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Leica vs. Zeiss

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 16:11
mjones View Drop Down
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Hello,
 
I am trying to decide between either the Zeiss Victory FL and Leica Ultravid (non-HD).  I have handled both and ergonomically, I feel they are equal.  If you could buy at the same price, which would you choose and why?
 
Thanks in advance,
 
Mike
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 16:44
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Neither, I would choose Swarovski's, SLC or EL.

For my eyes, they are the best for brightness and clairty. They feel great in my hands plus they come with probably the best customer service/warranty of the big three.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 17:12
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Afraid I have to disagree with mike here, sorry mike. I liked the view through the Leicas better myself. Unfortunately, at this price range you are splitting hairs, and everybody's eyes see a bit different. Mike likes the swaro's, I like the Leicas, but I am a touch colorblind, so I can't speak of color rendition. I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the three. You just have to try to spend some time with them, and see which look best to your eyes. Nobody here can tell how your eyes see through them. Sorry.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 17:22
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No problem!! Thunbs%20Up  As stated by both of us, everyone's eyes are different. The feel of the bino's will feel different as well from one person to the next; for me, I don't like the feel of the Leica's vs. my Swaro's. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 17:34
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Thanks for the replies.  I have spent time with the Zeiss, Leica and the Swarovskis.  The Swaros didn't feel as good for me, but the the Zeiss and Leica are so close I can't make a decision.  I like them both.  Hence, my call for help.  I was hoping there would be something such as customer service, the Lotutec coating on the Zeiss, etc. the members could discuss to nudge me to one of the two.
 
Thanks,
 
Mike
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 17:49
mike650 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by mjones mjones wrote:

Thanks for the replies.  I have spent time with the Zeiss, Leica and the Swarovskis.  The Swaros didn't feel as good for me, but the the Zeiss and Leica are so close I can't make a decision.  I like them both.  Hence, my call for help.  I was hoping there would be something such as customer service, the Lotutec coating on the Zeiss, etc. the members could discuss to nudge me to one of the two.
 
Thanks,
 
Mike


Swaro's customer service is probably the best of the big 3. I've already told this story but just recently I sent a 15+ year old 8x30 Bino set back to SONA (Swarovski) to have them checked and within less than two weeks received back my bino's including many new updates like exterior armor housing, eye cups, etc., plus glass and coatings thoroughly checked and cleaned for free. The cost was my shipping the bino's back to SONA, nothing more. That was just one of the many perks I've received this year from them.

None of the bino aficionado's appear to be on line to chime in right now but here's a pretty good link to start with if your only looking at the big three.

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7804&PN=1

Bottom line is it's going to come down to your eyes, and the feel of the binos. Customer service/warranty comes second to these.

Happy hunting!!  Big%20Smile




Edited by mike650 - September/28/2008 at 16:32
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 18:45
mjones View Drop Down
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I'm not set on one of the big 3 if there is something else available that will compete with them.  The big 3 just happen to be the only "good" glass that is available to take a "test drive" in my area and I am not too keen on spending this kind of money without a "test drive".

 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 18:57
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Not sure what your budget truly is but below are a couple at half the price and that are very competitive with the best.

Vortex Razors

http://www.swfa.com/c-2125-vortex-razor-binoculars.aspx

Meopta

http://www.swfa.com/c-1135-meopta-binoculars.aspx


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 20:05
mjones View Drop Down
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My max budget is approx. $2000 for 10 X 42s.  This eliminates the Ultravid HDs, but everything else seems to be fair game.  This is to be a purchase to last a lifetime so I am looking at companies that have the best chance of surviving a long time.  The big 3 seem to be the best bet giving this.  Mike, I have browsed information on the two you listed, but can't find them locally to "test drive".  This leaves the big 3 and the Swaros just didn't "fit" despite being a superb instrument.  Any other comments to help me decide between the Zeiss and Leicas?
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 20:29
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I made a similar comparison between the 7x42 Zeiss FLs and the 7x42 Leica Ultravids (non-HDs). Here was the strong points of each in comparison to the other...
 
Zeiss FL
 
- noticeably wider true and apparent field of view
- brighter image because of the Abbe-Koenig prisms
- smoother focusing knob
- slightly sharper image
- noticeably less color fringing on high contrast objects
 
Leica Ultravid
 
- more compact and somewhat more ergonomic
- had a wider sweet spot of image in focus and without distortion
- colors were a bit more saturated
 
As you may have guessed I ended up with the FLs...and I still have them today. For those of you folks that know me that is quite a statement in and of itself. I go through alot of binoculars.
 
Since you have the money and are willing to spend it then I do suggest you buy one of these two models. Other binoculars like the Meopta Meostar, Vortex Razor, Promaster Elite ED, Bushnell Elite, Pentax ED, etc... offer some superb optical performance that is easily 95-99% of the big three. However, if you want the absolute best image and construction without any constraints then I think you have the best two choices in front of you.
 
....though, come to think of it, you may want to also add the new Nikon EDG into the mix. Favorable reviews give it a sweet spot about the same size as that of the Swaro ELs but with image sharpness very comparable to that of the Zeiss FL all be it with just a shade dimmer image.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 21:05
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I would seriously check out the Vortex Razors and the Meopta Meostar, you might be pleasantly surprised.  I know I was and I ended up buying the Meopta even though I had $1500 to spend on Bino's.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2008 at 21:32
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I did not test the FL's in low light but they seemed very nice. I did pic up a set of factory pre-owned certified Leica BR 10X42 for $1200 that are really nice ............the more I use them the more I appreciate them !! We hunt on corn here in SC...........and the other evening I could see well with my Kahles Helia C 3-12X56 scope but could not see if all the corn was gone or not . I could put my Leica's up and easily see yellow cobs here and there that I could not see with my scope !!
 
Anyway.........I think the FL's are supposed to be better in low light but I figured if I could save $500 and get the c.p.o Leica's...........I'd go that direction !!


Edited by cbm - September/27/2008 at 21:34
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2008 at 05:45
trigger29 View Drop Down
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One thing to look at, if you are still stuck between just these two models would be a hydrophobic coating. The Victory FL should have the Lotutec coating for rain and foggy conditions. If my memory serves me correctly, (and sometimes it doesn't) the Leica's will not have the Aquadura coating except on the HD models. Just something to keep in the back of your mind.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2008 at 15:44
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Both are great optics.

My recommendation: look at both sets side-by-side.  Not representatives of each but the ACTUAL pairs you might buy (if possible.)

I have Leica's and love them, a friend has Victory FLs and lvoes them; we both think the others' is slightly not as good.

Find what YOU LIKE BEST and buy that, both are exceptional.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2008 at 17:43
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The big three have somewhat different design philosophies.  All three are excellent and the choice between them, aside from ergonomics, comes down to what you personally prefer:

Zeiss generally goes for the best centerfield resolution.
Leica emphasizes the contrast a bit more.
Swarovski has the largest sweetspot.

Some other binoculars you should look at are the following:

Meopta Meostar: if I were to buy another high end bino given the information I have today, I would by a Meostar 7x42 or 8x42.  Their design philosophy is somewhat similar to Swaro: large sweetspot and easy view.

Kowa Genesis XD: excellent glass with spectacular contrast.  If you like the image of Leica binoculars, take a look at the Kowas.

Nikon EDG:  these looked very promising back at the SHOT show, but I have not really spent any field time with them yet.

Vortex Razor is very nice, but not quite as good, IMO.  Awesome for the money though.

Optolyth Via Nova 7x42 I have been quite impressed with, but have not done a thorough test yet.  I do not think they have a 10x version, however.

Is there a particular reason why you are set on 10x?

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2008 at 18:12
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I would take Koshkins advise, he is one of the most knowledgable people we have here in regards to Binos., and he doesn't play favorites.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2008 at 19:07
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Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

I would take Koshkins advise, he is one of the most knowledgable people we have here in regards to Binos., and he doesn't play favorites.



He be one of those "bino aficionado's" I was speaking of. Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2008 at 01:17
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X3 on the Meopta Meostar. I just posted on another thread that I have a pair of 8X30 & 10X42 Swaro's. I was looking for a pair of 8X42's and bought the Meoptas. I had the money to buy any out there but $800 for a pair of binoculars that is worth $1500+ was a no brainer. I do not know anything about thier customer service but am willing to give them a try. Lifetime warranty.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2008 at 05:36
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Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

I would take Koshkins advise, he is one of the most knowledgable people we have here in regards to Binos., and he doesn't play favorites.



He be one of those "bino aficionado's" I was speaking of. Wink
 
BINGO! This guy looks through more bino's in a week than I will in my life.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2008 at 17:52
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Originally posted by mjones mjones wrote:

Hello,
 
I am trying to decide between either the Zeiss Victory FL and Leica Ultravid (non-HD).  I have handled both and ergonomically, I feel they are equal.  If you could buy at the same price, which would you choose and why?
 
Thanks in advance,
 
Mike
 
Hey, Mike.  Between those two, it would be a hard decision for me.  The Zeiss will have noticeably less chromatic aberration (color fringing around objects) than the Leica due to the fluorite glass.  It also features wider field of view and reportedly has a tad better resolution in the center of the field.  Leica will have higher contrast and a larger "sweet spot."  The Zeiss has more astigmatism around the field edge.  The Zeiss has a smoother focus knob, but I like the 2-part diopter adjustment of the Leica better.  The Leica seems more robustly built to me, but that may just be perception.  I was a bit turned off by the "plasticky" feel and appearance of the Zeiss, though the view is wonderful.
 
Either way, you won't likely be disappointed in your choice.  If you are considering at the "non-HD" version of the Leica, you can find some great deals on it since it is now discontinued.  In addition to marginally improved light transmission, use of fluorite lens elements, and improved focus mechanics, the HD has the new AquaDura hydrophobic lens coating; the previous version of the Ultravid did not.  If you can get past the plastic feel and appearance of the Zeiss, I would probably choose it over the non-HD Leica.  I have an Ultravid HD, and I honestly wouldn't trade it for any binocular made.  I love it that much!


Edited by RifleDude - September/29/2008 at 17:53
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2008 at 20:58
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Thanks to everyone for the wonderful advise.  I may have to give Meopta a better look.  However, I can't get my hands on a pair to "test drive" before purchasing.  Despite this, considering they can be had for considerably less than the others, they may be worth the "risk".  Koshkin, I am not married to 10x, I just seem to use my 10x more often.
 
Thanks,
 
Mike 
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