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

Leica Pocket like all purpose bino? (1 Viewer)

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
My biggest complaint with the Leica 10x25 Trinovid is its ~16 ft close focus. The Ultravid is a huge improvement in that regard.

--AP
 

gweller

Well-known member
Over the years I have owned two Trinovid 8x20's, an Ultravid 10x25, a Nikon 10x25 HG and now have the Swaro 8x25 CL. The Swaro 8x25 CL is the best of the bunch partly probably due to the 25mm objective lens. I have not tried the Zeiss 8x25 but suspect this is on a par with the Swaro but with a larger FOV. Although the Swaro is very good, for me it could never replace a full size binocular, BUT I use the 8x25 quite a bit, mostly on non-birding activities, simply because it's so small and light and therefore very easy to have with you all the time.

Regards
Gary
 

gweller

Well-known member
Just remembered that I also had an Opticron 7x24 reverse poro. That was an interesting compact, although the FOV was narrow and the close focusing was poor, but otherwise it was very good for it's size and price. It's a real pity that one of the Alpha companies hasn't tried making a 7x compact. I think a 7x25 Swaro, Leica or Zeiss would really be something and might actually come close to the performance of a full size binocular. Unfortunately though 7x binoculars don't seem very popular at the moment......
 

pluton

Well-known member
Now, I have some binoculars, 10x50/12x36is/15x70....good for bird watch BUT not for Hocking, casual bird, random with the dog, bike routing.... For this purpose I Am looking a true tiny
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania

pluton,​

In this case I suggest current Trinovid 8x20, it is the smallest, and with the best price/performance balance in small pocket binoculars category, very good to have with you all the time! Leica Trinovi 8x20 BC.jpg
 
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soloflyfisher

Active member
I love my Leica 8X20s for casual walks or canoeing when birding isn't the main objective. The small size and weight make them easy to carry and the optics are very good for the size. They mean I carry binoculars in a lot of situations where, if I had only larger binoculars, I simply would not carry any binocular. That said, for serious birding, I think the field of view and brightness are insufficient. I like 8X40s the best, though 8X32 works well if you want something a bit lighter.

I generally prefer 8X binoculars for brightness and field of view, particularly in woodland (and with compact binoculars I think you want to maximize those things rather than magnification, particularly if you are birding in the woods and not in open areas). But 10X does create a nice image if you can hold them steady. Personally, though, I'd reserve 10X for larger formats or for viewing things that don't move much and are in bright open areas.
 

pluton

Well-known member
Fantástic image Dorubird..
I understand that the tiny Trinovid 8x20 is not the ideal bino-birding, but in this case I like one " Petit-bino" For All purpose, máster of none, student of All, and one bino that really fit in one pocket...
Thanks All opinion
 

soloflyfisher

Active member
You won't be disappointed. I had mine yesterday while walking the dog (not the best way to bird, unless you want to hunt grouse) and had great views of lots of warblers, vireos, and even (a rare in the Toronto area) blue grosbeak.

Also, realized after I wrote my earlier post that the Leica 10X are 10X25, not 10X20, so they should be about as bright as the 8X20 (same exit pupil, larger objective lens). Field of view is smaller though, so I think I'd stick with the 8X20s in woodland situations.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Just remembered that I also had an Opticron 7x24 reverse poro. That was an interesting compact, although the FOV was narrow and the close focusing was poor, but otherwise it was very good for it's size and price. It's a real pity that one of the Alpha companies hasn't tried making a 7x compact. I think a 7x25 Swaro, Leica or Zeiss would really be something and might actually come close to the performance of a full size binocular. Unfortunately though 7x binoculars don't seem very popular at the moment......
I am right there with you, as I've lamented elsewhere (probably even on this thread). The primary knock against pocket bins as general-use birding optics is the exit pupil. But there's two sides to that fraction!

In addition to the Leitz 6x24 that I bought recently, I've been grabbing the Pentax Papilio II 6.5x21 which I bought years ago for the kids. I've largely ignored it, but I have to say these are delightful to use for backyard birding. So light and handy, and the larger exit pupil (67% bigger than 8x20, comparable to a 10x32) and lower mag really make for relaxed viewing despite the small objectives. Yeah the FOV is nothing special but they are bright and sharp and super easy to use.

I'm excited to get the the Leitz back (just sent it off to be refurbished) and try it with clean optics in both tubes, it's really fun and the 4mm exit pupil is the same as an 8x32!

All this is to say I am in complete agreement that I would be delighted with a 7x25 Ultravid compact! There's something really fun about the little 8x20 and it's truly pocketable, but a 7x25 version with a wider FOV, 3.5mm exit pupil, and a slightly larger body for better hold (but still double hinged) larger eyecups would be wonderful, and could probably replace an 8x32 as a general purpose, light weight, "serious use" daytime bin for those who prioritize minimizing the size/weight as much as possible while still having something easy to use.
 

sillyak

Well-known member
My most used bino by far is a 8x20 BN Swarovski. It's close in form factor to the Ultravid 8x20, the Swarovski is slightly smaller and lighter.

I use it so often because I take it on every walk, take it on on climbing trips where every ounce counts and even a mid sized bino would be left behind. Performance in mid day light is just fine. In low light performance suffers, but still usable.

If I am going birding I take my 10x42 HD Meostar, but I still end up using by little Swaro far more than anything else.
 

Rg548

Well-known member
United Kingdom
My answer to your question is YES.

These pocket binos are superb in daylight, and very easy to carry around. It is obvious that the small exit pupil, and size can be a hinderance, you can't get away from that, but I have had 8x20 Trinovid, 8x20 Ultravid, and now 8x25CL's. All superb.
There are times when I have NOT had full size bins, but never a time when I haven't had pocket bins of some sort.
You just need to adjust to them, and realise that they will be more limiting than full size binos. Fact.
The Swarovski 8x25CL's are the best all round pockets in my opinion, and that extra 5mm objective does help, whilst still keeping them small enough to be classed as 'pocket'. I personally don't like the hinge design, or the case with the Zeiss 8x25, but optically they are great, so ended up going with Swarovski.
And for what it's worth, my 8x25's show more than the naked eye at Dusk. They are very impressive indeed.

I also own 8x56 Zeiss FL's, so I am well aware of the advantages of large exit pupil, but it's my 8x25's that get the most use.
Also, just out of interest, my Zeiss FL's are simply amazing, but they perform exactly as I would expect an Alpha 8x56 to perform.
However, the 8x25CL's perform significantly above their paygrade, I'm astonished at their performance every time I look through them, and there is some level of satisfaction in that alone. They are stunning, little optical jewels!
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Hello,
My questions is if the Leica Pocket model, one Trino/Ultravid 8x20-10x25 can be a good all purpose binocular in tiny formar, a really pocket binocular but with a good usability optical and mechanical.
Best,
pluton.... the answer to that question will certainly vary, depending on varying personal preferences.

If being pocket size is an absolute requirement - the answer will pretty much have to be YES. In which case, I'd choose from Ultravid 8x20, Victory Pocket 8x25, or CL Curio 7x21. But, if I may elaborate...

That said, I've had Trinovid 8x20 for a long time and never enjoyed using them for anything other than at symphony or a concert, where tiny size was a requirement of mine. They certainly are small and light enough to take anywhere. But no way would I consider them a "good all purpose binocular" as they're just too small and fiddly - for my liking.

Getting closer to your objective of "good all-around general use", I'd say the Swaro CL Pocket 8x25/10x25 (I've had both) are very good, but just marginally "pocketable". Excellent optics and mechanics, though not tiny. And still, for me, the CL Pockets are not quite my idea of excellent all-purpose binoculars - primarily due to their size.

My personal preference for an ideal, compact, fine-quality, "all-purpose binocular" goes to the Ultravid Plus 8x32. They're superb for all purposes - extended stationary use, hiking, birding, hunting, travel etc.! They are fairly compact and light weight, BUT, most people would not consider them to be small enough to be "pocketable." So, if "pocketable" is a requirement, they are a bit too large for the purpose.

If I were you, and pocketable is a must-have, I'd choose from these three:

Zeiss Victory Pocket 8x25
Leica Ultravid 8x20
Swaro CL Curio 7x21

You may find one or more of them "good for general all-purpose use" for your needs! Though not everyone would be happy with any them as their only "all-purpose" bins. I can definitely see the merits of having one of those three (and will likely buy one of them myself), for times when "pocketable" is a requirement. But personally, I would likely not give them very much use, as for most situations, I would choose the UVHD+ 8x32 or 10x32, or 8x32/10x32 Zeiss SF.

Each of us can state our personal preferences but ultimately, only YOU can answer the question you asked, for yourself, according to your own circumstances and preferences.
 
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dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
They seem about perfect. Now I just have to use my old 8x20 trinovids in the field more so that I can 'lose' them to justify a new pocket bino purchase... the fact that this would be a change in behavior for me does, however, suggest that this $900 pair of binos would likely sit in a case 95% of the time, despite it's potential. For me pocket binos are useful for pulling out on my walk to work when I see an unexpected bird, or for when I am in the field for other work and have to keep my load very light. Both of these cases benefit from a small bino, the latter also calls for something inexpensive so I am not heartbroken if I smash or lose it... Alas, I'm talking myself out of it.
I also share this Aotus approach from Curio 7x21 topic. A pocket binoculars will only be used in an emergency, so it is not very justified to be too expensive and it does not have to be perfect, but it must be as small as possible to be carried in your pocket (for 95% of time :) ). For ease view and larger exit pupil, we use other 32mm or 42mm binoculars anyway. But for the rare unprepared moments (5% occasions), the pocket binoculars will do their job.
The new Trinovid 8x20 has all these qualities and also has the optics much superior to the old Trinovid variant, being very close to the Ultravid 8x20 optics qualities, but slightly smaller and much cheaper!
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
ZDHart, It's about the same price as before!

Trinovids are so small that they fit two in the same pocket.
"the old" and "the young" in the same pocket. I like Leica because it keeps its design even after 20 years with this Trinovid series. old and new.jpg
 
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ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
ZDHart, It's about the same price as before!

Trinovids are so small that they fit two in the same pocket.
"the old" and "the young" in the same pocket. I like Leica because it keeps its design even after 20 years with this Trinovid series. View attachment 1413102
Pocket size is right! And, I know that the current Trinovid 8x20s are significantly better than my 1982-era Trinovid 8x20s. :)

I do wonder how the new Trinovid 8x20 compares to the new UVHD 8x20s?
 

Tero

Retired
United States
I used to carry reverse porros of 8x25 type in my pocket in my earlier days. I was a bit busier then, so they were also my car binoculars, not expensive. When some time came up for birding, such as a stop on the drive home, I would have them handy. I even got some warbler lifers that way.

Back in the day I posted on binoculars here a lot. I would buy a pair every year. There was a 9x25 in there as well. I don't think it came to much, no big change. So if you want 10x I would go with something past 30mm on that.
Pass on the monocular. It's hard to hold steady.
 
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Tero

Retired
United States
Welcome back Tero, I have read many of your posts from the past.

Andy W.
Thanks. Nothing terribly exciting with my optics. Having to wear glasses, I'm pretty much stuck with 8x42. Straight scopes, no angled (other than one I still have). Over the past 6 years I have come to have a battle with tripods. Two still work.
 

Dipperdapper

Active member
My answer to your question is YES.

These pocket binos are superb in daylight, and very easy to carry around. It is obvious that the small exit pupil, and size can be a hinderance, you can't get away from that, but I have had 8x20 Trinovid, 8x20 Ultravid, and now 8x25CL's. All superb.
There are times when I have NOT had full size bins, but never a time when I haven't had pocket bins of some sort.
You just need to adjust to them, and realise that they will be more limiting than full size binos. Fact.
The Swarovski 8x25CL's are the best all round pockets in my opinion, and that extra 5mm objective does help, whilst still keeping them small enough to be classed as 'pocket'. I personally don't like the hinge design, or the case with the Zeiss 8x25, but optically they are great, so ended up going with Swarovski.
And for what it's worth, my 8x25's show more than the naked eye at Dusk. They are very impressive indeed.

I also own 8x56 Zeiss FL's, so I am well aware of the advantages of large exit pupil, but it's my 8x25's that get the most use.
Also, just out of interest, my Zeiss FL's are simply amazing, but they perform exactly as I would expect an Alpha 8x56 to perform.
However, the 8x25CL's perform significantly above their paygrade, I'm astonished at their performance every time I look through them, and there is some level of satisfaction in that alone. They are stunning, little optical jewels!
Hi Rg548,
Very interesting feedback concerning your use of the Swaro CL pocket. Never had the opportunity to look through one of these but I totally agree that you can have a lot of fun with a pocket bino. Indeed, whilst I have access to a few larger formats, I still do 90% of my daylight glassing with my Leica Ultravid BR 8 x 20. I just enjoy pushing it to its limits having thoroughly mastered getting round its small eye box and the need to carefully align the tubes. It's quite simply my favourite glass!
I have also thought long and hard about acquiring the new Swaro 7x 21 Curio, but I'm not a fan of 7x, despite it having a larger fov, and a slightly larger eye box . I want to build a full portfolio with the 8 x 20 and I'm having lots of fun doing it!

Regards,

Neil.
 

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

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