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Leica Ultravid HD binoculars

Ralf Jurrien
IFA Report
Tuesday 28th, August 2007
Posted by: Ralf Jurrien

At the British Birdwatching Fair, held at the end of August 2007 at Rutland Water, Leica Camera AG of Germany will be exhibiting a new generation of Leica Ultravid binoculars. The optical performance of the new Leica Ultravid HD high-end binoculars is significantly increased in comparison to previous models. This increased performance is a result of the redesign of the optical system towards increased definition (hence the name HD for High Definition) which is implemented in the new Leica Ultravid models with lens diameter from 32 mm in the Leica Ultravid 8x32 HD through to the Leica Ultravid12 x 50 HD. The new Leica Ultravid HD models will be available from Leica retailers from November 2007.

Leica Ultravid HD binoculars

Leica Ultravid HD binocular - AquaDura coating
For the first time special types of fluorite glass is used in certain lens elements in every model; this ensures a sharp, brilliant picture, with no color fringing, and with excellent contrast right to the edge of the image. New too is the Leica AquaDura coating technology used on the external glass surfaces of Leica Ultravid HD binoculars, which allows water droplets on the lenses simply to drip cleanly away, ensuring improved vision even when it is raining. The binoculars can be used to the best effect even when the weather is bad, or in very humid conditions. Moreover, the special coating means that lenses can be cleaned much more easily and quickly. The Leica Ultravid 8x20 BR/BL compact binoculars and Leica Ultravid 10x25 BR/BL binoculars will still be supplied in the proven version.

Leica Ultravid binoculars - High performance lens elements
“At the focal point of this redesign was the desire to further improve the Ultravid line so that it would meet even the highest demands of exacting users. We have been able to provide a marked increase in the efficiency of the Ultravid line without compromising the compactness of the binoculars, a very desirable characteristic of Leica Ultravid models. We were able to incorporate the precision high-performance lens elements into the modified Ultravid binocular housing while maintaining its compactness and robustness,” said Tilman Taube, product manager for binoculars at Leica Camera AG.

Leica Ultravid HD binocular - Prism coating technology
Further new features of the Leica Ultravid HD binoculars include an improved prism coating technology, a choice of new glass materials with even greater light transmission, and the further improved coating on all lens surfaces to ensure a 3% increase in overall light transmission. The result is a brighter image in any viewing situation, even when the light is poor, for example at twilight where it is especially critical and therefore noticeable. By taking comprehensive measures to increase optical performance, it has also been possible to reduce the stray light on Leica Ultravid HD models, to provide a high-resolution, unrestricted and clear image, even when the sun is low and stray light enters the optical path in the binocular causing a decrease in overall contrast and definition.

Leica Ultravid HD binoculars - Reducing stray light
“The current Ultravid binoculars are already well-known to many users for their excellent capacity for reducing stray light. On the Ultravid HD models we have now been able to increase even more the binoculars’ ability for reducing stray light, by making refinements to the high-quality stray light aperture, with special proprietary finishes and by selecting the latest glass materials,” continued TiIman Taube.

Leica Ultravid HD binoculars - Extreme temperatures
Moreover the focusing mechanism on the Leica Ultravid HD binoculars has been improved to run even more smoothly and easily. The focusing operates almost without lubrication, so is fully functional even in extreme temperatures. While greased focusing mechanisms have the disadvantage that they become stiff when it is cold, yet move excessively freely at high temperatures, added to the risk that the grease will leak, and can even get into the lens assembly.

Leica HD Ultravid binoculars - Lens diameters
The Leica Ultravid HD models are supplied with different lens diameters. The binoculars come in the 32 model with 8x and 10x magnification, a 42 model with 7x, 8x and 10x magnification, and as a 50 model, with 8x, 10x and 12x magnification, with black rubber armoring.

Leica Ultravid binoculars - Sharpness & Adjusting diopters
Despite many new technical improvements, the design of the new Leica Ultravid HD binoculars continues to be user-friendly. The operating elements are adjusted to users’ requirements and for frequent use even in extreme viewing conditions, so that the binoculars can be comfortably used over a long period without causing tiredness. As the central operating element for setting sharpness and adjusting the diopters, the central focusing unit is set at an easy-to-reach position, and is simple to operate. The settings are always visible and easy to read off from the diopter sight window from the user’s position.

Leica Ultravid HD binoculars - Eye cups & Watertight design
The rotating sliding sleeve of the eye cups telescopes to two separate locked positions; and the soft cushioned rubber provides optimum eye positioning even for people who wear eyeglasses. The eye cups can be removed for easy cleaning. The Leica Ultravid HD model housing is provided with shock-absorbent rubber armoring to protect it from getting damaged. The slip-proof armoring ensures safe handling, and in conjunction with the ergonomic shape of the glass, ensures the binoculars can be gripped safely even in wet weather, and while wearing gloves. All models are watertight to five meters and nitrogen-filled.

Leica Ultravid HD binocular kit - Availability
The new Leica Ultravid HD models will be available from Leica retailers from November 2007. All models are supplied in a high-quality padded Codura case for optimum protection. Also supplied is a lens cap, a protective eyepiece cover, as well a contoured Neoprene carrying strap.

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