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110m@1000m, 6.5º (1982-today)
© 2014 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

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LEICA TRINOVID 8x20 BCA (8.2 oz./233g without cord, 10'/3m close focus, about $440 new or $300 used). enlarge. My biggest source of support for this free website is when you use any of these links, especially these links directly to it at Adorama, directly to it at Amazon or directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay) when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It helps me keep adding to this free website when you get yours through those links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. Thanks for your support! Ken.

January 2014   TRINOVID Reviews   LEICA   LEICA Lenses    All Reviews



Rear, LEICA TRINOVID 8x20 BCA. enlarge.



LEICA TRINOVID 8x20 BCA folded for storage. enlarge.


Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio
I use these stores. I can't vouch for ads below.

These LEICA TRINOVID 8x20 BCA binoculars are tiny folding binoculars intended to be carried in a pocket, glove box or camera bag.

When folded, they are so small that they almost can hide behind a business card:


Almost hides behind a business card.

They are super-sharp and extremely well made as you would expect from LEICA.

They have a small 2.5mm exit pupil, meaning that you have to position them carefully for the best brightness in daytime, and at night shadows simply go black. These are super sharp at night, with extraordinary detail in bright areas, but the image looks like someone turned it off compared to using full-size binoculars like the incomparable TRINOVID 10x40, which see much better in the dark.

This said, it's easy to see the moons of Jupiter with these little gems.

The LEICA 8x20 BC is the same thing, just with ordinary fake camera leather instead of rubber covering. The BC version weighs 1/2 oz. (13g) less.


Specifications         top

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Folding pocket binoculars.

Center focus.

The BCA appellation means they are prophylactically enrobed in rubber.

LEICA part number 40 354.



8 times linear magnification.

20mm objective lenses.

Roof prism.

HDC coating.

P40 phase correction.

Internal focusing.

2.5mm exit pupil.

14mm eye relief.

12.6 twilight factor.

6.5º angle of view.

52º apparent angle of view.

110 meters field of view at 1,000 meters.

360 foot field of view at 1,000 yards.

10'/3m close focus.


Eyepiece, erected for normal vision.



32-83mm Interpupillary adjustment range.

Retractable solid eyecups.

There is no strap. Instead, there is a nylon rope that pokes through an eyelet on each side. The rope is melted at each end to form a hard ball that prevents it from pulling through the eyelet. Thus the cord isn't user-replaceable, but if it goes, you ought to be able to send it to LEICA for repair.





Leather case, LEICA TRINOVID 8x20 BCA. enlarge.

I prefer the soft padded leather case shown here that I got when buying an older pair over eBay. This particular case has a belt loop on the back, and a slot in the top if you want to feed-out the carry cord. Other cases are different, maybe with or without the padding, belt loop or cord slot.

If you buy new, I believe they only come with a crappier nylon case with a sloppy nylon buckle closure.



3.5" x 2.36" (9 x 6 cm) folded. 1.4" (35mm) tall when folded flat.

A business card is 3.5 x 2.0"



8.245 oz. (233.4g), actual measured, without cord.

9.820 oz. (278.5g), measured with case and cord.

Rated 8.11 oz. (235 g) by LEICA.

(The BC non-rubberized version weighs 7.780 oz. (220.6g) naked, or 8.890 oz. (252.0g) with cord and case)



Made in Portugal, shamefully hidden in black-on-black in the rubber cover inside the folding hinge where no one will ever see it unless they are a customs inspector.

LEICA has done most of their precision work in Portugal for decades and decades. What little they make marked MADE IN GERMANY is usually only where they assemble the precision components that come from their Portuguese factory.



$440 new or $300 used, January 2014.


Performance         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

As covered above, they are as sharp as any other full-sized binocular, just dim at night. Larger binoculars will look much brighter at night, but in daylight, they are the same. You just need to be more careful about how you hold these in daytime for the best brightness because you need to align the 2.5mm exit pupil with your eye's 2.5mm daytime entrance pupil.

The interocular adjustment is stiff and sure.

The big Phillips head screw on the front end of the focus shaft looks out of place, but it's normal.

Mine, bought from a random stranger over eBay, are perfectly aligned.

There is no chromatic aberration, better than my TRINOVID 10x50 BN.

The worst thing optically is some moderate flare if you're pointing them in the direction of the sun. If it annoys you, shield the stray light with your hand.

There is minor pincushion distortion, typical for most binoculars.

Good news: it fits in its case with the eye cups erect, saving time every time they are put away or taken out.


Compared         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

These tiny binoculars are super sharp, but dim at night. They are as sharp as any other premium binocular.

They also have a smaller field of view than full size binoculars. In fact, the magnificent TRINOVID 10x40 see a larger real field of view, with a higher magnification as well!

These tiny binoculars are superb because you can put them in a pocket and have them with you anyplace, anywhere. These are the binoculars you actually have with you instead of having nothing while out and about. Larger binoculars are better if you plan to use them all day and don't mind carrying them; these are what you can carry all the time just in case, and in daylight, they are as good as anything else.


Usage         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Pull them out of their case and pull the two halves apart until they fit your eyes.

Look through the left side and focus. Now cover the left side and turn the dioptometric adjustment on the right objective until the right side is also in perfect focus.


Diopter adjustment on objective.

Push them against your skull's eye sockets to stabilize.

Learn to roll the focus adjustment to infinity by feel as you bring them to your eye after not having used them. Turn the focus knob all the way to far, then to roll from your fingertip to the right spot on your finger pad to return to infinity.

As roof-prism binoculars, they are also ideal for use backwards to make things look smaller:

Ryan sees katie smaller

Ryan sees Katie smaller. (Fuji X100S with flash, 11 January 2014.)

These are great for children because they are easy to use; my 5-year-old girl (on right) has no problem figuring out how to unfold and adjust them, and they fold up to work with tiny eyes just fine.


Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

These are binoculars designed to help the rich enjoy the good life. They are meant to be tucked away in a spare jacket for luxury vacations, impromptu yacht parties, exotic high-end tours and safaris, reading the titles on the top shelves of books in the owner's rare-book library, appreciating the art hung high in the owner's well-stuffed art gallery, and for tucking into tony preschoolers' backpacks. These are also popular for use as party favors, or handed out at the beginning of a cruise.

For photographers, these are perfect popping into a camera bag.

Yes, these cost a lot more than junk binoculars, but unlike digital cameras or big-screen TVs, these will last a lifetime. The quality is remembered long after the price has been forgotten.

If you've found all the time, effort and expense I put into researching and sharing all this, this free website's biggest source of support is when you use these recommended sources of supply, especially these links directly to it at Adorama, directly to it at Amazon or directly to it at eBay (see How to Win at eBay) when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live.

It helps me keep adding to this free website when you get yours through those links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you disrespect my recommendations and take the chance of buying elsewhere.

Thanks for your support!



More Information         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

LEICA Camera's page on the 8x20 BCA

LEICA's technical data

Bird Watcher's Digest


Help me help you         top

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Thanks for reading!



Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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