facebook twitter pinterest instagram You Tube

FrontRunners: For the Birders

Deedra Allison

During a recent birding festival in Cape May, N.J., the most popular sighting could not be identified in a book of ornithology. According to Terry Moore, vice president of Sport Optics at Leica (800.222.0118, www.leica.com), he was overrun by birders clamoring for a glimpse of the new Leica binoculars. The binoculars, available in 14 models, push the limits of how small—and powerful—scopes can be. At just 24.5 ounces, the leather-clad Ultravid 10x42 BL ($1,600) is as much as 3 ounces lighter and more than an inch shorter than comparable binoculars of the same magnification. (Although they add some weight, green or black rubber coverings are also available.) The frame is constructed of magnesium and titanium, and the fine-grade leather lends the unmistakably classic Leica look.

Peer through one of the new binoculars, and the reason for the birdwatchers’ excitement becomes clear. Leica greatly increased image brightness and contrast by developing a new optical glass and coating that reflects 99.5 percent of light. In addition, mechanical improvements reduce stray light. While hunters and birders alike have embraced the leather versions, Moore says, they were originally designed for travel, cruises, horse racing, polo, and other leisure activities. 

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Neil Fraser
The aerospace vehicle revered as the fastest machine within Earth’s...
Photo by Iwan Baan
Eight years after Bernard Arnaud, chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis...
Christie’s Out of the Ordinary auction , taking place September 3 at its...
A teacup. An old photograph. A clock, its workings exposed to create the...
About 20 years ago, when Meis was beginning to work on the Saitama Super...
Photo by Michele Alberto Sereni
The first exhibit in Marianne Boesky’s latest New York gallery was Pier...
What a Racket Tennis advertising has its own brand of topspin, and an...
Opening a museum has an irresistible allure. Then comes the public.
Swann Auction Galleries ’ August 6 sale of vintage posters will offer the...
The Frum Collection of Oceanic Art—52 items in all—is to be auctioned by...