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Pentax PF80ED (1 Viewer)

PeteQuad

Well-known member
It does unscrew easily enough, but there is a loose lens there once the barrel is removed. However, it does focus if I balance it all together.

If I cut away the metal surrounding the 1.25" extension, I bet I could get it close enough to focus, but I'm not sure I want to mess up a ~$300 eyepiece.
 

henry link

Well-known member
The 2" barrel on the 22mm Panoptic can be removed, but be careful! Both barrels have to be unscrewed together, then the 2" barrel unscrews from the 1.25" barrel. The operation must be done with the barrels pointing upward or the lens elements will come tumbling out when the barrels are removed.

edit: I see you've already tried it. Now just unscrew the 2" barrel from the 1.25" barrel and screw the 1.25" barrel back onto the eyepiece housing.
 
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PeteQuad

Well-known member
Woot, you guys (and Televue) are the best! I unscrewed the barrel, then the 2" from the 1.25" and then re-screwed in the 1.25" separately and it appears to focus just fine now. I can't test all distances because it is getting very dark now here but from the way it jsut worked normally like my 9mm I would say I am good to go. The only downside is that there are some exposed threads on the outside of the barrel now, but not a big deal. Very good news for me :).
 

PeteQuad

Well-known member
OK, I attempted a star test. First off, I can not actually get to infinity with the Panoptic - very close but not quite. I should still be able to use it for most birding I guess (although I honestly see myself leaving the Nagler on most of the time anyway).

Second, as far as I can tell, the star test looks good. I will try to check again later in the night before I got to bed (to let it cool off more), but I don't see any noticeable astigmatism and the inside and outside focus look pretty much like they are supposed to. No noticeable coma to me. I'm sure someone more experienced could give a more detailed review but I am just happy they look round and centered.
 

jring

Well-known member
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PeteQuad

Well-known member
Of course Eagle Optics has it on sale for $670 (going out of business sale) now, so my timing is excellent as always ;). I got a chance to use the 9mm Nagler at a large lake this week. The clarity is perfect. I can see great detail at enormous distances. However, the field curvature is a little annoying when panning. It can be almost dizzying at times. I was able to follow some cormorants flying though and was amazed at the detail I could see while they were moving.

I almost had myself convinced I would get a Pentax 14 UW, for the comfort of the extra eye-relief and the flatter field, and to have something with a little less magnification. But now that I've used it, I can't see wanting less magnification. I am afraid I would never use it. The 10mm UW might be perfect for me, but I'm not sure I want to spend the money just for some extra eye-relief. Also, the Nagler is so much smaller and lighter.

For now, I think I will stick with it... I guess.
 

giosblue

Well-known member
Glad to hear your pleased with your new scope Pete, I'm delighted with mine. If you think you might not use any other eyepieces, or only occasionally, get yourself a 15mm BST Explorer £49 in the UK. This would give you a really nice 34x for not much money. Don't let the cheap price put you off, they punch way above their weight.
 

PeteQuad

Well-known member
Thanks, that could be a good idea. Then it is not much of an investment to see if I will want the less magnification ever.
 

PeteQuad

Well-known member
Just thought I would leave an update, since I have been using my scope a bit lately.

A little while back I found an amazing deal on a Pentax XW 14mm (I gave a lowball offer to someone on ebay who took it). However, as I suspected, I don't seem to want less magnification. The view is comfortable, sharp and everything you would expect, but I don't like to give up the extra magnification of the 9mm.

The 9mm Nagler is amazingly sharp, limited only by atmospheric haze. The views are so wide that is is almost hard to see the whole thing - there is no circle - just view everywhere. It is also very small and light compared to the Pentax, making it balance perfectly. The one flaw it has is that the edges of the field are curved (as primarily an astronomical eyepiece, I believe this is purposeful to ensure pinpoints for stars to the edge). This is very distracting when panning, and can even be somewhat sickening at times when searching around for an extended time.

So, I will probably end up with the Pentax 10mm XW, which is probably the best eyepiece for me.
 

giosblue

Well-known member
Thanks for the update Pete, personally I find it a bit annoying when someone starts a thread and then abandons it when you've been following it. I was all on to buy the Kowa TSN884, but I kept reading all the good reports on the Pentax scopes. So while I still had the Kowa, I ordered a PF80ED just to try it. £539 new.
Since you got the XW14 at a good price you won't be needing the BST 15mm I suggested. However to anyone else reading this post the BST 15mm is an absolute peach on the PF65ED and the PF80ED
 
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PeteQuad

Well-known member
So far I have mainly used my scope for water viewing (either lakes or ocean). In that scenario, I feel the PF80ED is wasted using less magnification. Honestly, it is a great scope, and there is nothing about it I feel is lacking for my needs.
 

DRodrigues

Well-known member
Just thought I would leave an update, since I have been using my scope a bit lately.

A little while back I found an amazing deal on a Pentax XW 14mm (I gave a lowball offer to someone on ebay who took it). However, as I suspected, I don't seem to want less magnification. The view is comfortable, sharp and everything you would expect, but I don't like to give up the extra magnification of the 9mm.

The 9mm Nagler is amazingly sharp, limited only by atmospheric haze. The views are so wide that is is almost hard to see the whole thing - there is no circle - just view everywhere. It is also very small and light compared to the Pentax, making it balance perfectly. The one flaw it has is that the edges of the field are curved (as primarily an astronomical eyepiece, I believe this is purposeful to ensure pinpoints for stars to the edge). This is very distracting when panning, and can even be somewhat sickening at times when searching around for an extended time.

So, I will probably end up with the Pentax 10mm XW, which is probably the best eyepiece for me.

If you are happy with the Nagler 9 (i.e. the reduced eye-relief isn't limiting for you, unlike me...), you should try an Ethos clone of 9mm. Within this focal length I think the Ethos (8 or 10mm) are limited in relation to the clones due to the 1.25/2" adapter - most probably will not reach focus in a PF - if was the 4.7 or 3.7 I would recommend an Ethos, if price was not limiting for you. In this case the 9mm Ethos clones are much less expensive than a XW10, the image quality is similar to the Nagler (even having less pincushion...) and you have 100º. The only minus is increased size. The APM/Lunt version is probably the most comfortable to most observers.
 
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PeteQuad

Well-known member
I've been thinking about your post David. Spending less money is desirable of course, but I am concerned about making the mistake (again) of not just buying the best fit for me in the first place. I also thought about the eye relief. The truth is, I am used to the Nagler now, but it would be nice to have a more comfortable viewing with some more eye relief.

I appreciate all the suggestions, they definitely make me think.
 

Ries

Well-known member
Anyone been able to compare, with zoom, a Kowa 823 to this Pentax or thoughts about it? I can get both used for about the same price.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

have not compared and only seen a Pentax once and no 823 yet. If you can compare or at least test them, by all means do.

Assuming they are both optically equal, the Pentax is a more rational buy. While the Pentax zoom EPs are not quite as legendary as their XW fixed series, they're ok. But you have the option of buying quite a number of great fixed eyepieces new from Pentax plus huge numbers of 1.25" astro EPs.

On the other hand EPs for the Kowa 820 series are rare finds even used - you can use Kowa small body EPs with a quite expensive ($100) adapter.

But of course, the Kowa has the optical magic sauce, an element made from CaF2 crystal - theoretically being a wee bit better than the best ED glasses and since those elements (or the whole objective) are almost universally made by Canon Optron - usually of quite nice quality.

Joachim
 

Ries

Well-known member
Thanks Joachim

I'm not someone who goes changing eyepieces and don't have the funds to buy more eyepieces easily. I'm more of spending once for something that can do it all and be happy with it.

For me it's almost more cosmetic (Pentax looks more modern) but that isn't all that important but when optics seem to be so identical in quality...

Plus for Pentax is I can test it, Kowa would be an overseas buy.
Minus for Kowa: I read the zoom ep has fold over rubber eye up, not twist up? That true? Seems less comfortable to me.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

yes the original zoom EP for the 823 seems to have a rubber eyecup.

If you can test the Pentax and find it to work well, by all means go for that.

Joachim
 

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