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

Ultravid 8x20 BR - help me find a low profile pouch! (1 Viewer)

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Picked up an Ultravid 8x20 BR recently, absolutely love it! It's the perfect pocket sized "emergency alpha", exactly the right size where it's hard to make an excuse not to take it in situations where you wouldn't carry normal sized binoculars around.

And unlike other "pocket" bins I've tried, like the Zeiss VP 8x25, these are truly "pocket sized". So much so, in fact, that I had slipped them in the back pocket of my jeans the other day, and then a few minutes later wondered "where are those little Leicas?" before I realized I had forgotten they were in my pocket!

Living in southern CA, there's not a lot in the way of big bulky jackets with big roomy pockets to swallow up a binocular. Luckily, the little UV are small enough to easily slip into a normal sized pocket of a pair of shorts, or the aforementioned back pocket of jeans. It's really the perfect size.... folded up, about the same size as an old flip phone (the thicker ones, not the flat Motorola Razr type!).

That is, until you put it in a case!

The challenge is that I don't want to casually toss them into a pocket naked, even if just to keep dust and grime off the lenses. Or if I throw them into a backpack (or wife's purse), I don't want them getting scratched by keys or whatnot. So I've got to cover them with something.

I have no interest in objective covers / rainguard. I don't want a bunch of bulky dangly thingies flopping around as I use the binocular. Any extra appendages ruin the minimalist, sleek-and-elegant utility of these for me. I don't even use a strap with them, if I've got them out they're so small I can hold them in my hand securely and discretely.

But every case I've seen adds so much bulk that the "slip into my shorts pocket" aspect is lost. The stock Leica cordura case, while fine for storage, is absurdly large. A lot of compact camera pouches have zippers or big bulky flap covers. I don't want a zippered pouch, because I want to be able to slip the binocular in/out quickly without accidentally scratching them (I've done it, trust me). Don't want a bulky belt pouch (the stock case is fine for that).

The closest thing I see to what I want are the small neoprene compact camera pouches (like from Op/Tech), the smallest of which would probably be a nice snug fit on the little Leicas. But I fear that even the extra bulk of the neoprene padding (plus the extra layer of the flap) will make them too chunky.

I honestly don't need the case to be padded, I trust the build quality of the Ultravid to handle being slipped in and out of pockets and even take a knock here and there without falling apart. If I want more protection, I'll use the stock case.

I basically want a low profile "grab and go" pouch, with a little flap that stays closed if tossed into a pocket or bag. Probably with a microfiber interior to minimize dust on the lenses. The only goal is to protect the lenses from scratches and/or grime, without adding any significant bulk. Because if they get too bulky, I will end up leaving them behind more often than not.

I can't find anything that really fits the bill, but I'm hoping the hive mind of intrepid folks here will rescue me. I'm at the point where I'm considering just making something DIY, but I have to imagine there's some small pouch that's about the right size that would fit the bill, like a small camera lens bag or even something not intended for optics (like a jewelry pouch?).
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
I have some 8x20 Trinovids, even smaller than the Ultravids, that I use a "pop in the pocket" binocular. I find that providing you stick them in the same pocket as your keys they are fine. Any case reduces the opportunity to quick-draw. I do however use a wrist strap, it means you can carry the bins in your hand but can just let go if you need to use your hand to open a gate or such.
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
Eitan,

The right size CR bag would be snazzy. But since your goal is to go hyper minimalist and compact, I randomly pulled out one of those microfiber bags often included with wrap around biking sunglasses and it fit in my jeans with my 8x20 UV very well, slicker than a small CR bag I also had handy. Either could be customized as well. Let us know what you come up with.

Mike
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Eitan, I use a Tamrac Goblin 0.4 pouch and I'm perfectly happy with it. It doesn't add any bulk. But it's not waterproof if that matters.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Wow great responses thanks!

The CR bag idea is great and what a perfect complement to the elegance of the Leica šŸ˜†

But I think Mike nailed it, I feel silly for not thinking of that. My wife wears glasses and has a bunch of old pairs with microfiber bags. What do you think, Dior? Dolce Gabbana? Or the free MetLife giveaway?

6FF92622-067F-401C-8583-6ACC143D5789.jpeg

My only concern with these and the Goblin is the top-load drawstring. The thing I like most about the Op/Tech neoprene style is they are side loading not top, Iā€™m worried about poking the lens as I reach in and getting a big fingerprint on the lens :/

I guess at least with a microfiber eyeglass bag I can wipe it off!

Thanks again everyone!
 

Dipperdapper

Well-known member
Hello Eitan,
If you're looking for a durable, low profile case for your Leica Ultravid 8 x 20, then I can recommend this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07D6N217D/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It fits either the Leica Trinovids or Ultravid pocket binos really well. It can be zipped closed and has a hard clamshell so is quite shockproof. It can also be attached to a belt. It fits the binocular MUCH BETTER than the soft case the instrument usually comes with, I place a small sachet of silica gel inside to keep it bone dry when not in use. The case is even small enough to fit inside a regular trouser pocket.

Hope that helps!

Dipperdapper.
 

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elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
But every case I've seen adds so much bulk that the "slip into my shorts pocket" aspect is lost. The stock Leica cordura case, while fine for storage, is absurdly large. A lot of compact camera pouches have zippers or big bulky flap covers. I don't want a zippered pouch, because I want to be able to slip the binocular in/out quickly without accidentally scratching them (I've done it, trust me). Don't want a bulky belt pouch (the stock case is fine for that).
Eitan,

The original 8x20 BR came with a very close fitting leather case that seems to be what you require. The whole package slips into a jacket or cargo pocket very easily, but the binocular still needs to be unfolded when needed. So when I'm in a observation area and the IPD is set, I just hang them around my neck just like any other binocular. I find that the ocular covers don't get in the way and serve a protective purpose.

Maybe Leica or a dealer could provide a leather case?

Ed

PS. I see that b-lilja mentioned the same thing in post #4.
PPS. Here's an auction on eBay that might be an ideal substitute.
 

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fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
My Ultravid 8x20BL came with a fitted molded hard leather belt case. It seems they now ship with a soft leather case instead. The BR is cheaper because it does not include either. You could reach out to Leica and see if you can buy a replacement BL case.
 

Alco

Member
Sweden
Trying out some different options here for my 8x20 Ultravid BR that I bought new recently, and that came in the quite large nylon case. The Leica leather case in the middle was bought separately. It has a belt loop and a cut out on top for the strap. The hole is a bit narrow though for the width of the two strap ends attached to each lug. And a bit too tight with the strap inside. Good case with perfect fit if you don't use the strap though. Since I do, I'm considering returning this one.

Eye glass pouch is really minimalistic, but maybe not the nicest style. The other leather pouch in the photo was bought from vajacases.com. Nice leather, a bit large (means it can hold the binos folded out with a set eye distance) but the excess can be folded over. Will take up some extra space though, and not the best for using with the strap.

@Dipperdapper showed a really nice one, but it was not available at Amazon.co.uk, let's see if it might be found elsewhere...

20210424_202822.jpg
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Thanks all for the follow up suggestions!

I've actually been getting along nicely with just the simple black microfiber eyeglasses pouch. As I suspected, it's a pain to get them in/out quickly because of the narrowish drawstring opening at one end, however I've found that when I want them to be "quick draw" ready I just wrap the pouch around the front of the binoculars before I slip them in my pocket (as in the photo below):

1619298555109.png

Since my biggest concern was getting gunk on the objectives, or worse, scratching the objectives from some other object already in my pocket, this works well since it shields them from direct contact with anything. And if I happen to get fingerprints or whatnot on the lenses, I have a nice microfiber pouch to clean them!

If I likely won't be pulling them out for use, or if I'm storing them away, I'll slip them fully inside the pouch. Ideally I could find something similar that's more of a "side loading" vs "top loading" setup, since the larger opening would facilitate slipping them in/out quickly. I might just try to DIY something with one of the extra eyeglass pouches, or a spare microfiber cleaning cloth.

As to some of the suggestions:
  • I have no interest in using these with a strap, I really like the sleek simplicity of having nothing else attached and if I have them out they are so small that it's not a problem to just hand hold.
  • The hard clamshell style case linked above looks nice, but my concern with all of these style cases is they will add too much bulk. That particular one looks very snug though, so it may be fine. That said, if I'm going for something that thick I'd probably rather do the softer Op/Tech style neoprene pouch, which will be more form fitting (and thus, presumably, less bulky in the pocket). But I still might get a little clamshell hard case for travel since the stock Leica cordura pouch is so unnecessarily bulky.
  • I do like the soft leather Leica case, however it seems the only one I can find is the 10x25 version which is longer than the 8x20 version. I'm not 100% sure there actually is a shorter version for the 8x20, but the one in the post above does look shorter than the one for sale at Adorama branded as the 10x25 version. Maybe I'll reach out to Leica directly, but I certainly don't want to spend $59+tax (!!) on a pouch. Leica accessories are pricey!
  • The generic leather pouch on eBay, which I've seen before, doesn't appeal to me because of the flap closure which adds even more bulk. The limited pocket space is at a premium in southern California! :p
 

fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Since you are looking for something minimalist with no hardware, zippers or snap buttons, have you considered using a sock?

Also, FWIW the Ricoh GC-9 leather belt case for the GRIII is a near perfect fit for my UV 8x20 BL. It's not that cheaper than the Leica cases, however, at $45.
 
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SeldomPerched

Well-known member
I keep my 1990s green 8x20 Trinovid BCA in the original little black leather zip up etui that came with it new. No covers on the bins at either end but at one end the etui (pouch/case) is stiffened to protect the eyepiece glass. It adds no extra size and would tick all your boxes. Don't know if Leica still provides them; otherwise eBay.

The compactness and features that you like for pocket storage etc are exactly why I still keep these although in the case of the Trinovid they are rather fiddly in actual use; these days I tend to take the 8x32 UVHD+ as it's still very dinky but I will never part with the little go anywhere 8x20. The best bin is the one you have with you and it looks like you and I are more likely to have a pocket size one with us!

A bit of a story behind my etui as i think they call it in France/Germany ā€” when I first went out with the Trinovid in 1993? I put the etui down on the ground in a wood and forgot about it as I wandered round and then continued on a long walk. It was only later I realized I had left it behind and I mean a few days later. I had to go back and try to remember and retrace the route. Found it and looking back now it is that little accessory that has decided me over the years to keep the glass; without it it would have been far less portable in among other things in my pockets to foul up the bins or scratch the glass.

Good luck in your quest. If I come across one I will let you know.

Addendum: the one I have is the right size for 8x20 so yes there must be or have been different ones for 8x and 10x presumably.


Tom
 

Alco

Member
Sweden
Well, decided to adjust the strap a little, so that the plastic "things" may be pulled out from the hole as seen in the photo. This is a setup I like, so now I think this little Leica 8x20 case is actually a keeper! :)
 

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

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