American Hunter - June 2017 - 58

hw
OPTICS

By John Zent, Editorial Director

T

hough keen to receive a test sample of the new Leica Noctivid just
in time for the 2016 deer season,
I wondered what the practical
difference could be from the German
firm's previous flagship binocular, the
Ultravid Plus, which had debuted just
12 months earlier. It's a given that Leica
manufactures brilliant sport-optics, and,

true to form, the Noctivid (NV) came
with labels like "revolutionary" and "all
new design." Right away I noted the binocular's updated frame construction and
controls, but from a company famed for
engineering, nothing short of an opticalperformance breakthrough would match
the marketing-speak. And to that end,
Leica offered up a slew of internal features instrumental to how optics transmit
images to the user.

june 2017 ❘

Lenses being the foremost component, this new bino incorporates 12
Schott HT elements, widely considered
the finest glass available in the sportoptics marketplace, particularly in terms
of light transmission. Though Schott HT
is not a Leica exclusive, the company
says it has "improved the geometry of the
lens surfaces" and made "modification to
the radii of the lenses." Such modifications-amounting to minute sculpting of
the lenses' surfaces-seek to counteract
inherent flaws like chromatic (colorfringing) and spherical aberrations that
degrade what we see.
Also critical to image quality are the
lens coatings, and here Leica says it is
using "high-temperature plasma deposition," a process that reportedly creates
a purer, cleaner fusion of the glass and
coatings, makes it possible to apply multiple micro layers with greater precision
and results in more durable finishes.
Furthermore, Leica added baffles to
interior tube walls in order to trap stray
light. Though there's likely very little of
that, any light crossing the image transmission (optical axis), can only hamper
our ability to see what's coming through.
All that adds up to an ambitious
makeover, and though it's somewhere
between difficult and impossible to rate
each incremental step, the cumulative
result is crystal-clear, at least in this
user's subjective judgment.
However, chromatic dispersion and
field curvature were decidedly not on
my mind the first time I used the Noctivid 8x42 in earnest. In gray pre-dawn,
I was able to pick out turkeys roosted
in nearby oaks, then shortly thereafter
spotted circular ripples skating across
the green-black surface of the river to
my right. Though silent, the circles kept
coming; something was headed my way.
There was a rustle when a doe vaulted
onto the bank and shook the water from
her coat. She stood 45 yards from my
stand, and curiously, stayed put right
there. Only the deer's head moved as
she looked across the river, as if checking her back trail. Being early November,

58 ❘ americanhunter.org

Photos: Forrest MacCormack

Leica Noctivid 8x42


http://www.americanhunter.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - June 2017

Contents
American Hunter - June 2017 - Cover1
American Hunter - June 2017 - Cover2
American Hunter - June 2017 - 1
American Hunter - June 2017 - Contents
American Hunter - June 2017 - 3
American Hunter - June 2017 - 4
American Hunter - June 2017 - 5
American Hunter - June 2017 - 6
American Hunter - June 2017 - 7
American Hunter - June 2017 - 8
American Hunter - June 2017 - 9
American Hunter - June 2017 - 10
American Hunter - June 2017 - 11
American Hunter - June 2017 - 12
American Hunter - June 2017 - 13
American Hunter - June 2017 - 14
American Hunter - June 2017 - 15
American Hunter - June 2017 - 16
American Hunter - June 2017 - 17
American Hunter - June 2017 - 18
American Hunter - June 2017 - 19
American Hunter - June 2017 - 20
American Hunter - June 2017 - 21
American Hunter - June 2017 - 22
American Hunter - June 2017 - 23
American Hunter - June 2017 - 24
American Hunter - June 2017 - 25
American Hunter - June 2017 - 26
American Hunter - June 2017 - 27
American Hunter - June 2017 - 28
American Hunter - June 2017 - 29
American Hunter - June 2017 - 30
American Hunter - June 2017 - 31
American Hunter - June 2017 - 32
American Hunter - June 2017 - 33
American Hunter - June 2017 - 34
American Hunter - June 2017 - 35
American Hunter - June 2017 - 36
American Hunter - June 2017 - 37
American Hunter - June 2017 - 38
American Hunter - June 2017 - 39
American Hunter - June 2017 - 40
American Hunter - June 2017 - 41
American Hunter - June 2017 - 42
American Hunter - June 2017 - 43
American Hunter - June 2017 - 44
American Hunter - June 2017 - 45
American Hunter - June 2017 - 46
American Hunter - June 2017 - 47
American Hunter - June 2017 - 48
American Hunter - June 2017 - 49
American Hunter - June 2017 - 50
American Hunter - June 2017 - 51
American Hunter - June 2017 - 52
American Hunter - June 2017 - 53
American Hunter - June 2017 - 54
American Hunter - June 2017 - 55
American Hunter - June 2017 - 56
American Hunter - June 2017 - 57
American Hunter - June 2017 - 58
American Hunter - June 2017 - 59
American Hunter - June 2017 - 60
American Hunter - June 2017 - 61
American Hunter - June 2017 - 62
American Hunter - June 2017 - 63
American Hunter - June 2017 - 64
American Hunter - June 2017 - 65
American Hunter - June 2017 - C1
American Hunter - June 2017 - C2
American Hunter - June 2017 - E1
American Hunter - June 2017 - E2
American Hunter - June 2017 - MW1
American Hunter - June 2017 - MW2
American Hunter - June 2017 - S1
American Hunter - June 2017 - S2
American Hunter - June 2017 - SW1
American Hunter - June 2017 - SW2
American Hunter - June 2017 - W1
American Hunter - June 2017 - W2
American Hunter - June 2017 - 68
American Hunter - June 2017 - 69
American Hunter - June 2017 - 70
American Hunter - June 2017 - 71
American Hunter - June 2017 - 72
American Hunter - June 2017 - 73
American Hunter - June 2017 - Cover4
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