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Pentax papilio ii eyepiece rattle...? (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I finally succumbed to tempation and bout a pair of Papilio ii 8.5x from Amazon last week. They arrived on Friday and I'm quite impressed with them optically - both at distance and up close.

One thing that does bother me a little though is that I noticed that the outermost lens mounting in both eyepieces appears to be a little loose. It has a tiny amount of fore-aft play in the eyepiece - I mean only about a quarter of a milimetre. I heard this slight rattle from the binoculars, and I thought it might be the strap fixings, so I removed the strap and gave the bins a gentle shake - rattle still there, and I traced it to the outer lens cells of each ocular - just a tiniest bit of movement. Not something I've ever come across before.

It doesn't seem to impair the view through the bins, but even slightly loose optics doesn't seem right to me. Before I return them to Amazon for an exchange, I thought I'd ask the Papilio ii owning community here if they wouldn't mind having a look at their Papilio bins and seeing if their outer ocular lens cells have just the tiniest bit of movent. Anyone have the same thing?

Many thanks,



Well-known member
I have the 6.5x Papilio II and one of the first things I noticed when I got them is that they were little short of a maraca. I wonder if they could change the name to Rattle kings ;) I love the Papilios, yesterday I was looking at some wasps taking care of a little hive and I could easily see the larvae inside the cells, you could tell their little eyes, and even they way they move every now and then, really amazing. The Papilio never cease to impress me, but the build quality (plasticky, full of rattling noises) makes them feel more like a toy than a serious binocular. However, this is something that has never bothered me (I just assumed they won't last as long as, say, a pair of Zeiss). Following your indications, I've also tracked down the rattle to the body of the eyepieces. If you push the eyepiece, it gives a little, like if it wasn't fully glued or something, but I always assumed this had to do with the fact that they were a reverse porro with moving objectives (you can see them go up and down as you focus).
I hope it helps. Rattle? A lot. Fun? Even more. So happy with them I bought a pair for my brother.


Well-known member
Hi Michael,
I have a 6.5x21 Papilio II.
I don't use it much and it is basically as new.

It indeed has a slight rattle, but I am not sure from where.
If one looks into the front there are curved tracks and thin rods.
The objectives move at right angles to the optical axis for close focus while keeping the objectives parallel to the eyepieces.

A Minolta patent has the objectives tilt as well, but not with the Papilio.

I never noticed this before and don't think that it is a problem, unless you find it so.

Fine telescope objectives are designed to rattle, so that the optics are not pinched or stressed.
However, I think the rattle in the Papilio is mechanical.
I think that other binoculars sometimes rattle by design.


I think that some Zeiss binoculars also rattle by design.
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Well-known member
Hi Both,
Thanks for your replies - I just knew I'd get some answers if I posted on here (and likely faster and more accurate than emailing customer services at Ricoh-Pentax). ;)

Yarrellii, what you describe with your 6.5 is exactly the same as my 8.5 and puts my mind at rest - to the extent that a replacement is probably going to be exactly the same, and I'll likely not bother asking for an exchange. Like I said, optically, they are remarkable - given the cost etc. Amazon had them for £89, and I had a £50 Amazon voucher (a birthday present from my brother I'd been saving until the Papilios dropped in price) - so they only cost me £39 in "real" money!

Binastro - yes, astronomical optics are a bit of a law unto themselves. I have a Celestron Ultima 8, and I remember my surprise at just how lightly the screws holding in the corrector plate were done up - so as to minimise distortion, and I guess to allow for movement with changes in temperature. I needed to clean the primary and secondary mirrors - quite a nerve-wracking task - I think I didn't breathe whilst I was doing it! I hope to be using the Ultima more in the future - moving out into the countryside in a few weeks: decent sized garden, and no streetlights. |:D|


Well-known member

just had a quick look through my 6.5x - nice as always even for birds (no bugs on the balcony atm.) and there is indeed a very slight rattle when shaken in the correct direction.

I'd say enjoy your bins!



Well-known member
I'm using my Papilio 6.5 II for the search of crickets and tetrigidae, by scanning the ground while slendering. It's wonderful for this using - and it rattles. But I've just realized this form your post… thought it was perhaps the neck strap - but without the strap it also rattles ;-)

The rattle has it's origin in the plate of glass in front of the (moving) objectives - tapping a finger on the optical window results in a lacking of the rattle…

silent greetings


Well-known member
Have you found out the reason for the rattle? With the veryveryvery little amount of translatoric movement of the optical-glassplate in front of the objectives I cannot detect any amount of optical input in daily use. It rattles only by very fast shaking in the hands, and not in normal use.



Well-known member
The source of the rattle in my Papilios is definitely from a small amount of front to back movement of the outer eyepiece cells within their housings. The cover glass at the front does not move on my binoculars.

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