Pentax Papilio II Close Focus 8.5×21 Binoculars

(4 customer reviews)



These are, hands down, my favorite binoculars, and I wear them on every nature adventure. They work great on distant birds with a bright, clear image but also can focus on insects or flowers that are only 18 inches away. You can actually watch ants tending aphids or see the tongues of bees as they feed at flowers. This close-focus ability is something that most binoculars cannot do, and it opens up a whole new world. These binoculars are also lightweight (only 11oz!) so you can bring them backpacking or anywhere you go. I like them for field sketching because they are light enough to hold in one hand (elbow braced on my knee) as I draw with my other. They are also a great size for children and easy for them to hold and use.

Check out this short video where I teach you how to customize these binoculars for your eyes and how to use them in the field. 

  • Ideally suited for viewing birds and other distant objects and insects, artwork, or any other object at close ranges
  • C.L.O.S.E. (Convergent Lens Optical System Engineering) allows them to focus down to 1.6 feet
  • Tough rubber covered exterior provides a sure grip and protects the internal mechanisms
  • Fully-multi-coated optics assure maximum light transmission resulting in high quality viewing. Every surface of every element is fully coated minimizing internal glare and flare and giving a bright clear view.
  • Unique Uni-body design enhances durability by locking objective lenses in a single housing and synchronizing the eyepiece movement. This minimizes moving parts and assures these binoculars will function properly and clearly for years to come.
  • Aspherical lens elements, which are critical in compact binoculars, provide exceptional edge-to-edge sharpness. This assures that items on the edge of your field of view are just as sharp as those in the center.
  • Includes case, strap, and eyepiece protectors.
  • They are small, lightweight (only 11 oz!), and fit well into the hands of children as well as adults. These are an excellent first pair of binocs for yourself or your child.

Additional information

Weight40 oz
Dimensions6.2 × 3.8 × 6.5 in

4 reviews for Pentax Papilio II Close Focus 8.5×21 Binoculars

  1. Pearl DeCew (verified owner)

    They work! I could not turn them around because experience said, you look through binoculors from one side only. Unbelievable, these are working for very close to far away against my logic. Too cool.
    Thanks for the personal phone call about my first review. I appreciate your business sense. These are a 5 star product!

  2. Robb

    Why these over the lower power version? Many birders say 6 or 7x is ideal. Is the higher power a benefit to nature journalists?

    • John Muir Laws

      I find the 6.5x just don’t get me close enough. The 8.5’s have good light-gathering, field of view, and are not shakey because they are lightweight. I tried the others and just did not like them. I recommend these for birders, naturalists, and nature journalers.

  3. Sue Jorgenson (verified owner)

    After 20 years of using big, heavy binoculars in birding, I was more than ready for smaller ones for nature journaling, butterflying and other up-close items. When I saw the Pentax Papilio II information on this website, I thought about it and I figured Jack knows what he’s talking about, right? So I took the plunge. You guys! I LOVE THEM. I’m thrilled with how close up I can get, the distance, the clarity, the ease of handling and the weight (my not so young neck is thanking me for that). They are about the size of my hands, and come with a strap and a case that can be threaded onto a belt. Adjustment comes easily and I can do that holding them with one hand and one finger doing the rooftop adjusting. I can even use them with my eyeglasses, which shocks and amazes me, as I’m so used to whipping my glasses off and bringing the big binocs up to see as fast as I can. I took them out for a test drive the day after I got them and came home beyond happy. So yes, I really recommend them. Go for it!

  4. Valerie

    Are the binoculars IS as I hve a bit of a tremor these days.

    • John Muir Laws

      no, they do not have stabilization. They are lightweight and that makes them easier to hold steady.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *