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The mistake of buying an Ultravid HD+ 7x42 (1 Viewer)

LucaPCP

Registered User
Supporter
I agree. An 8x20 is a good complement to a 10x and the 7x42. I must say, though, that I don't care much about the 8x magnification - I like the 8x20s for their compactness. Honestly, I can't really tell a 7x mag from an 8x mag. To me, the gain in magnification is negligible but the decrease in DOF is a bit of a downside. Sadly, there is no Ultravid 7x20...
It's true that an Ultravid 7x21 would be great.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
It truly is a mystery to me why certain formats have died out (saying this as I just bought a 6x24 Leitz Trinovid off that auction site).

What is so magical about 8x and 10x mag? Does a compact have to have a tiny exit pupil? Why not 7x20 for a 3mm exit pupil? Or hey maybe a modern 6x24 for a sweet 4mm?

Yes there is the Retrovid but how about taking that compact, sleek little beauty and turning it into a line of slim and trim, premium rubber armored 35mm binoculars with waterproofing and decent sized eyecups? A 7x36 and 9x36 pairing would be lovely, a few ounces lighter than the 42mm but a not quite so diminutive as the 32mm, and keeping that nice 5mm/4mm exit pupil option? Yes please!
 

Ries

Well-known member
Netherlands
It truly is a mystery to me why certain formats have died out (saying this as I just bought a 6x24 Leitz Trinovid off that auction site).

What is so magical about 8x and 10x mag?
I think it's just the main audience of not so very fanatic birders buy 10x thinking they can identify better with larger mags (and 12 is normally a very much larger device, but remember Jan telling how sales of the 12x Swaro NL exceed the 10x?) and 7x or 6x seems like a way to large gap with 10x to be able to identify a bird... And when a 10x is the same size and price as an 8x which is the same as a 7x...easy choice for most laymen. Maybe even goes so far as an even number gives more reassurance than an odd number...especially set against an even number as 10,double digit... 7x must be useless then, won't it?! Man's mind works weird.
 

adhoc

Well-known member
Jafritten, could you explain a bit what you mean by this (post #15): "I can still appreciate the better panning of the UV 10x32 or the Zeiss..." What is the (relative) hindrance with the Leica Uv. 7x42?

Went through all your posts (54 to date, can be done easily by clicking on your name on the left) to see what that Zeiss model is but was not able to.

While doing that saw that your son has a Kowa YF 6x30. Shall much appreciate it if you could describe the pros and cons of the Leica Uv. 7x42 vs that in your experience, apart from the obvious 6 vs 7x and 30 vs 42.

I like lower mag. for woodland. Had a Kowa YF 6x30. Was, and am, very impressed by it. Liked it very much indeed, but only till I began to regularly compare it with the finest, when its color rendition bothered me. I found it "golden" or "muddy" (English words for rendition in binoculars, like shades and hues on birds even in the best guides, are a bit subjective!) 1½ years ago several/many in the forum responded to my query about the Leica Uv. 7x42 vs the new, small, 7x42 Opticron Discovery, at 1/7 or 8th the price. I went for the Opticron. But the difference in optical quality against Leica and Zeiss was too nagging and I found I just could not use it.

It seems that within the Leica Uv. line the image in the 7x is different than in the others, apart from the mag. and the expected consequences of that like depth of field. It is (or it was when I read this) the favorite in the Uv. line among the Leica engineers who designed the Uv. Maybe this can be explained by a member/s, Henry et al.?

Been thinking of this model for a long time. Where I live it's impossible to resell it, and at this price I have to be sure I will like it forever, i.e., till the next revolution in distance viewing.

Edj, your post (#5) should get into books of quotations. If you're right I can live in contentment. I have good (enough) 8x binoculars.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Jafritten, could you explain a bit what you mean by this (post #15): "I can still appreciate the better panning of the UV 10x32 or the Zeiss..." What is the (relative) hindrance with the Leica Uv. 7x42?

Went through all your posts (54 to date, can be done easily by clicking on your name on the left) to see what that Zeiss model is but was not able to.

[...]
adhoc, it is the Victory 8x32FL. Needless to say that my answer to your question will be highly subjective. I think the UV 10x32 and the Victory FL 8x32 pan very smoothly, they sort of glide through the canopies without the sligthest "morphing" of the image. With the 7x42 the image morphs a bit. It does not show a rolling ball effect, though. I don't like this effect at all. Also, I think I am very sensitive to morphing and the rolling ball effect. In fact, I resold the 10x42 UV because I didn't really like its morphing image. Not sure, if that helps...I'll come back to your question about the Kowa later.
 

adhoc

Well-known member
Thank you, Jafritten. Oh yes, the answer is clear and useful. Whether I will see that is, as you suggest, uncertain, though I too am pretty sensitive to the rolling ball effect. Must say I don't remember reading elsewhere the word "morphing", for the Uv. 7x42 or 10x42 or any other binocular! However, the same effect may have been described in a different way, without that word, as a form of distortion. Looking forward to see what you say about the Kowa!
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
It’s just referring to how there’s a LOT of pincushion and so you get the opposite of “rolling ball”, sometimes jokingly referred to as “rolling bowl”.

I think “warping” of space is a better word than “morphing”. It’s not obvious in most normal use but if you pan back and forth across something like a brushy hillside and pay attention to the periphery it’s hard to miss.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
It’s just referring to how there’s a LOT of pincushion and so you get the opposite of “rolling ball”, sometimes jokingly referred to as “rolling bowl”.

I think “warping” of space is a better word than “morphing”. It’s not obvious in most normal use but if you pan back and forth across something like a brushy hillside and pay attention to the periphery it’s hard to miss.
That might be a better word. Funny, I thought other pepole wouldn't notice this effect. Very difficult to decribe...
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Oh you’re not the first :)

Holger Merlitz wrote a great article about distortion and “globe effect”, there are some nice visuals and animations showing examples of extreme pincushion vs the straight line extreme (Swaro SV style): Distortion and globe effect in binoculars

This animated graphic will be the most illuminating. A Swaro SV is approaching the “tangent condition”, whereas a high pincushion binocular is approaching the “angle condition”:

1620748538887.png
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Oh you’re not the first :)

Holger Merlitz wrote a great article about distortion and “globe effect”, there are some nice visuals and animations showing examples of extreme pincushion vs the straight line extreme (Swaro SV style): Distortion and globe effect in binoculars

This animated graphic will be the most illuminating. A Swaro SV is approaching the “tangent condition”, whereas a high pincushion binocular is approaching the “angle condition”:

View attachment 1384613
Thank you very much, Eitan. So, is the warping of the 7x42 due to its having a lower degree of pincushion distortion than the UV 10x32?

To my eyes the 10x32 exhibits a very strong pincushion distortion above and below its 'equator' (the horizontal line through the middle of the image). But the center looks perfect when I pan both vertically and horizontally. I can't quite understand why panning with the UV 8x20 is equally as good because I've never noticed a pronounced pincushion distortion here...
 

etc

Well-known member
It truly is a mystery to me why certain formats have died out (saying this as I just bought a 6x24 Leitz Trinovid off that auction site).

What is so magical about 8x and 10x mag? Does a compact have to have a tiny exit pupil? Why not 7x20 for a 3mm exit pupil? Or hey maybe a modern 6x24 for a sweet 4mm?

Yes there is the Retrovid but how about taking that compact, sleek little beauty and turning it into a line of slim and trim, premium rubber armored 35mm binoculars with waterproofing and decent sized eyecups? A 7x36 and 9x36 pairing would be lovely, a few ounces lighter than the 42mm but a not quite so diminutive as the 32mm, and keeping that nice 5mm/4mm exit pupil option? Yes please!

Interesting point you make. I always wanted 6x30, 7x35, 8x42 and 10x50+. I have just two from that list. These ratios just seem to work well.

Back to the topic, a 7x42 Leica UV in its latest incarnation would be fabulous.
 

adhoc

Well-known member
It seems to me from the above that morphing and warping as used here mean different things. If they are what I think they are then both are nice evocative words. Jafritten, Eitan, anyone else, please comment: warping is pincushion distortion, morphing is a disturbing effect from this when panning.

If that's right then I think I (personally) encountered morphing worst in the Zen-Ray ED3 7x43. Went for it on glowing accounts here in BF. But that made it unusable to me (yes, maybe over-reaction). Z-R replaced it with the 8x43 and it showed (me) no such problem.
 

adhoc

Well-known member
Jafritten, this is what I would most like to know about from a Leica Uv. 7x42--Kowa YF 6x30 comparison. I copy from a post by me in this forum 2½ years ago: "...I was rather thrilled by the view of the Kowa YF 6x30...in a woodland setting due to its depth of field and 8.0-8.1 deg. FOV. You could see so much of birdlife, that is, different species and their movements, in one view. But I felt its 6x was inadequate for detail of the birds. Since then I have been hoping for such a view at 7x from some model of good optical quality..." Compared with a fine, wide-angle 8x binocular, does the Uv. 7x42 give you this distinctly deeper, wider, more diverse view of birds in woodland, without having to focus to different depths and to turn your attention to different directions to do so? The experience I describe makes bird watching or observation in woodland so much easier and more pleasing.
 
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jafritten

Well-known member
While doing that saw that your son has a Kowa YF 6x30. Shall much appreciate it if you could describe the pros and cons of the Leica Uv. 7x42 vs that in your experience, apart from the obvious 6 vs 7x and 30 vs 42.
Adhoc, it's hard to think of anything that the Kowa can do better than the Ultravid. I do think that the Kowa is fantastic value for money, but I think the UV holds the edge in almost every respect. I won't have the Kowa at hand this week, but if you want me to compare something specific, I will do so next week.

By the way, why do you think you couldn't resell an UV where you live? Can't you just order it online and return it if you don't like it?
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Adhoc - I have the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 which is basically the same binocular. Here is a comparison photo I took of the 6x30 vs the 7x42 Ultravid HD. Conditions were overcast, looking at a hummingbird nest in my yard.

1620851552915.jpeg
1620851582700.jpeg

The usual caveats about not judging binoculars from iPhone photos apply. Also the phone clearly focused on the leaves and not the hummingbird, so don’t try to read too much into sharpness there.

But you can see the image is larger on the 7x as expected, with a wider AFOV (since the true FOV is the same and the magnification is higher). They have a similar sized sweet spot, and you can see the curved field allows the leaves closer to you on the sides to stay in focus (which is one of the reasons why I think curved field feels “deeper” than a flat field optic). The Leica seems to have slightly better edges, perhaps the Yosemite has a bit more astigmatism out there. With the Leica the entire FOV is clear and usable, even if the edges aren’t totally sharp.

Subjectively in use the 7x42 Leica feels like it shows a lot more detail, perhaps it’s the narrower AFOV on the little porro but the magnification difference feels larger than it is. When I’m using the 7x42 there is never a moment where I wish it was sharper, even comparing back to back with a top flight 8x42 like Nikon EDG. Whereas with the Leupold it often feels to me like things are “too small”.

And the Leica also has a little more “pop” and contrast, more “sparkle”, although hard to tell from the photos.

But there’s not that much to it. Which I guess does to show how much of a fundamental advantage a porro has as a baseline starting point such that a $100 binocular can be not that far behind a $2000 alpha roof.

Obviously the Leica has vastly better build quality. And I’m sure that red dot has quite a high materials cost, the margin can’t be too big there ;)
 

adhoc

Well-known member
Jafritten, sorry I have not been clear and specific enough. What I would most like to know about the Leica Uv. 7x42 is what is copied in your post #37 and answered by you in it! The Uv. 7x42, then, does give (you) that experience. Thank you.

What I would most like to know from a comparison of it with the Kowa YF 6x30 is whether the Uv. 7x42 is close to it in that experience. To recap, with this Kowa that is useful to a bird observer and pleasing to a bird watcher, to me strikingly more so than with a good 8x. How the Uv. 7x42 compares with a good 8x in this you have already said, but the comparison with this 6x also is valuable to me. This is really about a good 7x vs a good 6x in general, beyond these two models. The term "close to" above is vague I know but I would like to hear about your experience.

All this is, of course, if you are able without much trouble, and if you like, to try that!

But, in the meantime, Eitan's excellent response clears up so much of I wished to know!

The difficulty or utter impossibility of "trying out" a binocular where I am, and in much of the world, even in other times than these, I have described in this thread linked here, which please see.
 

adhoc

Well-known member
Eitan, thank you very much for the excellent, thorough, clear, response, and the trouble you have taken. It may tempt me to disregard Edj's wisdom in post #5!
 

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