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The Binocular Advisor

The Scopes Advisor

The Tripod Advisor

Spotting Scopes of Note

Pentax PF 65 EDA II
20-60x65 Spotting Scope

Mid-priced Scopes Round-up, 2009

by Michael and Diane Porter

Pentax PF 65 Scope

Pentax scored overall highest of the compacts. Its 30x resolution score of 3.7 led its category, and its subjective image quality score of 3.6 significantly exceeded the other three scopes. Although the scope does evidence chromatic aberration at maximum magnification, the predominant impression is of a bright, clear image with excellent contrast.

Generally we prefer a dual focus knob, and the Pentax PF 65 has only a single focus knob. But it's good! It offers perfect resistance to the touch, allowing for precise focusing. This single focus knob proves that one good knob is better than two that are sloppy or too hard or too soft.

Our judges gave the highest marks on ergonomics to the Pentax of anything in the survey. It rotates in its tripod-mount collar. The large, 20-60x zoom eyepiece is easy to look through, with a big, easy-to-turn, knurled ring. Although the eye relief stated in Pentax's literature is 15-11mm, we found it adequate even for glasses wearers.

At 37 ounces, this Pentax weighs considerably less than the full-sized scopes, while providing magnification up to 60 power. Although, with only a 65mm objective lens, it wasn't quite as sharp at 60x as the 80mm Alpen or 80mm Bushnell, it actually scored better at 60x than the 80mm Vortex Skyline (2.8 vs. 2.6).

The Pentax PF 65 EDA II is most economically purchased as a kit, including the eyepiece, but body and eyepieces are also sold separately. You can also get an 8-24x zoom for it, with 18-22mm eye relief. The scope is available in both angled and straight-through design. The Pentax "Worry-Free" Warranty provides for repair or replacement to the original purchaser (even if damaged by fault) for a charge of $19.95.

30x resolution score: 3.7; 60x resolution score: 2.8; Overall score: 3.87

See price

Copyright 2009 by Michael and Diane Porter.



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