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Binoculars reviews

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars

30 April 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Leica Geovid 8x42 HD-M


Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Leica Geovid 8x42 HD-M

When we announced the conditions of our endurance test we thought that from all the Leica instruments only the Ultravid HD would be sent to compete. We were nicely surprised when that reputable company decided to sent us also the Geovid, featuring a rangefinder – they argued that, despite the presence of electronics, the binoculars still should manage to withstand the same treatment as their other products. I admit we were impressed by such an approach. Let’s find out whether the Geovid is indeed as good and durable as suggested in the marketing brochures.


Low temperature


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Low temperature can increase the resistance of the central focusing wheel but it is not a significant increase – the wheel still operates without any problems. In fact it is the only thing you can carp about here. The eyecups work perfectly well, the same can be said about the dioptre correction and the gauge of the tubes. The rangefinder surprised us nicely as well – after 24 hours spent in the temperature of –22 deg C it still performed as it should, showing the right distance all the time.


High temperature

The performance in high temperature was even better – the binoculars practically didn’t react at all, and all its functions worked as perfectly well as in room temperature. Once again we were pleasantly surprised by the rangefinder which fared very well, showing always the right distance. The temperature changes of about 80 deg C are nothing the Geovid is afraid of.


Waterproof qualities

According to the specifications the Leica Geovid HD-M is waterproof up to a depth of 5 meters. We don’t hesitate to say the producers don’t tell the truth. The binoculars didn’t manage to survive a submersion in knee-deep water for half an hour. After that time spent under water the device was completely drenched and most of its functions (including the rangefinder) stopped working. It is a huge fault for such a renowned manufacturer because it is expected that they are honest and their product perform exceedingly well. Meanwhile the Geovid didn’t manage to fare as well as the Delta Optical Forrest II, which costs measly 400 PLN or the Pentax DCF 8X43 ED, which declares it is only splash-proof!

The photos below show in what miserable state the Leica was after we took it out of water. One of the tubes was fogged up, in the other one the water sloshed merrily about…

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Leica Geovid 8x42 HD-M

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Leica Geovid 8x42 HD-M


Falls

Two falls from different heights didn’t cause any serious damage. They left no traces on the casing.

Optics cleaning

Water residue, which got stuck after the exposure to high temperature, is very easy to remove and so are the fingerprints. The water dribbling down and grease are not an issue either.


Other

No other flaws.


Summary

The chart below shows the results the tested pair of binoculars got in particular categories:

CATEGORY POINTS
Low temperature:
9.5/10
High temperature:
10/10
Waterproof quality:
0/10
Falls:
10/10
Optics cleaning:
4.5/5
Other:
5/5
OVERALL:
39/50


The final result of the Leica Geovid 8x42 HD-M is not bad at all – still we admit we expected something even better. A huge slip-up concerning the lack of declared waterproofness is a significant scratch on the reputation of this producer; actually it makes us doubt the rest of their claims about the high quality of the equipment they produce. I don’t hesitate a second to say that neither the optical nor the mechanical performance of the Leica are enough to justify the huge amount of money you have to pay for this instrument. Unless, of course, you just want to own a very expensive gadget with a tell-tale red dot…