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Old Jul 23, 2007, 8:02 PM   #11
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ennacac wrote:
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I have the Pentax DCF SP, 10X43 and find them to be equal to the best I have used at a much lower price, although not inexpensive either.

Tom
The pentax 10x50 looks interesting I am going to check them out as soon as I get a chance.

Pentax 10x50 DCF ED Waterproof & Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular with 5.0-Degree Angle of View

TOTALLY WACKY roger
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 2:27 PM   #12
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I secondTom's Pentax recommendation. Binoculars are my bag - I have been testing, comparing, evaluating, and lecturing onbinoculars for bird observation for years. The birding craze hasspawned such a lucrative marketin recent years, that a plethora of excellent designs has emerged under many labels, varying from the very expensive to the prohibitive for many buyers. This group is an aging one, and high eyepoints have been added for eyeglass wearers. For years I used a 7X42 Leica Trinovid roof-prism as my standard glass, and a 10X50 Celestron Ultima porro-prism when higher power was needed. Until phase-coating was developed, no roof-prism was the equal of the best porro-prism glass, but when Pentax came out with their DCF WP models, the whole picture changed, as these were being reviewed as the best value on the market in a phase-coated roof design and for all practical purposes proved the equal of the best higher priced binoculars. I use the 8X40.

Parenthetically, Pentax has recently developed a revolutionary close-focusing binocular design, which allows theobjective lenses to converge as focusing distancedecreases, eliminating the double vision that plagued binoculars withfixed parallellight paths. You can use these conventionally, or examine your fingerprints if you desire! They are both binoculars andlong-working-distance microscopes. They are small, light, and pocketable, and were designed specifically for butterfly and dragonfly observation, and are called the "Pentax Papilio" (Papilio = Swallowtail). They are available in 6.5 and 8 powers, and come with a belt case. I recommend the lower power forits wider field and greater DOF, both of which are imortant at close range. From my lunch table, I can count the feathers on the hummingbirds feeding outside my patio doors. And to top it all off they are available for less than $150. I do not know what the effect of the Hoya merger will have onthe continued availability of Pentaxbinoculars, but I would get them while I can! These are not a substitute for conventional binoculars, but for photographers on the move andburdened down with bulky equipment, a pair of Papilios on one's belt can be a godsend!

Check out the website "Better View Desired" for some useful reviews, including the Papilio and other Pentax DCF models.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 3:38 PM   #13
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Hi Guys,

Although I'm not really interested in digiscoping, this has turned into a very interesting thread for me with the info on binoculars. Being a city boy, quality binoculars haven't been a priority consideration for me (well, truth be told, they did come in handy for checking out the girls on the beach a long, long time ago. . .:-)). With my birding pursuits, I've always had the glass on the camera to spot with, but as the lenses have grown in size and weight, and the FOV has shrunk drastically with longer FLs, this has become much less practical. Looks like it would serve me to do some research into some good binoculars. . .

Thanks for getting me started with some good information . . . I knew that very good binoculars did exist, at some very impressive prices, but never really considered some of the finer points of features, coatings, light transmission, etc.

Scott
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 6:46 PM   #14
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Hey everyone

Went online yesterday to research Pentax Binocs &visited this site that Penolta reccomended:

http://www.betterviewdesired.com/

Had some very good things to say about Pentax binoculars & spotting scopes..

Pentax 65mm & 80mm spotting scopes get great marks, with the 80mm being used as abenchmark for how they rate scopes..

Actually, a lot of very useful information on binoculars & spotting scopes in general..I learned quite a lot that I didn't know!!

The close-focusing Papilio binocs are VERY interesting!!

Do you use them in your everyday work, Penolta??..

Defineatly check out this site if you are in the markert for new binoculars or spotting scopes..

Bruce
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 8:23 PM   #15
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The close-focusing Papilio binocs are VERY interesting!!

Do you use them in your everyday work, Penolta??
They are optically excellent and I use them every day. I keep them on my dinner table for looking at birds and butterfllies in my large back yard - from a foot or two outside the window to all the way to the other side. I have recommended them to a number of friends and colleagues, and none has been disappointed. A biologist friend does the same as I do, another (a marine biologist)uses them for examining tide pools, and still another (a botanist) for examining plants "on the other side of the fence."

They probably should be considereda spcialty item and not an all purpose glass (although somebirders douse them that way), but they are inexpensive and have a no-fault lifetime free replacement warranty (an industry first?). But be warned they are not waterproof, so don't drop them in the ocean! How can they do it so inexpensively? Made in China, of course (but they are careful to point out "under direct Pentax supervision").
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 9:33 AM   #16
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penolta wrote:
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The close-focusing Papilio binocs are VERY interesting!!

Do you use them in your everyday work, Penolta??
They are optically excellent and I use them every day. I keep them on my dinner table for looking at birds and butterfllies in my large back yard - from a foot or two outside the window to all the way to the other side. I have recommended them to a number of friends and colleagues, and none has been disappointed. A biologist friend does the same as I do, another (a marine biologist)uses them for examining tide pools, and still another (a botanist) for examining plants "on the other side of the fence."

They probably should be considereda spcialty item and not an all purpose glass (although somebirders douse them that way), but they are inexpensive and have a no-fault lifetime free replacement warranty (an industry first?). But be warned they are not waterproof, so don't drop them in the ocean! How can they do it so inexpensively? Made in China, of course (but they are careful to point out "under direct Pentax supervision").
Penolta

Thanks for the info on your personal usage..

I do believe that I will be getting a pair of the Papilio binocs, as well as another pair of better quality, rubber-armored, waterproofones for general glassing..

Still cannot make up my mind on whether I want 8 power, or 10 power glasses..

Bruce
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 1:26 PM   #17
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Still cannot make up my mind on whether I want 8 power, or 10 power glasses..
Depends on your needs, Bruce. 10X power are best for long distance obvservation, but are harder to hold steady (terrible on a boat), because movement is magnified as well as the image, and they have narrower fields (same problems as long teles); they usually do not focus closely, and unless you get larger and heavier 10X50's the exit pupil is small. 7 0r 8 power is best for all around use. The exit pupil is the size of the disc of light that exits the eyepiece 5mm is the minimum acceptable size for decent light transmission under less than optimal conditions. For low light use, 7mm is best, because it matches the dark-adapted pupil of the eye. The exit pupil is calculated by dividing the objective lensdiameter in millimetersby the magnificationpower of the eyepiece for a 7X35, 35/7=5, so to keep a constant, each increase in power requires an increase of 5mm -- 7x35, 8x40, 9x45, and 10x50 all have 5 mm exit pupils. 7X50's for twilight and night-time observation have 7.1mm exit pupils. For an equivalent 10x you would need 10x70, which are even larger and heavier (you can even get 20x80, usually used on a tripod) for astronomical observation. In the end, it is a personal decision, and what is best for one is not necessarily best for another. I always purchased 7x35's porro prisms for student use; if they wanted to move up to something else, they had toprovide their own, subject to my inspection (I didn't want any "my glasses weren't good enough" excuses for misidentifications), because there are a lot of lousy binoculars on the market. This is not the place to give recommendatons, but generally speaking, although price is not always a reliableguide, stay away from inexpensive roof-prisms, as really good ones are expensive to make (and make sure theyare phase-coated, regardless of the price).


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