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Thread: Pentax PF80 ED

  1. #1
    Member Formerly Montana Bob's Avatar
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    Default Pentax PF80 ED

    Anyone have this spotter? Have an upcoming Sheep hunt and need to upgrade my spotting optics. The reviews on this are good and would like some input from someone who owns one. Preferably someone who has used it for Sheep.
    Fish IT! Hunt IT! or *#%@ IT!

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Formerly Montana Bob View Post
    Anyone have this spotter? Have an upcoming Sheep hunt and need to upgrade my spotting optics. The reviews on this are good and would like some input from someone who owns one. Preferably someone who has used it for Sheep.
    bump for bob

    Im curious about this scope as well... Anyone?

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    I have the Pentax PF80ED in the angled version. I have the 20-60x eye piece and I bought it this winter from Doug and Cameraland. He had the best price that I could find. Tell him you are a member of this forum and he really sweetens the deal. Have not had the chance to take it out hunting yet. I did have the chance to compare it side by side with two other very nice scopes and it was by far the clearest of them all. I can't say this would be the scope for sheep hunting. With the body of the scope and the eyepiece it is fairly good sized. I did have a small manfrotto tripod for it, but the scope was just too big for it. I ended up getting a larger manfrotto tripod and it is very steady. If you fly in or don't have to pack it too far, it would be excellent. If you have to pack it a long way, look for something smaller. For the money you pay for this scope you can't go wrong on the clarity. It is every bit as good as the high dollar European glass.

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    I have the PF65ED. I was very pleased with it on our sheep hunt this past fall. It worked well in low light and survived several good rain storms. Focusing was easy, had good eye relief and didn't cause too much eye discomfort after staring at sheep therough it all day long. For the money I spent I was very happy and do not plan to buy another spotter for a long time. If you are looking at the PF80ED it should be just as good or better than mine is, though it will be a bit heavier as well. My one complaint is that the cover for the objective lense didn't have a tether and as such got lost the first day of hunting. My fault as I should have known it would fall off or be left behind at some point. Purchased from Doug at Cameraland. Best price I could find anywhere. Also, purchase the best quality lightweight tripod you can afford with a fluid ball head (I think cameraland may have some possibilities). I had a light weight el-cheapo tripod and if it wasn't so critical to our hunt, I'd have smashed and burned the **** tripod after the first day. If you are in FBKs I'm happy meet at Creamer's field to let you or anyone else give it a try.

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    +1 on the 65ED. I have the angled but use a different zoom eyepiece. The Pentaxes are great scopes. I'd like to have look through a 100ED on a big tripod sometime in good weather. One of the best scopes on the planet.

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    Member Formerly Montana Bob's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the info

    Thanks ICB for the bump.
    I have bought some other optics from Doug over at Camera Land as well so will be doing it again. I do realize that this is on the larger size for Sheep, however I am going to make the sacrifice on the weight and will be having my "Mule" the kid along so it he will be helping We are also flying in. I don't plan on doing another Sheep if successful so I don't want something to light and thought this would fulfill my spotting scope needs for other game . It's good to see someone has used this for a Sheep hunt and didn't consider it to heavy.
    Fish IT! Hunt IT! or *#%@ IT!

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    Here's a great PENTAX spotting scope forum.

    http://birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=396

    PENTAX has been making some of the best, if not, the best astro scope eyepieces in the world long before they made scopes. I used to have an XW14 that gave a superb view on my pf65. But, I sold it and bought a zoom cuz it was more practical for hunting. But, with that 80 and an XW 14 or XW10 you'd have one of the best pieces of glass on the planet and at half to a third the cost of the big three. World class. But, that big zoom is supposed to be right in there as well. It's just so dog-gone big. But hey, if your're willing to pack it then go for it. Heck, I'm willing to pack a heavier tent then most guys. Each to his own as they say.

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    I have had this scope since 2007. I made wildlife observations 6 hours a day, five days a week using this scope comparing against the Leica Televid APO. I also compared the PF80ED and Leica against the mighty PF100ED.

    If the Leica is 100, the Pentax is a strong 90. The PF100 is enormous and totally unsuited for mobile viewing, as even the slightest breath of wind will move it around unless mounted on a serious tripod. It's twice the length of either Leica APo or PF80, and weighs twice as much. It is "all that" though in terms of brightness and magnification, there is no comparison to the PF80 or APO, the PF100 in in its' own class. Also, the 20-60x eyepiece will act as a 30-80x with the PF100.

    Looking at a distance object and zooming in, the image in the Pentax will move around slightly, whereas the Leica is rock-steady.
    Focusing with the Pentax will change as you zoom, so you'll need to re-focus when you stop zooming. The Leica is in focus from zoom-in to zoom-out. Note though, these focusing operations in the Pentax are tiny, only to get the last nth-degree of resolution out of the image.
    The large ocular of the Pentax is MUCH brighter than the Leica. The Leica will appear dark at full magnification compared to the Pentax.
    Lastly, the image is slightly smeared towards the edge, you'll need to get the object towards the center of the image.

    Now these make the Pentax sound terrible; not so. I was using the scope in a professional capacity, identifying bird/animal species, and in most cases, sexing birds in flight and on the water to a distance of one to one and a half miles. For you, the Pentax would be a perfect scope, far and away better than anything else in its price class. Note that I said this scope is a strong 90 to Leicas 100, just keep in mind to get that last 10 you'll have to spend almost another $2000.00. The first summer, we spotted a fox across the river on the opposite bank, I could clearly see the fox and the colors of the fur, but with the Leica, the delineation between the white tip of the tail and the rest of the fur, the curve of white under the face is clear. I could see these with the Pentax, but not the sharp edges. You pay for this with a Leica though, and it is the best glass you can buy on this planet as a consumer. I have not yet tried the new APO 82, but it should be even better than the APO 65, for $4k.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    thanks Nitroman. Good info!

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    Member Formerly Montana Bob's Avatar
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    Default I'm Sold

    Thanks for the detailed review. Shot Doug an email over at Camera Land Saturday and I'll be ****ed if he didn't get back to me that night. I'll be placing my order with him Monday morning.
    Bob
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    I bought both my Pentax spotter and a pair of Leica Trinovid 8x42 from Doug, I don't know how he does it, but he has the best prices anywhere.
    You are going to like that scope. I bought a Bogen-Manfrotto tripod off eBay, covered the upper parts of the legs with the pipe insulation and green duct tape to turn them into an off-road tripod. Great set-up.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    Thanks for the info there on the PENTAX spotters Nitroman. One of these days I may have to pickup a big heavy to sit on the deck. I too bought my PENTAX spotter from Doug. Good guy to deal with.

  13. #13
    Member Formerly Montana Bob's Avatar
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    Default Wow

    Now that was fast. Placed my order with Camera Land Monday, just checked the tracking number. My Spotter has arrived this morning and is waiting for me at the Post Office.
    Now if I can just find some Bears to put at the other end of it this weekend
    I know it's been said before but Camera Land and Doug Rocks. Good price and fast shipping.
    Thanks
    Fish IT! Hunt IT! or *#%@ IT!

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