Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/20

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Subject: Re: [Leica] If Leica is too expensive what would be the best alternative?
From: Alexey Merz <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 12:22:44 +0100

Eric Welch wrote:
> At 07:57 AM 7/19/98 -0700, you wrote:
> >was leading himself towards purchasing the leica binoculars ($1000++).
> >he clearly wanted to purchase the binoculars for his family, he kept
> >trying them out on his daughter. i noticed that his level of "fuss"
> >went up about 3 notches when she had the leica binoculars in her hands
> >as opposed to the ashi pentax binoculars ($300). in fact, his fuss level
> >was raised to the point where his daughter was having a hard time
> As I understand it, Leica binoculars, some of them anyway, are nearly
> indestructable. And have lifetime warranties, no? Get one of the waterproof
> armoured ones and let the kids drool! :-)

I've done extensive (but subjective) side-by-side comparisons of Leica,
Zeiss, Swarovski, and other binoculars (used to work in a telescope
store), and I would buy the Swarovskis. The Leicas and Zeiss are a hair
more contrasty, but the Swarovski construction is both lighter and more 
robust. We'd drop the Swarovskis 4-5 feet onto a concrete floor as a 
demo, and not flinch. NO WAY would we do that with the Leicas (we 
were not a Lieca dealer, but mumerous pairs came through the shop) or
Zeisses, or any of the others. Our Swarovskis _never_ came out of 
alignment - we had a laser collimator on site, and checked.

For optical quality, the sample-to-sample variation within a particular
model was greater than the overall difference between the Leicas and 
Zeisses. Between those two it comes down to differences in optical and 
mechanical configurations.

For what it's worth, back then my vision was 20/10L and 20/15R.

Given the conditions that I'd use binoculars in - well, let's just 
say that with cameras, the only equivalent is my S.O.'s Nikonos.

Alexey Merz | URL: | email:
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            |"...during my five minutes of reflection, the world spent ten
            | million dollars on armaments in order that one hundred sixty
            | children could be murdered with utter impunity in the war of
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            | goes by the name of peace."                --Eduardo Galeano