They open up a new world
wildlife lover from Virginia
I have a pair of Swarovski EL 10x42 binoculars which I use for birding and wildlife. Needless to say, they are excellent. But they don't have the close focusing you need to watch butterflies. I recently bought a pair of the Pentax Papilio 6.5x21 binoculars before going on the annual NABA butterfly count, and they were so good my husband bought a pair as well. They are clear, easily focused, and the image is bright and fills the whole view. They are also so lightweight that you hardly know you are wearing/carrying them. It's hard to imagine a better pair of binoculars for this specialized use. I recommend them wholeheartedly to anyone who wants to open up the world of butterflies or other insects.
Garry from Towaco, NJ
I have always thought of binoculars as optics that bring things that are far away, closer. These small wonders make things that are close even closer, and larger, and clearer.
Named after the Latin word for butterfly, they are intended for viewing flying creatures other than birds. That is, butterflies, dragonflies, moths along with flowers,fungi and all sorts of small things. Someone said it is like having a portable, hand held microscope. With a close focusing distance of a little over 18 inches and a reasonable depth of field you can get incredible close-up views. The optics and build quality are surprisingly good for a product in this price range. The small size, a tad over 10 ounces, allows them to be a constant companion on any hike. And in a pinch, they work as birding bins. Recommended.
Great, easy to use binocular!
Gail from Wisconsin
I really like this product for clarity, weight and it's easy to use. All my experience with binoculars in the past has been that by the time I have them focused for my eyes, the thing I wanted to see was gone. These focus quickly and easily. It is very light weight and can be handled well by adults with small hands and children.
pentax papillo 6.5x21
Przybylski from Oakland, Ca
Purchased to watch the bees in the back yard, and as 'opera glasses' for Shakespeare plays from the back of the Elizabethan theater at the Shakespeare festival in Oregon. They're easier to adjust and handle than our 8x40 roof prism binoculars. They're sharp and clear. The price was among the best around. I feel that only experts in the field can issue 5-star ratings, but DO feel comfortable as a non-expert rating this product 4-star.
6.5x Power Close Focus Fun!
DB from Central Florida
The best word to describe these binos is Fun! I own other sized binos from Pentax, Nikon, and Celestron. I would recommend these as a second pair of binos, or for kids. The build and optical quality for the price surprised me. I've used them for seeing the tiny display of my stereo from across the room, looking at a flock of herons standing near water, spiders and spiderwebs, tiny dime sized frogs just a little more than arms length away, checking my shoes and clothing for ticks, and concert viewing. They are a delight. The 6.5x mag is great for concerts, and steady prolonged use or one hand holding. The twist up eye cups and supplied case are nice. The supplied strap is basic but adequate for these binos. The only shortcoming is the level of optics coatings. It would be nice if they were also available at a higher price point with fully multi-coated optics. Under some conditions, you may see reflections and ghost images. One example would be while looking at the moon (although no one would buy these for astronomical use, I had to test them out in many ways before writing a review).
mary ellen k. from Arizona,USA
I am very happy w/ my purchase of these & thank all the reviewers, who know so much more than I do about binos, for their excellent reviews. My only diss is that Papillio case is not nice.
Pentax Papilio 6.5 x 41 Bino
Steve F. from Santa Fe, NM
I purchased this as a gift for my partner; we're going to spend two months in Euriope this winter (Rome and Lisbon) and we plan to do our share of both inside sightseeing (Sistine Chapel) and outside hiking (Pompeii, etc.) On our first use here in Santa Fe, it has been clear that they will meet both purposes ideally. Plus, there's a carrying case that fastens securely to a belt. We'll even be able to use them at the Santa Fe Opera this summer. As they say, "don't leave home without them."
Best bino's for kids and adults too
Sally A. from Piedmont , Ca
I bought these for myself to look at wild flowers, ....and then bought two pairs for my grandsons to look at Everything, but also birding....They are The BEST for kids...because of the close focus . They are now my travel bino's for casual birding...looking at cathedral ceilings...and checking out everything else nearby....I also take them to museums...to check out jewelry, and miniature paintings, etc...They are GREAT!
Pentax Papilios open up the world of butterflies and bugs
Donna from Virginia
These great little bins open up the wonders of the macro world. They are worth every penny. No more backing up for butterflies!
Wow! Pentax Papilio is GREAT!
Hv from Warren MN
I've been using Zeiss 7x42s for birding and Bushnell Custom Compacts for watching butterflies and feeder birds. I've gotten tired of back-pedaling when the birds and insects get too close. I was skeptical, but I decided to give the Pentax Papilio a try. When I took them out of the box, I didn't expect much. The Pentax Papilio looked kinda like a lightweight kids' toy - but when I brought them to my eyes, I changed my mind: Wow! Crisp, clear and bright; compact - but not too small; great close-focusing. Great value - regardless of price.
Pentax Papilio - great for bugs, mosses, and plants
Joe from Washington, DC
I purchased these binoculars for bryophyte and insect study - they are excellent for field identification when one doesn't want to collect a plant or bug specimen for scrutiny with a hand lens. They also were useful when I visited the U.S. Botanical Garden - where specimen taking is strongly discouraged! It was easy to identify leaf and flower structures without having to disturb the plant.
I strongly prefer the 6.5 power to 8.5x (I already owned the latter, but the image was too dark to use in shaded areas). I use a larger glass for birding but these are easy to carry in a fanny pack or clipped to a belt.
Nice clear bino
JIM from bakersfield, ca
I have been very pleased with these low power binos. They are great for close focusing objects and seem to me to be very optically clear. Only downside to me is their size, which is a little too big to be called "pocket-sized" and not being waterproof. Otherwise would be 5 star.
good prices, good service
Laurie from Woodland, CA
Eagle Optics was recommended to me for good prices, good service and no shipping fees. My experience confirmed these attributes! I purchased the Pentax Papilio 6.5X21 binocular. It works wonderfully for spying on bees, and other insects, as they find nectar and pollen in their business of pollination. This tool has opened up another whole world to me.
Compact and Bright
Bill from Yonkers, N.Y. 10703
I bought the Papilio 6.5x21,as it is named, to study butterflies, and other insects.
What I discovered however is how to look at nature in a whole new,and exciting way: dew on a bud; veins of a leaf; a blade of grass; water on a stone; etc.,etc.,etc..
Recently,while birding,I took both my 8X42, and my Papilio, discovering the latter has a brighter image.
Up close and impressive! Love it!
Ed from Minnesota
Super close focus for window feeder birds, insects and such. Nothing like it.
Very comfortable and feather-light at 10.1 oz. Silky smooth covering.
Butter-smooth focus wheel (3+ rotations lock-to-lock, but the small diameter wheel makes for quick spinning).
None yet, although the lack of waterproofing does give one pause.
I think 8x might have been more useful - should have bought both and compared them. I have not used it enough for more traitional birding so cannot comment on longer distance use - have other bins for that.
The most interesting and easy to use binocular I have used. An instant favorite! I'll say that again An instant favorite. Wanted that very close focus and I got it. Art museum use seems like a natural but have not had the opportunity to try that. I may acquire the 8x size too.
George from Charlottesville, VA
Recommended by a friend for small size, I am amazed by the quality of the image. Excellent clarity, easy adjustments and superb optics. Close focus is outstanding, great for insects, spiderwebs, nests, mosses, etc. Overall, very pleased with this product in price, performance and initial quality.
Stanley from Twinsburg, Ohio
The Pentax 6X is the one I give as wedding presents to naturalists and naturaliists, who cannot afford more expensive binoculars. Though not waterproof, dragonflies and butterflies tend to shy away from rainy days... so, the binoculars work just fine.
Their light gathering ability makes them equal to higher powered binoculars, in darkened areas, such as forest glades, where warblers nest.
I love this binocular
John from new york, new york
This must be the best binocular available in this price range - crisp, clear, very light, and fast focusing. The 6.5 is perfect for viewing feeders thru window glass. I don't look at butter or dragonflies, but the close focus is so great, I may buy a field guide and do a little "insecting" this summer after the bird migration winds down. Very highly recommended. This would be a great, small, piece to keep in your purse or glove compartment, too.
Pentax Papilio 6.5@21 Binocular
J. Thompson from Lamar, Colorado
My recently purchased Pentax Papilio 6.5X21 are the perfect binoculars for the close-up viewing of the wildflowers and insects that I study. The easy moving focusing ring with eye pieces that lock are other features I particularly like, as well as the close-up distance of about 1.5 feet. Since my collecting requires other often cumbersome equipment, having an especially lightweight pair of binoculars that can also be used for close-range birding if need be, really sold me on the Papilios. Very well-worth the money for my purposes. Thank you.
Glen from Salt Lake City, Utah
My wife had eye surgery before a trip to Florence and Venice this month and was afraid that she would not be able to experience the art of Italy because of poor vision.
I bought her a pair of the Papilios in 6.5x.
I don't know how many times during the trip she told me, "This is the best thing you could have bought me."
The Papilioss let us study artwork not only high above the domes of old churches like the Duomo, but the close focus (less than two feet)let us use the binoculars as magnifiers to study the details in dimly lit paintings, sculptures and frescoes from behind barriers.
We are also birders, so these are great for her to keep with her all the time. (Obviously, superb opera glasses too.)
Fablulous up close views
Dawn Z. from Rootstown, OH
I recently purchased Pentax's Papilio 6.5x21 binos for butterfly watching. These are so much more than that. I am able to see tiny spiders on flowers, intricate details on plants, insects etc. Then if a bird catches my eye I can still focus far enough to enjoy them as well. My sister recently visited me and now she wants to buy my pair as I said I was going to buy the 8.5x21 as well. Pentax binos are always high quality at a good price. I own four different pair now and have never been dissatisfied. Plus with their great warranty they are an even better value. These Papilios are a great addition to view the natural world.
6.5x21 papilio binoculars
Dave Paddison from Whitby, Ontario, Canada.
I recently purchased a pair of 6.5 x21 Papilio binoculars. I have owned over 35 pairs of binoculars in the last fifteen years so I've had lots to compare these to. I've owned many excellent pairs over the years. Zeiss 8x32 FLT's, Nikon 8x32 superiors, and many others all with excellent optics and physical attributes but never have I owned a pair as versatile AND optically excellent as these. The ability to go from eighteen inches to infinity in only two or three short turns of the wheel(which is very smooth and precise) make these a perfect daytime binocular. They're light weight, nicely shaped with a soft rubber coating, making them a joy to handle for someone with average sized (like myself)or small hands. Optically they are superb for their size. Sharp images with a very smooth focuser that snaps to focus. The image is very flat across most of the field with straight objects only slightly bending at the edge of the field (which is a generous 393'@ 1000yds)As hard as I tried I couldn't see any CA on a crow against a bright sky. If it was there it was very very minor but I couldn't see it. Also they have a very nice depth of field that gives the image a nice 3D effect. It doesn't matter wether your interest is bugs and butterflies, birding, plane watching etc, you'll want these to be with you all the time. The only weakness they have IMO is in real low light conditions but that goes without saying with the objectives being only 21mm, but the fun you'll have more than compensates. For the price I paid ($134 CDN)these are an optical steal. So much so I bought a pair for my wife. Everyone should own a pair. These are just really fun to use. You owe it to yourself to check them out.
works as advertised
Charles Fletcher from NE Ohio
The interocular distance is almost impossible to get right leaving the viewer with a double image. Fine focus at longer distance is poor. However, this is a good trade-off for their primary task. It's like wearing a binocular microscope. From a few feet away, you see details without having to touch or control the target. Great for butterfly, dragonfly, or other insect viewing. Good quality reasonably priced.
dave from novato, CA
These binoculars will put a whole new perspective on how you see things. It's like the first time you look at that distant bird through a quality spotting scope; but backwards. Have them strapped on your belt when the birding slows down in mid afternoon. To see a bumblebee on a flower from two feet at six power is just too awesome!!
Should be rated higher
Donald Recklies from Brooklyn, NY
I was compelled to write this review after noting the less than 5 stars ratings others have given, and will make only three additions to the other reviews: 1) the value for price is excellent 2) the fact that these binoculars self-adjust for parallax on close focusing cannot be over-rated 3) the close focus is suffient to enable them to be used as a low-power binocular hand lens! In the field they become a jack-of-all-trades capable of checking out birds in the brush as well as blossoms and insects in the hand.
Nice for butterflies and birds
Robert Garriock from San Francisco, CA
These binoculars are great. They are lightweight and easy to carry. These traveled along on many hikes when I lived in Arizona. The optics are sharp and bright. If they were fully weatherproof these binoculars would deserve the highest rating. Because of the fog and drizzle in San Francisco where I live now I tend to keep these at home and don't give them the use they deserve.
Microscope on the go
Shawn Davis from Dallas, Texas
I recently purchased a pair of the Pentax Papilio binoculars sold by Eagle Optics. WOW! they are great. They are particularly good for looking at the fine details of VERY close objects such as butterflies, beetles and other insects. They are also great for checking out spiders and bees sitting on wildflowers. Pentax says they focus down to 18 inches and BOY do they ever. They do great for birding in the woods as well although for shore birds and other waterfowl I would recommend a full size pair of binoculars. I love my Papilio's and would highly recommend them to any nature lover.
Easy to carry - and see - near and far
Jay Piper from southern Nevada
The lightweight 6.5 and 8.5 power, 21mm Papilios use an internal focusing system that converges the objective (front) lenses to give a good image as close as 1.6 feet. That is close enough to see the details of a bee's pollen combs and antennae, or the lacework of a dragonfly's wings. At close distances the magnification gets a boost from the internal focusing and the 6.5x21 covers an area about the size of a postage stamp. This close focusing is the novelty that really sets the Papilios apart even from some small roof or reverse Porro binoculars that can get as close as 3-5 feet. The Papilios can even be used as a stereo microscope with the good built-in tripod socket.
The views at middle and long range do not disappoint. I watch backyard mockingbrids, finches, quail and the occasional roadrunner and red racer snake or lizard in sun or shade from back porch. These are light for dayhikes, and also do a good job looking into shadowed areas beside washes or up at petroglyphs on rock walls. They cleaned up fine after a cold and windy whale-watching trip with occasional spray wiped with a sweatshirt sleeve (they are not water proof!) and they gave better views than an inexpensive 7x35 Porro also used on that vacation. At night they give passable views of the moon.
If you are considering compact binoculars be sure to give the Papilios a look. I chose the 6.5x because I wanted the plus side of 3mm exit pupil, and their brightness proved fine for shared family use. If budget allows I'd buy a second pair, another 6.5 or perhaps the 8.5 if budget allowed, because they are so well suited to family hikes and nature observation.
- smooth, precise focusing action
- click stop eyecups and diopter stay put
- good surface material, comfortable to grip
- pleasing views near & far, 'macro' to moonrise
- built in tripod socket works well
- clear daytime views even into shaded areas
- 'standard' ~ 50° apparent field of view has sharp field stop, little drop-off at edges
- eye lenses are not multicoated(?) and have reflections when the sun is at your side (cup a hand between the small binos and your sunward temple to solve this); this is the most noticable distraction or fault.
- internal ghosts seen are when observing bright moon, moon is free from ghosts and sharp when placed just off-axis.
- eye placement is comfortable once set -- but IPD and eyecups need to be set 'just right' with that 3mm exit pupil and that takes a moment switching between each family member.
My basis for comparison, and saying that the Papilio views are fine, are a few older 6x to 12x Porros and recent Bushnell and Minolta 8x42 roof and 50mm Porros.
Paula from Big Sandy, TEXAS
Ultra quick to focus. Sharp and clear optics. I've actually enjoyed birding with these, because one minute I could follow a swooping Kestrel and the next I could get in close to see that the dragonfly I always took for granted actually sports an amazing blue line down its body that the naked eye misses. I love this instrument, and it's light enough to wear on your belt. That way you can have your main binos for hawking and still manage to study some ants if you want.