We are delighted to review Leica’s newest Geovid 8×56 R laser rangefinding binoculars. The previous laser rangefinding Geovid came out in 2016. Now, 4 years after its predecessor was released, users can experience improved performance and accuracy with this upgraded Leica Geovid 8×56 R model. The new model brings redesigned housing, and much more.
Looking for 8×56 LRF Binos?
- Geovid R Series
- Physical Properties
- Optical Properties
- Laser Range Finder
- Scope of Delivery
- Similar Products
- Leica Geovid 8×56 R Price
- Where are Leica Geovid 8×56 R Binoculars Made?
- Leica Warranty
- Final Thoughts on Geovid R 8×56
- Leica Geovid 8×56 R Photos
Geovid R Series
The Leica Geovid R binoculars are the world’s most advanced rangefinding binoculars for the civilian market at an affordable price. They have been revolutionizing outdoor optics since they were first released in 2006, and they continue to be one of the top choices for hunters and bird watchers alike.
With its cutting-edge technology and superior optical performance, each release of the Geovid 3200.COM and Geovid Pro series is sure to set a new standard in outdoor optics. However, it’s the Geovid R line that is most attractive to the majority of users. This is because of the price.
Outdoor optics are expensive and most hunters spend most on scopes and rifles. LRF binos are not at the top of the priority list, so it makes sense to reach for lower-priced Leica pieces. The unbeatable price-to-performance ratio is a winning formula of Geovid R models.
Leica Geovid R Binoculars – Optics Trade Debates (2018)
First, let’s look at the 2022 appearance of these 8×56 rangefinding binoculars and compare them to how Geovids looked in the past. Geovids of the 1990s are a fond memory of Leica aficionados. They were bulky and pear-shaped with the rangefinding module protruding on the back of the binos. But with the then-groundbreaking technology of LRF inside a classic bino, aesthetics took a backseat.
Leica took some time to rework the internal workings of Geovids before attention shifted to the outward appearance of the series. In fact, it was long 18 years after the first Geovid 7×42 BDA model that a groundbreaking design overhaul of the Geovid R line was completed. The 2nd generation is when these binos got the now-famous Leica Geovid look. But since 2004, the template for the subsequent Geovids remained constant. This all changes in 2022.
The new 2022 Geovid 8×56 R appears narrower, with a sleek build that tapers out towards the 56mm objective lens. The eyepieces were also modified and are now similar to those on classic Leica binos. What about the position of the controls? The 2004 model had a single button on the left side for LRF control. Now there are two buttons on the right side of the unit, one for measuring and one for the menu. The Geovid R models have a closed bridge design, in contrast with the open bridge of pricier HD-R Geovid models.
Leica redesigned the eyecups, which are now of the same style as on classic Geovids (post-Geovid HD-B model, the first with the Perger-Porro prism system). The twist-up eyepieces now have 4 positions, not only two. There’s a lot of support in each eyecup position so there’s no fear you may break the ocular thread or they’d change the setting mid-use.
Size and Weight
In terms of size and weight, the 2016 and 2022 models have almost identical dimensions. That is, both Leica Geovid 8×56 R binos measure 18 centimeters in length, 14 centimeters in width, and 7 centimeters in height.
The whole 8×56 R unit weighs roughly 1.1 kilograms (38.8oz). For a rangefinding binocular with a 56-millimeter objective lens, that’s not much. There are plenty of 8×42 or 10×42 LRF binos from rival brands that weigh the same.
Now, let’s discuss optical performance. Leica Geovid Rs are the leading choice for binoculars with an incorporated laser range finder beneath €2000. The colors are even more aesthetically pleasing and vivid than those seen through the lens of 2nd generation Geovid Rs.
Without a doubt, Leica range-finding binoculars stand out from the Chinese-made competitor optics. Additionally, other brands rarely provide 56mm objective lenses. Usually, the biggest pair in the selection is 10×42 LRF. If you’re looking for an LRF bino that won’t disappoint in dawn or dusk, the Leica 8×56 models are virtually the only option.
With 18 millimeters of eye relief, glasses wearers will have no problem using these eyepieces. Plus, the quality is exceptional given the affordable price tag.
Now that we can compare the 2016 and 2022 models, it appears that the Roof – Schmidt–Pechan prism construction remained unchanged. That is not to say that the optical performance of Geovid 8×56 R stayed at the same level. The 2022 view-through shows a brighter image with richer color tones.
While difficult to measure, the eye test tells us the light transmission was improved. This improved permeability of the glass components can make all the difference when hunting in the dark. The 2022 Geovid 8×56 R model will last even longer under such circumstances.
Field of View
The field of view on Leica Geovid 8×56 R is 118m/1000m (6.8°). It’s exactly the same FOV as on Leica Geovid 8×56 HD-R 2700 and Leica Geovid 8×56 3200.COM models. So no changes here.
It seems that the engineers in Wetzlar believe 118 meters is good enough — and not without reason. While this field of view is quite narrow for an 8×56 bino, there are no rival optics similar enough to pose a serious threat to Leica.
The 2022 focus system of Geovid R has been redesigned from the previous Geovid models, now incorporating a slower and more methodical hunting-style mechanism. We like it a lot but it is completely different from the previous Geovid 8×56 R model, which had a focusing wheel with a much softer glide.
The focus allows for roughly 1.75 turns, so the wheel button stops just shy of a 2nd full turn. The closest focusing distance is set at 5.6 meters for additional accuracy.
Laser Range Finder
The 2022 models of Leica Geovid R binos have increased their LRF capabilities with an additional 700 meters of maximum reach. Consequently, the furthest distance for the laser to measure is now 1800 meters, while the shortest is only 10 meters.
The Leica Geovid R laser rangefinding module offers Equivalent Horizontal Range (EHR) feature–a major plus for those seeking to make long-distance shots. Unfortunately, Leica Geovid 8×56 R still lacks the ballistic software that some of Leica’s more expensive models boast. But that’s to be expected. In Leica’s product hierarchy, this is an entry-level LRF bino. Its affordability and accessibility make R Geovids an attractive option.
The speed of Leica LRF products is unmatched. Leica Geovid 8×56 R gives highly-accurate readings within a fraction of time at 0.3 seconds! This quality speaks to why Leica has such an avid fanbase. This German company is renowned for producing superb optics.
Controls and CR2 Battery
Leica Geovid 8×56 R LRF is powered by a single CR2 battery. The battery compartment is placed on the back side of the binoculars, between the bridge.
As mentioned before, the 2022 8×56 R has two buttons to control the LRF. One for measurements and another for the LRF menu. The interface is simple to navigate. You’ll have no trouble switching between EHR and linear distance readings and selecting the unit of measurement. This brings us to the next topic.
Meters AND Yards
In the past, Leica released separate yard and meter-based Geovid models, which were denoted with the letter “Y” or “M” on the focus wheel. Their availability depended on the geographical location of the seller. With e-commerce stores, this separate-market approach just doesn’t work. European hunters buying from North American stores couldn’t anticipate that the Geovid R will only show distances in yards. A real inconvenience.
Finally, in 2022, you have both units of measurement in a single Geovid device. The user can switch between metric and imperial units of measurement inside the LRF menu settings. The world of sport optics was revolutionized by NV and thermal imagers, which are highly adjustable to the user’s preference, no matter the price class. So it makes little sense that Leica waited until 2022 to offer this basic LRF facet with their premium optics.
Scope of Delivery
Now, let’s see which accessories are supplied in the product box. In addition to the binos, the user receives a soft carrying pouch, a carrying strap, and a lens cleaning cloth. To protect the external glass surfaces against scratches and dirt, Leica included rubber lens covers for the eyepieces and the objective lens. You also get a CR2 battery with a plastic tool for opening the battery compartment.
In addition to the multi-language Geovid instructions manual, the user receives a quality check certificate. It’s hand-signed by the last Leica worker to inspect the device before it left the factory. You can also register your Geovid R online for added security.
When it comes to this device, the optical performance is outstanding and particularly impressive when compared with devices of similar price points. Not only that but Leica Geovid 8×56 R binoculars are also made in Europe with a fantastic service team behind them – something you can always rely on from Leica’s premium brand name! All things considered, the value for money here is unbeatable.
It shows that Leica carefully reevaluated the established Geovid build. The 2022 version of Leica Geovid 8×56 R shows many positive design tweaks like the new eyecups, thumb rests and strap attachment points. Leica products are built to not only look great but also feel comfortable in your hands. Furthermore, they provide a sense of quality that speaks for itself. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, the “R” models of Geovid binos are particularly easy to use.
- elegant design and quality build
- 0.3-second measurement
- straightforward use
- improved LRF range
- upgraded eyecup design
- value for money
- made in Europe
If Leica wishes to make their next Geovid R generation even better, they should improve the focus by shifting the position of the central wheel button to a lower placement. Doing this would provide a more ergonomic and comfortable experience for users.
The rubber Geovid R lens covers could have been redesigned. They are quite flimsy and easy to lose. For comparison, Steiner Ranger LRF 10×42 lens cups are connected to the main body with a strong textile thread. Other producers like Pulsar come to mind, which’s devices use magnetized lens covers that ‘click’ back onto the device body. So they can’t ever be misplaced yet don’t obstruct the view trough at the same time.
The field of view of 118m/1000m is not bad per se. But 130 meters would definitely be even more appealing. It makes sense why Leica hasn’t improved this FOV in years. There aren’t many 8×56 LRF alternatives out there to compete with Leica Geovid 8×56 in the first place. The most similar model is the Zeiss Victory RF 8×54, which has a FOV of 120m/100m.
- central focus wheel position
- detachable lens caps
It’s time to check out the competitors. Apart from GPO and Zeiss, there is no other major rival to Leica Geovid 8×56 R. The rare 8×56 configuration undercuts the majority of LRF bino production. Now, add Leica’s LRF speed and long-lasting build on top of the 8×56 combo, and the competition gets scarcer still.
GPO Rangeguide 8×50
When it comes to comparing the Leica Geovid 8×56 R and GPO Rangeguide 8×50, there are many differences that must be considered. First and foremost is the quality of the optical performance. The Leica Geovid 8×56 R offers an exceptional viewing experience due to its 56mm objective lens, providing a brighter and clearer view-through in low light. With a smaller lens, the field of view on GPO is 115m/1000m. Of course, we have to point out that GPO Rangeguide binos are made in China.
Zeiss Victory RF 8×54
Zeiss Victory RF 8×54 is much more expensive at €3600. If this is your budget, you’d better choose another Leica Geovid like the 3200.COM, which is the ultimate LRF 8×56 binocular and sells for €3450. What can be said in Zeiss Victory’s favor is that the FOV is 120m/1000m. In addition to that, Zeiss brings similar brand prestige as Leica and takes care of the customers decades past the warranty expiration date.
Leica Geovid 8×56 R Price
The Leica Geovid 8×56 R is a top-of-the-line product that offers exceptional optical performance and unparalleled quality. Despite its premium features, it comes at an affordable price of €1950, making it accessible to everyone.
This is a significant price drop from the 2018 Leica LRF model 8×56 R. For those who are looking for a reliable rangefinder binocular with advanced features, the Leica Geovid 8×56 R is definitely worth considering. It provides excellent value for money and will last you many years if taken care of properly.
Where are Leica Geovid 8×56 R Binoculars Made?
Geovids are made in Europe. Like all electro-optical devices, Leica makes Geovid LRF binos in Lisbon, Portugal. Many traditional users will scoff at this fact but no matter. The production quality is the same as in Wetzlar, Germany.
The Leica factory in Portugal was established in the 70s. This Leica Precision Optics state-of-the-art facility receives a lot of funds from the head company, Leica Camera AG. This can be seen in the quality of work Leica Portugal performs.
WATCH: Geovid R – the Original Remastered
Note that this is also the European location where all repairs of Leica sport optics are carried out. The majority of the Leica Portugal employees have worked there for 20, or 30 years. Long before iPhone and portable GPS existed. So there is no shortage of technical skill and experience among the staff.
With a guarantee of 5 years, Leica Geovid 8×56 R is a trustworthy investment. Along with all other devices in the Geovid R range, this binocular has a long warranty period to give you peace of mind. Furthermore, as it’s custom with premium manufacturers, Leica continues to take their devices back for repairs and maintenance even after the warranty runs out.
Final Thoughts on Geovid R 8×56
If you’re on the hunt for European-made LRF binoculars below €2000 with a fast and accurate laser, and some lowlight capabilities, this is the device for you. Price-to-performance ratio makes the Leica Geovid 8×56 R the Best Buy at the moment.