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Binoculars review

2011-07-25 12:22:45

Pentax DCF ED 10x43

The DCF ED series consists of top-of the range binoculars when it comes to price and quality, produced by Pentax,. It features models with the following parameters: 8x32, 8x43, 10x42 and 10x50. All of them boast low dispersion glass in objectives, aspherical elements and Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms phase correction coated and covered by silver reflective layers. All air-to-glass surfaces are covered by multilayer antireflection coatings.

The metal casing of the binoculars is padded with high quality rubber, nitrogen-filled and fully waterproof. The buyer gets two caps, a case and a strap as accessories. This pair of binoculars comes with a 25-year warranty of the producer.

Pentax DCF ED 10x43Pentax DCF ED 10x43Pentax DCF ED 10x43Pentax DCF ED 10x43
Manufacturer:
Pentax
web site
Distribution / Sales:
FOTOZAKUPY.PL
web site
e-mail
ul. Krakowska 4
42-600 Tarnowskie Góry
 
Basic parameters:
Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10x 43mm 105/1000(6o) BaK4 17 mm 730g 3399PLN
More information about this product

Results of the review

Real front lens diameter Left:   43+/- 0.05mm
Right:  43+/- 0.05mm
8/8.0
Real magnification 10.38+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 86.7+/- 1.5% 11.5/15.0
Chromatic aberration Low in the middle, medium at most on the edge. 7.7/10.0
Astigmatism Corrected in a perfect way. 9.5/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius: 79% +\- 3% 9.5/10.0
Coma Appears in the distance of about 65% of the vision radius and is higher than medium on the very edge. 4.9/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 78% +\- 4% from the field of vision centre. 5/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Slight. 3.9/5.0
Whiteness of the image Good. The transmission curve is a bit inclined. 4.2/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Pentax DCF ED 10x43 - Internal reflections - Left Pentax DCF ED 10x43 - Internal reflections - Right
Slight.
4/5.0
Housing Small and neat for a 43 mm objective lens. Good quality rubber on the padding but it sticks out a bit near objectives. Rubberized eyecups with 4 degrees of regulation. 7.4/8.0
Focusing Big and comfortable central wheel with the full turn of 560 degrees. It is well-damped. A comfortable ring on the right eyepiece which moves the outer lens. 4.5/5.0
Tripod There is a comfortable exit. 3/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 58.3 to 74mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 1.4 m 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 62.1 degrees. 7/10.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 5.98 +\- 0.04 degrees and it was in accordance with our specifications. A typical field of view for this class of equipment. 5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black inner tubes but slightly shiny. Gray bottom. Very clean. 4.1/5.0
Vignetting
Left: Right:
Pentax DCF ED 10x43 - Vignetting - Left Pentax DCF ED 10x43 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 7.1%, OR: 6.6%
Very truncated exit pupils.
0/8.0
Prisms quality Good quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Pink-orange on objectives, greenish on prisms, green-purple on eyepieces. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 25 5/6.0
Final result 132.2/170
77.8%
Econo result 0pkt.
 

Summary


Pros:
  • solid and compact casing,
  • good transmission,
  • correct colour rendering,
  • chromatic aberration well-corrected,
  • negligible astigmatism,
  • splendidly corrected distortion,
  • exit pupils on dark background,
  • low brightness loss on the edge of the field of vision,
  • high quality of prisms and coatings,
  • clean, correctly blackened inner tubes,
  • long warranty perriod.

Cons:
  • significantly truncated exit pupils.


As the lists of pros and cons show very clearly the Pentax ED 10x43 has only one but a very painful slip-up which is connected to small prisms – they make the exit pupils very truncated. The binoculars lost as many as 8 points in this category. If it hadn’t been for this slip-up the device would have been given 140 points – with such a score it would have been one of the most interesting choices in the 10x42 class. We must emphasize, though, that the current result of 132 points is still very good. The problem is that similar number of points was awarded to many other pairs of binoculars which cost more or less the same and were produced by as reputable companies as Pentax. It’s enough to mention here such instruments as the Meopta Meostar, the Minox HG 10x43 BR MIG, the Kahles, the Kowa or the Swarovski Habicht. Undoubtedly select company - without the exit pupils slip-up the Pentax could have offered a bit more than them. Unfortunately, these exit pupils being as they are, might make some prospective customers buy the product of a rival company.

When it comes to other achievements the Pentax can be only praised. The binoculars are put in a compact, handy casing, the device features ED glass in objectives which works very well; the astigmatism and distortion are corrected in a splendid way and the coma – quite well. The coatings are very efficient, providing good transmission level, natural colours, and damping down unwanted flares. If it wasn’t for these wretched pupils we would deal here with a real market hit.