8 X 36mm DCF HS

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This Pentax HS weatherproof roof prism binocular provides good 8x all-purpose optics at a very reasonable price. It weighs only 23 ounces, so it’s easy to carry for all-day birding. Pentax claims a close focus of 9.8’ (we typically measure closer), so this is a good binocular for close-in warbler, woodland, and backyard feeder birding as well as general birding across open fields and meadows.

There is minimal chromatic aberration. Curvature of field is very low, as is astigmatism. There’s a little more pincushion distortion at the edges of the field than we like to see, but we feel this is a tradeoff on the part of the designer in exchange for the very low field curvature and astigmatism. The result is images that stay usably sharp across virtually the entire field, although vertical straight lines at the edge of the field are somewhat curved. Out in the field or woods, where straight vertical lines are somewhat rare, the effect is barely noticeable. Overall, this Pentax HS gives you a view that is a pleasure to use during extended observing sessions. This is good binocular, both optically and mechanically, at a very reasonable price.

Features of this binocular . . .

  • Roof prism optics. H-body roof prism design with internal center focus. BaK-4 prisms for high light transmission.
  • Fully multicoated optics. The Pentax multilayer antireflection coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces have visibly higher light transmission than many competitive larger-aperture binoculars for minimum light loss in dim conditions.
  • Phase-coated prisms. Special phase-correcting coatings are applied to the roof prisms for peak contrast, color fidelity, and resolution. The resulting improvement is easily visible as additional color and detail seen in the shadowed areas of a silhouetted or backlit bird. The roof prisms also have a new super-reflection coating for higher light transmission than conventional coatings.
  • Weather Resistant. O-ring sealed with a multicoated protective glass cover over the objective lenses to keep water and dust from entering the binocular body. They are weather resistant – not waterproof – to a JIS Class 4 standard (which specifies that neither falling rain at an angle up to 60° from vertical nor splashing water from any direction shall have a harmful effect). In other words, they can be used safely in the rain or on a water-soaked pelagic birding trip, but cannot be submerged.
  • Armor. Black rubber armor on the lightweight fiber-reinforced polycarbonate body absorbs noise and shock and provides a good grip when wet. Molded-in thumb grooves help position the hands properly for the best balance during extended viewing.
  • Twist-up eyecups. An eighth of a turn of the rubber-rimmed eyecups retracts them into the binocular body for eyeglass or sunglass use. An eighth turn in the opposite direction extends the eyecups for non-eyeglass use.
  • Good eye relief. Eye relief is specified at a good 16mm. While this is technically correct, the actual usable eye relief measures several mm shorter due to the recessed location of the eyepieces in the binocular body to protect them from unwanted scratches. A shorter eye relief than specified is typical of all binoculars. There will be some vignetting of the field for eyeglass wearers.
  • Close focusing. Only one and a third turns of the comfortably-large ribbed focus knob moves from the closest focus out to the horizon. Pentax specifies 9.8’ as the close focus, but we invariably measure it at about 8’ in our tests. Not everyone may be able to achieve this close a focus however, so we’ll stick to quoting Pentax’s more conservative 9.8’ close focus in our specifications.
  • Rotary diopter correction. A continuously variable diopter ring with soft clickstops on the right eyepiece allows you to match the binocular optics precisely to your individual eyesight for a sharp image.
  • Supplied accessories. The comfortable 1” wide woven neck strap makes the lightweight binocular even less of a burden to carry during all-day birding sessions. Press-fit rubber objective lens covers and an eyepiece rainguard protect the optics. A 1/4”-20 thread adapter socket is provided in the center hinge for using an optional tripod adapter to mount the binocular on a camera tripod for extended hands-free observing. The socket is covered by the thread-in Pentax logo. The supplied soft case is made of padded water-shedding Cordura-type nylon.
  • Optical Type:
    The optical design of a binocular or spotting scope. A binocular can be either a porro prism (whose objective lenses are off-set and spaced further apart than the eyepieces) or a roof prism (whose objective lenses are in line with the eyepieces). A spotting scope can be either a porro prism or roof prism refractor or a catadioptric (a combination of lenses, mirrors, and prisms).
    Roof Prism
    Field of view:
    The field of view (FOV) is the amount of observable world one can see at any given moment.
    6.5°
    Field of view 1000 yards:
    342'
    Exit Pupil:
    The circular image or beam of light formed by the eyepiece of a telescope. To take full advantage of a scope's light-gathering capacity, the diameter of an eyepiece exit pupil should be no larger than the 7mm diameter of your eye's dark-adapted pupil, so that all of the light collected by the telescope enters your eye. (The eyepiece exit pupil diameter is found by dividing the eyepiece focal length by the telescope focal ratio.) Your eye's ability to dilate declines with increasing age (to a dark-adapted pupil of about 5mm by age 50 or so). For those in this age group, eyepieces with exit pupils larger than their eyes can dilate to simply waste their telescope's light-gathering capacity, as some of the scope's light will fall on their iris instead of entering their eye.
    4.5mm
    Relative Brightness:
    A number used to compare the brightness of binoculars or spotting scopes of similar magnification. The relative brightness is determined by squaring the diameter of the exit pupil. The larger the relative brightness number, the brighter the image.
    20.25
    Twilight Factor:
    A number used to compare the effectiveness of binoculars or spotting scopes used in low light. The twilight factor is found by multiplying the size of the objective lens (in mm) by the magnification and then finding the square root of that result. The larger the twilight factor, the more detail you can see in low light. A twilight factor of 17 or better if usually required for reasonable low light use.
    16.97
    Eye Relief:
    Eye relief is the distance from the last surface of the eye lens of an eyepiece to the plane behind the eyepiece where all the light rays of the exit pupil come to a focus and the circular image is formed, sometimes called the “Ramsden Disk.” This is where your eye should be positioned to see the full field of view of the eyepiece. If you must wear glasses because of astigmatism, you’ll usually need at least 15mm of eye relief or longer if you want to see the full field of view with your glasses on.

    A note on our eye relief figures: Quite often, our eye relief figures will differ from those of the manufacturer. This is because we measure the “usable” eye relief, while the manufacturers specify their usually-longer (but technically correct) “designed” eye relief.

    The eye lens of the eyepiece is normally recessed below the rubber eyeguard or rubber rim of the eyepiece to keep the lens from being scratched during use. An eyepiece might have a “designed” eye relief of 15mm (and the eye relief will truly measure 15mm from the eye lens to where the image forms). However, if the eye lens is recessed 3mm below the eye guard, the Ramsden Disk forms only 12mm above the eyepiece body (the 15mm “designed” eye relief, less the 3mm of eye relief made unusable by having the eye lens recessed into the body of the eyepiece). This “usable” eye relief of 12mm (measured from the rolled-down eyeguard – the closest point you can get your eye to the eye lens – to where the image forms) is the eye relief figure we would measure and list in this website.

    Why is it important to list the “usable” eye relief? For those people who don’t wear eyeglasses while observing, a few mm difference between the eye relief they expect from the manufacturer’s literature and the shorter eye relief they actually get in real life doesn’t mean a lot. They can simply move a little closer to the eyepiece to see the full field, and never realize that the eye relief is a little shorter than they expected. However, some people must wear eyeglasses while observing, because of severe astigmatism. These observers can’t move closer to the eyepiece if the eye relief is shorter than expected because their glasses get in the way. For these people, the real life “usable” eye relief is more important than the technically correct but sometimes not fully usable “designed” eye relief. We measure and list the actual usable eye relief so that people in the real world can pick the eyepieces that will work best for them.

    16mm
    Interpupillary Distance:
    58-78mm
    Close Focus:
    How close you can get to an object and still see a sharp image of it in your binocular or spotting scope is called the “close” or “near” focus
    9.8'
    Height:
    6.1"
    Armored:
    A binocular or spotting scope whose body is clad in rubber or polyurethane armor is said to be armored. Armor can be applied for looks, a better grip, noise-proofing, etc. An armored body does not guarantee that a binocular or spotting scope is waterproof, although most waterproof optics are armored.
    Yes
    Weight:
    The weight of this product.
    23.3 oz.
    Warranty:
    Limited Lifetime
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    • Soft case
    • Neck strap
    • Eyepiece rainguard
    • Objective lens covers
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    Pentax - 8 X 36mm DCF HS

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    Pentax - 8 X 36mm DCF HSImage showing the binocular with all supplied accessories.
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    Our Product #: P836
    Manufacturer Product #: 62482
    Price: $164.95
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    MSRP: $280.00
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    This weather resistant Pentax 8 x 36mm is a good-quality general purpose binocular with optics and features that are well worth its very modest price . . .





    . . . our 34th year