Impressions of the Pentax ZD 8×43 D binoculars

I got a review of the Pentax ZD 8×43 ED binoculars. I have long wanted to get to know the Pentax Z-series binoculars more closely – I express my deep gratitude to Pentax Russia, who kindly provided me with binoculars for testing. The release of binoculars in this series began in January 2015.

Pentax ZD 8x43 WP
Pentax ZD 8×43 ED

Pentax ZD 8×43 ED uses the most advanced technologies that improve image quality and ease of use in binoculars with Schmidt-Pehan prisms:
– Four-lens lens with ED glass.
-Prisms BK4
– Multi-layer coating of all optical elements to reduce light loss and glare from optical elements.
– Improved coating with the same transmittance for different wavelengths provides a vivid picture without distortion of color reproduction.
– Phase coating (to reduce X-shaped rays around bright point sources and improving contrast) .
– Dielectric coating of prisms (provides a brighter picture with accurate color reproduction compared to aluminum and silver coatings) .
– Hybrid aspheric lens (improves image quality across the field) .
– Hydrophobic coating of lenses (droplets roll better from the lens, reducing fogging from breathing) .
– Moisture protection (binoculars can withstand short-term immersion of 1 meter in water, JIS Grade 6) .
– Nitrogen filling (excludes fogging of the binoculars from the inside) .
– Magnesium case with rubber protection
– Long eye relief (able to observe with glasses).

Interesting?

Specifications
Type Focused binoculars with prism roof
Lens scheme 4 elements in 3 groups
Eyepiece scheme 3 elements in 2 groups
Magnification 8x
Aperture 43 mm
Fov from 1000 meters 110 m
Exit pupil 5.4 mm
Eye relief 22 mm
Relative brightness (aperture) 29
Diopter adjustment range -/+ 3 D
Focus Range (Shortest) From 2 meters to infinity
Eyecups Retractable ocular rings with fixation
Height 52 mm
Width 146 mm
Depth 126 mm
The weight 695 g
Waterproof Waterproof when immersed to a depth of 1 m (protection class JIS 6, not suitable for use under water), nitrogen-filled housing to prevent fogging of the lenses
Accessories Tripod adapter N (art. 69553)
Prism coating BaK4 with phase correction
Lens coating FMC, water repellent on the lens and eyepiece
Field of view 6.3°
Minimum Focus Distance 2.0 m
Twilight factor 18.5
interpupillary distance От 58 до 74 mm

I received the parcel from the courier and immediately began to unpack. I got the binoculars in the minimum configuration – only a bag and front covers. Taking the binoculars in my hands and just looking into it, I realized that something was strange. I was used to immediately notice the distortions and imperfections in the binoculars, but this time I could not believe my eyes – a sharp, bright, juicy and contrasting picture almost across the entire field. Yes!

The binoculars are compact but massive – length 15 cm, width 12.5, height about 6 cm, and weight 720 g. It is convenient and pleasant to hold in hands. The case is rubberized with rough rubber.

Pentax ZD 8x43 ED
Pentax ZD 8×43 ED
Сумка
Bag

The measured lens diameter was 42.8 mm. Lens flare from lenses of lilac and green of low intensity. A careful inspection with a flashlight showed that all surfaces are coated. Everything is clean inside – not a hint of dust, dirt, prints or stains. Lens caps hold securely and do not interfere with binoculars when removed.

Pentax ZD 8x43 ED, объективы.
Pentax ZD 8×43 ED, lens.

Eye lenses are large, 21.7 mm in diameter. Coating is also green. Eye relief is large, 19.5 mm from the twisted eyecup and 13 mm from the twisted one – you can watch with glasses without any problems. The measured field of view of the eyepieces was 49 degrees (+- 1 degree). The exit pupil is round.

Окуляры
Eyepieces

The eyecups have 4 positions, locking with clicks.

Наглазники
Eyecups

Inspection on the backlight showed very good blackening. The tubes inside slightly glare.

Вид со стороны объектива
View from lens
Вид со стороны окуляров
View from eyepiece

Binoculars to the light “warm” image.

Pentax ZD 8x43 ED на просвет.
Pentax ZD 8×43 ED backlight test.

The focusing drum is smooth, a little tight, does not spin under the finger by itself. Rubberized, with grooves. The focusing mechanism for the right eye has a fixation – for the first time I see this with binoculars. Very convenient – just move the focus ring. The binoculars can be mounted on a tripod through the adapter. There is a stub in front between the halves.

Гнездо под штатив.
Tripod socket.

The test on ground objects showed that the picture is sharp throughout almost the entire field. The edge of the diaphragm is sharp and even, no extraneous glare. There is a slight curvature of the field (approximately 0.5 diopters) and slight distortion. On the axis, the chromatism of the position is absent, a little further than the center, the chromatism of increase becomes noticeable, but not as much as in budget binoculars. Below is a picture through binoculars – you can evaluate the quality of the picture in the field. The general impression is that you look with your eyes, only you can see closer.

The night test showed from the stars that the field of view of the binoculars is approximately 6.2 … 6.3 degrees. Almost all over the field of view, the stars are point-like, closer to the edge they go into a slight defocus. Astigmatism is low. The collimation is excellent, the eyes do not get tired during observations.

Summary:
+ excellent mechanics
+ excellent optics
+ very good blacking
+ high image brightness
+ effective coating
+ compact and sturdy case

Disadvantages? Rather, a wish – I would like more wide-angle eyepieces (60-65 degrees). There is also a color distortion – binoculars “warm” the image. However, this would result in a corresponding increase in price. Is the price justified? I found out the price after testing. At first it seemed to me overpriced, but a direct comparison with the Nikon Sporter EX 8×42 binoculars that seemed to me quite good showed the imperfection of a particular Nikon model, as well as Pentax’s unconditional victory in brightness, image quality and anti-glare protection. To make a four-lens apochromat with first-class coating, a dielectric coating of prisms, aspherical eyepieces, a corrected field and elegant mechanics is worth a lot. In fact, this is not binoculars, but a high-quality continuation of the eyes.  If someone can afford such binoculars, I can only be happy for him. I recommend!

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