For beginning bird-watchers, the Pentax DCF NV 8x36 binoculars are a good choice that won't break the bank. The binoculars have a 342-foot field of view, 4.5 mm exit pupil and 16 mm eye relief, which is good for those who wear glasses. The polycarbonate body is fogproof and waterproof, and the lenses are fully multi-coated. Overall, reviewers say the Pentax DCF NV 8x36 are a great value. The binoculars are comfortable to hold while still having a durable design that survives being dropped. Testers, including those who wear glasses, don't encounter any eyestrain while using the Pentax binoculars, and image resolution is very good. Of course, the Pentax DCF NV 8x36 can't match the optical quality of more expensive binoculars, and one reviewer notes some color distortion around the edges of the image. If you're serious about bird-watching, the Zeiss Victory T* FL 8x42 (*Est. $1,950) are picked as the best birding binoculars overall.
Outside magazine reviews the Pentax DCF NV 8x36 in its latest buyer's guide. After testing the best new binoculars, Outside's editors narrow the field to four, including the Pentax binoculars. The models aren't rated and the analysis is brief, but the review is appropriately balanced. Outdoor Life tests the 10x36 version.
The Pentax DCF NV binoculars score a Killer Value award from Outside magazine. High points include a tough, durable exterior, waterproofing and generous eye relief. Optical quality is also good, with "great image contrast."
Review: Pentax DCF NV, Ryan Krogh, Summer 2010
2. Outdoor Life
Outdoor Life magazine gives the 10x36 version of the Pentax DCF NV binoculars a Great Buy award. Optical quality and resolution are very good -- editors praise the "bright, crisp" images -- and the durable design is another plus. However, they note a little color distortion toward the edge of the image.
Review: Pentax DCF NV 10x36, Editors of Outdoor Life, May 14, 2009