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New Pentax DCF WP II

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2006 at 16:08
deerstalker View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: July/19/2006
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Does anyone have an opinion on these new binos? (PENTAX DCF WP II)

Im wondering if these are better than the first ones, since the price is set much lower than the previous WP's which were around ($900.00when they first came out. The new WP's go for  $390.00. I'm trying to decide between the Pentax SP and WPII, but would hate to spend the extra $150 for the SP and see a small difference. Pls help.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2006 at 18:27
lucznik View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/27/2004
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I posted this about the Pentax models in an earlier post.  It would seem to be applicable to your question so I am pasting it here rather than retyping it...  I feel I should also correct you in one point about the cost of the DCF WP.  It never retailed for anything close to $900.  As I've posted below, the 8x retailed for $450 and the 10x for just under $500 (though attentive shoppers could always find them for somewhat less.) This was their major marketing point, ie. high end optical performance at prices less than half that of the the "Big 3's" $1000+ mark. 

 

Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

The DCF WP was the first mid-priced binocular to offer phase-correction coatings and by so doing, heralded the current wave of high-quality optics that can be competetive against the best offerings of the "Big Boys" at prices far, far less. This binocular retailed for between $450 (for 8x) and $500 (for 10x.) In its wake other binoculars (Bushnell Discoverers, Nikon Monarchs, Leupold WindRiver Cascades, etc.) have been systematically upgraded to include these (and other) coatings to try to remain competetive.  Other binoculars (Bushnell Legends and Excursions, Leupold WindRiver Olympics and Pinnacles, Steiner Merlins and Peregrines, etc.) were developed to include these advances from the get-go. Pentax also had the DCF HR line which was a somewhat lesser (and non-phase coated) binocular that was intended for the consumer with a tighter budget. 

 

The SP line was intended to both upgrade and replace the WP line and included a price jump to the $600+ range. Image distortions (for example, chromatic abberation) were addressed and reduced and as a result, these binoculars really do all but match the image quality of the very best manufacturers.  Their one primary drawback is that their fields of view are a bit restrictive (330 ft @ 8x and 315 ft @ 10x.) At the same time the HR line was upgraded to include phase correction coatings and was renamed DCF HRII.  There was also a modest price increase for this line but, they still were marketed toward the more budget-controlled consumer.

 

Fast forward a few years and the folks at Pentax have realized that by discontinuing the WP line, they are missing out on a large segment of the consumer market dominated by people who want something better than the low budget HRIIs but, can't quite stretch so far as to buy the company's high end SPs. This resulted in this middle market area being controlled by the Bushnell Discoverer & Legend, Nikon Monarch, Leupold WindRiver Olympic, etc. The reintroduction of the WP line (renamed WP II) is designed to remedy this market gap for Pentax.  They have been reduced in price to around the $350 range to keep them competitive with these other brands/models and to put them squarely in the middle between the HRIIs and the SPs.

 

According to the company's literature the WPII line has been upgraded to include more/better multicoatings so as to improve light transmission over the previous model.  I have yet to see a WPII in any store so, I don't know how dramatic this improvement really is. The original WP line however, was/is very bright, with a nice contrasty image and I suspect the WPII line's improvements will be of only a rather minimal nature. You can pretty much gaurantee that they will not be as good as the SPs as no company is going to sabotage their own high-end line and yet they will likely be rather significantly better than the HRII line so as to entice the consumer to find a way to stretch their budget just a bit more.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2006 at 00:36
deerstalker View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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Hey thanks Lucznik, that was very helpful. Sorry I missed that post.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2006 at 12:32
birdhunter View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: November/14/2005
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Points: 92
I have had the high end swarovski Kahle's, Swarovski, Leicas, Zeiss Classics and Nikon Monarch.  I currently have the Monarch which I like for the money.  I have tried out the Pentax several times at Bass Pro and a couple of local Photo shops.  Hands down the WPs are the best for the money and will last and are rugged.  I liked the Kahle's also and they are close in price to the Pentax.  Pentax WPs are hard to beat!  If I were buying a new pair that is what I would get.  Good luck!
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