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

New Retrovid 7x35 (1 Viewer)

galazie1

Well-known member
i just got these for a few days

optics: good average, good ordinary

ergonomics: wonderful, wonderful, and wonderful. It looks so good. It feels so so good holding and handling it

i am not impressed with the optics. But it is such a cute thing, now i tend to always reach for it among my binos

more to follow
 

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galazie1

Well-known member
With my fujinon 6x30 and my nikon edg 7x42

Both these are better than the Leica, optically. But the leica is the best one to look at and to hold. So the leica is getting most use now
 

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galazie1

Well-known member
It is such a cute little thing. And it is impossible to resist its cuteness

If Leica makes this thing with Noctivid optical quality, i will buy it at Notivid price or more, without hesitation
 

galazie1

Well-known member
At 570gr, it is light. I don't think it should be lighter, otherwise there will be more shaking. At this weight, the view is already more shaky than my other 7x bins, but still acceptable
 

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CSG

Well-known member
United States
I had a pair for a few hours a couple weeks ago (returned the same day). I loved the looks of them, thought the optics were fine but the oculars were too small for me (blackouts and tickled eyelashes). I also didn't care for the focuser or diopter adjustment. That said, I know they appeal to many and if they work for you ergonomically, they are a treat. Absolutely beautiful binoculars.
 

galazie1

Well-known member
One thing that surprised me. The DOF is considerably shallower than my other 7x bins. I need to change focus much more frequently. In this aspect, the Retrovid behaves like a 8x

The focuser and diopter knobs are great. Very well made. Great metallic feel. Looks great. Certainly top quality. Not Nikon smooth, but still buttery smooth. Feel very good on the finger. A big joy to use.
 

galazie1

Well-known member
The weak points are in the optics

1. It is a bit difficult to find the perfect focus point. Often turn focuser back and forth to find it. Much more difficult than other quality binos

2. It does not do well in difficult lighting. If the sun is behind you, it works fine. Not much different from my EDG 7x. But if the sun is in front, overhead, or side way, the difference is obvious. It does not handle glare, stray light, and other reflection as good as an alpha
 

galazie1

Well-known member
That said, it performs quite good with street lights at night. Not as good as the EDG or fujinon fmt-sx 6x. But better than Nikon HG or SE. Night time view is clean and pleasant.
 

Rg548

Well-known member
United Kingdom
wow.... quite surprised by your findings.... I've heard good things about these, but never looked through them myself.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
The focuser and diopter knobs are great. Very well made. Great metallic feel. Looks great. Certainly top quality. Not Nikon smooth, but still buttery smooth. Feel very good on the finger. A big joy to use.
The focus wheel might be 'buttery smooth' as many of the retro ones were, but how quick are they in getting to focus? I love that buttery feel too but have found some to be just too slow for my liking in a busy birding situation.... ? jim
 

Canip

Well-known member
Rather slow focus - 510 degrees rotation from near focus (4m) to infinity. Allows for very precise focusing, but not ideal in "busy birding situations"

But otherwise a very, very enjoyable little jewel with a very good optical and mechanical performance (so my personal impression is more or less the exact opposite of galazie's) ;)

Canip
 

henry link

Well-known member
The weak points are in the optics

1. It is a bit difficult to find the perfect focus point. Often turn focuser back and forth to find it. Much more difficult than other quality binos

2. It does not do well in difficult lighting. If the sun is behind you, it works fine. Not much different from my EDG 7x. But if the sun is in front, overhead, or side way, the difference is obvious. It does not handle glare, stray light, and other reflection as good as an alpha
One thing that surprised me. The DOF is considerably shallower than my other 7x bins. I need to change focus much more frequently. In this aspect, the Retrovid behaves like a 8x

Sounds like a possible lemon. Focus hunting is often a sign of the presence of defects like astigmatism or excessive spherical aberration, which could also explain your impression of shallow DOF. True DOF in binoculars varies only with changes in magnification, but shallow DOF can be mimicked by high aberrations.

It also seems odd that glare resistance is poor. That's usually a strong point in Leica binoculars, but not always in some other "alphas".
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Rather slow focus - 510 degrees rotation from near focus (4m) to infinity. Allows for very precise focusing, but not ideal in "busy birding situations"

But otherwise a very, very enjoyable little jewel with a very good optical and mechanical performance (so my personal impression is more or less the exact opposite of galazie's) ;)

Canip
This is what I have found to hold true to the original product, hence the reason why I sold all of my ‘originals’. They sat around collecting dust. While it was ‘cool’ walking around with a Zeiss dialyct around my neck… it wasn’t a good birding bin compared to what I could be birding with today…, or at least my thinking.
 

Boogieshrew

Well-known member
Sounds like a possible lemon. Focus hunting is often a sign of the presence of defects like astigmatism or excessive spherical aberration, which could also explain your impression of shallow DOF. True DOF in binoculars varies only with changes in magnification, but shallow DOF can be mimicked by high aberrations.

It also seems odd that glare resistance is poor. That's usually a strong point in Leica binoculars, but not always in some other "alphas".
I wondered if something was lemony when I read this thread this morning.
My 7x35 Retrovid comes to focus very easily and precisely. No hunting for focus for me.
And I didn't notice any difference in dof in comparison with my UV+ 7x42s.
Only yesterday I was aware that the Retrovids handle glare well while looking towards the low winter sun and across the sun's refection on open water and thinking how well it behaved. Much better than Swaro EL SV 8x32s. Much much better.
The slow focus I can live with. It is what it is and I can adapt to it.
These are my favourite birding bins now. Small, light weight and 7x with a large exit pupil. I have been waiting for that combination for years, even a decade.
 

galazie1

Well-known member
CA is a bit abundant. I am not usually bothered by CA (i use binos for landscape viewing) but with this one I notice CA in many situations. Very similar to my experience with a Meopta Meostar 7x50
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Galazie,

Reading your comments, I was reminded that on occasion I’ve had problems getting a new binocular to perform to optical expectations e.g. especially when repeated refocusing is required, and then even with the refocusing things are 'not quite right'.

My Leica UV HD 8x42 was initially troublesome in this regard. However, I persisted with trying to resolve the issue, and in the end the problem came down to incorrect diopter adjustment! Once the correct adjustment was set, a variety of optical niggles instantly disappeared, replaced by the usual high level Leica performance.

Somewhat counter intuitively, I find it much easier to get to a correct diopter setting by focusing on a target with a wide variety of textures such as a tree trunk, rather than a simpler high contrast image like a street sign (which is what I was initially using with the Leica). And interestingly this is also the experience of others e.g. see at: Is this a record? Re: Ultravid 8x32 HD Plus

The problem with a high contrast target seems to be the tendency for the ciliary muscles in the eye to tense, to aid in achieving the sharpest possible focus
- rather than allowing the relaxed eye, in conjunction with the gradual adjustment of the diopter setting - to move to the sharpest focus.

This illustrates the importance of Bill Cook’s point about the need to 'stare' while using a binocular. The eyes need to be in relaxed focus - their 'at rest' state - while only focusing the binocular to make the image clear. For more detail, see Bill’s updated comments in the attachments to post #13 at: Diopter Adjustment

Ideally the above may resolve your issues; or alternatively enable you to with greater confidence be sure that there is something wrong with the particular unit, and that it needs to be retuned to Leica for servicing or replacement.


John
 
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galazie1

Well-known member
Maybe i should clarify that these are not issues. Just some 'difference' or 'weakness'. Not serious enough to be any issue

The things maybe in my eyes or my words rather than the binos. I seems to have more demanding eyes than the other people i know. And i tried to use words to describe what i saw, which may sometimes result in slight exacerbation.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi again Galazie,

I take your point about different users having differing degrees of appreciation of/ sensitivity to various optical phenomena. However, in relation to aspects such as the focus action and image qualities, your experiences seem to differ radically from other 7x35 Retrovid users
e.g. see some comments from Roger Vine at: Leica Trinovid 7x35 ('Retrovid') Review

'Focus action is silky smooth, accurate and free of shift or backlash, effectively perfect . . . Again, the action is ideal – accurate and smooth and just stiff enough to prevent you shifting it by accident.'

'Resolution seems outstandingly good. Watching a crow strutting in the rain, I can see every detail of feather and beaded droplets shining on his back. Colour is naturally rendered and sharpness outstanding. Focus snap is exceptionally good too, indicating high optical quality.'

'The low false colour, wide real field of view, high resolution and good depth of field make these great for finding and watching birds on the wing and I have fun watching my local Jackdaws wheeling about in stormy winds.'

'Forget any idea that ‘Made in Portugal’ means build quality is second rate. These are some of the most beautifully made binos, optically and mechanically, I have ever seen, with flawless build and operation.'


And more regarding CA (which Roger is particularly observant of) and stray lighting:
'False colour is very well controlled and you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s none at all. Actually, there is a trace of purple edging a chimney pot in silhouette, or when panning through branches under a bright dusk sky; but even the field edge, where other distortions creep in, doesn’t reveal too much. Viewing birds in high branches is never an issue. False colour levels are actually slightly lower than the Trinovid HDs I reviewed.'

'I had no problems with stray light. Even the full Moon yielded just one dimmish ghost, a security light ditto. This is another area they beat the Trinovid HDs, which produced long prism spikes when set on a very bright light.'


The above is in the context of multiple structured reviews that Roger has conducted over the years, see at: Binocular Reviews

The concern of others and myself is that your impressions seem to differ far more than what individual differences between observers would indicate, and hence your particular unit may not be up to specification. Ideally you should be choosing to use it, not in spite of optical limitations, but rather because of the strength of the optical performance.


John
 
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Renze de Vries

Well-known member
Hi Galazie,

Reading your comments, I was reminded that on occasion I’ve had problems getting a new binocular to perform to optical expectations e.g. especially when repeated refocusing is required, and then even with the refocusing things are 'not quite right'.

My Leica UV HD 8x42 was initially troublesome in this regard. However, I persisted with trying to resolve the issue, and in the end the problem came down to incorrect diopter adjustment! Once the correct adjustment was set, a variety of optical niggles instantly disappeared, replaced by the usual high level Leica performance.

Somewhat counter intuitively, I find it much easier to get to a correct diopter setting by focusing on a target with a wide variety of textures such as a tree trunk, rather than a simpler high contrast image like a street sign (which is what I was initially using with the Leica). And interestingly this is also the experience of others e.g. see at: Is this a record? Re: Ultravid 8x32 HD Plus

The problem with a high contrast target seems to be the tendency for the ciliary muscles in the eye to tense, to aid in achieving the sharpest possible focus
- rather than allowing the relaxed eye, in conjunction with the gradual adjustment of the diopter setting - to move to the sharpest focus.

This illustrates the importance of Bill Cook’s point about the need to 'stare' while using a binocular. The eyes need to be in relaxed focus - their 'at rest' state - while only focusing the binocular to make the image clear. For more detail, see Bill’s updated comments in the attachments to post #13 at: Diopter Adjustment

Ideally the above may resolve your issues; or alternatively enable you to with greater confidence be sure that there is something wrong with the particular unit, and that it needs to be retuned to Leica for servicing or replacement.


John

This matches my experiences in every aspect.

Renze
 
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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