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/ new pentax 8x32 sp's
new pentax 8x32 sp's
February 11, 2005 2:45 PM
I started with the intent to look at and possibly purchase a pair of Nikon 8x42SE's which were on sale at a local Jax Mercantile store. At $499.99, I thought this would be a great buy. When I arrived at the store this morning, I tried the Nikon and found them to be a great feel with excellent brightness and contrast. The only doubt I had was that they had been in the store for a long time and I could see what appeared to be some little marks on the front objectives where maybe some of the coating had been scratched.
Not being sure if I wanted these (only ones available) I tried some of the other brands in the same price range. A pair of 10x42 Steiners(Merlins)offered an excellent view with (for me) a more comfortable handheld feel. The apparent brightness was about the same in both the Steiners and Nikons.
A less expensive Pentax 10x42's showed a dimmer image and little less contrast. I tried a more expensive pair of Nikon 10x42LX's ($799.99) but for some reason the feel was more akward and I could see little or no difference in the image quality.
Trying to decide if the Nikon or Steiners were the right purcahse, I noticed a pair of Pentax 8x32DCF SP's in the case. These again were the same price as the Nikon SE's and the Steiners, at $499.99. Now I had another choice to make.
Both inside the store and out, the SP's were equal to or better than the Nikon or Steiners as to contrast and brightness. The 8x32's have a FOV of 7.5, which may explain the apparent brightness. The contrast was equally as good and the smaller pair of Pentax seemed to fit my hands to a tee. The barrels have a recessed area for the thumbs, ala Steiner.
The Pentax display binoculars again were the only ones available in the store but seemed to be in an overall better condition than the Nikons. The 8x32SP's were not on sale but after begging, the store took $100.00 off the price which sealed the deal. (I think they wanted to get rid of me).
So, for $399.99, I believe I bought an excellent pair of binoculars which are a true pleasure to look thought. The exit pupil is 4mm with eye relief at 17mm. The eyepiece rings can be extended or retracted with the right diopoter adjusting ring having a lock. The weight is 23.2 oz.
According to Pentax, they are phase coated on all lens surfaces, with hybrid aspherical eyepiece lenses. Both water and fog proof. They come with a limited lifetime warranty.
If anyone else has tried these, I would be interested in knowing what you think. For me, I think they will work well.
February 11, 2005 2:46 PM
February 11, 2005 2:47 PM
next to my oberwerk 20x80's
February 11, 2005 3:11 PM
I'm assuming you went to the shop looking for Nikon SEs in either 8 x 32 or 10 x 42 , as there is no such model as a Nikon SE 8 x 42.
I don't think you'll go wrong with the Pentax DCF SP 8 x 32 roof prism you bought.
Congratulations on purchasing not only a VERY fine binocular , but possibly the best value for money all -weather "birding" glass in existence.
My eyes aren'e what they were , but judging by your photo I'd say the Pentax looks a tad smaller than the Oberwerk.
Is that correct ?
Clear skies , Kenny
Milton Wilcox R.I.P
February 11, 2005 3:45 PM
Yes, Kenny, I did mean the Nikon 10x42's--sorry about my proof reading! How did you know which one was the 20x80's?
February 11, 2005 4:10 PM
< How did you know which one was the 20x80's? >
Call it a "trained eye" Glenn !
Put it down to years of experience -- you just a feel for these things :-)
Regards , Kenny
Milton Wilcox R.I.P
February 11, 2005 8:36 PM
Congratulations on your new purchase!
I just recieved my new DCF SP 10x43s on Wednesday. Like you, I'm really impressed. Interestingly, these 43mm models still weigh only 25 oz.!! The feel in the hands is nice and the light weight was one of the main factors in my decision.
In a rather quick hand held comparison with my Pentax 10x50 PCF Vs on a murky night sky, the apparent brightness seemed identical. Looking at the Pleiades, I couldn't tell the difference aside from the wider 60° AFOV vs. 50° for the PCFs. The Nikon SEs also have a 60° AFOV, so the views are similar.
Though astronomy wasn't a major consideration, I feel these should be quite useful handheld, though 10x isn't really my cup of tea anymore. My 16x70s have spoiled me!
Daytime views with the SPs are very crisp out to maybe 90%; there is a bit of CA out at the edges in today's overcast skies but I'll have to spend more time looking to be very judgmental. The CA is very IPD sensitive. The SPs don't have the "fishbowl" distortion while panning in daytime like the PCF Vs, which is a real plus for me.
The coatings are beautiful! Noticeably less reflection than the PCF Vs. Maybe this explains the similar starfield views with both the 10x Pentaxes despite the aperture difference. Makes me want to try the 12.5x50 SPs; they just might be awesome astro binoculars! The 12.5x50s have a 60° AFOV while the 10x50 SPs are only 50°.
Will report more in the future after further observations.
Please report further on the 32mm SPs when you have the chance.
February 12, 2005 1:23 AM
Now you know what Jack meant by the SEs being an "older model"! They were demos, apparently well used. He should send them back to Nikon to be refurbished, they'd come back as good as new, maybe better, since the refurbs often get better quality inspection than the original production runs.
In any case, it sounds like you're happy with the 8X32 SP. While the 10X42 SE may have been more versatile in one way, in that it could be used equally well for stargazing or birding, the Pentax is also versatile since it can be taken on hikes, probably even fits in the pocket of your winter coat, the close focus can be used to observe butterfiles, and a downpour isn't going to ruin it. You got a good price from a local store, about the same as NY online camera stores, better than some.
I considered buying an 8X32 SP myself, but after trying a Celestron Noble (earlier Regal style model), which had great ergonomics and also thumb cutouts, I decided that small roofs were just too small for my large hands to hold steady, and I also needed more ER for my glasses for those overcast/rainy days when I'd use them instead of my 8X32 SE.
One beef I have heard with mid-priced roofs and Pentax bins in particular, even their porros, has been their greater than average CA. The Noble's color correction was surprisingly very good, nearly the same as my porros, quite amazing considering the short focal length ( ~4"). The added bonus was that at close range (4-10 ft), the Noble magnified more than 8X, closer to 9X. You could see the mites on a butterfly's back. :-)
The 8X32 SE is probably the smallest bin I can hold steady, and it shares the same housing as the 10X42 SE. I need to use more fingers than palms with roofs, and the "elbows in" stance, which is supposed to help keep the binoculars steadier, actually backfires for me by creating more tension on my wrists, which translates into shakes. Oddly, I never heard anyone else complain about this, and there must be binofans with larger hands than mine out there who have used slimline roofs!
The SP series looks very nice, forest green/matte black combo, but I wondered how they'd feel in the hands with the Pentax name being used for grips. You'll probably see Pentax spelled backwards on your palms! :-)
If you can find somebody who needs glasses with binoculars, ask him/her how much of the FOV can be seen with glasses. I can see about 85% of the FOV with my SEs, using thin polycarbonate glasses (and I have deep-set eyes). The SEs also have 16mm ER, all useable. As many of us have learned the hard way, the advertised ER and the useable ER for glasses #s don't always add up, and can sometimes be grossly off (case in point, the Orion 8X42 Vista, advertised ER: 18mm, useable ER: 11mm -- ref. Edz).
Congratulations! on your new binocular and getting a good price from your local dealer.
February 12, 2005 10:19 AM
Thanks Rich and Brocknroller. Yes Rich, I agree the 12.5x50's might be great for astronomy but locally, the 8x32's are the only SP model I've ever seen in a store. Although Pentax US is only about an hour south of me. I have the Pentax 12x50 PCF's and seem dimmer than the 8x32's but the 12x50's FOV is only 4.2 versus 7.5 for the 8x32's.
As to CA, I haven't noticed any but not sure If I'm senstive to CA. Looking at a shinny roof tin vent pipe on a brown roof, I can't see any CA. Likewise while looking at a distance white fence line with a cloudy sky for a backdrop.
Brocknroller: I really appreciated your answer to my thread "older model 10x42SE's", I printed out your response and took it to the store with me. I'm always amazed that most sales people look at you testing the binos as to ask 'what the heck are you doing?'. I'm also hung up on EdZ's report on collimating binoculars and unfocus my eyes with the binos 6 inches or so away while looking at a straight horz. line to see if an offset or separation appears. Another reason I rejected the Nikon 10x42's were that a distinct separation appeared while the Pentax had none.
With my Oberwerk 20x80's I was able to collimate them but not sure if you can do it with the smaller binos.
I'm not sure about me being a judge of FOV but I do wear glasses and use the binoculars with and without my glasses on. With glasses on and the eyelens retracted, I would guess maybe 80+- percent?? Without glasses during the day, I don't noticed any reduction
My Oberwerk 20x80 deluxe II's I love for night sky viewing (with tripod and fluid head) and the Pentax 12x50's are ok for general use. The new 8x32's I really like for daytime viewing. The wife and I will walk our dog both in the afternoon and at night (weather permitting) and I wanted something lightweight that I could carry with me for casual viewing of the night sky while out for our walk. I just can't let all the neighbors see me walking the neighborhood with a pair of binoculars--I get funny looks now when I'm standing still on the sidewalk waiting for the dog to sniff a tree and they can't see the dog!
Yes, your right--the 8x32's do have "PENTAX" in raised letters on the outside of both barrels. I never noticed or felt them until you mentioned it!!!! Thanks a lot!
February 12, 2005 1:35 PM
/ new pentax 8x32 sp's
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