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New member, First "real" spotter

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2012 at 10:49
TXdefender View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: February/10/2012
Location: Texas
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Well guys first time poster.  I just bought a well used yet servicable Pentax PF-80ED as my first "real" spotter with 20-60x eyepiece for about $600.  Glass is very good-great, no scratches and coatings seem intact, body shows signs of use but all in all it's very usable.  Eyepiece is missing the rubber eyecup but it's not needed for viewing and I'm sure I can find another.  I really want the Swaro STM 80HD spotter but didn't have the cash (for now) so I had to compromise.  How did I do as a "compromise" spotter?
 
I'd like to thank everyone on here as well as the host as I've done many hours of research here. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2012 at 11:19
BeltFed View Drop Down
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You did well.
I was saving for a Vortex Razor, since it was only about 500 more than the Pentax PF-80, when I came across a used PF-80ED at a price I couldn't pass up. I'm happy.
Get a good tripod for it. I got the Vortex Dakota and it made a big difference from a cheap camera tripod.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2012 at 11:26
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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You did very well indeed. That is a great price on a great spotter. Shoot, I have seen that eyepiece sold used for $350 by itself. I would actually prefer the PF80ED to the non-HD ATM due to the Pentax' excellent Chromatic Aberration control. If you want a real eye-popping image, find a fixed 14mm Pentax XW eyepiece. That is a 36x image that would be tough to beat by any spotter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/11/2012 at 11:43
TXdefender View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: February/10/2012
Location: Texas
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Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

You did well.
I was saving for a Vortex Razor, since it was only about 500 more than the Pentax PF-80, when I came across a used PF-80ED at a price I couldn't pass up. I'm happy.
Get a good tripod for it. I got the Vortex Dakota and it made a big difference from a cheap camera tripod.
 
Good call on the quality tripod recommendation, right now I have cheaper compact Manfrotto tripod which worked fine on my cheap spotter but the Pentax is a beast and while it will support it I want something more stable.  I'm thinking of going with the old birder standby, Manfrotto 055 legs with 128rc head.  Problem is I'm not much of a birder, I got it mainly for long range shooting and hunting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/15/2012 at 11:02
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
Optics Master
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Originally posted by TXdefender TXdefender wrote:

Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

You did well.
I was saving for a Vortex Razor, since it was only about 500 more than the Pentax PF-80, when I came across a used PF-80ED at a price I couldn't pass up. I'm happy.
Get a good tripod for it. I got the Vortex Dakota and it made a big difference from a cheap camera tripod.
 
Good call on the quality tripod recommendation, right now I have cheaper compact Manfrotto tripod which worked fine on my cheap spotter but the Pentax is a beast and while it will support it I want something more stable.  I'm thinking of going with the old birder standby, Manfrotto 055 legs with 128rc head.  Problem is I'm not much of a birder, I got it mainly for long range shooting and hunting.
I've had great success using a Manfrotto fluid head for spotting. I think it's handier than fixed heads I've had and is usually a lot easier/faster to acquire/remain on a target.
I think the 055 legs are the updated numbers for the old 3011/3021 series, which is about as good as it gets, while still portable and affordable.
Congrats on the Pentax deal.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2012 at 11:12
TXdefender View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: February/10/2012
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Tripod came in and all I have to say is....WOW!  I've never owned a quality tripod but this makes using the scope enjoyable.  The 128RC head moves like butter and stays where you put it.  This rig is stable enough for the big Pentax so it should work with any other 80mm and lighter scope.  This tripod is massive and heavy though, certainly not something I'm going to want to pack around all day but then again neither is the big Pentax.  Took it to 300yd range and was able to spot 223 (22cal) bullet holes with amazing resolution at 30x, was zero mirage running though.  Moved out to 600yds shooting steel plate and was able to follow the bullet trace all the way to the target and could see the splash when the round impacted the steel.  Great setup, I would recommend the Pentax PF-80ED to anyone looking for quality without alpha glass money and while I have no experience with other tripods the Manfrotto 055 legs with 128rc head is a good setup and I can recommend it.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2012 at 15:36
stork23raz View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
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Joined: September/10/2009
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I have the same scope. I really like mine.  you came out very good on the price. it is a fine scope. It will serve you well.
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