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20x60 Pentax SP

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#1 Miranda2525

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 04:15 AM

I am thinking about buying a pair of these. I have read lots of reviews on these, but still need some reassurance from some who own and use these. I do realize they have a small afov, but I can't try any because there are not any stores around that carry them for me to check them out along side of my 16x50's. I do own a tripod.

 

I currently own a pair of 16x50 Nikon Action, but want a little bit more magnification for lunar viewing and some DSO's in darker skies, and the occasional terrestrial viewing. The 16x50's have an afov of 59.6°. The Pentax 20x60 SP have an afov of 44°.

 

Would it be worth going from the 16x50's to the 20x60's to make a difference and get a bit closer?

Or would it be better to get the 20x60's and sell the 16x50's after I get them? Or buy the 20x60's and keep both?

 

Many thanks!


Edited by Miranda2525, 14 November 2018 - 04:17 AM.

 

#2 StarDustBin

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 04:43 AM

Miranda,

 

personally, I am a minimalist and I would prefer to have one binocular size between the 15x and 20x magnifications only. I would also prefer to have just a single higher quality one, than to have two average quality binoculars, with almost the same TFOV.

 

70 or 80mm aperture will gather more light than the 50 or 60mm binoculars and will help to see fainter objects.

 

I think you should save the money and sell the 16x50s. This will bring you enough budget to buy for a quality wider aperture astro dedicated binocular, like a 15x70 or a 16/20x80.

 

Orion Resolux and Oberwerk Deluxe series are well regarded by US users and should be widely available.

 

You may have a look at the classifieds in Cloudy Nights. I have seen several of these advertised, for not a lot of money.


 

#3 Miranda2525

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 06:30 AM

Miranda,

 

personally, I am a minimalist and I would prefer to have one binocular size between the 15x and 20x magnifications only. I would also prefer to have just a single higher quality one, than to have two average quality binoculars, with almost the same TFOV.

 

70 or 80mm aperture will gather more light than the 50 or 60mm binoculars and will help to see fainter objects.

 

I think you should save the money and sell the 16x50s. This will bring you enough budget to buy for a quality wider aperture astro dedicated binocular, like a 15x70 or a 16/20x80.

 

Orion Resolux and Oberwerk Deluxe series are well regarded by US users and should be widely available.

 

You may have a look at the classifieds in Cloudy Nights. I have seen several of these advertised, for not a lot of money.

Good points, but I don't want to go too big because then I am looking at a bigger tripod, etc and by then I may as well just bring out my telescope, lol. 

 

Personally, I am a minimalist and I would prefer to have one binocular size between the 15x and 20x magnifications only. I would also prefer to have just a single higher quality one, than to have two average quality binoculars, with almost the same TFOV.

 

Sounds to me like I should get the 20x60 and sell the 16x50, which I may just do.


Edited by Miranda2525, 14 November 2018 - 06:31 AM.

 

#4 StarDustBin

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 07:51 AM

Good points, but I don't want to go too big because then I am looking at a bigger tripod, etc and by then I may as well just bring out my telescope, lol.

The Pentax SP 20x60 WP weighs 1,4Kg (sligthly over 3lb), wich is not a lot less than a modern 15x70 binocular.

 

One thing is notewhorty and logical: the better quality built into a binocular will make it heavier, except if they have more lighter chassis and lens barrels, like the new latter designs in magnesium alloy.

 

I am shure your tripod will manage up to 2,5Kg (5,5lb) at least. That is the usual minimum load capacity for smaller tripods.

 

If one considers he will need to mount everything from 10x magnification up, then it is clear a tripod will always need to be at hand when those higher magnification binoculars will be used for longer periods of time.

 

The Pentaxes 20x60 have good reviews and they are popular in Europe and specially in the UK. I find the eye pupil exit diameter small at 3mm, wich is actually smaller than the 16x50s you already have. The 44º AFOV on the Pentaxes seems narrow too.

 

Also, if I was thinking of buying a 20x magnification binocular I would consider at least 80mm of aperture, for a bigger exit pupil diameter and light gathering power.

 

I do not know the price for the Pentaxes in the USA, but here in Europe they go for around 300€. For that amount of money I would get something like a last generation 20x80 from Orion, Oberwerk or Helios.

 

There are a lot of 20x80 binocular models being sold in the US and the used market is full of offerings.


Edited by StarDustBin, 14 November 2018 - 07:55 AM.

 

#5 hallelujah

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 10:28 AM

I have read lots of reviews on these, but still need some reassurance from some who own and use these. I do realize they have a small afov, but I can't try any because there are not any stores around that carry them for me to check them out along side of my 16x50's. I do own a tripod.

 

I currently own a pair of 16x50 Nikon Action, but want a little bit more magnification for lunar viewing and some DSO's in darker skies, and the occasional terrestrial viewing. The 16x50's have an afov of 59.6°. The Pentax 20x60 SP have an afov of 44°.

 

Would it be worth going from the 16x50's to the 20x60's to make a difference and get a bit closer?

Or would it be better to get the 20x60's and sell the 16x50's after I get them? Or buy the 20x60's and keep both?

You're asking questions that only you can answer, by comparing the 20x60's to the 16x50's.

 

After I purchased the Pentax 20x60 I also purchased the Pentax 16x60.

Although I have no regrets about the 16x60, I always found myself reaching for the 20x60 for stargazing, or lunar observation, or for long distance bird watching.

 

Certain individuals hate the narrow FOV of the Pentax 20x60.

Speaking for myself, the 20x60 is more of a target specific binocular, for stargazing and

or lunar observation.

There are numerous other 20x binoculars if you want a wider FOV overall.

 

The Pentax 20x60 center focus is very important for daytime viewing.

The 60mm is small & lightweight & does not require an oversized tripod & head.

 

The Pentax warranty is still more desirable in comparison to binoculars that have only

a one or two year warranty.

 

The Pentax has a JIS Class 6 waterproof rating, which means that it can be used in any

weather conditions.

 

It has internal focusing which means that you don't have to worry about any play

from an eyepiece bridge.

 

It has a focus lock to avoid accidental shifting of the focus wheel.

 

You can still hang the Pentax 20x60mm around your neck. wink.gif

 

Try that with an 80mm giant binocular. (not as comfortable) thumbsdown3.gif

 

I have had mine for over 12 years, what more can I say. like-button.jpg

 

Stan


Edited by hallelujah, 14 November 2018 - 10:31 AM.

 

#6 Miranda2525

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 03:11 PM

You're asking questions that only you can answer, by comparing the 20x60's to the 16x50's.

 

After I purchased the Pentax 20x60 I also purchased the Pentax 16x60.

Although I have no regrets about the 16x60, I always found myself reaching for the 20x60 for stargazing, or lunar observation, or for long distance bird watching.

 

Certain individuals hate the narrow FOV of the Pentax 20x60.

Speaking for myself, the 20x60 is more of a target specific binocular, for stargazing and

or lunar observation.

There are numerous other 20x binoculars if you want a wider FOV overall.

 

The Pentax 20x60 center focus is very important for daytime viewing.

The 60mm is small & lightweight & does not require an oversized tripod & head.

 

The Pentax warranty is still more desirable in comparison to binoculars that have only

a one or two year warranty.

 

The Pentax has a JIS Class 6 waterproof rating, which means that it can be used in any

weather conditions.

 

It has internal focusing which means that you don't have to worry about any play

from an eyepiece bridge.

 

It has a focus lock to avoid accidental shifting of the focus wheel.

 

You can still hang the Pentax 20x60mm around your neck. wink.gif

 

Try that with an 80mm giant binocular. (not as comfortable) thumbsdown3.gif

 

I have had mine for over 12 years, what more can I say. like-button.jpg

 

Stan

ALL of those reasons are why I want a pair! Even though StarDustBin has recommended a 20x80 pair twice, I won't be hand holding those at any time. I can hand hold my 16x50, (even though a tripod is always better for stable views), it's nice once in a while to just grab them and go outside for some quick views,. That wouldn't be fun with a 20x80 pair, but I would be able to do that with a pair of 20x60 Pentax


Edited by Miranda2525, 14 November 2018 - 03:15 PM.

 

#7 grif 678

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 03:34 PM

I have a pair of Pentax 20 x 60's, and they are as good as any binocular I have used. They are built very strong, and the coatings are very good, the right dioptor has click stops when adjusting, so it stays in place, The focus knob will lock if you push it forward, so it will stay focused. I have had three pairs of the older vintage celestron 20 x 80's, still have one. The pentax are just as bright, and the views of Andromeda and Orion are just as good as in my 20 x 80 celestrons. The only difference is that the FOV is a little bit smaller, but that is no problem to me. They are lighter and I can hand hold them better. I believe these are the best binocular for the money, like I said, they are solidly built, and I love mine. There are eye cups that twist out, these click also, so they will stay in place, these have three positions, all the way in, half way out, and all the way out. I use mine all the way out. I have several binoculars, and the Pentax's are the last ones I would let go.


 

#8 hallelujah

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 03:40 PM

ALL of those reasons are why I want a pair! 

I can hand hold my 16x50, (even though a tripod is always better for stable views), it's nice once in a while to just grab them and go outside for some quick views,.

That wouldn't be fun with a 20x80 pair, but I would be able to do that with a pair of 20x60 Pentax

Having some kind of a comfortable chair, to relax in, makes all the difference in the world when scanning the heavens, with a 20x60, hand held.

 

I often times will hold the binoculars by the objective ends while resting the eyepieces against my eye sockets & I lean back into my V-Rocker chair.. like-button.jpg

It's not for everybody, but for me it's still fun. smile.gif

 

If possible, try & buy the latest model with the newer optical coatings.

 

Stan


Edited by hallelujah, 14 November 2018 - 03:43 PM.

 

#9 Miranda2525

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 05:39 PM

I have a pair of Pentax 20 x 60's, and they are as good as any binocular I have used. They are built very strong, and the coatings are very good, the right dioptor has click stops when adjusting, so it stays in place, The focus knob will lock if you push it forward, so it will stay focused. I have had three pairs of the older vintage celestron 20 x 80's, still have one. The pentax are just as bright, and the views of Andromeda and Orion are just as good as in my 20 x 80 celestrons. The only difference is that the FOV is a little bit smaller, but that is no problem to me. They are lighter and I can hand hold them better. I believe these are the best binocular for the money, like I said, they are solidly built, and I love mine. There are eye cups that twist out, these click also, so they will stay in place, these have three positions, all the way in, half way out, and all the way out. I use mine all the way out. I have several binoculars, and the Pentax's are the last ones I would let go.

That's some really nice encouraging comments Billy! cool.gif


 

#10 Miranda2525

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 05:39 PM

Having some kind of a comfortable chair, to relax in, makes all the difference in the world when scanning the heavens, with a 20x60, hand held.

 

I often times will hold the binoculars by the objective ends while resting the eyepieces against my eye sockets & I lean back into my V-Rocker chair.. like-button.jpg

It's not for everybody, but for me it's still fun. smile.gif

 

If possible, try & buy the latest model with the newer optical coatings.

 

Stan

Going to give them a try!


 

#11 dries1

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 06:13 PM

I wonder if the Pentax 20X60 model sold by B&H is the latest model, or if it has been sitting for years. I have no idea when they were first made.

 

Andy W.


 

#12 k5apl

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 06:42 PM

I was at Eldorado Star Party (Texas) last week and the Pentax Rep was there and gave a talk.  He brought a line of eyepieces and also 6-8 binoculars.  After the talk I looked through them at some guys about 100 yards away with a solar telescope.  Some were nice and bright and sharp, and very expensive (ED Model).  I looked through the 20X60s and was impressed with how 'light' they were.  Images were very sharp, and they passed my test:  I look at the horizon and move them up and down to see how much red tinge and blue tinge is at the extremes.  They looked good enough that I bought a pair.  Should be here at the end of the week ......

Wes


 

#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 07:11 PM

My two cents:

 

I think the 2.2 degree TFoV of the 20x60s is not to be taken lightly.  Navigating the night sky with a 2.2 degree field without a finder is a challenge.  The Nikon 16x50s have a 3.5 degree field, the Pentax's have about 63% of the field of the Nikons.  I recommend going out there with the Nikons and imagining that the field about 40% smaller, you could place your eye further behind the eyepieces until the field was reduced by about 40% just to get an idea of what you will be navigating with.  

 

YMMV

 

Jon


 

#14 Miranda2525

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 11:05 PM

Miranda,

 

personally, I am a minimalist and I would prefer to have one binocular size between the 15x and 20x magnifications only. I would also prefer to have just a single higher quality one, than to have two average quality binoculars, with almost the same TFOV.

 

70 or 80mm aperture will gather more light than the 50 or 60mm binoculars and will help to see fainter objects.

 

I think you should save the money and sell the 16x50s. This will bring you enough budget to buy for a quality wider aperture astro dedicated binocular, like a 15x70 or a 16/20x80.

 

Orion Resolux and Oberwerk Deluxe series are well regarded by US users and should be widely available.

 

You may have a look at the classifieds in Cloudy Nights. I have seen several of these advertised, for not a lot of money.

Going to compare both side by side when I get the 20x60's. Should be fun!


 

#15 hallelujah

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 11:20 PM

I wonder if the Pentax 20X60 model sold by B&H is the latest model, or if it has been sitting for years.

I have no idea when they were first made.

 

Andy W.

The Pentax SP WP model series is the latest model.

The Pentax PCF WP II model series is the model that is being replaced.

 

https://www.bhphotov...Top Nav-Search=

 

Stan


 

#16 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 02:03 AM

As STAN mentioned it that it is the current model and there is no difference virtually except it can submerge 2 feet in water unlike the WPII is water proof but not submerge in the water.

 

I am not sure if it has flat field as the old model has;  which makes the Pentax 20x60 WPII more desirable if Pentax 20x60 SP does not have.


 

#17 hallelujah

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 01:27 AM

As STAN mentioned it that it is the current model and there is no difference virtually except it can submerge 2 feet in water unlike the WPII is water proof but not submerge in the water.

Jawaid,

 

The Pentax PCF WPII binoculars can handle 1 meter depth of water, or 3.28 feet. wink.gif

 

Stan


 

#18 chris charen

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 03:48 PM

I have had 3 Pentax 20x60's over the years. This binocular is one 'you like or do not like' and it does come primarily down to the 2.2 degree FOV. Great sharp to edge optics and build quality, no doubt. In the end I primarily used mine for day time use as a 'dual' 20x60  achro spotting scope'. Ultimately I found just it too dim and too restrictive purely as an astro. binocular.

I currently use a Nikon Monarch Series 5 ED 16x56 which has a  panoramic 65 degree Afov which I now prefer. [ Nikon also make 20x56 version which on brief testing was dim]. I think when you get to 20x the aperture should be 70 mm plus esp. for astro use. Still if I could get another Pentax 20x60 one at a reasonable price I would buy it. Just as aside note the discontinued PCF 16x60's with a 2.8 degree FOV are worth seeking out.

Chris


 

#19 Mike G.

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 04:09 PM

I have an older 16x60 Pentax and although I like the views it presents (very bright) it just has too much 'shakes' for me.  I solve that with a monopod with a ball head.  a lot more portable than a tripod and gives me a steady image.  very lightweight, collapses to an easy-to-carry size and you won't have streaks instead of stars.


 

#20 StarDustBin

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 05:11 PM

Jawaid,

 

The Pentax PCF WPII binoculars can handle 1 meter depth of water, or 3.28 feet. wink.gif

 

Stan

Ingress Protection (IP) is the name given in industry to the designs solutions to avoid penetration of dust and water in all sorts of equipments.

 

IP was first standardized by the International Electrotechnical Comission (IEC) with the IEC 60529 being the lastest edition of the standard, also adopted in Europe as EN 60529. Both standards have been used by different manufacturers to design their products against dust and water penetration, in several areas of industry.

 

Japanese use its own industry standard JIS C 0920 (last edition released in 2003) and this is the standard used by Nikon and Pentax to design their waterproof products. JIS C 0920 is similar with the IEC 60529. I could not find a comparable table between the two, other than in japanese language.

 

US industry uses mainly NEMA standard number 250, wich is somewhat similar to IEC 60529, but allows for some other conditions and installations types. Nema is a standard covering enclosures IP in different conditions and with different installations and IEC 60529 covers the parameters for IP classification and establishes levels of protection.

 

You will also find IK, wich is a group of parameters to establish mechanical resistance.

 

Immersion in water for 30 minutes, at a deep of 1 meter is equivalent to IP 67 in the IEC standard, meaning the seals will avoid penetration during the maximum given time of 30 minutes at a pressure of 0,1Kgf/cm2 (1,422 psi), but this will not be completely watertight, neither hermetic and one should expected to see the watertightness break after that amount of time or at a higher depth. If the pressure increases slightly, the amount of time will decrease radically and at higher depths, the pressure will be enough to penetrate the seals of the binoculars in the first few seconds. It is all a matter of pressure and this is most important than the time under water. If you drop your binoculars in 5 or 10 meters of water they will probably suffer penetration during the first seconds, even if they are able to sustain more time at smaller depths.

 

Some of you may have read before about not putting binoculars under a tap with running water. This is funny because the tap is not submerged and there should not be penetration, rigth? Wrong! Tap water sometimes runs strong and actually has a lot of pressure. If the pressure goes above the value designed by the manufacturer, you will have a break of the pressure seal and penetration inside the binoculars.

 

Some binocular manufacturers seem to have their own rules and I have been reading several different values in specifications.

Make shure you see some standard close to the waterproofing values given by the manufacturers. If you need watertightness as a routine feature make shure they are the highest possible numbers. I have seen everything from 1 to 30 minutes and from 1 to 5 meters waterproof levels, outside the standards and without relating directly to the original IEC or JIS standard.

 

There is no complete hermetic binocular out there and I avoid contact with water, even with waterproof gear. Salt water specially.

H2O contains minerals and salts, some of them with acidic PH and one never knows what it will do to the metallic parts of the binoculars and, (much worse) what it will do to coatings.


 

#21 Miranda2525

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 06:26 PM

I have had 3 Pentax 20x60's over the years. This binocular is one 'you like or do not like' and it does come primarily down to the 2.2 degree FOV. Great sharp to edge optics and build quality, no doubt. In the end I primarily used mine for day time use as a 'dual' 20x60  achro spotting scope'. Ultimately I found just it too dim and too restrictive purely as an astro. binocular.

I currently use a Nikon Monarch Series 5 ED 16x56 which has a  panoramic 65 degree Afov which I now prefer. [ Nikon also make 20x56 version which on brief testing was dim]. I think when you get to 20x the aperture should be 70 mm plus esp. for astro use. Still if I could get another Pentax 20x60 one at a reasonable price I would buy it. Just as aside note the discontinued PCF 16x60's with a 2.8 degree FOV are worth seeking out.

Chris

Sounds great!  Unfortunately, I cannot use a large roof binocular on a tripod because my IPD is around 57mm and cannot be used on a tripod, so I have to stick with porros when going larger. Not only that, I believe the IPD setting on larger roofs is around 60mm or bigger IIRC.

 

I bought a pair of 12x50 Vortex Diamondback and the smallest setting was too wide to get my eyes in for full field illumination, so I had to return them. I wouldn't recommend any of the Vortex DB's anyways because light scatter and off axis scatter in them is not good when looking anywhere near lights. Not a good binocular near ANY type of lighting. This leads me to believe that they wouldn't be any good on the moon because of that fact.


Edited by Miranda2525, 16 November 2018 - 06:29 PM.

 

#22 dries1

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 07:28 PM

Thanks Stan for that info, not a bad price for the 20X60. 

 

Andy W.


 

#23 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 04:43 AM

Jawaid,

 

The Pentax PCF WPII binoculars can handle 1 meter depth of water, or 3.28 feet. wink.gif

 

Stan

Stan,

Thank you for correction. I was not aware it that the old Pentax can also submerge but the old Pentax was an awesome binocular.

Now, the question is what is the difference?

Is it better coating or what


 

#24 hallelujah

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 09:32 AM

Stan,

Thank you for correction. I was not aware it that the old Pentax can also submerge but the old Pentax was an awesome binocular.

Now, the question is what is the difference?

Is it better coating or what

Supposedly the optical coatings were upgraded.

 

Stan


 

#25 Binojunky

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 12:22 PM

Supposedly the optical coatings were upgraded.

 

Stan

There has been some debate about this Stan? some models yes others no, I did a side by side comparison of the two (10x50 porro) and found the SP version to be slightly brighter, this of course could have been a unit to unit variation, either version is a good buy, in theory if some dealers have the older one it should be offered at a discount, in theory, Dave


 


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