• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Ultravid 8x20 BR - the little bin that could (1 Viewer)

b-lilja

Well-known member
I just received from Super Dave by his kind sale in the classified section a fine pair of Uvid 8x20 BR's. I have to say, fairly bowled over by their optical quality. Alpha snap and resolution - very fine - and somehow these manage to handle like much larger bins. I've always been challenged by tiny bins and shake, but with the solid, stiff eyecups on these I am able to push them onto my Neanderthalish brow and stabilize them and maintain connection to the exit pupils. Resolution is a bit shocking(ly good), as good as anything I own, and better than many. My wife is quite picky and she immediately took to them (I should probably listen to her more, she inevitably gravites to Leicas without any brand fuss, simply appreciating their ease).

Truly diminutive - they will certainly not replace my good 8x32s any time soon, but as a tiny companion that is easy to grab and stuff in a jeans pocket or whatever, I think these will start showing up in many a place that were previously and sadly bin free. Not a toy, and I look forward to many a pleasurable viewing ahead. 8.5 ounces...I mean...well under half the weight of the lightest 8x32s. I haven't been convinced by the Zeiss 8x25s...would rather jump to 8x32s...but these little guys are just so teenie that they just don't obtrude...order of magnitude smaller. Light conscious backpacking etc...absolutely yes.

I've messed with the small Nikons and Trinovids before...and while intrigued...this package comes together with a definite yes.

Check 'em out.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Right. They're fantastic. I've owned them for many years and used them very often. You can take them literally everywhere and that's what I do. I'm not convinced by 8x25s either. I'd rather go for x32s. I'd love a small UV with a larger exit pupil, say 6x20 or 7x20...
 

Mac308

Well-known member
I don't think the 8x20 Leica Ultravid has any competition in its size category. It's head and shoulders above everything else. Its resolution is stunning. It and the 8x32 Ultravid are my go-to binoculars. But one does not replace the other, they have different uses.
 

Attachments

  • leica.8x20.jpg
    leica.8x20.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 40

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
Agree 100% with all this praise of the UV 8x20. Especially the surprisingly good handling for such a small package. For me they handle much better than any other dual hinge pocket including the excellent SW 8x25. And of course, that Leica UV image.
 

Mac308

Well-known member
What is the difference between the BR and BCR versions of this Leica 8x20 binocular?
There is no "BCR" version. There's the BR (Ultravid) version, and the BCA (Trinovid) Version. In the case of these two, the BR is far ahead of the BCA in terms of optical quality.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Dang now I’m bummed I didn’t grab those! I considered it but they got snapped up so fast.

Gijs’ measurements of the UV 8x20 show it has incredible transmission, back in 2005 he measured it at 94%! The FOV is limited but I assume the simplicity of the design is one factor in that high transmission which yields such great clarity and resolution

1611529491222.png


Dang now I need to find a pair of these :/
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
The Leica BCR means "R" rubber armor. There is also the leather armored version, the BCL, "L" leather, the leather version has that
nice leather armor and has its own advantages, more compact and light.

Jerry
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
The question is what is the "C", not the "R". Note the original query:

What is the difference between the BR and BCR versions of this Leica 8x20 binocular?

Poking around it seems that they are one and the same, and sometimes are referred to as "BR" and other times as "BCR" even on Leica's site.

My assumption is that C = "Compact".

That would make sense since the Trinovid compact is "BCA", and older Trinovids of course used the "BA" label. And the original Ultravids were "BR" or "BL".

So the full-sized Trinovids came out first as "BA" (A = armored) and thus the compact versions are "BCA" and "BC" (the latter being unarmored). I don't think the Trinovid version has changed much since the 90's so the model name has stayed constant as well (speculating).

Then ~15 years ago the Ultravid line came out, and was available in "BR" and "BL" versions (rubber vs leather). Therefore the compact versions are "BCR" and "BCL" officially, but it appears that they are frequently referred to just as "8x20 BR" or "8x20 BL" because.... not sure? But that's my working theory! :p
 

Mac308

Well-known member
Ahh yes... BR vs BCR

I'd forgotten the little Ultravid got the Leica HDC multicoating and AquaDura Hydrophobic lens coatings at some point. I suspect the "C" was added to reflect this. Mine does not have the AquaDura coatings. C=Coatings. The BR was always "compact" so I suspect the "C" wouldn't have been added to explain something already known.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
I've been using it in the past few days in wintry conditions and I figured there's something more to say in praise of that little bino: It is my only UV that renders the snow white. Maybe that has to do with its high transmission values? In that respect it is on par with my Victory FL which I like for that quality. The 7x42+ has a slight brownish tinge and the 10x32 HD non + is certainly worse in this respect. It is utterly unpleasing to my eyes when there's snow outside. Urgh. That said, passion is quickly rekindled when the snow is gone... I think, the 8x20 has the most neutral colour balance of the three. The 10x32 is the one with the most saturated colours, truly larger than life. The 7x42+ is closer to the 8x20 to my eyes but the 7x42+ emphasizes the contrast between the greens and the browns more clearly. Probably good for hunting.
Another good thing about the 8x20 is that it can be focused with gloves on. Other small binos are so fiddly I can hardly focus them with no gloves on. So that's a clear plus.
I don't know how wide the FOV is but I've never felt it was too narrow.
Stray light control is also very good for a small bin, I think. The x32 clearly holds the edge here but I think, it's great for a small bino like that.
Eye placement is easy once you've found the trick. This, however, is certainly dependent on your physiognomy. I for one seem to have a Leica face - at least a Leica smile every now and then :)

Anything else to add? What do you think?
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
I've been using it in the past few days in wintry conditions and I figured there's something more to say in praise of that little bino: It is my only UV that renders the snow white. Maybe that has to do with its high transmission values? In that respect it is on par with my Victory FL which I like for that quality. The 7x42+ has a slight brownish tinge and the 10x32 HD non + is certainly worse in this respect. It is utterly unpleasing to my eyes when there's snow outside. Urgh. That said, passion is quickly rekindled when the snow is gone... I think, the 8x20 has the most neutral colour balance of the three. The 10x32 is the one with the most saturated colours, truly larger than life. The 7x42+ is closer to the 8x20 to my eyes but the 7x42+ emphasizes the contrast between the greens and the browns more clearly. Probably good for hunting.
Another good thing about the 8x20 is that it can be focused with gloves on. Other small binos are so fiddly I can hardly focus them with no gloves on. So that's a clear plus.
I don't know how wide the FOV is but I've never felt it was too narrow.
Stray light control is also very good for a small bin, I think. The x32 clearly holds the edge here but I think, it's great for a small bino like that.
Eye placement is easy once you've found the trick. This, however, is certainly dependent on your physiognomy. I for one seem to have a Leica face - at least a Leica smile every now and then :)

Anything else to add? What do you think?

jafritten,

Living on the Texas gulf coast, I can't comment on the performance of the 8x20 UV in snowy conditions. I do agree with all your other positive comments specific to the UV 8x20.

Adding two things in response to your question:

First the ER is excellent for me- easy 100% FoV with close fitting sunglasses. Second, IIRC the FoV is @ 347' while many 8x25s, including the SW, have 357' so not a significant difference really especially in view of the relative size difference.

Mike
 
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

Users who are viewing this thread

Top