Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/09/09

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica purchase decision conundrum
From: "Jack McLain" <>
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 06:49:10 -0700
References: <>

As an avid birder with a lot of years of binocular experience I offer this
advice re: the Leica binoculars.

The 8X42 is generally considered the better choice for fast moving, or
relatively in close (woodland) viewing. The 10X42 for farther out or more
static stuff. Many folks have problems finding their targets with the 10
power compared with the 8 since the field of view is narrower and the
magnification is higher (YMMV of course). The difference in detail observed
is seldom restricted with the 8 vs. the 10 except in the most extreme

I'd also strongly suggest you check out the Swarovski EL line before you buy
the Leica - sorry if this is heresy on this list! (I own both the Leica
8X42, and the Swarovski 8.5X42 EL and both are superb in their own ways
although the Swarovski has taken the lead within in the birding and wildlife
community as the default best of breed).  The most significant differences
between the two is the focusing, minimal focus distance, and the weight.
The Leica is my preference relative to focusing in that it focus with less
movement of the focus knob, but this is a minor issue.  The Swarovski
focuses much closer (important if you want to look at snakes, flowers or
butterflys for instance) and the Swarovski is far lighter - and dont
underestimate this if you plan on carrying the binoculars on a neck strap
for several hours - and presents a brighter and some say a higher resolution
with better color and contrast.  I tend to agree but these differences are
slight and may be irrelevant to your purposes. Eye relief is slightly better
with the Swarovski and if you wear glasses (sun or otherwise) this can make
a difference too.  The Swarovski glasses have eye shades that allow
intermediate settings while the Leicas are all the way in, or all the way
out (again, this can be important if you wear glasses).

The only way to buy the best (for you and your purposes) is to handle all
the considered models, set the diaptor to your eyes, and focus near and far
on moving subjects. There is no one size fits all at this high-end of

I havn't mentioned Zeiss, but they have their followers too (although fewer
and far between )

If you are interested I can provide you with a couple of web sites that give
more opinion and will confound you further  ;-)

Jack McLain
Tucson, AZ

- ----- Original Message ----- 
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 6:04 AM
Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica purchase decision conundrum

> Kip
> As to the magnification of the finder - I found my eyes worked better with
> the .85 mag finder and I had no intention of using anything wider than 35
> mm.  I have found this to be ideal for me, as I like the 90 mm focal
> and the .85 shows the 90 frames all by themselves.  However this said your
> .58 finder will probably work fine although the 90 frame will be a bit
> smaller.
> As to the Leica binoculars - I have the 10x42 and LOVE them, skip the
> 8x42's and get the 10x42, price difference is negligible and the
> in magnification is just right.  The 10x are also easy to hand hold steady
> also.
> Gene
>                       Sent by:                            To:
>                       owner-leica-users@mejac.palo        cc:
>                                      Subject:
[Leica] Leica purchase decision conundrum
>                       09/08/2003 06:08 PM
>                       Please respond to
>                       leica-users
> All:
> I'm wrestling with a Leica purchase decision that I'm hoping the group
> can help me with. I own an M6TTL, a 35mm Summicron, and a 50mm
> Noctilux. I've decided I'd like to try a focal length with a bit of
> magnification, and I've settled on the 90mm APO Summicron. However, my
> M6 has the 0.58 finder, chosen because I knew most of my shooting would
> be with the 35mm, a match that I love.
> Would the 90mm lens' focal length be extremely difficult to focus with
> the 0.58 finder, so much so that I should defer the purchase until some
> time (meaning probably a *long* time!) in the future when I can afford
> another body with a 0.72 or 0.85 finder? If so, the other Leica object
> I'm lusting for is the 8X42BN binoculars, which I could put to use
> right away on many upcoming trips...
> What to do?
> Kip Peterson
> San Diego
> --
> To unsubscribe, see
> --
> To unsubscribe, see

- --
To unsubscribe, see

In reply to: Message from (Re: [Leica] Leica purchase decision conundrum)