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New guy  

FNG Member

Hello everyone!

My name is Kacper and I'm new here. I'm a surveyor coming from Poland and working in Sweden. 

Leica or Trimble and why ? 

Posted : January 14, 2020 10:26 pm
A Harris
5,000+ posts Member

Howdy Kacper, welcome.

Sokkia, has always worked well with others and for me.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West

Posted : January 15, 2020 1:35 am
FNG Member


Sokkia have very good accuracy from what I have noticed. 

Posted : January 15, 2020 1:39 am
holy cow
10,000+ posts Member

Welcome.  You have found a tremendous resource.  We look forward to your participation.

Tell us a little about land surveying where you are as it is surely much different from our own form of land surveying.

Posted : January 15, 2020 5:05 am
5,000+ posts Member

Leica or Trimble and why ? 

I have no personal experience to compare. The reputation seems to be Leica has the best hardware but their software is less friendly than many other brands. Leica has their own way of doing everything that you must accept. Once you learn their way you get good results.

An example of their own way is the way they specify prisms.  Zero offset for Leica is not zero offset for any other brand.

Posted : January 15, 2020 6:28 am
Dave Karoly
10,000+ posts Member

We are Trimble users.  I just find their software (field and office) less aggravating overall.  TBC has improved a lot over the last ten years or so.  The only thing I don't know is why they call it Trimble BUSINESS Center, makes it sound like their accounting software suite.  Also why ACCESS?  Why name field software after a Microsoft database program?  But those are minor things, the software itself is fairly easy to use.  There are a few things that could be better but the overall experience is a good one.

Our scanners are Leica P50, we have two.  I have pretty much learned how to drive the square peg (Leica scanner raw data) into the round hole (Leica office processing software which is Cyclone).  Cyclone has improved somewhat but it still is not geodetic software.  The scanners are great once you learn their weird quirks and glitches.  I have a work flow that I use that almost eliminates field problems.  Leica doesn't publish a required work flow anywhere but I have learned a work flow which avoids problems they don't tell you about.  For example, always fill out the target form (point name, target type, target height) before hitting PickT.  They don't tell you this but if you PickT first it will always for evermore put target height at zero even if you change it.  Learned that one the hard way.  It can be fixed in Cyclone but it is painful and you have to refix it for every registration.  I try very hard to not make entry errors in the field because fixing those things in the office is not simple.  Don't get me wrong the point clouds they gather are wonderful especially the true colors.

My biggest gripe with the scanners is the stupid little screen on the side in the most awkward orientation and height (it's what I call Leica's triumph of ergonomics-that is sarcasm).  We use an iPad because Leica doesn't offer a handheld controller for the scanner.  Either use the stupid little screen or a tablet or phone with an app.  The preferable iOS app which is RDP only works if you have the older version and Apple doesn't allow downgrading versions so if you update it without realizing this it will no longer work with the scanner.  Luckily I updated my personal iPad first then when I couldn't get it to work tried my iPhone and another iPhone both didn't work either but the iPad with the older version is still working as long as we never update it.  Ask Leica and their reaction is sort of "Why should we care?"  You can use another one which isn't nearly as good.  So that's the stupid Leica scanner interface problem.

This post was modified 5 days ago 2 times by Dave Karoly

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Posted : January 15, 2020 7:12 am

Octa-Frequency GNSS Receiver, Quad Constellations

John Hamilton
2,500+ posts Member

Trimble. I have been using Trimble since 1986. Before that I used Wild optical instruments. One reason I use Trimble is familiarity, too hard to change now! I have Trimble GPS (many different models), Total stations (S6 and SX10), scanner (TX8) and digital level (Dini12). The only one I really would like to change is the level, but I have several invar rods with struts and they are not interchangeable, so I am stuck with the Dini. Not that it is no good, just has not had any improvements in at least 15 years, whereas I think Leica has made improvements. I was at Intergeo in October in Stuttgart, and neither Trimble nor Leica had any displays with digital levels, it is definitely not a focus of ether manufacturer, so I was not able to get any info on either. 

And I have been to the optical factory outside of Stockholm, really cool to see all of that. 

This post was modified 5 days ago by John Hamilton

John Hamilton
It's been my fate from make my mark upon the earth.

Posted : January 15, 2020 7:27 am
Norman Oklahoma
2,500+ posts Member
Posted by: @kacper-swiderski

Leica or Trimble and why ? 

I'm a Trimble person. Largely because that is what I'm familiar with. But I have had some time with Leica as well.

I like the Trimble Access dc software much more.  And I've always said that you should make your choice based on dc software and workflow, and dealer support, then buy the hardware it goes with.  I like Access partly because conversion of its file format is built into StarNet, whereas a Leica conversion requires A Leica proprietary utility (although this seems to have changed with the latest release of StarNet). 

The Trimble tracks the diodes on the active prism better than any passive system. The Leica's Powersearch is better for reacquiring. 

I could probably get into a Geomax/SurvCE/Carlson Survey workflow if I was starting from scratch. But I'm not. 

That said, I have Leica tripods, tribrachs, and prism glass. Can't beat Leica for accessories. And I love the way the Leica stuff fits in its case.  

Perhaps a better question would be "Leica/Trimble" or "Topcon/Sokkia".  

This post was modified 5 days ago by Norman Oklahoma

"Convention is like the shell to the chick, a protection till he is strong enough to break it through." Learned Hand

Posted : January 15, 2020 7:37 am
Nate The Surveyor
5,000+ posts Member

any particular reason to stay with only these two brands?

And, have you tried the factories over there?


Surveying is more than a Job----it is a passion to provide a foundation for future generation, that is beyond reproach.


Posted : January 15, 2020 11:50 am
FNG Member
Posted by: @holy-cow

Welcome.  You have found a tremendous resource.  We look forward to your participation.

Tell us a little about land surveying where you are as it is surely much different from our own form of land surveying

I think that the biggest difference is that there is no boundary surveying since it's controlled by a government institution. Geodata is public and digitalized. Not so long time ago they have finished laser scanning whole country and made a nationwide elevation model. 

So from our side it's mostly construction surveys. 

Beside that it should be the same, it's all about the angles and distances 😉 


In Sweden 80 - 90 % of the market is Leica, i've noticed that on this forum Trimble is most popular. I'm curious why 😉

This post was modified 4 days ago by Kacper Swiderski
Posted : January 15, 2020 11:09 pm
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