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Pentax Papilio binocs

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#1 Refractor6

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 11:10 PM

Hey gang,

I've got my eye on these for overseas travel binocs this Summer for use in galleries, museums,nature and general use well making my rounds. Want something very small and compact for travel and they seem to fit the bill. Tried them in the local astro store and was very impressed with the quality of the view and the up close capability. I think I sampled the 8.5X model. Have a pair put aside just want a little more feedback on them. Any comments from owners would be greatly appreciated.



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Stan

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Antares 152 f/6.5
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Orion 9x63 mini giants
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#2 Rick

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 12:00 AM

These were recently discussed in the Cloudy Days forum. You might also want to look at the Canon 5x17FC or 7x17FC. They have an even more compact form factor and a close focus of a little less than 1m.

Rick

#3 edwincjones

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 05:17 AM

Following the cloudy days forum (butterflies and binoculars) I got a pair of the papilios. They are great for closeups (flowers, details of paintings in galaries, good for terrestral view and okay for astronomy (but do not expect too much here). They are very small, compact, well made; and FUN to use. And, if you lose or damage them on the trip, your loss is small. (sorry for the pun)
They are a great toy with good value.
edj

#4 HfxObserver

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 09:13 AM

Go for the 6.5X model if you can, the 8.5X makes close up viewing too shaky and the FOV is much smaller. I tried them both and couldn't see enough improvment over the 6.5 so I bought those and they've been fantastic.

-Chris

#5 btschumy

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 09:21 AM

I'm another satisfied user of the 6.5x Papilios. I think they would be great to take on an overseas trip.

#6 EdZ

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 09:31 AM

There is a review of the papillio in the MiniRreviews

edz

#7 Refractor6

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 11:06 AM

Thanks everyone. Lots of good info on the "Cloudy Days" thread on them Rick as you mentioned. Sounds like the 6.5 model is the way to go based on what you guys have said on the other thread and here. Don't think the astro shop had the 6.5's so i'll check around or get them to order them in.


---------------


Stan

Takahashi FS-102 NSV
Antares 152 f/8 prototype
Antares 152 f/6.5
Antares 127 f/6.45 prototype
Orion 9x63 mini giants
Pentax 20x60 PCF WP

#8 Refractor6

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 12:29 PM

Update,

It was the 6.5 model I sampled the other day that I really liked problem with this pair which was the only 6.5 he had left was there is a defect inside that looks to be on one of the prisms that really shows up on a bright field of view as a black hairy line. This was noted when the manager of the astro shop checked them for me before stopping by. He's going to get another pair in for me that will be here before my trip. Many thanks for all your input again :bow:


-------------

Stan

Takahashi FS-102 NSV
Antares 152 f/8 prototype
Antares 152 f/6.5
Antares 127 f/6.45 prototype
Orion 9x63 mini giants
Pentax 20x60 PCF WP

#9 edwincjones

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 04:14 PM

Give us a followup of your trip and the papilios.

edj

#10 Refractor6

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 04:49 PM

Give us a followup of your trip and the papilios.

edj


Will do :ubetcha:.


------------------

Stan

Takahashi FS-102 NSV
Antares 152 f/8 prototype
Antares 152 f/6.5
Antares 127 f/6.45 prototype
Orion 9x63 mini giants
Pentax 20x60 PCF WP

#11 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 04:59 PM

These were recently discussed in the Cloudy Days forum. You might also want to look at the Canon 5x17FC or 7x17FC. They have an even more compact form factor and a close focus of a little less than 1m.

Rick

4.6 ft for 5x17, 4.9 ft 7x17 is not close focus like the Papilio's. I never seen anyone who owns the Papilio's say they are too large for travel use.

Joe

#12 Rick

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 05:19 PM

The close focus spec for the Canon 5x17FC is 1.4m. I just measured mine and came up with ~98cm so I would say Canon is being conservative. The difference between close and infinity is only ~3mm or less than 1 turn of the tiny focus wheel. They have no "dead zone" between close and infinity like the Papilio. They are smaller than a pack of cigarettes and fit comfortably in a shirt pocket. They look more like a digicam than a binocular, thus perhaps a more stylish choice for some occassions like the theatre or opera. They are also half the price of the Papilio. That said, I LOVE the Papilio and hope to find a cheap pair on auction someday.

clear skies,
Rick

#13 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 05:38 PM

How is a continuous focus from 18" to infinity a dead zone ? My Papilio's are amazing for a compact binocular that has no competition.

#14 Rick

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 05:54 PM

Sorry I can't think of a phrase that more acurately describes what I see. But it seems to me that from infinity to about 5m focus travel seems "normal" but from about 5m to 50cm requires several turns where nothing seems to happen/focus before the close-up image snaps to focus. I call this the area between 5m-50cm the "dead zone."

-Rick

#15 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 06:18 PM

Did you ever focus a 1:1 macro lens for a 35mm/DSLR ? If you did you will see that any optic that could focus that close will need alot more focus travel for the last meter up close than from a few meters out to infinity.

Joe

#16 Rick

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 07:01 PM

So its a normal focus feature for this kind of optic. Doesn't change the facts, Joe. Whether someone would find having to turn the focus several times annoying or not is a personal decision. Frankly, I couldn't care less as I can't imagine a scenario where I'd go from infinity to 50cm. But I do find it interesting the Canon can do faster/easier albeit only down to 98cm instead of 50cm. The Papilio is still an excellent OUTDOOR binocular and cannot be matched by another with its capabilities. The Canon 5x17FC is also an excellent INDOOR binocular that, even though it shares many of Papilio's benefits, targets a different kind of user.

clear skies,
Rick

#17 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 07:24 PM

The Canon's are not in the same class as the Papilio's so if you don't plan on using a binocular for extreme close focusing there are a myriad of options like the Pentax 8x32 SP's that could focus just as close (4.9 ft ) as the Canon 7x17 but have 60 deg AFOV vs 45 deg AFOV for the 7x17's.

Joe

#18 edwincjones

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 07:31 PM

I have no problem with the multiple turns of the focus-20" to infinity covers a lot of space.

edj

#19 Rick

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 07:56 PM

The Canon's are not in the same class as the Papilio's so if you don't plan on using a binocular for extreme close focusing there are a myriad of options like the Pentax 8x32 SP's that could focus just as close (4.9 ft ) as the Canon 7x17 but have 60 deg AFOV vs 45 deg AFOV for the 7x17's.

Joe


Uncle!! You win :bow:

-Rick

#20 Erik D

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 09:38 PM

I have the EO Platimum Ranger with 3 ft close focus, weighs ~5 oz less, is more compact and cost $200 less thant the Penatax 8X32 DCF SP. The optics are as good and as any roof prism binos I have seen for under $500. However, I have learned a few things after 2 years of ownership:

1. I would not consider a 18.5 oz 8X32 roof suitable as a POCKET bino. It works fine as a compact field bino.

2. For ME, I have not found any field application where the 3 ft close focus of my EO was an advantage over a bino with 5 ft close focus. In fact, it's difficult to merge images in the EO when I get that close. It's novelty to show my friends they can focus as clost as their toes but...? They can always lean forward and get even colser naked eye.

3. I was shopping for a pair of Ultra compact binos for air travel last year. Compared the Papilio to the Pentax 8X21 UCF R. The Papilio is the same width and only 3 oz heavier but nearly 1/3 longer at 4.5 inch. The Papilio has to be bigger to house the ultra close focus lens system. There are other more compact 21/25mm binos if you can live with 5 ft or slightly longer close focus.

I have also found that I don't much care for ultra compact binos with small exit pupil. 8X25 with 3.1 mm exit pupil is my low end limit. I bought a Bushnell 7X26 custom compact for $230 at the end of 2005. It's not as compact as double hinged 8X25 roof prism and only has 6.9 deg FOV but the optics are superior to the 1/2 dozen compacts I purchsed in the last few years. I could have saved a lot of time and $$$ getting the Custom Compact 7X26 3 years ago but wasn't ready to spend that much for a sub compact then.....

The Pentax Papilio offers a great design for special applications. Get it if you have 1/2 dozen binos for other uses and just want one more 21mm compact with 1.6 ft close focus. Would you select a bino with 21mm objective for your application if extreme close focus is not the primary concern? There are other choices if you aren't going to spend time viewing insects, butterflies or viewing art works at 0.5 meter.

Many of us have different priorities and preferences so YMMV....

Erik D

#21 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 09:49 PM

I have the Pentax 7x17's that are like the Canon 7x17's and they are just a compact opera glass. Papilio's are in a class by themselves since they are a great compact travel binocular with a macro type close focus . Why is it ok with some people to pay $1,800 for a 10x42 binocular but not ok to pay $100 for a compact binocular that could focus closer than any other binocular on the planet ?

#22 edwincjones

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 05:20 AM

maybe a bit off topic, but seeing a butterfly or flower at 20" is as exciting as seeing M31 at 2M LYs

edj


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