| ND2000 wrote:|
You will not find a better compact binocular than the Leica Ultravid. They are heads and shoulders above both the Swarovski and the Zeiss, period.
Of course, I know people who own comparable Swarovski and Zeiss (and even Nikon) products who are similarly enamoured with (and prejudiced toward) their chosen models. Go figure.
I'll probably be flamed for this by some but, I've examined them all and I don't see any one as being optically superior to the others (different, yes; superior, no.)
The real difference is going to be in the ergonomics. The offerings of these manufacturers all offer substantially different handling characteristics from one another. In fact, the degree of ergonomic difference between these compact binoculars is really quite astounding - much more so than with comparable full-size offerings.
- The Leica is perhaps the most traditional in styling though, with an oversized focus knob that many say is "to die for." I personally think that the focus knob issue is more akin to "much ado about nothing" but, that's just me.
- Both the Swarovski and the Nikon place the focus knob out to the front of the binocular, presumably so that it is not located quite so close to the face and so that a hat's brim will not interfere with its usage. This seems to be a "love it or hate it" affair but, if you're on the "love it" side of the issue, then you might just prefer one of these options to the Leica.
- The Zeiss uses a very interesting off-set hinge design that again some love and others hate. Personally, I found it to be a little awkward but, I know of plenty of people who think that it's truly the "cat's meow."
If I were buying one, I would probably select the Nikon. I fit into the "love it" category as regards the location of the focus knob and, since I can't see any real difference in the quality of the optics, I can't justify paying an extra $200-$300 for the similarly designed Swarovski nor the much-vaunted Leica.
Edited by lucznik