• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Retrovid 7X35 a viable birding binocular? (1 Viewer)

Mark9473

Well-known member
Belgium
"Between the first announcement and the second there were downgrades to FOV, close focus distance and prism type."

Which doesn’t mean that they are in any way bad or sub par, of course. It seems that everybody who’s actually bought one thinks that they are extremely good!

Indeed, and I didn't mean to imply otherwise.
But just the close focus distance changing from 3m to 4m made the 7x35 go, for me, from a quasi certainty - it was introduced into the world in May of 1965, as was I - to a non-starter.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Bob (posts #73 and 75),

The proliferation of Trinovids is truely confusing. As I noted in one of the two mega-threads from the time of the 2019 announcement:

The main attraction of using Canip’s term Retrovid - is not because it’s so apt - but because in practice it’s so precise

As Leitz and then Leica have used the name Trinovid for so many different binocular designs, we are in effect saying:
- the most recent use by Leica for a new series of binoculars dating from late 2019, using Schmidt-Pechan prisms,

- the series has the same basic external design as that of the second version of the Leitz Trinovid series dating from 1963
(the one that used Uppendahl prisms, rather than the earlier limited production series from 1958 using Ludewig prisms),

- not to be confused with the original use by Leica commencing from 1990, for both the BA and then the BN series (with Schmidt-Pechan prisms),

- or the other design from 2012 known as the Trinovid 42 (also with S-P prisms),

- or the revised version of that design dating from 2016 known as the Trinovid HD,

- or finally, the aborted 2017 reintroduction of the original 1963 Leitz Uppendahl prism design


. . . couldn’t be simpler!


John
 

Patudo

Well-known member
I haven't been keeping up with these "Retrovids."

Do they use Uppendahl prisms? I have enough binoculars with Schmidt/Pechan prisms.

Bob

One more question: Is it this binocular which was introduced (or more correctly- announced) in Sept. 2017?

https://www.allbinos.com/1887-Leica_Trinovid_7x35-binoculars_specifications.html

Bob

Funny... you could have answered your own questions (and did)...

You have to admit that the bodies of these alleged "Retrovids" are near dead ringers for the old Trinovids with the Uppendahl prisms.

Rather than name them "Retrovid" I suggest that Leica rename them "NEU TRINOVID NU" meaning New Trinovid No Uppendahls".

In their literature Leica can explain the superiority of the SP prisms used in these new Retrovid binoculars over the Uppendahls used in the old Trinovid line.

Bob

It doesn't matter. They were never released to the public as far as I know.

It makes the release of the so-called Retrovids look like an after thought. (Durn burn it! What are we going to do with those Trinovids we didn't release in 2017?):C


I have a serious question for the Uppendahl fans. If you were given two Retrovids to look through, identical externally in every way, but one with SP prisms and the other with Uppendahls - would you be confident enough to bet your house on which was which, just by looking through them?
 

Hermann

Well-known member
I have a serious question for the Uppendahl fans. If you were given two Retrovids to look through, identical externally in every way, but one with SP prisms and the other with Uppendahls - would you be confident enough to bet your house on which was which, just by looking through them?

If they were exactly the same in every other respect, I think I would notice a difference.

Hermann
 

Thomas_M

Active member
Some people here MUST have seen prototypes ... :)

Edmund

Some people here MUST have seen prototypes ... :)

Edmund

Yes, some people have seen prototypes. An interview was published at luminous landscape around 2018

https://luminous-landscape.com/leica-story-camera-design/

with a video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyNt9UfnV0w


and prototypes, the video was produced in 2017. The pictures showes already Trinovids with SP Prisms. The offical pictures Leica was showing already in 2017 were identical (!!) with that of the final Trinovids hitting the marked in December 2019.

Thomas
 
Last edited:

chill6x6

Well-known member
With continued use...

So I'm continuing to use the Retrovid 7X35 as my primary binocular. Let's remember I've had this binocular since 01/20. I remember how skeptical I was of purchasing and actually USING this binocular as a primary birding binocular. I have proven to myself that those thoughts were nonsense.

I recently returned from a trip to Gulf Shores, AL. Beautiful area! And YES the restaurants were open to about 50% capacity! ;) Seafood was plentiful and delicious!

As were the BIRDS! I went birding by myself mostly and Carol went a couple of times using her MIJ Cabela's Guide Series 8X32 and me with the Retrovid 7X35 alternating with the CL B 8X30 and the SV 8X32. We missed most of spring migration(as I knew we would) but lots of good birds there for the summer. No new birds for me but I did see a magnificent frigate bird which was new for Alabama. I've never seen so many sandwich terns and terns in general were plentiful. I will also say that a black bellied plover in breeding plumage is something to see!

The Retrovid continues to impress. Optically it's excellent. The focus adjustment is smooth as can be. I almost wish it had a tad more effort BUT this may be the best way to do things with its small surface area focus wheel. Strangely, this focus wheel is never an issue with adjustment instinctive and precise. This was the primary area I thought I'd have issue with and it just hasn't been so. There is absolutely ZERO slack in the focus adjustment. Swapping to the CL B and it was easy for me to decide my favorite between the two. The view of the CL B while excellent just doesn't come across as immersive and seems a little more "closed in." I'm not that crazy about the CL B focus adjustment. There's no "slack" but there's something about it I'm not crazy about. It doesn't feel as good as the CL it replaces. It almost feels "delayed." I thought it would smooth out some but it hasn't. For me the Retrovid handles better as well. It is an easy decision for me to decide which I like best and that's the Retrovid.

Moving to the SV 8X32 it's easy for me to decide which I prefer but that ultimate difference between the two is small. While the Retrovid feels almost like a compact in the hand, the SV feels more substantial. I pick up the SV and everything falls into place. Once I convince myself the Retrovid is the SVs equal I realize it's not, quite. Although the Retrovid's FOV is wide flatish, the SV is equally wide and FLAT! Focus is FAST and precise. To me the SV 32mm is the best handling binocular, EVER. I believe I could absolutely be satisfied with the Retrovid 7X35 as my primary birding binocular if the SV 8X32 wasn't in the picture. But I could probably say the same thing about the Conquest HD 8X32, the Noctivid 8X42, et al.

As a side note... I took the Monarch 7 8X32 along to the beach and other spots when I wasn't too crazy about bring along a more expensive and usually more bulky binocular. I used it with glasses/sunglasses and with no glasses. Sitting on the beach watching terns feed along the surf I couldn't keep from smiling about what a nice binocular this is. It's not the best optically but this sucker keeps on ticking. I couldn't keep from laughing at how nice the optics actually ARE. It has probably been exposed to the worst elements of any binocular I have yet the focus is smoother than some binoculars costing much more and functionally as good as new. Finish has held up great too.

Hope everyone has a nice Memorial Day holiday and try to remember what this day actually represents.
 

Attachments

  • fullsizeoutput_12d6.jpeg
    fullsizeoutput_12d6.jpeg
    97.8 KB · Views: 231
  • fullsizeoutput_12e3.jpeg
    fullsizeoutput_12e3.jpeg
    64 KB · Views: 230
  • fullsizeoutput_12ef.jpeg
    fullsizeoutput_12ef.jpeg
    90.6 KB · Views: 242

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Hey Chuck

Great post and great insight into using and appraising binos.

Congrats. And stay safe.

Lee
 

PhilR.

Well-known member
Hi Chuck!

Thanks for posting the very interesting update. I haven't been able to use my 7x35 Retrovid to any great extent as of yet, but so far I would agree with everything you have stated. One thing I don't particularly care for is the lack of traction on the focus wheel. I think it has the least amount of traction of any bino we own. It is still quite manageable of course, but it is easily noticeable. I haven't used the Retrovid next to my wife's CL B, but I will try to do so the next time we are out.

The only other thing I didn't care for is the quality of the accessories, or the complete lack if them as far as objective covers are concerned. When you look at how nice the cases from other bino companies are, I think the Retrovid's case should have been nicer. And for the price, I also believe that objective covers should have been included.

I have only used the Retrovids once when there were other birders in the same area. I could tell that some of them were eyeing my binos, probably trying to figure out if they were the old versions or new. I think some of them would have come over to ask about them, but everyone was keeping their distance from others.

I also agree with your comments about the 8x32 EL SV. Our example is the bino I use the most, mostly because of it's great handling, and an ER that lets me use it while wearing sunglasses. Living in TX, that is quite important to me. If I could only own one bino (horrible thought, I know....) it would be the EL. Although, if my 8x32 UV HD+ had more ER, it would be the one I would keep.

We keep an 8x30 M7 in my wife's vehicle as a "just in case"/loaner bino. We purchased it new when an online vendor had them at $299 for a few hours. I am always amazed at the great view they provide. Their only downfall, for my particular useage anyway, is the short ER. I can't use them with sunglasses, and my wife can't use them at all, but they were just too good a buy to get rid of. They are by far my most favorite bino in that general price range.

Phil
 

Boogieshrew

Well-known member
Thank you for a great update. I am particularly pleased to read your experience of the focusser. I had serious doubts about it. Somehow it's narrowness does not inspire confidence. Great to hear that I shouldn't judge by appearance alone ��
 

wdc

Well-known member
Great writeup Chuck. I always appreciate your comparative descriptions, and the subtle distinctions you make about how different models feel and perform in your hands, as well as through your eyes.

It is also refreshing to hear about someone getting outside and experiencing the world again. Lot's of birds, AND some good food! sounds like you had a great trip. And, of course, you've tempted me to try the Retrovids. I was suspicious of the focuser and the eye relief.... I live not far from a Leica shop, so may venture over there when it re-opens...

Cheers,

Bill
 
Last edited:

chill6x6

Well-known member
Hey Chuck

Great post and great insight into using and appraising binos.

Congrats. And stay safe.

Lee

Thanks Lee and same to you!

Hi Chuck!

Thanks for posting the very interesting update. I haven't been able to use my 7x35 Retrovid to any great extent as of yet, but so far I would agree with everything you have stated. One thing I don't particularly care for is the lack of traction on the focus wheel. I think it has the least amount of traction of any bino we own. It is still quite manageable of course, but it is easily noticeable. I haven't used the Retrovid next to my wife's CL B, but I will try to do so the next time we are out.

The only other thing I didn't care for is the quality of the accessories, or the complete lack if them as far as objective covers are concerned. When you look at how nice the cases from other bino companies are, I think the Retrovid's case should have been nicer. And for the price, I also believe that objective covers should have been included.

I have only used the Retrovids once when there were other birders in the same area. I could tell that some of them were eyeing my binos, probably trying to figure out if they were the old versions or new. I think some of them would have come over to ask about them, but everyone was keeping their distance from others.

I also agree with your comments about the 8x32 EL SV. Our example is the bino I use the most, mostly because of it's great handling, and an ER that lets me use it while wearing sunglasses. Living in TX, that is quite important to me. If I could only own one bino (horrible thought, I know....) it would be the EL. Although, if my 8x32 UV HD+ had more ER, it would be the one I would keep.

We keep an 8x30 M7 in my wife's vehicle as a "just in case"/loaner bino. We purchased it new when an online vendor had them at $299 for a few hours. I am always amazed at the great view they provide. Their only downfall, for my particular useage anyway, is the short ER. I can't use them with sunglasses, and my wife can't use them at all, but they were just too good a buy to get rid of. They are by far my most favorite bino in that general price range.

Phil

Thanks Phil!

I find it interesting that our binocular "taste" seems to almost always be very similar. I guess wearing eyeglass helps to point us in a similar direction.

I admit I was a little surprised with no objective covers being included with the Retrovid. I wonder what their reasoning was? Maybe the original didn't have any included?

I am curious that you are able to use the 8X32 UVHD+. I tried it once and I didn't think I was getting the complete FOV. Maybe I need to try harder? LOL

Thank you for a great update. I am particularly pleased to read your experience of the focusser. I had serious doubts about it. Somehow it's narrowness does not inspire confidence. Great to hear that I shouldn't judge by appearance alone ��

WYMMV I swear I haven't had an issue with the focuser whatsoever. I just knew I would have. The movement is light and smooth and I'm sure that's the reason.

Great writeup Chuck. I always appreciate your comparative descriptions, and the subtle distinctions you make about how different models feel and perform in your hands, as well as through your eyes.

It is also refreshing to hear about someone getting outside and experiencing the world again. Lot's of birds, AND some good food! sounds like you had a great trip. And, of course, you've tempted me to try the Retrovids. I was suspicious of the focuser and the eye relief.... I live not far from a Leica shop, so may venture over there when it re-opens...

Cheers,

Bill

Thanks Bill! I think you should give it a try!
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
So I'm continuing to use the Retrovid 7X35 as my primary binocular. Let's remember I've had this binocular since 01/20. I remember how skeptical I was of purchasing and actually USING this binocular as a primary birding binocular. I have proven to myself that those thoughts were nonsense.

I recently returned from a trip to Gulf Shores, AL. Beautiful area! And YES the restaurants were open to about 50% capacity! ;) Seafood was plentiful and delicious!

As were the BIRDS! I went birding by myself mostly and Carol went a couple of times using her MIJ Cabela's Guide Series 8X32 and me with the Retrovid 7X35 alternating with the CL B 8X30 and the SV 8X32. We missed most of spring migration(as I knew we would) but lots of good birds there for the summer. No new birds for me but I did see a magnificent frigate bird which was new for Alabama. I've never seen so many sandwich terns and terns in general were plentiful. I will also say that a black bellied plover in breeding plumage is something to see!

The Retrovid continues to impress. Optically it's excellent. The focus adjustment is smooth as can be. I almost wish it had a tad more effort BUT this may be the best way to do things with its small surface area focus wheel. Strangely, this focus wheel is never an issue with adjustment instinctive and precise. This was the primary area I thought I'd have issue with and it just hasn't been so. There is absolutely ZERO slack in the focus adjustment. Swapping to the CL B and it was easy for me to decide my favorite between the two. The view of the CL B while excellent just doesn't come across as immersive and seems a little more "closed in." I'm not that crazy about the CL B focus adjustment. There's no "slack" but there's something about it I'm not crazy about. It doesn't feel as good as the CL it replaces. It almost feels "delayed." I thought it would smooth out some but it hasn't. For me the Retrovid handles better as well. It is an easy decision for me to decide which I like best and that's the Retrovid.

Moving to the SV 8X32 it's easy for me to decide which I prefer but that ultimate difference between the two is small. While the Retrovid feels almost like a compact in the hand, the SV feels more substantial. I pick up the SV and everything falls into place. Once I convince myself the Retrovid is the SVs equal I realize it's not, quite. Although the Retrovid's FOV is wide flatish, the SV is equally wide and FLAT! Focus is FAST and precise. To me the SV 32mm is the best handling binocular, EVER. I believe I could absolutely be satisfied with the Retrovid 7X35 as my primary birding binocular if the SV 8X32 wasn't in the picture. But I could probably say the same thing about the Conquest HD 8X32, the Noctivid 8X42, et al.

As a side note... I took the Monarch 7 8X32 along to the beach and other spots when I wasn't too crazy about bring along a more expensive and usually more bulky binocular. I used it with glasses/sunglasses and with no glasses. Sitting on the beach watching terns feed along the surf I couldn't keep from smiling about what a nice binocular this is. It's not the best optically but this sucker keeps on ticking. I couldn't keep from laughing at how nice the optics actually ARE. It has probably been exposed to the worst elements of any binocular I have yet the focus is smoother than some binoculars costing much more and functionally as good as new. Finish has held up great too.

Hope everyone has a nice Memorial Day holiday and try to remember what this day actually represents.

Chuck please,

You don't have to sugarcoat it;)

Jan
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
jan:

If Leica changes plans and lets the normal retailers sell the retrovid, are you going to start selling
Leica again ?

Jerry
 

LucaPCP

Well-known member
Supporter
Are Retrovids more available now?

I'd be very intrested in getting a pair of 7x35; is there any hope of getting a pair right now, or is availability severily limited? Should I try an online merchant or is the semi-local Leica place the best option?
 

dwatsonbirder

Well-known member
I'd be very intrested in getting a pair of 7x35; is there any hope of getting a pair right now, or is availability severily limited? Should I try an online merchant or is the semi-local Leica place the best option?

See here, you'll need to contact them first but they do ship overseas.

Hope this helps!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top