FinallY, A Do-IT-All Rangefinding Binocular For Hunters.
We knew it would happen. Someday, someone would design a binocular fulfilling all the requirements needed on the hunt and in competition. The only question was: How long would it take?
One of the most important requirements on a hunt is the ability to see well. The most useful is a tough binocular with great glass. We usually hang it from our necks. When we see the target, we want to know how far away it is, so we add a rangefinder to our gear. But wait. When we see the target and get its range, we need something to tell us our come-ups to make an accurate hit. And this means we often have to drag three different items out of our pack. This all takes considerable time, and in the meantime the quarry is making tracks over the ridge.
Granted, the industry has been working to reduce this burden. Several binos have range finding and some sort of way to tell us the come-ups required to make the hit. Most used several ballistic flight paths, and you hope one of them matches yours… at least to some degree. But if you go from sea level to 10,000 feet, good luck with that.
At least one optic (from Gunwerks) does all this now for you mid- to long-range shooters. However, it is a monocular, being more in the range-finding category with marginal optics relative to a binocular.
The new GEOVID HD-B binocular is a superb piece of glass. Having glass this good is a special treat. But imagine having the ability to range and have the come-ups required to make the shot based on your cartridge’s ballistic flight path in any environmental conditions. Now we are getting somewhere. No longer a need to carry a rangefinder. No longer a need to carry a chart or a PDA, smart phone, etc.
Strapping the Leica around my neck, I have all I need in one unit. The Leica GEOVID HD-B has 12 prior programmed data points with one major advantage.
The Leica will also allow you to put your programed ballistic data on a microSD memory card and insert it in the bino. Now we’re talking my language. I can throw away the rangefinder. I can finally throw away my chart and PDA. And I am looking through some of the best glass in the world.
The memory card comes with the bino as does a tool to retrieve the chip, a C2R battery, objective lens covers (something I have been telling them to do for years), carry strap, case and instructions.
The bino comes with lens covers, a neoprene carry strap, instructions and a microSD
memory card to input the shooter’s own ballistic curve. Notice from this top view
the barrels are parallel like a roof prism binocular. You can see the information
buttons just to the right of the focus wheel.
But like Barrett’s BORS unit, the GEOVID HD-B does have one problem you need to be aware of and think ahead about. Let us suppose you are hunting the hills on a very cold winter day. The bino is in the vehicle. You have the cab at a nice warm temperature and everyone is happy and warm. Eureka! You see the target on a hillside about 800 yards distant. You jump out of the cab, take a reading with the Leica, put in the come-ups it tells you and fire. A miss. What went wrong? Unfortunately, both units have the temperature sensor inside the unit. It thinks the temperature is the nice 72 degrees in the cab. But it is 20 degrees outside, and it takes the unit up to 30 minutes to determine the correct ambient temperature. Be aware. Another minor item you need to be aware of is the output is in centimeters or MOA for required come-ups. Remember: if you are using inches, you will have a 5-percent error since 1 MOA = 1.047 inches.
Pressing the button nearest the center gives you the range to the target. When you press the button nearest the right lens, it gives you the degrees first, then the temperature and finally the barometric pressure in sequencing order. If using the microSD card, you can only determine the come-ups to 1,000 yards. If a range curve is set, after the range is measured, the range is displayed for 2 seconds, and then the calculated correction value for 6 seconds.
The ballistic curve gives you the come-ups on your turret. But wait! Here is the kicker I have been waiting on for years: When I zero here in Texas on the coast and then go hunting in cold weather at elevations in the thousands, the software in the bino changes my ballistic curve accordingly! Now I don’t have to rely on cards set at different temperatures and elevations and consult them. Nor do I have to reprogram a PDA or smart phone on arriving at the hunting grounds.
The ocular lens has several settings for eyeglass wearers. One important feature is they are removable for cleaning. On binos without this feature, the area between the ocular lens and the body of the bino gets grubby with dirt and sand, making it difficult to move the ocular to best suit your eyes.
I love the glass in this bino. I have been in the business of evaluating glass for almost 30 years. By far my favorite is the Porro prism variety. I know…the new rage is the roof prism. They have less bulk than their counterpart Porro with the same magnification and objective lens, and they are fashionable. But Porro prisms have superior depth perception, 3D characteristics and better color fidelity. Plus, it costs much more to build a roof prism binocular of equal quality. Leica has solved my problem (and yours) by using the unique, innovative and relatively new Perger Porro prism.
Leica’s phase-corrected Perger Porro prism design merges the benefits of roof and Porro designs, delivering a streamlined form factor without sacrificing depth of field or color fidelity. Exposed lens surfaces are finished with Leica’s proprietary High Durable (HDC) and AquaDura lens coatings, which repel moisture and prevent dirt from adhering to the glass. These features add up to a multi-purpose handheld optic built for unforgiving weather conditions and low-light performance.
The use of innovative concepts like High Definition (HD) optics, the use of phase-coated fluoride glass and fully multicoated glass make these a viewing delight.
By Jacob Gottfredson
Maker: Leica Camera Inc.
1 Pearl Court, Unit A
Allendale, NJ, 07401
Phone: (800) 222-0118
Magnification: 10X (tested), 8x42mm
Ranging: 2,000 yards (6 miles if very large, reflective targets)
Eye Relief: 20mm
Exit Pupil Diameter: 4.2mm
Field of View at1,000 yards: 342 feet
Close Focus: 16.5 feet
Twilight Factor: 20.5
Waterproof: Yes (16.5 feet)
Weight: 34.7 ounces
Length: 6-7/8 inches
Laser beam divergence: 2.0 x 0.5mrad
Scanning mode: Yes
Battery: 1 3V Lithium-type CR2
Price: $2,995, $2,945 (8×42)