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Pentax vs Oberwerk

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 08:48 PM

Just recieved my new Pentax 10x50pcf wp bincocs. I have been comparing them to my Oberwerk 15x70s and must say i am very surprised at their performance. During daytime use both binoculars give the same level of detail at distant objects. The only difference is that the oberwerks have the larger magnification which makes it easier to focus on small details without the eye strain. At night time i would say the Oberwerks perform only slightly better but again the extra magnification is better for stargazing in my opinion. I think this is also due to the smaller exit pupil given the darker background.

I was not expecting both binoculars to deliver similar levels of performance as i thought the smaller optics of the pentax would mean less performance. I was stunned to find this was not the case. I must say that i now prefer the pentax over the Oberwerks for the following reasons,

1.size and weight
2.Better dioptic adjustment. The oberwerks dioptics are constantly sliding out of focus. This never happens with the Pentax.
3.More enjoyable to look through due to the better quality image.
4.Eye piece more comfortable to look through with glasses

Thanks goes to KennyJ for mentioning them. Much appreciated.

#2 EdZ

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 02:08 PM

I own two different pair of the Oberwerk 15x70s, older '02 model and newer '03 model. I also own Pentax PCF III 12x50s and Pentax PCF WP 16x60s. I used these binoculars extensively in many comparative tests and have included pages of the field data and conclusions over on the review side of CN.

The Oberwerk 15x70/'03 model outperforms all of the above, but only slightly more so than the Pentax 16x60s. The 16x60s are better than the Obie 15x70/'02s. The Pentax 12x50s are very close behind the 15x70/'02. I own three different pair of 10x50s. All have a wider fov but none are as good as the Pentax 12x50s.

The Pentax have real nice mechanical movement, but I've never had any problem with loose or shifting adjustments on the Oberwerk. No problems there. But I do like that Pentax diopter adjustment. Everybody should copy that.

I don't hand-hold anything over 8x. Sometimes I'll hold 10x50, but I need to brace my elbows to stop movement. I can't hold 12x50s still.

I use all my binoculars with my glasses on. I like the flat rubber fold down cups of the Oberwerk better than the hard cups of the Pentax 16x60. The 12x50s have similar cups to the Obies.

My Oberwerk 15x70s have a wider field of view (4.3°) than my Pentax 12x50s (4.0°) and a much wider fov than the Pentax 16x60 (2.8°). I wouldn't try comparing them to any of my 10x50s. Different animal.

I like the image size I get from higher magnification.

Next to my 16x70 Fujinons, I find the Oberwerk 15x70/'03 my favorite to look thru over any and all of my lower-powered wider-field binocs. Probably because the coatings are better than most, the exit pupil is still pretty large (4.67mm) and contrast very good. The Pentax 16x60s could almost give them a run for the money if they would only make the fov wider.

Just a different opinion.

edz


#3 KennyJ

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 04:42 PM

George ,

A HUGE sigh of relief from me ( maybe you heard it all the way from Lancashire ! )

Sticking one's neck out and recommending a specific binocular as I did here is always a thing likely to be fraught with risk of being disagreed with.

I am REALLY pleased that you like these George .

You have got yourself a VERY good product for the money.

Like yourself , and unlike Ed , I much prefer 10 x 50s to 15 x 70s about 80% of the time , but then again Astronomy is hardly my main binocular usage .

If I'd had thought your main usage was terrestrial I may have recommended something with a wider FOV with less emphasis on the flat -field properties .

Good feel and mechanics are certainly very important features in any binocular and these were qualities which stuck with me for two years since I first tried this model.

Everything is a compromise with binoculars and I do not like narrow FOVs at all , but at a pinch I COULD live with a 10 x 50 with a 5 degree TFOV providing the image is a sharp and clean as it is with these Pentax.

I wish you many hours / years of pleasure with them.

As the supermarket personnel labels state , I was more than " Happy to Help "

Regards , Kenny.

#4 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 07:45 PM

Kenny, Ed,

I must say that both pairs of binoculars have their benefits.

The reason my Oberwerk dioptics alway slide out of position is because i can use them handheld for terrestrial and also stargazing. I always tend to push the optics against my glasses. I have considered putting insulation tape around the dioptics to stop them sliding but this is no good as the focus adjustment would move the tape as well as the optics.

Kenny,

Rather go by your recomendation as you have more knowledge and hands on experience than me. I being a newbie and not having hands on experience of many binos. I did check out the pentax reviews and others appeared happy with them.

#5 brocknroller

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 08:28 PM

Ed,

Have you tried the Pentax 12X50 PCF V or PCF V WP and compared it to your PCF III? I wrote Pentax a while ago, and the tech support person who replied said that all PCF V binoculars, not just the 20X60, have field flatteners. However, I'm not too fond of the hard oversized eyecups on the PCF Vs, I can barely fit my nose between the occulars. So the PCF III with rubber eyecups would be more comfortable, but would I be giving up performance with a 12X50 PCF III? Is the PCF V significantly better optically than the PCF III, like the obie 02/03 upgrade, or was the change from III to V (what happened to IV?!) merely cosmetic?

Thanks for your help.

Brock

#6 EdZ

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 06:26 AM

When I first got my PCF III 12x50s, I was amazed at the sharpness across the field of view. No other binocular I had ever owned was that sharp all the way across.

After many critical tests with other binocs side-by side, I would not lower them much on the scale. But they are only equal to some others, not better than. There's not a whole lot of difference between the sharpness of image in the outer portions of the fov between the 12x50 PCF III and the 16x60 PCF V WP. And keep in mind the 12x50 has a 4.0° fov, while the 16x60 has only a 2.8° fov. So, unless I'm looking for hi-mag detail, most of the time the 12x50 PCF III are are better choice between the two.

I know, I said earlier I like a higher mag image vs. a lower mag wide field. Usually this is because I'm looking to see as much as I can generally in a smaller (1° to 2°) area. I'm very much an astronmomical observer before a terrestrial one. 12x magnification allows seeing a lot more than 10x. This 12x50 fits the bill nicely.

I think the 15x70/'03 Oberwerk tops the image quality of these mentioned above in this thread. But it sure would be a nice end result if we could take the mechanics of the Pentax line and put it on the optics of the Oberwerk line. Pentax I think has one of the finest mechanical feels to a binocular you are likely to come across.

edz



#7 brocknroller

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 12:17 AM

Ed,

Thanks for the clarification. An Oberwerk/Pentax hybrid sounds like just the ticket. A friend just bought a new Oberwerk 15X70 so I will get a chance to try it out on my SkyWindow. My chief concern is eye relief. Generally, 16mm is not sufficient for me to see the entire FOV of a binocular even with my thin polycarbonate glasses. I've been considering buying the Apogee 20X80, because it has 20mm ER. However, if the Obies have better image quality than the Pentax (the only sharper binos I've seen other than a 20X60 PCF V was a Nikon 12X50 SE), the Apogees will probably be of lower quality still, based on comments I've read about Chinese and even Japanese 20X80 binoculars. So I'll have to see how much FOV I lose with the Obies. If I end up with 3.5*, then I'm down to a 52.5* AFOV vs.a 70* AFOV with the 3.5* true FOV Apogees. If the optics on the Apogee are not too far a step down, it may be worth trading off some image quality for the better AFOV and comfortable eye relief.

Brock

#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 11:25 AM

Brock,

I've done the research and the Pentax have a much greater image quality than the Oberwerks. All the reviews point to this also. I'm getting me a pair of the 20X60's myself.
Ray A.


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