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Old Saturday 6th August 2011, 15:44   #1
Tvc15_2000
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Pentax 9 x 28mm DCF LV

Pentax 9 x 28mm DCF LV

I am helping a friend find a light weight, compact waterproof binoculars in the $150 range, that delivers reasonable quality, for beginner bird watching and general use including hiking.

I am seeing the Pentax 9 x 28mm DCF LV, binocular (which I own) for as low as $157 on various sites. Like all bins its not without faults but I noticed none that were bad enough to prevent me from buying it again. I use them in the back yard and viewing the feeder. I do take them on some birding walks and kayaking when I dont want to risk the more expensive glass.

In this unusual economic situation I still find this to be a good binocular at that price. It wont hold back a beginner to intermediate birder. Could be worth a look if your searching in this niche for a compact lightweight waterproof binocular with reasonable quality.
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Old Sunday 7th August 2011, 01:26   #2
Bob A (SD)
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Originally Posted by Tvc15_2000 View Post
Like all bins its not without faults but I noticed none that were bad enough to prevent me from buying it again.
Would you expand on the pros and cons of this model please?
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Old Sunday 7th August 2011, 15:15   #3
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Depends on your needs. You have a great binocular collection and lots of glass to compare them with. The ultimate decision rests with you of course.

I take small binoculars seriously since I am birding all the time. Portable is good for me.

Pros
Delivers performance @$160 I would expect to pay $200 to $250 range
Small 4.53 x 1.50 x 4.61" / 11.51 x 3.81 x 11.71 cm
Very Light 12.9 oz / 365.72 g due to composite construction.
Minimum Focus Distance 9.84' / 3 m

Waterproof – can be submerged to 3 feet. A very good friend of mine, Lola the vanilla Labrador Retriever helped me test the submergibility of this binocular when Lola leaned over the side of a canoe to get a better look at a Greylag goose sending us into the river. This gave us a chance to refresh our self rescue skills. The bins were OK. We all enjoyed the swim but Lola enjoyed it the most.

They appear to have good brightness
Long eye relief
Good spin up eye cups (in my opinion)
Good sharpnes
Pentax is a top name in binoculars with a long history. Will still be in business in a few years...
Great no fault warranty
Good build quality, materials, fit and finish

Cons
Compact size may not be right if you have hands the size of tennis racquets
9 power may not be good if you have “the shakes”
Edge sharpness could be better ( I find this to be true with all the bins I have seen at this price). But it is much better than the Vortex 28mm I tried which cost much more.
Some flare on back lit situations. Also true on most bins except the most expensive. But i would not rate is as bad. You can get rid of flare but it will coast you lots more money.
28MM will be useable at sunset or sunrise but not long before sunrise and not long after sunset. Nothing unusual here.

Hopefully others who have held them in their hands and compared them can add comments on their observations.

I posted because so many posts are regarding a decent entry point into binoculars at a reasonable price. I had tried a Nikon Monarch (outdoors) and the sample I tried had more shortcomings than this binocular.

I have more expensive binoculars but these remain in active service.
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Old Sunday 7th August 2011, 16:37   #4
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About the only thing I didn't like about the 9x28 Pentax was the FOV: 294' as I recall. Just too narrow for my tastes.

Otherwise I liked them. Good, solid binocular.

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Old Sunday 7th August 2011, 19:15   #5
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My wife has a pair and she's very content with them.

I'm happy to borrow them when I need something waterproof and pocketable, but there are a few characteristics that I don't enjoy much. The glare, flare and narrow FOV as already mentioned. I find the field curvature too pronounced for the FOV resulting in a rather small sweet spot. Finally, when my eyes are working at their best I can see aberrations in the view. Of course we may have a sub-standard sample. Having said all that I can't think of another waterproof pair that will better if for view, size and price.

David

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Old Sunday 7th August 2011, 22:09   #6
Bob A (SD)
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Mmmm.... that 5.6* 294' FOV is too narrow for me. My old 1996 Pentax 9x21 has 6.3* 330' which is already narrow enough. My early '80s Leupold Gold Ring 9x35 has a much more satisfying 7.3* 382' FOV.
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Old Sunday 7th August 2011, 22:28   #7
Tvc15_2000
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Originally Posted by Bob A (SD) View Post
Mmmm.... that 5.6* 294' FOV is too narrow for me. My old 1996 Pentax 9x21 has 6.3* 330' which is already narrow enough. My early '80s Leupold Gold Ring 9x35 has a much more satisfying 7.3* 382' FOV.

Does that binocular sell in this price range? Meaning is it at a similar level of optics?
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Old Sunday 7th August 2011, 22:54   #8
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They are good enough, maybe better than good enough: and they have all the faults and virtues listed above. There are more good points to note: Their portability, their ease of use with their very long eye relief, and their ruggedness. Some binoculars are more than the sum of their parts and this is one.

I've had one for years. I got it when came out and it cost over $200.00 and it's been used hard since. It began as a car binocular and is now one again. It stayed in the Car in all kinds of weather. In between my wife used it and last year my son took it to Chile with him when he went there as an exchange student. He backpacked and trekked all over Northern Chile, South Peru and Western Bolivia with it and even dunked it in Lake Titicaca. He beat it up unmercifully and he saw a Condor with it. It's still ticking.

I'd like to try the 2 that Bob A. mentions but they aren't made anymore.
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Old Sunday 7th August 2011, 22:54   #9
Bob A (SD)
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Does that binocular sell in this price range? Meaning is it at a similar level of optics?
Well I paid $100 which was a discounted price for the Pentax 9x21 new back in 1996, so I'd say yes. I'm not quite sure what the 1980s vintage Gold Ring (premium line) Leupold porros originally sold for but in 2007 they were going for $175 to $265 used (see post #26 of this thread http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=91727).
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 10:34   #10
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I wont be recommending my new birder friend dive into the used binocular market to search out a 30 year old or a 13 year old binocular for a wide field of view.

You are an advanced binocular user and I understand your preference.

Purchasing a new binocular removes all the complications that are associated with purchasing a used binocular and provides lots more flexibility.
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 20:18   #11
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I wouldn't necessarily recommend going to used or vintage bins either. But I would recommend any prospective binocular buyer determine whether FOV is a significant factor for their personal viewing before plunking down any money. It is and has been for me. I've sold off all my significant FOV "mistakes" too.
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Old Tuesday 9th August 2011, 00:26   #12
Tvc15_2000
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It stayed in the Car in all kinds of weather.
[plus other fun adventures]
Bob
Love hearing about the adventures binoculars go on.

Thanks

T
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Old Tuesday 9th August 2011, 01:27   #13
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I've sold off all my significant FOV "mistakes" too.
A good point to keep in the periphery!
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Old Tuesday 9th August 2011, 04:07   #14
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Love hearing about the adventures binoculars go on.

Thanks

T
Umm, a cute dog in a life vest doesn't look like K2 either, does it?

Chill,

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Old Tuesday 9th August 2011, 09:06   #15
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Umm, a cute dog in a life vest doesn't look like K2 either, does it?

Chill,

Mark
I shortnened the paragraph which is full of fun descriptions. I would love to visit K2 and Peru. But until then, bins in the car, Cape May NU and Hawk Mtn PA or the dog on the lake will do fine. Lots of days its the back yard!

Its a valid point that some of us use more than one bin. In my case if there is a chance of swiming with them or leaving them in a car I opt for a less expensive pair that can get the job done adequatlty (less to worry about).
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Old Tuesday 9th August 2011, 14:31   #16
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I shortnened the paragraph which is full of fun descriptions. I would love to visit K2 and Peru. But until then, bins in the car, Cape May NU and Hawk Mtn PA or the dog on the lake will do fine. Lots of days its the back yard!
Sorry, Tvc. Thought you were being ironic.

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Old Wednesday 10th August 2011, 19:16   #17
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My wife has a pair and she's very content with them.

I'm happy to borrow them when I need something waterproof and pocketable, but there are a few characteristics that I don't enjoy much. The glare, flare and narrow FOV as already mentioned. I find the field curvature too pronounced for the FOV resulting in a rather small sweet spot. Finally, when my eyes are working at their best I can see aberrations in the view. Of course we may have a sub-standard sample. Having said all that I can't think of another waterproof pair that will better if for view, size and price.

David
Try the 8x28 Bushnell Excursions which I have recommended in the past. 417 ft FOV, 15 oz, 4-3/8"H, 6 ft CF. For the $70 or so that these are selling for on ebay, you won't find a better small compact bino even for double or more the price. The sweetspot on the Excursions is almost the entire FOV of the 9x28 Pentax LV's.

Frank D just picked up a pair and is quite impressed with them, and has made some posts on them in the Bargain Bino and Dakota Elte threads in the last couple of days. I had posted some pics earlier in the Dakota thread that I had taken thru my colliminating lens setup of the Excursion barrels as well as the 7x28 Dakotas. Quite an impressive little compact bino. Lately, I find myself reaching for them more often than my Swaro 8x30 SLC's or 8x36 Legend Ultra HD's.

Tom

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Old Wednesday 10th August 2011, 19:53   #18
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Sorry Tom they'd slipped my mind. They sound ideal. I'll try to check them out next time I get to London.

D
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Old Saturday 13th August 2011, 23:11   #19
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I want to reinforce Tom's comments on the little 8x28 Excursions. I can see why he is so fond of them. They have turned into my favorite "sub-32 mm" binocular. I find several characteristics impressive about them. One is certainly the field of view. As Tom mentioned, not only is the field exceptionally wide for a semi-compact binocular but it also sports a very wide sweet spot with a very gradual transition into the area of distortion. I sometimes have to remind myself that I am looking through an 8x28 when I put my eyes up to the binocular. The only two optical areas which give that away are the color bias (slightly red/purple) and the slightly dimmer image (in comparison to 8x32 and 8x42 binoculars of similar features). Even then they are very comparable.

The second issue is the handling. I have fairly large hands and yet I find holding these binoculars very intuitive. Because of the secure grip I can hold them exceptionally steady. This certainly adds to their viewing enjoyment.

Lastly, the focusing tension and speed is very good. It is close to being buttery smooth without any backlash or play in the focusing mechanism.

I would certainly recommend this binocular for anyone looking for something smaller than the current 32 mm binoculars in the mid to low price points.
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Old Saturday 13th August 2011, 23:35   #20
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You just have to love Labradors eh?

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Old Monday 20th August 2012, 15:18   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvc15_2000 View Post
Pentax 9 x 28mm DCF LV

I am helping a friend find a light weight, compact waterproof binoculars in the $150 range, that delivers reasonable quality, for beginner bird watching and general use including hiking.

I am seeing the Pentax 9 x 28mm DCF LV, binocular (which I own) for as low as $157 on various sites. .......
That price seems to have gone up quite a bit within the past year. At least looking at the EO website:
http://www.eagleoptics.com/binocular...rism-binocular
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Old Saturday 9th May 2015, 20:07   #22
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Too bad that Pentax doesn't offer this model in 7x option!
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Old Saturday 9th May 2015, 22:14   #23
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Too bad that Pentax doesn't offer this model in 7x option!

I fully agree with this sentiment! I would buy one in a minute!

Minox has 7x28 IF binoculars and others are made for the military.

http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/minox.pl?page=62039

16mm oculars should do the trick.

Bob
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Old Saturday 9th May 2015, 22:38   #24
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Bob,

I have seen the Minox 7x28. But I am very doubtful about the design. The narrow bridge between the barrels and the length of the tubes towards the objectives should make this binocular(because of the leverage) very sensitive for shock and force and easy put it out of collimation.

Patric
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Old Saturday 9th May 2015, 23:09   #25
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Bob,

I have seen the Minox 7x28. But I am very doubtful about the design. The narrow bridge between the barrels and the length of the tubes towards the objectives should make this binocular(because of the leverage) very sensitive for shock and force and easy put it out of collimation.

Patric

I agree with that Patrick.

I'm not interested in a IF binocular. I have the Pentax 9x28 and it is plenty tough enough. My son used it when he was an exchange student in Chile. He backpacked into Machu Picchu with it and around parts of Bolivia and North Chile and beat it up pretty good and it is still working well.

Bob
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