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Leica Geovid Rangefinding Binoculars | Optics Trade Debates

Hello and welcome to another episode of Optics Trade Debates. At the moment, we are going through Leica’s repertoire of binoculars. So far, we only paid attention to classic binoculars – that is, binoculars that do not include a laser rangefinder. Today it’s time to remedy that and shift our focus on the Geovid series of Leica laser rangefinding binoculars.

Let’s start the debate with a little bit of history. Leica has been producing binoculars for 110 years and when it comes to rangefinding binoculars, this company is a class of its own.

First of all, Leica was the first company to introduce laser rangefinding binoculars to the civil market in 1992. That year marks the beginning of the Geovid brand. Later, they also became the first to introduce laser rangefinding monoculars (Rangemaster) to the general public.

The original housings are still used by some of the manufacturers today. In Switzerland for example, there is still one company that uses Leica’s early blueprint as a foundation. Leica, however, has since made major leaps forwards.

As of 2018, there are 3 model families of Leica Geovid series: Geovid R, HD-R and HD-B.

Geovid R is the classic model family available since 2005 and is the simplest to use. These products went through numerous upgrades and the last generation was launched in 2016.

Many will remember the antecedent Geovid HD (2009) for its superior lens quality. Geovid R series is very similar to the latter but with nifty high-tech advancements like the angle and equivalent horizontal range measurements. The measurement range is from 10 up to 1300 m.

The models available in the Geovid R model family are: 8×42, 8×56, 10×42 and 15×56. The 2018 price range of these products is from 1.700 to 2.300 euros.

Leica Geovid HD-R line came out in 2015. Optically and design-wise, they were more or less the same as HD-B but lacked the ballistic compensation programme. That means that they measure the angle, temperature and air pressure but cannot provide the customer with information on the ballistic curves and holdovers.

The latest models from this model family can measure up to 2500 metres. Compare that to the early models that had the detection range of 1800 metres. The advantages of this line are the equivalent horizontal range paired with an amazing optical performance and until this year’s (2018) launch of Zeiss Victory RF there was simply no competitor that could offer more than HD-R.

The models available in the Geovid HD-R model family are: 8×42 (2700 and Type 402), 8×56 (2700 and Type 500) and 10×42 (2700 and Type 403).

The 2018 price range of Geovid HD-R models is from 2.000 to 2.900 euros. This is probably the best buy out of all 3 Geovid model families when taking into account the price and device functions that the customer actually needs.

Both the speed and rangefinding capabilities of Leica’s measurements are arguably the best among all premium manufacturers.  

The latest addition to the Geovid brand of laser rangefinding binoculars happened in 2013, when the Geovid HD-B model family was introduced. It was the first binoculars in the world that had Perger-Porro prisms (and to this day, HD-B and later HD-R models continue to be the only ones with this type of prisms).

The Geovid HD-B model family consists of the following models: 8×42, 8×56 and 10×42.

Perger-Porro prisms make for a really unique design, only used by Leica. It enhances optical performance, giving better depth impression, the field of view and enables high light transmission rate. The prism design is also a part of the reason why Geovid HD-B binoculars are so easy to handle.

As far as the design aspect is concerned, Leica Geovid HD-B models feature an ergonomic open bridge design that ensures a fatigue-free use.

The major advancement of this series is the sophisticated ballistics calculator or the Advanced Ballistic Compensation (ABC). It measures the angle, temperature and air pressure. This model family is the only one that gives you information on clicks and holdovers. There are 12 pre-set ballistic curves that the user can choose from.

What is more, it also features an additional SD port inside the battery compartment. (Never attempt to open the battery compartment with a coin. Always use the tool provided in the packaging.) There is a software made by Leica specifically for their users to be able to download and insert their own, custom ballistic curve formation.

That means that their own Leica binoculars will be paired with their actual rifle and the ammunition inside. As you can imagine, the margin of error becomes incredibly small. This is what separates Leica from its competitors. Until 2018, no company could offer a competing product with similar capabilities.

Note that the price difference between Leica HD-R and HD-B model families is about 500 euros. It’s up to the customer to decide whether the advanced ABC calculator is something they absolutely need. The 2018 price range is from 2.500 to 3.000 euros.

In 2018, Leica came out with a Geovid HD-B model that is completely the same as far as the functions are concerned but it’s marked ‘3000’, denoting that it can measure up to 3000 yards (2750 metres).

It’s worth to point out that the light transmission rate of laser rangefinding binoculars is normally lower than with classic binoculars. However, in the case of Leica, this light transmission remains very high. The field of view, too, is great.

There is a difference in the optical construction between the later 2 model families and the Geovid R models. Geovid R still has the same optical construction as in 2009. The distinctive bent shape of Geovid HD-R and HD-B is a mark of the unique Perger-Porro prism design.

The Geovid HD-R and HD-B model families also come with Leica’s famous twist-up eyepieces with 4 set positions and the AquaDura lens coating that repels dirt and water from the objective lens’ surface. Not only that, it also prevents superficial scratches.

This is definitely one of the best, if not THE best rangefinding binoculars on the market. Geovid is a very famous brand name and no other company offers so many model options. Every other company offers a singular model, maybe two. Just another thing that separates Leica from every other optics brand in the business.

There are many Leica accessories that can be produced separately.

All Geovid models, except the German-made HD-B family, are made in Portugal and have a warranty period of 5 years. However, even after the warranty long runs out, Leica promises to repair their customers’ products by sending them directly to the place of manufacture and re-establishing the original factory standards.

This is everything for today. If you have any question left, feel free to contact us via email or the comment section below. Like and share this video if you found it useful. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content. We’ll see you next time.

Products mentioned:

Leica Geovid R

Leica Geovid HD-R

Leica Geovid HD-B

Leica binoculars

Leica manufacturer



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