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Old Friday 14th August 2009, 17:08   #26
Kammerdiner
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I had the original 8x42 WP for about ten years and loved them. In my opinion, alpha sharp in the center, but trailing off fast from there. Not a big deal for birding, though. My guess is the current 8x43 ED is about the same in terms of center sharpness (?), significantly sharper off axis. The fact is, aside from the eyepiece Pentax hasn't really changed the basic design of their top of the line binocs in over ten years (same FOV, same eye relief, same basic housing--very conservative).

I now have the 8x32 ED, which is not quite as sharp as the old 8x42 WP, in the center, but is significantly nicer off center (that's the eyepiece). Other differences? MUCH nicer color, whether due to coatings or ED, or both. The old 8x42 WP's were bluish in comparison. Pentax ED really does this part right, I think, although the color may be a touch warm for some. My 8x20 Ultravids are ultra neutral in terms of color, but I actually like the warmth of the Pentax. My Nikon 8x32 SE is a touch warm too, but not quite as much as the Pentax.

Overall, I like the Pentax 8x32 ED. Very bright, great color, virtually no CA. I wear glasses and the 17mm eye relief is a tad less than I would like. Pentax has the eyepiece recessed more than Leica, Zeiss, etc., so Pentax's 17mm, in actual use, is LESS than my 8x20 Ultravids at 16mm. The Ultravids, in fact, have ~1-2mm more relief than I need. Eyecup design, as much as actual relief, is a significant issue for eyeglass wearers

The Pentax doesn't have the sublime view of the 8x32 SE's (perhaps no other binocular does) but it's a good all-around binocular. Heavy-duty housings and rubber armor for sure. I take them kayaking and don't worry about them.

I've owned five Pentax binocs over the years and have always been impressed with the quality. Always a solid, dependable feel. The Chinese bins are changing everything, though, so the future is up for grabs.

Mark
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Old Wednesday 19th August 2009, 18:43   #27
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Mark
Some interesting comments about the eye relief on the 8x32 ed's. I bought a pair earlier this year after testing them extensively at last year's Birdfair. Although the 8x43's have 22mm I found the smaller model easier to use and have had no issues with them in that respect. People warned me off getting the Swaro 8x30 slc which also has a lovely image but I found those easy enough to get a good view. I chose the Pentax because the image was just that little bit sharper when aimed at the target 40 metres away. Anyone else having problems with eye relief on their 8x32's?
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Old Wednesday 19th August 2009, 19:43   #28
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Jim,

I wouldn't say I have a real problem with eye relief on the 8x32 ED. I see the full field. It's just that I've used Pentax binocs with 18, 20 and 22mm of eye relief as well and they just felt a little less cramped, a bit more relaxed. The 22mm of the 8x42 was, in fact, way too much eye relief. I had to back out the eyecups to prevent the dreaded blackouts.

The thing is, in the mid-range of ER, say ~14-18mm, eyecup design is an important consideration if you wear glasses. 16mm on a Zeiss or Leica yields more usable ER than 17mm on a Pentax. Deeper cups help protect the lens but they eat up ER as well.

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Old Thursday 20th August 2009, 04:11   #29
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It also depends how the companies measure ER. I suspect Zeiss and Leica use "effective ER" numbers (from the back of the eyecup) rather than the technically correct ER from the back surface of the lens.

I also loved your 8x32 ED write up in post #xx above, Kammerdiner.

That comment about the old WP being sharper in the center of field than the ED (or the SP in my case) has been made a few times here on BF by me and at least one other.

It seems the EP design using the aspherical lens in the ED/SP seems to trade off center sharpness for less field curvature. As I'm not the sort of guy who is too bothered by the edges (except to pay attention to a moving bird so I can center the bin) it's not a good trade off for me.

I find the ER is sufficient for me in the 8x32 WP and 8x32 SP i have though I'm a moderate myope who wears fairly close glasses.
Initially I though it was a sample variation and I though I had a poor SP but now I'm pretty sure this is by design.
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Old Sunday 23rd August 2009, 10:09   #30
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Spent an enjoyable day walking around Birdfair looking through every scope and pair of bins I could get my hands on. I realise from the posts above that eye relief is a more complicated affair than I first thought. I had a good look through the Bushnell Elite 8x43 and with ER of 19.5 I thought they would be comfortable to use. It took 2/3 minutes before I could find an image stable enough to evaluate the glass and when I did I was not impressed. It was nowhere near as sharp as the view through my Pentax, I have heard lots of good things about this model and was disappointed. Onto the Vortex Razor and once again I struggled to find a workable image in a model with a stated 18mm of eye relief.
I think Mark's comments are very informative, particularly if you are going to buy without trying.
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Old Tuesday 11th August 2015, 03:19   #31
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Originally Posted by stereotruckdriver View Post
I have the 10x43's! Spent alot of A-B,ing against others. To tell you the truth I have never regretted the purchase one bit! Some will say they lack the fov??? I have yet to come across a situation that the fov has enabled me to miss an ID or have a problem following a moving object!!! There are times when cal is present, but what glass doesn't exhibit some cal? What you get is excellent saturation of color, sharp highly resolved details!!! I have posted here as well as other forums on the brands that I compared to! If you want to spend the money $999.00 or whatever you can get them for you won't be at a disadvantage because you didn't pay $1,800.00. I never feel handicapped, I just smile knowing I didn't have to pay $2,000.00 to get alpha quality views!!! Bryce...
I guess I had to revisit and old flame.

I posted in the bargains thread that I picked up a newer 10x43 ED.

These are not the newest incarnation but they do say Ricoh on the underside so it
Is after the buyout.

While I'm not as smitten with these as I was with my original 10x ED I still think for less than $500 they are a bargain.

The fit and finish are excellent showing typical Japanese quality.

Excellent color saturation, minimal cal showing out of the fov.

Very generous sweet spot with very slight degrading towards the edge.

The image is very sharp and in fact quite pleasing.

It's been so long since I owned my original so I can't say if these are as good?

They definitely aren't alpha slayers but at the current price I think they are a good deal.

Im only referring to the 10x43 as I have no plans in trying out the others.

Bryce...
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Old Tuesday 11th August 2015, 04:07   #32
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Old Wednesday 12th August 2015, 17:02   #33
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Hi Bryce,

You wake up a thread from almost 6 years sleep! And I see that I have posted in this thread more than 6 years ago. Last year I replaced SLC 7x42 with Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42, so things change through the years.
It would be interesting to know your opinion about the Conquest HD 10x42 compared to the Pentax ED 10x43! Have you tried the Conquest HDs?

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Old Friday 14th August 2015, 02:07   #34
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Originally Posted by Swedpat View Post
Hi Bryce,

You wake up a thread from almost 6 years sleep! And I see that I have posted in this thread more than 6 years ago. Last year I replaced SLC 7x42 with Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42, so things change through the years.
It would be interesting to know your opinion about the Conquest HD 10x42 compared to the Pentax ED 10x43! Have you tried the Conquest HDs?

Patric
Patric,

I have not compared them first hand really never crossed my mind.

The only reason for the purchase of the Pentax ED was I had one previously,
liked it alot and saw a good deal on one.

Probably won't see alot of use by me but, nice to have a backup and let others use
as a decent loaner.

Bryce...
,
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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 18:49   #35
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Originally Posted by stereotruckdriver View Post
I guess I had to revisit and old flame.

I posted in the bargains thread that I picked up a newer 10x43 ED.

These are not the newest incarnation but they do say Ricoh on the underside so it
Is after the buyout.

While I'm not as smitten with these as I was with my original 10x ED I still think for less than $500 they are a bargain.

The fit and finish are excellent showing typical Japanese quality.

Excellent color saturation, minimal cal showing out of the fov.

Very generous sweet spot with very slight degrading towards the edge.

The image is very sharp and in fact quite pleasing.

It's been so long since I owned my original so I can't say if these are as good?

They definitely aren't alpha slayers but at the current price I think they are a good deal.

Im only referring to the 10x43 as I have no plans in trying out the others.

Bryce...
But they have poor eye relief, 17mm translates to 15mm by Pentax standard.
Only good if you don't wear glasses or accept less than full AFOV.
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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 23:11   #36
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But they have poor eye relief, 17mm translates to 15mm by Pentax standard.
Only good if you don't wear glasses or accept less than full AFOV.
Not quite, the 8x32 DCF ED has 17mm of eye relief. The 8x43 has 22mm of eye relief. This should be more than enough for any eyeglass wearer.
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Old Thursday 19th November 2015, 16:41   #37
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Not quite, the 8x32 DCF ED has 17mm of eye relief. The 8x43 has 22mm of eye relief. This should be more than enough for any eyeglass wearer.
The binocular we talk about here is the 10x43...
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Old Thursday 19th November 2015, 19:24   #38
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The binocular we talk about here is the 10x43...
My mistake, you are correct.
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