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Pentax Papilio II 6.5 (1 Viewer)

rdnzl

Not Sure.
I just bought a 6.5 Papilio II today. Wow, this thing is impressive. I just spent 15 minutes viewing hummingbirds at my feeders. I was about 4 feet away, and the detail in the view is excellent.

These things are going to be fun. Why have I only recently found out about these binoculars? ;)
 

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Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast.
United States
They are super fun. One of my favorites. In reply to your query, I would further ask, why don't they have any competition? As good as they are, I'd like to see a premium quality version with bigger objectives.

--AP
 

jring

Well-known member
They are super fun. One of my favorites. In reply to your query, I would further ask, why don't they have any competition? As good as they are, I'd like to see a premium quality version with bigger objectives.

--AP

Hi,

I guess that will not happen... at least not as a binocular.

One of the things that make the Papilio unique besides the minimum focus is the reverse porro construction which allows to get the two objectives very close together for close up work.
This is important as with other very close focus bins (below 1.5m), your eyes need to squint a bit in order to merge the two images because the objectives are too far apart for the close distance. This makes those bins very uncomfortable to use at minimum focus distance - I know my Pentax ED 8x32 can focus down to a bit more than 1m, but I have to close one eye to use it that way...

Unfortunately the need to get the two objectives close together does limit their size...

Joachim
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast.
United States
...Unfortunately the need to get the two objectives close together does limit their size...

I understand the argument you are making, but I don't see why a reverse-porro with, say 26 mm objectives set right against each other, couldn't achieve binocular close focus at ~18 inches, just like the Papilio. The objectives of the Papilio are not set as close together as is physically possible, so there is design room to spare, even for the same center-to-center distance that it employs. In fact, given that my eyes are ~62 mm apart and that I (used to be able to) comfortably view objects at considerably less than 18 inches, I'd think a bin could be made with abutting 62 mm objectives that would work nicely at 18 inches.

--AP
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi Alexis,

not sure if the two objectives of the Papilio are 5mm apart so we could in theory get to 26mm aperture - but unfortunately lenses tend to work best when inside a lens holder - and those can not be infinitesimally thin.

As for your argument that you used to be able see objects at 18 inch and closer with your naked eyes (IPD 61mm) - I believe you, but this was possible by squinting - easy for the eyes, not so much for binocular objectives...

Joachim
 

eronald

Well-known member
The primary reason for the design is not the closeup ability, it's that the single-block twin objective holder can be manufactured without or with much less collimation, I believe.

Edmund
 

MandoBear

Well-known member
The Papillios are actually a very clever design in that the objectives are mounted on converging tracks which move them closer together at nearer focus - this applies an appropriate amount of de-centering to the left and right images at closer focus and means that the viewer doesn't have to go cross-eyed to see them as one. The particular (3-part) body design that Pentax uses makes this feature easier to implement than it would be in a more conventional (central hinge) body.

Edmund, I'm not sure that the design makes the collimation any the less important - each porro assembly is mounted into a housing which separately pivots on the objective housing. This means there are two pivot axes instead of one, central pivot axis - which (in theory at least) could cause more issues with collimation.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast.
United States
...I'm not sure that the design makes the collimation any the less important - each porro assembly is mounted into a housing which separately pivots on the objective housing. This means there are two pivot axes instead of one, central pivot axis - which (in theory at least) could cause more issues with collimation.

Good points. I have seen a unit that was not correctly aligned; it is still an issue w/this design.

--AP
 

MandoBear

Well-known member
I'm with you AP - I would love to see a more "premium" version. I have the 8.5x, and what amazes me is how much performance Pentax seem to have been able to squeeze out of such an inexpensive and relatively basic binocular. My sample really is very sharp and clear - even at distance.
 

normjackson

Well-known member
Be interested to know how the "dual-axis single body" design came about; I believe it predated the Papilio by quite some time. Is it possible the Pentax designers concluded that hinges were not the major factor in reverse porro designs being or going out of collimation?

I recall there was some frustration expressed on BF at the coatings on the mark 1 version but have hardly seen any criticism of the Papilio II. I'm inclined to think that any significant improvements would need to come at significant cost; likely weight and inevitably £££. That might detract from their appeal as a secondary binocular (or tertiary or...) bought mainly for close up ability and perhaps their appeal to children. Achieving a much better AFOV in the oft favoured 6.5x model would almost certainly be very problematic. A little more assurance about resistance to ingress of moisture and dust might be welcome?
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

I have not had any problems with dust, water or fogging in the three pairs of Papilio II I have used over time (two were bought as gifts and only checked quickly by me, but I have seen both lately in good order on visits).

In general, if it starts to rain, I'll put my porro bins in the backpack or under my rainjacket. If I plan to go kayaking or on a jungle outing, I'll take a waterproof pair.

In general I think that the Papilio is a bit less critical in that regard because, while not being waterproof, due to its internal focus it does not create the typical volume change and thus suction you get when focussing a traditional CF porro pair.

Joachim
 
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normjackson

Well-known member
Hi Joachim.

I have an olde (2006 vintage?) Papilio I and like you have experienced no problems nor have read of issues. A very inexpensive 7dayshop 10x42 allegedly waterproof and nitrogen filled roof prism of the same vintage has a cloudy view perhaps from outgassing. Not statistically significant of course but one can only do one's best :-O

Good point that the focus mechanism of moving objectives behind a window is a help. I don't think that Pentax/Ricoh offer any assurance about waterproofing though which I think was picked up on by a few potential purchasers on recent threads on Cloudy Nights. Having said that the several or more purchasers who took the plunge (again statistics...) all seem thoroughly delighted with their purchase.

Perhaps like me you struggle to see how it might be improved while still recognisably the same product line.

PS. Forgot to mention that the most consistent complaint seen was about the case being rather tight fitting. Don't know if this has changed since earlier versions but the only issue with the one I have is that the soft pleather around the slot for connection to a belt has deteriorated.
 
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