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new Papilio II (1 Viewer)

Rathaus

Well-known member
FOV - no contest.

Yet, I can't gaze at my own navel fluff through the Leitz.

I'm very keen to see, first hand, the ruthless impact of six plus surging decades of optical engineering, including the all important trickle down effect into good cheaper products.
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
I received the Papilio ll today. The first thing I did when I looked through it was laugh :-O. In a good way.

A few thoughts...
When looked at in current day context, for just over a hundred bucks, they're quite the surprise packet. This is a superb example of an outstanding Chinese made product performing exceptionally well at its price point.
No optogeekery or resolution charts required here...20 seconds of viewing is more than enough to see that these are indeed great little binoculars. I spent some time inspecting the wear in the denim weave pattern on the knee section of my jeans, and also the car dashboard. Quite bizarre novelty type viewing....the Papilio could possibly be used as an excellent magnifier for extracting splinters in a foot etc. I know I have a little wax in my right ear...I'll be getting Mrs Rathaus to properly inspect the wax status using the Papilio.

None of this was really a surprise. What did surprise was how easily I adapted to the smaller FOV for medium distance viewing. The View is really quite easy on the eyes, lovely and sharp on axis and has a nice sweet spot. No significant problems or issues stand out.

However, as others have noted, I fail to understand why leading manufacturers have all but abandoned the brilliant 6x24 type of format such as the old Leitz Trinovid. No doubt this format will return one day accompanied by much hysteria and fanfare.
Until then, the likes of the Papilio are a far better option, imo, than the (Zeiss et al) 8x20 and 10x25 type formats. I have an otherwise perfect pair of Zeiss 8x20. I purchased them used because I thought they were cute and could be useful. How wrong I was. Even if I did possess the constricted pupils of a 90year old heroin addict, I see no reason for this format when there is living proof of the massive superiority of the Leitz 6x24 format with its incredibly compact body and stunning optics including that 4mm exit pupil. The alpha 8x20/10x25 formats also showcase the relative excellence and value of binoculars such as the Papilio.

Cheers,
Rathaus
 
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Rathaus

Well-known member
Size reference -
Leitz Trinovid 6x24, Zeiss 8x20B, Leitz Amplivid 6x24, Papilio, Swarovski 8x32 EL, Canon 10x42
 

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Theo98

Eurasian Goldfinch
I also was surprised and tickled with my first views...not expecting the quality I saw (wonder if denim weaves are similar)...:cool:

If only they were weather resistant...just have to acclimate these little gems to go from AC to 100% humidity! :eek!:

Ted
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
I also was surprised and tickled with my first views...not expecting the quality I saw (wonder if denim weaves are similar)...:cool:

If only they were weather resistant...just have to acclimate these little gems to go from AC to 100% humidity! :eek!:

Ted

Lol...I think I read into that too much :-O

I just took a quick photo of the denim on my knee. The photo just can't do the image justice. The knee looks like a massive three dimensional mound with great resolution. The photo does give some indication of the magnification.

I'm not quite sure of any specific birding application of the ultra close focus. One could certainly make a very close inspection of a dead bird without touching the creature. A bird could potentially be inspected for lice with these binoculars.
 

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Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast.
United States
...I'm not quite sure of any specific birding application of the ultra close focus. One could certainly make a very close inspection of a dead bird without touching the creature. A bird could potentially be inspected for lice with these binoculars.

More birdwatching than birding, but you could use them for ultra close looks at birds coming to a feeder affixed to the outside of a window (e.g. hummingbirds to nectar feeder, wrens to mealworm feeder) that are accustomed to observers moving around just on other side of the glass.

--AP
 

Grando

Well-known member
I recently bought a pair of the 8.5s on offer at £94 on UK Amazon and think they're a great little second pair of bins with unparalleled usefulness for insect-watching.
 
Hi all,
Long time lurker (and amateur :) and first time poster.
I've had the PII 6.5 for a few months, they are my first binoculars and I love the macro and general vibe for my backyard and for travel with a big backpack. I do want sometihng a bit more compact however for longer hikes. Price is not a huge issue - is there anything to recommend that might be in the 200-300 range that can give me a similar warm up-close feeling but be more pocketable? Used is OK too if its reliable! Thank you.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi all,
Long time lurker (and amateur :) and first time poster.
I've had the PII 6.5 for a few months, they are my first binoculars and I love the macro and general vibe for my backyard and for travel with a big backpack. I do want sometihng a bit more compact however for longer hikes. Price is not a huge issue - is there anything to recommend that might be in the 200-300 range that can give me a similar warm up-close feeling but be more pocketable? Used is OK too if its reliable! Thank you.

Hi,

first of all, welcome to BF!

Unfortunately the Papilio range is quite unique in their close focus ability of 0.5m - the next best pairs have about double the close focus distance with 1m or so, usually with difficulties due to their objectives being too far apart (the reverse porro construction of the Papilio is there for a purpose) and I don't know of a pocket one (which doesn't mean much).

The most pocketable bins regardles of close focus ability are Leica and Zeiss Conquest 8x20 (discontinued) which can be folded to fit a shirt pocket - but the close focus is 3m, the field of view is kind of narrow at 110/1000m and the exit pupil is small making eye placement tricky and low light capability nonexistant.

Since you want close focus in a pocket, you might think about a monocular... there's quite a few with good close focus.

Carson has a very cheap 7x18 with close focus down to half a meter like the Papilio although reviews are mixed - probably due to sample variation... or a slightly larger 7x32.

The Docter 8x21 (formerly known as Zeiss Turmon) is also nice and quite compact with close focus to 1m or so - less with the available macro lenses.

Or a Zeiss Mono 6x18T* - focus distance 0.3m and costs 260€ over here...

Joachim
 
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Hi,

The most pocketable bins regardles of close focus ability are Leica and Zeiss Conquest 8x20 (discontinued) which can be folded to fit a shirt pocket - but the close focus is 3m, the field of view is kind of narrow at 110/1000m and the exit pupil is small making eye placement tricky and low light capability nonexistant.

Since you want close focus in a pocket, you might think about a monocular... there's quite a few with good close focus.

Carson has a very cheap 7x18 with close focus down to half a meter like the Papilio although reviews are mixed - probably due to sample variation... or a slightly larger 7x32.

The Docter 8x21 (formerly known as Zeiss Turmon) is also nice and quite compact with close focus to 1m or so - less with the available macro lenses.

Or a Zeiss Mono 6x18T* - focus distance 0.3m and costs 260€ over here...

Joachim

Wow, thank you Joachim! A lot to parse here and I appreciate it muchly. If I gave up a little bit of the very close-up (say was ok with a 3m distance) what Zeiss would you recommend that hasn't been discontinued?

I've been really intruiged by monoculars and spent much time reading about them, but I can't wrap my head on the idea of sitting in a chair after a day of hiking (eg a camp chair or rock or whatever) and holding those to my eye for 10, 15 minutes. Maybe its just bias from never having used them to be honest, they just seem strange!

Thank you again for your insights :)
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
I had recent quest for genuinely pocketable binoculars a while back. I had had a pair of the Zeiss Conquests for many years but unfortunately lost them. I tried out lots, and got lots of recommendations but nothing came close to the Conquests for size, most of the high end 8x20s are just that bit bigger and aren't "forgettable" in your pocket. That goes for the "better" Zeiss Victory and Leica Ultravid. In the end I went for the Leica Trinovid 8x20, they are a tad fatter than the Conquests but the eyecups are better at swapping between my wife and I.

Beware that there are some Chinese fake Conquests out there and some vendors are still selling them.
 

iveljay

Well-known member
It depends on what I am staring at: Minox 8x25 macroscope for fairly static small stuff: infinity down to 14 in/35 cm. Frequently use a low level tripod as I find monoculars less stable than bins.

Papilio 6x21 for more agile stuff: infinity to 50 cm.

The monocular would not be my first choice for staring at birds for long periods; hard to hold steady for long periods, wearing looking through one eye, and slow focussing better suited to acurate macro work.
 
I had recent quest for genuinely pocketable binoculars a while back. I had had a pair of the Zeiss Conquests for many years but unfortunately lost them. I tried out lots, and got lots of recommendations but nothing came close to the Conquests for size, most of the high end 8x20s are just that bit bigger and aren't "forgettable" in your pocket. That goes for the "better" Zeiss Victory and Leica Ultravid. In the end I went for the Leica Trinovid 8x20, they are a tad fatter than the Conquests but the eyecups are better at swapping between my wife and I.

Googling about, the trinovids don't seem to be available in the US - only German links. Thanks for the thoughts though!
 

mayoayo

Well-known member
I have tried several Pentax Papilio II's. They were good as close distances but I didn't feel they were that sharp at greater distances. I feel their design is focused towards close focus and you give up some performance compared to other small binoculars at greater distances.

My experience is almost the opposite.The binoculars are incredibly sharp and contrasty at infinity.Really as good as any compact ,at least the 6.5X II that we own.Close focus sharpness is what is hard to achieve,mostly due to the the narrow depth of field at macro distance .The objectives getting close to the protective glass increases somehow reflections and contrast also suffers,and decreases apparent sharpness..This is at the closer focus that the bino can reach,and gets better as you go far. But Its Macro might is not gimmic either,I love what this binocular can do in the close range ,AND beyond.
Today We used it to look at miniatures in a model of a train station,and later on inside a gothic church,to look at architectural details ,and was very handy in both situations..
I think this pair is not redundant in any arsenal,and its a perfect travel binocular
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Quite a few people agree on Amazon.com that the Papillio's are weak at distant viewing so I am not the only one. Distant viewing is not their forte. Close up is.

3.0 out of 5 stars Poor distance viewing
Byfrhallon April 7, 2016
Verified Purchase
"I must have read the description wrong; I thought it would work for long distance viewing as well; but I could not see detail of bird flying or in a tree in my neighbor's yard..
I had to return the product because it wasn't quite what I wanted; poor distance viewing on the Pentax Papilio ll."


4.0 out of 5 starsFour Stars
ByIndia Jueraon September 9, 2016
Verified Purchase
"Pentax Papilio is ideal for close-up viewing and good for distant viewing, though not as good as some others."
 
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mayoayo

Well-known member
A fast look at Amazon brought up 47 reviews (5 stars) on the 6.5x and 57 reviews on the 8.5X..and That just on Amazon USA..Of course You will find two people that agree with your opinion among those reviews .In any case I am just expressing a view based in my experience with the only unit of this model(6.5X)that i have .My unit is a very Sharp binocular at all distances ,THAT NEEDS TO BE USED PROPERLY in the super short distance because is not that easy to use,but with practice is a great tool for macro views..My Kid ,after months of use,has naturally learnt how to use this binocular well and is getting the best out of the macro views.
Dennis,I forgot which model you had,the 6.5X or the 8.5X ,maybe we are not talking about the same binocular
 

mayoayo

Well-known member
A fast look at Amazon brought up 47 reviews (5 stars) on the 6.5x and 57 reviews on the 8.5X..and That just on Amazon USA..Of course You will find two people that agree with your opinion among those reviews .In any case I am just expressing a view based in my experience with the only unit of this model(6.5X)that i have .My unit is a very Sharp binocular at all distances ,THAT NEEDS TO BE USED PROPERLY in the super short distance because is not that easy to use,but with practice is a great tool for macro views..My Kid ,after months of use,has naturally learnt how to use this binocular well and is getting the best out of the macro views.
Dennis,I forgot which model you had,the 6.5X or the 8.5X ,maybe we are not talking about the same binocular
 

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