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Which would you choose?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2006 at 09:41
J.D. View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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After much research I have decided to purchase either a Nikon LXL or a Leica Ultravid in 10x42.  Any opinions on either binocular would be much appreciated.  Thanks.

 

J.D.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2006 at 11:20
anweis View Drop Down
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I have the Leica Ultravid 10x42. I think that it is a better binocular, but it costs $400 more than the Nikon. I use it for birdwatching and i am very fussy about my birding optics. For hunting, the Nikon will do just fine, the difference between the two is very small. 



Edited by anweis
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2006 at 12:16
Buster1 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

I use it for birdwatching and i am very fussy about my birding optics. For hunting, the Nikon will do just fine, the difference between the two is very small. 



I had to laugh at that comment because it wasn't too long ago on here that someone said just the opposite. Basically said the Nikon is not suited for hunting because it's fragile and the color spectrum doesn't fit the purpose, both of which are B.S.!

I'm a hunter, not a birdwatcher, and I'm here to tell you the Nikon Venturer/LX's are great hunting (and birdwatching) binos, and the LXL's could only be better because they're lighter...

Justin, I also posted a reply in your thread over at Birdforum and my opinion remains the same....I do not think the Ultravids are worth $800.00 more than the Nikons, and I've owned both.

Tell me what's not to like about the Nikons LXL's? They're less money;  they weigh basically the same; they're at least as good optically; they're built like a tank; and they're covered by a "no fault" lifetime warranty.......


Edited by Buster1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2006 at 12:46
anweis View Drop Down
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I wrote that the difference is very small. Here are the differences:

-Handling. The two binoculars have different shapes. You have to decide which one you like better.

-Field of view: Leica has 15 feet more at 1000 yards. It makes little difference, but it matters combined with other things.

-Curvature and distortions at the edge of the field of view. Nikon has zero distortion, Leica has a bit. However, Nikon has a bit more of the "looking through a straw" feeling, and the extra 15 feet of field of view in Leica, while slightly distorted, make for a more pleasant view.

-Focus speed and depth of field: The Nikons seem to have less depth of field and they focus faster, this may matter to birders because they may over-focus or may not be able to find birds as easily at close distances. 

-Color aberations and color fringing: This is where Leica beats Nikon clearly. The image through Leica seems cleaner. Nikon will sometimes have a purple fringe aroud images. 

-Ghost images and flare, viewing dark objects on bright backgrounds: they are both good, but Leica is a bit better.

-Contrast: Leica is better because it has less color fringing.

-Brightness. No difference.

-Focuser: Out of the box, Nikon has a very nice smooth focuser (it is greased), Leica seems stiff (there is no lubricant inside). In very cold weather, the Nikon gets stiffer (the lubricant may congeal), the Leica gets smoother. After 1 year of use, the Leica is very smooth and broken in regardless of temperature, the Nikon is stiff in freezing weather. The very smooth and unlubricated focuser on the Leica works better in freezing weather when using heavy gloves, it is wider and larger than the Nikon focuser, and is better exposed.  I am talking about -20 Celsius/-4 Fahrenheit and bellow. 

 



Edited by anweis
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2006 at 13:33
Buster1 View Drop Down
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Fair enough. About the only thing I disagree with is that Leica's focus wheel is wider, larger, and better exposed than Nikons. In fact, I'd say just the opposite. I should also mention I never had a problem in over three years with the focus wheel on my Nikon 10x42 Venturer/LX's in temperatures ranging from 105 degrees to 5 below; however, the focus wheel on my 8x42 Ultravids feels a little "notchy" right out of the box. I'm hoping it smooths out over time......

In short, a person really can't go wrong with either one. Decide how much you want to spend and get some hands on time with each before making a decision; otherwise, you'll probably be second guessing yourself.





Edited by Buster1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2006 at 19:25
J.D. View Drop Down
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anweis and Buster1,

 

Thanks for the awesome, fact filled, responses!  I can tell you guys have really spent some time looking through binoculars.

 

 

anweis,

 

Just curious, how would you compare your Ultravid to a Swarovski EL?

 

J.D.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2006 at 07:47
anweis View Drop Down
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Originally posted by J.D. J.D. wrote:

anweis,

 

Just curious, how would you compare your Ultravid to a Swarovski EL?

 

J.D.

 

I went at the BassPro store, and since i wanted a 10x42, i took the Ultravid and the EL for a spin on their duck pond. The Ultravid seemed to have better colors and contrast in the middle of the field of view, but the EL was very close and excelent, the difference was very small. On the other hand, the EL had less distortion at the edges - the two binoculars have the same field of view, 330 ft/1000, but EL seems wider because it has less distorted edges. The EL offered a very pleasing view. The handling of the EL was better, the design is awesome and the focuser feels smoother.

However, the particular EL that i looked through had the older version of slow focus - it took forever (too many turns of the focuser) to get it focused (this may not matter if you are looking at elk or deer). I did not know at the time that the new version of EL has a faster focus. Anyway, i think that i liked the EL better overall (except for the focuser), so i went home with the Ultravid. Overall the new EL may be a slightly better binocular, but i still think that in the center of view the Leica has a slight advantage. The difference is very small, and i am happy with the Ultravid and i don't feel that i missed anything. The prices of the premium binoculars are pretty much the same now - about $1700, except for the Nikon LXL, which is a great buy.      

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2006 at 14:32
anweis View Drop Down
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J.D. the differences between the premium binoculars are small, but are there, and you need to decide for yourself which one you like. Probably the best buy for a "do everything" binocular is a Nikon LX 8x32, if you can find one for $500-$700 (ebay).
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