Binocular Review: Leica Trinovid HD 8×42
What I love about the Leica Trinovid HD 8×42 is that is very comparable in many ways to the Leica Ultravid HD-Plus, especially during the day and normal light conditions. BUT, the Trinovid is substantially less expensive, normally around half the cost (~$1,000).
Of course, to get the price down there has to be some cuts, which I will highlight in this review.
*Need help understanding all the features that come on a binocular? Read my post How To Select Bird Watching Binoculars! It explains what is important in a binocular to a birder and will make your shopping experience more educated and enjoyable.*
If you want to purchase the Ultravid HD Plus, I have found Amazon normally has the best prices on binoculars. If you know of a place that has a better deal, please let me know!!
Glass and Image:
- It uses a special kind of high transmission glass (Schott glass) in the prisms. This glass has a special ability to transmit light in the blue-violet spectrum.
- So what does this mean to birders?? Basically, this lets us see so much more detail in low light settings such as dawn or dusk.
- The ED (Extra Low Dispersion) glass is great, but is of a lower quality than the Ultravid. (*This is one of those places where they had to cut on quality to lower the price.*)
- All of the lenses are fully multi-coated with their HDC™ coating and Leica AquaDura™ coating. Leica advertises that they use “innovative coating processes” and a “sophisticated system of baffles keep stray light at a minimum.”
- With that being said, from a binocular novice point of view, the image is outstanding. The detail and colors look incredible!
- The prisms have a phase correcting coating P40 and HighLux-System HLS™. The anti-reflective material reduces reflections and minimizes stray light.
Waterproof and Durability:
- Special protective coating on any external glass (lenses) by Leica called The AquaDura coating. This help protects against dirt, water and fingerprints on the lenses.
- Nitrogen purged to prevent fogging.
- Magnesium body, which is higher quality than the poly-carbonate body on less expensive bins. Also, no plastic parts anywhere!
- Magnification: 8x
- Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
- Field of View: 372 feet at 1,000 yards. 124 meters at 1,000 meters
- Close Focusing Distance: 5.9 feet / 1.8 m
- Weight: 25.75 ounces / 1.60 pounds
- Eye Relief: 17mm
- What’s Included: New for this binocular is something Leica calls the “Adventure Strap”. It is made from neoprene and is both the strap and case for the Trinovids. It is very comfortable! I could see myself using these on a long hike where I wanted to access my binoculars.
- For more specs and technical information, check out Leica’s website.
- Leica includes a Lifetime Warranty for manufacturer defects.
- If you register your new purchase within 30 days, they also include their Passport Warranty for 3 years. The Passport Warranty covers accidental damage, which is really great!
- Both of these are non transferable. This means if you buy a used Leica, these warranties do not apply.
The Leica Trinovid HD is an excellent optic. It is advertised as a “premium entry level binocular”, with the emphasis on “premium” at around $1,000 to purchase. With any product from Leica, you can expect exceptional engineering and optical quality.
The company, which is based in Germany, has been around a long time (1914) and has been a leader in the optics industry ever since. “German engineering” does not only sound cool, but it really is important and in this case means high quality.
I found the images to be very bright and clear, especially in normal light conditions. The design of the Trinovid was also excellent and fit easily in my hand. It’s easy to imagine birding all day and not getting annoyed at it’s sleek feel.
The Trinovid HD is significantly cheaper than it’s cousin, the Leica Ultravid HD. When comparing them both, they are very similar and at first it’s hard to tell why the Ultravid’s are more than twice the cost. Here are the reasons:
- Overall lens quality. They both use ED glass, but the Trinovid is a lower quality than the Ultravid’s. The difference is going to be noticed when there is low light, such as searching for birds in the canopy or at sunrise/sunset. This is when the Ultravid’s really shine (Pun intended!)
- The Trinovid’s are manufactured in Leica’s Portugal factory, not in Wetzlar, Germany (company headquarters and where Ultravid’s are manufactured).
- Field of View is smaller on the Trinovid’s. (372 feet vs 389 feet)
- But, to give the Trinovid’s some credit, they have a closer close focus (5.9 feet vs 9.8 feet) and are a few ounces lighter.
As will all the gear listed on my site, they only appear if they come highly recommended. I went through dozens of other binoculars to finally end up with the optics on this site.
As mentioned before, I could not find a better price that buying these on Amazon: Leica Camera Co. 8×42 Trinovid HD Binoculars
My personal preference for bird watching binoculars is an 8×42 (magnification x objective diameter). This is a much debated topic with no right nor wrong answer, it just comes down to the individual birder. I mention this because the Ultravid HD Plus also has a model with a 10x magnification, check it out on Amazon Leica Camera Co. 10×42 Trinovid HD Binoculars
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