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Pentax PR 80 EDA eyepieces

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Old Sunday 3rd December 2017, 15:48   #1
Boogieshrew
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Pentax PR 80 EDA eyepieces

Hi,

I just ordered a PR80 EDA. It comes with the PR XL zoom.

Does anyone know why Pentax saw fit to use a new zoom e/p with this scope rather than the existing XL one that used to come with the PF80? Seems odd that they came up with a new one. The only difference I can see on the specs is that the new one weighs 350g and the old model 550g.
Is there much of a difference when you look through them? One would hope that the view through the new one is an improvement and not just a weight saving. But given the extra weight of the older version I suspect it holds more glass and would therefore be the better e/p.

I'm not a fan of zooms so I'm not too fussed either way but I am curious. I much prefer the expansive view of a wide field fixed e/p so I'll be looking for some of those shortly.
The Pentax XWs 20 and 14 are the obvious choice but are there any others I should be thinking about?
Baader Morpheus 17.5 mm looks interesting for its 76degree afov.

Any other wide e/ps (say 68*+) with long eye relief for my spectacles out there?

Best wishes
BS
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Old Sunday 3rd December 2017, 17:15   #2
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Hi Boogie, is that the one Ensoptical have on ebay?. If it's as good as the PF80ED (which they also have on ebay)
you will be delighted with it.. Zooms vs fixed? I had the the Baader zoom and the Pentax XL 8-24mm Zoom. The Pentax had better build quality, but the Baader was better optically, so I sold the Pentax and kept the Baader.

With regard to fixed EPs, the world is your Oyster, it really is and you don't need to spend a fortune to get really good views. I have a Pentax XW20 XF12 and I'm trying out a XF8.5 as we speak. I also have a couple of BST explorers a couple of Opticron ep's and a Televue 11mm Plossl. Out of all these the BST 15mm impresses me the most for it's price, it give a stunning 33x in my PF80 ED. The Opticron HDF40809 16mm is also a cracker,it just has the edge on the BST, not for sharpness, it seems to have a bit more contrast and it's weather proof, the BST's are not. I have a XF12 and a 12mm BST, and I can't see any difference. The Pentax is has slightly wide FoV, almost nothing in it. The Opticron HDF 40810 is a 22mm, and apart from the Fov,is just has good as the Pentax.

Be sure to post a review when it arrives, I would really look forward to that.

Ron
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Old Monday 4th December 2017, 13:37   #3
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Originally Posted by Boogieshrew View Post
Does anyone know why Pentax saw fit to use a new zoom e/p with this scope rather than the existing XL one that used to come with the PF80? Seems odd that they came up with a new one. The only difference I can see on the specs is that the new one weighs 350g and the old model 550g.
Is there much of a difference when you look through them? One would hope that the view through the new one is an improvement and not just a weight saving. But given the extra weight of the older version I suspect it holds more glass and would therefore be the better e/p.
The older XL zoom was actually optically quite simple, 6 elements in 4 groups, about the minimum for a zoom. IMO, it was not a very good eyepiece in spite of the high price. Look at the cutaway image of the PR80 EDA in the link below:

https://www.astroshop.eu/pentax-spot...l-8-24/p,48866

The scope itself is a big departure from the earlier Pentax 80mm, which in the angled version had an objective consisting of 3 singlets followed by a Porroprism followed by a semi-pentaprism, with focusing done by moving one prism. The new one appears to use what has become a ubiquitous design in high end scopes (fixed triplet followed by a focusing doublet and a Schmidt roof prism). The zoom eyepiece appears to be 8 or 9 elements in 6 groups, so it could be an improvement.
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Old Monday 4th December 2017, 13:59   #4
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Originally Posted by Boogieshrew View Post
Hi,

I just ordered a PR80 EDA. It comes with the PR XL zoom.

Does anyone know why Pentax saw fit to use a new zoom e/p with this scope rather than the existing XL one that used to come with the PF80? Seems odd that they came up with a new one. The only difference I can see on the specs is that the new one weighs 350g and the old model 550g.
Is there much of a difference when you look through them? One would hope that the view through the new one is an improvement and not just a weight saving. But given the extra weight of the older version I suspect it holds more glass and would therefore be the better e/p.

I'm not a fan of zooms so I'm not too fussed either way but I am curious. I much prefer the expansive view of a wide field fixed e/p so I'll be looking for some of those shortly.
The Pentax XWs 20 and 14 are the obvious choice but are there any others I should be thinking about?
Baader Morpheus 17.5 mm looks interesting for its 76degree afov.

Any other wide e/ps (say 68*+) with long eye relief for my spectacles out there?

Best wishes
BS
Hi ... I have the Pentax PR 65. It came with the XL 8-24 zoom and I ended up selling it here on the forum because it had issues with specs of dust. I am not a big fan of zooms either. I would have sold the XL zoom even if it had no issues. If I had to choose between the Pentax SMC 8-24mm USA version or the Pentax XL 8-24 European zoom that come with the Pentax PR scopes, I would choose the earlier USA version hands down. I thought the SMC USA version was both optically/build quality far superior. I only had the XL 8-24 zoom because I had no choice. The PR scope and XL zoom came as a package. I think that Pentax probably choose to include a cheaper/inferior 8-24mm zoom to save on cost. They then hyped up the newer versions zoom optical/build quality to help promote the upgraded PR ED spotting scopes. By doing this they keep the overall price down by selling both the zoom and the scope body as a package. As I have mentioned here on the forum, I think the Pentax XW fixed eyepieces will probably be the best you can use on the PF or the PR Pentax spotting scopes. I would also recommend the APM UFL 24mm eyepiece. When used on the Pentax PR 65 it gives a very sharp/bright view with a very generous amount of eye relief. As the picture shows, the locking collar of the Pentax scope and the base of the APM UFL 24mm eyepiece match perfectly. The only thing that I can see that would improve this combination, would be if the APM eyepiece was waterproof and had a twist up eyecup like the Pentax fixed power XW eyepieces.
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Old Monday 4th December 2017, 15:46   #5
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The Pentax PR scopes come with a different versions of the XL Zoom, the PR XL Zoom. Should be pretty good though. Henry, it looks like the PR scopes are an improved version of the PF scopes. Not sure if they are optically any better though. If they are then, they are a superb scope. Pentax seem to be selling the PF and the PR scopes as two different models, not as a replacement?
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Old Monday 4th December 2017, 19:04   #6
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I guess it remains to be seen whether the 80mm PR scope performs better than the 80mm PF, but the optical designs are completely different from stem to stern. On the other hand the 65mm PF was always more like the design of the PRs.
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Old Monday 4th December 2017, 19:46   #7
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I took a quick look at the specs and it is incredible how Pentax can manage to pack 2400 g of total weight into an 80mm spotting scope and zoom.
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 09:36   #8
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Hi Boogie, is that the one Ensoptical have on ebay?. If it's as good as the PF80ED (which they also have on ebay)
you will be delighted with it.. Zooms vs fixed? I had the the Baader zoom and the Pentax XL 8-24mm Zoom. The Pentax had better build quality, but the Baader was better optically, so I sold the Pentax and kept the Baader.

With regard to fixed EPs, the world is your Oyster, it really is and you don't need to spend a fortune to get really good views. I have a Pentax XW20 XF12 and I'm trying out a XF8.5 as we speak. I also have a couple of BST explorers a couple of Opticron ep's and a Televue 11mm Plossl. Out of all these the BST 15mm impresses me the most for it's price, it give a stunning 33x in my PF80 ED. The Opticron HDF40809 16mm is also a cracker,it just has the edge on the BST, not for sharpness, it seems to have a bit more contrast and it's weather proof, the BST's are not. I have a XF12 and a 12mm BST, and I can't see any difference. The Pentax is has slightly wide FoV, almost nothing in it. The Opticron HDF 40810 is a 22mm, and apart from the Fov,is just has good as the Pentax.

Be sure to post a review when it arrives, I would really look forward to that.

Ron
Hi Ron, very interested to read that Opticron e/ps will fit the 1.25" scope.

I have the two Opticron e/ps you mention here and the HDF zoom. Perhaps I don't need to buy new e/ps at all. I will try what I have already first.
The 40810 being 22mm sounds like it could be a nice low mag option (22x)and the 40809 has a very nice wide afov too at 67 degrees at around 30x mag.

But I think the XW 20mm is a must so as to get the best view possible from the scope.

The scope should be arriving today so I'll let you know my impressions of it as soon as I can get out and try it.

Thanks for your input.
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 09:42   #9
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Originally Posted by henry link View Post
The older XL zoom was actually optically quite simple, 6 elements in 4 groups, about the minimum for a zoom. IMO, it was not a very good eyepiece in spite of the high price. Look at the cutaway image of the PR80 EDA in the link below:

https://www.astroshop.eu/pentax-spot...l-8-24/p,48866

The scope itself is a big departure from the earlier Pentax 80mm, which in the angled version had an objective consisting of 3 singlets followed by a Porroprism followed by a semi-pentaprism, with focusing done by moving one prism. The new one appears to use what has become a ubiquitous design in high end scopes (fixed triplet followed by a focusing doublet and a Schmidt roof prism). The zoom eyepiece appears to be 8 or 9 elements in 6 groups, so it could be an improvement.
Hi Henry,

I remember reading on BF years ago that the PF-80 lost objective size down to around 70mm because of the at it focussed. The nearer it was focussed, the smaller the effective aperture became. Am I remembering correctly?

I'm glad to hear that the zoom could be an improvement. Hopefully better and definitely lighter.

I will always prefer fixed wide e/ps I think but a decent zoom would be good as back p for distant waders and wildfowl.

Thanks
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 11:11   #10
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Hi ... I have the Pentax PR 65. It came with the XL 8-24 zoom and I ended up selling it here on the forum because it had issues with specs of dust. I am not a big fan of zooms either. I would have sold the XL zoom even if it had no issues. If I had to choose between the Pentax SMC 8-24mm USA version or the Pentax XL 8-24 European zoom that come with the Pentax PR scopes, I would choose the earlier USA version hands down. I thought the SMC USA version was both optically/build quality far superior. I only had the XL 8-24 zoom because I had no choice. The PR scope and XL zoom came as a package. I think that Pentax probably choose to include a cheaper/inferior 8-24mm zoom to save on cost. They then hyped up the newer versions zoom optical/build quality to help promote the upgraded PR ED spotting scopes. By doing this they keep the overall price down by selling both the zoom and the scope body as a package. As I have mentioned here on the forum, I think the Pentax XW fixed eyepieces will probably be the best you can use on the PF or the PR Pentax spotting scopes. I would also recommend the APM UFL 24mm eyepiece. When used on the Pentax PR 65 it gives a very sharp/bright view with a very generous amount of eye relief. As the picture shows, the locking collar of the Pentax scope and the base of the APM UFL 24mm eyepiece match perfectly. The only thing that I can see that would improve this combination, would be if the APM eyepiece was waterproof and had a twist up eyecup like the Pentax fixed power XW eyepieces.
Hi, it was your recent posts on the PR-65 that prompted me to try the PR-80.
I used to have the PF-65 and really liked it so I have kept an eye on what Pentax are up to. I have looked online at the APM you suggest. I'm considering it but it's not as wide as some. I am intending to get a 24mm fixed for a nice low mag. Or possibly something even lower mag.
I was thinking of trying the Baader Morpheus 14mm for a higher mag as it is a bit wider than the XW14.

So many options!
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 11:14   #11
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I took a quick look at the specs and it is incredible how Pentax can manage to pack 2400 g of total weight into an 80mm spotting scope and zoom.
Haha yes very heavy.

I was looking t lightening my scope load due to a shoulder injury but I have decided that not even the MM4 and lightweight tripod is light enough for my injured body so I have come the other way and decided that my scope birding will only be done very near to my car so weight is of no object. The PF-80 seemed like a possibility of getting a decent large scope for not too much money with lots of e/p choices.

Thanks
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 13:24   #12
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Hi Henry,

I remember reading on BF years ago that the PF-80 lost objective size down to around 70mm because of the at it focussed. The nearer it was focussed, the smaller the effective aperture became. Am I remembering correctly?

I'm glad to hear that the zoom could be an improvement. Hopefully better and definitely lighter.

I will always prefer fixed wide e/ps I think but a decent zoom would be good as back p for distant waders and wildfowl.

Thanks
Yep, you remembered correctly. That seems to be a problem with all scopes that focus by moving a prism. However, clear aperture conforming to specified aperture is never guaranteed. I tested an "85mm" Zeiss Gavia that was stopped down by an internal obstruction to 80mm at all distances even though it focuses with a moving lens. The Zeiss Harpia coming next month will add a new wrinkle. Its clear aperture decreases when the magnification of its zoom objective lens is decreased.

Henry

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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 14:34   #13
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Originally Posted by Boogieshrew View Post
Hi, it was your recent posts on the PR-65 that prompted me to try the PR-80.
I used to have the PF-65 and really liked it so I have kept an eye on what Pentax are up to. I have looked online at the APM you suggest. I'm considering it but it's not as wide as some. I am intending to get a 24mm fixed for a nice low mag. Or possibly something even lower mag.
I was thinking of trying the Baader Morpheus 14mm for a higher mag as it is a bit wider than the XW14.

So many options!
I would also like to hear your opinion on the Pentax PR 80. Other eyepieces might be a few degrees wider than the Pentax XW eyepieces but its just not about the great view the XW's give. It is also the way Pentax designed the XW eyepiece, making it such a nice eyepiece to use.

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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 15:00   #14
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Yep, you remembered correctly. That seems to be a problem with all scopes that focus by moving a prism. However, clear aperture conforming to specified aperture is never guaranteed. I tested an "85mm" Zeiss Gavia that was stopped down by an internal obstruction to 80mm at all distances even though it focuses with a moving lens. The Zeiss Harpia coming next month will add a new wrinkle. Its clear aperture decreases when the magnification of its zoom objective lens is decreased.

Henry
The aperture does reduce has you focus closer on the PF80, but not on the PF65.
However, the aperture only starts to decrease when you are close up and even then it's a gradual change. It's not really a problem because you don't notice any change in brightness when you are using the scope.

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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 15:06   #15
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I would also like to hear your opinion on the Pentax PR 80. Other eyepieces might be a few degrees wider than the Pentax XW eyepieces but its just not about the great view the XW's give. It is also the way Pentax designed the XW eyepiece, making it such a nice eyepiece to use.
Hi, the scope arrived today and I had a chance for a very short look through it in the garden. First impressions are very good. The zoom fov is narrow, as expected, but the view is good.

I wont say any more than that as it was the briefest of checks.

I have ordered the XW20 and the Scientific Explorer 26mm 62* which should be with me in time for the weekend when I can give the scope a proper go in the countryside.

Right now I'm thinking the XW20 for use most of the time with the zoom as back up for distant birds.
The SE 26mm I ordered because it was reduced and I thought a lower mag e/p with wider true fov might be fun.

I'll say more about the scope soon.

Don't you just love getting new optics?!
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 18:30   #16
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Hi Ron, very interested to read that Opticron e/ps will fit the 1.25" scope.

I have the two Opticron e/ps you mention here and the HDF zoom. Perhaps I don't need to buy new e/ps at all. I will try what I have already first.
The 40810 being 22mm sounds like it could be a nice low mag option (22x)and the 40809 has a very nice wide afov too at 67 degrees at around 30x mag.

But I think the XW 20mm is a must so as to get the best view possible from the scope.

The scope should be arriving today so I'll let you know my impressions of it as soon as I can get out and try it.

Thanks for your input.
Yes the Opticron EP's are a perfect fit, but you need to buy a couple 1,25 adapters. I used the one that came with the Baader zoom and I got the other off Ebay. You just saw one end off and the other end screws on to the Ep.
You could try them just by holding them in to see what you think. The HDF 40810 is just as good as the XW20, (I have both) but the FoV is narrower.

Ron
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Old Wednesday 6th December 2017, 07:07   #17
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Yes the Opticron EP's are a perfect fit, but you need to buy a couple 1,25 adapters. I used the one that came with the Baader zoom and I got the other off Ebay. You just saw one end off and the other end screws on to the Ep.
You could try them just by holding them in to see what you think. The HDF 40810 is just as good as the XW20, (I have both) but the FoV is narrower.

Ron
Hi, could you give me more detail or a link to the type of adaptor you mean. I can't find anything useful looking on eBay but I don't really know what I'm looking for
Thanks
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Old Wednesday 6th December 2017, 08:15   #18
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Pics

It's something like this, but I got mine from the UK though. Just saw the end off and the other end has a female thread, this screws on to the EP. It's not exactly the same thread, but it does fit and work well. I'm at work at the moment, I'll post a couple of pics for you later.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-25-to-T2...53.m1438.l2649


This is from the UK http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/T2-Ring-fo...UAAOSwaEhZG2gs

Ron
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Old Wednesday 6th December 2017, 14:56   #19
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Excellent, now I understand. Thank you Ron, much appreciated.
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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 17:10   #20
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H all,

I can finally tell you about this scope. The one I received was a dud but I didn't want to post anything until I had received a refund.

Although it was described as almost mint, there was a scratch on the shade which may indicate a knock. With the knowledge of the scratch, I could just make out in the photos of the scope on the website so it didn't happen in transit on the way to me. I feel somewhat aggrieved that it was said to be "almost mint."

Also the zoom had huge black specks inside it. The zoom action was really stiff and the flakes appeared as it turned. Didn't Gwen have the same issue with the zoom that came with a PR65?

The PR zoom had no markings on it to indicate magnification or focal length but some photos online show the zoom with markings. I wonder if the ones without markings are early models or demonstrators. Perhaps they are prone to the flake problem and later models may not be?

I tried the scope with a XW20mm e/p but found it couldn't quite get to razor sharp focus. Very disappointing.

So I cant say whether this model is a good scope or not because this unit was very poor. However, I will say that it has the potential to be a good scope if I could try another unit.

It is extremely heavy though. Especially if you wanted to carry two or three top notch fixed e/ps which also tend to be heavy. You could add another 700g easily.

I am now curious about the PF80 which is still available at good prices.
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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 17:44   #21
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That Sucks ! ... I was hoping you would have received a good unit with a good zoom. Since I am in the states, I choose to keep my PR65 body but sold the zoom for $25 indicating it was as defective with specs also. I choose not to send everything back for a refund because I did not want to take the chance of getting a dud body unit as well. I tried both a XW20 & XW14 Pentax eyepieces with both giving a crisp/sharp view. The APM 24mm eyepiece also worked very nicely but when I tried a Zhumell 18mm Planetary eyepiece it would not focus to infinity, it was sharp out to about 1,000 feet. I wonder if the reduced focal length of the Pentax PR 65 which is stated as 370 will be a deciding factor for any particular eyepiece not focusing correctly or if its my corrective lens in my eyeglasses.

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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 18:42   #22
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Hi Boogie, sorry to hear the scope didn't meet your expectations. I can recommend the PF 80 without hesitation. I bought mine new for 539 from Microglobe and it is a cracker, I"m not big fan of zooms, having said the Baader zoom provides excellent views throughout the range. I've been trying a few plossl eps, narrow FoV but really tack sharp, even at x60
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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 19:00   #23
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Hi Boogie, sorry to hear the scope didn't meet your expectations. I can recommend the PF 80 without hesitation. I bought mine new for 539 from Microglobe and it is a cracker, I"m not big fan of zooms, having said the Baader zoom provides excellent views throughout the range. I've been trying a few plossl eps, narrow FoV but really tack sharp, even at x60
Is that the MK IV Baader zoom which I presume focuses at infinity?

I had one of these scopes years ago with the big Pentax zoom but sent it back due to really bad flare with a low sun. Has this been cured may I ask?
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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 21:38   #24
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Is that the MK IV Baader zoom which I presume focuses at infinity?

I had one of these scopes years ago with the big Pentax zoom but sent it back due to really bad flare with a low sun. Has this been cured may I ask?
Hi, it is with the Modified MK111, it just about reaches infinity focus on PF80, not quite on the PF65. To be honest I think under certain conditions flare is inevitable. I also had the Pentax zoom, much had better build quality than the Baader and waterproof. I preferred the Baader optically though.. I haven't tried the new Baader zoom, but if it gives you nearly an extra 4mm of back focus, I think it should be ok.
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