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Pentax EDII 65 for backpack hunting

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/08/2011 at 15:54
m_freeman View Drop Down
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I am thinking of pulling the trigger on spotter for my backpack hunting. I am very aware of weight as I am an old guy Big Grin. Do you guys think the Pentax EDII 65 with the quality XW14 eyepiece would be the way to go versus the Nikon fieldscope 50 or the Lupey goldring or even the older 25x50 goldring. There would have to be a noticable difference with the Pentax for me to carry the extra weight. I hear good things about the Nikon 50.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/08/2011 at 16:23
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I used to have a Pentax 65EDA.  It broke.  They replaced it.  Now I have a big spotter (Vortex Razor HD), and backpacker (the Nikon ED50A).  Both are at the top of their classes.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/08/2011 at 16:27
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thanks Bitterroot, how do you find the Nikon as a hunting scope? Can it look into the brush real well waaay out there, performance at dawn, dusk. I sure could go with the Nikon if it performs, I like the weight of that thing for sure.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/08/2011 at 20:32
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Originally posted by m_freeman m_freeman wrote:

thanks Bitterroot, how do you find the Nikon as a hunting scope? Can it look into the brush real well waaay out there, performance at dawn, dusk. I sure could go with the Nikon if it performs, I like the weight of that thing for sure.


It is still new, and I haven't had it out hunting yet.  In the glassing I have been doing, I am pretty impressed.  It performs at a level very, very near the level of quality 60/65mm ED spotters like the Pentax 65ED series.  I was glassing with my ED50A a couple nights ago under ideal atmospheric conditions.  I was able to see a guy in a red t-shirt and khaki shorts walking his chocolate lab on a popular hiking trail 8.05 air miles from my porch.

The ED50 has outstanding resolution, and makes good use of it by correcting Chromatic Aberration impressively.  I will be using mine for backpack timberline mule deer hunts for glassing just as you described.

See if you can look through one yourself.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2011 at 09:05
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How much does the Nikon weigh??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2011 at 16:26
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Thanks Bitterroot, I checked the weight of the Pentax and the WX14 eyepiece it comes in at about 3 lbs. the Nikon weighs 1 lb without eyepiece and I suppose all together probably about 1.75 lbs.
On a long high country backpack that is a significant difference for me, there is much to be said about the convenience of light and handy when in the backcountry. The other one I was looking at was the Lupey gold ring or even the older 25x gold ring that weighs 21 oz. However, I do like what the ED glass does for my old tired eyes. Good to hear about that Nikon, wish we could get a comparison between the Nikon and the Gold Ring.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2011 at 19:00
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Originally posted by m_freeman m_freeman wrote:

Thanks Bitterroot, I checked the weight of the Pentax and the WX14 eyepiece it comes in at about 3 lbs. the Nikon weighs 1 lb without eyepiece and I suppose all together probably about 1.75 lbs.
On a long high country backpack that is a significant difference for me, there is much to be said about the convenience of light and handy when in the backcountry. The other one I was looking at was the Lupey gold ring or even the older 25x gold ring that weighs 21 oz. However, I do like what the ED glass does for my old tired eyes. Good to hear about that Nikon, wish we could get a comparison between the Nikon and the Gold Ring.


A few things:

First the weight savings of the ED50 are better than you estimate.  The weight of mine with 13-30 eyepiece is 1.34 pounds.  As a fellow backpacker, I know that grams count, ounces are important, and pounds are deal-breakers on gear.  This means you could carry two ED50s for the weight of the Pentax.

I also used to own a Gold Ring 12-40X60 spotter.  IT was a fine scope with tremendous eye relief (like 30mm!).  It was similar in image to the Pentax (with XF zoom) at similar powers.  My hunting partner currently has a Gold Ring HD.  I would recommend the GR HD as the second best backpacking spotter available (after the ED50).  Many people really like the 50mm GR spotter from Leupold.  I have also used that spotter and found it underwhelming, especially in apparent resolution.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2011 at 21:00
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I have the 15-30x50 Golden Ring and I love it.  It is one of my favorite scopes. 
 
It is not quite as optically perfect as the Nikon 50ED (especially with a good fixed mag eyepiece) and it is just a bit heavier but, it is still a whole lot of scope for the money.  It's also quite a bit less expensive than the Nikon - which can be important. 
 
Except for digiscoping, astronomy, and/or when I am sitting at home or in a base camp where size and weight don't matter at all, I rarely use anything but my little Leupold anymore.  I have a big 80mm scope for those times.  
 
I wouldn't purposely choose to use a 60mm class scope for backpacking.  Too much weight and bulk for not nearly enough benefit.  (I do own a little 60mm fixed-mag B&L but, I bought that for my kids to beat up - only paid $75 on fleabay for it.)
 
If you can afford it, the Nikon is a slightly better scope.  If $ is an issue - which it always seems to be for me - then get yourself the Leupold and don't look back.  You won't miss anything important.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2011 at 21:45
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+1 on the ED50 for backpack hunting
 
I use it with the Slik Sprint Pro II tripod (which doubles as a shooting rest) and it's an awesome combo at a very light weight.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2011 at 00:35
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Originally posted by bookworm bookworm wrote:

+1 on the ED50 for backpack hunting
 
I use it with the Slik Sprint Pro II tripod (which doubles as a shooting rest) and it's an awesome combo at a very light weight.
how does it perform in low light?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2011 at 08:00
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Low light performance...for a 50mm objective it's very good.  However, if you compare it to a 65mm - 80mm lense it will fade a bit sooner - especially at the top end of the magnification range.
 
But that's one of the trade-offs you get for a small package.  A decent larger scope will probably buy you an extra 10 - 15 minutes of viewing.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2011 at 10:20
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Originally posted by bookworm bookworm wrote:

... A decent larger scope will probably buy you an extra 10 - 15 minutes of viewing.
yeah, that's the issue for me where I hunt the only time you will see a buck if lucky is right at dawn as they are nocturnal around here. They get into very thick brush as soon as the there is any light and you need to be a fair distance to see them, as the bucks are hypervigilant. I just  picked up the brunton eterna 62mm and the bushnell elite 80mm off fleabay to field test objective size at dawn. Both have ED glass and fully multi coated lenses, I will set the zoom at 20x so I can have some kind of baseline for my requirements at dawn. If the 62mm fails then I doubt the Nikon 50mm will work for me, if it passes then I may be able to find a lighter higher quality 65mm with fixed eyepiece, then again maybe it will be better than I anticipate. I'll lug the 80mm along as a reference and baseline as well.   
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