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Old Monday 1st February 2010, 04:52   #1
dbuss
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Best eyepiece for PF-65ED AII Spotting Scope

I am looking to purchase a PF-65ED AII Spotting Scope. However, I am not sure which eyepiece is best. The scope will be used almost exclusively for birding. Which of the following Pentax eyepieces would be the best choice:

XW-10
XW-14
XF 20-60 Zoom

Reports on the zoom have not been encouraging: poor eye relief, dim and blurry image at higher magnification. Nevertheless, is the zoom at least adequate up to 40x magnification? The Pentax website is not too helpful in providing information on the XW line for birding on the 65 ED. Which of the XW EPs would be most versatile? Are there any other Pentax or off brand eyepieces I should consider?

Last edited by dbuss : Monday 1st February 2010 at 06:46.
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Old Monday 1st February 2010, 11:22   #2
punkman
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I have the xw 14 for my pentax pf 65, and it is an excellent eyepiece for birding.
I did have the zoom but sold it on as it was not the best for the 65 scope.
Another I use on the 65 is a 21mm baader hyperion, which gives a brighter wider view than the xw14, so I reckon the pentax xw 20 would be an excellent ep to use as well.
Check out the page below

http://www.pentax.jp/english/imaging...lars/scope/xw/
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Old Tuesday 2nd February 2010, 05:15   #3
Kevin Purcell
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The XW14 and the XW20 would be the best I think. You'll find you probably won't use the XW10 nearly as much but the 20x and 30x EP will be much more useful.

I think FrankD used both of these and raved about them.

Not cheap though.

The Hyperions also look like a good bet. I have the zoom (that doesn't reach infinity without messing about) but the fixed focal length EPs at about $120 each look interesting too. Similar AFOV to the XW.

The fixed XF EPs are not bad but not in the same class as the XW but you can find them cheaper. I have a XF12. I'd love to hear comments comparing an XF to a similar focal length Hyperion?

An advantage of the Pentax EPs is that they are weather resistant which most astro EPs aren't.

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Old Tuesday 2nd February 2010, 18:33   #4
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Another nice thing about the Hyperions & Pentax XWs they are both threaded at the eye end if you need to connect to a camera.
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Old Tuesday 2nd February 2010, 19:32   #5
Kevin Conville
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The PF65/XW14 combo makes for a sharp, wide field, contrasty 28x view that is really quite impressive.

The XW20 will yield 20x and will be even brighter and wider, and the XW10 39x. The latter being a little too much mag for this scope, IMO.

My vote would go to the XW14 for the versatility you asked about.

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Old Thursday 4th February 2010, 19:58   #6
John Dracon
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I second Kevin's recommendation - XW 14. John
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Old Saturday 6th February 2010, 14:23   #7
woodhornbirder
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meade 5k 14mm for something a bit cheeper+ 80deg fov.
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 14:01   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medinabrit View Post
Another nice thing about the Hyperions & Pentax XWs they are both threaded at the eye end if you need to connect to a camera.
I have an XW 14 and this is the first I've heard of it being threaded. I checked and mine is not threaded (with the rubber eyecup removed). Is yours a later version perhaps?
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 15:23   #9
jmepler
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bmdavll,

If you have the twist up eye cup adjusted all the way out you may not be able to see the threads even though you have removed the rubber bumper.

Here is an image of the eyepiece with the eye cup fully retracted. The arrow points to the thread, it is 43mm X 0.75mm pitch. This is a standard photographic filter thread size, so step-up and step-down rings and filters will fit it.

Mike
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 22:52   #10
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jmepler,

Thanks for pointing that out! That's exactly why I couldn't see the thread. To think that all this time, I could have been digiscoping with a simple 52-43mm step down ring! (The camera I have is a Canon A590 IS with the 52mm lens adapter)
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 23:10   #11
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I could have been digiscoping with a simple 52-43mm step down ring!
bmdavll,

That is exactly what I do. Same adapter and a Tiffen 52-43 step down ring.

I have an A570 IS, basically the same camera only 7.1 mega pixels.

Mike
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Old Wednesday 17th March 2010, 20:29   #12
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Late reply,

but I strongly recommend the 12 mm BST Explorer ED 60 degree. It is a rebadged Paradigm eyepiece sold by Alan at Sky's Unlimited. Great guy and a very, very fine eyepiece.

In my PF-65ED AII it is very bright, absolutely tack-sharp from center to the very edge. The curvature of field is absolutely minimal, it seems to disappear in the depth of field. In the extreme edges a very, very slight color fringing is present, but none in the center of the field. Eye placement is quite easy and eye relief is very good, to the point of being too large. No ghosting. Viewing streetlamps reveals a minor flare but not to the point of being disturbing. It is fully multicoated and it appears to be very solid. Twist up eyeguards stay tuned. It is stylish and seems to be made for this scope with a very similar rubberized coating. This eyepiece is an absolute bargain for 36!

I also bought the 8 mm which would give 49x magnification. It may be used but I am not equally impressed, possibly because it simply means overpowering of the scope. The image is a bit too dim, though still quite sharp. But I have found no situation where it has revealed more details than the 12 mm (32x). I can imagine this one would be very good on a 80 or 100 mm scope.

I was so impressed by the 12 mm that I had the idea of buying the 18 mm too. But for some reason I ended up with the GSO Superview 20 mm, which I bitterly regret now. It does NOT reach infinity, and even though mechanically beautiful, it is obviously optically inferior to the Explorers.

If anyone has a suggestion for a nice 20 mm wide that is tested with the 65ED please let me know.
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Old Tuesday 9th November 2010, 05:04   #13
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For anyone out there looking for a fixed eyepiece for the Pentax 65ED I concur with looksharp65 that the 12mm BST Explorer ED 60 degree is a great choice.

It's clarity and brightness blew me away and since purchasing it 2 weeks ago I have not used the Pentax XF 20-60x eyepiece. The 12mm is 32.5x and works well for most of my birdwatching on coastlines and marshes.

At $60 it is a super bargain.
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Old Tuesday 9th November 2010, 19:30   #14
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For anyone out there looking for a fixed eyepiece for the Pentax 65ED I concur with looksharp65 that the 12mm BST Explorer ED 60 degree is a great choice.

It's clarity and brightness blew me away and since purchasing it 2 weeks ago I have not used the Pentax XF 20-60x eyepiece. The 12mm is 32.5x and works well for most of my birdwatching on coastlines and marshes.

At $60 it is a super bargain.
How do you find the eye-relief? Do you wear glasses?
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Old Tuesday 9th November 2010, 19:33   #15
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Yes, I wear glasses. I have no problems with the eye relief.
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Old Tuesday 9th November 2010, 21:21   #16
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Martin, I know you have the XW14... The BST 12 mm is a remarkable performer, but not as good as the XW14.
The BST 18 mm is not up to the level of the 12 mm as it shows some curvature of field.
Thus the XW20 would be much better than the BST 18 mm, but if you just want to try a lower magnification with a decent ep, try the BST 18mm.
It is bright and sharp, but I prefer using it only when light fades.

I would have bought the BST 12mm again, and an XW20 if I could afford it, rather than the XW14 and the BST 18 mm.
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