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Best Bang for the Buck

Started by light trap, 07/10/2002 06:47PM
Posted 07/10/2002 06:47PM Opening Post
My current nominee for best bang for the buck in astro and general use binos would have to go to the Pentax PCF V WP series being offered by
They're offering $25 rebates on their already low prices for this line of waterproof porros.

I've owned two of the non-waterproof Pentax PCF series; the 16x60 and the 12x50's. The 16x60's compared favorably to the Fujinon FMT-SX 16x70's and the 12x50's hold their own against Nikon SE 12x50's. In fact, in terrestial resolution tests, the Pentax 12x50's only gave up a couple mm's of resolution at 50yds. (I posted a detailed comparison in the birding forum some time ago.)

The fact that Pentax is now offering the series in a waterproof version, and almost the entire line (7x50, 8x40, 10x50, 12x50, 16x60) can be had for $125- ~$200 is darned amazing. The 20x60's are only a little more.

The optics on the two sizes I've tested have been very good, and are enough to just about negate my earlier concerns about their somewhat odd geometry and hard eyecups. Stars are clear almost to the very edge of the rather narrow fields. The hard part for me, now, is figuring out which of the lower power ones I want to add to the stable. Complicating the issue is the fact that they're offering $100 rebate on the roof prism DCF WP series. That would bring the price of a highly regarded phase coated roof prism bino under $300. I'm not sure, but that may be a first. That probably wouldn't be the first choice for astronomers, but it is noteworthy.

Mike Swaim
Posted 07/10/2002 10:32PM #1
I like both the Pentax PCFs and Minolta Activas, among the most readily available brands. My 7x50 Tentos, while far from waterproof, are also great. Zeiss-style body, classic hard leather case, small guide/manual (Russian, German, French, English), and two sets of eyepiece filters (yellow & orange -- no personal opinion yet on their utility). Came off the assembly line in '88, been stored in original packaging since then, arrived perfectly collimated. Good mechanics (albeit not as refined). Optics excellent.

Whopping $50.

I'll probably end up with 12x50 Activas, as well. And maybe Orion's 15x63 Mini-giants. And maybe...

Cheers and bino fun.
Posted 08/16/2002 02:48PM #2
I just recieved a quote from Adorama on the PCF WP 12x60. These will augment my Visoneer 12x60's.

Here is your requested price quote:
Brand: Pentax
Title: Pentax 16x60 PCF WP Water Proof, Porro Prism Binocular with Case -
Limited Lifetime USA Warranty ($25 Mfr Rebate 6/1/02 - 1/31/03
Price: $189.95
If you would like to purchase this Item, please click the link below