• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

New Pentax 65-EDII (3 Viewers)

GeorgeL

Active member
Just took delivery of a new 65-EDII straight. I paid $379 for it. Seems like new, old stock as it did not come in the newer Ricoh/Pentax box. Among the paperwork it included a notice of Hoya being the new parent company of Pentax.

I’m really liking this scope so far, tack sharp using my collection of Explore Scientific 82 degree EP’s which include 24, 20, 14, 11, 8.8, & 6.7mm. Now trying to see which one of these will be the primary EP for this scope. It’s between the 20 and the 14mm....and I can hold it pretty steady on the monopod.
I also have the 80-EDIIA which I’m also happy with. I don’t think I have a preference over angled or straight viewing, I like them both.
 

gcole

Well-known member
Just took delivery of a new 65-EDII straight. I paid $379 for it. Seems like new, old stock as it did not come in the newer Ricoh/Pentax box. Among the paperwork it included a notice of Hoya being the new parent company of Pentax.

I’m really liking this scope so far, tack sharp using my collection of Explore Scientific 82 degree EP’s which include 24, 20, 14, 11, 8.8, & 6.7mm. Now trying to see which one of these will be the primary EP for this scope. It’s between the 20 and the 14mm....and I can hold it pretty steady on the monopod.
I also have the 80-EDIIA which I’m also happy with. I don’t think I have a preference over angled or straight viewing, I like them both.

Hey George .... Smart purchase and you now have one of the best Quality to price purchases of all the 65mm scopes still available. I have owned many and still own one customized PF 65 AII which I will be selling because I do not use spotters anymore. Have fun experimenting with all the types of eye pieces your scope will be able to use.
 

GeorgeL

Active member
I hike with my scope & monopod and I was looking for a lighter alternative for an eyepiece in the 14mm range. The 14mm EP’s I’m using on this scope are rather heavy and bulky, especially the 14XW.
So, I was reading about these cheap SvBony eyepieces on Cloudy Nights the other day and they were getting some decent feedback from users so I decided to try one.
Anyway, I just got this 15mm/68* eyepiece, $35 from Amazon. It’s a clone of the Orion Expanse eyepiece. Perfectly ’tiny’ at only 66 gram, decent contrast and sharpness, but a bit soft at the field stop. Eye relief, not bad at all.
 

Attachments

  • 158E9254-3B96-428D-95C0-C0D172C45571.jpeg
    158E9254-3B96-428D-95C0-C0D172C45571.jpeg
    357.5 KB · Views: 6

PlayFreeBird

Active member
Rather in the same boat. Started out with a Nikon ED50 and 27x wa. Used an old Slik Sprint Pro aluminum travel tripod with ball head. Great combo - I can sling it across a shoulder and hike for a couple of hours without noticing it, while it triples the reach of my binoc's.
Then I saw a great price on the PF80EDa with the SMC zoom. Splurged on a "The Birder" tripod with a heavy duty Kingjoy video head. Thing is rock solid with moderate weight. I have a ski backpack - breast and waist belts, low profile sack, ski straps on the back. Slip the scope in the bag, and strap the tripod across the back and it's quite manageable.
Next came a sale on the 65 and a sales tax holiday in Massachusetts, so I purchased it on a lark thinking I could share eyepieces and extend my options. Now I'm not so sure=:-o First up was deciding on a tripod and head. Really impressed with the heavy duty Kingjoy, so ordered their lighter model from China. Then dithered a bit and decided on a Benro CF tripod, as a reputed value standard. Mixed feelings about it. It's a wee bit heavier than the Slik, and bulkier, but because of the space taken up by the clamps noticeably shorter and less wide. It is stiffer. Put your hand on the Slik and the legs splay an inch in every direction. The Benro won't, but does still bend if you pan and tilt with any speed. The Slik won't handle the video head and 65, but is just fine for the 50. Haven't figured out eyepieces yet as research shows there are only limited possibilities for double duty.

I took put the SMC zoom in and took the combo to the shore for a test run. Disaster! Between the cold, the dampness, and the COVID mask, I could not keep my eyeglasses clear. Then the Kingjoy panning proved unusable. And of course the honking zoom is not well matched with the 65. Fortunately before I listed the whole thing on Ebay, I found reviews of the Kingjoy head which explained the hidden hex bolt which could be loosened to allow the panning to work the way it is supposed to.

Now I have to decide - buy the XF eyepiece pair and experiment with switching (which the Pentax is nicely set up for) - or spend a bit more for a superior XW14 useful on both scopes? And will it supplement the 50 or be redundant?
 

gcole

Well-known member
Rather in the same boat. Started out with a Nikon ED50 and 27x wa. Used an old Slik Sprint Pro aluminum travel tripod with ball head. Great combo - I can sling it across a shoulder and hike for a couple of hours without noticing it, while it triples the reach of my binoc's.
Then I saw a great price on the PF80EDa with the SMC zoom. Splurged on a "The Birder" tripod with a heavy duty Kingjoy video head. Thing is rock solid with moderate weight. I have a ski backpack - breast and waist belts, low profile sack, ski straps on the back. Slip the scope in the bag, and strap the tripod across the back and it's quite manageable.
Next came a sale on the 65 and a sales tax holiday in Massachusetts, so I purchased it on a lark thinking I could share eyepieces and extend my options. Now I'm not so sure=:-o First up was deciding on a tripod and head. Really impressed with the heavy duty Kingjoy, so ordered their lighter model from China. Then dithered a bit and decided on a Benro CF tripod, as a reputed value standard. Mixed feelings about it. It's a wee bit heavier than the Slik, and bulkier, but because of the space taken up by the clamps noticeably shorter and less wide. It is stiffer. Put your hand on the Slik and the legs splay an inch in every direction. The Benro won't, but does still bend if you pan and tilt with any speed. The Slik won't handle the video head and 65, but is just fine for the 50. Haven't figured out eyepieces yet as research shows there are only limited possibilities for double duty.

I took put the SMC zoom in and took the combo to the shore for a test run. Disaster! Between the cold, the dampness, and the COVID mask, I could not keep my eyeglasses clear. Then the Kingjoy panning proved unusable. And of course the honking zoom is not well matched with the 65. Fortunately before I listed the whole thing on Ebay, I found reviews of the Kingjoy head which explained the hidden hex bolt which could be loosened to allow the panning to work the way it is supposed to.

Now I have to decide - buy the XF eyepiece pair and experiment with switching (which the Pentax is nicely set up for) - or spend a bit more for a superior XW14 useful on both scopes? And will it supplement the 50 or be redundant?
Pair the XW14 or the XW20 on your little Pentax 65 or the 80mm and do not look back . The XF eyepieces are blown away by the XW’s, yes the XW eyepieces are more expensive but you get what you pay for.
 

GeorgeL

Active member
Rather in the same boat. Started out with a Nikon ED50 and 27x wa. Used an old Slik Sprint Pro aluminum travel tripod with ball head. Great combo - I can sling it across a shoulder and hike for a couple of hours without noticing it, while it triples the reach of my binoc's.
Then I saw a great price on the PF80EDa with the SMC zoom. Splurged on a "The Birder" tripod with a heavy duty Kingjoy video head. Thing is rock solid with moderate weight. I have a ski backpack - breast and waist belts, low profile sack, ski straps on the back. Slip the scope in the bag, and strap the tripod across the back and it's quite manageable.
Next came a sale on the 65 and a sales tax holiday in Massachusetts, so I purchased it on a lark thinking I could share eyepieces and extend my options. Now I'm not so sure=:-o First up was deciding on a tripod and head. Really impressed with the heavy duty Kingjoy, so ordered their lighter model from China. Then dithered a bit and decided on a Benro CF tripod, as a reputed value standard. Mixed feelings about it. It's a wee bit heavier than the Slik, and bulkier, but because of the space taken up by the clamps noticeably shorter and less wide. It is stiffer. Put your hand on the Slik and the legs splay an inch in every direction. The Benro won't, but does still bend if you pan and tilt with any speed. The Slik won't handle the video head and 65, but is just fine for the 50. Haven't figured out eyepieces yet as research shows there are only limited possibilities for double duty.

I took put the SMC zoom in and took the combo to the shore for a test run. Disaster! Between the cold, the dampness, and the COVID mask, I could not keep my eyeglasses clear. Then the Kingjoy panning proved unusable. And of course the honking zoom is not well matched with the 65. Fortunately before I listed the whole thing on Ebay, I found reviews of the Kingjoy head which explained the hidden hex bolt which could be loosened to allow the panning to work the way it is supposed to.

Now I have to decide - buy the XF eyepiece pair and experiment with switching (which the Pentax is nicely set up for) - or spend a bit more for a superior XW14 useful on both scopes? And will it supplement the 50 or be redundant?
I have both the 65 and 80 Pentax scopes and practically all my my astro eyepieces perform really well on both scopes. I have telescopes so I have a set of Pentax XW’s and several of Explore Scientific eyepieces. The XW eyepieces are fantastic on both scopes, the most comfortable EP’s I’ve ever used.
Also, most all non-premium eyepieces work just as well on both scopes, no problem.
 

PlayFreeBird

Active member
Yes the zoom for the 80 - It's big and the range is reduced on the 65. Not that I could tell the difference as I was cold and miserable and couldn't keep my specs clear.
 

GeorgeL

Active member
Yes the zoom for the 80 - It's big and the range is reduced on the 65. Not that I could tell the difference as I was cold and miserable and couldn't keep my specs clear.
Yes, it’s a big EP......and 550 grams. The 14XW is smaller and weighs 365g. It gives you 27x on the 65mm and 34x on the 80mm scopes. And there are also many other smaller and less expensive 12/13/14mm astro eyepiece options out there.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top