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Pentax 20x60 PCW II & Helios Apollo 15x70


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Does anyone have experience with the above two binoculars? Both seem to be good choices and should not differ much in performance, however the Pentax costs around £195 and the Helios around £285 which is a significant price difference. I know that the Pentax has a much narrower field of view than the Helios, but I think the extra magnification would be more useful.

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I have used both of these binos. The Pentax 20x60 are excellent binos with very good edge to edge performance. The FOV is a little narrow for some at 2.2° but the crisp optics are worth the little FOV. The FOV never bothered me. I had mine tripod mounted. Mine have gone to a new home since.

The 15x70 Apollo which is the same series as my Garrett Optical Signature series are again very very good. I would rate them as one of the best 15x70's available. I used them last year on Jupiter and could clearly see 4 bands. For sweeping the Milky Way they are stunning. I have mine tripod mounted,they are quite heavy.

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The Apollo 15x70 has a field of 4.4°, that's the double of a Pentax 20x60. Especially contrast and brightness is very good in the Apollo (=Kunming optical BA8 series of binoculars). At 15x they still can be used handhelded but only short. And they are truly 70 mm aperture. Most bino's have less aperture then stated.

Wide open cluster are stunning it it. And at 4.4° the Apollo can even used as a finder. So it's also a very versatile binocular.

Me too i would rate as one of the best availble and almost as good as the famous Fujinon 16x70. The only advantage in the Fujino is a better edge correction.

Can't comment on the Pentax 20x60 but i've read many good things about them.

Personaly at 20x i would opt for a bigger aperture but that's a subjective opinion.

Mind the eyerelief also. The Apollo as about 11 mm usuable eyerelief. A bit short for eyeglass wearers allthough i have no problem with it even with eyeglasses (eyecups folded down) but eyerelief is a very personal thing.

Don't know the eyerelief of the Pentax, maybe 'Argonaut' can help here.

Edited by fmeireso
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Hi Freddy,

The eye relief if I remember rightly on the Pentax 20X60 was around 16mm. I only sold mine due to the larger FOV of the 15x70. These are up for sale now due to me having the 45° binos:)

Now if someone could manufacture a 45° or 90° with the same optics and use larger prisms,it would be very nice.

I know someone with the Fuji's and he suffers a little from a ghost image in the right tube. I have the same problem with the 100/45° in the left tube,but only on Venus.

I would imagine your 85's are superb.

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I am not in the UK and FLO does not ship here.

Remind me please, where are you? This week we opened a new UPS account to run alongside our regular Fedex account. It might be that we can now dispatch to your country.

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