I also was surprised and tickled with my first views...not expecting the quality I saw (wonder if denim weaves are similar)...
If only they were weather resistant...just have to acclimate these little gems to go from AC to 100% humidity! :eek!:
...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.
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.
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...
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.
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.