Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Pentax 20x60

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 13 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Sunday 9th October 2011, 17:48   #1
jaymoynihan
Corvus brachyrhynchos watcher
 
jaymoynihan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lake Michigan Watershed
Posts: 989
Pentax 20x60

Hello,
I am curious about getting the Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II to use during the day as a low power spotting scope substitute. Has anyone here used them during the daytime? your impressions?
jaymoynihan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 9th October 2011, 20:31   #2
typo
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 3,671
There are a few comments on terrestrial viewing in this thread on CN:
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthrea...l/fpart/1/vc/1

There are other reviews on those and other high powers in the review section, but mostly on astronomical use. The comments sound very positive. The narrow FOV seems to be the main critiism.

David
typo is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 9th October 2011, 21:42   #3
Sancho
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
Sancho's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 8,854
I bought a pair a few years back, for precisely the use you describe, but sent them back because of the very narrow FOV. (That said, they were reasonably lightweight, crisp and bright, with not more CA than you would expect). I use a pair of Canon IS 15x50 now when I want to leave the scope at home.
Sancho is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 10th October 2011, 05:25   #4
chris lewis
Chris

 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 67
I have had 3x 20x60 PCF WP 11 Pentax's over the past few years. [I buy /sell / collect binos]. These Pentax's do display very good optical and build qualities. The image is almost sharp to edge - mainly due to the 'narrow' 2.2 degree FOV [44 Afov.] Light transmission and contrast is very good as is on axis image. CA is there but 'minimal' for 20x binoculars. Some find the 2.2 degree FOV as 'constrictive' but others find the image generally compelling which negates the narrow FOV.
I do consider them at 'two narrow tube achromatic telescopes' that give a superior image then a single 20x60 scope. These are recommended binoculars as long as you are aware of the narrow FOV /image.

Chris

Last edited by chris lewis : Monday 10th October 2011 at 05:29.
chris lewis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 10th October 2011, 22:32   #5
edwincjones
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 1,163
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymoynihan View Post
Hello,
............ getting the Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II to use during the day as a low power spotting scope substitute. ?
Not quite the same, but I got a miyauchi 22x60 as a spotting scope substitute;
but later got a spotting scope-the zoom ep trumps two eyes, at least for me

edj
edwincjones is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 11th October 2011, 22:36   #6
brocknroller
Registered User
 
brocknroller's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwincjones View Post
Not quite the same, but I got a miyauchi 22x60 as a spotting scope substitute;
but later got a spotting scope-the zoom ep trumps two eyes, at least for me

edj
I had the 20x60 PCF V and WP models. Liked the Japanese-made PCF V better, although I think there were some produced in China too. Just seemed sharper to me, but that could have been sample variation.

Great astro bins. Best view of the Double Cluster ever. But for birding, I found the narrow FOV somewhat limiting (you need a "finder bin" to locate your target an then "zoom" in with the 20x60s). The Pentax showed a fair amount of CA in high contrast situations whereas except for the moon and Jupiter, that was not an issue for stargazing.

I do like the comfort of using two eyes and the increased contrast that affords, but if you can buy a good quality ED scope, it trumps the Pentax 20x60 for birding.

I used two Zeiss Diascopes on Sunday at Bald Eagle State Park's annual "Big Sit" for Bird Watcher's Digest. The diehards were there at 5 am and stayed to 5 pm.

What I wanted to see was a Bald Eagle. Saw them in captivity, and spotted one far off circling over the ridge across the lake last year, but not close enough to make a positive ID (the diehards did since they know what to look for at that distance, but I wanted to see some closer details).

Bald Eagles returned to the park about seven years ago and have been nesting there for the past few years.

As 3 pm approached, I was ready to pack up but thought I'd sweep the near side of the lake to our left, which nobody else was watching. I spotted a large bird circling and pointed it out to the sleepy die hards. One thought it was a turkey vulture due to its black wings and wide wing span, but through my trusty 10x35 EII, I could see the bird had a white tail and white head, not pink.

So I leaped up and went to one of the nearby Zeiss scopes, this one had a 30x EP, and I got the bird in view and made a positive ID. Well, I couldn't see the "bald spot" but I'm sure it was a Bald Eagle. :-)

Earlier, I used the other Diascope, which had a zoom EP. The view didn't seem cramped even with the zoom EP at lower power. Usually zooms at lower power have a rather narrow AFOV but the view looked expansive. The EP itself is HUGE. Even with the shield up, some side light got through so I had to turn the brim of my hat. The image also held up well at high power.

I was looking over a lake so the images were steadier than I would have seen looking out over a field or a treeline. Back home, I'm looking over a field, trees or houses so even 10x shows some shimmer.

I also saw some yellow warblers and bluebirds in the trees near the shoreline, and some black ducks flying across the lake with my EIIs. Found them with the eights and ID'd them with the tens.

The 8x and 10x EIIs were a perfect combo for close and medium distance. When it comes to birding, "wider is better". The wide FsOV (8.8* and 7*) really helped find birds both in the bush and in the sky.

When combined with the scope, I had all my bases covered for the "Big Sit" (called that because it's an international birding event and because you have to remain within a 15 ft. circle as you count species.

Before I left, the count was 33 species. There is a $500 prize involved, which is sponsored by Swarovski (wish they had an HD scope as a prize, I would have been out there at 5 am myself!).

If I could afford a high end scope with wide EPs, I think I might overcome my monovision phobia, but unfortunately, it would be limited to early morning and late afternoon birding due to the heat waves and air turbulence in the valley.

Both of the scopes were angled, which was much more comfortable than having to crank my neck to look through a tripod mounted pair of binoculars.

If you prefer binoculars and have a rubber neck, a better choice than the Pentax might be the Minox BD 15x58 ED BR. I've read good reviews though I might personally find those oversized eyecups uncomfortable. Some BF members posted comments on this bin. Check out the Minox forum.

The 15x ED BRs were very reasonably priced last year at Camera Land. You might find one for sale on eBay.

Brock

Last edited by brocknroller : Tuesday 11th October 2011 at 22:57.
brocknroller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th October 2011, 01:59   #7
NDhunter
Registered User
 
NDhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ND
Posts: 3,844
Brock:

Nice writeup, sounds like you had a great time, good to hear the report.

Jerry
NDhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th October 2011, 03:05   #8
jaymoynihan
Corvus brachyrhynchos watcher
 
jaymoynihan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lake Michigan Watershed
Posts: 989
Bald Eagles are not common in Kentucky? Interesting.
Up here they are all over the place.
jaymoynihan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th October 2011, 22:16   #9
brocknroller
Registered User
 
brocknroller's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
Brock:

Nice writeup, sounds like you had a great time, good to hear the report.

Jerry
Thanks. Yes, I had a good time. Birding with others helps pass the time in between sightings, and I learned a lot about bird calls and IDs.

The birders were very experienced, and one of the guys could imitate a variety of bird calls. He also was good at "throwing his voice". Got me to look in the trees a couple times, thinking the calls were from birds rather than him.

I also participated in the tradition of eating a Goony Burger at the Twin Kiss down the road. Not sure about the origins of the name, perhaps for Alice the Goon from Popeye? Wimpy Burgers are already trademarked. "Goonies" are the Twin Kiss's version of the Big Mac but the tough texture tasted more like road kill than beef. I saw some traps out back...

A name I did learn the origin of was the park itself, which was named not after the bird but for a local Indian chief name Bald Eagle. Of course, this was told to me by the guy who did the bird calls so he could have been pulling my leg. :-)

Brock
brocknroller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th October 2011, 22:22   #10
brocknroller
Registered User
 
brocknroller's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymoynihan View Post
Bald Eagles are not common in Kentucky? Interesting.
Up here they are all over the place.
Well, you know how cowboys are, they weren't content with fake hood ornaments, so that forced the eagles to migrate east to Pennsylvania. :-)

http://www.iowa80.com/DirectionsWEB/...+Hood+Ornament
brocknroller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th October 2011, 13:55   #11
Kammerdiner
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 1,767
Nice write-up, Brock. I was working all weekend so I missed that event. Would have been fun to compare optical notes with you.

Bald Eagles don't get the white head and tail until age 4-5 and there's always a lot of immatures around, so look for other field marks as well.

I don't use a scope much, so I may never spring for an alpha, but the Celestron Regal 65/80mm is a real bargain. The 65 is $370 (Adorama) and comes with a very good zoom. I have the 80mm and it's good enough for my needs.

As for the high-powered bins, just make sure you get a TALL tripod to go with them, or a lightweight camp chair to get lower. Either way, I think an angled scope will beat it for seeing anything overhead or in the trees.

Mark
Kammerdiner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th October 2011, 03:21   #12
brocknroller
Registered User
 
brocknroller's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kammerdiner View Post
Nice write-up, Brock. I was working all weekend so I missed that event. Would have been fun to compare optical notes with you.

Bald Eagles don't get the white head and tail until age 4-5 and there's always a lot of immatures around, so look for other field marks as well.

I don't use a scope much, so I may never spring for an alpha, but the Celestron Regal 65/80mm is a real bargain. The 65 is $370 (Adorama) and comes with a very good zoom. I have the 80mm and it's good enough for my needs.

As for the high-powered bins, just make sure you get a TALL tripod to go with them, or a lightweight camp chair to get lower. Either way, I think an angled scope will beat it for seeing anything overhead or in the trees.

Mark
Thanks. I will probably be working all this weekend, so I'm glad I got out when I did. It's going to be clear this weekend after raining all week. So this weekend's for you!

The eagle I saw definitely had a white head and tail so I guess he's been around for 4 or 5 years. I'll have to learn the field markings to check for "immatures".

I don't know if these eagles are year-round residents. I do know they've had two eagle's nests in the park. The first one failed but the second one hatched some chicks this spring.

According to this Website, some Bald Eagles migrate, others don't.

http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/eagle10.html

I also wonder if they have a "catch and release" program for these eagles to see where they come from and how far east they travel.

There's a migrating crow that has visited us for the past two years that was tagged by Cornell. It arrives in the spring with about 30 other crows, but this one has a band on its left foot and the letters "JV" printed on its wings.

At first I thought the white marks were bird poop, but through the binoculars I could see the letters clearly, and this year, he allowed me to walk within 20 ft. of him so I got to see the letters naked eye.

I feed him and his fellow migrants peanuts. Crows help keep the hawks away from my backyard habitat, which features a smorgasbord of well fed small birds, squirrels and chipmunks.

Crows live a relatively long time, so I will probably see him again this coming spring.

Klipy recently ordered a Celestron 65 F-ED though he was thinking about returning it. I might buy it if he offers me his usual 30% discounted amart price. :-)

According to the description the "F" stands for "flourite" (not flouride) glass.

Huh? Flourite glass in a $370 scope and a very good zoom to boot! The Zeiss Diasope 62's body alone costs $1,899!

The Zeiss is better engineered, employs Schott glass and high wage laborers :-), but the Celestron is more suitable for my budget and level of interest. I think the park must own the Zeiss scopes, because the only two birding club members with alpha bins owned Swaros.

I gave up using high powered bins. Too much rubber necking, baby. I'd have to drag out a parallel arm mount and sit in a reclining lawn chair to use a bin above 10x painlessly.

Thanks for the tips on the eagle markings and the scope.

Brock
brocknroller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th October 2011, 03:41   #13
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,412
Quote:
Klipy recently ordered a Celestron 65 F-ED though he was thinking about returning it. I might buy it if he offers me his usual 30% discounted amart price. :-)

According to the description the "F" stands for "flourite" (not flouride) glass.

Huh? Flourite glass in a $370 scope and a very good zoom to boot! The Zeiss Diasope 62's body alone costs $1,899!
Brock,

Go check out the spotting scope forum. We have been discussing the Celestron F-ED since it came out two years ago.
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th October 2011, 03:53   #14
brocknroller
Registered User
 
brocknroller's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankD View Post
Brock,

Go check out the spotting scope forum. We have been discussing the Celestron F-ED since it came out two years ago.
Thanks, Frank. I'll check it out.

Brock
brocknroller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th October 2011, 04:06   #15
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,412
Here, I will make it a bit easier.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=204083

It is a comparative review I did of the C F-ED 80 mm but there are links in the first post to the original review of the 65 and 80 mm Celestron models.
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 4th December 2011, 16:39   #16
Nixterdemus
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Central AR
Posts: 731
I've never looked through the 20x60, but the lure has been in mind. I'm thinking that possibly Pentax would do better working a 14/15x60. I picked up an old Orion 14x70 and though the CA is quite evident it's great at looking into the woods.

I don't get as close a view and I might not have ID'd a mature bald eagle had I been using it instead of a 22x80, but it's the go-to bin for a quick peek out my back door and even w/o using the door glass to steady I do a fair job hand holding them. I'm becoming better at pinpointing targets and holding bins steady from working out w/80's.

The old glass I'm using from the late 60's/early 70's combined w/Orion from just before the turn of the century are fine in their own right, but I'd like to see Pentax in a 14x60 w/new coatings a opposed to the 20x.

That being said for the somewhat paltry sum of 2 bills it's hard not to pounce on a demo 20x60. They're reaching out w/affordability to a niche market. Almost giant bins, but not quite. Why not 16x60? Well beyond the established 10X fare w/promise of a little clearer hand held view.

I'm going to expand my plea for a lighter and affordable glass that'll reach out a bit to 14/15/16x60. Build it Pentax and I will buy.

Last edited by Nixterdemus : Sunday 4th December 2011 at 17:03.
Nixterdemus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 5th December 2011, 01:30   #17
mooreorless
Registered User
 
mooreorless's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntingdon,Pa.
Posts: 3,466
Once in a while a Pentax PCF 16x20 comes up for sale on Astromart. $130-$180
mooreorless is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 5th December 2011, 02:31   #18
Nixterdemus
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Central AR
Posts: 731
Being wet behind the ears leaves me unknowledgeable about the Pentax PCF 16x20. I take it that's a discontinued model. I'll do a quick search.

I strolled over to Astromart once upon a time and they wanted me to join/pay some fee and I left. I don't recall the details, but I spend too much free time online as is.

I like the 14x70, so I'd probably enjoy the 16x20. Thanks for the heads up.
Nixterdemus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 5th December 2011, 02:42   #19
NDhunter
Registered User
 
NDhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ND
Posts: 3,844
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooreorless View Post
Once in a while a Pentax PCF 16x20 comes up for sale on Astromart. $130-$180
Steve:

Lots of sizes offered on the Pentax, I am wondering if you meant the 16x70, or is it 16x60? I am thinking the 16x20 would
be quite dim.

Jerry

Last edited by NDhunter : Monday 5th December 2011 at 02:46.
NDhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 5th December 2011, 02:50   #20
mooreorless
Registered User
 
mooreorless's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntingdon,Pa.
Posts: 3,466
Hi Jerry, I meant 16x60. Hit the wrong key. My brother has this model and other than narrow view it was very decent. I guess Nix understood my mistake or just went along with it. I agree 16x20 would be very dim.

Last edited by mooreorless : Monday 5th December 2011 at 02:53.
mooreorless is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 5th December 2011, 03:20   #21
Nixterdemus
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Central AR
Posts: 731
I'm tired and didn't notice as I figured since the conversation was on a 60 objective, specifically the 20x60, my mind ignored the 20 objective in lieu of the 16 magnification. I paid around 50 clams for the 14x70 and I'm about bought out on glass though four should arrive this week.

Ho, Ho, Ho St. Nix is giving bins as soon as I figure out which ones work for me.

And it would appear that I have X-mas 2012 covered as well.

ETA: I found a review, naturally on CN from 03, on the new V model 16x60. A 3.75 EP is OK, but were it 14x60 it would bump it up to 4.28 and then of course the 14x70 is 5. Can't have everything, the prof sez magnification rules over objective/aperture in viewing night skies, yet in this day & age of affordable 70/80/100MM glass to ponder the mysteries of the universe I can still see the need for LW 14x60.

In the density rulez name game w/XD & HD already in use perhaps Pentax will claim dibs on DD and come out w/new line 16X62DD, because you like 'em a little bigger than most. This could be the coupe par excellence in heavy glass.

You could afford any of your desire. Yet, when you reach for the set for a close-up view you want to wrap your mitts around a pair of double D's. Pentax 16x62DD. Are you man enough to handle them?

Last edited by Nixterdemus : Monday 5th December 2011 at 14:59.
Nixterdemus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Zeiss 20x60 S spiralcoil Zeiss 3 Tuesday 14th December 2010 01:55
20x60 vs 25 LER nshaikh Kowa 6 Friday 19th June 2009 09:53
Pentax 20x60 PCF V Scott67 Pentax 2 Monday 26th January 2004 14:22
Kowa 821scope with 20x60 wizard Kowa 10 Tuesday 29th April 2003 14:48



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.22624612 seconds with 31 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 20:58.