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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Curio 7x21 vs Leica trinovid 8x20 (4 Viewers)

Some thoughts inspired by previous posts in this thread:

I've used the Zeiss 8x25 Victory very heavily since May 2018 and still continue to be amazed by its optical performance and superb handling qualities. It allows for a solid wrap-around grip, has good "hang", works extremely well with glasses, and the optical performance is so similar or even superior in some ways to a good 8x32, that I have effectively retired my 8x32 bins from active duty [My Swarovski 8.5x42 EL SV pre-FP, Zeiss 8x25 Victory, and Pentax 6.5x21 Papilio serve for nearly all of my birding/butterflying and general uses]. I've had no durability/mechanical issues thus far and I'd say that my bin still looks as good as new.

My previous favorite tiny bin was the Leica 8x20 Ultravid BL (leather covered). I liked it so much that I bought two units. The Leica 8x20 Ultravid BL is really tiny, but the focus wheel design, reduced central body, and the hinges with positive stops (unlike the Trinovid) give it excellent handling qualities. Still, it is no match to the overall optical and handling performance of the Zeiss 8x25 Victory, which I find to be far far superior. The Zeiss 8x25 Victory is sometimes dismissed as a "true" pocket bin because it is significantly bigger than the Leica 8x20 Ultravid, but I find the size difference of no consequence, especially because when cased to carry in my bag, they are (for all practical purposes) the same size when the Ultravid is packed into its leather clamshell and the Zeiss is packed into an old soft Nikon case for a 8x25. When deployed, the larger size of the Zeiss is an asset for comfortable handling and stability.

See this past post for descriptions of the attached pictures, and other posts before and after it in the same thread for more details.

The Swarovski 7x21 Curio, for me, does have an easier view than the Leica but not the Zeiss, but it has the disadvantages of poor handling (doesn't allow my preferred wrap-around grip; focus knob harder to access, esp. w/gloves ), poor hang, and it offers no practical benefit of smaller pack size in comparison to either my Zeiss or Leica.

--AP
 

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but I find the size difference of no consequence
This is where our experiences are different.
My 8x20's were in my jeans or jacket pocket all day in London, and round ny neck on a long bike ride, tucked into my top.
I sold my 8x25's because they did not fit small enough in these sort of situations.
I agree the Zeiss 8x25's are superb, no question, but 'pocketable' they aren't (in my experience).
Maybe I just need bigger pockets.

I guess what I'm trying to say, for people possibly making decisions on small binos...

8x20's are pocketable binos, actually able to slip into an average pocket, albeit with a cloth sunglass bag around them for lens protection.
8x25's are small unobtrusive binos that slip into a small bag, and perform better.

There is a noticeable difference in size.....
But if you can accomodate the bigger 25's then naturally they will perform better.
But if you end up leaving them at home (as I did)..... waste of money!
 
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These discussions on pocket binoculars always draw me in. I really want to love these things, and have tried most of them. It seems that unlike many other genres of binoculars I try, I always send these back. For some reason I don’t get along with these pockets, there’s always something that turns me away, eye box comfort , not bright enough under to many conditions and a little to small in the hands. Imo the best pockets out there are the Swaro Curio and the Leica 20’s , but when it comes to the Zeiss 25 that work better for me, the size is so close to (imo) more serious all around binoculars that are just about as pocketable. If I can put the Zeiss in my pocket , I can just as well use the small 30/32’s, SFL , Ultravids (my favorite) or even the MHG. I’m kind of envious of the people who can use the 20’s and not mis the 30’s.

Paul
 
The Zeiss 8x25 Victory is sometimes dismissed as a "true" pocket bin because it is significantly bigger than the Leica 8x20 Ultravid, but I find the size difference of no consequence, especially because when cased to carry in my bag, they are (for all practical purposes) the same size when the Ultravid is packed into its leather clamshell and the Zeiss is packed into an old soft Nikon case for a 8x25.

The Swarovski 7x21 Curio...offers no practical benefit of smaller pack size in comparison to either my Zeiss or Leica.
I'd think that anyone trying to decide between these three based on size alone would do well to actually have them in hand. All three are excellent binoculars, and capable of being the perfect solution in their own right for users with varying sets of parameters that makes each their own personal best.

That said, one of the them is a medium sized binocular and the other two are ideal minimally sized binoculars. The 8x25 is more pocketable than an 8x32 but is no replacement sizewise for either the 8x20 or 7x21, especially when many who carry them eschew the ironically bulky cases supplied for all three from the factory.
 
This is where our experiences are different.
My 8x20's were in my jeans or jacket pocket all day in London, and round ny neck on a long bike ride, tucked into my top.
I sold my 8x25's because they did not fit small enough in these sort of situations.
I agree the Zeiss 8x25's are superb, no question, but 'pocketable' they aren't (in my experience).
Maybe I just need bigger pockets.

I guess what I'm trying to say, for people possibly making decisions on small binos...

8x20's are pocketable binos, actually able to slip into an average pocket, albeit with a cloth sunglass bag around them for lens protection.
8x25's are small unobtrusive binos that slip into a small bag, and perform better.

There is a noticeable difference in size.....
But if you can accomodate the bigger 25's then naturally they will perform better.
But if you end up leaving them at home (as I did)..... waste of money!
Yes, I totally get it. That's why I always describe my needs as my own, and in enough detail that a reader can judge whether their needs match, or not. You've done the same. Much appreciated.

--AP
 
These discussions on pocket binoculars always draw me in. I really want to love these things, and have tried most of them. It seems that unlike many other genres of binoculars I try, I always send these back. For some reason I don’t get along with these pockets, there’s always something that turns me away, eye box comfort , not bright enough under to many conditions and a little to small in the hands. Imo the best pockets out there are the Swaro Curio and the Leica 20’s , but when it comes to the Zeiss 25 that work better for me, the size is so close to (imo) more serious all around binoculars that are just about as pocketable. If I can put the Zeiss in my pocket , I can just as well use the small 30/32’s, SFL , Ultravids (my favorite) or even the MHG. I’m kind of envious of the people who can use the 20’s and not mis the 30’s.

Paul
I feel fortunate to get along with tiny bins as much as I do. I think that wearing glasses (and always a hat with a good brim for shade) is, ironically, an advantage because the tiny oculars with their tiny eyecups don't poke me in the eye. Pushing into robust close-fitting glasses gives me a firm, secure, comfortable hold. Do you wear glasses?

As for practical size, I find the 8x25 much closer to the size of a tiny 8x20 than to a small 8x32 such as the Zeiss 8x32 FL or Leica 8x32 Ultravid (but I do love those 8x32 Ultravids--just wish they had better eye relief!). You are lucky that it works differently for you in that respect.

--AP
 
I'd think that anyone trying to decide between these three based on size alone would do well to actually have them in hand. All three are excellent binoculars, and capable of being the perfect solution in their own right for users with varying sets of parameters that makes each their own personal best.

That said, one of the them is a medium sized binocular and the other two are ideal minimally sized binoculars. The 8x25 is more pocketable than an 8x32 but is no replacement sizewise for either the 8x20 or 7x21, especially when many who carry them eschew the ironically bulky cases supplied for all three from the factory.
Yes, definitely important each buyer test them for themself!

I always carry a small bag with me (lumbar pack) and I only buy clothes with big pockets, so I've not been bothered by the larger size of the Zeiss 8x25 Victory in comparison to my many years of previous use of the Leica 8x20 Ultravid. Another factor for me is that I prefer to keep bins around my neck when using them, rather than tucking them away all the time. One of the great joys of these 8x20 and 8x25 bins is that they are so small, they don't bother me around my neck all day when traveling and simultaneously carrying/juggling a camera, guidebook, and backpack/lumbar pack. To improve their feel around the neck, I keep the strap simple with minimal hardware (see my custom/customized straps in the first photo that I attached in my previous post). Sometimes, I can tuck the bin while on neck strap into a shirt pocket. Also, to your comment on bulky cases, I rarely use the original cases. Note in my photos in my previous post that to reduce bulk, I pack the Zeiss 8x32 FL in a Leica 8x32 Trinovid BN leather pouch, and I pack the Zeiss 8x25 Victory in a Nikon pouch. The original gray case for the Zeiss 8x25 Victory is essentially the same size as the case in which I keep my Zeiss 8x32 FL. I could save a little space by using a different case for my Leica 8x20 Ultravid, but not much or without sacrificing its protection, so have never bothered to do so.

--AP
 
I feel fortunate to get along with tiny bins as much as I do. I think that wearing glasses (and always a hat with a good brim for shade) is, ironically, an advantage because the tiny oculars with their tiny eyecups don't poke me in the eye. Pushing into robust close-fitting glasses gives me a firm, secure, comfortable hold. Do you wear glasses?

As for practical size, I find the 8x25 much closer to the size of a tiny 8x20 than to a small 8x32 such as the Zeiss 8x32 FL or Leica 8x32 Ultravid (but I do love those 8x32 Ultravids--just wish they had better eye relief!). You are lucky that it works differently for you in that respect.

--AP
I’m lucky I don’t wear glasses so the Ultravid are perfect for me as a small 30/32. My thing is I can just about put one of those 30/32’s in my pocket as good as the Zeiss. It also depends on clothing, more than half the year where I am, I’m wearing some kind of jacket so never an issue with pocket carry with a small 30/32. I will admit I generally don’t pocket, I use the neck strap. The high quality pockets are certainly amazing in image quality.

Paul
 
I consider 8x25 Zeiss VP too close in size to MHG 8x30 or Ultravid 8x32 than to Ultravid 8x20. Thus, for me is redundant to have a small 8x30 (like Nikon MHG 8x30 or Ultravid 8x32) at the same time together with Ziess VP 8x25. So I chose MHG 8x30 and, when I really want something small, I chose Ultravid 8x20. However, if I were forced to have only one pair of compact and small binoculars, then I would choose the Zeiss VP 8x25, which has something from both categories (small 8x30 and 8x20). But I have the luxury of having both!DSC06679.JPG
 
I’m lucky I don’t wear glasses so the Ultravid are perfect for me as a small 30/32. My thing is I can just about put one of those 30/32’s in my pocket as good as the Zeiss. It also depends on clothing, more than half the year where I am, I’m wearing some kind of jacket so never an issue with pocket carry with a small 30/32. I will admit I generally don’t pocket, I use the neck strap. The high quality pockets are certainly amazing in image quality.

Paul
hi , thought id share my new strap for the victory pockets . there handmade to any length , 6 or 8mm cord in various colours with a piece of leather handsewn onto the op/tech mini QD loops.
the quality is brilliant.
i opted for the 8mm cord , which is a bit overkill really for these pocket bins ,6mm would be enough in my opinion but pleased with the result & they feel secure.
the company can be seen in the picture , by the way i have no connection or anything to this company, just thought id share whats out there, i think its a 1man band in a shed that makes these & plugs them as camera straps. i went for the 43 inch length & wear them over the shoulder/across the chest style👍
have a good day
 

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This looks much like the climbing-rope strap supplied with the CL Mountain. But why have a fat round strap? A flat one is more flexible, compact etc.
 
hi , thought id share my new strap for the victory pockets . there handmade to any length , 6 or 8mm cord in various colours with a piece of leather handsewn onto the op/tech mini QD loops.
the quality is brilliant.
i opted for the 8mm cord , which is a bit overkill really for these pocket bins ,6mm would be enough in my opinion but pleased with the result & they feel secure.
the company can be seen in the picture , by the way i have no connection or anything to this company, just thought id share whats out there, i think its a 1man band in a shed that makes these & plugs them as camera straps. i went for the 43 inch length & wear them over the shoulder/across the chest style👍
have a good day
That looks good, unique. I’m with you on the wider strap, it’ll be more comfortable on longer hikes.
 

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