Leica vs. Zeiss Binoculars – Which of the two is a better option?

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Leica vs. Zeiss Binoculars

The joy of spotting your target while hunting is found in making use of the best quality binoculars even from the farthest distance. Even better, having the best pair of binoculars is a guarantee of versatility and durability at all times.

Imagine if you couldn’t spot a deer just because you were too far from it or because you couldn’t see through the bushes clearly or even just because it was moving too fast. I mean, wouldn’t it be such a disappointment to go back home without game?  But, having the best pair of binoculars with optimal optical performance and amazing build quality would mean that you can quickly spot your target even when you are hunting in low light conditions and you can comfortably hunt in extreme weather conditions and dynamic temperatures. A few binoculars that we can look at for your next purchase are the Leica and Zeiss Binoculars.

Here, I will explore the top features of the Leica Trinovid and the Leica Ultravid HD binoculars and compare them to the top features of the Zeiss Terra ED and the Zeiss Conquest HD to deduce which binoculars are a better addition to your hunting gear. Generally, hunters prefer the 8×42 and the 10×42 binoculars based on their multiple hunting needs so I will categorize them separately. To begin, the table below summarizes their top features and highlights their major differences.

What are the differences between the Leica and the Zeiss binoculars?

Leica Trinovid and Leica Ultravid HD 8×42 binoculars vs. Zeiss Terra ED and Zeiss Conquest HD 8×42 Binoculars

Ideal for hunters who are in need of an exceptionally wide field of view

Model
Leica Trinovid 8×42
Zeiss Terra ED 8×42
Leica Ultravid HD 8×42
Zeiss Conquest HD 8×42
Focus type
Center
Center
Center
Center
Prism
BAK4 (Roof)
Schmidt- Pechan
BAK4 (Roof )
Schmidt-Pechan
Physical Dimensions

(Length x Width)

5.5 x 4.6 inches
5.6 x 4.7 inches
5.6 x 4.8 inches
6.5 x 4.7 inches
Product weight
730 grams
725 grams
790 grams
793. 8 grams
Magnification
8x
8x
8x
8x
Objective Lens Diameter
42 mm
42 mm
42 mm
42 mm
Field of View

(Linear/ Angular)

372 feet at 1000 yards/ 6.75 °
376.51 feet at 1000 yards/6.9°
384 feet at 1000 yards/ 7.4°
389 feet at 1000 yards/ 7.4°
Minimum Close Focus Distance
5.9 feet
5.25 feet
9.84 feet
6.5 feet
Eye Relief
17 mm
18.3 mm
15.5 mm
18 mm
Exit pupil diameter
5.25 mm
5.25 mm
5.2 mm
5.25 mm
Interpupillary Distance
58 – 76 mm
58 – 75.5 mm
55 – 75 mm
54 – 74 mm
Housing features (optical tubes)
Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings
Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings
Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings
Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings
Weather resistance levels
Waterproof and Fog proof
Waterproof and Fog proof
Waterproof and Fog proof
Waterproof and Fog proof
Availability

 

Leica Trinovid and Leica Ultravid HD 10×42 binoculars vs. Zeiss Terra ED and Zeiss Conquest HD 10×42 binoculars

Ideal for hunters who are in need of binoculars with higher magnification

Model
Leica Trinovid 10×42
Zeiss Terra ED 10×42
Leica Ultravid HD 10×42
Zeiss Conquest HD 10×42
Focus type
Center
Center
Center
Center
Prism
BAK4 (Roof)
Schmidt- Pechan
BAK4 (Roof)
Schmidt – Pechan
Physical Dimensions

(Length x Width)

5.5 x 4.6 inches
5.59 x 4.7 inches
5.8 x 4.8 inches
6.5 x 4.7 inches
Product weight
730 grams
690 grams
750 grams
794 grams
Magnification
10x
10x
10x
10x
Objective Lens Diameter
42 mm
42 mm
42 mm
42 mm
Field of View

(Linear/ Angular)

339 feet at 1000 yards/ 6.1°
375 feet at 1000 yards/ 6°
337.35 feet at 1000 yards/ 6.3 °
345 feet at 1000 yards/ 6.6 °
Minimum Close Focus Distance
5.3 feet
5.25 feet
9.51 feet
6.5 feet
Eye Relief
15 mm
14 mm
16 mm
17 mm
Exit pupil diameter
4.2 mm
4.2 mm
4.2 mm
4.2 mm
Interpupillary Distance
58 – 76 mm
58 – 75.5 mm
55 – 75 mm
54 – 74 mm
Housing features (optical tubes)
Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings
Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings
Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings
Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings
Weather resistance levels
Waterproof and fog proof
Waterproof and fog proof
Waterproof and fog proof
Waterproof and fog proof
Availability

Leica vs. Zeiss Binoculars – How do they compare?

Construction Quality

The Leica binoculars are smaller and lighter than the Zeiss binoculars making them more compact and easier to carry around. However, the weight and size of binoculars are relative so you might as well go with one that meets your hunting requirements and personal preferences. A notable difference in their build quality is seen in their prisms, the Zeiss binoculars feature Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms while the Leica binoculars feature BAK4 roof prisms.

When looking into their weather resistant properties, both the Leica and the Zeiss binoculars are waterproof and fog proof. This is because their optical tubes are filled with fog proof Nitrogen and sealed with waterproof O-rings. In addition to that, they are both fitted with an ultra-hard rubber armoring which ensures non-slip grip at all times even in the wettest and coldest weather conditions. The rubber armoring also makes them rugged enough for extreme use. The Zeiss binoculars also have a stronger chassis than the Leica binoculars making them stronger and more durable.

Optical Performance

The optical performance of binoculars is determined by their eye relief, field of view, close focus performance and their image quality. To break this down further;

Field of view

The Zeiss binoculars have a wider field of view than the Leica binoculars. The Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 and the 10×42 have a wider field of view than the Leica Trinovid 8×42 and 10×42 binoculars. Also, the 8×42 and 10×42 Zeiss Conquest HD binoculars have a wider field of view than the Leica Ultravid HD 8×42 and 10×42 binoculars. So, it would be easier for you to locate your target especially if they are moving fast.

Close focus performance

When comparing the minimum close focus performance of the two binocular brands, we can identify that the Zeiss binoculars have a better close focus performance than the Leica binoculars. In the 8×42 binocular category, the Zeiss binoculars have a shorter close focus distance and the same goes for the 10×42 binocular category. This means that with the Zeiss binoculars you will be able to view more refined details at a close focus.

Eye relief

The eye relief distance is important in determining your comfort during hours of observation. When we compare the 8×42 models of the Zeiss and Leica binoculars, it is identifiable that the Zeiss binoculars have a longer eye relief than the Leica binoculars. If you wear glasses frequently, the Zeiss binoculars may be the most ideal option for you.

When looking into the 10×42 binocular models of the Zeiss and Leica binoculars, we can also identify that the Zeiss binoculars have a longer eye relief than the Leica binoculars. So, if you are in need of a higher magnification and are a frequent eye/sun glasses wearer, the Zeiss binoculars are the best addition to your hunting gear.

Image quality

The Zeiss binoculars provide you with a larger sweet spot than the Leica binoculars which makes their optical performance better. Also, they have a more advanced optical system which provide you with clearer, brighter and sharper views. They both feature multicoated coatings on their lenses and prism to ensure that you can acquire magnificent views.

Leica vs. Zeiss Binoculars – A Comparison Overview

Leica 8×42 Binoculars Review

Leica Trinovid 8×42

Leica 8x42 Trinovid - HD Binoculars
  • Crafted from the highest quality material
  • Perfect for outdoor and even indoor use
  • Made in Portugal

The Leica Trinovid 8×42 binoculars feature phase corrected prism that have been coated with highly reflective multi-coatings to maximize reflectivity and they have been fitted with fully multicoated anti-reflection coatings on their lenses to boost light transmission across the visible light spectrum. With these optical coatings, you are assured of high-contrast images that have true color rendition and very minimal distortion. They provide you with a decent 8x magnification that allows you to comfortably view distant subjects, a generous eye relief which provides you with a comfortable viewing experience at all times and a wide exit pupil to ensure a comfortable viewing experience.

They have been designed with a magnesium allow chassis that is corrosion resistant and sturdy enough to withstand extreme use. Their external body is covered with a rubber armor that provides you with a non-slip grip in all kinds of weather conditions and protects it from damage. Their optical tubes are filled with fog proof Nitrogen and sealed with waterproof O-rings to ensure their weather resistant performance. They come with an ocular rain guard and lens covers which contribute to their convenience.

Pros

  • They feature premium Leica optics that provide you with sharp and high contrast images at all times
  • They have an amazing close focus performance
  • They come with an innovative carrying system that allows for quick and comfortable use
  • They are compact and sturdy due to their lightweight chassis that is alloyed with Magnesium

Cons

  • There is a slight white glow at the bottom of the view when it gets brighter outside
  • They are not tripod adaptable

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Leica Ultravid HD

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Leica 40093 Ultravid 8 x 42 HD Plus (Black)
  • The prisms of the new binoculars are made from specially formulated SCHOTT glasses with exceptional...
  • The Leica Ultravid HD-Plus 42 binoculars therefore also offer increased contrast performance in all...
  • The Leica Ultravid HD-Plus 42 models are available with 7×, 8× and 10× magnification and are...
  • The binoculars feature exceptionally high-quality lenses that reduce flare to an absolute minimum

The Leica Ultravid HD 8×42 binoculars feature improved optical technologies such as HD glass elements which deliver bright and clear images with enhanced contrast and true color fidelity even when you are hunting in low light conditions. They feature a hydrophobic coating on their outer lenses to provide you with a clearer vision and a durable scratch-and-abrasion resistant coating to protect lens surfaces. They have a chassis that is alloyed with magnesium which makes them compact, lightweight and durable. Their optical tubes are Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings to ensure their fog proof and waterproof performance. They have been fitted with a rubber armoring towards their exterior making them slip-resistant and durable.

Pros

  • Increased contrast performance especially when you are hunting in low light conditions
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • High quality lenses that minimize flare to an absolute minimum
  • Shock absorbent armoring for added protection
  • Versatile and user-friendly

Cons

  • Central hinge may be slightly stiff making it difficult to focus at the beginning of use

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Zeiss 8×42 Binoculars Review

Zeiss Terra ED 8×42

Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 Binoculars for Hunting, Birdwatching, Outdoor, Traveling, Black (524203-9901-000)
  • 88% LIGHT TRANSMISSION - SCHOTT ED glass with a hydrophobic multi-coating provides optical clarity and...
  • COMFORTABLE, FAST FOCUSING - The large, smooth and easy-to-grip focus wheel makes focusing particularly...
  • ZEISS T* COATING - a guarantee of the brilliant, high-contrast images­­ which you will experience above...
  • COMPACT, LIGHT AND ROBUST - With its waterproof casing reinforced with glass fibers, Terra ED bino...

The Zeiss Terra ED binoculars feature an ergonomic chassis made from fiberglass reinforced polycarbonate which makes them compact enough for all your outdoor activities and comfortable to hold especially during long hours of observation. Their optical performance has been optimized using SCHOTT ED glass, compact and lightweight Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms and proprietary multi-coatings on the lenses. These elements enhance your viewing experience by providing you with clear, bright and natural-looking views with zero image distortion across the whole field of view. They have a rubber armoring which provides you with a non-slip grip and durable binocular protection even when under extreme use. Their optical tubes are Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings to ensure their waterproof and fog proof performance.

Pros

  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Compact, light and robust
  • Good light collection abilities
  • Comfortable and fast focusing
  • Provides you with a clear view at all times no matter the weather

Cons

  • There is some kind of haloing that happens as you view
  • The metal faster at the end of the binocular strap seem to pose a risk of scratching the lenses

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Zeiss Conquest HD

The Zeiss Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars provide you with a comfortable 8x magnification which allows you to comfortably view distant subjects while hunting and a generous 42 mm objective lens that enhances their light collecting abilities when you are hunting in twilight conditions. Their optical performance have been optimized with the HD lens system, LotuTec and Zeiss multi-layer coatings on the lenses and prisms to ensure a higher optical standard of clearer, sharper and brighter views. To ensure your comfort when viewing with or without glasses, they have been fitted with twist up-and-down eyecups that you can adjust at any time based on your preference. They have a large center focusing knob which you can easily access even when you are wearing gloves and their optical tubes have been filled with fog proof Nitrogen and sealed with waterproof O-rings which makes them rugged enough for use in all kinds of weather conditions and environments.

Pros

  • Very sharp, bright and clear pictures
  • Comfortable and non-slip grip
  • Rugged enough to withstand extreme use
  • Waterproof and fog proof

Cons

  • The lens covers constantly fall off so you may lose them easily

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Leica 10×42 Binoculars Review

Leica Trinovid 10×42

Leica Trinovid 10 X 42 HD Binocular
  • The Trinovid 10X42 HD offers excellent contrasts, optimum color reproduction and very good light...
  • Compact design Ð ideally balanced and light in weight
  • Large fields of view offer excellent panoramas, even for distant, unpredictable terrain
  • Outstanding close-up limit: under 6.2 ft / 1.9 m

The Leica Trinovid 10×42 binoculars provide you with a powerful 10x magnification, an exceptionally wide field of view and a generous eye relief to enhance your viewing experience during hours of observation as you hunt. They feature phase corrected prisms, anti-refection multi-coated optics and highly reflective prism multi-coating which work together to provide you with high contrast images that have true color rendition and zero image distortion. Their chassis is alloyed with Magnesium making them lightweight and sturdy which allows for comfortable use and easy handling. Their external body is covered with a rubber armor which protects them from scratches and bumps. The rubber armoring also provides you with a non-slip grip when you are using them in cold or wet conditions. Their optical tubes are filled with fog proof Nitrogen and sealed with O-rings which makes them highly weather resistant.

Pros

  • Very good light transmission
  • Outstanding close up limit
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Large field of view

Cons

  • Lots of edge distortion

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Leica Ultravid HD 10×42

Leica 40094 Ultravid 10 x 42 HD Plus (Black)
  • The prisms of the new binoculars are made from specially formulated SCHOTT glasses with exceptional...
  • The Leica Ultra vid HD-Plus 42 binoculars therefore also offer increased contrast performance in all...
  • The Leica Ultra vid HD-Plus 42 models are available with 7×, 8× and 10× magnification and are...
  • The binoculars feature exceptionally high-quality lenses that reduce flare to an absolute minimum

The Leica Ultravid HD 10×42 binoculars feature advanced HD glass elements which deliver high contrast images with true color fidelity and reduced image distortion even when you are hunting at dusk or dawn. They provide you with 10x magnification which is powerful enough to identify distant subjects when you are hunting. They provide you with an exceptionally wide apparent viewing angle which allows you to comfortably use these high magnification binos without having to use stabilization equipment. They use SCHOTT HT glass which maximizes light transmission, enhances low light performance and improves color fidelity. Their outer lenses have been fitted with hydrophobic coatings and scratch-and-abrasion resistant coatings to provide you with clearer vision and easier lens cleaning. Their optical tubes are Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings which makes them fog proof and waterproof.

Pros

  • Durable, versatile and portable
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Crystal clear vision
  • Advanced optical system

Cons

  • Very sensitive focusing knob so your focus may get distorted easily

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Zeiss 10×42 Binoculars Review

Zeiss Terra ED 10×42

Zeiss Terra ED 10x42 Binoculars, Black
  • 10x magnification for delivering breathtaking enlarged images; field of view at 1000m - 110 m; apparent...
  • Effective lens diameter - 42 mm; Exit pupil diameter - 4.2 mm
  • Weatherproof: the operating temperature range of 24 to 140°F and the waterproof body, these outdoor...
  • The binocular is suitable for birdwatching, hunting, nature observation, travelling and outdoor...

The Zeiss Terra 10×42 binoculars have a powerful magnification of 20x and they provide you with a generous objective lens that allows you to comfortably hunt during twilight hours. They feature an ergonomic chassis made from fiberglass reinforced polycarbonate which makes them compact enough for all your outdoor activities and comfortable to hold especially during long hours of observation. Their optical performance has been optimized using SCHOTT ED glass, compact and lightweight Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms and proprietary multi-coatings on the lenses. These elements enhance your viewing experience by providing you with clear, bright and natural-looking views with zero image distortion across the whole field of view. They have a rubber armoring which provides you with a non-slip grip and durable binocular protection even when under extreme use. Their optical tubes are Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings to ensure their waterproof and fog proof performance.

Pros

  • Generous objective lens
  • Decent optical performance
  • Weatherproof
  • Multi-purpose binoculars

Cons

  • They may need constant refocusing due to their sensitive central focusing knob

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Zeiss Conquest HD 10X42

Zeiss 8x32 Conquest HD Binocular with LotuTec Protective Coating (Black)
  • Best used for birdwatching, nature observation, travelling, outdoor activities
  • HD lens system for superb color rendition
  • T premium lens coatings for supreme brightness
  • LotuTec external lens coatings shed moisture and resist scratching

The Zeiss Conquest HD 10×42 binoculars provide you with a more powerful magnification that allows you to concentrate more on a focused subject for more refined detail during hours of observation. They have a massive objective lens which provides optimal light gathering abilities when you are hunting in low light conditions such as dusk and dawn. Their optical tubes are O-ring sealed making them waterproof to 13 feet and are fog proof enough to prevent a condensation build up on their internal structure. They feature multi-layer lens and prism coatings which reduces glare and light loss that is often as a result of reflection. Their optical performance has been optimized with HD glass which reduces chromatic aberration that could cause image distortion. They have a LOtuTec coating which prevents the accumulation of oil, dirt and debris on the lens so that you can get a clearer view. They have a large center focusing knob which is easily accessible even in the wettest or coldest weather conditions. They have twist up-and-down eyecups alongside a decent eye relief to ensure your comfort when viewing with or without glasses.

Pros

  • Advanced optical system
  • Multi-purpose binoculars
  • Rugged, compact and sophisticated design
  • Waterproof and fog proof

Cons

  • Cumbersome lens covers

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Conclusion

The major differences between the 8×42 and 10×42 models of the Leica and Zeiss binoculars is seen in their magnification, their eye relief, their size and their optical performance. They have all been designed to meet all our outdoor needs but the one you choose for your activity gear should be based on your hunting requirements or your personal preference.

Final Verdict: So, which are better, the Leica or the Zeiss binoculars?

The Zeiss binoculars are better than the Leica binoculars. They provide you with a wider field of view which makes it easier for you to locate your target while hunting, they have a longer eye relief which makes viewing comfortable for you and they have an exceptional close focus performance which makes them a great addition to your hunting gear.

FAQs

Does the center hinge of my Leica Trinovid 8×42 binoculars have a connection point for a tripod adapter?

Unfortunately not. The Leica Trinovid 8×42 binoculars are not tripod adaptable.

Do the Zeiss Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars have some kind of image stabilization?

Unfortunately not. If you would want a more steady view you would need to make use of a tripod.

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