Leica Trinovid HD Review: A Premium Binocular at Half the Cost!
How do you have your cake and eat it too?
Here is what I mean:
Everyone wants high quality products AND the lowest price possible. Of course, this is mostly an oxymoron. Good AND cheap rarely go together.
Enter the Leica Trinovid HD: Check Today's Price
I am convinced that the Leica Trinovid HD binocular is about as close as you will get to finding the best of both worlds. It’s a great combination of quality, performance AND price.
Stick with me and let’s dig a bit deeper during this Leica Trinovid review:
First, let’s talk about the cost.
If you have spent anytime shopping for nature or birding binoculars, you have probably noticed that you can spend anywhere from $20 all the way to $3,000.
*Related Link: The 8 Best Bird Watching Binoculars of 2017*
This is obviously a huge difference. Nobody wants to pay more than they need. But it’s also a waste of money to purchase an optic that is cheap and ineffective. It’s important to ensure we are getting a great value on each dollar we spend!
Back to the Leica Trinovid. The price is not cheap. Normally it’s around $1,000, Check Today's Price which is still on the higher end as far as price goes. It’s considered a “premium, second tier” binocular.
But the Trinovid guarantees that you have a great binocular for nature observation or bird watching AND it’s still significantly less expensive than its cousin, the Leica Noctivid.
The rest of this Leica Trinovid review will focus on some of the reasons (5 to be exact!) you may want to purchase.
We might as well start with the reason any of us buy binoculars in the first place! We want to see the action as clearly as possible.
When it comes to image quality, the Leica Trinovid delivers.
First, they use very high quality Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass.
ED Glass is very sought after because of it’s ability to avoid chromatic aberration, which is the inability of a binocular to bring all the different wavelengths of color back together. It’s a common optics problem and defined by colored edges or blurriness in your image.
Industry Leading Coatings:
First, all of the lenses are coated with their patented HDC™ coating. It’s hard to get much information about their specific coating process because it’s a trade secret, but this coating is advertised as an “innovative coating processes” with a “sophisticated system of baffles keep stray light at a minimum.”
Second, the high quality prisms have an anti-reflective phase correcting coating applied that reduces reflections and minimizes stray light.
What does this mean to us?
It allows more light through that helps to see much more detail, especially during low light situations such as sunrise or sunset. It helps to brighten the image.
Getting as much light as possible through the binocular to reach your eye will always be one of the biggest challenges that manufacturers face. Years and years of research has been dedicated to solving this simple (but hard to solve) problem.
The image quality of the Leica Trinovid is hard to beat.
The colors are crisp. The image is bright. It performs exceptionally well in low light situations. Chromatic Aberration is kept to a minimum. The amount of detail blows many people away, especially if you are used to a lower quality optic.
2. Waterproof and Durable:
“Every time I use my binoculars its 70 degrees and sunny.” – Said no one ever.
It’s quite the opposite actually.
A binocular needs to be able to withstand extreme weather, such as rain, snow, sleet and humidity. It also needs to survive some abuse such as the occasional drop into a river or on a rock.
The Leica Trinovid HD seems to be up to the challenge.
On the external lenses, Leica applies a hydrophobic type of coating. This repels and protects against dirt, fingerprints and water from smudging up the image. The Trinovid HD does NOT have the Leica patented AquaDura coating.
As most quality binoculars, the Trinovid is waterproofed and nitrogen purged to prevent fogging.
The body is made from magnesium. This is higher quality than the poly carbonate used on other binoculars and nice not to see any cheap plastic anywhere!
Lastly, the magnesium body is coated in a rubber armoring to absorb impacts that are bound to happen. If you don’t drop your binocular every so often then it needs to get used more!
Personally, I like how the Trinovid fits and feels in my hand. It’s more compact than most (less than 6 inches in length) binoculars and the rubber armoring has a slightly sticky feel which gave me confidence this won’t slip out of my hand easily.
“Representing a compact design with uncompromising resolution power and almost indestructible construction.” – Straight from Leica’s website.
Sounds great to me and sums it up pretty well!
3. Strong Company, Strong Warranty:
If not, here are the facts you need to know.
Leica has been a leader in the optics industry for a LONG time. Started in 1914 in Germany, they have a long and storied history of innovation and quality products.
They have over 100 years of design and experimentation under their belt. Just think how much money Leica has poured into research and development through time! From their lens and prism coatings to the glass quality to the ergonomic design, Leica has been perfecting their product and approach for a long time.
They continue to be on the cutting edge of modern engineering and mechanical precision and a leader in excellent optics that are perfect for birding.
From their binoculars to cameras to scopes, their products are very well respected and almost always receive high praise and positive reviews.
So what does this mean to us?
It means a lot less risk!
I don’t like taking chances when spending a lot of money on any product. Having a 100 year history of success for a company is very hard to accomplish. Just by being in business that long, Leica has to be doing something right.
To help put customers minds at easy, Leica also includes a pretty good warranty on their products.
First, they include a Lifetime Warranty for any manufacturer defects. If something happens 60 years from now, they will still fix it for you.
Second, they have something called a Passport Warranty. This is great because it covers accidental damage, such as falling on a slippery rock in a river.
- The Passport Warranty is only good for 3 years AND you must register your NEW Leica within 30 days of purchase.
- Register Here
- Please note, these warranties are nontransferable if you buy a used product.
4. Great Specifications for Watching Nature:
For this Leica Trinovid HD review I have focused on a binocular with 8x magnification and 42mm objective lens diameter (8×42 – otherwise known as the “numbers” of your binocular).
Personally, this is the size that I prefer for bird watching. I feel it’s the best combination of wide field of view, brightness and magnification. For those that disagree, the Trinovid HD also comes in a few other size combinations (8 x 32, 10 x 32 and 10 x 42.)
Let’s Review ALL of the technical specifications and what it means to you:
Leica Trinovid HD (8 x 42)
Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
Field of View (FOV): 372 feet at 1,000 yards (124m at 1,000m)
- FOV is one of the most important features I consider when selecting binoculars for viewing wildlife. It is a requirement that they have a wide of FOV as possible! This ensures as much of the action is observed as possible.
- Unfortunately, the Field of View is good but not great on the Trinovid when compared against other binoculars in the same class.
Close Focus: 5.9 ft (1.8 m) <—- This is exceptional!
- Having a low Close Focus allows you to get as close to your subject as possible and still have a clear image through your binocular. Obviously very important when watching birds (especially in a brush pile) or butterflies.
Weight: 26.5 oz / 750g
- This is an average weight for an 8×42 size binocular. There are models heavier and lighter.
Dimensions (W x H x D): (4.6 x 5.5 x 2.6 in) OR (140 x 117 x 65 mm)
- Very compact and easy to hold!
Important information for those that wear eye glasses:
- Eye Relief: 17mm
- Removable eye pieces with 4 click stops.
View the Leica Trinovid HD brochure below.
It does a great job of comparing the 8×42 AND 10×42 technical data against each other.View Brochure
5. Bonus Gift When Purchased: The Leica Adventure Strap
Let me be clear.
Do not buy the Leica Trinovid HD because of the “Adventure Strap.” It is just a fun bonus that Leica sends along with each purchase. Some people love it, some think it fits weird.
It’s a neoprene carrying strap that is designed to fit snugly on your body and allow for fast access to your binoculars. It also serves as a bag to make sure the Trinovid is protected.
Check out the look of strap below:View Adventure Strap
One last thought: Leica Trinovid HD vs the Leica Noctivid
The Trinovid HD is an amazing binocular but significantly cheaper than its cousin, the Leica Noctivid which is considered the best binocular that Leica manufactures.
What’s the difference between the two?
It can be hard to tell at first glance, but here are some reasons why the Noctivid is more than twice the cost.
- Overall lens and prism quality: They both use ED glass, but the Trinovid is a lower quality than the Noctivids. You will notice the difference when there is low light, such as searching for birds in the canopy or at sunrise/sunset. This is when the Noctivids really shine (Pun intended!) Not to say the Trinovids don’t have an amazing image quality, but the Noctivid may be the best on the market. View Noctivid Price
- For example, the Noctivid uses the highest quality SCHOTT glass available. Leica Germany is not specific about the type of glass in the Trinovid but it is assumed it is not SCHOTT glass.
- AquaDura Coating: This Leica patented coating is not used on the Trinovid to protect the external lenses. It is on the Noctivid.
- Field of View is smaller on the Trinovid’s. (372 feet vs 404 feet)
- But, to give the Trinovid’s some credit, they have a closer close focus (5.9 ft vs 9.8 ft) and are a few ounces lighter
And if this Leica Trinovid review was not enough, the video below shows them in action (along with the adventure strap):
Next Step: Please do 1 of the following 2 things!
1. Buy the Leica Noctivid from one of these three places:
- Amazon: Leica Trinovid HD
- Normally priced around $2,500. I love their customer service, fast shipping and amazing prices.
- B&H Photo Video: Leica Trinovid HD
- Experts at anything optics, photo or video. Prices are very comparable to Amazon, sometimes better with free 2 day shipping.
- Support a local business!
- Find a local Leica dealer and purchase in person. It will probably be a bit more expensive but you will receive the expertise of a local professional.
2. Keep Researching!
Not convinced the Leica Trinovid HD is the best choice?
I completely understand. Buying binoculars is a big decision and it’s best to take your time and do your research!
I recommend checking out one of the following resources:
- This should give some ideas of other binoculars that would be a great choice for bird watching. Includes optics across all different price ranges. (From $125 to $2,600)
- Were some of the terms used in this post unfamiliar? If so, please read this guide to understand the lingo, specifications and technical data of binoculars.
- The Zeiss Conquest HD is a great binocular in the same price range and class as the Leica Trinovid HD.
Leica Trinovid HD Review Summary:
This binocular is a great fit if you are looking for a premium binocular at a more affordable price.
What other questions do you have? How can I improve this Leica Trinovid review? Ask below and I will do my best to answer!