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Leica Ultravid Blackline Series | Optics Trade Debates

Hello and welcome to another Optics Trade Debates video. Lately, all our debates have been focused on Leica products and on binoculars in particular. This video is no different, we’re here to talk about Ultravid Blackline, a line within Leica Ultravid series of classic binoculars.

Let’s start with a bit of glossary. Leica uses various acronyms to specify certain product characteristics in their very name. For example, many of the acronyms like ‘BR’ (rubber armouring) denote the exterior design of a particular model within a Leica series. In this instance, ‘BL’ stands for ‘black leather’. These Leica binoculars have a really specific style with metal parts and real leather for the armouring of the body. The combination gives them a sleek, premium look with a touch of vintage feel.

Leica is probably one of the rare companies that produce binoculars with a style that harkens back to the rich history of the brand itself. It additionally signals that Leica Ultravid Blackline binoculars are a lifestyle product with a premium optical performance that will stand the test of time and not just another flash-in-the-pan gadget. Beautiful and very elegant leather trim in compact form makes them suitable even for glamorous occasions: when trying to catch details in a theatre, traveling abroad or during any sporting event.

There are two Leica Ultravid models in the pocket format (8×20, 10×25) and two full-sized ones (8×42,10×42). As we said, the pocket-sized binoculars are available not only in the standard, rubber-armoured version but also in Blackline and Silverline ones. The full-sized models (8×42,10×42) can be also bought in the Silverline series. But the 42-millimetre models cannot be bought with rubber armouring.

As we can see, Leica created quite a bit of confusion regarding all the series’ names and various acronyms. Ultravid is a famous name and there are 8 models in the HD Plus range. But the company uses the ‘BL’ (Blackline) line name on those products as well.

Leica also uses the same Ultravid name on those products which are of the same size but covered with black leather. On top of that, they even sell binoculars named Silverline where the metal parts come in silver but the material of the armouring is black leather, just like with the Blackline.  It’s quite confusing but in all fairness, the target audience of these products differs greatly.

The customer purchasing Ultravid Blackline binoculars is a person who would like to own the unique vintage style of this device but doesn’t want to compromise premium optical performance to get it. Nevertheless, the design is the main selling point here.

The target audience of Ultravid HD Plus series are hunters, bird watchers and other enthusiasts that are not interested in the physical properties of the products but focus solely on the performance aspect.

Although these two series partly share their name, they cater to 2 dissimilar customer niches.

Now after all this talk about style, let’s focus on the optical aspects of the Ultravid Blackline series. All Ultravid binoculars come with top-notch technologies incorporated into the final product.

On the lenses, a highly durable coating (HDC) is applied which makes them abrasion-resistant and helps achieve a higher light transmission rate. The outside of the objective lens is covered with the AquaDura® coating that repels water and dirt.

Roof prisms are phase-corrected (P40), which reduces reflections and increases contrast. HighLux System (HLS) applied on prism surfaces of all Ultravid binoculars and 42-millimetre front lens diametre also make the view-through extremely bright and razor-sharp with enhanced color fidelity.

These ultra-light binoculars have a good weight distribution, which makes them extremely comfortable to use. For a safe non-slip grip, Ultravid Blackline is dressed in leather mixed with a highly prized, strong magnesium frame that also makes them extremely durable and corrosion free.

Rubber twist-up eyecups have a multi-positioned mechanism, convenient for those wearing glasses and those not wearing them. They have two click-stops for setting a proper eye relief.

Tight seals make Blackline models impervious to any moisture and other particles that could get into the construction, and the dry nitrogen filled housing eliminates internal condensation which could occur when exposed to sudden temperature changes. That means that they can be used in harsh weather.

These stylish Leica binoculars are also watertight and submerging them 5 meters (16.5 feet) deep won’t cause any damage.

Of course, there are some differences. The Ultravid BL series lacks certain features of Ultravid HD Plus models. HD Plus line features SCHOTT HD glass that offers even better light transmission rate and is consequently more expensive.

There are many accessories that come with this product like the leather carrying strap, extra practical Cordura case for full-sized binoculars, eyepiece covers and lens cleaning cloth.

Pocket-sized binoculars come with a stylish structured case made of real leather. Leica pays attention to detail and that sets them apart from other brands in the market. Many accessories can be purchased individually.

All Leica Ultravid models, including the Blackline ones, are produced in Portugal. The time period defined in the warranty depends on the size of the purchased product.

In the case of pocket-sized binoculars, the time period set is 5 years, while full-sized binoculars have theirs extended to 10 years. Either way, Leica continues to take their products back for repairs and resets them to their factory settings long after the warranty has run out.

This is everything we had in mind for today. Thank you for your attention. If you have any questions left, leave them in the comment section below or contact us via email. We will be happy to help. Please like and share this video if you found it useful. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content like this. We’ll see you next time.

Products mentioned:
Leica Ultravid Blackline
Leica binoculars
Leica manufacturer



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