Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 17 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Tuesday 24th February 2009, 15:40   #1
hillse1
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 20
Pentax 65 ED II? Nikon Fieldscope 60mm ED III?

I have been searching for some time now for the perfect scope for me. It will be used primarly for hunting and yes, I know this is a "bird forum". But I have found that you "birders" and "sky watchers" are some of the most knowledgable people about optics you can find. My question is about the Pentax Xf zoom eyepiece that usually comes with it. I have read some negative reviews on here about it and most people say to buy a fixed xw. But I prefer a zoom and maybe later buying an XW14. Should I upgrade to the SMC Zoom? Is it worth the extra $? I am still looking at the 60mm Nikon Fieldscope ED III also and any comments on that scope would be greatly appreciated also! Thanks. Eric
hillse1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 24th February 2009, 15:47   #2
hillse1
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 20
What about this eyepiece?

"WILLIAM OPTICS HIGH QUALITY ZOOM EYEPIECE 22.5 - 7.5MM NEW ITEM AVAIL APRIL-MAY 2009 WE-ZOOM-2"

https://www.scopecity.com/detail.cfm...ZOOM-2&sc=&tc=
hillse1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 24th February 2009, 22:26   #3
RJM
Don't Worry, Be Happy!
 
RJM's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 2,455
I've owned both scopes.

The XF zoom is OK in the Pentax 65ED, but the Vixen 8-24 works better and with better eyerelief. I found the the optics to be good, but not exceptional, even with the 14XW.

The Nikon has good very good optics but is heavy/expensive for its aperture, suffers from poor balance, and has a lame screw-on eyepiece system (only important if you change eyepieces). The MCII zoom is good but is like looking through a straw compared to the beautiful widefield of the fixed MC widefields.

If you want the best optics package, I recommend the Kowa TSN 663 over either the Pentax or Nikon.

cheers,
Rick
RJM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th February 2009, 05:51   #4
hillse1
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 20
One Response?

Thanks for the input RJM! I appreciate it. But, really only one response?!? Is it because I am not a birder? I hope not.
hillse1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th February 2009, 10:14   #5
mooreorless
Registered User
 
mooreorless's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntingdon,Pa.
Posts: 3,408
Hello, Are you looking at 60/65 because of weight? If not consider the Nikon 82ED Fieldscope. You can get the Pentax 65 PF II for $749 shipped with the zoom eyepiece and $529 without the eyepiece shipped from a well know dealer with 30 day return. There is a lot of information here if you don't mind reading.
Regards,Steve
mooreorless is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th February 2009, 19:39   #6
hillse1
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 20
yes, because of weight. I pack my scope waaaaaaaaaaay into the backcountry with me so I figured I would go with the 65mm, only maybe with the SMC XW zoom instead of the XL zoom. Then maybe later I would purchase a fized piece like the XW14?
hillse1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th February 2009, 22:43   #7
RJM
Don't Worry, Be Happy!
 
RJM's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 2,455
There is no XW series zoom. The original pre-XL series SMC 8mm-24mm zoom is huge, about the size of a soda can and weighs more than a pound. It will look silly on the tiny 65 while giving a mag range of 16-48x. I don't think it is parfocal and requires refocusing through out the zoom range. It was discontinued years ago but can still be found I guess. Grossly overpriced given it is optically about the same as the smaller/cheaper zooms from Vixen and Tele Vue.

The SMC XF 20-60x (fl=6.5-19.5mm) zoom was made for the PF65ED. It is relatively small, light, and parfocal. Eyerelief can be tight too. But 60x is too much mag for this scope, the optics just break down. I prefered the Vixen 8-24 zoom. If you want click-stops, get the Tele Vue.

Rick
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Pentax PF65ED 003 (640x480).jpg
Views:	255
Size:	88.4 KB
ID:	183807  
RJM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th February 2009, 02:19   #8
hillse1
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 20
sorry, this is the one I was referring to

http://www.eagleoptics.com/spotting-...-zoom-eyepiece
hillse1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th February 2009, 02:39   #9
RJM
Don't Worry, Be Happy!
 
RJM's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 2,455
So was I.
RJM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th February 2009, 03:03   #10
hillse1
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 20
damnit, I may have screwed up then. I ordered the Pentax 65 PF ED II this morning with SMC zoom from Eagle Optics. Maybe I should have just got the XF zoom? Actually, the sales guy kinda of talked me in to the SMC zoom. Am I screwed?
hillse1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th February 2009, 10:11   #11
mooreorless
Registered User
 
mooreorless's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntingdon,Pa.
Posts: 3,408
Eagle Optics has 30 return policy, no problem. 19oz. is a heavy eyepiece.It does have longer ER than the XF eyepiece.
Regards,Steve
mooreorless is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 28th February 2009, 00:36   #12
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,365
RJM's comments have me a bit perplexed. I could have sworn I saw the larger Pentax SMC zoom listed as an "XW zoom" meaning it has similar quality optical elements to that of the regular fixed power XW series of eyepieces. Maybe I was reading something into product descriptions at some point.

I do know that I have read Henry's comments about the Pentax SMC zoom in comparison to the Swaro/Leica/Zeiss counterparts and, if I remember correctly, he much preferred the others to the Pentax. Still for $400 I would expect the eyepiece to be stellar. The fixed XWs are in my opinion but I would agree that I only find the little 65 ED usable to about 45-50x...tops.

I bought a very inexpensive Celestron zoom to put in the 65 ED for the rare times I might prefer a zoom. It is extremely "basic" in design but the optical quality is much better than I expected. Not as much CA as I would have thought and the brightness and sharpness are actually quite good across almost all of the zoom range.
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 28th February 2009, 03:31   #13
mooreorless
Registered User
 
mooreorless's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntingdon,Pa.
Posts: 3,408
Hi Frank, Maybe this is where you saw this about this zoom.XL
http://www.buytelescopes.com/product...tore_id=&did=3

BTW I could not respond to your PM, your private messages is full.:-)

Regards,Steve
mooreorless is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 28th February 2009, 15:33   #14
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,365
Thanks Steve. It may have been there...or possibly another site.

...and I took care of the Inbox issue.
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 28th February 2009, 16:27   #15
henry link
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: north carolina
Posts: 4,009
IMO, neither of the Pentax zooms is a very good eyepiece. They are big steps down in optical quality compared to the XW eyepieces. The XF is what I would call poor at short focal lengths, unsharp and low contrast with a huge amount of lateral color. The SMC/XL has longer eye relief and is a little better optically, with milder but similar flaws at short focal lengths. The $200 Baader Hyperion Zoom is superior to either and compares favorably to the expensive zooms from Zeiss and Swarovski (but unfortunately doesn't reach focus in the Pentax spotters). I haven't tried the Vixen/Televue or WO zooms.

Last edited by henry link : Saturday 28th February 2009 at 17:44.
henry link is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 28th February 2009, 17:45   #16
stereotruckdriver
Registered User
 
stereotruckdriver's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oregon Coast
Posts: 1,773
Henry, I would agree to part of you're comments about the XF EP. For most I believe that EP would work for a zoom? One has to keep everything in perspective, how you intend to use, what power and so on. I'am one who prefers a fixed, wide field! That being said my scope with XF is tack sharp from 20-35x. So when I'am out and don't want to tote alot of gear it fit's the bill, lightweight, compact etc... The only reason I'm looking for a fixed 20mm EP is for fov, rather than that I haven't found another EP that is as sharp at 20x than the XF on my scope. And I use XW14,10 & 7 on my scope as well... Bryce
stereotruckdriver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 28th February 2009, 17:56   #17
Kevin Conville
yardbirder
 
Kevin Conville's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: State of Chaos
Posts: 1,717
I guess I'll chime in with my thoughts, just to add to the mix...

I don't like either of the Pentax zooms which are the SMC Zoom and XF Zoom. There is no XW Zoom. I do very much like the fixed XW EPs and my buddy has an XW14 on his Pentax 65EDII and it is wonderful, really, though it yields 28x which may or may not work for you. I use an XW14 and XW20 on my ED80 with excellent results as well at 36x and 25x respectively. I can't really speak to what high power looks like through these scopes.

Regarding Rick's dislike of the way Nikon's EPs thread on, I happen to like it. The reason is I'm confident it won't come off accidentally and when tightening it one can feel the O-ring compressing so you can determine how much umphh you want to put on it. When other people use your scope and they grab the EP to focus (who hasn't this happened to), it can't pop off like some bayonet designs. I also have more confidence in the treaded design not allowing water to migrate past the mount. If you change EPs frequently, then Rick's probably right in that it will get old fast. Oh, and FWIW, I don't much like Nikon's Zoom EP either though their fixed wide EPs are great.
Kevin Conville is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 1st March 2009, 02:43   #18
hillse1
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 20
maybe I will return it, get the xw14 and shop around for a zoom, or vice versa? Probably the zoom first. But which one. For those that don't like the XF zoom, what is it lacking in particular? Also, anybody know anything about the new williams zoom? Thanks for all your input!
hillse1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 1st March 2009, 15:01   #19
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,365
Quote:
The $200 Baader Hyperion Zoom is superior to either and compares favorably to the expensive zooms from Zeiss and Swarovski (but unfortunately doesn't reach focus in the Pentax spotters). I haven't tried the Vixen/Televue or WO zooms.
Maybe I am wrong but I thought I read a thread in this forum where someone made a simple modification to the eyepiece locking "collar" in the Pentax 65 and was then able to get the Hyperion Zoom to work. Or was that another zoom?
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 1st March 2009, 17:45   #20
henry link
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: north carolina
Posts: 4,009
I think that was a WO Zoom.
henry link is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 1st March 2009, 21:35   #21
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,365
Ahh, thank you Henry.

I seem to be saying that alot lately.

FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 1st March 2009, 21:45   #22
stereotruckdriver
Registered User
 
stereotruckdriver's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oregon Coast
Posts: 1,773
I don't know if WO is still producing that EP or not, I know I saw a rebranded version on E-bay a wk or to ago? For a zoom I thought about that one when everybody was hot on the simple modification for the Pentax. Wide fov is what peeked my interest initially! But, having the XF zoom already and it fitting the niche in that department I lost interest? Bryce...
stereotruckdriver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 3rd March 2009, 00:20   #23
jmepler
It's just a flesh wound.
 
jmepler's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,127
Eric,

I am in the minority here, I like my SMC zoom.

I have both the SMC zoom and an XW14, but on a PF-80ED.

The SMC zoom spends more time on my scope than the XW14 does. Partly because I digiscope through the XW and it is a pain to unscrew my adapter setup, but also because the narrower field of view through the zoom does not bother me that much and I like the ability to "get a little closer" with just a twist of the zoom ring. As others have pointed out, the XW is better optically, but not so much that it bothers me to use the zoom.

As FrankD pointed out, popular opinion is that maximum usable magnification with the PF-65 ED II is 45-50X. The SMC zoom, as well as any other 8-24mm zoom eyepiece, will yield 16-48X, rather than the 20-60X from the XF zoom, putting you at in the more usable range of the scope.

The SMC has much better eye relief than the XF does, 18-22mm vs 11-15mm. Important for those of us that were glasses.

One other consideration when looking at other eyepiece options. The Pentax zooms and the XW eyepieces where designed to work with their spotting scopes. Because of this, they are water resistant, unlike most astronomical eyepieces...astronomical telescopes are rarely used in the rain. If your setup will see inclement weather this will be an issue, the last thing you want is to pack your scope into the back country only to discover that your eyepiece has fogged up and you can't see a thing.

Give it a try, if you don't like it, return it and try something else. That is the beauty of the Pentax spotters with there standard 1.25" barrel, you can use any of the hundreds of astronomical eyepieces out there.

Mike
jmepler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 3rd March 2009, 00:46   #24
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,365
Hmm, speaking of which, I was just thinking of hitting Knight Owl optics again to see if they have anything new out. If I find anything new and interesting I will be sure to post further.
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 3rd March 2009, 02:04   #25
hillse1
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 20
well, I just received them and had about 1/2 hr of light left, so I took a quick look. First impression of the SMC is, "wow, that is big!" It even says in the paperwork that it is designed for the pf80. But the image looks great even in the low light! I would say that somewhere around 28-32x is the sweet spot and it was tough to get it "right" at the top end (48x). I will take it out tomorrow to test it before I decide to send it back or not. I do really, really love the Pentax scope, so far! I think it is the perfect size for backcountry hunting. I also like the fact that the SMC is waterproof, that could also be a deciding factor for me.
hillse1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
60mm Fieldscope III Ed + P4 shots revs45 The Birdforum Digiscoping Forum 4 Friday 20th April 2007 06:11
Nikon Fieldscope III 60mm vs. 82mm or Pentax 80 Jeff B Nikon 0 Wednesday 6th April 2005 08:33

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.21986103 seconds with 36 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 03:36.