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Leica Ultravid | Optics Trade Debates

Welcome to today’s Optics Trade Debates video. We’re here to talk about Leica Ultravid series of pocket-sized binoculars as we are currently moving through the brand’s entire sales catalog.

Perhaps it would best to start with a short overview of the history behind Leica Ultravid series. This is a very new addition to the brand as the first Ultravid binoculars were launched in 2003. After the original concept, Leica updated the series in 2007 when the second generation of Ultravid models entered the market, labelled as Ultravid HD for added clarity. The latest update happened in 2015 when the third generation called Ultravid HD Plus was created.

There are many crucial differences between each generation. The second generation, Ultravid HD, features fluoride-containing lenses and offers a much better optical performance than the first generation. In addition to fluoride-containing lenses, Ultravid HD Plus (the third generation) also uses SCHOTT HD glass for their manufacture. Leica’s most ardent competitor Zeiss uses the same glass in Victory SF binoculars. It enables a better light transmission rate.

In the case of Leica Ultravid models, that means that they went from 90% light transmission rate to 92 or 93% –  the highest level possible in today’s optics. Products from Leica Ultravid models use a special type of Schmidt/Pechan (Roof) prisms to additionally help in low-light situations.  

There’s not much of a difference between Ultravid HD and HD Plus models when using them during the daytime. The HD Plus generation has the widest range of individual models. To enumerate them, we got 8 options to choose from: 7×42, 8×32, 8×42, 8×50, 10×32, 10×42, 10×50 and 12×50.

This is a much richer configuration selection than what most optical brands are willing to offer. 7×42, for instance, is quite a non-standard magnification and lens diameter combination for the world of premium optics. 8×50 is another example of great and compact binoculars suitable for low-light use. All Leica competitors offer 8×56 instead, meaning that those models with the 56-millimetre lens are much bulkier and heavier for use.

Ultravid series is the workhorse of the entire Leica binoculars repertoire because they offer such a great optical performance at a much more affordable price than the Noctivid line and full-sized Leica binoculars in general.

The focusing mechanism is very reliable and contains titanium parts. It works just fine in extreme temperatures, in intense heat or cold. Ultravid series sports a mono-bridge design but the binoculars from this line are still very foldable and compact.

These models are filled with nitrogen gas and are therefore waterproof and durable. The field of view is very wide.

Schmidt/Pechan prism type makes it possible for these binoculars to be very compact. They are among the shortest in today’s market. Ultravid models have twist-up eyecups, perfect for users with glasses and those without them.

There is AquaDura® coating on the lenses. With that there is no external fogging on the outside surfaces, they also repel dirt and the coating even protects the lenses from superficial abrasions. Leica also offers phase correcting coating P40 and HighLux-System HLS® coating. Everything to ensure vivid colours and incredible colour fidelity.

As far as the price is concerned, these devices sell for anywhere between 1,800 and 2,200 euros. That places them above Trinovid BCA series of pocket-sized binoculars and below the cream-of-the-crop Noctivid series. Note that these are the standing prices for the year of 2018 and they will most certainly drop with time.

All Ultravid models are produced in Germany. They come with 10 years of warranty and some additional accessories like the bag, strap and so on.

This should cover it. Thank you for your time. Please like and share this video if you found it useful. If you have any questions left, feel free to contact us via email or the comment section below. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more similar content. See you in the next Optics Trade Debates video!

Products mentioned:
Leica Ultravid HD Plus series
Leica manufacturer
Leica binoculars



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