OT: Possible enablement - Pentax binoculars?

Stan Halpin stan at stans-photography.info
Sat Apr 16 23:25:50 EDT 2011

Meg and I will probably be buying at least one pair of binoculars for birding. Something in the $250-500 range - i.e., quite a bit better than the $40-50 compact everyday binocs we have now, but not anything in the $1000+ "serious birder" category.

My inclination to brand loyalty tells me to buy Pentax, all other things equal. But the few reviews I have found (e.g., in Cornell's birding magazine) put Pentax toward the bottom of the list. And I don't want to buy a clearly inferior product just for the Pentax name.

So, anyone here with experience with Pentax binoculars? Can you provide any comparisons with other brands in the same price range? Can you convince me that I should (or should not) go for a Pentax? Note that I am not that concerned with the price as long as it is in my general price range; if there is a Pentax model that costs $499 that is equivalent in features and performance to something else that costs $349, I would probably buy Pentax. I just don't want to pay the same or more for the Pentax if it is clearly inferior. And I don't have any local stores where I can go and see and try out any of those I am thinking about.

I am also toying with the notion of a spotting scope, and Pentax has an eyepiece adapter that converts their scopes to a 780mm or 1000mm f/12 K-mount lens. But, again, the reviews put Pentax spotting scopes toward the bottom of the list. Anyone here with experience with this class of product?

Any information, opinions (informed or otherwise), pointers to good web resources, etc. would be greatly appreciated!


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