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Asahi Pentax (1 Viewer)

jkingrph

Well-known member
I have an old set of Ashai Pentax 8x40 widefield binoculars that I purchased in an USAF BX in Izmir, Turkey back in 1973. The only thing I don't like about them is the short eye relief, as I wear glasses. Last night I was playing with them looking across our living room watching a couple of raccoons feeding outside. Looking through the window, a storm window and screen I was amazed at the clarity. I think back in those days I probably paid $40-50 US for them. They have not been used much and are in almost new condition.
 

MandoBear

Well-known member
I had a pair of these - purchased in the early 80s. I found them really good - though as you say, rather short eye relief. I sold mine to upgrade to some fancy, roof-prism binos in 1987. Frankly, although the roofs had many advantages, they weren't as clear and sharp as my old Pentax 8x40s. I recently re-purchased a nice, clean pair from ebay for a modest amount of money - just for old times' sake - the feel of them and the view through them is a real nostalgia trip. To be fair, the view in the centre of the field of view is tack-sharp - even if it gets a bit soft at the edges. I just use the edge of the view for "navigation", and the centre for real observing. Enjoy yours.
 

jkingrph

Well-known member
MandoBear, thanks for your comment. At least I was spot on in my assessment. I am by no means an expert, nor have I tried any others to compare. When I got them, 46 years ago my eyes were much better, although even then I needed to remove my glasses to use them. We did quite a bit of camping over in Turkey, often spending a weekend at beaches on the Aegean shore, and could look out to nearby Greek islands. They sat in a closet for years here until I recently upgraded some other optics and got interested in them. I have always kept the lens covers on them and store them in their case and doubt if I have ever touched the lenses to clean, and they still look clean to this day. Like I said the only shortcoming from my point of view is the short eye relief. I upgraded from and old B&L Discoverer spotting scope, gave it to my 8 year old grandson, to a Kowa TSN 664 and got one of the 27x long eye relief eyepieces which I prefer to the variable.
 

MandoBear

Well-known member
Yours would, if purchased in 1973, have rigid eyecups which would make use with glasses difficult. Later ones had shallow, rubber eyecups which were kind of foldable and made life with glasses a little easier, and gave access to almost the full field of view.
 

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