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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 14:53   #1
CliveP
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RicohPentax DCF 8x20 ED

I just received one of these I bought on auction and it is very good but seems to be a model only made for Golf Tournaments in this case the Women's British Open.

It cost me buttons (less than the Sunagor 7x18 I recently returned) so a really good deal and it is new with a little leather case.

Very similar to my RSPB 8x20 HD. Seems a bit easier to eye position than the HD but the HD seems to just edge it on sharpness and/or resolution but I think that is something to do with the blue bias of the HD adding to the contrast. Definitely deeper shade antireflection coating on the HD. The Pentax though seems to have a flatter view right across i.e. a sharper cut off junction at the edge but the HD is only very slightly soft right at the edge. Both seem to have the same fov of 119m although this is not stated on the Pentax box but all the phase coating, ED objectives, fully multi coating, waterproof etc is.

I really like this little Pentax ED so I'm surprised they don't seem to have this model in their range. Very nice flat sharp edged view and neutral colour with good contrast and excellent clarity. Tight hinges, perfect collimation, focus a bit stiff at the moment but it should work in nicely and no slack problems. Feels lighter than the RSPB HD too.

I love my Papilio but this is definitely a better standard view with these due to the larger AFOV.

I will take them out this evening to try them for evening glare but they are well ridge baffled -same as the HD- so should perform very well.

Excellent. Very likeable. Thank goodness for womens golf

Oh almost forgot, the con. Seemingly virtually no resale value so if you see pair, pick up a bargain. I had been prepared to pay about 3 times more and they would still have been a bargain but in the end didn't have to but ultimately I'm lucky that they turn out to be good, well, very good.

I imagine if Pentax did offer this model they would be in around the 160-200+ area. Definitely around the same optics standard as the other 8x20 birding versions such the RSPB HD. Pretty much seems like they have a similar origin.

Last edited by CliveP : Thursday 19th May 2016 at 15:05.
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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 17:34   #2
Binastro
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Nice find Clive, at a low cost.
Will you now be playing in the women's golf tournaments?
I prefer women's beach volleyball.
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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 19:17   #3
CliveP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Nice find Clive, at a low cost.
Will you now be playing in the women's golf tournaments?
I prefer women's beach volleyball.
No but I suppose I could use my new bins to closely observe any fine female beach volleyball athletes practicing their craft. Ball Thwacking but they'd probably have North Face overcoats on here.

The bad news today is I got gazumped in the running for a job commissioning scientific microscopy cameras across Europe and beyond.

First the phone call and then two minutes later the post arrives. Mixed emotions day.
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Old Friday 20th May 2016, 13:18   #4
CliveP
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Got out with the Pentax today but it's not good news.

Basically if you want to watch golf with these then do it from the club house.

Outdoors they just don't perform at all.

My Carson 8x22 Scout shown alongside definitely performs much better and my Vistron 8x25 or the Papilio II 6.5 or the Hawke 10x25 Endurance or the RSPB 8x20 HD or the 7x18 Mini Scout also

I don't really know what the problem is with these Pentax but the RSPB HD and the Hawke 10x25 have something similar although they work better.

With the Pentax very rarely can you get a comfortable eyeposition and a sharp clear view. It's external light I think around the eyecup coupled with eye positioning and that means left/right, up/down and towards the eyepiece or further away and there basically is no good consistent results position so you are always fighting with them and losing.

They remind me very much of the Hawke Sapphire 8x25 I had which seemed to be exactly the same problem wise.

From the house they wallop the Carson but outdoors the Carson is useable and garantees good viewing if still a bit on the compact feeling side of things so ultimately it's the one I would rely on a grab to take along before this Pentax. The Vistron is even better. Light, eyepositioning, nothing ever bothers it. Most importantly as well as being effective both the Carson and Vistron are fun because they simply perform well, especially given their convenient sizes and weights, the Carson is much lighter than the Pentax.

This is all a great shame. Even my Carson 7x18 gives a lot of viewing thrills where outdoors this Pentax will only manage it in just the right cirumstances i.e facing a certain way to the sun.

If I wanted to watch golf I'd want the Carson instead. Simple as that so something is wrong when you have a bin with all the bells and whistles like Aspherical lenses and ED glass and basically it's still no good. Oh it is waterproof which might be useful for when you throw it in the lake provided that is that you want it back?

Ok I now get why Pentax don't have this model in the lineup. If only it worked as great outdoors as it does from inside. That then would be wonderful.

It might work better some other day outdoors in some other light (this morning was fairly sunny) but it is designated a house bin for now. Definitely superb for garden viewing from indoors but it's really performance outdoors I want and for that it seems I must look to my other compacts or larger bins.

Oh I did actually get a woman commenting on them that they looked like they were good bins. Maybe they might have a use, hmmmm.....?
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Last edited by CliveP : Friday 20th May 2016 at 13:47.
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Old Friday 20th May 2016, 14:19   #5
Binastro
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Sounds like the eyecups are the wrong length?
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Old Friday 20th May 2016, 19:25   #6
CliveP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Nice find Clive, at a low cost.
Will you now be playing in the women's golf tournaments?
I prefer women's beach volleyball.
It just occurred to me.
I never knew you wore skimpy underwear and played beach volleyball
No pics please. I couldn't unsee that

Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Sounds like the eyecups are the wrong length?
Maybe? Could possibly simply be that or at least it might help some if they did extend more. With the other bin's I certainly can jam my eyes against the cups more, so probably cuts more of the side light. Maybe they need some of those Steiner type eyecups. I did try to use my hand to shade any side light and also tried standing in the shade looking out but it didn't seem to help.

I think the RSPB HD has the same eyecup extension but a bit more eyerelief and I definitely got on better with those when trying them outdoors but that was in winter and I was viewing more over distance and they were tricky like the Pentax for closer in. With those also I got that no glass clarity effect on occasion but never with these Pentax today.

I did get the odd rare glimpse of potential, I think facing away from the sun while shaded by trees but I wasn't always in those conditions.

I have no problem at all with the Papilio. It's super easy to use outdoors and performs perfectly so why the hell couldn't they do the same with these?

You have to wonder sometimes did whoever designed these things ever actually try them outside. They seem to go to great lengths designing fancy internal baffling but the problem seems to be something else and it's a big problem.

I also noticed that they didn't have any great contrast outdoors that I would normally see regularly even with the non multicoated non ED etc etc Carson.

The leaking sidelight or whatever just cast shadows across the view pretty much constantly. Don't think it was glare either as I did get that too towards the lowish sun and it was the usual.

It seemed like there wasn't enough light coming through them to counteract whatever sidelight leakage there was.

Frustrating for sure. I mean they are usable but it just isn't great, more of a struggle and I think better would be expected since they bothered making it so nice with expensive components.

Basically they become tiring on the eyes quite quickly especially outdoors. I think it's simply the eyepiece design having no margin for error in eye placement and any stray side light compounds things.

The Papilio has neither of these issues and doesn't seem to have anything special about the eyecups as I can use them in any position down/middle/up without problem so I think it's the eyepiece design of these 8x20. Seems perfect on paper but in practice it doesn't work. Actually I did also try the eyecups on these ED in various positions but they ddin't work any better in one position over the other. Here now indoors they actually work quite well turned down a little to let you see more of the full view more easily

I don't know what it is but seems there are a lot of these types of compacts under different names that all have the same problem. Maybe that's why Pentax just stick to the reverse porros in their compact line.

The focus wheel is loosening up and they focus perfectly near and far with the diopter bang on zero.

Maybe I'll figure it out at some stage. At least they free my Vistron up from home use to always have a neck strap on ready to take along. You just don't have any struggle with that compact (well a large compact) and that counts for a lot I am discovering more and more.

Last edited by CliveP : Friday 20th May 2016 at 19:31.
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Old Saturday 21st May 2016, 21:04   #7
CliveP
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Just back from a little trip on a lovely sunny evening.

Tried the bins again.

Worked better this time but it does seem that they get glare at the front and side light at the rear so I choose to accept the glare and go for shielding the side lighting with my hand.

If I had some kind of winged eyecups then I could shield the front end and things would be good.

This morning it wasn't so sunny and they gave no problems with a tryout in the back yard. Nice strong colour and contrast. At this time I also compared the Carson and while not such rich colour and contrast -but perfectly good- they did give a much better feeling of a larger binocular (more mag and wider view) even though they are smaller and lighter than the Pentax so I'm liking the Pentax more now that I understand it better but for actual viewing real world performance I'd still have to give the nod to the Carson which I suppose just says how good a simple cheap bin can actually be. If it had the colour and contrast of the Pentax though then I would be approaching bin nirvana. That is a bin I seek.
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