Pentax has revealed a revolutionary optical design – a pair of binoculars that you can take apart to create a telescope. And is if that weren't enough of a party trick, by splitting the binoculars in two - you can also opt to use them as a pair of monoculars (ideal for when you observe a bird, plane or planet that you want your companion to also see).
Pentax VD 4x20 WP is what Ricoh are claiming as the world's first "three-in-one" binocular product. Choosing the best binoculars (opens in new tab) has always been a difficult task of balancing the needs of magnification and portability. But with this innovative design you get the extra magnification when you need it with the 16x telescope – and can make the device more portable by simply just taking one 4x monocular with you.(opens in new tab)
The binoculars offer 4x magnification with a 20mm objective lens diameter - offering a relatively bright exit pupil brightness for use in most conditions. They offer a field of view of 175m at 1000m (525ft at 1000 yards). The minimum focus is 1.5m (4.9ft). The monoculars each offer the same optical characteristics, but without the stereo vision and an improved minimum focus of 0.5m (19.6in).
Used as a telescope, the field of view becomes 45m at 1000m (135ft at 1000 yards). The combined unit weighs in at 345g (12.9oz) and has a waterproof, washable construction with a rubberized grip. The neckstrap converts to two independent wriststraps when using the binoculars as monoculars.
The Pentax VD 4x20 WP three-in-one binoculars will go on sale from 4 September with a recommended retail price of $249 / £299.99.
• The best binoculars (opens in new tab)
• The best telescopes for astrophotography (opens in new tab)
• The best microscopes (opens in new tab) in 2020
• The best monoculars (opens in new tab) in 2020
• The best spotting scopes (opens in new tab)
• The best opera glasses (opens in new tab)
• The best night vision goggles and binoculars (opens in new tab)