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Pentax PF-80EDA

by Michael and Diane Porter

Diane Porter

Sometimes people ask Michael and Diane if there isn't a way to get good optics in a scope that costs between $1000 and $1500. Here it is.

Michael Porter

High-quality scope at mid-range price.

Pentax PF 80ED-AHere's a fine scope that produces a bright, clear, image, with good resolution, only a little less sharp than scopes costing two or three times as much, and with a rather small degree of chromatic aberration.

One attraction is the generous selection of famed Pentax eyepieces that fit the scope, developed over many years for use with amateur astronomical telescopes. You can use any of 12 Pentax eyepieces with this scope. However, the most economical way to purchase it is with the 20-60x zoom.

Counting the 20-60x zoom eyepiece, the Pentax is 19.1 ounces long and weighs 73.1 ounces. That makes it longer and a few ounces heavier than the top-end birding scopes such as Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, and Vortex Razor.

However, the price is smaller. Note that the Pentax zoom 20-60x eyepiece is included in the price of the scope, whereas for most other top scopes (except Vortex Razor) one must buy the eyepiece separately.

The eyepiece is completely waterproof, even when not attached to the body of the scope. Of course, the scope itself is also completely waterproof.

The Pentax has protective rubber armoring and an extensible lens hood. A raised line on the body serves as a sighting device. The scope comes in a straight model as well as the angled one we tested.

Pentax has recently come out with new, outstanding camera adapter to let you connect a camera to your scope for digiscoping. It is the Pentax UA-1 Adapter.

Copyright 2008 by Michael and Diane Porter.

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