Pentax Papilio 8.5×21 Binoculars Review

Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 BinocularsBinoculars are the go to solution for getting closer to nature, and opening your eyes to incredible sights that our world has to offer.

Able to take in breath taking views, bring far off points into focus and track animals on long hunts, binoculars are becoming indispensable bits of equipment.

But what if you just want to get closer to the smaller things in life, such as plants, local birds and insects? Buying binocular that’s designed to conquer mountain ranges isn’t going to be much good for that…

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Enter the Pentax PTX62216 8.5x21mm Papilio Binoculars, specifically designed with viewing insects and local birds in mind.

With a multitude of features optimised for this very purpose, in particular the lightweight build and short focus distance, these binoculars are perfect for taking in the butterflies in your garden.

Pentax Papilio Binoculars Video Review – Watch Below



With a budget price tag and out of the box functionality, these binoculars are the ideal addition to anyone’s collection.

Throughout this review we look at the quality, positives and negatives that come with your new binoculars. Spoiler alert, they are awesome.

Pentax Papilio Binoculars Specifications

Pentax Papilio 6.5x21Pentax Papilio 8.5x21



Eye Relief

15 mm15 mm

Field of View

393 ft/1000 yds315 ft/1000 yds

Close Focus

1.6 ft1.6 ft


Fully Multi-coated LensesFully Multi-coated Lenses


10.2 oz10.2 oz


4.5 x 4.34.6 x 4.3


Main Usage For The Pentax Papilio PTX62216 8.5×21  Binoculars

Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 BinocularsThe Papilio binoculars from Pentax have earned themselves the nickname of ‘The Butterfly Binoculars’.

So no prizes for guessing what their main function is. That’s right, you’re correct they were designed for getting up close and personal with the smaller aspects of nature.

With a minimum focus distance of just 18 inches, these are more of a portable microscope than a pair of binoculars.

With such a small focusing distance and a narrow 21mm objective lens, you could look at an insect thats landed on your person with the upmost clarity.

Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 BinocularsBecause of the level of magnification however, these binoculars are also great for getting nearer to avian life, as you’re able to trace their flight with ease and follow them back to their nests.

Where these compact binoculars carry a small price tag, they have big potential. As they can only really be used for close observations, they are an ideal addition to your binocular collection, rather than being your only pair.

They way next to nothing, at less than 300g, so you’ll hardly notice them in your backpack.

Shipped with a range of accessories, these binoculars are as close to a must buy as you are going to get.

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Pentax have equipped their Papilio binoculars with fully multicoated optics with BaK-4 reverse prisms.

Due to being purpose designed for short distance observations, there is no need for phase correcting prisms, therefore more attention can be paid to the else.

With full anti-reflective coatings preventing unwanted light overloads, these binoculars guarantee a quality, well lit image at an excellent resolution.


The Papilio binoculars offer an 8.5x magnification over a 21mm objective lens.

It’s the narrow objective lens that gives them the title of the pocket microscope, with a narrow field of view designed for honing in on one point of interest rather than a wide scene.Pentax-PTX62216-8.5x21mm-Papilio-Binoculars05

The 8.5x magnification is the perfect middle ground for viewing both insects and tracking birds in flight back to their nests.

Image Quality

Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 BinocularsThe close range image quality of these is really without compare. It’s not an understatement to say that they are a pocket sized microscope.

Because of the minuscule minimum focus distance, there is no need for any phase correcting prisms here, which left Pentax with a bigger budget to spend on the quality of the lens.

Because of this, the detail displayed through these binoculars is second to none, and from as little as 18” from your target thats not mean feat.

Furthermore, unlike other close range binoculars, there’s not image overlapping with each lens, ensuring the best viewing experience possible.


Eye Relief

Pentax have considered the glasses wearing binocular enthusiasts with this set.

Equipped with 15mm of eye relief, there’s just enough room for you and your specs to enjoy getting closer to insect and bird life.

With twist up eyecups, comfort and ease of use is also a guarantee, making these binoculars a joy to behold.


Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 BinocularsWhen it comes down to it, I’ve yet to come across a pair of binoculars that handle up close and personal viewing as well as this pair from Pentax.

With such a short minimum focusing distance, you could watch a butterfly that’s landed on your hand without any image blurring or overlapping of the lenses.

Clarity is spot on, making these binoculars more of a pocket sized microscope than anything else.


One area where these binoculars do become slightly undone, is that Pentax didn’t account for wet weather conditions.

Where they do come with a rain guard, it’s effectiveness is up for debate, and it can be a lot to carry around on top of the binocs.

By simply adding some sealant these could have been the perfect British summertime companion, but instead, they need to be stored away for the inevitable sporadic downpours.



To sum this review up, if insect or bird watching from a small distance is your game, then by all means proceed to check out.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better pair of binoculars in a similar price range with the same functionality.Pentax PTX62216 8.5x21mm Papilio Binoculars

Yes, where they are let you down by a lack of weatherproofing, they make it up to you with their lightweight build and unbelievable image quality.

They are definitely a niche product, so if you’re looking for a multipurpose set of binoculars, you need to track down something with a wider objective lens and larger focus range.

These are a must have no just for the insect enthusiast, but for anyone looking to get that much closer to the immediate outdoors.

Pentax 8.5x21mm Papilio Binoculars Review Binocs
Pentax 8.5x21mm Papilio Binoculars Review
Perfect for viewing insects and birds!
Bird Watching
Outdoor Sports
Wildlife Observation
Marine Use
The 8.5x magnification is the perfect middle ground for viewing both insects and tracking birds in flight back to their nests.