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Ultravid HD Plus vs Noctivid a beginners raw account (2 Viewers)

casscade

Well-known member
If say the Leica 42 noctovid is slightly better optically than the UVhd plus 42, which most here seem to think, then would the 50mm Ultravid at least equal the 42mm noctovid or even a Zeiss sf 10x42 because of the larger aperture.

All things being equal isn’t a larger aperture of the same make and design generally considered better than a smaller aperture of the same series, just asking not saying.
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
It is possible that the extraordinary contrast and vivid colors of Leica in general, are related to a light transmission that is slightly lower than the competition, which gives you the impression of a much stronger black in image and high contrast. This decrease in transmission on some wavelengths (but on the red wavelength is high transmission) compared to the competition is observed in the many and diversified spectrometer measurements. But I think this is done deliberately by Leica to create this fantastic image! Each binocular brand with its own personality and image aesthetics. Everyone can choose what they like, it is not a unique answer...
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
It is possible that the extraordinary contrast and vivid colors of Leica in general, are related to a light transmission that is slightly lower than the competition, which gives you the impression of a much stronger black in image and high contrast. This decrease in transmission on some wavelengths (but on the red wavelength is high transmission) compared to the competition is observed in the many and diversified spectrometer measurements. But I think this is done deliberately by Leica to create this fantastic image! Each binocular brand with its own personality and image aesthetics. Everyone can choose what they like, it is not a unique answer...
Yes, indeed. But interestingly, whatever difference in light transmission there may be - as far as visually observed brightness is concerned - is minimal, if even noticeable. Brightness for brightness sake is one thing, color quality is another.

No doubt Leica carefully crafts the transmission of various light wavelengths to create the Leica "view" that is so often commented on.
 

jcnguyen09

Well-known member
I bought the NV 10x42 unseen based on the incorrect FOV data listed on Leica USA website: 376' out of 1000 yard. The real, correct FOV is only 337.3' which is limited comparing to NL and SF. Leica corrected the error based on my complaint and offered to buy back the NV but I ended up keeping it to show my children and friends what I meant the most beautiful color contrast views that can be seen using a binoculars. The unique beautiful contrast and 3-D view is what I like most about Leica NV. I also considered the Ultravid HD Plus lines in the past but ruled it out since I wear glasses and Leica UHDP with only 13.5 mm ER is not friendly for glasses wearers. One major improvement on the Noctivid is the eye pieces with 19mm ER which is excellent for people wearing glasses.

 
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_Prism_

Well-known member
England
So here’s a comparison I would like to see, how does the 10x50hd plus optically compare to the 10x42 NV or Zeiss sf 10x42. Again optically only, I don’t care about size or ergos. Does the larger Aperture make up the difference optically? Also the 10x50 UVhd has almost the same fov as the Zeiss 10x42sf.
No difference to make up - they are simply two different tools for two different jobs (sort of like comparing a 80mm refractor to a 50mm binocular).
People sometimes assume that going with a bigger sized optic will 'bridge' the difference in quality, but it simply doesn't work like that. While I haven't compared these two exact sizes, I recently compared the 10x42 Noctivids against my 10x42 UVHD+ and the thoughts that immediately jumped out at me were:
1. The Noctivids are a bit brighter
2. The Noctivids have very slightly better control of CA (but it's still visible in the centre)
3. The Noctivids are sharper across the field
So not enough to make me sell my UVHD+ and upgrade to the Noctivids, but definitely enough to convince me to buy a Noctivid were I trying to decide between the two for purchase. The Noctivids are always going to be a little more pleasurable to look through vs the UVHD+ or the Trinovids, regardless of size, for the vast majority of the day. Where you begin to benefit from the bigger bins (and their larger exit pupils) is in the 15 minutes prior to sunset - and even then, the difference isn't as dramatic as you might imagine. Given the choice I would still always choose the superior glass in a smaller size rather than a larger, heavier binocular with inferior optics - quality vs quantity all day. Granted the difference here is quite mild, and it is certainly hard to refer to an older alpha like the UVHD+ as 'inferior'.

Someone else asked a similar question on another thread and my answer was the same - that the ability to outclass a larger but inferior optic is one of the biggest benefits you get for the added expense of the very best, as it means that oftentimes many of us can get away using a smaller, more portable binocular.
 

casscade

Well-known member
According to Leica they use the exact same quality glass in both the UV and the noctovid so it would have to be the design that makes some perfer it, not the glass quality.

The same applies for the SLC hd when compared to the EL’s or NL’s, they have different designs sure, but the same glass quality and coatings are used through out according to Swarovski. And in the SLC 56’s, without peer imo optically, they have the ak prisms.

Yea the larger glasses may lose out for weight, size, and everyday handling, but in my experience most 42’s deliver a better more enjoyable image that 32’sand most 50’s deliver a better more natural image than 42’s, again all of the same make, not an alpha 42mm vs a 2nd rate 50mm.


At least that’s been my experience with Swaro and Leica, the Swaro 10x50 el/56 slc delivers a better view than the 10x42 el/slc imo, same for the Leica 50’s vs their smaller counterparts.

Is the above logic is true then why bother with a 42 when a 32 should deliver the same or better image, or even a 20mm mini, again assuming we’re all using the same quality.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
According to Leica they use the exact same quality glass in both the UV and the noctovid so it would have to be the design that makes some perfer it, not the glass quality.

The same applies for the SLC hd when compared to the EL’s or NL’s, they have different designs sure, but the same glass quality and coatings are used through out according to Swarovski. And in the SLC 56’s, without peer imo optically, they have the ak prisms.

Yea the larger glasses may lose out for weight, size, and everyday handling, but in my experience most 42’s deliver a better more enjoyable image that 32’sand most 50’s deliver a better more natural image than 42’s, again all of the same make, not an alpha 42mm vs a 2nd rate 50mm.


At least that’s been my experience with Swaro and Leica, the Swaro 10x50 el/56 slc delivers a better view than the 10x42 el/slc imo, same for the Leica 50’s vs their smaller counterparts.

Is the above logic is true then why bother with a 42 when a 32 should deliver the same or better image, or even a 20mm mini, again assuming we’re all using the same quality.
Handling also contributes to a better viewing experience. Fit and feel in the hands is important. In this regard, I find the larger binoculars 42s, in my case, really fit and feel great in the hands. The very compact bins are great for lowering weight and the space that they take up, but they do tend to lose a little bit in stable, excellent handling.
 
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Mike F

Well-known member
Is the above logic is true then why bother with a 42 when a 32 should deliver the same or better image, or even a 20mm mini, again assuming we’re all using the same quality.
But we’re talking about the NV vs the UV, so not the same optical design, even if the quality is the same.

I have two UNHD+ bins (7 and 12x) and a NV 10x. I LOVE the Ultravids, but the best image quality goes to the NV, regardless of objective size. That’s my humble opinion anyway! 😉
 

_Prism_

Well-known member
England
According to Leica they use the exact same quality glass in both the UV and the noctovid so it would have to be the design that makes some perfer it, not the glass quality.

The same applies for the SLC hd when compared to the EL’s or NL’s, they have different designs sure, but the same glass quality and coatings are used through out according to Swarovski. And in the SLC 56’s, without peer imo optically, they have the ak prisms.

Yea the larger glasses may lose out for weight, size, and everyday handling, but in my experience most 42’s deliver a better more enjoyable image that 32’sand most 50’s deliver a better more natural image than 42’s, again all of the same make, not an alpha 42mm vs a 2nd rate 50mm.


At least that’s been my experience with Swaro and Leica, the Swaro 10x50 el/56 slc delivers a better view than the 10x42 el/slc imo, same for the Leica 50’s vs their smaller counterparts.

Is the above logic is true then why bother with a 42 when a 32 should deliver the same or better image, or even a 20mm mini, again assuming we’re all using the same quality.
1. Out of curiosity, where have you come across this confirmation that Leica uses the exact same glass in the UV & NV? And Swarovski with the EL & NL?

2. Glass asside, optical design does make a huge difference with many binoculars in the same series but different sizes having significantly more or less elements.

3. Precisely what do you classify as a "better and more enjoyable image"? Because my experience contradicts yours here - a larger bin is not always superior to me! For example, I recently tested the Victory SF 8x32 vs the 8x42 - both equally bright and sharp, with the smaller bin being pretty substantially smaller and lighter and having an even wider FOV! And not a huge difference around sunset either - with the 42 maybe gaining the slight edge in the last 10-15 minutes of the day. Likewise, I own a Victory 8x25 as well as a Conquest HD 8x32 and I find the little Victory Pocket to be the superior of the two! While it has slightly less FOV, it has less CA and is brighter for the vast majority of the day (which is 95% of my use), and absolutely tiny to the point where it literally fits in my pocket (perfect for hikes and even trips to the park). To a certain extent each of our preferences depends on our personal use cases - for someone like me, who mostly only uses binoculars before dark, even the small 3.1mm exit pupil that the VP 8x25 provides truly does the job. And I live in England - where it is cloudy very often and gets dark around 4pm in winter!

4. Comparing a 42 and a 20 is really not a fair comparison - a quality 8x32 can easily substitute for a 8x42, but there is a huge difference in the size of the exit pupil of a 20 and a 42. Another example: I bought an Ultravid 8x20 for my wife, and while it is certainly capable of providing pleasing views in brightly lit conditions, it is bested in all conditions by every one of the binoculars I have previously mentioned (including by the only slightly larger VP 8x25).
I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make here. The main benefit of a larger sized binocular is its better low light performance vs ones with smaller objectives. You effectively trade size, weight, and cost for a few extra minutes of use / slightly better performance in dim conditions. That is the whole reason why binoculars are offered in so many different sizes - because many people (myself included) would much rather have the option of something small, light and easy to carry than a larger, heavier binocular that provided a marginally brighter views in dim conditions. You originally asked about how the 10x50 UVHD+ would compare against the smaller 10x42 SF. The point I was trying to make was that the SF 10x42's - being pretty much at very top of their class - could easily substitute for the bigger (and slightly optically inferior) 10x50 UVHD+. As both an UVHD+ and SF owner, I'd be willing to bet that the views for the vast majority of the day (up until perhaps the last 15 minutes before sunset) would probably be better with the SF's (greater FOV, brighter glass, less CA and sharp pretty much right to the edge).
 
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casscade

Well-known member
In the victory sf case the 32mm is another animal completely than the 42mm from what I have read, with a more complex eyepiece design than the same makes 42, again that’s if I’m not mistaken. I could have read it wrong but don’t thing I did.

As to 50’s vs 42’s I’ve yet to see a overall better image than the new 56 slc series, ease of view, resolution, brightness,dof, it’s almost like a no compromise image, the el 50 is also great and especially if a complete flat image is needed. Those 2 large bins are just a more pleasant and natural viewing experience than a 10x42 imo. The 8x56 for instance has a wow factor I’ve not seen in many 42’s otter than maybe Leica’s 7x although some 8x42s are great including the NL’s,SF’s, and I’m sure the NV’s.

As to glass quality Leica list both the UV and NV as using schott ht on their website if I’m not mistaken,…and in taking with Swarovski many times they, one lady in particular that’s been there somyears, claim the same quality glass and coating are used from the SLC hd to the nl, only designs are different.

Other than larger glass on the 50/56 is the focal length the same or different, does it matter or no. Brightness alone can’t be the only advantage of a larger objective, isn’t resolution also better when boosted, I don’t know. Is the Zeiss 8x56 fl better or worse than the 8x42 fl, or even a 8x42 sf.
 

dries1

Member
1. Out of curiosity, where have you come across this confirmation that Leica uses the exact same glass in the UV & NV? And Swarovski with the EL & NL?

2. Glass asside, optical design does make a huge difference with many binoculars in the same series but different sizes having significantly more or less elements.

3. Precisely what do you classify as a "better and more enjoyable image"? Because my experience contradicts yours here - a larger bin is not always superior to me! For example, I recently tested the Victory SF 8x32 vs the 8x42 - both equally bright and sharp, with the smaller bin being pretty substantially smaller and lighter and having an even wider FOV! And not a huge difference around sunset either - with the 42 maybe gaining the slight edge in the last 10-15 minutes of the day. Likewise, I own a Victory 8x25 as well as a Conquest HD 8x32 and I find the little Victory Pocket to be the superior of the two! While it has slightly less FOV, it has less CA and is brighter for the vast majority of the day (which is 95% of my use), and absolutely tiny to the point where it literally fits in my pocket (perfect for hikes and even trips to the park). To a certain extent each of our preferences depends on our personal use cases - for someone like me, who mostly only uses binoculars before dark, even the small 3.1mm exit pupil that the VP 8x25 provides truly does the job. And I live in England - where it is cloudy very often and gets dark around 4pm in winter!

4. Comparing a 42 and a 20 is really not a fair comparison - a quality 8x32 can easily substitute for a 8x42, but there is a huge difference in the size of the exit pupil of a 20 and a 42. Another example: I bought an Ultravid 8x20 for my wife, and while it is certainly capable of providing pleasing views in brightly lit conditions, it is bested in all conditions by every one of the binoculars I have previously mentioned (including by the only slightly larger VP 8x25).
I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make here. The main benefit of a larger sized binocular is its better low light performance vs ones with smaller objectives. You effectively trade size, weight, and cost for a few extra minutes of use / slightly better performance in dim conditions. That is the whole reason why binoculars are offered in so many different sizes - because many people (myself included) would much rather have the option of something small, light and easy to carry than a larger, heavier binocular that provided a marginally brighter views in dim conditions. You originally asked about how the 10x50 UVHD+ would compare against the smaller 10x42 SF. The point I was trying to make was that the SF 10x42's - being pretty much at very top of their class - could easily substitute for the bigger (and slightly optically inferior) 10x50 UVHD+. As both an UVHD+ and SF owner, I'd be willing to bet that the views for the vast majority of the day (up until perhaps the last 15 minutes before sunset) would probably be better with the SF's (greater FOV, brighter glass, less CA and sharp pretty much right to the edge).
All based on your opinion, I much prefer the FL and SLC 10X56 or the Leica UV HD+ and EL SV 10X50, they provide much better views to my eyes day or night than any 10X42, and I have tried them all.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I posed this question, in another thread that I started, as to what optical benefit there may be with larger objectives aside from providing greater brightness, all other factors held constant.

The conclusion in that thread is this: as larger objectives tend to also be longer in objective focal length (as distinct from magnification focal length), the angle of the light entering the lenses is reduced, and with the entering light rays being in closer alignment to the optical axis - aberrations are reduced - resulting in an increase in apparent sharpness. It may be difficult for human eyes to perceive that minor difference in sharpness, though.

Comparing the 10x32 SF vs. 10x42 SF, I do find the slightly largish 10x32 SF to handle very well, with apparent sharpness and brightness during daylight relatively on par with the 10x42 SF.

I do get a sense of a more "luxurious" viewing experience with the 10x42 SF, likely due to the larger eye box and the fuller, hand-filling barrels providing greater ease of stabilizing the binoculars.

But yes, I feel that the 10x32 SF could reasonably substitute, during daylight, for the 10x42 SF, without giving much up (except some size and weight ;).)

The 8x32 SF is another wonderful looking glass! I very much enjoy that one, too. But I don't have an 8x42 SF to compare it to.
 
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Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Hi,

I agree with Andy, binoculars with a larger exit pupil have an optical advantage over smaller apertures.
The optics of a Swarovski 8 / 10x56 Zeiss FL 56 are difficult to match, and I can't say anything about the UV 10x50 due to a lack of experience.
The insight behavior is also usually better, the picture often looks calmer.
In addition, most of them have better stray light suppression, which increases the overall contrast again.
Ultimately, if you like astronomy, large apentures show more here too.

But it is best to compare the binoculars yourself, binoculars are always very subjective instruments.

Andreas
 
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casscade

Well-known member
From Leica’s website on using schott ht glass in the UVHD plus binoculars, same as the NV’s but available in a 50mm format, and the 10x50 has a fov almost identical to the Zeiss sf10x42. 352 feet to Zeiss’s 360.
 

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_Prism_

Well-known member
England
Hi,

I agree with Andy, binoculars with a larger exit pupil have an optical advantage over smaller apertures.
The optics of a Swarovski 8 / 10x56 Zeiss FL 56 are difficult to match, and I can't say anything about the UV 10x50 due to a lack of experience.
The insight behavior is also usually better, the picture often looks calmer.
In addition, most of them have better stray light suppression, which increases the overall contrast again.
Ultimately, if you like astronomy, large apentures show more here too.

But it is best to compare the binoculars yourself, binoculars are always very subjective instruments.

Andreas
To be honest, I've never seen any benefit with stray light suppression or a calmer picture (not even sure what that is exactly). To me, the primary optical advantage of larger objectives is simply just their increased light gathering ability. Personal opinion here, but to me a binocular is best as a portable observational device - hence the reason I've never understood the appeal of gigantic 50 / 56mm ones (keep in mind telescopes usually start at 60mm) or anything that requires a tripod. This is where the subjectivity you mention comes into play, but past 42mm to me there is too severe a trade-off in portability for slightly better low-light performance. I find that many examples of high quality bins in 25mm / 32mm / 42mm can even provide similar enough images to larger binoculars (at least during the majority of the day) to even justify going down a size (from for example, a 42 to a 32). But of course, that is my personal opinion as we each have our own unique sweet spot for ergonomics / size / performance / cost.
For similar reasons, I've never understood the appeal of binoculars for astronomy - they just seems like the wrong tool for the job. I feel as though binoculars are really best suited for things like birding where their small size / portability and low magnification work well. For planets, DSO's and even the moon, you're always better off with a telescope: way more light gathering ability and no shake (not to mention the ability to automatically track objects moving across the sky at speed)! At the end of the day, even the best bins I own with their 10x magnification will never provide me views of Jupiter that a refractor does with 250x or a big dob will at 400x or more. Now if only they could figure out a way to get rid of those clouds...
 

_Prism_

Well-known member
England
From Leica’s website on using schott ht glass in the UVHD plus binoculars, same as the NV’s but available in a 50mm format, and the 10x50 has a fov almost identical to the Zeiss sf10x42. 352 feet to Zeiss’s 360.
Schott makes a variety of different HT glasses and supplies them in a large variety of different forms (thickness / diameter etc):
How do we know precisely which type and specification they use for the UVHD and the NV? I ask because there is a clear difference in brightness between the two.
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
For similar reasons, I've never understood the appeal of binoculars for astronomy - they just seems like the wrong tool for the job. I feel as though binoculars are really best suited for things like birding where their small size / portability and low magnification work well. For planets, DSO's and even the moon, you're always better off with a telescope: way more light gathering ability and no shake (not to mention the ability to automatically track objects moving across the sky at speed)! At the end of the day, even the best bins I own with their 10x magnification will never provide me views of Jupiter that a refractor does with 250x or a big dob will at 400x or more. Now if only they could figure out a way to get rid of those clouds...
Hi,
I said yes binoculars are always subjective, the large glasses are no problem for me within a radius of 3-4 kilometers, but on long hikes I also use smaller formats.
The attraction of astronomy is the large field and double-sided vision, and there are also many open clusters of stars that are much more beautiful with binoculars than with a telescope, here you don't need a high magnification.
In addition, binoculars are much more flexible, if the sky clears up between two breaks in the rain, it is faster to simply take the binoculars for the stars than to set up a telescope.
There are simply objects in the sky that are better suited for the telescope, others again for the binoculars, you will never be able to see the Hyades in full in the telescope, the image section is too small for that.

As far as stray light suppression is concerned, I have made the experience that binoculars with a large exit pupil are usually noticeably superior to small apertures, example Nikon EDG 7x42 vs. 8x32, here the 42 is at least one class better, the Zeiss FL 10x56 cannot be topped by any 10x42 and the Swarovski 8x56 is also better than the 42.
It is not for nothing that there are a lot of criticisms of the Swarovski EL 8x32 in this area, while the 8.5x42 is criticized much less often here.
Longer tubes can simply be better protected from stray light than shorter binoculars.
This is not an apodictic finding, but it is true in most cases, based on my experience.

Fortunately, we have the choice with which glasses we go, if it's only about the optics I clearly prefer the larger binoculars.

Andreas
 

_Prism_

Well-known member
England
As far as stray light suppression is concerned, I have made the experience that binoculars with a large exit pupil are usually noticeably superior to small apertures, example Nikon EDG 7x42 vs. 8x32, here the 42 is at least one class better, the Zeiss FL 10x56 cannot be topped by any 10x42 and the Swarovski 8x56 is also better than the 42.
It is not for nothing that there are a lot of criticisms of the Swarovski EL 8x32 in this area, while the 8.5x42 is criticized much less often here.
Longer tubes can simply be better protected from stray light than shorter binoculars.
Interesting - this has piqued my curiosity to test out / compare a very large (56) bin. Thanks for sharing.
 

casscade

Well-known member
Prism if you get a chance definitely check out the SLC 56 series with the ak prisms, both the 8x and 10 are sublime. The el50s and UV 50’s are also great and a lot smaller and more compact than most people think.
 
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tenex

reality-based
I'll third that recommendation to try SLC 56 in particular. (While you can?) There are advantages to full-sized glass... though as always, a trade-off with how much weight is practical for the desired use.
 
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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