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Better View Desired - Pentax 65mm review

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Old Thursday 24th November 2005, 08:36   #1
RedBishop
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Better View Desired - Pentax 65mm review

I'm not sure if it was alreadt posted or not, I though this could be intresting for some:

http://www.betterviewdesired.com/11-...ax%2065mm.html
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Old Thursday 24th November 2005, 16:23   #2
John Fleet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBishop
I'm not sure if it was alreadt posted or not, I though this could be intresting for some:

http://www.betterviewdesired.com/11-...ax%2065mm.html
As the UK's only (I think!) owner of Pentax PF65-ED scope I'm naturally delighted to read such a glowing review. Now, I'm just going to have to save up for a real Pentax eyepiece to go with it....

John F
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Old Friday 25th November 2005, 20:26   #3
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you wont regret it[the pentax eye pieces].i would recommend the xf,s over the xw,s for the pf 65 , as the xw,s are almost as big as the scope.the vixen ,orion or TV 8mm-24mm [the same EPs]are also a good EP for the pf65 .a bit less money also.
you wont be dissapointed with the pentax.
brian.
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Old Saturday 26th November 2005, 13:22   #4
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Yes, I just bought a Pentax PF-65EDa body and a Vixen 8-24mm zoom eyepiece. The combination is very good. The eye relief of the Vixen is much better than the zoom eyepiece that is bundled with the PF-65 eyepiece/body package. And the total price is cheaper for the body plus Vixen.
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Old Saturday 26th November 2005, 14:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAH
Yes, I just bought a Pentax PF-65EDa body and a Vixen 8-24mm zoom eyepiece. The combination is very good. The eye relief of the Vixen is much better than the zoom eyepiece that is bundled with the PF-65 eyepiece/body package. And the total price is cheaper for the body plus Vixen.
Unfortunately the Vixen zoom doesn't seem to available in the UK, so it may have to wait until the long promised holiday to the States! Just out of interest what kind of price is the Vixen?

John F
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Old Saturday 26th November 2005, 15:10   #6
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The Vixen e/p is probably available in the UK under a different manufacturer's name (Celestron I think). There are lots of these 8-24mm zooms about. I got a "no-brand" one from e-bay and it works great on my scope.

The Vixen is about 80 quid in Japan. E-bay "clones" are about 50 quid. They're all probably made in the same factory anyway.
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Old Saturday 26th November 2005, 15:24   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Fleet
Unfortunately the Vixen zoom doesn't seem to available in the UK, so it may have to wait until the long promised holiday to the States! Just out of interest what kind of price is the Vixen?

John F

You can get the Vixen/Celestron zoom eyepiece from David Hinds (astronomical dealer). Even better, there's 50 off at the moment and it costs
129. Here's the link...
http://www.dhinds.co.uk/pages/fullProd.php?id=130
Cheers
John
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Old Sunday 27th November 2005, 12:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solentbirder
You can get the Vixen/Celestron zoom eyepiece from David Hinds (astronomical dealer). Even better, there's 50 off at the moment and it costs
129. Here's the link...
http://www.dhinds.co.uk/pages/fullProd.php?id=130
Cheers
John
I too have bought a 'no name' brand zoom off eBay for about 40. It's not bad but does suffer from blacking out very easily and without a side by side comparison with the Vixen/Celestron zoom I've no way of knowing whether they would be singificantly better.
At the moment there's another Celestron zoom on eBay;
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...e=STRK:MEWA:IT

I've never come across this model; Googling it suggests its a relatively old lens which is probably now discontinued. Does anyone have any experience of this model?

Thanks

John F
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Old Sunday 27th November 2005, 14:05   #9
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the vixen 8-24 zoom is available from adorama in NEW YORK for $170 about 100 pounds. & im sure They ship to the UK.
brian
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Old Sunday 27th November 2005, 14:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Fleet
I too have bought a 'no name' brand zoom off eBay for about 40. It's not bad but does suffer from blacking out very easily
I think that often (usually?) blacking out is caused by too much eye-relief and doesn't necessarily indicate anything bad about the eyepiece. With the Vixen, I do notice that at the very lowest magnification, I have to be careful about where I place my eye to avoid blackout. Any other zoom level is fine (which is because the eye-relief is somewhat less at higher mag, I think).

FYI. I paid $170 for the Vixen at Adorama.
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Old Tuesday 6th December 2005, 19:42   #11
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I've compared the chinese clone 8-24 zoom directly to the Vixen zoom, and posted my results on another thread:
http://birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=35354

Briefly, the clone is not simply a rebranded (or no-branded) Vixen, there are mechanical and optical differences between the two zooms. The performance of the two zooms is quite close (the clone is a good eyepiece for the money) but the Vixen is clearly superior, and worth the extra money if it is going to be used as your primary eyepiece.

Zack
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Old Wednesday 7th December 2005, 01:10   #12
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After using the Pentax for a few months with the "clone" zoom I've come to the conclusion that the zoom is perfectly useable but has its limitations. At over 40X the image becomes very soft and at 16-20X I often get "blackouts".

Zack2 seems to indicate the performance of the clone/Vixen is fairly close so I probably won't bother upgrading to the Vixen zoom. I think I'll keep looking for a 6-21mm zoom eyepiece with decent eye relief (if such a piece exists that is). Or get a 6mm or 8mm wide angle to complement my 12mm XF. Eventually.
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2005, 05:08   #13
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its really that good

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBishop
I'm not sure if it was alreadt posted or not, I though this could be intresting for some:

http://www.betterviewdesired.com/11-...ax%2065mm.html
Red-

Yes, the Pentax 65 EDA is really that good a scope, particularly when combined with the fixed focal XW eyepieces. Quite frankly, I think its virtually as good as my Swarovski 65 ATS HD...with the noted exception that the 20x-60x zoom in the Swarovski is clearly superior to the XF 20x-45x zoom in the Pentax. All in all, the Pentax 65 EDA scope is a real bargain, particularly at its price point.

Tom
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2005, 14:38   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuprice68
After using the Pentax for a few months with the "clone" zoom I've come to the conclusion that the zoom is perfectly useable but has its limitations. At over 40X the image becomes very soft and at 16-20X I often get "blackouts".
I have a Vixen 8-24 zoom eyepiece (and the Pentax 65) and do not see much softness above 40 - i.e. it seems just about as sharp to me right to the top, although it definitely gets somewhat darker. I agree about the blackouts at the lower end.
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Old Thursday 29th December 2005, 02:58   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBishop
I'm not sure if it was alreadt posted or not, I though this could be intresting for some:

http://www.betterviewdesired.com/11-...ax%2065mm.html
Tom reviewed the scope with the XF zoom. Has anyone used a Pentax scope with the superior Pentax SMC zoom?

http://www.pentaximaging.com/product...ion--Eyepieces

http://www.pentaximaging.com/product...ion--Eyepieces

Clearly, these are two different zooms from Pentax.

John
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Old Thursday 29th December 2005, 18:48   #16
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I've received earlier this week this scope for testing and evaluation. In a nutshell - it's a cute little scope with a terrific bright and clear image. For viewing - it's excellent. Then I've tried it for digiscoping with my CP8400.
The first EP I used was the Pentax 21mm XL. The image was very good, I was able to use the camera in a very large zoom range - from about 42mm to full tele @ 85mm. The EP showed some CA, but the images were nice and sharp.
Then I've tried it with the Vixen zoom EP. At minimal zoom setting (24mm) the images were fine, however, when zoomed all the way to 8mm, an unacceptable level of CA was present at the edges of the frame.
I've tried to mount the 20-60 Leica zoom EP with the Plossl adapter on the scope, but I was unable to focus at infinity. I do not own a Pentax zoom EP, so I can't compare.
To my great surprise, both the Canon 620 and the Nikon S4 at certain zoom positions were able to create an image without vignetting when I've use the XL EP. I've hand-held them in front of the EP.
All in all, it's a nice, inexpensive scope that with a good EP can create great photos.
The attached pictures show the scope with the 21mmEP and with the Vixen zoom EP zoomed all the way.
The big blue squares are 100% crops.
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Old Thursday 29th December 2005, 21:02   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuprice68
After using the Pentax for a few months with the "clone" zoom I've come to the conclusion that the zoom is perfectly useable but has its limitations. At over 40X the image becomes very soft and at 16-20X I often get "blackouts".

Zack2 seems to indicate the performance of the clone/Vixen is fairly close so I probably won't bother upgrading to the Vixen zoom. I think I'll keep looking for a 6-21mm zoom eyepiece with decent eye relief (if such a piece exists that is). Or get a 6mm or 8mm wide angle to complement my 12mm XF. Eventually.
Since the Pentax takes standard 1.25" eyepiece, you can use, or at least mount, the Leica zoom since Leica do an adaptor. However, I'm not sure whether it will give you the full focus range. You might lose infinity, or some of the close focus range. So it would be a case of suck it and see. I think the same comment applies to other zooms e.g. the Zeiss. The Leica is an excellent optic, but the Zeiss will give a wider FOV at low power.

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Old Thursday 29th December 2005, 23:34   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif
Since the Pentax takes standard 1.25" eyepiece, you can use, or at least mount, the Leica zoom since Leica do an adaptor. However, I'm not sure whether it will give you the full focus range. You might lose infinity, or some of the close focus range. So it would be a case of suck it and see. I think the same comment applies to other zooms e.g. the Zeiss. The Leica is an excellent optic, but the Zeiss will give a wider FOV at low power.

Leif
Leif,

I keep hoping someone will step forward who has experience with the Pentax 70509 Zoom. The following link:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...x=7&Submit.y=2
shows the 70509 (Pentax Zoom) and the 70530 (Pentax XF Zoom).

The 70509 has 20mm eye relief.
The 70530 has 11-15 mm eye relief.

The 70509 is the only Pentax eyepiece sold by EO and I assume it's the latest model.
http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp...rch=1&pid=4166

Has ANYONE field tested the 70509 zoom on a 65 or 80 Pentax scope? Tom's recent review in BVD panned the XF zoom on the Pentax 65 and I'm curious whether or not this zoom is much better.

Thanks!

John
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Old Friday 30th December 2005, 00:39   #19
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John,

I briefly tested the big Pentax zoom on my AP refractor. I considered it to be noticeably inferior to the Swaro, Zeiss and Nikon zooms. More lateral CA and a loss of contrast and sharpness at high magnification, which is something I don't expect from an expensive modern zoom eyepiece. The field width at all magnifications is narrower than the Swaro and Zeiss, more like the Nikon. FWIW I can see the entire field in the Swaro, Zeiss and even the Nikon at all magnifications while wearing reading glasses. I think this is something you are going to need to try for yourself.

Henry
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Old Friday 30th December 2005, 04:02   #20
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Pentax Scope Zoom

Yes, I used the better zoom on an 80mm straight Pentax. see 100 ED thread It was as good as anything on various German scopes, as reviewed in Better View Desired (80mm)
the XF eyepieces are not as good, or as expensive.
One consideration not usually mentioned is the age or condition of your eyes. Mine are older and the better optics are necessary to make up for it. Get the better eyepiece about 30x rather than the zoom. The tradeoff in the zoom is in the higher power (less light), if you use higher powers get another eyepiece. Also, the XF series is not waterproof, a feature of the scopes themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Traynor
Tom reviewed the scope with the XF zoom. Has anyone used a Pentax scope with the superior Pentax SMC zoom?

http://www.pentaximaging.com/product...ion--Eyepieces

http://www.pentaximaging.com/product...ion--Eyepieces

Clearly, these are two different zooms from Pentax.

John
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Old Friday 30th December 2005, 10:31   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry link
John,

I briefly tested the big Pentax zoom on my AP refractor. I considered it to be noticeably inferior to the Swaro, Zeiss and Nikon zooms. More lateral CA and a loss of contrast and sharpness at high magnification, which is something I don't expect from an expensive modern zoom eyepiece. The field width at all magnifications is narrower than the Swaro and Zeiss, more like the Nikon. FWIW I can see the entire field in the Swaro, Zeiss and even the Nikon at all magnifications while wearing reading glasses. I think this is something you are going to need to try for yourself.

Henry
Henry,

I don't mean to beg the question, but the specs on the Pentax 70509 20X-60X are: 70 degree AFOV with 18-22 mm of eye relief. One would think this would produce a relaxing wide field view.

Thanks for your insights.

John
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Old Friday 30th December 2005, 11:58   #22
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High John.
I have both the Pentax 20-60 zoom eyepiece and a XW 20mm. The zoomeyepiece has 20mm eye relief and is very comfortable. However, due to the shrinking FOV as you zoom in, I have moved to the 20mm fixed EP almost all the time. I use mainly for birding. I think for the price of it I would get the fixed EP. Other brands of EP work well on the pentax scope. I have been using an Orion Stratus 13mm (half rpice than pentax EP) and works well for birding, I managed to digiscope some pictures with this EP and you can see them in my gallery.
If you have more questions about the EP let me know. Jose
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Old Friday 30th December 2005, 12:34   #23
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John,

According to the Pentax specs the AFOV of the Pentax SMC zoom varies from 38 degrees at the lowest magnification (24mm) to 60 degrees at the highest magnification (8mm), about the same as the Nikon (about 40 degrees to 60 degrees). The fixed focal length XW eyepieces have 70 degree fields. The eye relief sounds good, but I wouldn't rely on the eye relief specs for zoom eyepieces. They seem almost always to be too generous, especially across the middle of the zoom range.

Henry

Last edited by henry link : Friday 30th December 2005 at 12:41.
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Old Friday 30th December 2005, 17:45   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry link
John,

According to the Pentax specs the AFOV of the Pentax SMC zoom varies from 38 degrees at the lowest magnification (24mm) to 60 degrees at the highest magnification (8mm), about the same as the Nikon (about 40 degrees to 60 degrees). The fixed focal length XW eyepieces have 70 degree fields. The eye relief sounds good, but I wouldn't rely on the eye relief specs for zoom eyepieces. They seem almost always to be too generous, especially across the middle of the zoom range.

Henry

My experience with the SMC was that the effective e.r. dipped to about 11 or 12 mm in the middle.

Another negative aspect of the SMC 8-24 mm zoom for me was that the eye piece has a very large diameter and I found that I was constantly bumping my nose into the side of the eyepiece to view the image. The xw 14 is a magnificent e.p. , but I found that the magnification was just a bit too high and shaky for use as my primary e.p (37x in the 80 angled, I believe). The wide field was sufficient however, and its too bad there's not a xw17 for the 80. In the 65 however, it would probably be great. Note too that the ocular glass surface on the xw is very large, about 32 mm, and was too large for me to hand hold my digital camera to, which was the other reason i sold it.

Chris C.

Cheers,
Chris C.
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Old Sunday 1st January 2006, 20:13   #25
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Meade 5000 UWA lenses

Has anyone any experience with the above lenses on the PF65? There's a couple going on eBay (UK) at the moment, and the specification looks good...

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