Pentax SP 20×60 WP Review

September 29, 2019 0 Comments

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Pentax has 100 years of history and will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in November 2019.

Pentax is a Japanese company presently known as Ricoh Imaging Company and was founded in 1919.

Pentax focuses on binoculars, SLR cameras, interchangeable lenses, memory cards, flashes, batteries and more.

Pentax products are of high quality and are not cheap, especially binoculars. Pentax has A series, S series, U series and Z series.

Pentax SP 20×60 belongs to S series. S series range from $129 and up to $459. For a full review of Pentax you can read my review here.

Pentax is relatively lightweight binocular with excellent optics and thanks to a good light transmission you can use Pentax both in day time and at night.

It can be used in all weather and conditions.

 

Pentax SP 20×60 WP Binoculars

– Bak-4 Porro Prism

– Magnification 20x

– Eye relief 21mm

– Fully Multicoated optics

– Anti-reflection coatings

– Field of view: 2.2° (118 feet / 1000 yds)

– Waterproof/ Fog proof

– Customer satisfaction 80%

– Suitable for eyeglass wearers

– Rubber armoring

– Tripod adaptable

– Exit Pupil Diameter 3mm

– Weight 1400g

– Price: $239

 

pentax 20x60

 

pentax overall score

 

 

 

 

Pros of Pentax SP 20×60

  • High image quality
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used without a tripod
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof

 

 

Cons of Pentax SP 20×60

  • Narrow field of view

 

 

 

 

Overall quality of Pentax SP 20×60 WP

This binocular is really well made and looks very solid. Optics is of high quality and delivers high quality crystal clear and sharp image.

It has BAK-4 prism and fully multicoated optics.

Pentax SP 20×60 WP comes in a solid box, bag and neck strap and piece of cloth for cleaning lenses. It’s beautifully designed and made of solid and durable materials.

 

neck strap

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pentax-bag

 

You can take it anywhere when traveling. It is waterproof, fog proof and highly durable.

Pentax SP 20×60 WP has BAK-prism and fully multicoated optics which provides high quality crystal clear and sharp image.

Pentax produces high end cameras which means they have a very solid experience in optics.

This means Pentax binoculars deliver high resolution, optical performance and excellent image quality.

 

 

Suitable for eyeglass wearers

Pentax SP 20×60 WP fully suitable for eyeglass wearers because it has 21mm eye relief. You can fold up the eyecups to adjust it to your eyes and get a clear image.

 

pentax-eyecups

 

Most of the time you can look through binoculars without glasses. It will compensate your eyesight problem.

If you have serious issues like astigmatism then you will have to use Pentax with eyeglasses.

 

 

Getting clear image

To get a clear and sharp image when looking through it you may need to extend rubber eyecups to avoid black outs.

You choose how much to extend them to get the optimal position for your eyes.

 

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Right-eye diopter mechanism and central focus wheel are relatively smooth and they have to be so you can keep the focus once you adjusted it.

Central focus wheel has lockable mechanism that you can use to lock the focus adjusted for viewing a certain object.

 

 

Tripod adaptable

Pentax SP 20×60 WP is fully tripod adaptable binocular. It’s not bulky like other high power binoculars but still it’s not super lightweight.

 

tripod adaptor

 

For long viewing sessions you need a tripod. Holding binocular in hands will cause handshaking and as a result unstable image.

You will also need a tripod adaptor to mount your Pentax.

 

 

20x VS 16x Binoculars

Some people that have binoculars with magnification 16x ask about binoculars with magnification 20x.

Is it worth buying 20x if I already have 16x? Of course, magnification 20x is more powerful than 16x. But there is no huge difference to be honest.

The difference in the FOV (field of view) is significant. Normally, binoculars 16x have FOV 3.6° while binoculars 20x have FOV 2.2°, 2.4°.

So, the difference is significant. If you are looking more for a powerful binocular then your choice will be 20x.

If you are looking for a relatively powerful binocular and wide field of view then 16x is the ideal choice.

On top of that 16x binocular is lightweight and can be used without a tripod while most 20x binoculars need a tripod.

When it comes to Pentax SP 20×60 binoculars they are lightweight because objective lenses have a diameter of 60mm.

It can used even without a tripod. All other binoculars that I know have objective lenses (aperture) 70 or 80mm which makes them unusable without a tripod.

My personal opinion is that if you have 16x binoculars you don’t need 20x binoculars.

The difference in power is insignificant while FOV is very user friendly in 16x binocular, 16x (FOV 3.6° VS 20x binocular ( FOV 2.2°).

Thanks to a large size of aperture image is clear and bight. Binoculars with aperture 70, 80 or 100mm are bulky and need a tripod.

Pentax SP 20×60 is not so bulky and can be used without a tripod too.

If you are looking for a powerful binocular with wider field of view than you need to look for binoculars with larger aperture like 80mm, 100mm.

Such binoculars have larger exit pupil and field of view accordingly. But remember, such binoculars are bulky compared to Pentax SP 20×60.

Pentax 20×60 is very durable binocular and can be used in almost any conditions.

It has JIS Class 6 which means ( Binoculars can be immersed in water for a short time).

The highest class is 8 (Completely waterproof binocular). So, Pentax 20×60 is above the average class.

 

 

Is 2.2° FOV enough for binoculars?

Some people may not like narrow field of view in Pentax 20×60. As a real user of Pentax 20×60 I can tell the following.

Yes, it’s true that filed of view 2.2° is a little narrow compared to other 20x binoculars like

 

  • Bresser Spezial-Saturn 20×60 – FOV 3° – weight 1140gr
  • Levenhuk Bruno Plus 20×80 – FOV 3.2° – weight 2600gr
  • Bresser Spezial Astro 20×80 – FOV 3.2° – weight 2130gr
  • Gosky Titan 20×80 – FOV 3.2° – weight 2260gr
  • Oberwerk 20×80 LW – FOV 3.2° – weight 1814gr
  • Celestron 20×80 SkyMaster Pro – FOV 3.2° – weight 2438gr
  • Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 – FOV 3.7° – weight 2130gr
  • Celestron Echelon 20×70 – FOV 3.0° – weight 1840gr
  • Orion GiantView ED 20×80 – FOV 3.2° – weight 2585gr

 

Pentax SP 20×60 – FOV 2.2° – weight 1400gr

 

But the advantage of Pentax 20×60 is that it has high quality optics and weight is only 1400gr.

The only 20x binocular that even lighter than Pentax is Bresser Spezial-Saturn 20×60 that has wider field of view and only 1140gr.

Bresser is a cheap binocular and is not waterproof or fog proof.

 

Other high power binoculars with magnification 20x

 

All other binoculars are bulky compared to Pentax SP 20×60. But they have wider field of view that you can see in the list above.

If field of view is your #1 priority then choose one of those binoculars. If it’s not your priority then Pentax will satisfy your needs.

For me personally, 2.2° FOV is not a problem. I can easily navigate and find objects to observe with my Pentax 20×60.

One thing we should keep in mind, when it comes to FOV 2.2° vs 3.0° or 3.2° or even 3.7°, Pentax 20×60 with FOV 2.2° has a crystal clear and sharp image even to the edges when looking through binoculars.

When it comes to other high power binoculars with FOV 3.0° and above they have crystal clear and sharp image only close to the center.

To the edges image is not so sharp.

It’s normal when it comes wide field of view in high power binoculars.

That’s why Pentax decided to produce a binocular with a narrower field of view but delivering clear and sharp image.

Also, we should keep one thing in mind when talking about FOV.

Though Pentax S-series WP 20×60 has a little narrow field of view, in my opinion it’s not so important.

Because we use high power binoculars for being able to observe distant objects and bring them closer.

We don’t actually need wide field of view for that. For panoramic view you need to choose binoculars with magnification under 12x.

 

 

Front Lens and exit pupil cups

Front lens cups are very easy to pull out and put back. No problem with that. When it comes to exit pupil cups its not so good.

 

pentax-cups

 

It is like a cover that doesn’t seat. It’s not good from a practical standpoint.

 

 

What can you see with Pentax 20×60?

It’s pretty powerful binocular for general use including stargazing. It’s not the most powerful binocular in the world.

For star gazing it’s highly recommended to look for at least magnification 25x or higher.

But 20x is still powerful and very powerful binocular at a reasonable price.

 

 

Pentax SP 20×60 WP final review

Pentax SP 20×60 is a mid class binocular. It’s highly durable and delivers high quality experience.

If FOV is your # 1 priority then choose from other alternative high power binoculars. They have wider field of view  than Pentax.

Though image quality may be inferior to Pentax because the wider field of view the harder is to keep the whole image clear and sharp.

That’s why Pentax’s FOV is a little narrow but the whole image is clear and sharp.

 

pentax 20x60

 

pentax overall score

 

 

 

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