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Leica Trinovid 8x42 BA....To Service or Not?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2014 at 09:42
Fleetlord View Drop Down
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Need some advice from the Binoc experts please....


  I recently purchased a pair of Leica Trinovid 8x42 BA from a camera shop. 

They were on consignment from a birdwatcher for $500.00

They looked good in the store and outside, so I figured they were a pretty good deal...so I went for it..


Well upon using them a bit more, I noticed that the image was slightly hazy in daylight.  Since I plan on using these for football games...this could be an issue...

So I decide to send them to Leica in NJ for a service estimate...

The estimate was for $485.00

This is what they came up with:

1) Clean Eyepieces

2) Repair Sleeves

3) Repair and adjust focus

4)Adjust Collimation

5)Clean Optics

6) Clean Magnifiers

7)Nitrogen Purge

8) Replace Armor Covering

9) Clean Lubricate and Adjust all Functions....

BUT....HERE is the problem:

* Some Imperfections have been noted in coatings.  Imperfections CANNOT be removed.


So.....based on that....is it worth getting this service done?


If I did have it performed, I would have approx. $1000.00 into the binoculars.  They would be almost new, but still have "imperfections" in the coatings.  Not sure if that is what is causing the slight haziness that I saw...or if these imperfections wouldn't be noticeable...

I like the glasses.  They are built well, comfortable to hold, and don't give me eye strain...

BUT...for the money would it better to forgo the work, take back the Leica's and sell them as is...putting the money from that and the money saved from the service and get a new pair of XXXX?

I'm thinking $1500 max is where I want to be on this....So that would be in the midrange models from Leica, Zeiss, or Swaro....The Nikon SE 8x32 Porro is a contender, but they are hard to find...

Any advice is appreciated...



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2014 at 09:50
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$1000 for binos with coating damage would concern me as well.  Especially when there are amazing options for new binos in that price range.  I would consider the Meopta HD.  They are amazing.  Even the high end models of the big three hold almost nothing over them. 

I have the non HD model Meopta and a pair of Zeiss Victory RF binos.  The difference to my eyes is very small.  I would never pay for anything more expensive than the Meoptas.  I only did it because I wanted a good RF bino. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2014 at 10:09
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I love my Leicas, but doubt I would go that far into a pair that had no warranty (as they are second-hand at best.)

I'm not sure what I would do with them as is, but I doubt I would double down on them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2014 at 10:22
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Personally, I would try to sell them for $700 or so and put the money toward one of today's better $1K binos, such as the aforementioned Meopta Meostar.

I own and love Leica binos (I have an 8X50 BA and an 8X32 Ultravid HD), but not only would I not spend the money on the repairs, I wouldn't personally buy a set of high end binos, especially discontinued models, with any damage whatsoever to the optics. The only flaws I'd be willing to accept are cosmetic damage to the armor/exterior only.  The reason: upper mid level binos in the $1K to $1200 range have become so good in recent years that I'd rather have a new set of current production binos than a flawed sample of discontinued binos with older technology.

I realize you likely didn't notice the flaws when you bought the bino, and you still got a pretty good deal, but I think there are options available today that present a better price:performance ratio for similar money than your Trino BA with damaged coatings.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2014 at 15:04
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Welcome to OT   I would not count these out in stated price range
Kowa 8.5x44 Genesis Binocular
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2014 at 16:43
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IMO, this is a prime example of why I would never, ever, ever buy used Leica anything.  Numerous brands would have fixed those for free, i.e. Leupold, Meopta, Swaro, Zen Ray, Nikon (may have charged you $25).   I hunted with Trinovid BA's for over 15 years.  They are 25 yr old technology (though still a great bino), and IMO worth about what you paid for them, $500. 

Meopta HD"s are the real deal. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2014 at 18:00
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Yes I was hoping that the cost to service these would have been at most half of what was estimated. ..with a better final result.

I am going to request their return without service and see how close to $500 I can get for them..

I have learned some valuable lessons here. I collect watches, pens, knives etc and the service side of those usually returns the item to a like new state. I didn't realize what was really going on inside these binoculars. In most situations they woild be fine as they are, but I pickec up on that slight haze and decided to investigate. Now I wish I hadn't bought them for sure...old used binos are a landmine I don't want to step on again..

Thanks for the advice everyone...


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2014 at 20:36
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Before you give up on it entirely, contact www.suddarthoptical.com for an estimate.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2014 at 23:05
Fleetlord View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Before you give up on it entirely, contact www.suddarthoptical.com for an estimate.

I will contact them tomorrow...

Since most of that estimate is cleaning and adjusting, they may be able to do it less expensively...


I wonder if they can get new armor though?



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2014 at 10:53
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I spoke to Leica and they reduced the charge for service to $350 including new rubber armor.


The imperfections are supposedly microscopic and won't affect acuity...if they did they would have recommended replacement...

I called around and the price to clean these without armor would have been $150 and the armor is at least $200...if the other guys can get it...


So, now that Leica's price is more in line with everyone else...I decided to let them do the work...If anything they will be easier to sell with a factory refurb and new armor if they come back and I want something else...They still seem to be a popular model amongst collectors...



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