x32 HD+ bins, for a pair of the Ultravid 7x42 HD+.

I really like the ergonomics of the UV 42s. I have adult man hands, and they fit me much better than the 32s. I'm also more of a 42mm type of a guy anyway. The great ergonomics of the UV42s and the low magnification of the 7s, with their big exit pupil and stable view, make for the easiest-to-use binoculars I have tried. Very fast on target. Very comfortable. A real pleasure to use with nothing to complain about.
As far as the focus wheel goes, I haven't noticed a significant difference between the 42s and the 32s with regard to tension or fluidity. I'll test it out, and try to get back to you in a few hours.
As far as the decision to get some UV7s, I cannot recommend them highly enough. I own a few extremely nice pairs of binoculars and the 7s are one of my absolute favorites.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I really like the ergonomics of the UV 42s. I have adult man hands, and they fit me much better than the 32s. I'm also more of a 42mm type of a guy anyway. The great ergonomics of the UV42s and the low magnification of the 7s, with their big exit pupil and stable view, make for the easiest-to-use binoculars I have tried. Very fast on target. Very comfortable. A real pleasure to use with nothing to complain about.
As far as the focus wheel goes, I haven't noticed a significant difference between the 42s and the 32s with regard to tension or fluidity. I'll test it out, and try to get back to you in a few hours.
As far as the decision to get some UV7s, I cannot recommend them highly enough. I own a few extremely nice pairs of binoculars and the 7s are one of my absolute favorites.
Thanks again for the comments. There seems to be wide and deep appreciation for the Ultravid 7x42's. I ordered a pair today, which will arrive in a few days! Eagerly awaiting. I like the UV8x32's, but my sense is once I get the 7x42's, I'll be returning the 8x32's.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Ultravids look like Ultravids. Punchy, contrasty, saturated, etc. There are of course differences in exit pupil and field of view which has an impact on ease of use and brightness. The 8x32 is not as bright as the 7x42 as you’d expect, and the “darker” view can make it feel a bit “punchier” and contrasty, but that’s a subtle difference and the overall character of the view through Ultravids in my experience has been remarkably consistent.

The focus knobs are all the same design. You’re somewhat attributing sample variation to model differences. My wife’s UV 8x32 HD has a nice smooth focus knob. I had a Zeiss FL 10x32 that had a fairly stiff focus knob that made fine focus adjustment a bit tricky. My 7x42 HD has a slightly stiffer/coarser focus than my wife’s 8x32.

So in other words there’s more focus knob variation among individual samples of a given model than there is between different models in the lineup. You could switch to a 7x42 and get a better focus knob, or you might not… and you could try another 8x32 and get a better focus knob. This is true for nearly any brand in my experience.

One lovely thing about the 7x is the depth of field makes fine focus easy — I find focus acquisition to be virtually effortless in the field. And since “fiddly” use is an issue, the 7x42 is about as “easy” a binocular as I’ve ever used — the combination of the ergonomics, compact form factor (a benefit ergonomically in a 42mm, not always for a 32mm), wide FOV and great DOF makes them so pleasurable to use. The 7x42 is really special.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Ultravids look like Ultravids. Punchy, contrasty, saturated, etc. There are of course differences in exit pupil and field of view which has an impact on ease of use and brightness. The 8x32 is not as bright as the 7x42 as you’d expect, and the “darker” view can make it feel a bit “punchier” and contrasty, but that’s a subtle difference and the overall character of the view through Ultravids in my experience has been remarkably consistent.

The focus knobs are all the same design. You’re somewhat attributing sample variation to model differences. My wife’s UV 8x32 HD has a nice smooth focus knob. I had a Zeiss FL 10x32 that had a fairly stiff focus knob that made fine focus adjustment a bit tricky. My 7x42 HD has a slightly stiffer/coarser focus than my wife’s 8x32.

So in other words there’s more focus knob variation among individual samples of a given model than there is between different models in the lineup. You could switch to a 7x42 and get a better focus knob, or you might not… and you could try another 8x32 and get a better focus knob. This is true for nearly any brand in my experience.

One lovely thing about the 7x is the depth of field makes fine focus easy — I find focus acquisition to be virtually effortless in the field. And since “fiddly” use is an issue, the 7x42 is about as “easy” a binocular as I’ve ever used — the combination of the ergonomics, compact form factor (a benefit ergonomically in a 42mm, not always for a 32mm), wide FOV and great DOF makes them so pleasurable to use. The 7x42 is really special.

Yes, I can see how focus knob feel can vary from sample to sample. I'm hoping that the focus wheel on the 7x42 I receive doesn't require quite as much pressure as the one on my 8x32. The 8x32 wheel is smooth, but the pressure required to move it tends to move those small bins around somewhat, also. I suspect that larger/heavier bins wouldn't be as susceptible to being moved around by focus wheel pressure.
 

quincy88

Well-known member
Eitanalman is probably correct that sample variation accounts for the difference in focus tension and feel between two pairs of Ultravids rather than configuration. But, for what it is worth, the focus on the 7x42s and 8x32s that we own feel about the same as one another. Both are good, but not the very best. They could be a little lighter and a little smoother, but neither bother me in the slightest.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Eitanalman is probably correct that sample variation accounts for the difference in focus tension and feel between two pairs of Ultravids rather than configuration. But, for what it is worth, the focus on the 7x42s and 8x32s that we own feel about the same as one another. Both are good, but not the very best. They could be a little lighter and a little smoother, but neither bother me in the slightest.

I'll know day after tomorrow, when the UV 7x42 HD Plus arrives. In the larger, heavier 7x42, I could get used to and adjust to using this (UV 8x32) degree of focus wheel tension. Perhaps the wheel itself might be slightly larger diameter - thereby increasing leverage?

Looking forward to the UV 7x42 experience.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Eitanalman is probably correct that sample variation accounts for the difference in focus tension and feel between two pairs of Ultravids rather than configuration.
That's what I think having or having owned various configurations.

The focuser on my 7x42 is fairly coarse but nothing to worry about as everything snaps right into focus due to the great depth of field. Despite being fairly coarse minute adjustments are still possible.

Things are different with higher power magnifications. With the shallower depth of field of my 10x32 precise focussing had not always been easy until I had it serviced by Leica and it came back with a focuser as smooth and precise as can be.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
That's what I think having or having owned various configurations.

The focuser on my 7x42 is fairly coarse but nothing to worry about as everything snaps right into focus due to the great depth of field. Despite being fairly coarse minute adjustments are still possible.

Things are different with higher power magnifications. With the shallower depth of field of my 10x32 precise focussing had not always been easy until I had it serviced by Leica and it came back with a focuser as smooth and precise as can be.

If I decide to keep these UV 8x32 HD+ bins (which I DO like), I may follow your lead and ask Leica to service the focuser. Mine feels smooth, it's just that if it required less pressure to turn, it would be easier to "fine focus".

What was the approximate time required for Leica to service your 8x32's? And, was that in the USA?
 

jafritten

Well-known member
What was the approximate time required for Leica to service your 8x32's? And, was that in the USA?
I'm in Germany, so it was serviced in Portugal, not in the USA. It took some 2 weeks, if I remember correctly. Obviously, that doesn't say a thing about servicing times in the USA.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
I'll know day after tomorrow, when the UV 7x42 HD Plus arrives. In the larger, heavier 7x42, I could get used to and adjust to using this (UV 8x32) degree of focus wheel tension. Perhaps the wheel itself might be slightly larger diameter - thereby increasing leverage?

Looking forward to the UV 7x42 experience.
How is your Leica 7x42 focusing?

My sample was very coarse, especially so at the far end (towards infinity) where I use it the most. Got it last Friday and handed it in for service today. Turnaround is two to three weeks.

In this price range - and even at half the cost - the focuser is unacceptable and much worse than on the 8x32 UV HD+. If they don't get it fixed I have the option of swapping to a 8x32 Zeiss SF which has a supersmooth focuser and equally impressive optics.

I hope they get the Leica fixed, I do like the Leica 7x42 ergonomics and imaging. I just can't understand how they can slip this inferior focuser past QC.

I traded back my Retrovid/Trinovid 7x35 towards the 7x42. I found a copy of the 7x35 with a perfect focuser - the only sample out of all the Trinovids/Retrovids in the shop that had smooth focuser. I am also contemplating switching back if they don't get the 7x42 fixed properly.

Considering the Leica price bracket and fierce alpha competition I find it strange that Leica don't do better with their focusers.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I'm sure that Leica will get the focuser just right for you. Have faith. The UVHD+ 7x42 is such an enjoyable bin.

My UVHD+ 7x42 is perfect. As is my UVHD+ 10x32. I have also bought UVHD+ bins in 10x42 and 8x32 and both of them were perfect, as well. I love these UVHD+ bins - the Leica "view" (contrast and color quality), razor sharpness, feel in-the-hand, handling, build quality are all so impressive and enjoyable.

The UVHD+ focusers do require a little bit more finger pressure to turn than the Zeiss SF focusers do, but they've all been perfectly smooth.

In my experience, the Zeiss SF focusers are the best I've ever felt, for two reasons: they turn quite easily and are very smooth. I also have 8x32 SF, 10x32 SF, and 10x42 SF. There was a slight rough spot on the 10x42 SF focuser at around 16', but that smoothed out in a day or two of use.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Thank you for the reply. I look forward to getting the 7x42 back. I honestly don’t want to exchange it for another magnification/brand though I have the option of doing that if it is returned and not sorted out.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Thank you for the reply. I look forward to getting the 7x42 back. I honestly don’t want to exchange it for another magnification/brand though I have the option of doing that if it is returned and not sorted out.
You probably won't need to exercise options, but good that you have them.

Do you know where (country/city) your bins are being serviced? Sweden? Germany? Portugal?

Please let us know your impressions when you get them back.
 
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HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Just giving a heads up. I had not heard from the shop since September 8, so I called them today just to reassure myself that the bino wasn't missing or someone forgot to notify me they were back in the shop.

Apparently Leica have so far only sent a brief email stating that as of October 6 they have begun looking into the Ultravid 7x42 and will "report back after the evaluation". Should be back within a week or two I hope - I also hope it is worth the wait.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
HenRun... I'm sure it will all be sorted out. Would have been much quicker to just swap it out for another sample, at the dealer, around time of purchase - if possible. But Leica will set it right for you.

For reference, just this year I've purchased five new Leica Ultravid HD Plus binoculars, and every one of them has been perfect in every way. So, I would say that your experience was certainly an outlier.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Yes, I agree. I did ask to try another copy but they had none in stock.
The Leica agency in Sweden has changed and since a short while all dealings are directly with Leica from the vendors part. In theory this would cut repair/shipping times.

I am a long term Leica user, about 30-35 years experience with their products. Quality has unfortunately not gone up in every department over the years. I still regard Leica as a top tier manufacturer and the Ultravid series are usually all great but out of five Trinovid binoculars in store only one was perfect, the other four were all below acceptable for the price point and mechanically outclassed by "lesser" brands.

Get the right Leica with excellent mechanics and you have a keeper for life. :)
 
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 Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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