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Leica Noctivid 10x42 Review

A high-end pair of binoculars that live up to their pedigree but have some downsides compared to other premium models
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Leica Noctivid 10x42 Review (Exceptional clarity are the Leica Noctivid's proud claim to fame.)
Exceptional clarity are the Leica Noctivid's proud claim to fame.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $2,999 List
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Manufacturer:   Leica
By Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente  ⋅  Dec 23, 2023

#2 of 16
  • Clarity - 35% 9.8
  • Brightness - 20% 8.6
  • Comfort - 15% 5.3
  • Field of View - 10% 5.2
  • Ease of Adjustment - 15% 8.2
  • Close Focus Range - 5% 9.1

Our Verdict

The Leica Noctivid 10x42 binoculars sit in that exorbitantly priced tier of high-end optics, and they provide the crystal clear images you would expect of such a premium product. However, while the optical quality is right on pace with that of the other premium options in our best binocular review, the Noctivid lacks some of the finer touches of its high-end competitors. This is not a deal breaker, especially if you can find the Noctivid on sale, but if you're going to pay the list price, we would suggest looking at one of the other high-end models we tested to determine if this is the best pair for you.
Excellent clarity and brightness
Great construction quality
Very expensive
Not as comfortable as other high-end models

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Bottom Line Amazing optics that lack a few of the touches of other high-end modelsIncredible clarity only attainable at a premium priceA great pair of binos for its mid-tier price rangeGets close to the quality of multi-thousand dollar high-end bins at a much lower priceOne of the best overall values on the market, particularly for mid-range price shoppers
Rating Categories Leica Noctivid 10x42 Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Vortex Diamondback...
Clarity (35%)
Brightness (20%)
Comfort (15%)
Field of View (10%)
Ease of Adjustment (15%)
Close Focus Range (5%)
Specs Leica Noctivid 10x42 Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Vortex Diamondback...
Measured Weight 31.3 oz 28.2 oz 25.5 oz 25.4 oz 23.1 oz
Measured Interpupillary Distance Range 56mm - 75mm 56mm - 77mm 57mm - 74mm 56mm - 74mm 56mm - 75mm
Measured Size 6.2" x 5.1" 6.8" x 4.5" 5.8" x 4.5" 5.7" x 4.3" 5.7" x 5.1"
Measured Close Focus 5.3 ft 4.5 ft 5.8 ft 6.0 ft 5.5 ft
Measured Eye Relief 19.5 mm 19.0 mm 17.0 mm 18.0 mm 18.0 mm
Glass Type HD FL ED HD HD
Magnification 8.5 10 10 8 8
Objective Lens Size 42 42 42 42 42
Claimed Field of View 336 ft 360 ft 362 ft 409 ft 393 ft
Claimed Close Focus 4.9 ft 4.9 ft 8.2 ft 6.0 ft 5.0 ft
Claimed Eye Relief 20 mm 18 mm 16.5 mm 18 mm 17 mm
Waterproof/Fog Resistant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tripod Adapter No No Yes Yes Yes
Measured Lux Reading from Brightness Testing 1018 lux 1112 lux 1064 lux 1288 lux 1163 lux

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Leica Noctivid 10x42 offers the exceptional quality you'd expect from this revered optical company. However, both its in-hand comfort, close focus range, and field of view are bested by other models in the same price range.

Performance Comparison

These are an exceptional pair of binos with regard to clarity, but you'll pay a premium.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


The Leica Noctivid, like other very premium pairs of binoculars, offers a crystal-clear lens all the way up to the edges for a viewing experience that is mostly only achievable in the multi-thousand-dollar range. Leica's Schott HT glass and P40 phase-corrected roof prisms result in a stunningly sharp image with incredible resolution and detail that few models could match.

leica noctivid 10x42 - the leica noctivids offer exceptional clarity, only attainable at...
The Leica Noctivids offer exceptional clarity, only attainable at the multi-thousand dollar price point.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente


The Leica Noctivid 10x42 is also a great model when it comes down to brightness. However, in our controlled tests, they only transmitted 1018 Lux to our meter from a controlled light source, confirming the observed brightness and opinions from our test team. Top models were able to pick up and transmit more light, more than 200 Lux in some cases.

leica noctivid 10x42 - high quality lenses are clear, but don't seem to gather and transmit...
High quality lenses are clear, but don't seem to gather and transmit light as well as other models.
Credit: Natalie Kafader


Here again, we ranked the Leica Noctivid 10x42 slightly behind the other high-end contenders. It's not uncomfortable in hand, but it lacks any sort of groove indentation to let them nestle into the crook of your thumb. Despite lacking this feature, the barrels are slightly thinner and thus sit in hand a bit more comfortably. It has two little thumb grooves that make the binos feel like an extension of your hands. These binos are also a little bit hefty at 31.3 ounces, although the weight is well-balanced.

leica noctivid 10x42 - this model is a bit hefty.
This model is a bit hefty.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Field of View

The Leica Noctivid 10x42 has an underwhelming field of view when compared to the entire group of the models we tested and is a little disappointing from such a premium-priced model. Our test counted the number of vertical fence boards visible on a vertical board fence at a fixed distance with the maximum magnification. The Leicas allowed us to observe 51 fence boards, while the average was 54.1, and other top models could capture more than 60 fence boards in their respective fields of view.

leica noctivid 10x42 - the leica noctivid's field of view is fairly narrow.
The Leica Noctivid's field of view is fairly narrow.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Ease of Adjustment

Here, the Leica Noctivid 10x42 finished behind two of our best-rated optics in this test metric. The Noctivid uses a diopter adjustment that requires pulling the focus knob back until it clicks, and then you can use the main focus knob to adjust the diopter. While this adjustment is convenient, we found that it's unlikely but not impossible to accidentally pull out the focus knob during normal use (we were guilty of this).

leica noctivid 10x42 - it can be a bit difficult to get the leica's eye cups even.
It can be a bit difficult to get the Leica's eye cups even.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Another small point of complaint with the Leica Noctivid 10x42 is its eyecups. Like the other high-end models, they twist in and out to adjust. However, they don't have as distinctive stopping points as the other high-end models, so it takes a minute to get both eyecups even. This can be a pain, especially if you're passing the binos around between a few people. On a more positive note, we found the Noctivid eye relief to be good at 19.5 millimeters.

The Leica Noctivid makes adjustments a breeze.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Close Focus Range

In terms of close focus range, the Leica Noctivid 10x42 performed well. The performance difference in this metric can be minor, and in practice, you'll only notice the difference if a beautiful butterfly happens to land on your foot. At an impressive 5.3 feet, depending on your height, you'll have a chance of seeing that butterfly on your foot with this model.

leica noctivid 10x42 - more optical testing.
More optical testing.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Should You Buy the Leica Noctivid 10x42?

There's no question that Leica makes great glass, and the Leica Noctivid 10x42 is a great pair of high-end binoculars. We just happen to think its rivals are slightly better in a couple of aspects.

A soft case protects the Leica Noctivid 10x42s when not in use.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

What Other Binoculars Should You Consider?

The Leica Noctivid's price is slightly higher than the other high-end models we tested, and it didn't perform as well as some of those other models. If you have the money to spend on a premium pair of optics, we think the Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 offers advantages over the Leica Noctivid, making them a better choice if you're investing in a new pair of high-end binoculars. If you want a high-performing pair but just can't stomach the premium prices, the Vortex Viper HD 8x42 is an admirable contender worth your consideration.

Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente