Best Pentax Binoculars | Pentax Papilio, PCF & UCF Binocular Reviews
From wide angle to rugged use to examining bugs, the best Pentax binoculars have got you covered! Read honest Pentax binocular reviews & find the one for you.
Pentax’s production of binoculars is only one facet of a company that has grown from East Asian roots into an abundant manufacturer of imaging and optics products.
Begun as a store-front operation in 1919 by Asahi Kogaku Goshi Kaisha, Pentax was originally a producer of spectacle lenses in Toshima, a suburb of Tokyo, Japan. Over the years the company expanded its line of optical goods and moved into the forefront of the camera industry in the early-mid twentieth century.
In 2008, the corporation was bought out by Hoya, but continues to offer top of the line cameras, scopes, binoculars and more, under the Pentax brand name.
Best Pentax Binoculars: Reviews of Popular Models
Although most of Pentax’s focus is on cameras and photographic equipment, their experience in optics and imaging has led to a fine tradition of binoculars that have received both critical and consumer acclaim.
Whether you’re looking for compact, rugged, ultralight, full-size, waterproof, or activity binoculars (i.e. for bird watching, sporting events, hiking, or hunting), Pentax has several models that will suit your needs.
A few such model series include:
The name Papilio is derived from the Latin word for butterfly, and that’s exactly what these are designed to view. These are perfect for close-up examination of papilios and other insects.
These full-sized Pentax binoculars are rugged in design and extraordinarily powerful in optical performance. This is a versatile series attuned to both indoor and outdoor viewing for a wide variety of activities and uses.
The four models in the PCF binocular series offer a wide range of magnification options with the added bonus of focus-free viewing. Waterproof, fog proof, and highly durable, these are full-sized binoculars that are perfect for boating as well as hiking, sightseeing, and all around observations of nature.
Pentax’s most multi-talented lineup of binoculars is found in the UCF series. Here you have compact, rugged, ultra-compact, durable, and zoom binoculars to choose from. But one thing they all have in common? Their lightweight designs makes for amazing portability.
Focus on Pentax XCF Binoculars
With a range of four different magnifications to choose from, these Pentax XCF binoculars are suitable for a variety of different viewing opportunities.
The fixed magnification spectrum of the XCF series spans from 8x to 16x (meaning they increase the image you’re viewing by 8 times, 10 times, 12 times, or 16 times).
What this means for you is that there are a pair of Pentax XCF binoculars for nearly every occasion, from sporting to sightseeing.
The four different XCF models include:
- XCF Pentax 8×40 Binoculars
- XCF Pentax 10×50 Binoculars
- XCF Pentax 12×50 Binoculars
- XCF Pentax 16×50 Binoculars
Three of the four XCF models feature an objective lens diameter of 50 millimeters, while the fourth is 40 mm.
With a bigger lens (50 mm is fairly big when compared to other models, and 40 is still up there) more light is allowed to penetrate the binoculars, giving you a sharper image with more vivid colors.
What this means for the Pentax XCF series is that they’re great for nighttime/stargazing & focusing in on minute details as they gather far more light for your observation than many other models.
In accordance with their high quality designs (including time-tested porro prism construction, BAK-4 glass prisms for high refraction, and multi-coated optical components), you may guess that the price range for the Pentax XCF binoculars is sky high. But you’d be guessing wrong.
You can get any of the four for under $100 from a variety of online stores.
The most popular XCF model is the 10×50 pair of binoculars and they’ll run you a mere $80. How’s that for value?
Pentax Binoculars: Range of Abilities
Like Nikon binoculars, which is one of Pentax’s toughest competitors, this company’s offerings are many and diverse. To get a better idea of just how diverse they are, let’s take a closer look at the technical side of Pentax binoculars.
What Nikon binoculars don’t have over Pentax is the wide range of fixed and zoom magnification levels.
While the aforementioned titan of industry only spans from 7x to 18x, Pentax’s binoculars reach as low as 6.5x (with the Papilio 6.5×21 model) for close-up viewing and as high as 20x (afforded by the incomparable PCF WPII 20×60) for large distance observation.
Field of View
The field of view (or F.O.V.) is the area in feet of the view you’re getting when looking through your pair of Pentax binoculars. This number is based on how much you’d see from 1,000 yards.
Quite a few Pentax models have a field of view range of slightly more than 100 feet, but the largest has an F.O.V. of more than 400 feet. Here’s a small sampling of Pentax F.O.V.s and the products that feature them:
- 114 feet – Pentax 20×60 PCF WP II Binoculars
- 219 feet – Pentax 12×50 PCF II Binoculars
- 315 feet – Pentax 10×42 Binoculars DCF HR II
- 429 feet – Pentax 8×40 XCF Binoculars
The range of objective lens diameters in the lineup of Pentax binoculars isn’t especially great, but it’s still larger than a lot of other competing companies in the industry.
The smallest objective lens is a mere 17 mm and is used in the FB Lite 9×17 and the largest is found in just a single Pentax model: the high-magnifying PCF WPII 20×60.
Pentax Binocular Reviews: Consumer Info
If you are interested in purchasing a pair of Pentax binoculars, read below first. Here we’ll discuss the range of prices for the products, the scoop on the manufacturer’s warranty, and what actual consumers have had to say about the products.
Pentax offers a tremendous value for their binocular products. These are great working machines at mostly reasonable prices. Really, this is true! The XCF series can be owned for less than $100.
The cheapest set of Pentax binoculars comes in at an extremely low $60 for the UCF R 8×21 model. At the other end of the spectrum, you can look to spend a smidge over $1,000 for the most expensive pair of Pentax binoculars: the DCF ED 10×50 model.
There’s nothing too amazing about the warranty Pentax offers, but it’s still a pretty good one. Every model is guaranteed a free repair for minor problems (like realignment issues, loose prisms, or collimation), but if you need something major fixed, such as scratched lenses or mutilated body, you’ll have to pay a fee for the repair or replacement.
People generally don’t have much problem with the Pentax warranty, though some wish it would come with a No Fault guarantee like Nikon offers.
Pentax Binoculars: Consumer Reviews
Generally speaking, consumers are happy with Pentax binoculars. The reason the company is able to stay near the top of the heap when it comes to worldwide manufacturers of optics-related products is that they offer high quality goods at low prices. But for every upside, there’s a downside as well.
Here’s a brief sampling of some the things consumers like about Pentax binoculars, and some of the things they wish would improve:
||Consumers don’t like:
Additional Pentax Binocular Reviews & Ratings
Pentax DCF binoculars are a fine pair of birding binoculars, but you don’t want to use them near water or for stargazing. Learn more with our review
Pentax Papilio binoculars are for close focus viewing. Read our Pentax Papilio butterfly binocular reviews & find the best pair for you | 8.5×21 & 6.5×21
Pentax 12×50 PCF III binoculars use large objective lenses for low-light use. Read our Pentax 12×50 PCF binocular review & learn if this PCF binocular’s for you
The best Pentax XCF binoculars are made for nature lovers that want a cheap, compact, reliable binocular. Models include Pentax 10×50, 12×50, 8×40 & 16×50 XCF
Find the best Pentax UCF binoculars for you! Pentax UCF binocs have models perfect for sporting events, bird watching, zooming & waterproof marine use
Pentax PCF binoculars are waterproof with large objective lenses for low-light use. Our reviews include Pentax 8×40, 10×50, 12×50 & 20×60 PCF binoculars
There are two different models of Pentax 12×50 binoculars to choose from: Pentax 12×50 XCF & 12×50 PCF. Read our reviews & find out which is best for you
Expert advice & reviews of the best Pentax 10×42 binoculars. Learn why Pentax UCF & DCF 10×42 binoculars are more compact than Nikon, Pentax & other brands
The selection of Pentax 8×40 binoculars are among the best in this range. Learn why Pentax’s 8×40 XCF & PCF binoculars are perfect for both amateurs & pros