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Old Sunday 7th June 2015, 13:54   #1
oetzi
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Experiencing the Papilio II 6.5x21

For several weeks I had the use of a Papilio II. Pentax graciously decided to send me one for a review and, naturally, I choose the 6.5x. Less wobble/swaying at closer distances, bigger FOV and DOF, an easy decision. So all my comments only apply to this model, I havent used any 8x at all.

At first glance, the PII looks big and bulky, compared to other compact bins. But a direct comparison (see picture) did put that into perspective. A 8x22 from Eschenbach and the Nikon CIII 7x21 reverse porro are not that much bigger.

The weight of the PII, sans accessories, is 293gr, thats ok. Carried in its tight-fitting bag( it fits with extended eyepieces) the whole package is compact enough to be put in a jacket´s roomy pocket.

Mechanically the PII delivers. Even though it looks like an all-plastic construction, no faults could be found in these weeks. The hinge shows the right amount of resistance, the dioptre adjustment works faultless, the extendable eyepieces feature solid clicks. Focussing works smooth without any slack and shows the same resistance in both directions.

The focus knob has a small diameter and coupled with the very low resistance when turning, it makes for fairly fast focussing. One full turn to go from 4km down to 1m, another 1 1/3 turn from 1m down to the minimum of 50cm. This means a fine tuning of the focus in what I call the „macro-mode“. It also means lots of turning-the-wheel when all of suden an interest bird shows up in the distance. You win some, you loose some, this is a more specialised bin than all the others.

Optically, the PII ticks the right boxes.
Its a bit warm by comparison with my Nikon EII, still shows the colours in a very pleasant way, no complaints there.
CA are visible. Quite a bit more than with my EII, but even in a typical high-contrast situation (dark branches against a bright sky) they dont bother me.
Sweet spot is about 60%, the zone outside this can not be used to view satisfactorily. for peripherial
use only.
I saw no COF, if there is one, its hidden in the 6.5x´s large DOF.
No stray light or glare worth speaking of. The recssed lenses, the new coating, whatever is responsible, it works.
Focussing is best done on-axis plus 10% of the sweet spot. I noticed a slight detoriation in the precision of the acquired focus when doing it on the outskirts of the sweet spot. It may be my ageing eyes, but in the center it works best.

So optically, the PII shows what you can get by sticking to the porro design. Lots of quality at this low price. That said, the specialization (=macro-mode) of the PII shows in the results. Its great close-up and less than stellar in the distance. Contrast, sharpness, the fine detail, they all suffer on the opposite end of the primary use of the PII.

Close up, everything is great. Lots of sharpness and contrast when doing macro. Be it the fine texure of a spider´s body or the structure of a flower´s pistil, you see it all.

Greater distances are fine, too. For example a pica pica on a roof 100m anway. I could have a fine look at it, with only the 6.5x magnification limitating me in comparison to a good 8x. Likewise a tree line 250m away, everything is fine.

But go the distance and everything changes. having a look at one of my favourite spots, a castle 4km away, showed much detoriation of the visual experience. Less contrast, less sharpness to show the fine details of the walls etc. On a fine, clear day this detoriation could be seen easily. On gloomy, dull, overcast days, this sensation was exaggerated. Maybe the 21mm lenses? A useable bin in these distances, the PII very obviously shows its specialization in macro.

To put these findings into perspective, my Nikon Aculon 7x35 is over all the better binocular. Its big, bulky, heavy and sells for half the price of the PII. But believe me, you dont want to buy the PII solely as a“regular“ bino. I will use it for this, too, because of its inherent portability and because it easily outshines my two other compact bins in every aspect (ergonomics, optics).

So my use of the PII will be twofold. As mentioned, as a carry-along bin when not being out on a purpose. I wont carry one pound+ of glass and metal „just in case“, the PII will do.

This macro mode of the PII its easy to get adicted to it. No limits when getting closer, its the only bin to allow it. I would have to carry a magnifying glass or a camera with macro lens to achieve what the PII offers in its well-rounded package. For me, this Papilio II 6.5x21 is a keeper.

You may consider getting one, too. If only as an alternative to schlepping the big one, or as a supplement to the digiscope/ 10x main optic. The PII will be a worthy acquisitation, I am sure of that. The addiction to going macro comes free and is inevitable.

My german review:
http://www.outdoor-professionell.de/...apilio-pentax/
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Last edited by oetzi : Sunday 7th June 2015 at 16:21.
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Old Monday 8th June 2015, 16:07   #2
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...The focus knob has a small diameter and coupled with the very low resistance when turning, it makes for fairly fast focussing. One full turn to go from 4km down to 1m, another 1 1/3 turn from 1m down to the minimum of 50cm. This means a fine tuning of the focus in what I call the „macro-mode“. It also means lots of turning-the-wheel when all of suden an interest bird shows up in the distance...
Getting on a bird after a bug might seem slow in the Papilio, but it is much faster and more precise than it would be without the dual-ratio focus that it employs (relatively fast focus for near objects, slower for distant).

--AP
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Old Monday 8th June 2015, 16:54   #3
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You win some, you lose some.
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Old Monday 8th June 2015, 22:31   #4
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Das Pentax Papilio II 6,5×21 ist ein must-have
I'm not sure I understand the whole article but that phrase is self evident. :)
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2015, 05:52   #5
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It is unique with its macro-mode, which I like very much. And its a decent compact. The price is right, too. Personally I wouldnt want it as my only binocular, but it has its place.
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Old Saturday 13th June 2015, 15:13   #6
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To me the most important question is whats the difference between this and the first one? I already have a first edition 6.5x, is there any reason to get the 2nd? They sound identical from your review.
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Old Sunday 14th June 2015, 13:30   #7
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To me the most important question is whats the difference between this and the first one? I already have a first edition 6.5x, is there any reason to get the 2nd? They sound identical from your review.

I have found NO reviews or comparsions between 1 and 11s


edj

correction:
found post 43 by klar-thank yiou Binastro and klar
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Old Sunday 14th June 2015, 14:37   #8
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edj, Look at next thread, post 43 by klar.
He clearly see a substantial improvement.

You cannot 'prove' this.
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Old Sunday 14th June 2015, 15:11   #9
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I find the Ricoh/Pentax website on these newly designated Pentax binoculars very confusing. It still references some binoculars under their old designations. It is going to be difficult to compare the old models with the new models unless the new ones come in new boxes labeled with the new designations on them.

Camera Land NY is using the new Pentax designations in its website now.

Personally, I would like to compare my old 9x28 DCF LV with the new AD 9x28 WP or compare my old 9x32 DCF BC with a new AD 9x32 WP, but I want to make sure I am getting a new one. The old designations on my 2 binoculars are located on the face of the focus wheels. CL's picture shows that the new 9x32 also has its designation on the front of the left hinge's optical tube but with "PENTAX" on the bottom line instead of on top line like mine. The 9x28 they show looks like my old one.

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Old Tuesday 15th September 2015, 09:36   #10
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In his original post Oetzi commented that distance objects - such as a castle 4km away - were unsharp.

Is this the consensus? Can some users say if this has been their experience too, or not?

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Old Tuesday 15th September 2015, 12:52   #11
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In his original post Oetzi commented that distance objects - such as a castle 4km away - were unsharp.

Is this the consensus? Can some users either confirm or refute this from their own experiences?
Hi,

cannot comment yet but will get one for a kid and maybe one for me next week or so. But I re-read oetzis review in a german forum and there the sentence about the castle reads like this:

With increasing distance the picture changes a bit: From my workplace I can see a castle on a ridge 4km away. Here I can see considerably less detail in the brickwork. The picture is a bit dull despite clear air and sunshine.

Unfortunately it is not quite clear what bins were used as comparison here - three others were mentioned in the post - two 8x21/22 ones and a 7x35. Maybe oetzi could clarify this.

If this meant that the 7x35 is delivering a better resolution at distance this is not really surprising with almost three times of the objective area of the 6.5x21.
If it was compared to its peers then this is more significant although it still is a unique glass at close distance and still good at distances normally used for birding like 100m or 250m.

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Tuesday 15th September 2015 at 12:53. Reason: speling
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2015, 13:05   #12
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They aren't unsharp in my opinion (I have the 6.5x21 I).
They are just underwhelming because:
1. The AFOV is narrow
2. There are reflections (the I isn't fully multicoated)
3. The resolution is lower than a regular 8x32 and up we are used to.

I EDC my Papilio for over a year and used it for birding (in parks mostly) because that was the only one I had with me. I never forget that it is a 150 euros little porro of 21mm, with simple coatings (mine), ultraleightweight so I EDC it easily, which does something no other binocular does and shows things in a different way.
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2015, 13:32   #13
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They are only £100 binoculars they are not going to excel in all areas. They are not as sharp as a 32 or a 42, they are not as sharp as my Zeiss 8x20s but nor would I expect them to be they were a quarter of the price. But they are good for the money, the distant view is acceptable, the close up view is unrivalled.

I have tried my version II against my friends version I and there is a lot less internal reflection in the IIs than the Is.
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2015, 17:53   #14
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They aren't unsharp in my opinion (I have the 6.5x21 I).
They are just underwhelming because:
1. The AFOV is narrow
2. There are reflections (the I isn't fully multicoated)
3. The resolution is lower than a regular 8x32 and up we are used to.
Hi Konstantinos,

thanks for the infos on model I.

1) The AFOV of 131/1000m for the 6.5x model II and 115/1000m for the 8.5 model II seem quite in line with their peers. Not too much competition at 6 or 7x but most are 130-140m. Best of the 8x20 bunch is the Nikon LX L with 118m (or Swaro 8x25 at 119m but this is half a class higher). Not sure if field of view was increased between model I and II.

2) Ok, I'll see what reflections are like in model II

3) To be expected with 21mm objectives - they should be compared with other pocket bins and also with a quick look at the price... an alpha for 5 or 6 times the price should be better in at least some disciplines ;-)

PS: it seems they just got a bit cheaper at BH Photo and I'm going to be in NY next week ;-)

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2015, 18:55   #15
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The true field of view of 131/1000m (or 7.5 degrees) isn't bad, but the apparent field of view is roughly 48-49 degrees, somewhat less than the field of a Plossl eyepiece. Most compacts have around 50 degrees but the 8-10x32-42 have 56-68 degrees and give a more spectacular view. I am spoiled with Ethos, Naglers T4s and similar eyepieces, so I feel that my Radians of 60 degrees are narrow and then I have to accept expensive binoculars with 59 degrees apparent field of view. But that's how thing are.
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Old Friday 2nd October 2015, 08:36   #16
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My initial first impression of my this week purchase of a 6.5x II was extremely impressed indeed. I have never owned one before so can't compare to the original but if the original was as good as this then it was pretty spectacular also.

I've only had one outing but I never ever noticed even the slightest inkling of any CA and I am very susceptible to it but will tolerate some. I would easily award this pair 10 out of 10 in that regard. It made the edges of everything so clean and I thought my Kowa SV 8x32 was good in this regard but this papilio is even better.

Amongst all my binoculars this is one of the most impressive for CA control, clarity (which is incredible given the small objectives) and sharpness was never an issue over any distance in fact I found it to be in the very good range.

I found a little cresent glare around the bottom of the view at times but it was minimal and otherwise no glare or refection annoyances.

I found the contrast pretty good and the colour pretty neutral.

I did notice that for distance they seem to work better with the eyecups down giving the impression of a larger afov and better with eyecups folded out for close-up so I generally left them mid way but then my right eyelash kept painting the ocular.

My overall verdict though is extremely impressed with the general clarity, sharpness and cleanliness of the image. A lot of larger bins could learn a lesson from this but strangely when I had the E2 I found it could suffer very badly with CA so I don't know. Perhaps it's all explained by particular model variation as well as our eyes or light conditions or whatever but I certainly have no reason not to be very impressed by this Papilio and the fact that they can make me smile when I use them is a good thing also.

It's the low afov most noticeable over distance and lack of moisture sealing of the Papilio and smaller size and better handling of the Vistron that make me still favour my Viking Vistron 8x25 @ 7deg for most times when I call for a compact but I thoroughly recommend to everyone to get one these Papilio. It's simply just really good.

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Old Friday 2nd October 2015, 09:02   #17
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Hi Konstantinos,

thanks for the infos on model I.

1) The AFOV of 131/1000m for the 6.5x model II and 115/1000m for the 8.5 model II seem quite in line with their peers. Not too much competition at 6 or 7x but most are 130-140m. Best of the 8x20 bunch is the Nikon LX L with 118m (or Swaro 8x25 at 119m but this is half a class higher). Not sure if field of view was increased between model I and II.

Joachim
I've never tried the Swaro but I owned the Nikon 8x20 lxl. Me not likey. It just never did anything for me. It wasn't bad or anything but I certainly wouldn't buy one again unless it drastically improved somehow. I would expect the 25mm Swaro to be a lot better but I still prefer the wider field of the Vistron and the new Vixen Atrek is wider again with 7.5 deg plus field flatner view so please see if you can find one of those to try while in NY Joachim.

Just noticed this also http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...inocular.html#!

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Old Friday 2nd October 2015, 12:18   #18
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CliveP,

Did you notice loss of sharpness contrast etc beyond, say, 250 metres- please see the original post?
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Old Friday 2nd October 2015, 13:05   #19
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CliveP,

Did you notice loss of sharpness contrast etc beyond, say, 250 metres- please see the original post?
I think what Oetzi means is that a tiny bin cannot resolve the same as one with objectives several times larger. It seems silly if you are worrying that any tiny bin is not fantastic for objects 4km away? Well does to me anyway. Perhaps your expectations are a little unrealistic?

I already stated in #15 that my Papilio has no sharpness issue over any distance.

BTW I think the Papilio would be absolutely fine as a regular bino for some-one wanting a small bin and only one. In fact I think it would be fantastic for beginners. Some real top quality optics to begin with.

Maybe I got lucky and got a better one than Oetzi?

If you are on the fence Wanderer or perhaps you are a Wondering Wanderer then go for the Papilio I say but not if you are going to obsess of over sharpness 4km away with a low magnification small object bin, get the Nikon Aculon instead and miss out on the brilliant Papilio. For 250m range I found it absolutely fine although low on magnification as I'm used to 8x or 10x. It's still the best 21mm bin I've ever seen and if the 8x25UP had a wider field I would have been buying that also straight away based on what I've seen with the Papilio. I wouldn't consider the 8.5x Papilio for myself as that's bound to suffer under the strain of only having a 21mm objective and wouldn't interest me but I bet it's still a lot better than the other high mag small objective crap out there.

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Old Wednesday 7th October 2015, 02:14   #20
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Can I ask, how does this papillo compare to a symmetrically folding zeiss 8x20 btp? I'm looking at a second hand zeiss.

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Old Wednesday 7th October 2015, 05:27   #21
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I've seen the Leica Ultravid 8x20 and Steiner Ultrasharp 8x22 of a friend (he has the Papilio also, he might post himself).
The Pentax stands in the middle. Leica is impressive with great coatings (I have Papilio I) and folded it is a small jewel. But I prefer to use the Papilio with it's unique makro mode and affordable price, since I always carry a bag.
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Old Wednesday 7th October 2015, 14:00   #22
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Having both the Zeiss Conquest 8x20 and some 6.5 Papillo II {until I lost the Zeiss :(}I would have to say the Zeiss wins on everything except the close focusing. The Zeiss is lighter, much more compact and has much greater clarity of image. The Papillo is very good for £100 but it is still a third the price of the Zeiss. The Zeiss is small enough to carry in your hand or dangling on a wrist strap and not notice whereas the Papillo just isn't.

I'm not knocking the Papillo, it is great for the money and the close up views are amazing but it is "horses for courses" and as an everyday carry stick it in your pocket binocular it would be the Zeiss every time. (My wife informs me that mine are still "missing" and more searching is required before I can buy some new ones)
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Old Wednesday 7th October 2015, 14:50   #23
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So, the Papilio is big enough not to be misplaced and cheap enough not to cause mourning if stolen. What's the problem with that?
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Old Wednesday 7th October 2015, 21:29   #24
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I'm shocked by these posts. I cannot imagine anything as small objective wise as amazing as the Papilio 6.5 I got and even if it is a particularly good one it can't be that much different from the rest but I'm happy to be well satisfied if that is somehow the case.

Guess we all got our problems.

Edit: sorry about this one as I had a few to many Guinesss yesterday while away for the day and could hardly see the screen last night. Don't even know how I got home? but my Papilio do have incredible quality of view.

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Old Thursday 8th October 2015, 10:46   #25
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Having both the Zeiss Conquest 8x20 and some 6.5 Papillo II {until I lost the Zeiss :(}I would have to say the Zeiss wins on everything except the close focusing. The Zeiss is lighter, much more compact and has much greater clarity of image. The Papillo is very good for £100 but it is still a third the price of the Zeiss. The Zeiss is small enough to carry in your hand or dangling on a wrist strap and not notice whereas the Papillo just isn't.
You forgot field of view and exit pupil. The papillo in 6.5x is better at both and not by a small margin. The larger exit pupil makes placement less finicky and will make the papillo work longer in fading light, despite the fact that the Zeiss is brighter in plain daylight.
Plus it has twist up eye cups for those with spectacles and a decent strap...

The Conquest Compact is just a pocket bin - I have mine always in the backpack for unexepected opportunities. I would not consider it as my only bins.
The Papillo II in 6.5x is quite different - not pocketable but still quite small and light and it can easily double as your only bin with slightly lower expectations. With the close focus range as a bonus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CliveP View Post
I'm shocked by these posts. I cannot imagine anything as small objective wise as amazing as the Papilio 6.5 I got and even if it is a particularly good one it can't be that much different from the rest but I'm happy to be well satisfied if that is somehow the case.

Guess we all got our problems.

Edit: sorry about this one as I had a few to many Guinesss yesterday while away for the day and could hardly see the screen last night. Don't even know how I got home? but my Papilio do have incredible quality of view.
The example in 6.5x which I gave to my goddaughter is very nice too - I gave it a good test drive ;-) And so was the demo unit in the store.

And you say it also gives a clearer view when pissed? I guess I have to get another one then ;-)

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