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Paulus

Which Leica binocular with your camera?

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One thing I always regretted when film was the only option with the M, was the feeling you could not actually look through the wonderful glass of the M lenses while making pictures. 

 

With a binocular that was no problem so I bought a small Trinovid 8x20 BC just for the feeling , at a price of 250 Guilders,( thats about € 115,- 

 

Now I am looking for a " better " Leica binocular- not to expensive used one -and wonder if you have experience with them.

 

I had a A+ Leica Trinovid 7X42 BA in mind , but maybe you can shed some light on the matter.

 

My goal is watching birds and landscapes and using it near and at sea watching small whales at 50/100 meters distance. 

 

 

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I have an old pair of 10x42 Trinovids and my wife uses a 10 year old pair of 10x32 Ultravids.

 

Both of these are excellent binoculars.

 

If you want to do serious bird or whale watching I would suggest that you need something longer than a 7x binocular. See if you can try some higher magnification ones at a dealer, but bear in mind that the higher the magnification, the more difficult they are to keep steady.

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Paulus, I have a pair of 8x32 Ultravid HD Plus, which I find to be excellent, but that is the extent of my direct experience. It would be a good idea to take the following factors into consideration. When I did this my own choice was actually uniquely defined:

 

(1) How big, bulky, heavy a pair can you manage?

(2) How steady is your grip? (I have a benign tremor which limits the magnification for me.)

(3) How old are you? (Our maximum pupil size decreases with age, and you can't really benefit from a binocular with an exit pupil significantly bigger than this. Exit pupil is defined by objective lens diameter divided by magnification.)

(4) Do you wish to use the binocular in twilight conditions. (For this, a bigger objective diameter is better, but is constrained by (3)).

 

Clearly all these factors are inter-related, and sometimes conflicting!

 

I've got to stress that I am no expert on binoculars, and it would be good if you got the opportunity to hold various sizes and magnifications in your own hands.

 

What I have found though is that Marilyn and I use them much more than we anticipated, and in much wider applications. For example, in the theatre, in stately homes examining small details on a ceiling, and so on. Do bear this in mind when it comes to choice of size.

 

Finally, my Ultravid HD Plus binocular was not cheap, but by golly is it worth the money. If you raid the piggy bank to pay more, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. At a live show recently in Birmingham, my son borrowed them to see something, and didn't want to hand them back.

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Thanks Andy and John, 

 

good advise. I too use the binocular I have in the moment the Trinovid 8x20bc ( very small so easy to carry and doesn't raise eyebrouws in a classical concert ) but I notice that it's hard to prevent it from shaking the image. I don't know if it's this type of binocular or my constitution. I realize that it's more easy for me to keep still at a shutter speed of 1/4 than to watch through a binocular.

 

By the way :I the concerthall it's alway funny that due to the distance sound and image don't syncronise any more..

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I had a A+ Leica Trinovid 7X42 BA in mind , but maybe you can shed some light on the matter.

 

I have a pair of 7x35BA Trinovids which are small, light and easily holdable BUT the older models like this don't focus terribly close, so good as they are, you may find them limiting. Mine get infrequent use so I'm not so bothered but certainly for close bird watching I'd suggest you look up the specifications and work out how close you need them to focus too. Leica don't really make poor binoculars and many repairers can sort out faults, at a price, so I'd suggest buying from a reputable dealer and getting a warranty as repairs can be costly.

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Our first Leica binoculars were 10x25 Tinovids.  Our newer pair are 10x25 Ultrvids.  Both are terrific, have greater reach than your current pair, and are compact, which you should keep in mind if size and weight are important to you.

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7x42 is meant for nautical use, as it is easier to hold steady. For birds I would recommend 10x32 or 10x42. The 42 binoculars are slightly better for use with low light, but the 10x32 are pretty good as well, the 32 Ultravids are as good as the 42 Trinovids.

The advantage of the 10x32 ones is the lighter weight, smaller size and close-focus ability.

 

Note that all Leica binoculars come with a life-long guaranty, even on parts wearing or breaking.

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* My Leitz\Leica binoculars have suffered rough use, but held up well.  In the mountains a 10x25 Trinovid is useful. We once lost it in a small stream, fished it up undamaged except that the extensible  eypiece rubber disappeared downstream. No charge for the replacement.

 

* This morning I tried to identify a new bird in the garden & picked the 10x32 Ultravid that usually comes out on forest hikes here. Brllliantly clear view of the twig, but the bird had moved a few yards. New aim, new focus, but it had moved again and so on. Less magnification gives a wider field of vision, so if I had had a 7 or 8x it would have beeen better for closer look at skittish subjects.

 

* I am in no way an expert but I would suggest that you decide on your main use; small, distant, slow moving or stationary  subjects, like selecting a mountain trai may need light weight and  high magnification. A wider field of view helps when subjects move quickly. The Holger Merlitz binocular book goes into great detail.

 

p.

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meanwhile I have tried the 10x42 Ultravid and Trinovid and the 7x42 Trinoivid in comparison with my 8*20 Trinovid. 

 

The 10x42 gives me to much shakes, I really haven't steady hand.  The 7x42 I found did not shake at all and the definition in bad weather in comparrisson with the 10x42.was fairly tolerable. I have decided to buy it. For € 550,- completely refurbished by Leica. Looks like new. 

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meanwhile I have tried the 10x42 Ultravid and Trinovid and the 7x42 Trinoivid in comparison with my 8*20 Trinovid. 

 

The 10x42 gives me to much shakes, I really haven't steady hand.  The 7x42 I found did not shake at all and the definition in bad weather in comparrisson with the 10x42.was fairly tolerable. I have decided to buy it. For € 550,- completely refurbished by Leica. Looks like new. 

 

 

Congratulations! I have nearly the same combination and I am happy with it.

 

After trying other brands I have now an 8x20 Ultravid (new) because it´s small and fine for carrying around and an 8x32 Trinovid (over 50 Jeans old) at home because you can see 150m wide at 1000m distance. Both Binoculars are fantastic, the Ultravid is ultra clear and with the old Trinovid you have an amazing overview. 7x or 8x magnification is enough for my hands either.

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I bought my 8x32B Tinovids back in the 1970s. Great optics and small enough to tuck in a corner pocket of a pack. I've never wanted anything newer.

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My wife uses the 8x32 ultravid. It’s a nice mid-size binoculair with excellent viewing capacities. Due to it’s size ideal for long hikes.

I’m considering a 12x50 ultravid. Not for the hikes, but for animal watching in the twilight.

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That is indeed a nice binocular, but try before you buy. 12x is quite a magnification to hold steady. 10x42 might be more suitable.

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Yes, quite good for static observation, although one might prefer a spotting scope for that purpose.

There are two reasons for me to prefer 10x for wildlife: stability handheld and the wider field of view.YMMV.

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Jaap,

 

For the 42 version I would prefer the 10x.

For the 50 version, the 12x will do quite well due to it’s larger size and therefore more stability. But, I agree, you shouldn’t have shaky hands (which I think you don’t have).

 

I fact it’s the same with long telelenses compared to mirror telelenses. In daily practice, the long giants are more stable.

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I just discovered the present thread today. All what I can say is that I bought a complete R3 Safari set - including a Safari binocular -  in 1978 for a world tour in family, and that I still use the tiny Trinovid 10x22C forty years later. With total satisfaction...and digital Leica camera, of course.

 

 

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My current two binoculars are a relatively rare 7x30 Trinovid, which is small, light and very useful for general usage. A lovely binocular indeed. I also now have a pair of 8x30B Zeiss Dialyts (mid-60s) which has been through the wars (eyecups broke, front lens protector snapped off, covering missing in large patches) but which is still an excellent pair of binoculars and actually gets used more. The Zeiss pair was very cheap so I'm not unduly worried about them although I would miss their 'quality' image if they got destroyed.

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My current two binoculars are a relatively rare 7x30 Trinovid, which is small, light and very useful for general usage. A lovely binocular indeed. I also now have a pair of 8x30B Zeiss Dialyts (mid-60s) which has been through the wars (eyecups broke, front lens protector snapped off, covering missing in large patches) but which is still an excellent pair of binoculars and actually gets used more. The Zeiss pair was very cheap so I'm not unduly worried about them although I would miss their 'quality' image if they got destroyed.

Leica completely refurbished my worn twenty-year-old 10x42 Jagd. For free.

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One very well known UK chain of photographic stores lists many s/h binoculars including high end brands / models e.g. Leitz / Leica  … and some of their personnel are obviously not 'fully up to speed' with what are, and what are not, good binoculars … thus they often list truly excellent s/h binoculars at bargain prices way below their market value. Some of the older models listed, e.g. Bausch & Lomb, were, in their day (1990s) superior to equivalent specification Leitz models and can occasionally be seen listed for absolute bargain prices. Keep looking and take advantage of their low prices. But beware of early West German Zeiss binoculars which do not have T* coating and phase coated P roof prisms … and which are frequently listed at inflated OTT prices … just because a sales person assumes that all West German Zeiss are 'top notch' … which they're not … if not T* P coated.  

 

dunk 

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