Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
More discoveries. NEW: Zeiss Victory SF 32

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 AD 8x25 vs Nikon Trailblazers 8x25 ATB?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 14:55   #1
ohmymisterbelding
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Hudson-Upon_hastings
Posts: 13
Pentax AD 8x25 vs Nikon Trailblazers 8x25 ATB?

Hi folks

Good afternoon to everyone! I'm in the market for a *very* compact binocular set to take with me hiking, bikepacking and the like. I've narrowed down between the Pentax 8x25 A-Series AD and the Nikon 8x25 Trailblazer ATB (but open to anything else!)

The reviews on both seem great, and both are very similar in dimensions and weight (>10oz). The Pentax's reviews say the build quality isn't great, but they have 21mm eye relief vs 10mm on the Nikon (i don't wear glasses, but would like people with glasses to be able to use this).

Does anyone have any insight into which of these (or a similar size for under or around $100) would be better? I would be sitting in a camp chair at the end of the day and doing some very casual birdwatching... Or watching out to sea from the docks. My dream of course would be something like the Leica Ultravid but that's *way* out of the price range.

Thanks!
ohmymisterbelding is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 15:36   #2
jring
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,487
Hi,

without having looked through either roof pair you mentioned, I can say that the Pentax U series reverse porros are very decent for the price.

Plus sub $100 roof pairs are usually not great - I didn't read anything about phase coating in the Nikon spec but they have a nice field of 8 degrees but only 10mm ER (which is low even w/o glasses). The Pentax 8x25AD has phase coating but a super narrow field of 5.5 deg and no ER given in the specs I found.

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Sunday 28th June 2020 at 22:03.
jring is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 18:04   #3
ohmymisterbelding
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Hudson-Upon_hastings
Posts: 13
Hi Joachim,
Thanks for the insight. The Pentax U reverse porro looks great but it might not be compact enough for my needs... As for the Pentax 8x25AD, according to B&H it has '21mm eye relief, 3.1mm exit pupil'. Does that change your opinion?
ohmymisterbelding is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 22:02   #4
jring
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmymisterbelding View Post
Hi Joachim,
Thanks for the insight. The Pentax U reverse porro looks great but it might not be compact enough for my needs... As for the Pentax 8x25AD, according to B&H it has '21mm eye relief, 3.1mm exit pupil'. Does that change your opinion?
Hi,

I don't believe in 21mm ER on an 8x25 pair - that would mean that the eyecups are 21mm long - or they are not long enough for use w/o glasses.

But anyways, its field of view is very narrow - no fun at all.

As for size - the 8x25 roof pairs are too large for a shirt pocket - next stop is jacket pocket and that should also hold a pair of reverse porros.

If you absolutely want a pair of 8x25 roofs, save up a bit until the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 is in reach. Those are not too shabby.

Joachim
jring is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 29th June 2020, 00:49   #5
mwhogue
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020

 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Friendswood
Posts: 217
Ohmy,

If you don't want to wait and save for a more expensive pair -- with a budget of @ $100 for a true "shirt pocket" roof compact you might try the Promaster Infinity ELX HD 8x21 binoculars, which are only sold through camera shops and on auction sites. Prices fluctuate but if you shop around you could probably find a pair for @ $100 to $130. 15.8 mm ER, 5.25' close focus, 357' FOV and weigh only 7.94 oz. They are very nearly as small as the Leica UV 8x20. Good construction, function and optics for the price. I owned and used a pair for several years and eventually gifted them to my brother. They used to come with a very nice sturdy faux leather belt case, not sure about current accessories. They are the best of the half dozen or so shirt pocket roofs in the $100 range I have tried.

Mike
mwhogue is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 29th June 2020, 05:01   #6
marcsantacurz
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 957
Ohmy,

I have the Pentax AD 8x25 WP and the Nikon 10x25 trailblazer. I also have the Leica 8x20 Ultravid BR. These are my impressions and what I remember from using them (I've not used the Nikons in a long time). I am not a bin expert like some people around here and cannot give you a super technical review.

size: The Pentax and Nikon are about the same size and wight. Neither will fit in a shirt pocket. They will fit in a large cargo pocket or a jacket pocket ok. The Leica can truly fit in a shirt pocket -- it is amazingly small and light.

Handling: It is a difficult view through all of them. The eye cups are not big enough to encircle your eye, so you get the impression of looking through straws -- you can see inside them and outside them. My eyelashes tend to git the lens or something with them, even though I have the eye cups fully extended. I have to brace them against my eyebrows and hover them in front of my face.

The Pentax and Nikon are fairly picky about getting the IPD spacing exact to get a decent view. The Leica is a little more forgiving there -- I find I do not need to wiggle it around as much as the others to keep a decent image circle.

My copy of the Pentax has a fairly stiff focus wheel with a tiny bit of play in it when changing focus direction (small but noticeable). This makes it a little slow to focus. It could just be my copy or it could loosen up with more use. The pentax focuses counter-clockwise out, which is backwards from what I am used to.

View: The Nikon, being a 10x, is not so great. The Pentax has a fine view, perfectly usable as far as an 8x25 goes. The colors look good and there is nothing too distracting about it. It's sharp. If I focus it on a poster I have at about 30-35', the writing fills the view across the lens (it's about 28" across). I can read the words all the way across, there is very little defocus at the edge.

The Leica has very nice optics, it is bright and clear and sharp, but it is even more straw-like than the Pentax, being a x20.

Service: I had to have the Nikon's re-aligned. They got to the point where one could not get both tubes in focus and aligned. The service was pretty fast (I don't remember the exact time) and free. I think they went to a service center in southern California and I live in northern California. I do not have any experience with Pentax service.

Summary: When I want compact, I use the Leica. But they literally cost 10x more than the Pentax/Nikon. For me, the pentax/nikon size was not small enough for when I wanted compact. I wanted something that worked in normal street clothes around a city or that I could bring out with photo gear and not add much more size/wight. If the focus wheel on my copy of the Pentax wasn't so stiff, I'd have no problem at all recommending it. I do not know if it would work itself out in time.

You might want to consider the Nikon Monarch 7 8x30. It is only 5oz heavier and will give you a much better view, IMO. The eye cups are large enough to mostly encircle your eye. But they are quite a bit more expensive (maybe $350 vs $90?).

I ended up with three of these. The Nikon was one of my first pair of bins. But they were not doing a good enough job for me, both from being 10x and the alignment problem. So I got the Leica and am very happy with them. I got the Pentax for my girlfriend, but she eventually decided against them after the return time.

I need to get off my behind and list some of these things for sale.

Marc
__________________
https://tear.com
marcsantacurz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 29th June 2020, 11:46   #7
ohmymisterbelding
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Hudson-Upon_hastings
Posts: 13
Thank you all, lot of food for thought here! And you've hit on the key issue - I want *compact*, not just "almost compact". The ELX HD 8x21 look interesting and I will research them more.

@marcsantacruz - note I was discussing Trailblazers 8x25, not 10x25 - I wonder if that has an impact on the size you were describing.

Thanks all

Frank
ohmymisterbelding is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 01:44   #8
marcsantacurz
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 957
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmymisterbelding View Post
@marcsantacruz - note I was discussing Trailblazers 8x25, not 10x25 - I wonder if that has an impact on the size you were describing.
Yes, I understood you wanted the 8x, but I only have experience with the 10x. I do not think they are physically different size. They are the same weight, listed down to the 10th of a gram, so I suspect there's not much structural difference. But I have not had them side-by-side.

Opticron makes some 8x21s too. They generally make good stuff.

Be sure to also keep an eye on the minimum focus distance. Some of the compacts will be at a decent 1.5m - 2m range, while others are out at 3m. If you want to look at bugs at your feet or on nearby flowers, you want something in the shorter close focus range. Personally, this is important to me.

I found some interesting posts about compact bins in another thread: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3020912 (see post #7).

Marc
__________________
https://tear.com
marcsantacurz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 11:11   #9
ohmymisterbelding
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Hudson-Upon_hastings
Posts: 13
Huh, that post was very informative, thanks Marc. I think I'm going to try to hunt down a used Opticron Traveller or Promaster Infinity HD before I go for either in my original post!
ohmymisterbelding is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 20:17   #10
14Goudvink
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Hague
Posts: 481
I used to own a clone of the Opticron Traveller and they are small (almost as small as a Leica 8x20), light, sturdy and the optics are pretty good. The 3 mm exit pupil is a little bit easier in use than the 2,5 mm EP of a 8x20 Leica. If I was in the market for a not-too-expensive compact I would buy these again.

George
14Goudvink is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 20:22   #11
ohmymisterbelding
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Hudson-Upon_hastings
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14Goudvink View Post
I used to own a clone of the Opticron Traveller and they are small (almost as small as a Leica 8x20), light, sturdy and the optics are pretty good. The 3 mm exit pupil is a little bit easier in use than the 2,5 mm EP of a 8x20 Leica. If I was in the market for a not-too-expensive compact I would buy these again.

George
Care to share what this clone would be so I could look into it? Not sure if its against the rules of the forum, but if not, please let me know.
ohmymisterbelding is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 20:34   #12
Alexis Powell
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: LY+DG counties, Kansas, USA
Posts: 3,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmymisterbelding View Post
...Nikon 8x25 Trailblazer ATB (but open to anything else!)...
I find the eye-relief of these too short even without glasses, and the optics are mediocre. I'd save for the Zeiss 8x25 Terra. It's not my favorite but it works.

--AP
Alexis Powell is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 1st July 2020, 20:44   #13
14Goudvink
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Hague
Posts: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmymisterbelding View Post
Care to share what this clone would be so I could look into it? Not sure if its against the rules of the forum, but if not, please let me know.
Several brands sell compact 8x24 bins that share the same body and specs as the Opticron Traveller BGA 8x24. Coatings may be different though.

Here are some examples:
Vogelbescherming Arend 8x24 (from the Dutch Society for the Protection of Birds, I used to own this one)
Opticron BGA T PC 8x24 Oasis
Vixen New Apex 8x24
Bynolyt Seagull DCF 8x24
Steiner Wildlife 8x24?
...
14Goudvink is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 1st July 2020, 20:51   #14
ohmymisterbelding
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Hudson-Upon_hastings
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14Goudvink View Post
Several brands sell compact 8x24 bins that share the same body and specs as the Opticron Traveller BGA 8x24. Coatings may be different though.

Here are some examples:
Vogelbescherming Arend 8x24 (from the Dutch Society for the Protection of Birds, I used to own this one)
Opticron BGA T PC 8x24 Oasis
Vixen New Apex 8x24
Bynolyt Seagull DCF 8x24
Steiner Wildlife 8x24?
...
Impressive. I would have no idea about all these being more or less the same, nor even know where to start. Thank you.
ohmymisterbelding 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 Terra ED 8x25 vs. Swarovski CL Pocket Mountain 8x25 vs. Zeiss Victory 8x25 Common Raven Binoculars 27 Saturday 14th April 2018 21:26
Bushnell 7x26 v. Swarovski 8x25 v. Zeiss Terra 8x25 v. Vortex Viper 8x28 b-lilja Binoculars 22 Monday 26th December 2016 23:49
leupold rouge 8x25 vs olympus tracker 8x25 zazenke Leupold 2 Tuesday 3rd July 2012 17:21
Alpen Pro 8X25 335 the same as the Opticron Taiga 8x25? Kevin Purcell Others 0 Tuesday 7th October 2008 20:16
New 8x25 Canon IS 8x25 Binoculars have HARD focus! [email protected] Canon 5 Thursday 15th February 2007 04:04

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.17327690 seconds with 27 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 09:40.