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

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
Specifically on your last sentence: Are the Ultravids noticeably lighter-weight than the Trinovids in the 32s in you experience?
Slightly lighter and slimmer with a small boost in low light viewing/clarity. Which way are you leaning right now?
 

[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.
Good information on the serial numbers starting at 145xxxx being superior. That is really helpful if you are looking for a pair. Thanks!
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
Good information on the serial numbers starting at 145xxxx being superior. That is really helpful if you are looking for a pair. Thanks!
It's only what I'd read from a couple other members here before I bought mine. Even asked the seller to verify and ended up with a 149xxxx model.
 

quincy88

Well-known member
The UVHD+ 8x32 weighs about 19 oz. and Trinovid BN 8x32 weighs about 22 oz. so they are slightly heavier.
Thanks Denco. I have seen the specs and read the allbinos reviews. I was more asking about the experience when comparing one to the other. Is that 3 ounces noticeable? If so, does it cause less fatigue? Or make them handle differently? That kind of qualitive thing that an owner or long time user can speak to.
I like allbinos a lot, and appreciate the write ups that they do. It's especially helpful in this case that they provide us with a succinct history of Leica's recent models. But, I don't think that their evaluation process rewards Leica for some of their virtues, particularly that the physical dimensions don't factor into their scoring and ranking. They did offer some praise for them in the quoted passage though.
Another way in which their process seems unkind to Leica is that they don't review them very often. In the quoted passage they also said:
"...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."
Which is a great sentiment. But the Noctivid has been out for four or five years and they haven't reviewed either pair yet. The 10x42 NLs were reviewed within a few months of their release. Maybe there are some political or economic reasons for this - not really sure, nor is it particularly important to the point.
All this to say, that I take Allbinos with a grain of salt, particularly when talking about Leicas. And prefer to speak with owners and users. Which is where you guys come in.
Slightly lighter and slimmer with a small boost in low light viewing/clarity. Which way are you leaning right now?
Thanks Trinovid.
I'm not in a hurry to do much of anything. I have several wonderful pairs of binoculars, so I can wait for the right pair - whether Noctivids, Ultravids, or Trinovids. Heck, I might even get some Retrovids.
 
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dries1

Member
Quincy88,

I think possibly it goes back to the review by Allbinos when they reviewed the 8X42 line for durability, and there was leakage/moisture in the Leica UV, they came down pretty harsh on the Leica, so perhaps Leica snubbed them afterwards.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Quincy88,

I think possibly it goes back to the review by Allbinos when they reviewed the 8X42 line for durability, and there was leakage/moisture in the Leica UV, they came down pretty harsh on the Leica, so perhaps Leica snubbed them afterwards.
Leica probably won't give them any binoculars to test anymore!:D
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Thanks Denco. I have seen the specs and read the allbinos reviews. I was more asking about the experience when comparing one to the other. Is that 3 ounces noticeable? If so, does it cause less fatigue? Or make them handle differently? That kind of qualitive thing that an owner or long time user can speak to.
I like allbinos a lot, and appreciate the write ups that they do. It's especially helpful in this case that they provide us with a succinct history of Leica's recent models. But, I don't think that their evaluation process rewards Leica for some of their virtues, particularly that the physical dimensions don't factor into their scoring and ranking. They did offer some praise for them in the quoted passage though.
Another way in which their process seems unkind to Leica is that they don't review them very often. In the quoted passage they also said:
"...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."
Which is a great sentiment. But the Noctivid has been out for four or five years and they haven't reviewed either pair yet. The 10x42 NLs were reviewed within a few months of their release. Maybe there are some political or economic reasons for this - not really sure, nor is it particularly important to the point.
All this to say, that I take Allbinos with a grain of salt, particularly when talking about Leicas. And prefer to speak with owners and users. Which is where you guys come in.

Thanks Trinovid.
I'm not in a hurry to do much of anything. I have several wonderful pairs of binoculars, so I can wait for the right pair - whether Noctivids, Ultravids, or Trinovids. Heck, I might even get some Retrovids.
The UVHD 8x32 without a doubt feels lighter and slimmer compared to the Trinovid BN 8x32. That is not to say the BN had poor ergonomics. It doesn't, but it is a chunkier, more robust feeling binocular. It seems like it is built like a tank. What surprises me is Allbinos has never tested a Swarovski EL 8x32! It would rank below the SF 8x32, but it would be near the top of the ranking, I am sure. I feel in general Allbinos prefer the modern flat field binocular designs like the SF and NL and considers them more advanced than the more classical designs of Leicas. The SF, NL and EL are always at the top of their rankings.
 

quincy88

Well-known member
Quincy88,

I think possibly it goes back to the review by Allbinos when they reviewed the 8X42 line for durability, and there was leakage/moisture in the Leica UV, they came down pretty harsh on the Leica, so perhaps Leica snubbed them afterwards.
Leica probably won't give them any binoculars to test anymore!:D
Yeah. I've read that 8x42 review before and the Ultravids did not look good. I had also assumed that was part of the reason Leica is so poorly represented on the site - perhaps as you guys say Leica doesn't provide samples anymore. From the article:
"According to the specifications the Leica Ultravid HD series of binoculars is waterproof up to a depth of 5 meters. We don’t hesitate to say the producer simply doesn’t tell the truth."
Pretty brutal.
For me, they just lack credibility because the don't review Leicas, and it doesn't really matter the reason why.
The UVHD 8x32 without a doubt feels lighter and slimmer compared to the Trinovid BN 8x32. That is not to say the BN had poor ergonomics. It doesn't, but it is a chunkier, more robust feeling binocular. It seems like it is built like a tank...
This might be exactly what I'm looking for as you originally suggested. The Ultravids are just the tiniest bit too small for my hands. I'm hoping that if they ever make Noctivids they will be a little bit bigger than the Ultravids. Not as big as the SFs or NLs, which in my opinion are too big for 32s. Jeez, I'm a picky guy.
...I feel in general Allbinos prefer the modern flat field binocular designs like the SF and NL and considers them more advanced than the more classical designs of Leicas. The SF, NL and EL are always at the top of their rankings.
I agree.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Yeah. I've read that 8x42 review before and the Ultravids did not look good. I had also assumed that was part of the reason Leica is so poorly represented on the site - perhaps as you guys say Leica doesn't provide samples anymore. From the article:
"According to the specifications the Leica Ultravid HD series of binoculars is waterproof up to a depth of 5 meters. We don’t hesitate to say the producer simply doesn’t tell the truth."
Pretty brutal.
For me, they just lack credibility because the don't review Leicas, and it doesn't really matter the reason why.

This might be exactly what I'm looking for as you originally suggested. The Ultravids are just the tiniest bit too small for my hands. I'm hoping that if they ever make Noctivids they will be a little bit bigger than the Ultravids. Not as big as the SFs or NLs, which in my opinion are too big for 32s. Jeez, I'm a picky guy.

I agree.
What I would like to see is Leica catch up with Swarovski and Zeiss with a new Noctivid. A more flat field design with a bigger FOV and sharper edges, but maybe that is against Leica's optical philosophy.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
What I would like to see is Leica catch up with Swarovski and Zeiss with a new Noctivid. A more flat field design with a bigger FOV and sharper edges, but maybe that is against Leica's optical philosophy.
I have decided I like the Porro view better than a roof prism which is just personal preference. I always felt like most birders that roofs had lot of advantages over Porros, but I have come to really appreciate the 3D realistic view that a Porro gives you versus a roof, so I put up with some of their shortcomings.
You seek a " more flat field " design yet really appreciate a 3D realistic view - please explain. And did the Leica Trinovid BA / BN series have a field flattened lens system, I cannot remember?
Thanks.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
You seek a " more flat field " design yet really appreciate a 3D realistic view - please explain. And did the Leica Trinovid BA / BN series have a field flattened lens system, I cannot remember?
Thanks.
I think modern binoculars are going the way of flat field designs and big FOV's, so I don't think you are going to stop that trend. There is no way a roof will ever have the 3D of a good porro because it doesn't have the objective spacing of a porro. I appreciate the 3D of a porro, so I have a porro for my 3D fix, but for my main birding binocular I have an NL which is more mainstream. I think Leica would sell more binoculars if they would update their design and catch up with Swarovski and Zeiss in things like FOV, but maybe they don't care about being competitive. Leica seems like they beat to their own drummer. I guess they sell enough cameras. I don't think the Leica Trinovid BA/BN had field flatteners. I remember them as being a quite traditional non-field flattener Leica design.
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
The Ultravids are just the tiniest bit too small for my hands.
I hold my Trinovid BN model in my hands but tend to hold the Ultravids a bit more like I'd hold a smaller binocular and I doubt you'd have any trouble adapting to their size and shape if you actually had a set. There are a myriad of popular tiny binoculars in x20 and x25 that you never hear complaints about their being too small, for example.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I hold my Trinovid BN model in my hands but tend to hold the Ultravids a bit more like I'd hold a smaller binocular and I doubt you'd have any trouble adapting to their size and shape if you actually had a set. There are a myriad of popular tiny binoculars in x20 and x25 that you never hear complaints about their being too small, for example.
The Zeiss Victory 8x25 comes to mind. It almost feels like most 32 mm's in the hand.
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
Thanks! A lot of people like the Leica Trinovid 8x32 BN. It is such a classic shape and built so well! Here is a new one for $1599.00!

I liked the BN’s, great glass and build. Never could get used to the design of the single hinge with tapered barrels. Felt awkward in the hands, always felt I could drop them.
Paul
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
I think you can reason for yourself what one can have against the hunting sector. Just curious: what's the problem if they do belly up?
What’s the problem with buying or supporting a company that also sells hunting products? Is it because of the wildlife conservation and healthy population control? Or is the death issue? A lot of people don’t seem to have a death issue with Chyna, they still send there hard earned money there everyday!
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
$500
Nikon EII
Nikon M7
Vortex Viper

$1000
Kowa Genesis
GPO passion HD
Nikon MHG

$2000+
Swarovski NL Pure
Leica Noctivid
Leica Ultravid

The dreaded not for everyone syndrome.
Swarovski (all) to much glare, not for everyone.
Ultravid 32’s not enough eye relief, not for everyone.
Noctivid to sharp, not for everyone.
Conquest eyecups horrible, not for everyone.
Zeiss SF , to green, cold, not for everyone.
Nikon to rubbery, not for everyone.
Everything under $500, to Chinese, not for everyone
What did I leave out? 🙄


Paul
 

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