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Novice Q: difference between Jupiter and UCF (1 Viewer)

mgear

The Nature has no bad weather, any weather is blis
Hi birdwatching boys and girls :t:

Meet the lens-watch-through newborn. Less than a week ago I bought my first deliberated bino. Occasionally and luckily, it was probably the best-in-the-class Olympus 7x35 DPS I. I bought it by ~$50 brand new with full guarantee. There were the strange discounts in the local store: the price in the store itself was 5% less than on the site, and they dropped even 10% more when I paid. Strange but thanks a lot :king:

I'm the professional photographer and my hobby is to study the cameras/lenses so I knew A LOT about the aberrations, sharpness, contrast etc. But the eye optics I had were only theatrical bino 2.5x that was presented in the childhood, the 20x40 tube I bought hundreds years ago when I knew nothing about these things and that's all.

Several days I studied the forums and finally the choice was among russian 8x30's, Olympus 7x35 DPS I and the Nikon Aculon A211 7x35. I preferred the short magnification because my hands is not too steady.

The discounts decided for me and I became the... well... probably happy binoculars owner.

For this price the bino is absolute. Of course it's not fully multicoated, the focusing doesn't looks super-reliable, it's heavyish, over 800 g with it's pouch and neck strap, the strap itself is waste, has no weather protection but the picture is contrast and sharp. I noticed no CA at all and almost no glares, amazing for this lower than low cost. The sharpness is perfect in the middle and is ok near the edges. The angle of view is impressive. The color is neutral, I haven't decided yet is it good or bad for me. The exit pupil is wide, the controls are kinda smooth.

The picture quality exceeded my expectation, honestly.

But it's heavy :( And of course now I want the pocket-size and lightweight bino. After studying the theme I think that the best choice for me is Pentax Raptilio, but it is more expensive than I'm ready to pay just now.

So I think about the Pentax UCF 8x21 as the intermediate solution. Can anybody explain the difference between the Pentax UCF and Jupiter models? The Jupiter is 1/3-1/4 cheaper. How bad are they comparing to UCF's?
 
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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi mgear and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here. I look forward to hearing your news and will maybe see some of your pictures in the Gallery too.

I've moved your post to the Binocular forum, as I think you'll find people with the answers there. I also subscribed you to this thread so that you can keep track of it.

I hope you enjoy your time here with us.
 

mgear

The Nature has no bad weather, any weather is blis
Dear delia todd, thanks! Please, could you edit the title, for example "Novice Q: difference between Jupiter and UCF"?
 
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Binastro

Well-known member
The Jupiter is a cheaper lower quality binocular than the UCF.
However, some of the Chinese made Pentax binoculars were pretty awful, such as the 8x25 of about 8 years ago. Hopefully they have improved.
So try before you buy.

There are many fascinating, strange Russian cameras such as Kiev 15? with sector shutters, and the Sport? Also many others. The U.S. Mercury also has a sector shutter as does the British Williamson/AGI medium format.
The Russar lenses were also innovative.
The first early design 1000mm MTOs were amazingly good.
And some innovative astro scope designs.
 
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mgear

The Nature has no bad weather, any weather is blis
The Jupiter is a cheaper lower quality binocular than the UCF.
Very-very few information about it. Might think the low-end bino users do keep the omerta silence oath. How bad these... say... "binoculars" are? Or maybe they, contrary, are so good so their owners use them quietly in their closed society only? No answer yet... We need the brave heart who will penetrate to this clandestine society and will disclose the secret.

Don't you know what the exact difference is? Coating, assembling/adjustment, optical scheme, sort of glass or what? Why the prices are so different?

BTW I recalled that we have the super-low-end reverse Porro bino in our house. Children bought it. Some kind of Vixen 8x21. Today I tried to look through it. Pro: it magnifies. Contra: it's not suitable for seeing. All that you may to do with it is to glance to know the license plate. Not anything else. At least while you are not chameleon. Maybe one day I'll try to adjust it. Maybe it's even adjustable :-O

Yesterday I've been continuing to learn this forum and discovered the gemstone like Bushnell 8x25 Powerview. So now I examine the following compacts: Pentax UCF 8x21, Pentax UCF 8x25, Pentax Papillio 6.5x21 and the Bushnell 8x25 Powerview. Of course the pupil 3.1mm is better than 2.6.

And the Pentax Jupiter if anyone will tell he/she was lucky to use it. So far I found no usage reports at all. It's strange and suspicious.

So I met the statements on the russian forums that the Belorussian (ex-Soviet republic now the separate state) Yukon Sideview 8x21 is optically good. And it looks nice, has the soft-touch coating, eye blends and the attached hard caps though not water-proof. The price is just between the Pentaxes Jupiter and UCF.

I still limit myself to the porros only. Unfortunatelly there's no binocular shop in our city with the binos I interest. Of course I could order the bino, touch it in the store and refuse if something wrong but it's not completely what each of us dreamt of. So I continue to study... ughhh... remotely |8)|

There are many fascinating, strange Russian cameras such as Kiev 15? with sector shutters, and the Sport? Also many others. The U.S. Mercury also has a sector shutter as does the British Williamson/AGI medium format.
The Russar lenses were also innovative.
The first early design 1000mm MTOs were amazingly good.
And some innovative astro scope designs.

Sorry, I haven't understood very well what you meant. Was it the question or the statement |=)| If it was the question probably I might to tell anything and maybe even useful |:$|
 
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Binastro

Well-known member
Hi there.
The camera stuff was a statement not a question.

I have an old Pentax Jupiter 8x20? I will try to find it. O.K. but not great.
What are your possible Jupiter specifications?

The old JAPANESE UCFs were usually good, but old now and if secondhand may have fungus.
The very old angular body Pentax Japanese 8x24 is fabulous but fungus a possibility.
The Papillio 6.5x21 is O.K. The recent Papillio 6.5x21 MkII is excellent and nicely coated.

I have several Yukons but not the small one.

The Russian 5x25 folding monocular is good, various colours. Also 7x? I have the 5x25 in Red.

There is an all metal black or grey? tiny Russian binocular that could support a Jeep. Optically pretty bad, only the middle third of the field can be used. very curved field.

The Olympus reverse porroprisms maybe good, particularly 8x21 Mk III.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
The current Jupiter are different to the old one I have and seem to be in at least 3 variants.
So my one is not relevant.
There seem to have been many versions, so even a review may not help.
The 6.5x21 Papillio MkII is good generally.
 

mgear

The Nature has no bad weather, any weather is blis
What are your possible Jupiter specifications?
Jupiter III 8x21 porro BAK4, weight 160 g. The UCF R's data are the same but the weight is 50g more, i.e. 210. Who knows what have the Pentax fit into these grams? Theoretically UCF may be better, the same and even worse optically than Jupiter if we try to reason basing on the weight only.

Meanwhile I found yet two another presumably interesting low-cost porro compacts: Visionking 8x25 and Visionking 8x26. They are kinda China brand and available on eBay and Aliexpress for $30-50 with shipping.

8x26 is alleged to be full-multicoated and waterproof and the weight is rather heavy 350 g.

No user opinions in the net about these devices, too.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
The Jupiter seems to be Pentax's budget brand.
Pentax lower price binoculars have had so many different models in the last 10 years that it is Consumerism gone mad. Style over substance.
The Japanese UCF were generally good with some variation in quality.
User reviews of current Pentaxes are pretty useless as you have no idea if the one you buy is the same.

The only Pentax in your price range that has generally good reports is the Papillio Mk II. If you can get the 6.5x21 you should be satisfied assuming it is a good example.

My Jupiter is the 8x20 MCF perhaps 15 to 20 years old. A simple basic binocular.

It really is a bit pointless seeking out all the different possibilities as at this price level it is mainly luck if you get something good or not.

If you can get the Papillio 6.5x21 Mk II that may be best.

It is a pity you cannot try them first.

Good luck.
 

mgear

The Nature has no bad weather, any weather is blis
User reviews of current Pentaxes are pretty useless as you have no idea if the one you buy is the same.
Not completely so. Being the old (decrepit, heh) info seeker/finder I do assure the benefit is. Quantity becames quality. Usually I'm getting the initial, more or less proper, understanding from the reading of some texts seem to look chaotic for a week or two. It's my own habitual way getting to know, hardly the universal but tested heavily, maybe hundreds times. Just reading all in succession and after some time the realization is unaccountably coming. I still wonder how it works but it works for sure |=)|

It is a pity you cannot try them first.Good luck.
Yes, to regrets you are right. Thank you.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

welcome to birdforum and congratulations on the Oly porros - optically that's probably the best 60 dollars you could spend - except maybe a used soviet ZOMZ BNU2 7x50 - but these weight a kilo. Actually the weight sounds ok, 7x35 tend to be heavier than 8x30 more like 8x40... although over 800g is on the heavy side even in that league.

Regarding pocket bins - when buying my Papillo I was shown a Pentax UCF 8x25 which I found quite ok, especially for the 50 dollars or so... But I wanted the Papillo 2 in 6.5x21 which is also warmly recommended, not only due to the minimum focus distance of 50cm.

Joachim
 

mgear

The Nature has no bad weather, any weather is blis
jring, thanx, the Oly is great. The only disadvantage is it's weight. Maybe I'll buy Leupold or Kowa 6x30 some day. Maybe won't. Will see.

Just now the budget is tight so Papilio has gone so far (sigh) and Jupiter just dropped out. So I decided to choose among these in the price order:
Two fists clenched loosely $0
Visionking 8x25 260g $25
Visionking 8x26 waterproof 350g $35 (30% off sale)
Pentax UCF R 8x21 210g $48.6
Bushnell 8x25 Powerview 260g $58

Neither of them but the first I can test before buy. The first bino is not bad at all: it's free, weightless, water- and shockproof, has no even tiny distortions and aberrations. But the magnification is poor.

The Pentax and the Bushnell are more or less predictable and have full warranty. The Visionkings are 2 times cheaper is quite clear why.

Now the task is to choose 21 vs 25, less weight vs protection, and common sense vs greediness |=)| Or just workout a bit (probably a lot), pump the waist, the neck and the arms, sew on the giant pocket and use the Oly for the hiking/trips.

Lucky all you are, people. You already have your optics and I have to be tormented with nagging doubts.
 

FrankD

Well-known member
I can't speak to those particular Visionking models but I have purchased Visionking binoculars in the past. For the price their performance is quite good. I bought a 7x50 for $80 a few years ago and they certainly perform above that price point. Coatings were very good and I didn't find any notable quality control issues considering the price point.
 

mgear

The Nature has no bad weather, any weather is blis
FrankD, thank you. I gave the small time-out to myself to consider.

Just found the topic on the russian weapon forum about Visionking roof 7x28 to have the idea what the Visiongking compact bins are all in all. The guy compares it with the american M24 7x28 (not sure what he means, presumably Northrop Grumman/Fujinon) and tells they are quite comparable and M24 is a tad better optically. The original link: http://forum.guns.ru/forummessage/95/1730707-0.html
and the google translation for those who don't know Russian: https://translate.google.com/transl.../forum.guns.ru/forummessage/95/1730707-0.html

It seems they really use to make the decent optics.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

in that price range one usually gets a better view with porro bins - normal like the oly or reverse like the pentax ucf.
Roof prisms need a lot of expensive high tech (phase coating, dielectric mirrors) and tolerances several orders of magnitude tighter than porros to work well.

Also I'd not recommend military bins with laser filters unless you hunt for MBTs as those degrade the view quite a bit.

Joachim
 

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