Yesterday marked the last day of IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 in Nuremburg, Germany. IWA is one of the world’s leading exhibitions for outdoor and hunting equipment in the world. Over the weekend, Leica Sport Optics introduced a range of new products for naturalists, the highlight being the Ultravid HD-Plus 50.
With the Leica Ultravid HD-Plus 50, Leica has designed and constructed a new generation of Leica Ultravid binoculars with considerably improved light transmission and resolving power. The Leica Ultravid HD-Plus 50 models are available with eight-fold, ten-fold and twelve-fold magnification and are identified by an engraved ‘HD’ in red on the strap lugs of the binoculars.
We interviewed Nanette Roland, Product Manager at Leica, who explains the advantages of these new binoculars.
Q: What are the advantages of the new Ultravid HD-Plus models?
A: The Ultravid HD-Plus models have significantly improved light transmission, particularly at the blue-violet end of the spectrum, which considerably expands the contrast spectrum to bring greater dynamic range. This ensures not only increased image brightness and better colour rendition, but also improved perception of depth. Improving image brightness alone is an issue, but simultaneously preserving colour fidelity is the real art. When you do get it right and achieve excellent contrast and ultimate resolving power, you have a product like the Ultravid HD-Plus.
Q: How was higher performance achieved?
A: The increase in performance is primarily due to the use of a new glass type for the prisms. The HT glass we now use is made by SCHOTT and is well known for its extremely high light transmission characteristics. In addition to this, we have newly formulated lens coatings and an elaborate new coating process in which high-quality special substances are applied to the lens surfaces in a vacuum in a high-temperature plasma process. These coatings enable a further considerable improvement in the transmission characteristics of the lenses.
Q: What is a plasma process?
A: Natural phenomena like lightning or the Northern Lights are plasma effects. In the laboratory, the plasma – a partially ionised gas – is created by the application of electric fields. In coating processes, plasma assumes the role of a tool that enables reactions that cannot take place under normal conditions – inorganic materials are vaporised and condense on surfaces and, thanks to the influence of the plasma, the coatings produced in this way are extremely dense and resistant to abrasion and environmental influences. The optical properties can be precisely defined by the choice of appropriate plasma parameters.
Q: What special features are offered by all members of the Ultravid family?
A: Leica Ultravid full-size binoculars are the premier products in the Leica binoculars portfolio. In addition to their exceptional optical performance, another common feature is their robust engineering. Their rigid construction enables precise adjustment of ray paths and enables observation in the field for long periods without fatigue. Dioptre compensation is simple and precise and their rubber armour provides excellent grip and absorbs any knocks. Of course, all the binoculars are waterproof, too. With magnification factors varying from 7× to 12x and front lens diameters from 32mm to 50mm, the Ultravid family offers the right solution for any field of use.
Q: Which users are the Ultravid HD-Plus binoculars geared towards?
A: The extremely high performance of these binoculars makes them the ideal tool for users with a passion for excellence. The Ultravid HD-Plus models are the first choice for anyone looking for a unique viewing experience with maximum realism in every situation. Thanks to their increased dynamic range, Ultravid HD-Plus binoculars are not only superior for observation in daylight – thanks to the brighter viewing image; they are also excellent for use in the twilight hours. Ornithologists and nature enthusiasts truly appreciate this level of performance.
Thank you for your time, Nanette!
To read more about the Leica Ultravid HD-Plus 50 and any other Leica products, please visit the Leica Website.