This is the first premium binocular to feature switchable magnifications. This is a beast of brilliant optics, starting with great 8x intimacy (while still retaining a large field of view) and springing all the way to 12x. Great for big game hunters!
High-powered binoculars are difficult to hold steady by hand; a monopod or tripod is highly recommended. Leica Duovid 8-12x50 Black Binocular Technical Data.pdf
Leica wants nothing but the best for its customers, and the Leica Duovid surpasses all others with its flexible switch power feature. The lowest magnification is perfect for spotting your subject, then increase the magnification to view with exceptional details. The Duovid features an automatic diopter compensation which automatically adjusts when switching powers. Both superior lens coatings and high-quality optical glass provide you with an exceptional view. The Duovid is covered by the Leica limited lifetime warranty.
The new Leica Duovid Leica 8-12x50 Binocular is a significant departure from everything else on the market today. As the name implies, this binocular is actually featuring two magnifications. First, this is not a zoom binocular! Leica was very careful to name the Duovids with a “+” for “and” rather than a “-” for “to”. The Duovid Series are binoculars with two fixed magnifications that the user can toggle between. Traditional zoom binoculars focus at every intermediate setting between the highest and lowest magnification. But such zoom binoculars often yield very poor optical performance, in part to accommodate the zoom feature. While the Duovids can be dialed to intermediate magnifications, they are not calibrated to allow matching of the eyepieces except at the extremes. Attempting to use the Duovid with mismatched magnifications can lead to eyestrain and headaches, and Leica recommends strongly against doing so. The switching mechanism is fairly simple. The user simply applies a ¼; twist to a rubber-armored ring on both oculars. The action is deliberately stiff, to prevent it happening by accident, but it is not difficult. However, it is not as simple as focusing or using the zoom function on true zoom binoculars. Switching pretty much requires that the user lower the binoculars, adjust each ring, and then lift them up again. The point is that the user must choose the power they intend to bird with and recognize that switching on the fly may mean losing some birds in the field.
How quality is accomplished so well:
Duovids are completely sealed and nitrogen-purged so they are fogproof and waterproof. Unexpectedly, they are waterproof even submerged to a depth of 16 feet! The prisms are phase-coated to minimize color aberration, and the lenses are fully multi-coated both to maximize light transmission and increase scratch resistance. Optically, these are beautiful binoculars. The image is tack sharp right to the edges of the field with no detectable edge effects. With the Duovids, both magnifications have the kind of bright, high-contrast optical performance that birders expect from Leica. The Duovid is noticeably darker at their higher magnification, but this is only to be expected as the exit pupil decreases. Color fidelity is excellent, without a hint of distortion or aberration.
The Duovids go from minimum close focus to infinity in slightly less than 1¼ turns of the focus knob. The knob is large, rubber-armored for a sure grip, and turns relatively easily, even when brand new. Sharp focus is relatively easily obtained, particularly as these binoculars seem to have an impressive depth of field.
The rainguard is a pair of soft rubber cups with a flexible linker region that fit snugly over the ocular lenses. The strap threads through a bracket on the left side. The fit of the rainguard is tight enough that it cannot be dislodged even when the binocular is inverted and shaken vigorously. The strap is an angled neoprene device with ample padding that is really quite comfortable. The angling seems to make the binoculars sit closely on the chest with less bouncing while walking. The case is leather, reinforced on the bottom, and equipped with a Velcro-closing flap for the strap to fit through, securely.