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

Comparisons and differences in the current "Alpha" bins? (1 Viewer)

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Sid... you mentioned that your use would be on your farm, so I'm guessing your viewing distances may be fairly long. I can see how you would appreciate a pair of tens.

Having just received a pair of Leica UVHD+ in 10x42, I'm totally sold. Awesome ergonomics, superb detailed clarity and razor sharpness, and wonderfully pleasing color quality and contrast. And, the price at $2300, while not inexpensive, is not stratospheric as some other models are priced at today. Most definitely, UVHD+ 10x42 is a model you should give some consideration to!

Also, consider Victory SF 10x42 - if a flat field and more edge sharpness is important to you. Color quality isn't Leica, but each brand offers something different.

Right now, my Steiner 8x56 bins get picked up the most but, I have some 8x30's that are really good too.

Some 10x or 12x would be better for daytime use. Whether I benefit from the pupil dilation benefits of an 8x56 is debatable but, the image I get is really nice at night. That is offset by the weight and bulk which in some regards is nice and others not so much.

On a random note, I did use the Steiner 8x56's to view a "Strawberry Moon" and they worked exceptionally well given the limits of the binoculars.

Some of my viewing is at 200 yards in trees or under shade so, higher magnification would be really helpful when looking at the cows at that distance since they are all mostly black and often blend together when they are standing close to each other.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Right now, my Steiner 8x56 bins get picked up the most but, I have some 8x30's that are really good too.

Some 10x or 12x would be better for daytime use. Whether I benefit from the pupil dilation benefits of an 8x56 is debatable but, the image I get is really nice at night. That is offset by the weight and bulk which in some regards is nice and others not so much.

On a random note, I did use the Steiner 8x56's to view a "Strawberry Moon" and they worked exceptionally well given the limits of the binoculars.

Some of my viewing is at 200 yards in trees or under shade so, higher magnification would be really helpful when looking at the cows at that distance since they are all mostly black and often blend together when they are standing close to each other.
Yes, you absolutely are a perfect candidate for at least 10x, perhaps 12x... if 12x magnification is one that you can hold well. Of course, there are always ways to tripod mount, when using long lens bins. I'm thinking you might want to have a 12x mounted on a tripod by your window, full-time.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I picked up a used 10x42 Leica NV for $2100. Been used in a birding competition, otherwise I was tempted to get the UVHD. I like the focus smoothness of the NV over the Ultravid but actually both are great.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
One of these days, I'll probably pick up a pair of 12x50 bins. I have a tripod for my spotting scope I could use but, to be honest, it isn't really practical to pack it up and haul it around. Generally, I have to go out and walk around to see past the ground contours, behind out buildings, etc.

Binoculars are simply superior on the farm because they are much handier than a tripod and spotting scope. And, not to mention I am apt to have bins with me when I need them in an unplanned scenario like today checking my mailbox which is about 1200 feet away from my house.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I picked up a used 10x42 Leica NV for $2100. Been used in a birding competition, otherwise I was tempted to get the UVHD. I like the focus smoothness of the NV over the Ultravid but actually both are great.
At $2100 I’d say the NV is certainly a good choice! At $2850… $550 more than the $2300 UVHD+? Can’t see it, personally. Not when the UVHD+ Has such great ergonomics and amazing glass. Either way, though, nice stuff!
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
One of these days, I'll probably pick up a pair of 12x50 bins. I have a tripod for my spotting scope I could use but, to be honest, it isn't really practical to pack it up and haul it around. Generally, I have to go out and walk around to see past the ground contours, behind out buildings, etc.

Binoculars are simply superior on the farm because they are much handier than a tripod and spotting scope. And, not to mention I am apt to have bins with me when I need them in an unplanned scenario like today checking my mailbox which is about 1200 feet away from my house.

Based on what you’ve described about your viewing situation… I’d say pass on the 12s and get yourself a pair of 10x42s - no tripod required and you can easily take them around with you and hand-holding isn’t bad.

Depending on how much money you are willing to drop… UVHD+ 10x42 at $2300 is fantastic. $200 more SF, great bins, not Leica “look” though. $550 more NV - Leica look but do the ergonomics work for you and does $2850 sound sensible for a pair of binoculars? (Even $2000 doesn’t sound sensible for bins, but… we do it, don’t we!)
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Based on what you’ve described about your viewing situation… I’d say pass on the 12s and get yourself a pair of 10x42s - no tripod required and you can easily take them around with you and hand-holding isn’t bad.

Depending on how much money you are willing to drop… UVHD+ 10x42 at $2300 is fantastic. $200 more SF, great bins, not Leica “look” though. $550 more NV - Leica look but do the ergonomics work for you and does $2850 sound sensible for a pair of binoculars? (Even $2000 doesn’t sound sensible for bins, but… we do it, don’t we!)
If I opt for 10x, I would want to check out a pair of Zeiss Victory HT 10x54. Those prisms and the Schott glass are attractive to me. Regarding the actual viewing experience though, I need to put them up to my eyes first before I spend that much money.

The Swarovski NL Pure 8x42's I tried were not impressive to me which is how I ended up with Leica NV bins.

A pair UVHD+ probably makes the most sense though. Those are a pair I really want to 'test drive' as well. Or, perhaps I will turn up some gently used bins from someone I can live with for a while without too much financial risk if they don't work out. Eyeglasses have killed several binocular options for me over the years so, I'm a bit cautious with optics purchases in general.

I've been down that road with rifle scopes and hit the sweet spot with Hensholdt (prior to Airbus ownership) after trying Nightforce and S&B.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Sidpost,

Have you thought about the Leica UV HD+10X50, or the SLC 10X56. The SLC has the most ER in this class.
I don't have a lot of experience with SLC bins but, the few I held and tried briefly didn't "fit" me terribly well. Optically there were very good but the ergonomics and fit seemed a bit off for my facial features.

The UVHD+ are ones I don't recall ever handling but, the NV's suggest they may be a good fit for me. The Zeiss HT though is one I have thought about a lot and I really want to handle a pair and look through them.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I had a pair of 10x42 HT's for 7 years I believe...Very nice. The only thing that bothered me was I felt (to my eyes), that the focus was a bit difficult getting to perfection (but once you did they are fantastic) as the depth of focus, range of focus to the sides lacked a bit? I liked the SLC in that sense. But when I tried the Leica products (NV or UV), they offered just what I wanted, and to me are a whole lot more ergonomic than the SLC which to me felt like a brick to my head. So now, I have the NV which is equally as sharp as the HT but just more depth /range of focus.

If you go way back in the archives to 2013, you will see a pretty extensive review I did of the HT, but at that time the range of focus wasn't bothering me as much.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
I had a pair of 10x42 HT's for 7 years I believe...Very nice. The only thing that bothered me was I felt (to my eyes), that the focus was a bit difficult getting to perfection (but once you did they are fantastic) as the depth of focus, range of focus to the sides lacked a bit? I liked the SLC in that sense. But when I tried the Leica products (NV or UV), they offered just what I wanted, and to me are a whole lot more ergonomic than the SLC which to me felt like a brick to my head. So now, I have the NV which is equally as sharp as the HT but just more depth /range of focus.

If you go way back in the archives to 2013, you will see a pretty extensive review I did of the HT, but at that time the range of focus wasn't bothering me as much.
Thanks! The Zeiss HT's have their 'issues' like almost all (or all) bins. The one I see most often is the "bowling ball" comment for soft-focus on the outer edges of the view.

The 10x42 HT is sort of my "unicorn" binocular! Though, the 10x54 version is a close competitor and probably not enough bigger or heavier to be of any real concern.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
... I liked the SLC in that sense. But when I tried the Leica products (NV or UV), they offered just what I wanted, and to me are a whole lot more ergonomic than the SLC which to me felt like a brick to my head...
Sounds similar to my SLC feelings. Great optics but, just not a good fit for my facial features.

Sometimes, even though you have a really high-quality product, it just doesn't work out even when you really want it to. I really wanted an AGV K6 helmet but, like the SLC's, it just didn't fit my intermediate oval head. :confused:
 
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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