First Look at the new Leica Noctivid Binoculars.

I have been using my old faithful Leica 10×42 BN binoculars for more than 25 years and have resisted retiring it. When I heard that Leica is bringing out a new binocular this October I was anxious to get my hands on one to try it out.

I was delighted when Leica Camera Asia Pacific offered to loan the Noctivid 10×42 to me to test it out during the Raptor Watch on 6th November. It has a simple slim design, very compact and comfortable to hold. At 860 grams, it does not have the heavy feel.


The slim compact design of the new Leica Noctivid 10×42

The first thing I noticed is the larger eye piece compared to my old pair. At 19 mm it provides a better eye relief for a comfortable viewing. However there was some vignetting even at the full extension of the eye cups. Which means that I cannot rest the eye cups on my eyes for viewing. A longer extension should solve this problem.



The larger exit pupil lens of the Noctivid at the bottom compared with the older model.

It was overcast for most of the day over at Telok Blangah Hill and not many raptors were migrating. In spite of the less ideal conditions, all the members who tried it were impressed with the optics. The color rendition was good without much loss. I can make out the different shades of black of the plumage of Aerodramus Swiftlets, Swallows and a Glossy Swiftlet flying around. Light transmission was high due in parts to the special glass of the prism and non reflective coatings on the lenses. This was obvious when I use to look through the darker parts of the woods. Compared to my old pair the Noctivid is definitely brighter. Later in the afternoon, the sun came out long enough for me to check its true performance. It wasn’t glaring, still comfortable and vivid, just what you would expect from a high end binoculars. Close focusing up to 2 meters was sharp, another great improvement found in many of today’s optics.

My thanks to Leica Camera Asia Pacific for the loan of the Noctivid. Now all I need is a good excuse to ditch my old pair.

More information at


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