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Old Monday 15th June 2015, 20:15   #1
Swedpat
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Pentax ZD ED series

Is there anyone who has tried out the new ZD ED series?

The prices are close to the prices of Swarovski SLC and Zeiss Victory HT series. This requires a very high quality to justify the price tag, especially because the 8x43 and 10x50 have the same (relatively seen)narrow 50 deg AFOV as the predecessors.

I can see one advantage: the weight is less. 10x50 is almost as light as the 8x42 models of the Zeiss HT and Swarovski SLC. The question is if the new ZD ED is optically a true improvement compared to DCF ED.
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Old Saturday 20th June 2015, 15:41   #2
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Originally Posted by Swedpat View Post
Is there anyone who has tried out the new ZD ED series?

The prices are close to the prices of Swarovski SLC and Zeiss Victory HT series. This requires a very high quality to justify the price tag, especially because the 8x43 and 10x50 have the same (relatively seen)narrow 50 deg AFOV as the predecessors.

I can see one advantage: the weight is less. 10x50 is almost as light as the 8x42 models of the Zeiss HT and Swarovski SLC. The question is if the new ZD ED is optically a true improvement compared to DCF ED.
R U Kidding? The FOV is still a stingy 6.3* and they want $1,800 for it! No way.

I just looked up the price on B&H (you have to hit the price button to find out, it's not listed in the ad), and they have $849.99 listed as the price. That's a bit lower actually then the ED ($999), but still overpriced, IMO, for the stingy FOV.

Pentax ZD ED

As far as I can tell if they did anything new it was adding aspheric lenses, which they claim sharpen the edges. They used aspheric lenses on their LX/LS series years back, so that's nothing new. The $75 Aculons use aspheric lenses, and they do not sharpen the edges, just the opposite, they optimize the sharpness at the center to the detriment of edge sharpness, but the 7x35 Aculon has a much wider FOV.

AFAIK, the ZD is just a minor redressing of a very out of date bin. I wouldn't consider it for that price. You can do much better with the Conquest HD series.

Pentax's top of the lines roofs are badly in need of an upgrade to even stay competitive with lower priced ED bins coming out of China, let alone to compete with European models.

Thanks for the announcement, but I'll pass on the ZDs.

Brock
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Old Saturday 20th June 2015, 23:33   #3
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Pentax 8x32 DCF ED was said to have 7.5 degrees angle of view, but the Z series does not seem to include that size

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Old Sunday 21st June 2015, 00:06   #4
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Pentax 8x32 DCF ED was said to have 7.5 degrees angle of view, but the Z series does not seem to include that size
It doesn't look like Pentax is making an 8x32 binocular anymore. This, of course, does not make any sense if you are in the binocular business!

Click on the PENTAX Sport Optics Brochure in the link below to get a PDF of their 2015 binocular catalog. I can't find an 8x32 in it.


http://www.us.ricoh-imaging.com/spor...ies_Binoculars

Camera Land still lists the 8x32 DCF ED.

Bob

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Old Sunday 21st June 2015, 00:16   #5
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Pentax 8x32 DCF ED was said to have 7.5 degrees angle of view, but the Z series does not seem to include that size
Chris6,

The 8x32 ED model was the "pick of the litter" for birding, and it has its loyal fan base. If Pentax doesn't come out with an 8x32 ZD ED, they are going to be hurting for sales.

It continues to puzzle me why Pentax has not been willing to expand the FOV in its top model 8x43 ED/ZD ED. I had their 20x60 PCF V, and the optics were incredible sharp. Even their low priced 8x36 NV, which has the same FOV as their top ED model, was a competent bin. The LX/LS, which they dropped, was also very popular.

Pentax could be competing with Meopta, Votex, Zeiss, Swarovski, and Maven in the second tier if they redesigned the EPs to give them at least a degree more FOV. But as it is, they are not competitive no matter what new letters they add to the bin.

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Old Sunday 21st June 2015, 02:09   #6
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Originally Posted by brocknroller View Post
Chris6,

The 8x32 ED model was the "pick of the litter" for birding, and it has its loyal fan base. If Pentax doesn't come out with an 8x32 ZD ED, they are going to be hurting for sales.
Brock7of9
Pentax optics are now part of Ricoh afaik, so it is unsurprising that they are trimming their product line.
To the new owners, investing in a marginally successful product that competes with a half dozen other second tier offerings probably does not hold much appeal.
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Old Monday 22nd June 2015, 08:52   #7
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Originally Posted by brocknroller View Post
Chris6,

The 8x32 ED model was the "pick of the litter" for birding, and it has its loyal fan base. If Pentax doesn't come out with an 8x32 ZD ED, they are going to be hurting for sales.

It continues to puzzle me why Pentax has not been willing to expand the FOV in its top model 8x43 ED/ZD ED. I had their 20x60 PCF V, and the optics were incredible sharp. Even their low priced 8x36 NV, which has the same FOV as their top ED model, was a competent bin. The LX/LS, which they dropped, was also very popular.

Pentax could be competing with Meopta, Votex, Zeiss, Swarovski, and Maven in the second tier if they redesigned the EPs to give them at least a degree more FOV. But as it is, they are not competitive no matter what new letters they add to the bin.

Brock7of9
Brock,
thanks for the encouragement, I have Pentax 8x32 ED on order and will post first impressions separately when it arrives.
Chris6
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Old Monday 22nd June 2015, 17:38   #8
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Originally Posted by brocknroller View Post
R U Kidding? The FOV is still a stingy 6.3* and they want $1,800 for it! No way.

I just looked up the price on B&H (you have to hit the price button to find out, it's not listed in the ad), and they have $849.99 listed as the price. That's a bit lower actually then the ED ($999), but still overpriced, IMO, for the stingy FOV.

Pentax ZD ED

As far as I can tell if they did anything new it was adding aspheric lenses, which they claim sharpen the edges. They used aspheric lenses on their LX/LS series years back, so that's nothing new. The $75 Aculons use aspheric lenses, and they do not sharpen the edges, just the opposite, they optimize the sharpness at the center to the detriment of edge sharpness, but the 7x35 Aculon has a much wider FOV.

AFAIK, the ZD is just a minor redressing of a very out of date bin. I wouldn't consider it for that price. You can do much better with the Conquest HD series.

Pentax's top of the lines roofs are badly in need of an upgrade to even stay competitive with lower priced ED bins coming out of China, let alone to compete with European models.

Thanks for the announcement, but I'll pass on the ZDs.

Brock
That's what I mean: to justify this price for such a narrow FOV it should demand an otherwise optical performance in par to the Swaro and Zeiss.
And indeed: if ZD ED offered the same sharpness over the entire FOV as Swarovision, then I think the price really had been justified...
But if ZD ED series isn't better than Conquest HD it's really a bad buy: almost twice the price for getting a narrower FOV.
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Old Monday 22nd June 2015, 20:02   #9
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Brock,
thanks for the encouragement, I have Pentax 8x32 ED on order and will post first impressions separately when it arrives.
Chris6
I look forward to reading your comments. I had my eye on a pair of these a couple times when they were on eBay at discounted prices, but got sniped in the last .03 second.

I think you'll find the wider 7.5* FOV more suited for birding.

Brock
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Old Monday 22nd June 2015, 20:11   #10
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That's what I mean: to justify this price for such a narrow FOV it should demand an otherwise optical performance in par to the Swaro and Zeiss.
And indeed: if ZD ED offered the same sharpness over the entire FOV as Swarovision, then I think the price really had been justified...
But if ZD ED series isn't better than Conquest HD it's really a bad buy: almost twice the price for getting a narrower FOV.
The edges are sharp but it's only 6.3*, that's not hard to do. Even Pentax's $200 8x36 NV binoculars are sharp almost to the edge, though not as high resolution on axis as the top models, but not bad.

True about the Conquest HD, apples to apples since both are made in Japan (at least that's what Gijs tells us). You expect Japanese optics to cost more, but you also expect them to be better than their Chinese-made counterparts. China is closing the gap, and pretty soon, if it's not so already, it will be hard to justify buying a Japanese ED bin over an ED Chinbin that performs on par but costs half the price.

It's not just Pentax, Niikon also needs to improve its Premier (HGL) at the second tier level. This design hasn't been upgraded in over a decade, and the 7* FOV in the 8x42 model could also be expanded.

When the original Venturer LX was released, it was ahead of its time, but now with ED glass (which the HGLs could badly use) and dielectric coatings both now available on much lower priced models, it's hard to justify the cost a Nikon HGL.

Brock
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Old Monday 22nd June 2015, 20:54   #11
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Originally Posted by brocknroller View Post
R U Kidding? The FOV is still a stingy 6.3* and they want $1,800 for it! No way.
Yeah that's pretty bad. They probably could have gone to 7.3 but their ED glass wasn't very good at the edges so they reduced the FOV to make it seem more worthy of its asking price.

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Old Tuesday 23rd June 2015, 05:28   #12
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Yeah that's pretty bad. They probably could have gone to 7.3 but their ED glass wasn't very good at the edges so they reduced the FOV to make it seem more worthy of its asking price.

The irony is that Pentax's $179 CS 8x42 binoculars has a 7.5* FOV.

Pentax_CF_CS_8x42_Binocular.html#Specification

<B>
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Old Tuesday 23rd June 2015, 17:13   #13
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The irony is that Pentax's $179 CS 8x42 binoculars has a 7.5* FOV.

Pentax_CF_CS_8x42_Binocular.html#Specification

<B>

At that price it probably means that they have a cheap, wide angle eyepiece.

Bob
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Old Tuesday 23rd June 2015, 17:41   #14
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The edges are sharp but it's only 6.3*, that's not hard to do. Even Pentax's $200 8x36 NV binoculars are sharp almost to the edge, though not as high resolution on axis as the top models, but not bad.

.................................................. ..............................

It's not just Pentax, Niikon also needs to improve its Premier (HGL) at the second tier level. This design hasn't been upgraded in over a decade, and the 7* FOV in the 8x42 model could also be expanded.

When the original Venturer LX was released, it was ahead of its time, but now with ED glass (which the HGLs could badly use) and dielectric coatings both now available on much lower priced models, it's hard to justify the cost a Nikon HGL.

Brock
Brock,

I still have my old 8x32 LX L and I have no doubt that it can compete with the new Monarch 7 8x30 very well.

Here is how the older Nikon HG did in a comparison with other 8x32 binoculars back around 2004.

http://www.lintuvaruste.fi/hinnasto/...o32EL_GB.shtml

And here they still rank #5 in the current Allbinos rankings:

http://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ran...king-8x32.html

And the 8x42 HG also ranks 5th in the same Allbinos rankings:

http://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ran...king-8x42.html

If Nikon improved them anymore they would be competing with the Nikon's EDG binoculars which are ranked higher by Allbinos.

If nothing else they are evidence of the very high quality of Japanese optics over Chinese optics.

Bob
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