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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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DeepSpace67
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/13/06

Loc: Prairie Village, KS, USA
Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II – First Light new
      #5374869 - 08/18/12 03:23 PM

Had a recent trip to Estes Park, Colorado, and enjoyed the nighttime views provided by the five-year-old Garrett® Gemini 11x56 LW Binoculars, but came away thinking that it would be beneficial to have a binocular with more magnification. The Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II seemed like a good option given the some recent threads about its capabilities, and a sale at B&H ($174.95) that included a free Pentax WF-533 Fluid Head Tripod.

Binoculars and tripod arrived in three days, perfect for Friday night viewing.

The Pentax 20x60’s came with a padded carrying case, neck strap, objective end caps, and eyepiece rain guard. The well-padded carrying case does not have a carry handle strap, the neck strap is not adequately padded, and the rain guard does not have a slot to attach to the neck strap and doesn’t fit tight – read easy to lose. The binoculars weigh 3.08 lbs., but are surprisingly well balanced and easy to hold, in fact they seem about as easy to handhold as the previously mentioned Garrett’s (2.25 lbs.). Eyepieces have three click-stop settings, preferred the middle setting with glasses. Locking focus is nice. The Pentax WF-533 Fluid Head Tripod seems well made, sturdy, and uses locking snaps on the legs for fast adjustment, and price was right., ;-)

Handholding is not preferred at 20x, so have also ordered a binocular tripod adapter from Adorama. Plan to combine parts from the Pentax tripod and some PVC to make an adjustable monopod, but more on that in another thread.

Headed outside last night (magnitude 4 skies) to the deck for viewing carrying a pillow, the Pentax 20x60 (2.2 deg.), Garrett 11x56 (5.8 deg.), and 1984 Bushnell 7x35 Falcons (8.1 deg., present value $4.97, :-). The Pentax shows Messier objects very well. Images are sharp and seemed bright even with the 3mm exit pupil. There is a big difference between 20x and 11x! I feel like I’ve seen the object versus just a smudge. Yes, the viewing area is small at 2.2 degrees, and it takes some work to find an object, but most Messier objects look good in that frame. Didn’t take in a large number of objects, because of comparing views of the three binoculars and going back and forth. My conclusion is that the Pentax are for Messier objects and planets, Bushnell for star groupings, and the Garrett’s are somewhat of a compromise in between. I looked at Vega, M13, Albireo, M10, M12, M92, M27, M56, Mars, and Saturn. Unfortunately, trees block all of Sagittarius, but believe the Pentax will do very well there especially from a dark sky site. Mars and Saturn resolved very nicely resting the binoculars on a deck fence. Saturn shows bulges at the ring, experience has shown that getting to 28-30x will show the rings. Also, I was seeing so many doubles, and Albireo split great handheld whereas at 11x not so good.

I’m very satisfied with this purchase. The Pentax are light, relatively small, and should make a nice grab and go combination with the yet to be built monopod.


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ngc 9999
sage


Reged: 08/13/12

Loc: Sunrise, Fl. 26 degrees N
Re: Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II – First Light new [Re: DeepSpace67]
      #5374906 - 08/18/12 03:58 PM

Thank you for your first light report. Enjoy your new binoculars in the years to come.

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hallelujah
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/14/06

Loc: North Star over Colorado
Re: Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II – First Light new [Re: DeepSpace67]
      #5375058 - 08/18/12 06:22 PM

Quote:

There is a big difference between 20x and 11x!
I feel like I’ve seen the object versus just a smudge.

Yes, the viewing area is small at 2.2 degrees, and it takes some work to find an object, but most Messier objects look good in that frame.




Thanks for the mini review.

Once you get the Pentax 20x60 mounted you will enjoy it even more.

Stan


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Jawaid I. Abbasi
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/19/07

Loc: LEVITTOWN, PA
Re: Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II – First Light new [Re: hallelujah]
      #5375161 - 08/18/12 08:20 PM

Iagree with Stan.
You get a best binocular in mid range price. Use it at dark sites and you will love it more.


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gmazza
sage


Reged: 03/10/09

Loc: RS, Brazil, 29S 51W
Re: Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II – First Light new [Re: hallelujah]
      #5375192 - 08/18/12 08:59 PM

Very good, I'm always curious about the view of a 20x60, thinking about one for the time being.

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BobinKy
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/07

Re: Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II – First Light new [Re: DeepSpace67]
      #5375398 - 08/19/12 12:54 AM

Thank you for your review of the Pentax PCF 20x60 WPII. They are a nice binocular to have for both night sky and daytime use. Recently I used my Pentax 20x60 to ponder M7 (NGC 6475), the large open cluster close to the stinger of Scorpius. The nearby M6 (Butterfly Cluster) is also nice in the Pentax 20x60. I hope you get to enjoy Scorpius with the Pentax--maybe you can find another location where trees or buildings do not hinder this wonderful southern view.

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killdabuddha
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/26/11

Re: Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II – First Light [Re: DeepSpace67]
      #5375675 - 08/19/12 09:57 AM

Quote:





Handholding is not preferred at 20x, so have also ordered a binocular tripod adapter from Adorama. Plan to combine parts from the Pentax tripod and some PVC to make an adjustable monopod, but more on that in another thread.

Headed outside last night (magnitude 4 skies) to the deck for viewing carrying a pillow, the Pentax 20x60 (2.2 deg.), Garrett 11x56 (5.8 deg.), and 1984 Bushnell 7x35 Falcons (8.1 deg., present value $4.97, :-). The Pentax shows Messier objects very well. Images are sharp and seemed bright even with the 3mm exit pupil. There is a big difference between 20x and 11x! I feel like I’ve seen the object versus just a smudge. Yes, the viewing area is small at 2.2 degrees, and it takes some work to find an object, but most Messier objects look good in that frame. Didn’t take in a large number of objects, because of comparing views of the three binoculars and going back and forth. My conclusion is that the Pentax are for Messier objects and planets, Bushnell for star groupings, and the Garrett’s are somewhat of a compromise in between. I looked at Vega, M13, Albireo, M10, M12, M92, M27, M56, Mars, and Saturn. Unfortunately, trees block all of Sagittarius, but believe the Pentax will do very well there especially from a dark sky site. Mars and Saturn resolved very nicely resting the binoculars on a deck fence. Saturn shows bulges at the ring, experience has shown that getting to 28-30x will show the rings. Also, I was seeing so many doubles, and Albireo split great handheld whereas at 11x not so good.

I’m very satisfied with this purchase. The Pentax are light, relatively small, and should make a nice grab and go combination with the yet to be built monopod.




We use them in monopod mode more than any other, and at 2.2 degrees FOV, well, they prepared us for our eventual scope, by this and by their Messier capabilities no doubt.


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