The Pentax 8.5×21 Papilio binoculars is an amazing bit of kit I would recommend to anyone. I have had them now for a couple of weeks and have been impressed by their performance in the field.
Their flexibility and power really came through when I recently visited my favourite wildlife pond and was able to view the dragonflies and damselflies as they buzzed around through the reeds. This should not have been too much of a surprise though as Pentax developed these binoculars with the insect viewer in mind. The name of the model reflects this as Papilio means butterfly.
The styling of these binoculars are wonderful, I love the way that they look but the casing is also functional. I found it easy to quickly focus in on my target whether it was a kingfisher perched on the branch across the river or one of the dragonflies darting around close by.
I believe that the manufacturers state these close focus binoculars can focus in as close as 0.5 metres and I would support that claim. The images where crisp and sharp at very close range and were perfectly good at longer ranges.
Although they can produce good images at longer ranges they really are aimed at close focus situations – so they are ideal not just for insects but also for woodland birds where you may need to search nearby trees to find your quarry. If you’re heading for the estuary or lakes for your bird watching you may want to take another pair to tackle long distance viewing.
At a weight of 1.8kg the binoculars are more than light enough to carry around on walks without feeling too heavy. They come complete with a case and strap but I would recommend investing in one of the padded wide straps that can spread the weight if you do a lot of walking.
These binoculars have really added a lot to my nature walks. It’s not just a case of looking at birds but I can also get close up detailed looks of bees and spiders and a whole host of other creatures without having to get onto my hands and knees.
The macro viewing ability of the binoculars coupled with the Pentax quality lens provides an exceptional bit of kit for any amateur naturalist.
The ideal pair of binoculars for country walks with a close focus boost to see insects.
Overall, the Pentax Papilio binoculars delivers great quality, bright and clear images as you would expect from Pentax. But these binoculars have been designed specifically with close focus abilities. While they still deliver excellent mid distance images which will please birdwatchers the close focus gets you up close with insects The close focus also helps you to focus in n birds that may be hidden in nearby trees and hedges. Overall this is a great lightweight pair of binoculars that will get a great deal of use.