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/ Difference in models.
Difference in models.
November 28, 2003 3:55 PM
First up, I'd like to say "Hi" to you all, I've been lurking for a bit & after doing a bit of research I thought I'd throw you all a query which will help finalise my purchase.
It seems that Orion & Helios share the same binoculars according to any images & specs I've read. I'm going to purchase the Helios version as I'm in the UK and they are cheaper, but I'm going to refer to the Orions in my query as I think the folks here would be more familiar with that brand.
I was going to purchase a pair of Orion Vista 10x50's for stargazing and also a bit of daytime viewing if I was ever out and about. I then came across the Orion Ultraviews 10x50 which are slightly cheaper, and have a wider FOV(6.5 vs 5.3) Both pair seem to have multi coated lenses and both have Bak-4 prisms.
The price difference isn't huge, maybe $40. I was wondering do I get much for my extra money by buying the Vistas. I probably prefer the style of the Ultraviews but at the end of the day I'd rather get the ones thats going to give me the best performance regadless of what they look like.
Would anyone have compared either or shed any light on what the extra money for the Vistas would give.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
November 28, 2003 5:31 PM
Welcome to the pleasuredome !
I've never used either of these two binos but as you may have gathered from reading most of other posts , direct personal usage has not stopped me from butting in with my sixpenneth before !
In this case I can't resist the temptation to bring to your attention what I've read about these binos and to also remind you that 6.5 degrees is one hell of a lot easier to use than 5.3 degrees with 10x mag.
One of our most senior "gurus" Mr.Ed Zarenski ( who has used varieties of both models ) would doubtless be as good a man as any to give you the best advice , but I don't know if he ever bothers to read any posts on this forum any more since he was "Knighted" :-) ( only joking Ed ! )
In fact I think Ed indicated in one of his masterpiece marathon bino articles on CN ( highly recommended if you have a whole evening to spare for reading ! ) that the Ultraview's stated TFOV of 6.5 may be somewhat optimistic and that 6 degrees may be closer to the true mark , but even this is significantly wider than 5.3 when pi r squared is applied.
Ed has a nice tendency to be a little on the small c conservative side anyway !
Both models have earned themselves very respectable ratings on another site I follow where the slightly lower rating of the Ultraview is likely more related to the far higher number of individual reviewers than any great difference in quality.
If you are prepared to settle for around 5 degree TFOV I can highly recommend the Pentax PCF 10 x 50 in this price range.
Hope this helps you Brian
Clear skies --Kenny .
Milton Wilcox R.I.P
November 28, 2003 6:40 PM
Sorry double post.
November 28, 2003 6:45 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. I'll definately have a look at the Pentax model you mention although it's probably really pushing my budget. After a quick browse I seen them for £139 and that makes me wonder once more if it's worth the extra compared to the Helios Ultimate-HR (Orion Vista) at £106.
If I thought it made a difference I'd maybe go for it but it's pretty difficult for me to know what the extra moneys getting me as I don't have a lot of knowledge of binoculars/optics etc..
November 29, 2003 7:41 AM
Out of interest, are the Pentax 10x50 PCF WP the same model as the Pentax 10x50 PCF III?
Amazon are doing the PCF WP for £110 but the Pentax UK website only lists the PCF III. I wasn't sure if one was an older model maybe.
November 29, 2003 7:36 PM
Brian, I've had the 8X42 Vista, 10X50 Ultraview, and 20X60 Pentax PCF V (and WP). Not quite what you wanted to compare, but the same brands/models. I was very impressed with the fit and finish of the Vista, it is much better made than the Ultraview and a bit better than the Pentax. The Ultraview has a hard plastic strip across the prism housing where you place your fingers, and I found it somewhat uncomfortable. The plastic also tends to shrink in the cold exposing the housing underneath. The Vistas feel much better in the hand, although, being leatherette, they will not stand up to much abuse (no kids). Optically, the sharpness rank was as follows: 1. Pentax, 2. (close) Vista, and 3. Ultraview (third but still respectable). The eye relief on the Ultraview and the Pentax are both sufficient for eyeglass wearers. The 18mm on the Vista did not allow me to see the entire FOV, so I'm sure the 16mm on the 10X50 model would show even less with glasses. If you wear glasses, you can cross the Vista off the list. If you do not wear glasses, then you have to consider the eyecups. The VIstas have soft rubber eyecups, very comfortable. The Ultraviews I had were the older model, also with rubber eyecups, but the newer models have hard plastic push-up type cups. So do the Pentaxes. I'm not a fan of this style eyecup, particularly when the eyepieces are oversized. I find them uncomfortable because I have deep-set eyes and have to push them into my eye sockets. If you plan to use these for daytime too, the Vista has the best flare control and color rendition. Pentax has false color (may be less in the 10X model) and the Ultraview has more glare than the other two. Hand fit depends on your hand size. If you have small hands or if your wife/girlfriend is also going to use them, the Vista is the smallest and has the best hand comfort, both in terms of shape and feel (leatherette). The Ultraviews are bulky, better for big hands. The Pentax has better ergonomics than the Ultraview but IMO not as good as the Vista. The focus wheel on the Vistas is "backwards" compared to most binoculars. I found this a bit difficult to adjust to (if you are lefty, it should not be a problem). The focus tension was a little stiff but not bad, better than too mushy. The focus on the Ultraview was mushy. If you press your eyes too hard, they will shift. The Pentax focus locks. The right diopter on the Ultraview was also mushy, the Vista was good, and the Pentax has click stops, though one sample the clicks were barely discernable, the other had clear stops. The Vistas and Ultraviews are Japanese made so the quality consistency is better than the Pentax, which is made in China. I had to buy three Pentaxes before getting one that was mechanically and optically without problems. Finally, there's FOV. The Ultraviews, while not sharp to the edge, have a nice wide FOV compared to the Pentax and VIsta, and while not quite as sharp on-axis as the other two, they are still very good. If you are a beginner, the Ultaview is the way to go because of the wider FOV. If you would like the bins to double for birding, the Ultraview is also a good choice, though glare might be a problem when facing the sun. IMO, the Vistas are better for daytime use because of their superior color and glare control. NB: According to the Pentax technician I corresponded with, all Pentax PCF V bins contain field flattner lenses. So the 10X50 would likely have good edge sharpness, but like the Vista, with less FOV. The way to tell which 10X50 will work best for you is to either go to a store that carries all three (unlikely in England) or if you have a credit card, buy all three, compare them, and send the two you don't want back. Unlike telescopes, bins are very personal, in that, the way they fit your face, hands, the tolerance your eyes have for eye relief (the Pentaxes can cause "blackouts" from the high eye relief), whether or not you wear glasses, focus preference, and yes, even aesthetics, all enter the decision. I've bought respectable bins based on good reviews I've read (e.g., BVD review of the new Swift Audubon), only to find that the "fit" was not good even though the optics were great. If you can't afford to order all three, compare the specs and the criteria outlined above and decide what specs/features are most important to you. They are all very nice binoculars, but the nuances can make the difference of which one's a keeper. Brock
November 30, 2003 3:45 AM
What a thoroughly good and highly informative post THAT was.
You sound like one of those people who ought to be paid by an independent organisation such as WHAT or WHICH magazine to provide the general public with brief summaries of as many binoculars as you can get your hands on for a day.
Now wouldn't THAT be a useful service and a great job to have !
No --then again --thinking about it -- I want THAT job for myself -- especially it were well paid too :-)
I'll dream on -- seriously --thanks again for a great post
not least because Brian is a "newbie" on CN and this was his first ever post so I'm really pleased someone like yourself could come along with hands -on experiece and useful comments .
Clear skies --Kenny
Milton Wilcox R.I.P
November 30, 2003 4:42 AM
Like Kenny says, thank you for such an informative post, I found it extremely helpful.
I think it's going to be down to either the Vistas or the Pentax. Either way, I'll let you guys know which ones I go for.
Your help was appreciated.
December 3, 2003 4:35 PM
Folks, just to let you know, I decided on the Pentax ones. I would occasionally wear glasses, usually at night when driving or sometimes for distant objects. Probably as I get older I'll find myself wearing them more & more so I thought the Pentax ones with the better eye relief would be more "future proof" for me.
Ordered them on Monday from Amazon for 110 with free shipping & wifey said she's gonna get them for me for Christmas.
Thanks again for your help guys.
February 12, 2004 2:18 PM
OK, thought I'd better update on how things went since that last post in this thread.
Well was I in for a shock thinking I'd get them for Christmas, they only arrived 2 days ago! Amazon had trouble getting them for one reason or another but the saving over my local High St. shop was substantial enough for me not to cancel the order.
Anyways, just want to let you know how delighted I am with them. Thanks for the recomendations Kenny and Brock.
Last night wasn't a very clear night but I got out for a while on my camping mat staring into space. Big jump up compared to an old cheaper 8x30 pair that I'd be using belonging to my dad. Nice to see the stars as pinpoints instead of looking like little flares. Looking forward to try them during the day, it's quite dark when I leave & come home from work at the minute.
February 12, 2004 6:57 PM
Hello again Brian and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours !
I'm glad you like the Pentax PCF 10 x 50s and had wondered in my quieter moments how you felt about them.
I'll tell you now --partly because I hadn't heard from you since my recommendation , I tried some more of these two weeks ago and was again very impressed , even in daylight.
I'm beginning to think that in spite of the narrow TFOV , these really do deserve to be considered a "best buy" for astronomy use.
Keep in touch -- Kenny.
Milton Wilcox R.I.P
February 14, 2004 7:35 AM
Thanks for the New Year wishes Kenny, hope you have great 2004 as well. This morning was the first I had them out in daylight & I'm amazed, when I see you guys writing about higher end binoculars, they must be incredible to look through.
Msut admit I'm not really bothered by the narrow FOV, to be honest I was expecting it to be worse than what it is so no complaints from me there. Looking forward to getting up the coast some day with them, I'll have some fantastic views up there.
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