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CA and optical quality of Pentax SP 20x60 WP

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#1 Grimnir

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:01 AM

I'm fully familiar with all the numerical data: TFoV, AFoV, ER, weight, etc for the Pentax SP 20x60 but there does not appear to be general agreement on the degree of CA in this binocular.

 

For example, I recall Denis saying it had virtually none but Pinac says otherwise.

 

So my question is what level of CA does this binocular exhibit? Any other observations as to its optical quality?

 

Graham



#2 warpsl

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:45 AM

I had these for a year,but grew to dislike the narrow afov.only 44 degrees. Ca was hardly noticed by me.other cheap Chinese binos perform much worse.but I will say that they did not live up to all the statements made about their sharpness. But if they are all you can afford, they are the best in that price range.
.
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#3 dufay

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 06:20 AM

I would say that CA is noticeable when one is looking for it, as one would expect from the specifications. They can definitely be used for observing the moon, though I feel that the improvements that my 20x80 ED binoculars brings are very noticeable. But this is to be expected considering the better glass and the large difference in price. The Pentax 20x60 is probably more suited for deep sky/stellar observations.

 

At their price point it is difficult to complain to much though. The build quality is good. Their small size and light weigh for a high magnification binocular are very welcome.

 


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#4 hallelujah

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 08:37 AM

For example, I recall Denis saying it had virtually none but Pinac says otherwise.

 

So my question is what level of CA does this binocular exhibit? Any other observations as to its optical quality?

 

Graham

Graham,

 

As with all binoculars there is bound to be sample variations.

 

I purchased my first Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II over 15 years ago.

I admit to not using it like I use to, when it was brand new & I was a newbie.

I also have another Pentax 20x60 PCF WP, older model version & optical coatings.

 

I used them mainly for daytime bird watching, airplanes, etc.

I do not recall that CA ever was a problem with either Pentax 20x60 models.

Some minor ghosting was more apparent with the older models & older coatings,

when viewing a full moon.

 

Two or three reasons that I have not used them in later years.

 

As I got older I got lazier, not wanting to bother with a monopod or tripods. gramps.gif

 

Also, I felt that my Tento 20x60 was sharper than the Pentax 20x60's,

although the Pentax 20x's were in no way lacking in resolution, & the magnification

of the Tento was slightly more than the Pentax's rated 19x.

 

Finally, I no longer travel like I use to for the express purpose of bird watching.

 

Perhaps my eyes are not as sensitive as other individuals to CA.

The best way to test them for CA is on the full moon.

 

Over the years internet advertisement/reviews suggested that Ricoh has further improved the optical coatings of the Pentax SP WP binoculars.

So, if anything, the newer models of the Pentax SP WP 20x60 should be better than ever.

 

https://us.ricoh-ima...t/sp-wp-series/

 

IPD adjustment & eyecup settings were something that EdZ pointed out, in his

review of my Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II, as being critical to my particular sample.

 

I always preferred the smaller, lighter size of the 60mm over the 80mm or 90mm models, although the 20x90mm is quite a light bucket for stargazing. bigshock.gif

 

Stan


Edited by hallelujah, 04 June 2020 - 08:57 AM.

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#5 DarkDisplay

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:49 AM

I enjoy my Pentax 20x60. It is a binocular to be used for specific objects, not wide views. Sort of like a spotting scope using both eyes. I find the images to be nice and sharp. The build is solid. It isn’t heavy (to me) and feels very comfortable in my hands. As for CA, there isn’t enough to bother me. Glad I have one.

Best wishes,
Frank
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#6 Grimnir

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 12:27 PM

Graham,

 

As with all binoculars there is bound to be sample variations.

 

I purchased my first Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II over 15 years ago.

I admit to not using it like I use to, when it was brand new & I was a newbie.

I also have another Pentax 20x60 PCF WP, older model version & optical coatings.

 

I used them mainly for daytime bird watching, airplanes, etc.

I do not recall that CA ever was a problem with either Pentax 20x60 models.

Some minor ghosting was more apparent with the older models & older coatings,

when viewing a full moon.

 

Two or three reasons that I have not used them in later years.

 

As I got older I got lazier, not wanting to bother with a monopod or tripods. gramps.gif

 

Also, I felt that my Tento 20x60 was sharper than the Pentax 20x60's,

although the Pentax 20x's were in no way lacking in resolution, & the magnification

of the Tento was slightly more than the Pentax's rated 19x.

 

Finally, I no longer travel like I use to for the express purpose of bird watching.

 

Perhaps my eyes are not as sensitive as other individuals to CA.

The best way to test them for CA is on the full moon.

 

Over the years internet advertisement/reviews suggested that Ricoh has further improved the optical coatings of the Pentax SP WP binoculars.

So, if anything, the newer models of the Pentax SP WP 20x60 should be better than ever.

 

https://us.ricoh-ima...t/sp-wp-series/

 

IPD adjustment & eyecup settings were something that EdZ pointed out, in his

review of my Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II, as being critical to my particular sample.

 

I always preferred the smaller, lighter size of the 60mm over the 80mm or 90mm models, although the 20x90mm is quite a light bucket for stargazing. bigshock.gif

 

Stan

 

Thank you Stan - I was hoping you'd chime in as I knew you had at least two Pentax 20x60s but I'd forgotten you also had the Tento 20x60.

 

I'm happy about the raw specs for the Pentax SP 20x60, I especially like the relatively low weight, and of course the price.

 

What concerns me is the quality of image, in particular the sharpness and the amount of CA. Even when allowing for sample variation there appears to be considerable divergence between users' opinions. That is what I have to weigh up.

 

Graham


Edited by Grimnir, 04 June 2020 - 12:28 PM.

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#7 hallelujah

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:25 PM

Graham,

 

Here it is again:

 

https://www.cloudyni...0/#entry2345005

 

EdZ said he noticed some CA on the moon but that it wasn't bothersome.

 

Stan


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#8 Grimnir

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:41 PM

Graham,

 

Here it is again:

 

https://www.cloudyni...0/#entry2345005

 

EdZ said he noticed some CA on the moon but that it wasn't bothersome.

 

Stan

 

Thank you Stan - well found!

 

Graham


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#9 astroneil

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 06:18 PM

I've had my Pentax 20 x 60 PCF WP II for about 18 months now. 

 

It has served up beautiful views of showpiece deep sky objects such as the Pleiades, the Double Cluster, the larger Messier open clusters and the Orion Nebula, as well as an assortment of wide binocular doubles such as Albireo and O^1 Cygni etc.

 

I also use it regularly to observe the changing phases of the Moon. Indeed it has become one of my favourite instruments for watching the crescent Moon.

 

By day, I regularly employ it for white light solar observing and occasionally for close up terrestrial viewing of targets not seen well in smaller bins.

 

Here is a review I did on it a while back but I really should do an update on my initial impressions:

 

https://neilenglish....x-60-binocular/

 

 

There is a small amount of CA, of course, but it's not intrusive to my eye. Some complain about the small, 2.2 degree field it delivers but I've not found that much of a hindrance in any way. Indeed, I love the way it frames particular targets.

And it pays to remember that the venerable Takahashi Astronomer 22 x 60 sported an even smaller field!

 

Great value for money in today's market.

 

Best,

 

 

Neil.

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Edited by astroneil, 04 June 2020 - 06:48 PM.

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#10 hallelujah

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 06:50 PM

Neil,

 

Excellent, thank you!  waytogo.gif

 

Stan



#11 astroneil

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 07:03 PM

You're welcome Stan, thanks.

 

Here is another review of the newer, SP incarnation:

 

http://binocularsky....ax_SP_20x60.pdf

 

Regards,

 

Neil.


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#12 hallelujah

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 09:48 PM

waytogo.gif



#13 Grimnir

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 04:41 AM

I've had my Pentax 20 x 60 PCF WP II for about 18 months now. 

 

It has served up beautiful views of showpiece deep sky objects such as the Pleiades, the Double Cluster, the larger Messier open clusters and the Orion Nebula, as well as an assortment of wide binocular doubles such as Albireo and O^1 Cygni etc.

 

I also use it regularly to observe the changing phases of the Moon. Indeed it has become one of my favourite instruments for watching the crescent Moon.

 

By day, I regularly employ it for white light solar observing and occasionally for close up terrestrial viewing of targets not seen well in smaller bins.

 

Here is a review I did on it a while back but I really should do an update on my initial impressions:

 

https://neilenglish....x-60-binocular/

 

 

There is a small amount of CA, of course, but it's not intrusive to my eye. Some complain about the small, 2.2 degree field it delivers but I've not found that much of a hindrance in any way. Indeed, I love the way it frames particular targets.

And it pays to remember that the venerable Takahashi Astronomer 22 x 60 sported an even smaller field!

 

Great value for money in today's market.

 

Best,

 

 

Neil.

 

Thank you Neil. In fact I'd already read your review and the review by Stephen Tonkin.

 

Also this review:

 

http://www.astronoce...nzje.php?id=116

 

which is in Polish but Google makes a decent job of rendering it intelligible.

 

Graham


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#14 Nate1701

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:35 AM

I've had my Pentax 20 x 60 PCF WP II for about 18 months now. 

 

It has served up beautiful views of showpiece deep sky objects such as the Pleiades, the Double Cluster, the larger Messier open clusters and the Orion Nebula, as well as an assortment of wide binocular doubles such as Albireo and O^1 Cygni etc.

 

I also use it regularly to observe the changing phases of the Moon. Indeed it has become one of my favourite instruments for watching the crescent Moon.

 

By day, I regularly employ it for white light solar observing and occasionally for close up terrestrial viewing of targets not seen well in smaller bins.

 

Here is a review I did on it a while back but I really should do an update on my initial impressions:

 

https://neilenglish....x-60-binocular/

 

 

There is a small amount of CA, of course, but it's not intrusive to my eye. Some complain about the small, 2.2 degree field it delivers but I've not found that much of a hindrance in any way. Indeed, I love the way it frames particular targets.

And it pays to remember that the venerable Takahashi Astronomer 22 x 60 sported an even smaller field!

 

Great value for money in today's market.

 

Best,

 

 

Neil.

Thanks for the link to your report Neil. That was an enjoyable read!

Well written, and well done!


Edited by Nate1701, 05 June 2020 - 10:36 AM.

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#15 astroneil

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 11:34 AM

Thank you Graham & Nate, much appreciated.

 

I saw my first sunspot near the eastern limb of the Sun this afternoon using the 20 x 60.   It's the first one I've observed in over a year. It was good to see it. Maybe more to come. 

 

Here is my set up:

 

Kind regards,

 

Neil.

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#16 Grimnir

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 12:41 PM

Thank you Graham & Nate, much appreciated.

 

I saw my first sunspot near the eastern limb of the Sun this afternoon using the 20 x 60.   It's the first one I've observed in over a year. It was good to see it. Maybe more to come. 

 

Here is my set up:

 

Kind regards,

 

Neil.

 

I looked for it with my Nikon 8x30 EII three days ago but was unable to see it.

 

Graham



#17 tmichaelbanks

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 02:53 PM

I bought the Pentax 20x60 S-Series SP WP model less than a year ago.  I wrote up a short review on CN, including both nighttime and daytime use.  I just went back over it and nowhere is there a mention of CA.

 

Usually, I make a mental note of CA if I see it or if it is intrusive, but if CA was present my feeling is that it is minimal.  I use mine for plane spotting and in bright sunlight you don't see much in the way of CA.  They are really at their best on a tripod and there I found them to be quite sharp for the brighter "showpiece" DSOs and planets, as sharp as some of my telescope eyepieces.  They can be a tad dim depending on what you're looking at, but that sky-darkening effect helps in my suburban, light-polluted skies.

 

A half- to three-quarter moon is a favorite target with them.  The amount of CA on the limb is minimal and certainly doesn't detract from the view.


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#18 Grimnir

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 04:47 PM

I bought the Pentax 20x60 S-Series SP WP model less than a year ago.  I wrote up a short review on CN, including both nighttime and daytime use.  I just went back over it and nowhere is there a mention of CA.

 

Usually, I make a mental note of CA if I see it or if it is intrusive, but if CA was present my feeling is that it is minimal.  I use mine for plane spotting and in bright sunlight you don't see much in the way of CA.  They are really at their best on a tripod and there I found them to be quite sharp for the brighter "showpiece" DSOs and planets, as sharp as some of my telescope eyepieces.  They can be a tad dim depending on what you're looking at, but that sky-darkening effect helps in my suburban, light-polluted skies.

 

A half- to three-quarter moon is a favorite target with them.  The amount of CA on the limb is minimal and certainly doesn't detract from the view.

 

Do you have the link for your review? I must have read it but I can't quickly find it. I intend to use the Pentax 20x60 mainly on a monopod. Thanks for your comments on sharpness. I am also under light polluted skies.

 

Thanks also for your comment on CA on the limb of the Moon - that's the general sort of information I need as I'll be using this as a lunar and solar glass, with the appropriate filters of course.

 

Graham



#19 tmichaelbanks

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 05:37 PM

Here is the link to the review.  It's not very technical, just some insights on usage.

 

https://www.cloudyni... in the house


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#20 Grimnir

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 05:43 PM

Here is the link to the review.  It's not very technical, just some insights on usage.

 

https://www.cloudyni... in the house

 

Thanks! I don't need technical - I need practical!

 

Graham



#21 hallelujah

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:50 PM

Thanks! I don't need technical - I need practical!

 

Graham

You get practical from hands on experience. wink.gif

 

Stan


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#22 Grimnir

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 05:52 AM

You get practical from hands on experience. wink.gif

 

Stan

 

That's why I'm requesting comments from those with practical experience of this bino. wink.gif

 

Graham


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#23 Nate1701

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 12:37 PM

That's why I'm requesting comments from those with practical experience of this bino. wink.gif

 

Graham

Graham if you haven't yet seen my post...

https://www.cloudyni...wer/?p=10105332

 

I didn't pay particular attention to CA. I remember looking an orchard and the branches (with no leaves ) have high contrast, and did exhibit some fringing and CA. It was not detestable but it was there - and it took away from the view a little bit. However that being said - i dont stare at tree branches very often, ever. So it's not a deal breaker for me. Don't remember if had them on the moon - but for the nature / birding i did with them and  the astro observing - CA was no problem at all - for my taste .


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#24 Grimnir

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 04:40 PM

Graham if you haven't yet seen my post...

https://www.cloudyni...wer/?p=10105332

 

I didn't pay particular attention to CA. I remember looking an orchard and the branches (with no leaves ) have high contrast, and did exhibit some fringing and CA. It was not detestable but it was there - and it took away from the view a little bit. However that being said - i dont stare at tree branches very often, ever. So it's not a deal breaker for me. Don't remember if had them on the moon - but for the nature / birding i did with them and  the astro observing - CA was no problem at all - for my taste .

 

I've pretty much decided to grab one. Obviously I expect a degree of CA since we're talking about a 20x bino without ED lenses. I'll be using it as a Moon glass at least some of the time.

 

Graham


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#25 Grimnir

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 07:51 AM

Finally got round to ordering the Pentax SP 20x60 WP. 

 

£219 from First Light Optics:

 

https://www.firstlig...binoculars.html

 

I'll post a brief report when I've had sufficient time to evaluate it - that will have to wait for the Moon however.

 

Graham


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