Contributors to this thread:
Range Finding Binoculars
Are the Leica worth the $600- $700 more than the Vortex.
Absolutely. Great glass. You use them for 20 years and it costs you less than a dime a day. You can afford that.
I have 3 so I'm going to vote yes. I purchased my first geovid 10 x 42's in 2008 for an African hunt. They were great but the ranging button is on the left side so it's not ideal for a right handed bowhunter. You carry your bow in your left hand. I complained about that at the Leica booth at SCI and danged if they didn't pull out the Geovid HD's with the button on the right so I had to purchase one on the spot. They are the best. I'd put them up against any other brand. You can sometimes get them on sale at Sportsman's Warehouse for $1600. I've since purchased the 15 x 56 Geovids for when I need to do a lot of long range glassing. If you are going to purchase a high end binocular and the rangefinder is included, why not?
I own the Leica rangefinding binos and I would honestly go Vortex if I was looking to purchase again. I sent in my Leica's end of June for a repair and they still haven't been returned. There are many similar stories. I doubt that would happen with Vortex. The reviews I have seen on YouTube suggest the Vortex Fury HD has pretty decent glass. I didn't have my Leica's for an entire hunting season, really two. My Rangefinding laser went out last hunting season. The warranty only covers that for 5 years. I would think it is likely to fail again at some point and won't be covered. The Vortex warranty will keep on ticking. Just my .02.
"Pretty decent glass" on the Vortex.... that says enough. I've owned the Geovid 10x42's since they first came out and now have the HD-B's... incredible glass and function. Ed F
Depends on what you're looking for. If you want quick and accurate range with good glass, drop both and go with the SigSauer Kilo 3000 bdx binos.
Benefit is if you're spotting for the shooter on a rifle hunt. At 37 yds on a bowhunt, it's a little overboard...
I have a different take on this. Leica makes great binocs and rangefinders. I’ve used their 900 rangefinder for many years. I’ve handled several binoc/RF combinations and I find all of them too heavy. I prefer my Leica RF and swaro 10x32 binocs.
I love my combo Leicas! They are worth every penny to me. If you shop around you can likely find a sale, nearly new pair, or possibly even a demo at a discount. If you have any sports items you don't use sell them and buy the Leicas! You generally pay for what you get!
With that said I don't know much about Vortex. What's their warrantee like? Do the Vortex compensate for elevation gain or loss? Is it possible to input ballistics into the Vortex?
According to Aron on Kifarucast, you'll lose some of the image quality when going with the rangefinder versions.
My Dall sheep guide in the NWT had a pair of the "banana" shaped latest tech Leica Geovid 10x42s when I was up there 3 years ago. I have Swarovision 10x42ELs. We swapped for a glassing session. To my eyes the Geovids were optically every bit as good as my ELs. In fact I really liked the depth of focus on the Geovids. They are slightly larger and heavier than the ELs, but you could ditch the separate rangefinder. I contemplated buying a set later that year but decided what I had was excellent and I'd rather save my $ for hunting.
That said I also own a 10 yr old pair of Leica Geovid 15x56HD binos for long range glassing off a tripod. The rangefinder will shoot to 1400 yds but is not angle corrected. They have been totally reliable but I do not use the rangefinder very much up in BC. The field of view is noticeably narrower on the Leica Geovids than Swaro 15x56 SCL non-rangefinder binos. Optically the Geovids are excellent.
Yes they’re worth it(nothing wrong with some of the cheaper options) I love Leicas glass
Anyone else but EZbreazy have any warranty issues with Leica?
I have both. The Leicas are what go with me. The Vortex sit by my living room chair for use from the house, where it doesn't matter the quality.
I would agree on the Leica optics. I would say the pair I sent out for repair is superior to my 10x42 Swaro SLC. I do not feel like I gave up anything optically going with the Ranging/Bino Combo. Leica is notoriously slow in repairs as they usually have to be shipped to Europe. There is a thread if you search Rokslide. It was basically about the same problem I had except it took very little cold weather to knock out my rangefinding capability. I hope the fix works as I absolutely love the optical quality.
Best piece of hunting gear I ever purchased.
Based on how little I use my Leica range finder while hunting, I doubt I'd have any use for a combo bino/rangefinder. That said, I'm a "buy once. cry once" kinda guy when it comes to optics. So, given the choice between Leica or Vortex, I would go Leica every time.
I like my Leica’s a lot. I don’t think I will use them much on an archery elk hunt in the thick timber. For open country mule deer, antelope, or Oryx in NM they are fantastic! Who knows though? I may try them on my next elk hunt.
It’s no contest comparing Vortex glass to Leica- Leica all the way.
I ran the Geovids for about 7 yrs then sold them for what I paid. Why?
2 reasons; 1) I found I prefer a separate compact RF over the heavy all in one, 2) The Leica warranty only covers the rf for 5 yrs
When posters suggest that the glass is better, what is the metric? Can the user spot antlers better or see animals that the other optics miss? Just what is the difference that everyone is gushing about?
Crisp clear to edges true colors. You know it when you see it
Just got back from a WSMR oryx hunt and used my SigSauer Kilo 3000 rangefinding binos. Ranging was very fast and could easily target animals out to 1000 yds. Low light glassing and edge to edge clarity was more than satisfactory. Ranging with these outperformed my Leica RF.
"When posters suggest that the glass is better, what is the metric? "
In my experience, it's the clarity at the outer edges of the FOV. Inferior glass is sharp in the center, but get's fuzzier towards the edges.. That can cause severe eye strain, if you glass for hours at a time.
Seems to me like 'range finder' technology is improving/evolving way faster than 'optical' tech these days. You could spend a lot on 'great' binocs that, three years from now have 'old' ranging technology. Yeah, they'll still be great glass, but the RF...
(I like knives and good pliers, not 'multi tools' )
Grey Ghost - thank you for the clarification. Sometimes, it is hard to pull the trigger on especially expensive hunting items when there is not a marked improvement in efficacy over items of lesser expense. Thanks again. By the by, that was a great picture of the fox that is frequenting your neck of the woods. Thanks for that too.
Great glass will prevent eye fatigue vs lower quality glass when glassing for hours on end. Not an easy concept to understand unless you’re sitting and glasses for 6 - 8 hours every day while on a western open country hunt.
Back to range finding binoculars, I personally prefer separate units for bow hunting and have a pair of Swaro NL Pures al9ng with a SIG Kilo 2000. I find it’s much easier to get a quick range at a close animal with one hand while holding a bow then dropping the range finder on its tether vs trying to steady a pair of higher power binos with one hand and getting a quick range. Now if I was a rifle hunter I’d pick range finding binos every day.
I bought my Leica RF Binos specifically for rifle hunts. For archery, will use a stand alone RF and separate Binos.
Don't forget about the Zeiss . We have the vortex fury and had the Leicas . Sold the Leicas and bought the Zeiss. Glassed a bull moose up at 1966 yards a couple days ago. No problem getting the range. Wife uses the furys.