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LEITZ’S TRINOVIDS - Models and Numbering (1 Viewer)

DLedig

New member
United States
A QUICK UPDATE of POST #37 - Incorporating data from Renze de Vries


Renze de Vries was kind enough to send me a spreadsheet of data that he’s been recording over an extended period
I have not had a chance to go through it in detail, but I’ve used the information to update the points that I addressed in my earlier post
and as previously, I’ve used Gary Hawkins’ information as the primary basis for dating

So for those interested in numbering and dating details:


EARLIEST OBSERVED PRODUCTION
8x32 - #626,312
10x40 - #626,861
6x24 - #628,684

So unsurprisingly, all 3 commenced production in 1963


6x24 PRODUCTION
  • 628 to 651k [to 1965]
  • 698k [1968/ 1969]
  • 710 to 712k [also 1968/ 1969]
  • 775k [1972/ 1973]

There appears to have been initial production to 1965, and then:
  • an additional run in 1968/ 1969
  • and then another run in 1972 or 1973


7x35 B PRODUCTION
  • 645 to 653k [no B marking; transition to B marking between: 653,526 and 653,702]
  • 653 to 812k [to 1973]
  • 900 to 968k [from 1983]

Renze’s observations make it clear that:
  • initial 7x35 B production was to 1973
  • then in 1983, B production resumed and BA production commenced (see RA Introduction below)
And then B units continued to 968k

The last point raises a discrepancy, as Gary indicated that 7x35 production ceased in 1984
However, I’ve recorded:
  • a 7x35 B unit #963k, and
  • a 7x35 BA unit #984k
both with Ersnst Leitz Wetzlar markings

This would indicate production of 1985 or later, as the ‘ELW’ marking was adopted when the company was acquired in that year by a new owner
In addition, the 7x35 BA #984k unit is within the last 11,000 units produced (see the last section below), so it perhaps dates to 1986 or 1987


RUBBER ARMOUR INTRODUCTION
The earliest observed RA units in Green and Black respectively, are:
  • 8x40 BA - 867k/ 875k
  • 10x40 BA - 867k/ 927k
  • 7x42 BA - 873k/ 887k
  • 8x32 BA - 889k/ 945k
  • 7x35 BA - 900k/ 902k

The numbering clearly fits Gary’s information for Green RA units:
  • BA x40/42 introduced in 1979
  • BA x32/35 introduced in 1983


TOTAL PRODUCTION SPAN
Renze’s information extends the potential range by around 5,000 units:
- from #626,312 (8x32) to #995,188 (10x40 BA) [verses my earlier range to 990,375]

In addition, I recently observed an early Leica 7x42 BA unit #999,237, so this further limits the maximum possible extent of the v2 Trinovid number range
Here's photos of my 7X35 BA. After all the reading on this I suspect they may be produced later than 1985. Maybe 1987?

Dave
 

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DLedig

New member
United States
Here's photos of my 7X35 BA. After all the reading on this I suspect they may be produced later than 1985. Maybe 1987?

Dave
There is a table of serial numbers in the book on Trinovids written by Gary Hawkins. So these 7X35BA were from 1986.
 
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Farrand

Member
United States
The history of the Leica Trinovids are described in detail by Gary Hawkins in 2007.
- First patent for Trinovids in 1953. First models of series 1: 8x40 and 7x42 launched in 1958. Production, repairs etc. too costly so vary few were made. Both had very large FOV's.
Trinovid 2:introduced at the Photokin in 1963: 6x24 (only made until 1965, probably only 500 pieces), 8x32 and 10x40. Hard rubber eyecups and knobs for attachment of straps. Black rectangular logo with white inscription Leitz.
1964 7x35 Trinovid,
1968 7x42B Trinovid. In 1973 8x32B and 10x40B introduced.
1979 7x42BA, 8x40BA and 10x40BA also in green rubber armor available. 1983 7x35BA and 8x32BA with green rubber armor on the market.
1984: 7X35 discontinued,
1985 10x40 BA/N introduced with enhanced close focus (5,5 m)
Logos: 1965 black square with engraved white letters Leitz Wetzlar
1971: black circle with engraved in white Leitz Wetzlar
1976-1977: production transferred to Portugal, from then on red circle logo with engraved in white letters Leitz.
Production of the 7x35B was stopped for a couple of years (I have a letter from mr. Hengst in which he explains the why etc.) , but because of many demands it started again with improved coatings etc.
The Trinovid 2's had Uppendahl roof prisms and production of this binocular line stopped in 1988 to be replaced by the 'brick) Trinovid-3 line also made in Portugal.
Gijs van Ginkel
Thank you Gijs!
I now realize this photo must show the 10x40 BA/N you listed above.
I have had 14 Trinovid 2's over the last 50 years, and have given all but one away as birthday, wedding, or graduation presents, but I'm holding onto these as my personal favorites...and never knew what the N stood for on the tandem focusing knob...Thanks again. Farrand
13B7C7BD-07CB-4695-AB53-9728A1493CDF_1_201_a.jpeg
 

Farrand

Member
United States
Hello Gijs,

Thanks for the definitive dating from Gary Hawkins. Where did he originally post the information - especially the serial numbers? I looked but could not find it.
And of course I should have made it clear that I was only referring to the second - closed bridge - version of the Trinovid (doh!).


Version 1 TRINOVID
For those interested, there are clear photos of:
** EDIT: Having looked fully down the second thread, from this new connection, it's clear that the 'prototype' is in fact a Beck Kassel unit
(I'd originally copied the thread to my Leitz folder before the Beck connection was posted) - my bad! John **
The v1 Trinovids used the Ludewig mirror & prism system verses the Uppendahl prisms of the v2.


MODEL and NUMBERING TRANSITION to V2 TRINOVID
The only v1 Trinovids for which I’ve seen serial numbers are 601k and 604k (the number is located on the underside of the axle).

The numbering I’ve observed for the other early Leitz roof prisms is:
  • Oberon 3.2x14 (Sprenger prism) 511k to 588k, and;
  • Amplivid 6x24 (Ludewig mirror & prism) 555k to 616k.

And the latest Porro prism I’ve observed is 580k (this will be low as I’ve not done much on-line searching for Leitz Porro’s).

The numbering is in keeping with Peter Abrahams listing at http://home.europa.com/~telscope/leitzbin.txt.
He notes that all the Porro binos along with the Amplivid were discontinued in 1962. So the previous models go to at least 616k, and then the first v2 Trinovid introduced in 1963 commences by 626k at the latest (see my second table in the initial post).

Again for those interested:


Version 2 TRINOVIDS
A point of clarification. While the v2 Trinovid 6x24 was discontinued in 1965, it’s clear that there was a later limited production run:
  • I’ve observed the first production to 651k (which is consistent with a 1965 discontinuation - and a 7x35 introduction - as in the second table in my first post), and then a small run from 710k to 711k, and;
  • there is a 1967 Leitz advert about the second production run, see post #36 at: 6x24 trinovid price

And a point of interest. The earliest 7x35 unit I’ve observed #653,163 is marked ‘7x35’ not ‘7x35B’, but it’s marked field of view is 150 m - the standard 7x35B FOV.

And finally, a query. Is the 10x40 BA/N marked in some distinguishing way?


UPDATED TABLE
I’ve attached a second version of my first table, incorporating Gary’s information. Thanks again Gijs.
I’ll post an updated version of my second table after I get a chance to do some comparing/reconciling of the dating with the numbering and features.

John
Hi John,
Just saw your question about the 10x40 BA/N 13B7C7BD-07CB-4695-AB53-9728A1493CDF_1_201_a.jpeg and realized I recently bought a pair...not coincidentally, my favorite now of the 14 pairs of Uppendahl Trinovids I have had over the last 50 years, giving all but these away as presents.
Here is a photo showing a bright white upper case "N" on the tandem focusing knob.
There must not have been many made as these are the only ones I have seen in years of scanning eBay.
If any one here has more information or experience with these, I would be interested.
Farrand
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
United States
Would any of you folks possibly be able to estimate the year of manufacture for a pair of Leica 8x20 BCA binoculars?

The s/n is 1070888.

I will provide photos, shortly. Thank you.

Don
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
United States
Thank you, Gary! I just noticed that they are branded Leitz, not Leica.

I read someone here saying that they're not considered very good bins, that the later Leica branded models are much better - particularly due to advanced coatings. Not important, though, I don't use them and haven't in decades.

It is nice to know that they date to 1982.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Farrand (post #63 & 64),

Congratulations on your find - a 10x40 BA/N - with a minimum focus of 5.5 m vs 9.0 m for the regular 10x40 B and BA models.
And it’s good to hear that your enjoying them.

Of course considering it's rarity, an advanced Leitz collector may well be willing to pay a substantial premium to fill in a gap in a collection.
Which I imagine adds a welcome piquancy to the acquisition!


John
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
7x35 B PRODUCTION
  • 645 to 653k [no B marking; transition to B marking between: 653,526 and 653,702]
  • 653 to 812k [to 1973]
  • 900 to 968k [from 1983]
I'm glad to see this, which tells me that I've got a 1983 version on the way, and at least comparably better coatings.

Wish they could make a sticky out of some of this type of information for easy access at any time later on.
 

Farrand

Member
United States
Hi Farrand (post #63 & 64),

Congratulations on your find - a 10x40 BA/N - with a minimum focus of 5.5 m vs 9.0 m for the regular 10x40 B and BA models.
And it’s good to hear that your enjoying them.

Of course considering it's rarity, an advanced Leitz collector may well be willing to pay a substantial premium to fill in a gap in a collection.
Which I imagine adds a welcome piquancy to the acquisition!


John
Thank you very much, John...that is most helpful.
At least for the time being, this is one of those "It's worth more to me than to anyone else" situations.
I know more modern glasses may have better coatings and maybe even closer focus, etc., but I am still enjoying the feel of these old Trinovids for now.
Thanks again...Cheers!
Farrand
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
I know more modern glasses may have better coatings and maybe even closer focus, etc., but I am still enjoying the feel of these old Trinovids
You're not alone and I've all but made up my mind to sell the 8x32 Ultravid HD+ in favor of keeping my high serial number 8x32 BN.
 

Farrand

Member
United States
You're not alone and I've all but made up my mind to sell the 8x32 Ultravid HD+ in favor of keeping my high serial number 8x32 BN.
Thanks for this, John.
By the way, do you know what the official designation for my binoculars should be...10x40BA "N" ? (serial # 941903)
Does the "N" in your pair denote the same close focus feature?
Are the 8x32BN Trinovids in a different or later prism/lens cohort or production generation?
I should know, but I don't.
Ideally, the serial number would always tell the story, but I'm not sure that's always the case.
My wife loves her 8x32B pair ( # 825053) and isn't giving them up!
Thanks again.
Farrand
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
...do you know what the official designation for my binoculars should be...10x40BA "N" ? (serial # 941903)
Does the "N" in your pair denote the same close focus feature?
Are the 8x32BN Trinovids in a different or later prism/lens cohort or production generation?
Ideally, the serial number would always tell the story, but I'm not sure that's always the case.
My wife loves her 8x32B pair ( # 825053) and isn't giving them up!
The BA indicates an armoured version and BN is for the later models with better near focus capability.
I'd read on here that 145xxxx and later would have the best coatings and mine are 149xxxx.
 

tenex

reality-based
Are the 8x32BN Trinovids in a different or later prism/lens cohort or production generation?
The Trinovids usually referred to as "BA" then "BN" are what was originally called the "Ultra" series from 1990s to early 2000s, with a more squat modern look, ribbed armor, Schmidt-Pechan prisms, and possibly the first(?) integrated focuser/diopter knob.
 
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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Farrand (post #73),

A bit of terminology . . .

The original Leitz company was registered in 1869 to manufacture microscopes.
Then in 1907 they commenced to manufacture binoculars.

In 1924 they began manufacturing their first camera. It was the first of the fabulous 35 mm screw thread mount line
(and then after WWII, there was the all new M series with bayonet mount).

The camera was branded Leica, a contraction of Leitz Camera. However the binoculars continued to be branded Leitz until 1990.
The binocular name was changed to Leica with the introduction of the all new Ultra BA series.

As I said, your 10x40 is a true rarity. It's one of the second version Leitz Trinovids, known as the BA/ N,
with B indicating a long eye-relief eyepiece, A indicating rubber armouring, and N the near focus variation.


John

And for context . . .
 
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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Leitz and Leica Roof Prism Binocular Lines

Leitz commenced binocular production in 1907
However, the first roof prism binoculars were not manufactured until after WWII


A) Leitz
• 3.2x14 Oberon (with Sprenger prisms) in 1952
See a clear set of images at: https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/leitz-oberon-3-2x14-opera-binoculars-205-c-5d448699cc

• 6x24 Amplivid (Ludewig prisms) in 1956
See: Leitz 6x24 not showing 'Amplivid'

• 7x42 and 10x40 Trinovid (Ludewig prisms) in 1958
See Renze’s photos in post #57 at: 19/11/2012 New LEICA GEOVID

• Second Trinovid series (Uppendahl prisms) starting in 1963
Variously in 6x24, 7x35, 7x42, 8x32, 8x40 and 10x40; and variously in non-B, B and BA configurations - the main subject of this thread


B) Leica (all with Schmidt-Pechan prisms)
• Ultra BA series starting in 1990
In 7x42, 8x32, 8x42, 8x50, 10x32, 10x42, 10x50 and 12x50; and later on in production designated Trinovid

• Trinovid BN series in 2000
The same design and offerings, with a closer minimum focus

• 8+12x42 and 10+15x50 Duovids in 2002
A dual magnification design. See: Duovid Optical Construction

• Ultravid series starting in 2003
A mechanical and optical development of Trinovid BA/ BN series, with the same model offerings
Staring with the BR line in 2003;
with HD upgrade in 2007 (an HD element in the objectives; and an improved focuser);
and HD-Plus in 2016 (HD glass in the prisms).
See: Leica Ultravid vs HD-Plus versions

• 8x42 and 10x42 Noctivids in 2016
An all new design with an open bridge


C) And also

• Leitz 7x50 Elcan IF (with Schmidt-Pechan prisms) in 1974 for the Canadian military
Search using 'Leitz Canada (ELCAN) 7X50 Military Model' to see Frank’s flickr series, along with other images

• various Pocket lines (S-P prisms) starting in 1975, initially Leitz then Leica
See the right hand column 'Leitz/ Leica Sports Optics' at: Leica Wiki (English)

• Leica Geovid rangefinder series
Starting with Porro prisms in 1992, in 7x42;
then with Uppendahl prisms in 2004, in 8x42, 8x56, 10x42 and 15x56;
then with Perger prisms in 2013, also in 8x42, 8x56, 10x42 and 15x56
See Leica Geovid

• Leica Trinovid 8x42 and 10x42 models in 2012 (S-P prisms)
A slightly lower quality/ price level than the Ultravid alternatives

• Leica Trinovid HD versions starting in 2016, in 8x32, 8x42, 10x32 and 10x42 (S-P prisms)
A replacement for the above


And of course being Leica there are also prototypes and variations e.g. with the latter, the Ultravid BL (leather covered) versions of the BR series


John
 
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Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
6x24 PRODUCTION
  • 628 to 651k [to 1965]
  • 698k [1968/ 1969]
  • 710 to 712k [also 1968/ 1969]
  • 775k [1972/ 1973]
There appears to have been initial production to 1965, and then:
  • an additional run in 1968/ 1969
  • and then another run in 1972 or 1973
John, do you know what apparent differences in logo placement/color would be for the four different runs of 6x24 Trinovid, and if any of them ever got the red Portugal logo?

Also would be nice to know what differences there were four the lens coatings of the differing runs, or if they're all pretty well equal to each other in that regard.
 
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Hello. I registered just to add something. I bought an old Leitz Trinovid 8x32 on a local internet market. And was searching the internet for the info about these interesting binoculars. To my surprise the serial number on my pair is lower.
Hi, I'm new to this forum and to birding. I just bought a very very nice trinovid 8x32 very light used with number #625245 and I just sent a mail to Leica in Portugal to ask if they could tell me when it was produced and if they could find any rubber eye cups for it. They told me it could be from 1960-62. They rang me to my mobile less then 10 minutes after my email and ask if I wanted to buy a new model with 30 percent of if I send my trinovid to them😊. I might got a very early version of the trinovid era.
I just used it and compared it with new binoculars and it looks lovely with the uncoating lenses in mind. It is like to use an old lens from Leica and compare it with a new.

I'm a photographer in my occupation and a Leica/Leitz user since 1990.

Thanks, Dick
 

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