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Best for a grand

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Expand view Topic review: Best for a grand

Re: Best for a grand

Post by Jne_K on Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:25 pm

Please do. Current price on the Pentax PF80 kit is $1179

Re: Best for a grand

Post by PhilR. on Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:55 am

booboy wrote:Thanks a lot! I will get online and look up prices on the Pentax. If I can't make this work, I'll go with the Brunton.


You will do fine w/the Brunton, but I would bet dollars to donuts that the 80mm Pentax will be better. The Pentax w/zoom eyepiece isn't always easy to find under a grand, but they're out there.

Once you finally get one, please come back here and let us know what you think of it.....

Re: Best for a grand

Post by Jne_K on Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:47 am

You are very welcome and thanks, PhilR, too, for all your great input, here, and in other product categories.

Re: Best for a grand

Post by booboy on Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:36 am

Thanks a lot! I will get online and look up prices on the Pentax. If I can't make this work, I'll go with the Brunton. This forum is great, and it's good to hear from people who know the products.

Re: Best for a grand

Post by Jne_K on Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:29 am

Hi

Thanks for the update, Phil.

I understand about the weight issue and I am not a big fan of big spotters (carried those for far too many years). either, but as to whether the bigger scope is needed for 300 yard work - absolutely. Of course, in the end, whether it is worth it is up to the user to decide. I'm with you on big scopes.

Re: Best for a grand

Post by PhilR. on Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:19 am

I don't know about the first model Pentax 65mm ED, so perhaps the good zoom did not work with that model. However, that model is no longer made, and their high-end zoom works wonderfully well with the EDII (which is why I recommended the EDII and not the ED). I know this because this is the setup that I own.

I would agree that the 80mm version would most likely be better for 300yd range work, and in fact that would be the one I would purchase, given the OP's price range. One just has to decide if the extra weight is worth it. I didn't think so, but evidently that is a secondary concern for the OP.

Re: Best for a grand

Post by Jne_K on Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:32 am

That depends on which version of Pentax zoom eyepiece we are talking about, The XF zoomon the PF65ED is a low end zoom, but the [urlhttp://www.opticsplanet.com/pentax-zoom-eyepiece.html]70509 XW zoom[/url] offeredon the PF80 kits is a top notch zoom.

Do not be tempted to stick the 70509 zoom in the PF65ED, however. It will not work with that short a focal length scope and that is excatly why Pentax made the XF zoom, but only after they discovered that the 70509 would not work in the PF65ED. On the other hand, as Phil indiocates, the PF65 is a dynamite scope with a fixed power eyepiece like the Pentax XW10 (39x is the PF65ED) Even so, 300 yard scoring is a lot to ask of any 65mm scope, ED or otherwise. I strongly suggest the PF80 or the Brunton for those distances.

Re: Best for a grand

Post by PhilR. on Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:16 am

Jne_K wrote:If you shop around, as Phil notes, you might be able to pick up the Pentax, but be sure you are looking at the zoom kit, not body only.


Actually, the kit isn't all that great, as the kit eyepeice is from the lower of the two lines of eyepieces they make. If someone wants the 65mm Pentax, then they want to purchase the body only, and then purchase the better eyepiece separately. The combination will cost a bit more and may have to come from two separate vendors, but is well worth it.

Re: Best for a grand

Post by Jne_K on Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:15 am

The best scope under $1000 that I have tested (and I do test these on optical test targets) is the Brunton Eterna. It really is a steal at that price. The only other scopes I can recommend for 300 yard shooting are the Celestron Regal and the 20x60 Bushnell Elite. The Ultima's, even the ED versions, use the same low end zoom found on the sub $200 models and that seriously limits their potential. No, there is no way to change the eyepiece on an Ultima

If you shop around, as Phil notes, you might be able to pick up the Pentax, but be sure you are looking at the zoom kit, not body only. Otherwise, you end with a scope an no eyepieces. The real beuaty of the Pentax is its ability to use any one of hundreds of different standard telescope eyepieces.

Re: Best for a grand

Post by PhilR. on Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:46 pm

I would be surprised if you could really get a Swaro w/eyepiece for $1200, but if you can, then that's the way to go.

Otherwise, you would do quite well with a Brunton or Celestron, but also consider the Pentax 65EDII with their high-end zoom eyepiece. The eyepiece that is normally bundled with the 65 and that gives you a 20-60x range is OK, but the one that you would normally get with the 80mm or 100mm scope is much better. That better eyepiece really makes use of the ED lens, and is a fantastic combination of size/weight/optical performance. Check out the reviews at some of the other optical forums and retailers. You can purchase the body and eyepieces separately, and this combo can be had for around $850 or so. Also, the Pentax line uses eyepieces with the standard 1.25" barrel diameter, so you can use all sorts of telescope eyepieces, including the Baaders and Tele-Vues.

Perhaps even better would be the Pentax 80mm, which comes bundled with the higer-end zoom eyepiece. There's a few places where you can get them for around $900. This would be the best I can think of for under a grand, especially for someone who is not concerned about weight. Check out the review at the Better View Desired website for info about this scope.

For just outside of your overall price range, you can get into the Nikon ED Fieldscopes. They are supposed to be great, but I would not spend the extra $500 that it would take to get one instead of a Pentax 80mm ED.

Best for a grand

Post by booboy on Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:13 pm

I'm looking for a spotting scope to (a) use at the range, typically 100-200 yds, but sometimes out to 300 yds and (b) take out West or to South for spotting game. Clarity and ease of use are main considerations; weight is a secondary consideration. I was going to go with the Brunton, but I just saw the Celestron on sale both 80 and 100. The regular Swarovski 65 non_HD is also on sale. Which way should I go? Like to keep things around $1,000 - $1,200 including eyepiece.

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