Reviewed by Anto Hall
Advanced Ballistic Compensation
Use and Handling
Setting a new benchmark
Time and again, Leica have set milestones in distance determination and optical quality. In 2004, the company’s second generation Geovid was launched and for the first time, a binocular/rangefinder combination looked like real binoculars. This wasn’t a derivative of a military device either, but an independent development created especially for the sports market. Due to its extremely robust construction, its reliability and compact form, it’s still in use and on the market today. Since 2005 Leica technicians have continued to work on optimising the Geovid, achieving increased range, an integrated ballistic system, and general efficiency improvements.
The new Leica Geovid HD-B 10x42 range-finding binoculars are truly something special; even on first glance they look impressive, but while we all know it’s nice to have things that look good, it’s what is on the inside that counts. With the Geovid HD-B, Leica have combined the best of both worlds.
With superb optics, ergonomics and Leica’s Advanced Ballistic Compensation (ABC) there are no excuses for not spotting animals or hitting your mark when it counts, even at long range.
For some time I have adopted Leica optics as my preferred choice, using Leica 10-15x50mm Duovids in combination with a Leica 1600b rangefinder, so when I got a chance to begin using the integrated model with an improved custom ballistics system, I was more than keen to see how they performed. Impressed? Well I certainly am, and will be getting myself a pair to add to my hunting kit as soon as possible
The overall concept of the new Geovid HD-B brings about a revolution in range-finding. Unique to these binoculars is the optical performance of their patented Perger Porro prism system, the optimised ergonomics of their bridge construction, and the additional integration of an extremely high-performance laser rangefinder with a multifunction ballistic computer.
The Geovid HD-B accesses an internal database with twelve ballistic curves that are programmed into the system and represent the trajectories of modern cartridges. In addition to this database, an integrated micro SD card slot is located inside the battery housing, which allows the shooter to program and save personal ballistic data for their own cartridge/rifle combination! This revolutionary option means you can input your own specific ballistic data. Different ballistic information can be saved on separate micro SD cards for multiple cartridge/rifle use, and the result is extremely precise and accurate ballistics information. Within 0.2 seconds, the Geovid HD-B displays all the necessary information for an accurate shot – essential for long distances. This may sound complicated but it’s not; it’s simply a matter of creating your own custom ballistic data set to input into your Geovid HD-B. This can be done simply on the Leica website for free.
The newly developed Advanced Ballistic Compensation (ABC) allows hunters to determine the point of aim more easily, especially when shooting longer distances; the system takes into consideration the ammunition specifics, angle, temperature and barometric pressure.
Yes, the Geovid HD-B determines the angle, temperature and barometric pressure for you! No more messing around with weather stations for those of you who like to shoot a little further than most – which means more time spent on the rifle looking through the scope which in turn results in improved target acquisition.
Every aspect of the integrated ABC ballistics system is intelligently functional. Based on your individual demands and specific hunting situation, you can choose from three ballistic applications. In all three options, the system automatically accounts for the angle of inclination, temperature and air pressure, plus ballistics, for a precisely-calculated impact-point correction. Whether you’re in the mountains or in long rolling tussock basins where accurate distance measurement is key – the Geovid HD-B gives you all the data you need for a sure shot
BALLISTIC SYSTEM FOR A MAXIMUM PRECISE SHOT
The Geovid HD-B features an extremely long-ranging capability of up to 2000 yards/1,825 metres. After automatically considering the input ballistics, angle of inclination, temperature and air pressure the unit uses a an easily-legible LED display that automatically adjusts to any lighting conditions and can provide ballistic data in the following ways, with all ballistic modes automatically compensated for angle, temperature and air pressure:
• For hunters who use a traditional reticle in their riflescope, the ABC system shows the holdover in inches or centimetres, in addition to the measured distance.
• For hunters/shooters using ballistic reticles, custom turrets or a chart, the ABC system can display the equivalent horizontal range (EHR).
• For hunters/shooters using MOA or Mil/cm-based click adjustments on externally adjustable turrets, the ABC system can indicate the necessary number of clicks.
CRYSTAL CLEAR OPTICS FOR REAL LIFE COLOURS AND MAXIMUM CONTRAST
Geovid HD-B units offer sharp, high-contrast images with outstanding depth and plasticity as well as extremely high light transmission and neutral, vivid colours, thanks to Perger Porro prisms. The Aqua Dura Coating - an innovative nano structure coating - prevents dust and dirt from sticking onto the lenses and allows for easy and simple cleaning.
OPEN ERGONOMIC BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION FOR OPTIMAL COMFOR
The Geovid HD-B looks and feels awesome. They feature a simple two-button operation, eyecups with 5 click-stop settings and open ergonomic bridge construction, which ensures fatigue-free viewing. They are particularly rugged and light with a resilient, fully rubber-armoured magnesium body.
In the Field
The Geovid HD-B’s have been given a workout, not only by me but by my mates as well. No-one who has picked them can find a fault, and most find them very impressive inside and out. They have been taken into a range of country including the mountains of the Southern Alps chasing tahr and chamois, where premium optics are worth their weight in gold, and have also even proved their worth in the tight bush of Australia, bow-hunting wild boars.
Not only does the Geovid HD-B combine the premier optics that Leica are known for with a simple-to-use range-finding system, but for longer shots, where atmospheric conditions are required for accuracy, these binocular range-finders also replace the requirement for a weather station. The Geovid HD-B are a true three-in-one system – not just range-finder binoculars with an inclinometer, as is the expected norm these days.
I found that when in the field I felt most confident using the Advanced Ballistic Compensation (ABC) system displaying the clicks I required to adjust on my scopes, which all generally have externally adjustable turrets. It’s so simple: find a target, range, click the scope as indicated by the Geovid HD-B and take your time shooting.
I found the ABC system to be extremely accurate. I didn’t get an opportunity to shoot beyond 800 yards, however anything out to this distance was dead on its feet provided the wind was accounted for correctly. No, unfortunately Geovids do not incorporate a magical hunting wind meter yet!
What I found most impressive was having the ability to consistently take out rabbits at well beyond 400 yards, which is what I consider a pretty reasonable distance for such small targets. The accuracy of the ABC Ballistics system removes ballistic errors that normally exist, and put your bullet on its mark.
If you’re looking for premium optical quality glass and accurate ranging out to 2000 yards, combined with an advanced integrated ballistics program, look no further. This unit has it all and does it all with ease. And as we’ve said, this means more time spent on the rifle, looking through the scope, resulting in improved target acquisition.