Review by David Chandler
A new binocular range often starts with the 42mm models, with the 32mm siblings coming along a little later, and that’s true of these new Trinovid HDs. My review of the 10x42 was published in the August 2017 issue. Here, I turn my attention to one of the two 32mm models – the 8x. As usual, a 10x32 model is also available.
The 8x32 is comfortable enough to hold and has no thumb indents. Build quality seems very good – this feels like a pretty tough binocular. It is fully rubber-armoured and waterproof, and had no problem at all in Peak District wind, cloud and rain, where Red Grouse was added to #My200BirdYear. Dioptre adjustment is achieved via a simple, calibrated ring under the right eyepiece.
This does the job and its movement is stiff enough to hold its position. The rubber-coated eyecups twist up and down with a solid, definite action, and have three click-stopped intermediate positions – giving a total of five options – which is more than most binoculars. With 17mm of eye-relief this Trinovid HD should work well for glasses-wearers – but if that’s you, check before parting with any cash. One minor quibble – the central hinge could be a bit stiffer, on my sample at least.
Overall, image quality is very good and reasonably easy on the eyes. There is a little peripheral softness, but nothing to be concerned about. Sharpness and brightness are both very good. At 10-12 metres I could see the vermiculations on a Grey Partridge’s hindneck, and a catchlight in its eye.
Low light performance was good. A little after sunset, and under a fairly clear sky, this binocular was picking out pale patches on the trunk of a distant, unshaded tree, and a good amount of detail in dark, close shade. As the light faded, focusing in the shade became trickier, but with sunset 30 minutes behind me I could still see a little of the trunk markings and some detail in the close shade – which looked more or less black to my unaided eyes. I don’t think you’ll have any complaints on this front.
Focusing precision is good – I found a gentle touch helps. The focusing wheel is a single finger wide, moving fairly stiffly and smoothly, through a bit more than two full turns clockwise to infinity. That’s a lot of travel, necessary I suspect because of the exceptional close focus. Most birding scenarios however will be sorted out within a quarter of a turn.
Close focus is this binocular’s stand-out feature. It is quoted as about a metre. I measured it, at about 97cm, which is remarkable. I could see the ‘shark’s fin’ on a Giant Willow Aphid. While these sap feeders may be ‘Giant’, at 5-6mm long they are not very big! I did find myself closing one eye for a comfortable view – there’s a limit to what the brain can do in bringing two images together.
Less positively, the field of view is a bit narrow (124m@1,000m) but in use, this didn’t really bother me. Read the specs, but try out the binocular, too – what looks like an issue in print may not be in reality. And I did see some colour-fringing, on a soaring Griffon Vulture on the Strait of Gibraltar, for example, but, predictably, getting your eye position right can make quite a difference. My impression was that colour-fringing is less of an issue on this Trinovid HD than on its big sister (the 10x42).
The 8x32 is supplied with a snug-fitting, zip-up neoprene case, which provides some protection without adding too much bulk. It could be a little bigger, to make it easier to fit the binocular in with the eyecups up, and the strap (though you can do it), but I like it.
Leica Trinovid 8x32 HD verdict
A tough mid-sized binocular, not too heavy and reasonably compact, that delivers a very good image and has a remarkable close focus. If you’re thinking of buying, make sure you’re OK with the field of view and any colour fringing.
Leica Trinovid 8x32 HD fact-file
Eye relief: 17mm
Field of view: 124m@1,000m
Close focus: <1m
Size: 130 x 117mm
Warranty: 10 years
Supplied with: Strap, tethered objective covers, rainguard, zip-up neoprene case.