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Is this a record? Re: Ultravid 8x32 HD Plus (1 Viewer)

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Read into this what you will, talk about it even but please do so behind my back as I am thin-skinned... Something I want to share as it has a happy ending, or perhaps it is more of a happy beginning now that a problem is finally solved.

It has taken me just two years to set the dioptre correctly after any number of times I tried, getting ever more frustrated till I was convinced I had a poor factory specimen of the Leica Ultravid 8x32 HD Plus, Schott HT glass and all.

This morning, having left the offending binoculars alone for a few months - maybe the best thing to do is let the whole thing cool down a while when things don't go well - I decided to try a different tack and instead of focusing on something highly visible at a nearer distance I focused on bumpy stonework a hundred yards away with a lot of micro detail from pitting, lichens, and cementwork - all obscure in shadow behind swaying branches and leaves. Despite my left eye feeling distinctly weaker up against this than my right I could see the difference between focus and out of focus quite convincingly and, taking care to snap the dioptre wheel in and out withut jarring or jogging the focus, I had the new setting. Testing it out against various garden, house and distant objects showed a view at last that was just what I had rather jealously been reading of from your appreciative Leica thumbs-up posts on this forum.

So many times this particular pair nearly got traded in but I couldn't face the loss of money nor did I want to lose faith in their potential. These are binoculars that to me have everything now going for them: my hands are not particularly large so the small size and weight are no obstacle; somehow without glasses I can view the whole image comfortably with only about a sixteenth of an inch eyecup extension; and I have learnt how to get both hands round the barrels without my two forefingers fighting for control of the focus wheel. The only thing it takes a while to manage is the very fine control of focus, which seems a lot harder than on a 42. But at least unlike the 42s you can focus down to just over two yards rather than three and a half. Swaro EL and Zeiss FL focus a bit closer but, for pocketabiity, though the Zeiss is small the Leica is smaller still.

... Zeiss is nice but Leica for the hiker.

And on a tiny point that makes this choice a great one for me, the eyecups are much softer and more comfortable than the hard ones on an EL. Somebody else commented on this recently too, I think. EL are amazing of course, have the widest FOV so I'm not knocking them, nor the Zeiss which tick a lot of boxes: FOV, close up, again lightweight and small and highly respected.

Dare I imagine, getting back to the dioptre, that at least one other reader on here has sometimes been defeated or nearly defeated by something that should be so simple to correct?


Tom
 
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NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
That is good news. It just took some time. Setting the correct diopter is so very important.

Jerry
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Tom,

Well that’s interesting. I too have had the same problem on occasion in getting the diopter adjustment just right
i.e. you adjust the diopter as close as you can get, but naggingly the combined image does not seem to be all that it could be
The binocular whole seems less than the monocular parts

And I finally solved the problem in a somewhat similar fashion to you - by focusing on a tree trunk with variety of discernible sizes of texture -
rather than a simpler high contrast image

Both our experiences seem to illustrate Bill Cook's point of ‘staring’ when focusing an optic/ adjusting a diopter
i.e. keeping the eye in a relaxed state vs involuntary tensioning of the ciliary muscles
see Bill’s comments from a recent article of his (especially those in the 2nd attachment), in post #13 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=390836

It would seem that for both of us the more visual cues in the richer textured image, enabled us to achieve correct diopter focus while the eye remained in a relaxed state


John


p.s. It's good to hear that you've been able to realise the full potential of the 8x32 UV HD+
All 3 of my Leica UV's are great performers: an 8x20; an 8x42 HD, and; the outstanding 7x42 HD
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Similar story for me too. My success at setting dioptres on a motley mix of Zeisses, Meoptas and Opticrons was variable and unreliable to say the least until I stopped using the road name sign on the opposite side of the road from our house with its high contrast black letters on a white background and used the Rowan tree in our back garden and then checked this when in Scotland by using lichen-encrusted boulders.

Lee
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
That is good news. It just took some time. Setting the correct diopter is so very important.

Jerry

Thanks, Jerry; very true and in a way, having had to fight to get there, the reward is maybe better just like leisure after a hard day at work.

Tom
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Agree, some days my view through binoculars just " snaps " into gear, other days the image just doesn't feel correct. I also use the darkest area of a tree trunk to set / reset the dioptre which does vary from three pairs - all Zeiss.
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hi Tom,

Well that’s interesting. I too have had the same problem on occasion in getting the diopter adjustment just right
i.e. you adjust the diopter as close as you can get, but naggingly the combined image does not seem to be all that it could be
The binocular whole seems less than the monocular parts

And I finally solved the problem in a somewhat similar fashion to you - by focusing on a tree trunk with variety of discernible sizes of texture -
rather than a simpler high contrast image

Both our experiences seem to illustrate Bill Cook's point of ‘staring’ when focusing an optic/ adjusting a diopter
i.e. keeping the eye in a relaxed state vs involuntary tensioning of the ciliary muscles
see Bill’s comments from a recent article of his (especially those in the 2nd attachment), in post #13 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=390836

It would seem that for both of us the more visual cues in the richer textured image, enabled us to achieve correct diopter focus while the eye remained in a relaxed state


John


p.s. It's good to hear that you've been able to realise the full potential of the 8x32 UV HD+
All 3 of my Leica UV's are great performers: an 8x20; an 8x42 HD, and; the outstanding 7x42 HD

John, thanks for the reassurance that it's not just me. Interesting that you and Lee, both experienced observers and with a lot of different glass over the years, found the same thing.

Also you'll be pleased to hear that it was Bill Cook's posts that have been firmly in mind ever since I first saw them; I kept them in mind when resetting three different pairs of binos recently - my new (in April - how time flies) 10x42 SLC, my own 7x42 UVHD Plus and of course yesterday the 8x32 UVHD Plus.

I was happy to see your Leica choices; mine are not far off from yours. A long-standing 8x20 Trinovid BCA in green - used to think they were perfect when I had nothing else but now a bit fiddly after I've been spoilt with full sizers; the 7x42 UVHD Plus; and the 8x32 UVHD Plus.

And I've learnt what I suspected all along: that most times when I've thought binoculars have fallen short it's user error of one kind or another to blame, e.g. tiredness and a shaky hold, incorrect dioptre setting, or just feeling a bit more stressed than I realized!

Thank you for your advice and as said it's reassuring to hear of shared experiences.

Tom

PS: I wonder how many perfectly good binoculars have been traded in over the years for something 'better' that is probably no better or worse because of this sort of user mistakes...
 
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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Agree, some days my view through binoculars just " snaps " into gear, other days the image just doesn't feel correct. I also use the darkest area of a tree trunk to set / reset the dioptre which does vary from three pairs - all Zeiss.

Interesting, Pat, that in all the responses so far -- from John, Lee and you (and me as the starter) darker and more natural targets have given the best results. It reminded me of something I noticed a long time ago but had partly forgotten, which was that if I try out binoculars on high contrast text against a white featureless background, for instance Lee's road sign or in my case the writing on a plastic motor oil bottle, there seems to be too much leeway in focus as there in no depth to assist. But against natural objects - wood, bark - or weathered man-fashioned objects - stone walling, spalled brickwork - the slight depth differences help you latch on. Then you can check the accuracy from close up and see just how clearly tiny adjustments move the focus from say the front of the stone and its lichens to the indentations at miniscule fractions of an inch further into the object.

Tom
 
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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Similar story for me too. My success at setting dioptres on a motley mix of Zeisses, Meoptas and Opticrons was variable and unreliable to say the least until I stopped using the road name sign on the opposite side of the road from our house with its high contrast black letters on a white background and used the Rowan tree in our back garden and then checked this when in Scotland by using lichen-encrusted boulders.

Lee

Lee, good to hear it's not just me. Like you I've found high contrast and flat surfaces are a bad combination as they are highly visible at comparatively large focus parameters, and for setting and then checking the settings the natural objects that are not too reflective and have some irregularities of depth lead to more effective fine-tuning.

And I try very hard never to try and decide which of the good instruments are better; they are all different so they are all better!! (That won't get me a philosophy doctorate.)

Tom
 
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Mike F

Well-known member
And I've learnt what I suspected all along: that most times when I've thought binoculars have fallen short it's user error of one kind or another to blame - tiredness and a shaky hold, incorrect dioptre setting, or just feeling a bit more stressed than I realized.....

Tom,

My experience reflects yours and everyone else’s here. What I have found in addition is that getting not only the diopter setting exactly right (which as we’ve all noted can be more difficult than one would think) but also the IDP and eyecup/eye relief setting exactly right can make the difference between a slightly strained view and a wonderfully relaxed and rewarding view. Obviously some bins, notably the 7x42 HD+ among those mentioned, are a lot more forgiving in this respect (and therefore much easier to get ‘right’) than others. I’m sure this is one of the reasons why the 7x42 is thought of as being so good.

Michael.
 
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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Tom,

My experience reflects yours and everyone else’s here. What I have found in addition is that getting not only the diopter setting exactly right (which as we’ve all noted can be more difficult than one would think) but also the IDP and eyecup/eye relief setting exactly right can make the difference between a slightly strained view and a wonderfully relaxed and rewarding view. Obviously some bins, notably the 7x42 HD+ among those mentioned, are a lot more forgiving in this respect (and therefore much easier to get ‘right’) than others. I’m sure this is one of the reasons why the 7x42 is thought of as being so good.

Michael.

Hi Michael, I think that's right. In fact I might just get out my 7s now to remind myself of what you say. They do have a nice easy view. The only view I can think of that is as easy - unless I've forgotten something - is that from the 8x56 FL; that is sensationally easy and good but the price is a bit of tiredness as they are considerably heavier (about 1220g from memory).

All the best,

Tom
 
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John Frink

Well-known member
That's good news.

One thing I like about the Leica's diopter setting scheme is that I can separate the two halves of the focusing knob, then place my left index finger on the lower (left side) half and my right index finger on the upper (right side) half, and then switch between closing one eye while adjusting the focus for the other side and then the other eye, etc., and when both sides are sharp I simply click the two halves back together and all is good. This is useful to me, because I find my diopter setting will change slightly from day to day and even at different times of the day, possibly even with changing weather conditions. For me, Leica's system is the easiest to get a perfect match for my (apparently randomly variable) personal diopter setting.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
That's good news.

One thing I like about the Leica's diopter setting scheme is that I can separate the two halves of the focusing knob, then place my left index finger on the lower (left side) half and my right index finger on the upper (right side) half, and then switch between closing one eye while adjusting the focus for the other side and then the other eye, etc., and when both sides are sharp I simply click the two halves back together and all is good. This is useful to me, because I find my diopter setting will change slightly from day to day and even at different times of the day, possibly even with changing weather conditions. For me, Leica's system is the easiest to get a perfect match for my (apparently randomly variable) personal diopter setting.

The Meostars 1.1 series have the save diopter adjustment as the Leica. Both are the best in the business.
 

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