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

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

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hello everyone,

I also had the Zeiss FL 7x42 in use for some time and compared to the Leica 7x42 it has less CA.
In my opinion, the FL binoculars have few problems with CA, with the Leica a bit more noticeable but not yet disturbing!

Nevertheless, the Leica UV 7x42 is the more comfortable binoculars for me, the distortion is much lower and does not set in so early, the edge sharpness is also better and the glass does not have as much and clear astigmatism.



In a later evaluation of the Zeiss HT, Roger Vine put his good evaluation of the Zeiss FL 7x42 into perspective again, he found the severe distortion increasingly annoying.

Andreas
Hi Andreas, thanks for pointing to that 10x54 Victory HT review, which I have just looked at. Roger definitely prefers field flattening binoculars so possibly his thoughts there don't have too much impact on these Zeiss and Leica conversations. I like both the Leica and the Zeiss and agree with your summing up, though the differences over edge distortion and edge sharpness don't really affect my viewing style nor therefore my enjoyment in the field (literal outdoors / countryside sense of the word 'field' not the optical field).

For Adhoc and all reading this thread, Roger has also written more recently a review of the Leica 7x42 under discussion — at least the HD version: take note that it's the HD original version (i.e. white lettering) not the Plus (red lettering / Schott glass) that he has reviewed.


Tom
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Hello Tom, It's like almost always, you can't give a clear recommendation for one or the other pair of binoculars, some love the Zeiss FL 7x42, others have problems with the glass, and so do the Leica!
Basically, only a personal opinion helps, an evaluation by someone else is only a "crutch" and can at best serve as a rough guide.

I now had the Zeiss FL 7x42, the Nikon EDG 7x42 and now the Leica HD Plus 7x42, for me personally the Leica works best, but to derive a generality here would be a wrong conclusion.

Andreas
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Yes, I think it would be wrong or impossible to do so, Andreas. We could widen the search though and bring in the Zeiss Dialyt 7x42 'ClassiC' / BGAT*P(*) and the chunky 7x42 SLC neu!
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
I have both a 7x42 Leica UV HD and a 7x42 Zeiss Victory FL, and I agree with what CharleyBird says in post #56 about the differences in low light.
However, a couple of additional points need to be made:

• Especially in low light, while the FL’s image is noticeably slightly brighter - it doesn’t show me any more detail on a direct A to B comparison.

• And both intentional and incidental colour differences diminish as light levels decrease (and at really low levels we switch to monochrome/ scotopic vision).

In general, as light levels significantly decrease, aperture/ exit pupil size becomes increasingly important, compared to transmission. Hence the traditional marine use of the 7x50.
For an appreciation of the complexities associated with using optics at various decreased light levels, see two graphs from an article by Holger Merlitz.
More details can be found in post #21 at: Vortex Razor UHD 18x56 ?
And adding to the considerations, as light levels decrease, effective resolution also rapidly decreases *


More generally, both the Leica and the Zeiss are wonderful in use. And while there are a multitude of small difference, even after several years I’m still unsure which is 'better' overall.
While I more usually reach for the Leica (which should tell me something), whenever I use the Zeiss there’s always that initial that 'Ahhh' feeling, and then the thought 'Why am I not using this more often?'

Among other things, the somewhat larger Zeiss: is more comfortable in my hands; has a superior focuser action, and comes up perfectly in line with my eyes without any need to consciously position the eyecups.
(the only other binocular that does the last for me is a 1980’s era Steiner 6x30 IF Porro prism with simple straight narrow rubber eyecups!)

Ultimately for me it’s about the view. And the aspect that I particularly prefer in the Leica is the slightly warmer colour rendition. It’s also a reason why I prefer it over my 8x42 UV HD. See the slight differences in the objective coatings shown in post #11 at: Objective coating Changes


* The strongly yellow image of Swarovski’s DV/ dual coated Habichts (dating from 1948 to 1991), is interesting in relation to the above.
As light levels decrease, the yellow tint becomes much less noticeable and eventually unnoticeable, well before twilight.
And at lower light levels the yellow tint also enhances contrast - in the same way that yellow tinted spectacles do.
The strongly yellow images of some single coated military optics of the era, also show appreciation of these effects.


John
 

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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
I have both a 7x42 Leica UV HD and a 7x42 Zeiss Victory FL, and I agree with what CharleyBird says in post #56 about the differences in low light.
However, a couple of additional points need to be made:

• Especially in low light, while the FL’s image is noticeably slightly brighter - it doesn’t show me any more detail on a direct A to B comparison.

• And both intentional and incidental colour differences diminish as light levels decrease (and at really low levels we switch to monochrome/ scotopic vision).

In general, as light levels significantly decrease, aperture/ exit pupil size becomes increasingly important, compared to transmission. Hence the traditional marine use of the 7x50.
For an appreciation of the complexities associated with using optics at various decreased light levels, see two graphs from an article by Holger Merlitz.
More details can be found in post #21 at: Vortex Razor UHD 18x56 ?
And adding to the considerations, as light levels decrease, effective resolution also rapidly decreases *


More generally, both the Leica and the Zeiss are wonderful in use. And while there are a multitude of small difference, even after several years I’m still unsure which is 'better' overall.
While I more usually reach for the Leica (which should tell me something), whenever I use the Zeiss there’s always that initial that 'Ahhh' feeling, and then the thought 'Why am I not using this more often?'

Among other things, the somewhat larger Zeiss: is more comfortable in my hands; has a superior focuser action, and comes up perfectly in line with my eyes without any need to consciously position the eyecups.
(the only other binocular that does the last for me is a 1980’s era Steiner 6x30 IF Porro prism with simple straight narrow rubber eyecups!)

Ultimately for me it’s about the view. And the aspect that I particularly prefer in the Leica is the slightly warmer colour rendition. It’s also a reason why I prefer it over my 8x42 UV HD. See the slight differences in the objective coatings shown in post #11 at: Objective coating Changes


* The strongly yellow image of Swarovski’s DV/ dual coated Habichts (dating from 1948 to 1991), is interesting in relation to the above.
As light levels decrease, the yellow tint becomes much less noticeable and eventually unnoticeable, well before twilight.
And at lower light levels the yellow tint also enhances contrast - in the same way that yellow tinted spectacles do.
The strongly yellow images of some single coated military optics of the era, also show appreciation of these effects.


John
i've just learnt a lot from that post, John. Especially about the transmission, aperture/exit pupil size and effective resolution, and some colour differences. And especially the effect of age!

Tom
 

mbb

Well-known member
I don’t have an UV 7x42 but do have the UV HD 8x32 and the FL 7x42 (obtained very recently). I won’t comment too much on colour accuracy, as I am a bit colour blind (...). What I can say, is that the UV has a bit ‘darker, more contrasty’ view (even when the light is good and thus exit pupil isn’t the limiting factor). I say ‘darker, more contrasty’ together, as they are not dark by any means but both terms kind of play together.
During bright daytime in the open field along the river and green area, the difference wasn’t really significant (you could see it A-B comparing, but that’s about it and comparing too much would make you miss the birds ;) ).
Last weekend, we were in the woods, it was a dull weather but still bright around noon (still not exit pupil limitation time :) ). There, it was very surprising how the FL appeared more transparent (brighter?) when observing birds on the tree trunks but I still doubt to say more natural: I am a bit colourblind thus not a good reference on that, and maybe the trunks were a little lacking the dark brown contrast they had in the UV while they were at least as detailed (maybe details on the trunks required less time or effort to see in the FL because of the brightness of the FL). Still, in that situation I really preferred the FL. It gave more a feeling of just being closer, of course also helped by the larger FOV and DOF, but also clearly thanks to the light/brightness. I actually prefer using the word ‘transparant’ for some reason. They also were lovely ‘cutting through the woods’ to briefly watch a deer passing by.
But yesterday, going for more of a casual walk in a more open area with relatives (corona-safe outdoors at distance...) I took the UV 8x32 without any second thought: the better, lighter pair for the job.
And I really just love the UV design, feel, ergonomics... They are just perfect and I am lucky not to have any issue with their small eye relief. I actually like the ergonomics of the UV 8x32 more than those of the FL 7x42, maybe because my hands aren’t that big, maybe I‘m biased because I love the clean UV looks/design, but I actually also prefer the UV focus knob. (Still, the FL is great! Maybe just a tad chunky.)
I had expected bigger gain in ease of view going to the 7x42 though. There is some gain, but less than expected. Some here seem to say the UV 7x42 has an easier view than the FL (while often the ease of view of the 8x32 is complained about, due to the eye relief though).
I guess I really should get a chance to test some UV HD(+) 7x42, mainly out of curiosity, or maybe not... (better stay happy with what I have and I couldn’t afford them without selling the same worth of gear from what I have now anyway). It is already just luxury (even a bit decadent?) to have the choice between those optics I already have, which I could only have dreamed of when I was 12-18years old, discovering birdwatching.
 

adhoc

Well-known member
CharleyBird, thanks for the reply on CA in Leica Uv. vs Zeiss Victory FL 7x42.

Tom, thanks for that information. Zeiss Victory FL 7x42 (your post #59) is rather large, 6.5 inches long vs Leica Uv. 5.6 in. and Opticron Discovery 5.3 in., and I have a bit of a fixation for smallness. I have read Scopeviews/Roger Vine on both that and the Leica Uv. 7x42 (your post #61), the latter also just before my first post up here. He reviews pre-Plus, but includes Plus in the title, reckoning it’s only “a dab of red and a few tweaks.” His assessments of CA etc. do not always match those of most of us. If the last line of your post #59 is not a rhetorical question then you have done much to answer it in post #54!

John, all that was interesting and useful. (1) Isn’t the marine use of 7x50 more for its large exit pupil, to keep the eye’s pupil within it in during vessel movements? (2) Comparisons in the article by Holger Merlitz are subject to the following: “It was assumed that the binocular was mounted, the target was…well focused” unlike when “searching for an object of unknown direction and distance” and “field of view, depth of field and hand-held steadiness are limiting factors…particularly at high powers.”
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi adhoc,

Yes, you’re right on both points. My error was one of brevity, in raising the point that there are additional considerations, and then not going into more detail.

Especially for much daytime maritime use, the main advantage of the 7x50 is the 'stability' provided by the large EP, when on an unsteady platform. However, for those operating into the night or around the clock, the detail provided by a larger EP is also a major consideration.

The graphs are misleading in the sense that they show what the performance would be with an ideal viewing setup. However, they still serve to make it visually clear that, there’s not a simple linear relationship between optical transmission and observable detail at various levels of illumination.


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

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