Leica Ultravid HD 10x42 Binoculars Review

Leica 10 x 42 Ultravid HD Binoculars
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These Binoculars are On Sale Discount Binocular: These Leica Ultravid binoculars are discounted on Amazon.com, Eagle Optics and Binoculars.com in the USA. >> Check Prices
Price Range: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars       

Ideal Uses:

General Use Rating for General Use Binoculars
Birdwatching Rating as Birdwatching Binoculars
Outdoor Sports Rating asOutdoor Sports Binoculars
Safari & Travel Rating as Safari Binoculars
General Wildlife Rating as Wildlife Observation Binoculars
Hunting Rating as Hunting Binoculars
Marine Use Rating as Marine Binoculars
Astronomy Rating as Binoculars for Astronomy

Probably the first thing that most people notice about the Leica 10x42 Ultravid HD Binocular is the price - they do not come cheap. But as with many things in life, you get what you pay for and here you get one heck of a pair of binoculars.

These 10x42 binoculars are almost as compact as the 32mm models and nearly as high aperture as the 50mm binoculars, making them the most popular size for a variety of uses. If you were planning on using them just for birding, you may also consider the less powerful 8x42 Ultravid binoculars, that have a slightly wider field of view 389 ft at 1000 yards, compared to 336ft on these, meaning that they will make it slightly easier to get fast moving objects like some birds into your view. I however like the stronger 10x magnification, for getting right up and personal with what I am looking at and they strike a nice balance between magnification, stability and still have a wide enough field of view to make focusing in on what you are looking at simple.

HD Binoculars from Leica

The new HD-models are said to have around 200 innovative changes and improvements to the previous Leica Ultravid binoculars, although I have not seen them all listed, we will go through some of the main ones as well as look at what makes this set of binoculars so special.

The Leica 10x42 Ultravid HD binoculars now have fluoride lenses as well as new coatings on them that Leica say increases the light transmission on their previous Ultravid model by 3%, I can't verify that, but I can say that the view though them is stunning. By correcting aberration (imaging errors), the fluoride lenses that are mostly formed from calcium fluoride also improve the image contrast and colour fidelity giving you a more natural and impressive view.

On the outer surfaces of the lenses, Leica have added a hydrophobic coating to the 10x42 Ultravid HD Binocular (and all other HD models) that repels both water and dirt. They call it their AquaDura coating and it is similar to the LotuTec coating used by Zeiss on some of their high end binoculars. Not only does this coating allow you to use your binoculars in wet and dusty environments, but it has the added benefit of making it much easier to remove fingerprints and dirt particles from the lenses and they have a higher resistance to all forms of abrasions that may otherwise leave the lenses permanently scared.

The image below demonstrates the difference between the AquaDura coated lens on the left hand side and the uncoated lens on the right.

Leica AquaDuraTM-Coating

Also new to the Ultravid HD models is a new focusing mechanism that uses almost no lubricant with the use of teflon discs, this makes focusing even smoother than before in almost all conditions you are ever going to encounter. Leica say as low as -25C, where many other types of focusing mechanisms on other binoculars would fail. It also eliminates the problem that lubricated mechanisms have of becoming too "free" in hot temperatures when the lubricant heats up and becomes more liquid, which I have experienced before. This is not normally a problem, but there have been some reports of the lubricant leaking out of the mechanism and spoiling the optics.

Another new feature on these HD Leica Ultravid binoculars are the redesigned eyecups, that give you a very good 16mm of eye relief that should be plenty enough for those who also wear eyeglasses, allowing you to use them without having to take your glasses off. The eyepieces are removable and are adjustable with two click stops.

The body of the binocular is covered in a comfortable to hold black rubber armouring that also helps to protect the binocular from day to day knocks and bumps and whilst not fully waterproof, they are "watertight" to a depth of 5m (16.5 ft).

The binoculars come with a neoprene carrying strap, contoured, eyepiece cover, protective front lens cover and the Leica Cordura case.

Download >> Leica the Ultravid HD 42mm Specifications (pdf document)

Conclusion

If you are looking for a top of the range binocular, perhaps the ultimate binocular that is ideal for wildlife, a great higher powered birding binocular and therefore makes a perfect binocular for taking on safari or other nature adventures, then these will not disappoint. Are they worth the hefty price tag, well that's a tough one to answer. Leica certainly have not skimped on the quality components, the build quality is excellent and they have used the finest grade optics, so they are bound to be expensive. My advice is if you can afford them and you plan on using them often enough, then they are definitely worth it. If however you you have to take out a second mortgage to get them, why not go for something like the Steiner 12x30 Wildlife Pro binoculars, Zeiss 10x42 Victory FL Binoculars or the Minox 10x42 BV binoculars, all still excellent quality optics at a cheaper price. If you are looking for a good set 10x42 binoculars at a much cheaper price, I'd go for the Bushnell 10x42 NatureView binoculars.

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Main Specifications & Features:

More Images of the Leica Binoculars

Walk-Around Video of the Leica 10x42 Ultravid HD Binoculars

 

Your Reviews:

- Source: Amazon.com
Rating: 5/5
It always takes a little out of you to spend so much on an item that won't help you send your kids to college, but... WOW, what an incredible piece of equipment! The clarity of the image is really beyond all expectations. The weight of the binoculars, which is considerable, helps stabilize the image. What a pleasure!

- Source: Cabela's
Rating: 5/5
I have tried all of the premium European binoculars and in my humble opinion, Leica Ultravid HD are the best. Their contrast and brightness are amazing! I was setting on my deck, just minutes before dark, looking through the Ultravid HDs at the countryside and picked up a herd of deer about 2 miles away. I could count all of the deer and tell which ones were feeding and which ones had their head up. These binoculars (10X42) are very light, compact and tough. Information Provided by TestFreaks

- Source: B&H Photo
Rating: 5/5
Before purchasing the 10X42 HD, had a Leica 8X42 which I bought 5 years ago, and love. Also bought a Swarovski EL several years later on reputation, but was disappointed and thought that the Leica had a much sharper image. After the HD came out, upgraded to a Leica 10X42 and sold my Swarovski's on E-bay. While I don't see dramatic improvement in the image quality between my older 8X42's and the newer HD, the HD certainly is an improvement over the Swarovski EL's. Information Provided by TestFreaks

 

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Full Size Binoculars | Roof Prism Binoculars | General Use Binoculars | Safari Binoculars | Outdoor Sports Binoculars | Very Top End/Expensive Binoculars


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Where to buy the Leica 10x42 Ultravid HD Binoculars

General Price Range: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars

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