Are you trying to find the perfect binoculars?
You may be asking yourself, how do I have my cake and eat it too?
Everyone wants high-quality products AND the lowest price possible. Of course, this combination is nearly impossible to find. Good and cheap RARELY go together.
Enter the Leica Trinovid HD:
I am convinced that the Leica Trinovid HD binocular is about as close as you will get to finding the best of everything. It’s a great combination of quality, performance, AND price.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into what the Leica Trinovid has to offer:
If you have spent any time shopping for nature or birding binoculars, you have probably noticed that you can pay anywhere from $20 all the way to $3,000.
This range of prices presents a huge challenge. Nobody wants to pay more than they need, but it’s also a waste of money to purchase cheap and ineffective binoculars. It’s vital that we get an excellent value for each dollar we spend!
The Leica Trinovid is considered a “premium, second-tier” binocular. The price is around $1,000, which is on the higher end for most hobbyists. But the Trinovid guarantees that you have an excellent binocular for nature observation and bird watching, AND it’s significantly less expensive than its cousin, the Leica Noctivid.
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 sought after because of its ability to avoid chromatic aberration. Essentially, binoculars have a hard time bringing all the different wavelengths of color back together. This is a common optics problem and is defined by colored edges or blurriness in your image.
- Secondly, all of Leica’s 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 it is advertised as an “innovative coating process” with a “sophisticated system of baffles to keep stray light at a minimum.”
- Finally, the high-quality prisms have an anti-reflective phase-correcting coating. This special coating applied to the interior prisms reduces reflections and minimizes stray light.
What does this mean to us? The image quality of the Leica Trinovid is hard to beat.
- The colors are crisp, the image is bright, and 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 lesser-quality optic.
“Every time I use my binoculars, it’s 70 degrees and sunny.” – Said no one ever.
In fact, if you’re anything like me, it’s quite the opposite. 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 is up to the challenge.
- Leica applies a hydrophobic coating to its exterior lenses. This repels dirt and water, and protects against fingerprints smudging up the image. However, the Trinovid HD does NOT have the Leica patented AquaDura coating.
- As with most quality binoculars, the Trinovid is waterproofed and nitrogen-purged. This ensures they are watertight, preventing condensation and fogging.
- The body is made of magnesium, which is more durable than polycarbonate used on other binoculars. Plus, you won’t see cheap plastic anywhere on these!
- Lastly, the magnesium body is coated with rubber armoring to absorb impacts. If your binocular isn’t dropped every so often, you probably aren’t using it enough! 🙂
Personally, I like how the Trinovid fits and feels in my hand. It’s more compact than most binoculars (less than 6 inches in length), and the rubber armoring has a slightly sticky feel which helps prevent it from slipping.
Leica’s website sums up this feature perfectly:
“Representing a compact design with uncompromising resolution power and almost indestructible construction.”
#4. Strong Company, Strong Warranty
Do you know much about Leica? If not, here are the important facts about this optics company, founded in Germany in 1914.
- They have over 100 years of design and experimentation under their belt. Just think how much money Leica has poured into research and development! From its lens and prism coatings to the glass quality to the ergonomic design, Leica has been perfecting its product and approach for a long time.
- They continue to be on the cutting edge of modern engineering and mechanical precision. They’re an industry leader in excellent optics that are perfect for birding.
- From binoculars to cameras to scopes, their products are very well respected and consistently receive high praise and positive reviews.
So what does this mean to us?
In short, purchasing a Leica binocular involves 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 ease, Leica also includes a good warranty on their products.
First, they include a Lifetime Warranty for any manufacturer defects. If something happens because of a manufacturer’s defect, even 60 years from now, they will still fix it.
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 TEN years, AND you must register your NEW Leica within 30 days of purchase.
- Register your Leica product here!
Please note these warranties are nontransferable. They don’t apply if you buy a used product.
#5. 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 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 for the Leica Trinovid 8×42:
Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
Field of View (FOV): 372 ft at 1,000 yds (124 m at 1,000 m)
- FOV is one of the most important features I consider when selecting binoculars for viewing wildlife. It is a requirement that the FOV is as wide as possible! This allows you to view more of the action at one time.
- Unfortunately, the Field of View is good but not great when compared to 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. This is obviously very important when watching birds or butterflies, especially in dense brush.
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 comfortable to hold!
Relevant information for those that wear eyeglasses:
- Eye Relief: 17mm
- Removable eyepieces with four 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.
#6. Bonus Gift: The Leica Adventure Strap
Let me be clear. You should NOT buy the Leica Trinovid HD because of the “Adventure Strap.” It’s 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 protect the Trinovid.
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 Noctivid. 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 Noctivid shines (Pun intended!) The Trinovid still has amazing image quality, but the Noctivid may be the best on the market.
- 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.
- The Field of View is smaller on the Trinovid. (372 feet vs. 404 feet)
- But, to give the Trinovid credit, it outperforms on close focus (5.9 ft vs. 9.8 ft) and is a few ounces lighter.
This video shows The Leica Trinovid in action.
1. Buy the Leica Trinovid from one of these three places:
- Amazon: Leica Trinovid HD
- I love Amazon’s fast shipping and amazing prices.
- B&H Photo: Leica Trinovid (8×42)
- Experts at anything optics, photo, or video. B&H’s prices are sometimes lower than Amazon, and they may even include a bonus giveaway.
- 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. It includes optics across all different price ranges. (From $125 to $2,600)
- The Zeiss Conquest HD is an excellent binocular in the same price range and class as the Leica Trinovid HD.
Do you have the Leica Trinovid HD Binoculars?
Tell us about your experience in the comments!