Don't doubt the performance of the mid-priced Pentax DCF SP. This binocular presents a remarkably bright and sharp view of the action from sunrise to sunset. Built on a strong magnesium frame, the waterproof and fogproof DCF SP is a definite customer favorite. The Pentax Worry-Free warranty guarantees enjoyment of this binocular for years to come.
Fully Multi-coated Lenses
Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Enhances resolution and contrast through roof prisms.
Optimize light transmission.
Appreciated for a streamlined shape and durability.
Magnesium Alloy Body
Is sturdy and resistant to corrosion.
Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
Twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
Center Focus Wheel
Adjusts both binocular barrels at the same time.
Locking Right Eye Diopter
Adjusts for differences in a user's eyes. Located by the right eyepiece.
Can be mounted using standard ¼-inch threading. Adapter sold separately.
Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular.
Barrels are filled with nitrogen gas to inhibit internal fogging.
I've owned a pair of these since 2005, and I have only good things to say about them. I use them for birding and for fieldwork, and they've been with me in all kinds of weather and remain one of my favorite possessions. First, the price is right. They are more costly than entry-level models, but you do get noticeably better image quality and waterproofing. I dropped them in the water once, yanked them out in less than 3 seconds, and they were fine. Second, the image quality is bright and sharp without the binoculars being so heavy that you wouldn't want to carry them around all day. I've used or borrowed other more expensive binoculars, and I could only tell the difference between them and $1,000+ models if I switched back and forth in poor viewing conditions. For my face and hands, the ergonomics are great. I did send them back to Pentax once to replace an eyecup that came off, which they did with no problem. All around, a great buy.
Hannah from Florida
I bought a pair of these binoculars in 2006, and they have been a great purchase. I use them for bird-watching and field work, and in comparison with Nikon's $1,000+ models, I found that I could only detect a difference if I switched back and forth between the two binoculars in low light situations. The Pentax are very bright, sharp, and well-made. Having used them in a variety of extreme conditions, I've found they've held up well and for my face and hands they are quite ergonomic as far as the focus ring, eyecups and overall feel. I also appreciate they don't weigh as much as some of the higher-end binoculars, yet image quality is practically the same. They sit in the happy medium of price, quality, and value. I would purchase them again with no hesitation.
Not quite what I thought
Rick from Maryland
I must be spoiled; I'm now realizing that my Pentax Papilio 6.5x21 binocs are are even more fantastic than I thought.
I wanted a bit more power, and after reading various reviews (and with my good luck on the Pentax Papilios), I decided on the Pentax 8x43 DCF SP. More than I wanted to spend, but I figured it would be worth it. Unfortunately, I'm disappointed.
I noticed right away that there is about a 5% area around the edge of the viewing area that is out of focus, so the claims of full-field sharpness did not hold true.
Also, the diopter does not hold focus between near and far distances - I have to correct it, depending on the distance focused on.
Also, the focus wheel is very stiff and takes too many turns to go from close to far focus. This is the downside of a binoc with close focus.
And the biggest surprise is the chromatic aberration. Even at around 15 feet, I can see a red line on top and green line on the bottom edge of a piece of wood sitting on my deck in the backyard, and that's in the shade.
Finally, they're narrower than I thought, so my hands overlap across the top. They're simply round tubes, with no finger indents and although the surface is rubberized, they don't hold that well in the hand. I weighed them at 23.9 oz. and I didn't realize that would feel heavy; it does and I can feel it in my upper arms, although the weight helps keep them steady to a certain extent.
The depth of field is good; better than the Papilios for sure. Otherwise, my Papilios are better in every way, a great surprise considering they cost about a hundred bucks. I'm returning the 8x43's and will probably simply buy the 8 power Papilios and save the rest of the money.
Billy J. from New York
I tested four pair of binoculars in the same range as these. The Pentax were the clear winner. The optical quality is amazing: clear, crisp from edge to edge, contrasty, and bright even in low light. They bring distant objects into amazingly close view.
In addition to great optics, the design is great as well. Twist up eyecups with four distinct positions, locking diopter adjustment, quick focus, nice focusing knob, easy to hold, and lightweight. And don't forget the awesome "worry free" warranty.
My only complaint, the eyepiece covers are too big to actually remain in place.
Lalor Burdick from Boston
I agree entirely with the previous review, especially in regard to low light situations, where these binoculars pull in so much light that I can see better than with the naked eye. I've been birding with them for about 10 months and they are a delight.
Excellent for all-around birding
Francisco Valdes from Torreon, Mexico
I have birded with the Pentax Binoculars 8x43 DCF SP for over four years. The experience has been very satisfactory. I used to favour 10X binos but they are not very good for birds in trees or bushes. 8Xs are very good for all-around birding. The extra millimeter in the diameter of the lens (43mm vs 42mm) can be noticed as additional light, a plus in dusk or dawn situations. The quality of the binoculars is excellent and I have not experienced any trouble at all. I would recommend this binoculars to any birder, beginner or experienced...