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Leica Geovid rangefinder binoculars have been around for some time. New this year (2017) are the Leica Geovid “Edition 2017” models.
Are these two new rangefinders – 8×42 and 10×42 – really any different from the 6 other models that Leica makes?
Let’s take a look at the details to see why Leica made the “Edition 2017” rangefinder binoculars.
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What Is Significant about the New Geovid “Edition 2017” Binoculars?
As you look over the various models of Geovid rangefinder binoculars, you might be surprised at how few differences there are among most of them.
The 8 current models really come in pairs. There are 2 “Edition 2017” HD-B models, 2 Geovid HD-R models, and 2 plain Geovid models. Each of these has an 8×42 and a 10×42 size. The final pair have larger objective lenses. These are the 8×56 and 15×56 models.
Besides the magnification changes within each pair, the only other differences are field of view (FOV) and physical size and weight. Also the 8×56 and 15×56 models differ in close focus distance.
So you can see that there isn’t going to be much else to talk about when comparing the “Edition 2017” models to the rest of the field.
In fact, the only other changes I can verify are the composition of the housing and perhaps the ballistics capabilities.
The “Edition 2017” models have a magnesium housing, whereas all the others are made of aluminum.
Since I couldn’t find comparable ballistics information for all the models, looking at these features is a little like comparing apples and oranges.
The “Edition 2017” HD-B Geovids have 12 pre-installed trajectory curves. You can integrate custom data via the microSD card. I don’t think any of this is included or possible with earlier models.
All the other models have a range ballistic function that works up to 600 yards (550 meters). It feels like this should be true of the HD-B models too, but the information isn’t readily available.
The “Edition 2017” Geovids are apparently an upgrade from an earlier (2013?) HD-B model. You can read about the details of the earlier version here.
The newer versions actually have a slightly narrower FOV than the HD-R models.
- HD-B 8×42 – 385 ft.
- HD-R 8×42 – 426 ft.
- HD-B 10×42 – 342 ft.
- HD-R 10×42 – 374 ft.
I mentioned earlier the the physical size and weight changed from model to model. I’m a little suspicious of some of the published figures though. For example, Leica states that the HD-R 8×42 weighs 1 more ounce but 5 fewer grams than the HD-R 10×42!
In any case, these measurements are not that much different from one model to the next as to be of concern to you.
So that’s pretty much it as to what makes the Leica Geovid “Edition 2017” rangefinder binoculars new and improved. If those changes are important enough to you, then you should seriously look at one or the other of these models for your next purchase.
What Features Are the Same among the Geovid Models?
I think it’s worth taking a look at what you will get no matter which Geovid rangefinder binoculars you prefer.
With all 8 models, you get these accessories and features.
- Contoured neoprene carrying strap
- Lens caps
- Eyepiece covers
- Cordura case
- CR2 LI battery good for about 2000 measurements
- Equivalent Horizontal Range of 10 to about 1200 yards (1100 meters)
- 4-digit LED display
- Ambient light based brightness adjustment
- Waterproof, nitrogen-filled housing, submersible to 16.5 feet (5 meters)
Some Have It and Some Don’t
There are a few features that are similar among some of the models and slightly different among the others.
For example, the lens coatings on the basic Geovid models includes HDC® multicoating. The HD-R and HD-B models have the same but also have AquaDura® coatings. I think this makes them more resistant to the elements.
The eyecups on the basic models are detachable and have 2 click-stops when you twist them up or down. The others have more granular click-stops with a total of 4. I don’t know that this means the basic models have a smaller range on the diopters. I believe it’s just that there is not as fine of a granularity in their intermediate settings.
You’ll note the main differences here when you look at the ranging distances and accuracy measurements.
The range of the basic models is no different from the EHR mentioned earlier. However, the range of the HD-R and HD-B models is listed at 10 to about 2200 yards (2000 meters).
The accuracy shows the largest differences of any of these measurements. Look at the following table to compare them.
Note that the first distance column includes all four HD-R and HD-B models. The next column includes both basic models with 42 millimeter objective lenses. The last column show distances for both 56 millimeter models.
|Accuracy||HD-R & HD-B||Basic 42mm||Basic 56mm|
|± 1 yd.||To 547 yds.||To 382 yds.||To 400 yds.|
|± 2 yds.||To 1094 yds.||To 766 yds.||To 800 yds.|
|± 0.5%||Beyond 1094 yds.||Beyond 766 yds.||Beyond 800 yds.|
What Is the Verdict on the Leica Geovid “Edition 2017” Rangefinder Binoculars?
The HD-B predecessor to the “Edition 2017” are rated quite highly, with a few exceptions, by owners. I think that, as of this writing, it’s too early to declare a judgment on the “Edition 2017” models. There just aren’t enough of them “out in the wild” yet to base a decision on.
That said, if the newer models are at least as good as the older rangefinder binoculars, you should be more than satisfied with them.
If you don’t think the Leica brand is for you, check out this article that gives an overview of rangefinder binoculars from several manufacturers. You probably will find one there more to your liking.
Or maybe the Leica Noctivids are for you.