• 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.

The three Trinovids battle (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
When we refer about the compact Trinovid series we have to refer to exactly which model we are referring to, because they are very different optically due to the improvements of the anti-reflection layers over the years. It's like some old Swarovski models: with or without Swarodur coating.
All three Trinovids have an overwhelming simplicity of design and top notch mechanics in the smallest size you can have!
The 1988 version amazes me with its elegance, natural clarity during the day and a very comfortable pleasant image for such an ultra-compact binoculars.
The new variants have even higher optical performance, with a brutal clarity, I would say almost unnatural clarity.
Trinovids extended eyecups.jpg

Below is a comparison of three Trinovides
Leica Trinovid 8x20 BC (1988)/ Leica Trinovid 8x20 BCA (2020)/ Leica Trinovid 10x25 BCA (2007)
Construction and technical aspects

Bino 8x20 BC/ 8x20 BCA/ 10x25 BCA

Finish and Design 3/2 /2

Field of view 3/ 3/ 2

Eye relief 2/ 2/ 2

Min. focus distance 3/ 3/ 2

Weight 220g/ 225g/ 250g

Scores 11*/ 10*/ 8*

Optical performance

Bino---------------------------------------------- 8x20 BC-----8x20 BCA------10x25 BCA

Center Resolution (same target distance) 1/ 2/ 3

Border Resolution 2/ 2/ 2

Contrast 1/ 3/ 3

Brightness during the day 1/ 3/ 3

Brightness in the dark and at night 1/ 2/ 3

Flare resistance 2/ 2/ 2

White rendering 1/ 3/ 3

Chromatic aberrations 3/ 3/ 3

Distortions 3/ 3/ 3

Optical score 14*/ 23*/ 25*

Total score 25*/ 33*/ 33*

Trinovids dimensions.jpg
Tree Trinovids.jpg
Trinovids Napoleon sparkle.jpg
Trinovids Saturn sparkle.jpg
Trinovids shadows.jpg
Trinovids case.jpg
Last edited:


Active member
United States
durobird -

Thank you for that very welcome comparison among three Trinovid compact models.

I have found that there may have been at least four versions of the compact Trinovids, if versions were distinguished by changes of their model numbers in Leica brochures. I listed model numbers of the 'BCA' rubber-armored' ones in post #14 of the thread
'Ultravid BCAs vs current Trinovid BCAs - real optical difference or mostly mechanical?'
<Ultravid BCAs vs *current* Trinovid BCAs - real optical difference or mostly mechanical?>.
You and others contributed very helpfully to that thread.

Comparison of the photos in your post #1 here with the illustrations in Leica Sports Optics brochures (1982, 2003, 2007) on the Company 7 site, <Company Seven | Leica Notes and Interesting Articles>, suggest that your 1988 BCA 8x20 model is from the 'old' line in which the rubber-armored model had exterior 'bars' on the surface like those on larger Trinovid BA and BN models of that period (1982 brochure at Company 7 site). The leather 10x25 illustrated on the cover of the 1982 brochure had the 'Leica' red dot at the lower left and a 'TRINOVID' tag, both as in your photo of the (very nice looking) 8x20 leather model.

The version of the 2007 10x25's you show is more difficult to place from the references at hand. The 2007 brochure at the Company 7 site already showed the Ultravid compact and larger models, with the Trinovid BCAs having the same model number, 40342, assigned to the most recent, 'very new' 8x20 BCAs. So your 2007 10x25's could be the 40343 models illustrated in that brochure, i.e., ones expected to benefit from newer coatings, etc. On the other hand, maybe coatings were changed between 2007 and today, without change of model numbers.

Bottom line: It seems that your comparison of Trinovid 8x20's from 1988 and 2020 confirms the significant optical advances of the latter, as well as the more contemporary green color of their coatings. So comparisons of Trinovid vs Ultravid compact models in previous posts do need to be revisitied for specification of the age of the Trinovids involved.

And I have to agree that the design of your 'leather' 8x20's is a very handsome one. The brochures also show 'silver' and 'titanium' versions of the leather models that approach jewelry in visual appeal. While admittedly of little consequence to the view through them, their appearance might contribute to the pleasure of use for some.



Experienced observer
United States
Thanks for your photos and review. It seems every maker offers improvements along the way with newer models.
You should step up your game and try the Ultravid, they are better yet. Tell us if you can find any differences.


Mike F

Well-known member
I have to confess that I've lost track a little bit! Could someone please tell me if these are the latest version or not? Purchased new sometime in the mid '90's.


  • IMG_0187.jpg
    413.3 KB · Views: 29
Hi Mike,

The newer incarnations look pretty much the same as your one. The boxing has changed however. It's now grey and green with a red Leica logo.

Dipper D.

Mike F

Well-known member
Hi Mike,

The newer incarnations look pretty much the same as your one. The boxing has changed however. It's now grey and green with a red Leica logo.

Dipper D.
Thanks, Dipper D. I knew about the box (I have several more recent Leicas with the new box) but I just wondered whether there had been a lens coating change since then?
Hi Mike,

I'm not sure about your question regarding coatings, but as a guess, I would say that Leica continually upgrade their products to have the latest in coating technology. The improvements are probably very slight though. I remember a guy on youtube who compared his 1970s vintage Leitz 10 x 25 BC to his new 8 x 20 Ultravid BL, and he claimed that the most dramatic difference was light transmission, with the Utravid delivering the brighter image.
That said, I'm sure there are more knowledgeable folk on the forum who may be able to speak to your question.


Dipper D.


Active member
United States
I have to confess that I've lost track a little bit! Could someone please tell me if these are the latest version or not? Purchased new sometime in the mid '90's.
Mike -

I sympathize with your confusion. It's not easy to sort out the differences among Trinovid generations. I've made a stab at it using design features and illustrations in various Leica catalogs and photos on eBay, mostly in the interest of having comparisons between Trinovid and Ultravid performance involve newer Trinovid versions.

From the info on the box in your post's photo, your 10x25's had Leica product #40340. I think those were associated with the 8x20's with product #40339, the ones I described as the 'New,' but not the 'Very New (current)' version, in post # 14 of the thread 'Ultravid BCAs vs current Trinovid BCAs - real optical difference or mostly mechanical?'

For convenience, adapted from that post:
Trinovid BCA 8x20 product numbers: 'Old,' ribbed style #40307, 'Early New' BN era #40354, 'New' #40339, 'Very New (current)' Ultravid era, new box style #40342.

As noted, the latest, 'Very New (current)' 8x20 version (new box style) has product #40342. The corresponding, current 10x25's advertised by Leica have product #40343.

I do not know whether anything other than the box style was changed between the 8x20/10x25 40339/40340 and 40342/40343 product-number pairs. Coating changes in Trinovids might have accompanied introduction of the Ultravid line or have been made even during runs of earlier BCA (and larger Trinovid) lines. There might even be ongoing coating changes among batches of the current lines. Comparisons of the reflected color of the coatings can suggest differences, but there appears to be controversy about whether those differences of reflected colors also involve important functional differences among coatings. The point has been discussed in various birdforum threads. For what it's worth, I have inspected an example of the current, #40342, 8x20 BCAs that has the same reflected coating colors as are shown in dorubird's photos -- greenish from the eyepieces and a sort of faint, hard-to-defscribe purplish-brownish from the objectives.


P.S. I hope my misspelling of dorubird's name in an earlier post here will be forgiven.


Well-known member
Thanks everyone for the feedback!!

For Mike F post #4
My 10x25 version is newer than yours (green and silver box), but may be it can help you if I point out the differences observed in my models! I can only assume that your model (mid '90's) has similar coating as mine model (2007), or it may be different as well... I don't know for sure because I didn't have your model in front of me. I can tell you that your mid '90's model certainly has phase correction like any model after 1990, which it's a good thing for image clarity improving!
Anyway here are the differences that I noticed in the coating between version 2007 of 10x25 and current version (2020) but in 8x20 format which I have at my disposal:
1 On the objectives the colors are similar, but in the 2020 version the color is more intense, almost similar to Zeiss T * tobacco coating color. Instead, in the 2007 version, the colors are less saturated. (see pictures)
2 On the eyepieces the coating has the same intensity, but the colors are very different (see pictures from post #1).
These two differences certainly exist and can be seen in my pictures, but I do not know if this colors differences automatically translate into a different optical performance (as our colleague Larry said that was discussed in various birdforum threads). However, I assume that over time there is an improvement in light transmission and contrast thanks to the refinement of coating!
zeiss leica coating.jpg
Last edited:

John A Roberts

Well-known member
As a reminder; in relation to the x20/x25 pocket models, I recently posted what I've found about the optical construction and transmission
in post #52 at: Leica UV 8x20 versus Zeiss Victory 8x25

- - - -
In addition, as Larry has noted in post #9, Leica has distinguished between a variety of different x20 and x25 models over the years,
by the use of different order numbers e.g. Mike’s 10x25 in post #4 has the order number #40 340.

The Leica Camera Forum Wiki, has several pages for Leitz and Leica Sport Optics - including binoculars and telescopes -
as can be seen in the right hand column on the main page: Leica Wiki (English)

The pages include listings of both:
• earlier roof prism binoculars: Roof-Prism Leica Binoculars - Leica Wiki (English)
• and current models: Current Leica Binoculars - Leica Wiki (English)

While the listings don’t go into a lot of detail about the different model features, they do usefully include the order numbers.
So Mike’s 10x25 model dates from between ca.1992 and 2000.

Last edited:


Well-known member
When it comes to the external appearance of the Trinovids and the nomenclature, things are very clear and well known for the entire Trinovid series, from 1974 to 2021! It is clear that somewhere around 1995-2000 the transition to another exterior armor design was made.
Mike already knew the year of his binoculars: "Purchased new sometime in the mid '90's". Anyone can easily find out the date of manufacture by e-mail to Leica Serial number, as I did with all three of my Trinovids.
So starting with the 1995/2000 version until 2021 there is no external difference except for the appearance of the coating (observed by me in above comparation) and the box (important only for dating)! But what we know less clearly are what kind of optical differences between them are, between the current Trinovid 2021 series and these older Trinovid series (after 1995 and until let's say about 2010?). I'm sure it's an gradually optical improvement in these 15-20 years, maybe small but it exists there ...
Last edited:


Well-known member
Hi dorubird,
thanks for the nice report and your pictures.
i am a big fan of small good optics too. Take them mainly for city trips, sightseeing.
I also recently got the Trino. Apparently fresh from the factory. I also have the ultravid and a small Zeiss Victory and a Zeiss 8 to 20 Classic.
The Zeiss Victory is still a fantastic binocular, alltough it is already older.
The Ultravid is actually too bad for me to use. And because I own several bags just had to keep the Trino here. The finish and the optics look very good for now. the Ultravid is visually of course al little better. But you to look closely to see differences.
i hope that in time I will come to compare the bins more intensively.
p.s the pouch/ bag that is too big for me I have exchanged for something else.
many greetings


  • C1E994AF-2A75-4060-832B-55D417A1B602.jpeg
    2.9 MB · Views: 15
  • 8CED6BD4-8791-4574-B2BC-565F190443A4.jpeg
    3.2 MB · Views: 18
  • D5B3DBB2-87D6-42E5-8950-A9428D022852.jpeg
    3.3 MB · Views: 18
  • 27B37396-299D-43B0-A1F0-E8C7037D6811.jpeg
    2.6 MB · Views: 18
  • 36D8C9A3-2F05-4AEA-9C3E-F5BCA30069A1.jpeg
    3.8 MB · Views: 14


Well-known member
Let me add one small observation in the battle between the Trinovid and the Ultravid - and sorry, this gets now quite technical.

I am in the process of measuring on a large number of binoculars the „extra travel of the focus wheel beyond the infinity position“ and the range of diopter adjustment. Both pieces of information are useful for people who generally wear glasses but do not want to use them when observing. The first one is hardly ever mentioned by manufacturers in their specs (laudable exception: Swarovski), the second is sometimes specified by the manufacturer, sometimes not, but in general the information provided can be misleading since in some binoculars, using the extra travel excludes you from also using the diopter adjustment, and vice versa.

Leica specifies for both the 8x20 models of the Trinovid and the Ultravid a range of diopter adjustment of +/- 3.5 dpt., but does not mention extra travel. On the Trinovid, the dpt adjustment ring is on the right tube; on the Ultravid, you have to press the button underneath the central hinge to activate the dpt adjustment and then turn the focus wheel.

I measured the extra travel of the focus wheel beyond the infinity position and found for both binoculars an approximate value of 5 dpt (meaning: if a person with normal vision focuses on infinity, there is a further amount of 5 dpt available that allows hyperopic people to also reach infinity focus without wearing glasses).

BUT: in the Ultravid (actually this is true for all Ultravids and some other Trinovids), you can EITHER use the diopter adjustment OR the travel of the focus wheel beyond infinity. If you have focused on infinity and „used up“ the dpt adjustment because one of your eyes has normal vision and the other has not, you cannot turn the focus wheel any further beyond the normal infinity position.

In the Trinovid 8x20, you can use the full 3.5 dpt range of the diopter adjustment AND you can still turn the focus wheel an amount of 5 dpt beyond the infinity position.

Meaning: the Trinovid is more versatile for people with impaired vision than the Ultravid.

fwiw Canip
Last edited:


Well-known member
yes. That is correct with the diopter adjustment. If I want to adjust the diopter and focus to infinity it is hardly possible to adjust right depending on the vision.
Adjusting the diopter and focus to infinity position is possible with the Trinovid.
But the UV is completely waterproo, the focus wheel is much bigger and easier to use and the minimum focusing distance is better in the UV.
Nevertheless the Trino is visually pretty good.

Users who are viewing this thread