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Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

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Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby guest654 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:53 pm

Hello,

I am looking to replace my current. Primary use is birdwatching, thus am looking for a model in the 8 X 42 range (but will consider slight deviation). Maximum budget is $1000.

Models which have caught most of my interest are the Pentax DCF 8X43 SP, Monarch X 8.5 X 45 and the Vortex Viper 8 X 42. But of course, there are others, including the Zen Rays, but these three seem to have caught most of my attention. I think the Pentax DCF ED's and Vortex Razors are not worth the extra dollars. On the other hand, I would like something somewhat better than the Monarchs.

How do the above models compare? Is there one which can be rated as "best" and why? Are there other models which I should consider?

Thank you,

Ryan
guest654
 

Re: Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby Jne_K on Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:53 am

Hi

I am a big fan of the Pentax DCF SP and have been for years - that's no secret if you check some older posts on this forum. It's a great value and will ID as many birds as any binocular you want to buy. You are really at a point with the SP and these others of deciding how much optical performance you want, rather than simply need for bird identification purposes. You won't necessarily ID more birds by spending more money. However, you will enjoy seeing birds, more, with ever more image quality, but you will spend much more to get only tiny increases in image quality. Is it worth it? Only you can decide that and, no matter what anyone tells you, the ultimate test will be having you take a look for yourself.

That said, there is a visible difference in image quality between the DCF SP and the DCF ED, a bit less so with the Razor. This is something I base on optical tests on test targets with all of these. The DCF ED will score higher in resolution, color correction and, especially contrast. You will likely enjoy seeing birds, more, with the DCF ED than a binocular in the $500 range, but that is no guarantee you will ID more birds. However, if I had $1000 to spend, the DCF ED would be at or near the top of my list.

There is no such thing as "best" despite whatever binocular shootouts you review and the results of these scoring should never be taken too literally. Best is a myth, simply because there are far too many variables involved. It's never so cut and dried, black and white with binoculars. Indeed, I have yet to test any binocular that scores best in every optical or mechanical category at any price point. The binocular market is far too competitive for that to happen, anyway. Then, too, how do you, personally, weight each category? Is resolution or contrast or image brightness or color correction or edge sharpness or eye relief more important to you and in which order? Binocular scoring schemes never reflect your personal preferences and we are only talking optics, here. The matter of mechanical construction, handling and so on is even more personal and subjective.
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Re: Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby quest on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:12 pm

Than you very much jonis,

Ryan
quest
 

Re: Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby guest11 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:15 pm

I meant to write "Joanie". Sorry about that.

Ryan
guest11
 

Re: Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby Jne_K on Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:59 am

That's no problem - I have been called much worse. Anyway, glad to help.
Thanks for posting with us
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Re: Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby M2 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:41 pm

I have been testing the Vortex Razor vs the Viper for a week now as we have a family of Cooper Hawks resident in the tree next to our house. Both bins are very good to my 58 year old eyes. The Viper's are by far easier to handle as they have better balance than the Razor and I cannot tell the difference between the two images. You can visit
http://www.allbinos.com/index.php?test= ... test_l=114
for what appears to be an objective comparison.

My wife loves the Vipers and intends to keep the pair for herself. I think the Razors will have to go back though I love the construction and the general appearance, I just don't think the extra weight makes up for it against the Vipers. The Razors are almost a third heavier than the Viper.

I don't know if any of that interests you, but those are my thoughts.
M2
 

Re: Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby Jne_K on Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:24 am

Hi

Yes, all feedback is appreciated; that's what a forum is all about.
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert

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Re: Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby Matt G on Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:58 am

How does the Pentax DCF SP compare to the Alpen wings ED? I been looking at these two binos. Trying to find a decent 10x42 pair that would be good glassing in low light at a decent distance.
Matt G
 
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Re: Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby Jne_K on Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:30 am

Haven't had a chance to try the new Alpen, would expect ot to be quite good, based on my experience with the higher end Alpens. Be gald to post something when I see one.
Thanks for posting with us
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Re: Pentax DCF SP vs Monarch X vs Vortex Viper

Postby ET on Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:35 pm

I would use either the Viper or the Pentax. I loved the eye relief of the Viper. I tend to use without glasses, but those worked either way.

I think the optics are equally sharp, it is more the other preferences people will have in one over the other.
ET