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What are your favorite birding binoculars at three different price points? (1 Viewer)

MiddleRiver

Well-known member
United States
"I prefer the latter: the dioptric correction - very important to me - does not restrict the range of the main diopter (like in the Ultravid)..."
I'm not sure I understand. Can you elaborate?
 

forent

Well-known member
"I prefer the latter: the dioptric correction - very important to me - does not restrict the range of the main diopter (like in the Ultravid)..." I'm not sure I understand. Can you elaborate?
The dioptric correction in the Trinovid is simply an internal movable lens in the right barrel and independend from the main diopter mechanism. In the Ultravids, the dioptric correction is integrated into the main diopter: you have to push a button on the back of the bridge and turn the main diopter. By doing this you "eat up" a part of the main adjustment travel. Not a big deal if your eyes a rather similar but an issue if the difference exceeds 3 dpt as in my case.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Maybe off-topic, but you as the thread opener asked, hence I dare to answer:

I like it very much - otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. ;)

Why a Trinovid 10x25? In the name of "simplify your life" I have boiled down my optical equipment to 1 bridge camera, 1 scope and 2 binos. Period! I don't want to possess commodities anymore that I don't use sufficiently and I want to stay away from the all too common buy-and-sell cycle. The Trinovid 8x42 BA is non-negotiable but sometimes too bulky therefore I need an additional compact "EDC" bino. Moreover, at times I'd like to have more magnification than 8x, besides 10x25s usually have longer barrels than 8x20s that fit my large hands better. Therefore a 10x25 delivers the higher value added to me.
In the past I already owned a Trinovid 10x25 BC, then a Nikon 10x25 HGL and later an Ultravid 10x25 BR. (I also tried a discontinued Zeiss 10x25 but it did not fit my eyes.) I had no problem holding them steady, got used to the small exit pupil and the modest field of view. The Leica push-pull eyecups are a perfect match to my eyes as well as to my glasses - full field of view, no blackouts. Although the Ultravids are waterproof and might provide a smidge more contrast than the Trinovids I prefer the latter: the dioptric correction - very important to me - does not restrict the range of the main diopter (like in the Ultravid), the price is decidedly lower und last not least I like the appearance and feel of its classic design that has for good reason remained essentially unchanged since 1975.
Good points! I had a Nikon HGL 10x25 also at one point, and I always thought it was an underrated binocular. It is funny they discontinued them. I guess Nikon has discontinued a lot of their binoculars, especially their top alphas. I want to try a Leica Trinovid 10x25 BCA sometime. Thanks!
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
I don't know if you can anymore. I kind of wish I would have kept the ones I had because they are a true classic.
Just saw some go for $450 range a while back and patience is always the key. If you miss them, there seems to be no shortage of them on eBay, which is where I got all of my binoculars so far.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
When I had the Ultravid 8x20 I thought the dioptric correction was just too cool . Leica seems to take things up a notch when it comes to build quality and innovative design .
I agree. The build quality on Leica's is one of the best. They have some of the best LOOKING binoculars also!
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Just saw some go for $450 range a while back and patience is always the key. If you miss them, there seems to be no shortage of them on eBay, which is where I got all of my binoculars so far.
Yes, I looked through the completed sales on eBay and there were quite a few Leica Trinovid BN 8x32's in excellent condition that went for about $500. You just have to keep your eyes open.
 

quincy88

Well-known member
Noctivd 8x32! I can see that on the drawing boards. Have you ever tried the older Leica Trinovid 8x32 BN? Optically, they are very close to the 8x32 UVHD, but they are bigger and may fit your hands better. They have the same saturated colors as the UVHD, and they are built like a tank. One in good condition fetches a pretty good price now days because a lot of people still like them. I do!

Yo Denco,
Thanks for the recommendation. I have not tried them, but I do shop for them on the ebay all the time. Those old Trinovids are cool - I really like the looks of the 50 mms as well. Do you know if there is a significant difference between the BNs and the BAs?
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Yo Denco,
Thanks for the recommendation. I have not tried them, but I do shop for them on the ebay all the time. Those old Trinovids are cool - I really like the looks of the 50 mms as well. Do you know if there is a significant difference between the BNs and the BAs?
No, the BN's have a slightly closer focus and that is about the only significant difference. The BA's are just as good, so if you find a good one, jump on it. The Leica Trinovid BA 7x42 although heavy are very good also.
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
Those old Trinovids are cool - I really like the looks of the 50 mms as well. Do you know if there is a significant difference between the BNs and the BAs?
The N of the BN stands for near focus and was why I chose to go for them, but also found out here on the forum that the best viewing experience (newest coatings) would be found on serial numbers starting around 145xxxx, which was also what I shopped for.

I like the lightness of my Ultravid, but the Trinovids really feel nice in your hands and I can only tell the slightest of improvement with the newest model.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The N of the BN stands for near focus and was why I chose to go for them, but also found out here on the forum that the best viewing experience (newest coatings) would be found on serial numbers starting around 145xxxx, which was also what I shopped for.

I like the lightness of my Ultravid, but the Trinovids really feel nice in your hands and I can only tell the slightest of improvement with the newest model.
All the Leica's from the Trinovid to the UVHD+ really haven't changed a lot optically. So if you want a bargain, go for the older models. Leica got it right the first time and really haven't had to change anything, although they have fallen behind a bit in FOV compared to Swarovski and Zeiss. You can read about it on Allbinos.

 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
My post that you quoted was about the Trinovids, and to suggest there's not much difference between that range based on the Ultravid is moving the goalposts in hope no one will notice.
From Allbino's about Leica's history and evolution of their binocular models. The point is, they pretty much have remained the same all these years.

"The history of contemporary 42 mm Leica binoculars began in 1990 - during the Photokina fairs that German company presented three Trinovid BA models. After ten years the successors of that series, called Trinovid BN, were shown. The main change consisted of shortening the minimum focusing distance, that’s why the N letter appeared in the name (English ‘near’). It is possible that the antireflection coatings were improved as well. In 2003 the company’s line-up was complemented by Ultravid BR models. I use the term ‘complemented’ deliberately – the Ultravids were marketed as optical equivalents of the Trinovids, but their optics were supposed to be closed into a physically lighter casing. They were also offered at the same time as the Trinovids. Two things happened in 2007: the production of Trinovids ceased and the Ultravids HD were launched on the market. Once again the new pairs of binoculars differed from the old ones in their casing (which weight was reduced for the second time); apart from that the field of view increased slightly, and the producer added AquaDura hydrophobic coatings along with improved antireflection coatings. Year 2014 saw another Leica launch, this time of the Ultravid HD-Plus series. Still, if you compare these devices to the Ultravid HD binoculars, you find out all the numbers remained the same. The producer just boasted of using glass of new type produced by the Schott company, with a better transmission. Why am I writing about it? On our website, you can find tests of all 10x42 models, from the Trinovid BN to the Ultravid HD-Plus. It is easy to check what the customers gained throughout all these years. Firstly, the results show unanimously that, within the margin of measurement error, the HD-Plus model is practically the same as the HD model. Maybe the transmission level varies a bit but even if you compare the measurements taken with a spectrophotometer the differences remain very slight; it is really difficult to say whether they are an effect of measurement errors, natural differences between two specimens or the actual influence of Schott HT glass. If the spectrophotometer doesn’t show any distinct difference, it won’t be visible to the naked eye either. So we have a situation where the Ultravid HD doesn’t differ markedly from the Ultravid BR and the Ultravid BR is an almost identical copy of the Trinovid but closed in a lighter casing. It seems that for almost 25 years, Leica haven’t introduced any innovative optical solutions to its key series of binoculars. Of course, the weight reduction and hydrophobic coatings are appreciated, along with a slight transmission increase or a tad wider field of view. Still, such a reputable company should have done better, especially if you take into account the length of the period of time we are talking about. As a result of such stagnation, Leica devices started to compete with each other: you can still buy a second-hand specimen of Trinovids in mint condition for half the price of the new Ultravids HD-Plus. That tactics of Leica are especially strange because generally you can’t deny the company an innovative approach in optics, particularly when it comes to binoculars. After all, they pioneered in the rangefinder optics, making such revolutionary moves as launching Perger-Porro prisms instruments on the market. Why the line-up of ordinary binoculars has seen so few ground-breaking changes we don’t know. It would be good to finish our test on a more positive note, so it should be emphasized that in the premium class of binoculars, apart from very good optics, the Leica also competes successfully with others when it comes to physical dimensions as it can be seen in the photo below, where it is positioned next to the Zeiss Victory HT 10x42. On the other hand, in this class of equipment you can find other renowned producers beside Leica which are able to construct good, small pairs of binoculars – please consult another photo with the tested Leica positioned next to the Swarovski SLC 10x42 W B. To sum up, the Leica Ultravid 10x42 HD-Plus is a very good set of binoculars - almost exactly as good as its direct predecessors and the predecessors of its predecessors too. We hope the next model of this series will be truly different, not a merely refreshed version of the same device with just a few cosmetic changes."
 

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Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
"The history of contemporary 42 mm Leica binoculars began in 1990 - during the Photokina fairs that German company presented three Trinovid BA models. After ten years the successors of that series, called Trinovid BN, were shown. The main change consisted of shortening the minimum focusing distance, that’s why the N letter appeared in the name (English ‘near’). It is possible that the antireflection coatings were improved as well.
I already stated that the N was for "Near" and suggested also that the coatings had been upgraded.

You post an entire article as a reply rather than just have a conversation in which you acknowledge that you even read the other posts? Seems to be not the first time that you've pretended to give information to other members who have already posted what you're telling them.
 

quincy88

Well-known member
The N of the BN stands for near focus and was why I chose to go for them, but also found out here on the forum that the best viewing experience (newest coatings) would be found on serial numbers starting around 145xxxx, which was also what I shopped for.

I like the lightness of my Ultravid, but the Trinovids really feel nice in your hands and I can only tell the slightest of improvement with the newest model.
Specifically on your last sentence: Are the Ultravids noticeably lighter-weight than the Trinovids in the 32s in you experience?
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I already stated that the N was for "Near" and suggested also that the coatings had been upgraded.

You post an entire article as a reply rather than just have a conversation in which you acknowledge that you even read the other posts? Seems to be not the first time that you've pretended to give information to other members who have already posted what you're telling them.
I feel that Allbinos discussion is an interesting history of Leica's and might be helpful for some people trying to decide on a particular Leica model.
 

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