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Leica's new $3k porro binocular

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2013 at 17:58
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It is offered up as a game changer Big Smile.  Thing is it is the new range finding Geovid.  Range finding binoculars, are certainly not new, this is I think, Leica's third model.  They tout the game changer as the advances in range finding technology (bow hunters might take some umbrage there since it does not seem to range with ballistic compensation at archery ranges).   I guess I better not forget to add that there seems substantial improvement in overall fov too.

However, there seems to be a more significant game changer here aside from the new range finding abilities.  That is the fact that the new Geovid is not a roof prism glass, but a porro binocular.  Not just any porro either, but a new, (or at least little used design) called the Perger Porro.  It looks like this system allows the unique shape of the Geovid barrels to lend themselves better to installing the range finding technology into the light path of the binocular.

While it seems the patents seem to focus on the Geovid, I tend to wonder if there is a potential for Leica to set the alpha binocular world on its ear and offer the new" Porrorvid" from Leica...or some such Big Smile (I'm guessing probably not).


Edited by Klamath - January/17/2013 at 18:04
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2013 at 21:05
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

It is offered up as a game changer Big Smile.  Thing is it is the new range finding Geovid.  Range finding binoculars, are certainly not new, this is I think, Leica's third model.  They tout the game changer as the advances in range finding technology (bow hunters might take some umbrage there since it does not seem to range with ballistic compensation at archery ranges).   I guess I better not forget to add that there seems substantial improvement in overall fov too.

However, there seems to be a more significant game changer here aside from the new range finding abilities.  That is the fact that the new Geovid is not a roof prism glass, but a porro binocular.  Not just any porro either, but a new, (or at least little used design) called the Perger Porro.  It looks like this system allows the unique shape of the Geovid barrels to lend themselves better to installing the range finding technology into the light path of the binocular.

While it seems the patents seem to focus on the Geovid, I tend to wonder if there is a potential for Leica to set the alpha binocular world on its ear and offer the new" Porrorvid" from Leica...or some such Big Smile (I'm guessing probably not).

When are they going to get a clue?? I was getting all excited cause I thought MAYBE NOW they have the ultimate hunting tool for bow hunting optics with the button on the right side and angle compensation, but I guess not. Seems that Leupold still has the best bow hunting range finder for now.  Whatever
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2013 at 22:31
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Actually I suspect the problem is that long range and short range laser range finding are likely two different sets of technical difficulties.  By the time they add a short range interchangeable laser module, the thing may not be in the cards right now.  Another thing is that trajectory calculation for 300 fps arrows is different math than 3,000 fps bullets, so that is certainly part of the equation as well.  One additional problem may be that the range finding binocular is now pretty well clued into 10x and the further the unit will range the better.  The best archery solution might be something like the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 or the Katmai 6x30 with a short range laser module and arrow trajectory specific calculations.  Different tools for different uses.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2013 at 10:57
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I really like this design idea, other than the cost. A porro makes sense in a rangefinding binocular, as it could counteract some light loss from the display screen.

That 374 foot field of view in the 10x model is outstanding.

I am working on getting my hands on one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2013 at 13:20
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I will do a comparison article with the new Geovid, Swaro and Zeiss rangefinding binoculars.

I was impressed with the new Leica (I got to play with it extensively at the press event), but the proof is in the pudding.  I want to see it side by side with other top end competitors.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2013 at 13:34
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I look forward to your comparison and observations ILya. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2013 at 13:49
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Even as a hunter, I have no particular use for any range finder, don't own one.  I know I am going to get some sideways looks on that, but that is how I am.  I might be real interested in a new binocular only version of this, it would be interesting to see what percentage of the cost is due to the laser range finding system.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2013 at 14:25
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Dangit, I was perfectly satisfied with my Zeiss RF bino's and now Leica has to come out with these.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2013 at 17:02
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Even as a hunter, I have no particular use for any range finder, don't own one.  I know I am going to get some sideways looks on that, but that is how I am.  I might be real interested in a new binocular only version of this, it would be interesting to see what percentage of the cost is due to the laser range finding system.

I asked and they said that they have no immediate plans for a non-LRF binocualr that uses these prisms.

If they ever make one, I'll be the first in line to get it.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2013 at 19:31
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


I asked and they said that they have no immediate plans for a non-LRF binocualr that uses these prisms.
 
 
Interesting qualifier.
 
I will be quite surprised if they don't offer standard bins in this prism design.
 
It does remind me of the old Bausch and Lomb slender porros.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2013 at 00:05
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


I asked and they said that they have no immediate plans for a non-LRF binocualr that uses these prisms.
 
 
Interesting qualifier.
 
I will be quite surprised if they don't offer standard bins in this prism design.
 
It does remind me of the old Bausch and Lomb slender porros.

The very first question I asked at the press conference was whether they will have a non-LRF binocular with those prisms.  They said there are no current plans for it, but that does not mean there won't be in the future.  They simply have not made the decision yet.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2013 at 06:37
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Considering how Leica brings new items to the market, we might all die of old age before that happens. ILya probably remembers how long it took for Leica to get those new riflescopes from their announcement, to a prototype and then to actual production. Personally, I think that hurt their sales alittle bit as some folks were thinking they ran into problems. Their sales seems to be slow as I don't hear all that much about them around discussions of high end scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2013 at 08:40
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Our small guiding operation is enrolled in several Guide and Outfitters programs including Zeiss, Swaro, and Leupold.  We are not enrolled in Leica's after repeated attempts to find out about their program.  We never got the first reply.  Leica is probably the most unresponsive and unimpressive of any of them.  Regardless of what some believe, I constantly hear of how people got screwed by Leica over warranty or repairs, especially on 2nd hand and demo goods that they still demand a premium price for.  I asked them questions on these subjects at the DSC show a couple of weeks ago.  They looked at me like a dog looking at a yo-yo most of the time.  It's a shame because Leica has excellent products, but when you can deal with Swaro's world class service, repair, and overall concern for their customers, who needs Leica?   

Leica can't give away those rifle scopes unless there is a steep discount involved.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2013 at 12:27
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Even as a hunter, I have no particular use for any range finder, don't own one.  I know I am going to get some sideways looks on that, but that is how I am.  I might be real interested in a new binocular only version of this, it would be interesting to see what percentage of the cost is due to the laser range finding system.

I asked and they said that they have no immediate plans for a non-LRF binocualr that uses these prisms.

If they ever make one, I'll be the first in line to get it.

ILya

I might be right behind you in the line Smile.  I have never been too interested in uber expensive binoculars, but as time passes, I have no doubt there might come a time where I might appreciate one, but maybe ultimate benefit to uber glass is to be had with younger eyes, but that is another topic I suppose.  I may be better able to buy one now, rather than later. I tend to like things that "get outside the box" as a general rule of thumb, I can be an early adopter on some things, one thing that appeals to me with the perger porro.

The thing is here, in comparison to their debacle with their scopes, is that the binocular design development is already done.  All they really need to do just make some without the laser components.  Now without those components, they may have some additional leeway to tweak some of the strictly binocular aspects, but for Leica these are already wide fov's, especially the 10x.

But these would have to get south of $2k as a binocular only to really get my attention.  So the thing is, just how much of that $3k price is the binocular, and how much is the range finding system.  That may well be something Leica wishes to keep to itself, for whatever reasons.

As to their customer service, I hear both good and not so good things, something I'd need to investigate further before I spent that kind of $$.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2013 at 14:06
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What are they saying as far as the improvements to the rangefinding capabilities?  Will it be significantly more powerful/capable of longer ranges?  I probably would have gotten one of their last models a long time ago (especially when they were having the sale) if it had a more powerful laser.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2013 at 19:37
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Originally posted by Jon A Jon A wrote:

What are they saying as far as the improvements to the rangefinding capabilities?  Will it be significantly more powerful/capable of longer ranges?  I probably would have gotten one of their last models a long time ago (especially when they were having the sale) if it had a more powerful laser.


The specs say they range to 2,000 yds which Leica claims is class leading. I have no idea why anybody would need more than that. One of my skepticisms with range finders is due to the shake induced by pushing the button, do you really know if you ranged your buck or a rock in the general neighborhood. That shake induced error has to be there and has to increase with range and with magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2013 at 19:57
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Most of those yardage specs are on reflective targets too.  Deer and other game aren't reflective, obviously, so the range is cut way, way down.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2013 at 20:38
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Most of those yardage specs are on reflective targets too.  Deer and other game aren't reflective, obviously, so the range is cut way, way down.  



Right, reflective too. I'm not sure how much the ranging on a non reflective target can be helped much.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2013 at 23:21
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Originally posted by Jon A Jon A wrote:

What are they saying as far as the improvements to the rangefinding capabilities?  Will it be significantly more powerful/capable of longer ranges?  I probably would have gotten one of their last models a long time ago (especially when they were having the sale) if it had a more powerful laser.


The specs say they range to 2,000 yds which Leica claims is class leading. I have no idea why anybody would need more than that. One of my skepticisms with range finders is due to the shake induced by pushing the button, do you really know if you ranged your buck or a rock in the general neighborhood. That shake induced error has to be there and has to increase with range and with magnification.

Most RFs have a scan mode. Just hold the button down till you're sure.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2013 at 12:24
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To be clear, I do not intend to try and argue against anybody using a rangefinder.  I have said I don't, and I realize I might be a lone voice.  I don't use them because I don't have any faith in them, not because I don't think they serve the purpose of a noble concept.  For me they seem not to work real well on non reflective game animals past 400 yards, at which point a rangefinder is not of a lot of use.

In my experience, they are great for reflective targets.  They work great in my usage for work in installing irrigation systems for ground truth checks of Google Earth and ArcGIS GPS waypoint computer data.  Get a half dozen guys with range finders and start comparing and from what I've seen the results are all over the place. 

The scan button is a fine idea, but the longer you hold the button, the more you will strain with the binocular to focus on your target, the more you will wiggle, and pretty soon the range finder is programmed to come up with a figure.

The Lecia is probably at least as accurate as other expensive stuff.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2013 at 19:02
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

The specs say they range to 2,000 yds which Leica claims is class leading. I have no idea why anybody would need more than that. One of my skepticisms with range finders is due to the shake induced by pushing the button, do you really know if you ranged your buck or a rock in the general neighborhood. That shake induced error has to be there and has to increase with range and with magnification.

Thanks.  They're at least claiming quite an improvement then.  The reason you want a laser rated for much farther than you'd actually need it is because in more difficult conditions with more difficult targets they'll usually only work to 50%-75% of their rated range.

Dealing with the shake induced error is a skill you learn much the same as when pulling the trigger on a rifle.  You try and get into the steadiest position possible, use a rest if possible, and learn how to "squeeze the button" as you do with the trigger on a rifle.  You get better at it with more practice and some rangefinders are simply better than others in this respect. 

Knowing the range you got is your actual target is another skill.  For an important shot you don't simply range something once.  You do it multiple times, you do it to the left to the right above and below the target until you're convinced you have the correct range on the target you're going to shoot.

With some rangefinders the scan mode helps for both of the above, with others it's not needed so much.  With my Swaro El's the scan mode helps a lot.  With my Newcons it's not really needed.  Their laser is better and the "trigger pull" on the button is easier so it's much easier to simply point and shoot and get your target the first time where the Swaro takes a better rest and a bunch more delicate scanning to make sure you aren't ranging the hillside or ground behind/under/over the target.

Of course all the skills in the world won't help much with a lousy rangefinder.  As you may imagine, a rangefinder only good to 1200 on a large reflective target in good conditions just won't get the job done shooting smaller targets at 1000 yds and more in less than ideal conditions.  That's why it's good to see they're now rating it at 2000 yds--if that's legit maybe it'll work to 1200+/- in tougher conditions.
Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

  For me they seem not to work real well on non reflective game animals past 400 yards, at which point a rangefinder is not of a lot of use.

That may have been true years ago, but these days a good rangefinder can do double or triple that distance on something like a deer.  I agree they wouldn't be of much good if that's all they could do.  But the Swaro I have will pretty easily go double that on a deer even in rough conditions and the Newcon three times that with a very high level of confidence.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2013 at 19:56
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Leica did improve their LRF in this binocular.  There was a somewhat technical guy there at the press event, so I picked his brain a little.  I expect it to be notably better than their earlier offerings though.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2013 at 21:48
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Dangit, I was perfectly satisfied with my Zeiss RF bino's and now Leica has to come out with these.  

You could give them to me...

Wink
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For bow hunting out west, a good rangefinder is IMO essential if you are skilled enough to shoot more than 35 to 40 yards. I use one of the Leupold RX1000 models and it works very well, but it would be nice if I could eliminate one piece of equipment that I have to pack. When someone comes up with good bino/RF combo that does angle compensation for a bow they'll sell a ton of them. (I tried the Bushnell fusion and was not impressed to be kind)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2013 at 16:50
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I was looking at the specs that Leica has listed on this instrument and field of view for the 10X model just didn't seem right. I did some calculations and it seems either the meters at 1000 meters (114) or the feet (374) at 1000 yards is incorrect. 114 meters = 374 feet but at 1094 yards (1000 meters).
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