Nice report, marh, welcome to the Binoculars forum. I can certainly agree with you that the Papilios are a very versatile bino and a best buy, IMO. At only 6.5x, resolution isn't a critical matter anyhow, whether 21mm, 30mm or whatever. For daytime use, its 3mm exit pupil is all most anyone would need.
As is usual by now, being a big proponent of them, I highly recommend Papilios for anybody who is a nature lover and wants a closer view of things very near as well as at a distance. The price is right, too.
Thanks Rich. Will admit I posted being a bit piqued by a few (and maybe 2 would be the most exact count) reviewers who appeared to me to deliberately and maliciously disparage the optical quality of the Papilio for viewing distant objects.
And hats off to you for correctly identifying that at 6.5x my eyes are the limiting factor for detail resolution and not the bino's objective diameter of 21mm.
I haven't tried the 8.5x Papilio but I suspect that for my eyes the image would be too dim in some of the lighting conditions for nature viewing that I come across, like shaded forest floors and moss, lichens etc on northern exposures out of direct sunlight with the low in the sky dimmer winter sun.
Though one thing I regret not mentioning is the quality of the mechanical construction, particularly the precision of the focus mechanism and right eye diopter adjustment.
I would be very interested if you had any info on the design, implementation and materials used in manufacturing the focus movement with that close focus of only 50cm.
In any case, speaking for myself I appreciate precision instruments and I'm still amazed with both the image quality and the precision of the focus mechanism - a joy to behold and hold!
So now I'll close with a parallel conclusion to yours - if I could recommend or have only one pair of binos, the Papilio II 6.5x21 would be it. (And now the little mischievous streak in me wants to conclude that too many roof prism seekers of 'alpha' binos with low dispersion glass, phase correction and what not, have less sense than cents!!)