The Leica Duovid binoculars offer two different magnifications, with one setting at 8 x and the other option at 12 x. The model’s object lenses are forty-two millimeters in diameters, which is pretty impressive. Weighing in at two and a half pounds, this is one of the heavier models of birding binoculars we have reviewed, but this didn’t stop consumers from giving it a high review and plenty of positive feedback.
There are many advantages of using binoculars for birding compared to other optical options. Binoculars are very portable and much lighter than a large telephoto camera lens or spotting scopes. Binoculars also afford the user with a more three dimensional view of a bird, since they are looking through a couple of tubes and viewing a bird using both eyes.
Because a person’s vision is stereoscopic and binoculars allow you to sight birds through a couple of optical devices, it gives the user the most natural view possible. Last of all, many telephoto lenses and spotting scopes actually require the use of additional support, such as a tripod, in order to promote steady viewing. This means you’ll need to lug around more gear on your birding adventures.
Product Overview and Features
When you’re shopping for a pair of binoculars, you’ll notice that all models are described by two numbers, such as 12×42. The first number will tell you how many times an object can be magnified, while the second number tells you the objective lens diameter in millimeters. Binoculars that are 12×42 can magnify an image twelve times and feature an objective lens that measures in at forty-two MM in diameter. When you compare other models of equal quality, the higher the difference between the two numbers, the brighter and sharper the image. However, there are some practical limits.
For most people, models that are equipped with objectives that are larger than forty-two MM will be too heavy and big to carry around for several hours. Models that feature an objective that’s smaller than thirty MM will be easy to carry because they’re very lightweight, however, they are probably not bright enough to display all the details you want to see in low lighting situations. Most pros tend to choose full sized models that feature objective lenses that are forty-two MM in diameter. Full-sized models will provide you with almost all the detail the human eye is capable of seeing.
When you look through these binoculars, you’ll see images that are crisp and clear and colorful and sharp, even in low light conditions. These binoculars also give the user the ability to switch the magnifications from eight to twelve, which is very useful in areas with heavy brush and trees.
If you want binoculars with image stabilization we suggest checking out our Canon IS review.
For birders who wear glasses, if you choose to use these binoculars without your glasses on and you’re nearsighted, the binoculars need adjustment beyond where they’d be focused for birders with 20/20 vision. So, in order to focus on an object that’s thirty feet away, you must adjust the binoculars to focus as if the object is about forty feet away. This will provide you with the clearest image.
This is pretty common for nearsighted users, however, the only issue that may arise is when you’re focusing on an object that’s close to the model’s infinity setting. Unfortunately, the Duovid doesn’t provide much of a viewing experience past this setting.
Design and Coatings
A stylish compact model, the Duovid is the only high performance model that offers dual power. Switching magnification is simple and can be done by rotating the eyepiece rings. The ADC, also known as the automatic diopter compensation, works to maintain the birder’s diopter setting and focus, when the user is switching between the magnifications. This means hassle-free viewing at any magnification setting.
Click here to visit our buyer’s guide on birding binoculars.
These binoculars are considered the ultimate in performance and versatility. The only high performance dual power binocular on earth, this model allows the user to switch magnifications with just a simple rotation of the eyepiece rings.
This model also includes the high lux system. On these binoculars is a forty-two layer prism coating that works to increase usable light transmission while bringing optical performance to an all new level.
The housing is created out of aircraft grade aluminum, with a stainless steel center axis pin for improved balance of the optical tubes and maximum durability.
The binocular’s wide field of view is what makes it simple to locate and track birds when they fly. So, the wider the field of view, the easier it will be for a birder to track birds. Birds can move and fly very quickly, which is why being able to easily track them is crucial.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Entirely fog, water, and shock proof
- Can withstand sixteen meters deep water
- You get a free tripod mount
- Optional lifetime warranty
- Excellent visibility and clarity
- Good magnification range
- Very practical and compact
- Some consumers reported issues with the mechanism that’s used to change between 8 x 42 and 12 x 42, stating the transition does not go smoothly and often results in the mechanism locking up. Another issue involves the eye cups which can become loose and do not stay in the correct setting.
Conclusion and Rating
Consumers gave the Leica 8 to 12 x 42 Duovid Binoculars a rating of four out of five stars for viewing experience, product design, the ability to switch from eight to twelve magnification and the three settings for the twistable eyecups for eye relief. Avid birders also loved the extras included in the box, such as the rain-guard, neoprene carrying strap and the leather carrying case. Designed for both amateurs and the seasoned birder, these binoculars have a lot to offer in terms of a crystal clear viewing experience, sharper images and a ton of features that will work to improve any bird watching session. We gave these binoculars four and a half out of five stars rating.