Goodbye to Best Ever Binoculars

   10.12.16

Goodbye to Best Ever Binoculars

Why is it that it seems every time I find a really good product that works well, lasts a long time, and is near perfect, the manufacturer quits making it? This happened to me again several years ago when Pentax quit making a pair of binoculars that I loved. These were a unique pair of big, center focus, rubberized, 9×63 glass.

At least in this one case I had the forethought to shop around to buy a backup pair. I found a brand new one via a national gun publication for selling shooting and hunting equipment. This binocular was new in the box sitting on the shelf at a dealer in Colorado. The price was right so I did not hesitate to obtain it. I am glad I did.

And it was none too soon either, because on a Colorado elk hunt I dropped the binoculars on a big rock boulder and broke the eyepiece off on the first pair I owned. I returned the binoculars to Pentax for a repair, but they were not returned. Pentax elected to replace them with a top of the line pair because the 9x63s were no longer in production. The new ones were simply not the same.

On that elk hunt, when I came out to meet the guide wearing those binoculars around my neck, he just laughed. “Are you going to tote those things all day?” I replied in kind, “Yep, wait and see.” Admittedly these were pretty big and heavy binoculars, but the magnification and clarity of this glass made them well worth it many times over.

During the hunt we were glassing elk bulls a far distance off. I was calling out the number of antler points that the guide could never see with his little pair of compact cheapies. He asked to see my glass. It took me nearly two hours to get them back from him. He went on and on about the quality of the view and the power. Yep.

So, even though I still am using the backup pair, I would love to have another one. There is nothing on the market today like them at an affordable price. I use them every year for deer hunting without any regrets for the weight. With a neoprene Vero Vellini neck strap they carry fine. There will never be another binocular like the 9×63 Pentax.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 1804571734

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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