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Pentax 16 x 50 XCF

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 11:59 PM

Can anyone tell me if the Pentax 16 x 15 XCF Binos are any good for sky watching? They seem really light weight and easy to hold. I really don't want to have to use a tripod and want to get binos for quick grabs when I'm out and about in my SUV, etc....
I was checking them out yesterday in a store and wanted your valued oppinions before plunking $160.00 down on them. :help:

#2 b1gred

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 01:31 AM

Angel,
Pentax hasn't made much bad stuff, especially when it comes to optics. 16x50s aren't going to collect as much light as 16x70s but if you're looking for something you can hand hold, the light weight should be an advantage.

On the topic of tripods. Even a relatively inexpensive camera tripod (with the right adapter bracket to hold your binocs) can be a major advantage. At 16x, unless you have very steady hands things are going to jump around a lot. Even breathing tends to cause a lot of motion at 16x (for that matter at anything much more than 8x).

If you can, grab a tripod with a quick release, I'll guarantee with a bit of practice you can setup and be using a tripod in less than 2 min. If you figure you can master that, then you may want to consider bigger objective lenses. As I (and others) have posted elsewhere in the binoc forum, you'll be picking out Messier objects and some pretty spectacular views of planets if you do things right.

At any rate, have fun, keep looking UP!

#3 KennyJ

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 01:48 AM

Angel,

I've actually looked briefly at and through the 10 x 50 and 12 x 50 versions of these XCF models by Pentax.

This model quality is O.K for the money , but I wouldn't get too excited about the nameplate bearing the name PENTAX.

It is one of those pretty cheaply -made Chinese jobbies that could have practically ANY name on the data plate and very few people would be even thinking twice about them.

Yes they are lightweight and yes they do have a wide field of view ( especially for Pentax :-)) and I do know of a very keen amateur astronomer not far from where I live who really likes the 16 x 50 version.

Personally I do not like the eyecups ( which I find are too small --similar to those normally found on reverse -porro compact models )--but then again I have deep set -eyes and astrange obsession with large oculars.

For all that I came within a whisker of getting some on e -bay a while back -- having been outbid within the last hour.

As is the case with many bino -models , I notice they are only about half the price in the US as they are in the UK -and for THAT amount of money , I doubt if you could go wrong.

The MAIN problem being that 16x is TOO much magnification to get the most out of them hand -held , and if you are considering a tripod of sorts , you may as well go for 15 x 70s or 20 x 80s IMHO.

Good luck with your decision.

Regards -- Kenny.

#4 Erik D

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 06:37 AM

Angel,

The MAIN problem being that 16x is TOO much magnification to get the most out of them hand -held , and if you are considering a tripod of sorts , you may as well go for 15 x 70s or 20 x 80s IMHO.

-- Kenny.


Agree. Most people would want to use a tripod with 15X or higher power binos. And if you are going the use a mount why not go for Oberwerk 15X70s($149) or 20X80LW ($199). You'll see a LOT more with 20X80s than you can with 16X50s.

10/12X is a better match if you want to stay wtih 50mm size. Have a look in the mini review section for the Nikon Actrion Extreme.

Erik D

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 06:50 AM

Angel... $160 is WAY too much for XCF 16x50s. Do a Google search.

These 16x50s have a very small field of view (3.5 degrees) which will make it difficult to find things, and they'll be shaky when hand-held, due to the high magnification.

For general-purpose astro use (and even daytime use), I think you'll be much happier with something like 8x40, 8x42, or 10x50. 7x50s are nice all-round binocs too, but they almost always have a narrow apparent field of view (around 50 degrees or less)...which gives a 'looking through a tube' look, which some people don't like.

Read reviews, and if possible, try out various models and sizes and see which you prefer. Also consider eye relief (if you wear glasses) and ergonomics. But buy what you like.



#6 nemo

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 03:14 PM

Angel,
I think you would be wise to consider Kenny's suggestions. Truly 16x is just to much power to be effective for any usability when unsupported in a hand holding mode.
Dan
"Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again."

#7 Phil

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 08:19 AM

Hi,
I got the Pentax 16x50 XCF's a couple of months ago. They were my first pair of binoculars. I think they are great. I've seen 2 or 3 of Jupiters moons, And have some nice views of Venus recently. The Pleiades were great through them. Having trouble making out the rings of Saturn at the moment, but I haven't got a tripod, and I live in West london, which is somewhat light polluted. I managed to get them from Amazon for about £60, if memory serves me right. Bargain for that price. Nice and light too.

#8 nemo

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 02:44 PM

Phil,
May your new binoculars be but the first step in your journey of the wonders with in the night sky above.
Congratulations!
Dan

#9 777Guy

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 05:16 PM

Angel,
If you have a telescope or camera shop nearby that sell binoculars, I highly recommend you try out as many binoculars as you can. You may not be able to really test them for distance, but you can educate yourself on the various makes and models, and egonomics,etc. Also, patrick's
recommendation to read all the reviews you can is a big help. I currently have 15x70s and have a Bogen mount and a Manfratto tripod, works very well at giving you a very steady view of DSOs and or terrestrial objects.
Cheers,


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