BREAKING: Leica releases new Noctivid binocular line

Drew WeberGeneral News and Info4 Comments

Leica has been teasing something new for a while, and has just announced a new flagship binocular. The press release is calling it “simply the brightest, sharpest, highest contrast and purest color images available in a binocular today”. Based on the specs (see below) and Leica’s reputation, I would wager that this is not just PR bluster, and that these new binoculars really perform. Can’t wait to try them out! The binoculars are launching shortly at BirdFair and I’m sure we’ll soon get more reviews.

The Noctivid’s come in the open-bridge style, something that has been increasingly common for binoculars, but a style never selected by Leica in its standard binocular lines. I am not a huge fan of this style, but that may be because I’ve always appreciated the smaller size of Ultravids compared to the (comparatively) much larger Zeiss and Swarovski flagship models. I’ll hold judgment on Leica’s attempt until I get to give them a try.

The Noctivid quite simply produces a WOW factor that is undeniably and immediately obvious. I fully expect to here many an audible gasps and exclamation as people bring these to their eyes for the first time at our launch event here in the UK! This is a product that has been wholly developed from the ground up that our talented designers & engineers have been working on for many years behind the scenes to insure all is perfect. As you can see both from the external size and shape and in the rendering of a “cut away” this is a wholly new mechanical and optical design. This is the only way we were going to show notable improvements over the already mind blowing Ultravid HD-Plus that is still being viewed as one of the best out there.

– Jeff Bouton


Some stats

  • 12 precise glass lenses of SCHOTT HT (High Transmission) for amazingly natural color rendition and increased brightness.
  • Improved geometry of lens surfaces for never-before achieved resolution and edge- to-edge image sharpness.
  • High-temperature plasma deposition lens coatings for perfectly balanced light transmission throughout the entire wavelength range of visible light.
  • An innovative new baffle system provides new levels of stray light reduction for improved image contrast.
  • New eyepiece design for longer eye-relief, nearer close focus, and wider field-of-view.
  • Lightweight, high-strength magnesium body with patented hardness Class 8 surface coating for superior corrosion protection.
  • All external lens surfaces benefit from Leica’s HDC® coating for superior abrasion resistance and Leica’s AuqaDura® lens coating provides for ease of cleaning and crystal-clear views in any weather.
  • Superior sealing and nitrogen purged for the highest-rated water-/fog-proof performance in any environment – submersible to 16 feet.
  • Rubber armoring for sure grip, added impact protection, and comfortable ergonomics.
  • High mechanical precision focusing system for properly metered focusing speed and tack-sharp images.

Check out Leica’s page on the new bins for more info. [note: website is not yet up when I last checked but should be coming soon]

I put together a quick comparison of some of the other flagship bins. Despite the more compact size, the Noctivid is right up in there in all the easy to compare stats, and I have no doubt it will stand out in color and clarity which I have always appreciated so much from Leica.

 Leica Noctivid 8 x 42Leica Ultravid HD+ 8 x 42Swarovski EL 8.5 x 42 W BZeiss Victory SF 8 x 42
Field of View @ 1000 yards404 ft389 ft399 ft444 ft
FOV Angle7.69°7.4°7.6°
Weight30.34 oz27.9 oz29.5 oz27.5 oz
Dimensions (L x W x H)5.9" x 4.9" x 2.3"5.6" x 4.75" x 2.6" in6.3" x 5.2" x 2.4"6.8" x 4.9" x
Price $2,599.00$2,149.00$2,549$2,343
Close focus6.2 ft9.8 ft4.9 ft5 ft
Light Transmission92%90%92%
Eye Relief19 mm15.5 mm20 mm18mm
StyleOpen BridgeClosed BridgeOpen BridgeOpen Bridge
  • Jeff Bouton

    I have it on great authority that the first production pieces should appear in the US any day now!

    • Yesssss! Can’t wait to try them out. Talking to folks who have looked through the early versions, the Noctivid sounds very impressive.

  • Troels Orvad

    Just went to test it against Swara and Zeiss flagship models.
    Optically it is better, especially so compared to Zeiss (tho also a bit heavier). But there
    is really a “significant design error” I dare to say with regards to the focusing
    wheel; it is a lot more narrow than on the Ultravid and it sits very
    high so really only fits the forefinger. You can of cause use just that one
    finger which tho significantly impair speed and precision of focusing compared
    to the use of two finger on the wheel, which we have become used to, or you can
    twist the hand to try and use both that forefinger and the long finger on the narrow
    wheel which is quite awkward really.
    On the Ultravid there were also some annoying, and for me surprising technical drawback, from the previous Trinovid,
    – lesser depth of field (as far as I could see), smaller field of view plus of cause that “smart” ridge on the back just where the thumb
    was resting (which I am happy to report has now gone), but it was still a big leap
    forwards due to the better optical performance. However, with the new Noctivid we
    get only a bit sharper bins but a focusing wheel that simply, and very sadly, didn’t
    work for me at least.
    So, Leica, if you read these lines, please release on updated version of the Noctivid with a proper wheel – on the double! (if not I
    suspect you might lose quite a lot of birders like me…)

    • That is very interesting to hear. Alas, I have not actually gotten my hands on a Noctivid to test it out for myself.