June 28, 2022
The rangefinding binocular war has been raging for several years and there are some impressive products in this market. However, even in this crowded field, the Leica Geovid Pro 32 binoculars stand out because of their optical performance, compact dimensions, and suite of ballistic features. The Geovid Pro 32 binos combine a hand-held weather station, a ballistics solver, a rangefinder, and binoculars into one highly portable package that sells at a competitive price.
The Secret Sauce
In the world of expensive and high-performance binoculars, there are two main types: the roof prism (the best type is the Abbe-Koenig) and the Porro prism. The biggest advantages of roof prisms are their compact size and their ability to be easily weatherproofed. The advantage of the roof prism’s biggest competitor, the Porro prism, is the higher light transmission and simpler design. Two of the reasons Porro prism binoculars aren’t more popular are their size and the difficulty associated with making them weatherproof.
In 2013, Leica unveiled the Perger-Porro prism, a design they hold the patent for, which allows the company to do things no one else can. This prism design has all the advantages of the regular Porro prism (best light transmission and simplicity), but brings a highly ergonomic banana shape that is easily weatherproofed. Additionally, the Perger prism has great depth of field and an internal surface that is ideal for projecting information onto one of the prism’s surfaces. The Perger prism minimizes the light transmission lost from the filter needed to create a heads-up display inside the binos because it can be cemented to one of the prism’s surfaces and reflect only the color required for the display. Other prism designs require more complicated methods to create a heads-up display. The Perger design is the ideal prism for superior optical performance from a rangefinding binocular.
The Complete Package
Leica has always been a frontrunner in the rangefinder department and the one built into the Geovid Pro is no different. It has a beam divergence of .5 Mil x 1.2 Mil, so at 1,000 yards the beam will measure about 1.5 feet tall by 3.5 feet wide. It fires at 1.6 mW and the results I saw in testing show that Leica’s estimate of registering targets out to 2,500 yards is very close to correct. On a bright sunny day hitting a treeline at 2,148 yards wasn’t difficult.
Where these binoculars show an incredible degree of simple sophistication is the built-in ballistic solver with a full suite of environmental sensors. There is also an app available to make building and loading rifle profiles into the binos a painless process. The Geovid Pro 32s come with the Applied Ballistics (AB) Ultralight solver built in. This gives the consumer the ability to range a target and have the heads-up display in the binos show the elevation and wind hold to hit out to 875 yards.
Using ballistic solvers can be a little intimidating if it’s not something used frequently, but the Leica app is the easiest one to learn that I’ve experienced. All that’s required to build a rifle profile is the bullet data (which is as simple as choosing an option from the Applied Ballistics library), the muzzle velocity, sight height, and zero range. The values for the bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) from the library are displayed and it’s a simple matter of touching the value and altering it during the truing process when absolute precision is necessary. However, using the BC from the Applied Ballistics library will get 99% of rifles to within a few inches out to the 875 yards allowed with the AB Ultralight software.
Once the profile exists in the app, it’s a simple matter of loading it into the binoculars via a Bluetooth synch. Inside the binoculars, there are several sensors that measure temperature, pressure, and humidity each time the shooter ranges a target and then incorporate that data into the onboard ballistic solver calculator to generate a firing solution that displays elevation and windage corrections. There is no need to have the phone or a handheld weather station to compute accurate environmental conditions or to generate a firing solution. Wind direction and speed have to be manually entered into the binoculars to get an accurate wind hold. I just use a 10-mile-per-hour full-value wind as a baseline and then adjust off of that. Using a baseline wind for the distance I’m shooting is the fastest and most accurate method I’ve found to get good wind calls without standing around holding a weather station in the air.
All of that happens inside the binoculars at the touch of a button and the information pops up in the field of view. It’s almost instantaneous, making it hard to believe that so much technology is packed into such a small package.
For shooters desiring the ability to ring steel past 875 yards, the Leica app has the option of upgrading from AB Ultralight to AB Sportsman or AB Elite. With these options comes the ability to generate ballistic firing solutions at the maximum ranging distance of the binoculars. With the extended range also comes the ability to correct for earth-based effects like Coriolis and spin drift. Additionally, the Elite software allows for the use of custom drag curves from the library or from one the customer receives at any shooting event where AB has their trailer set up to generate drag models. That trailer was a big hit at an Extreme Long Range shooting competition I attended in Wyoming last year where many competitors had AB create a drag model for their bullet out of their rifle. That curve could now be used in these Leica Geovid Pro 32 binoculars.
With all that tech packed into a svelte package it would be easy to worry about the binocular’s durability. Don’t. Leica uses a magnesium housing that is waterproof to 15 feet and shockproof to 100g of force. While these are certainly high-tech, they are not fragile.
The Leica Geovid Pro 32 binoculars will prove popular for anyone looking to trim weight and size from a hump up the mountainside or for those looking to eliminate some of the bulk worn in the field. These binoculars offer capabilities and convenience that were only a dream a few years ago and it all comes from a tiny package at the touch of a button.
Leica Geovid Pro 32 Specs
- Power: 8X (10X available)
- Objective: 32mm
- Range: 2,500 yards
- Beam Divergence: .5 Mil X 1.2 Mil
- Eye Relief: 16mm
- Field of View: 405 feet at 1,000 yards
- Length: 6 in.
- Width: 5.1 in.
- Weight: 1 lb., 14 oz.
- MSRP: $2,900
- Website: leicacamerausa.com
Finding Your Way with Geovid Pro 32 and Leica ProTrack
ProTrack is an app-enabled capability offered with the Geovid Pro 32 binoculars that allows the user to range a target and drop a digital pin on a map to make navigating to that point easier. Pro Track works with Google Maps, a GPS, or Base Map. While other range-finding binoculars work with one or more of these options, the Geovid Pro binoculars do so with a higher degree of accuracy thanks to the binocular’s internal compass that has a margin of error less than two to five degrees. Some binoculars only guarantee a margin of error of 10 degrees.
The user must select their preferred map type and open that application on their cell phone. I used Base Map because it doesn’t require cell service to work in the field and it’s a simple application to learn. Once paired, ranging a target drops a pin on the map. The user is then free to navigate by whatever route they choose to the pinned location without fear of becoming disoriented or misremembering the spot where he last saw the target or animal. This is a great way to stalk an animal seen a couple ridgelines away or finding the exact spot an animal was standing at the shot.