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Pentax PF-80ED 80mm ED Waterproof Spotting Scope - Angled - with Case - Limited Liftime USA Warranty (requires eyepiece) image
 
(based on 3 ratings)
Brand: Pentax
Located in: Binoculars & Telescopes
Pentax PF-80ED 80mm ED Waterproof Spotting Scope - Angled - with Case - Limited Liftime USA Warranty (requires eyepiece)
Review Snapshot®
Avg. Customer Rating:
 
5 stars
(based on 3 reviews)
100% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

[1 of 1 customers found this review helpful]

 
Good choice for rifle spotting scope
By WinW338Verified Purchaser from Detroit, Michigan on 1/28/2010
Pros:
Excellent in low light, Excellent resolution
Best Uses:
Target shooting
Describe Yourself:
Casual/ Recreational
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Pentax Pentax PF-80ED 80mm ED Waterproof Spotting Scope - Angled - with Case - Limited Liftime USA Warranty (requires eyepiece):

I am a Highpower Rifle Shooter, which means I shoot a service rifle (AR-15) chambered in .223 at 200, 300 and 600 yard matches. I use this scope nearly every week on the practice range to spot holes in targets at 200 yards for myself and others. I spent an enormous amount of time reading other reviews, comparisons, etc, etc, etc, before buying this relatively expensive piece of equipment, but my evaluation criteria is very simple: can you or can you not spot a 1/4" (made by a .223 bullet) hole in the black at 200 yards, in the shade, or worse case, on an overcast winter day. With this scope, yes, every time. Birders have done a great job testing spotting scopes and carefully analyzing the results - but they're interested in color rendition, edge distortion, and other artistic criteria, which is great, but not useful to me. I just want to see 1/4" holes in the black, and you need a very good scope to do this. The Pentax has the right magnification, excellent resolution, and superior light sensitivity to make this possible.

I have to wear prescription shooting glasses, which are bigger and further away from my eye than regular eyeglasses, so eye relief is a major feature for me. The Pentax has published eye relief for the SMC 21-63mm eyepiece, which comes with the PF-80 in the kit, of 18 to 22mm, and it turns out to be satisfactory for my use (by the way, don't bet your life on the published eye relief, you've got to look for yourself, if you wear glasses). I actually bought a different scope last year (was $675 with a great reputation), but I opened it up, put on my shooting glasses, looked through it, not good enough, sent it back, all within about 10 minutes of opening the box. Eye relief was clearly, definitely, unsatisfactory. I didn't know anyone with that scope and I hadn't looked through one before buying it - big mistake. With the Pentax, I definitely have to get right up on the eyepiece if I want to see the entire field of view while wearing my glasses (I don't need the entire field through, just the middle half or so), but again, the eye relief on the Pentax is good enough, and I'm yet to look through any other scope that has what I'd call "generous" eye relief - at least with the same magnification eyepiece.

I have two other scopes, a well-regarded Chinese brand 20-60x80 that cost about $300, and an excellent American brand 12-40x60. The American scope is awesome, love it, but it doesn't have the magnification or objective size to really do what I need it to do. The $300 scope is unsatisfactory. Now that I've gotten used to the Pentax, I can't actually believe how poor the $300 scope is - this comment included for those of you wondering how much they have to spend. With the $300 scope you can see the holes in ideal lighting (sun shining on the target), but you cannot see them when the target is shaded or it's overcast. Overall, resolution, light gathering and field of view are very poor compared to the Pentax in field conditions, although I think it's a pretty decent scope for its price.

I've looked through a lot of other people's scopes at the range as well. Many in my sport use the discontinued Kowa TSN-80, which has normal, not ED glass. This is a good scope, but the Pentax has ED glass, and I've spent lots of time looking through both in comparison, and I prefer the Pentax. To get a scope on a par with the Pentax, you are into high end choices with ED glass from Swaro, Kowa, Leica, Zeiss, and Nikon, at least these are the scopes I considered, and I had a chance to look through each of them (except the Kowa ED). Among these, the Pentax is by far the least expensive. Any of these would be fantastic to own, but they are 1.5 to 3+ times as expensive, and I really don't think I would be any more satisfied with their performance because the Pentax is outstanding.

I use this scope OFTEN. Like every weekend, so I've had a chance to USE it in all kinds of different light conditions, and I know for sure now that it delivers. I highly recommend it.

One more thing regarding testing. It's great to look through someone else's scope while they tell you how fantastic it is. This topic is so subjective, but in my case (1/4" holes at 200 in the shade - yes or no) the criteria is objective. I want to point out that looking out someone's window on a sunny day isn't useful. You have to use the scope, under different conditions, just as you intend to use it, to know if it is satisfactory. Just my additional 2 cents.

 
I Own This; Love it
By jimboVerified Reviewer from monterey, ca on 12/30/2009
Pros:
Bright Eyepiece, Sensitivity Controls, Strong Magnification
Best Uses:
Astronomy, BirdingWildlife, Bright Conditions, Low Visibility, Shooting
Describe Yourself:
Avid Adventurer
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Pentax Pentax PF-80ED 80mm ED Waterproof Spotting Scope - Angled - with Case - Limited Liftime USA Warranty (requires eyepiece):

This is the highest quality scope you can get for an affordable price. It is a terrific scope in every way. One thing: if you are going mate it with a DSLR for photography, make sure, if you don't have a pentax camera, that you can find a quality adapter that works with your brand of camera before you buy the scope.

 
Extremely satisfied with this Pentax.
By ramiotVerified Purchaser from Cantley, Quebec, Canada on 2/12/2007
Pros:
Bright Eyepiece, Strong Magnification
Cons:
Heavy
Best Uses:
Bright Conditions, Digidcoping, Digiscoping
Describe Yourself:
Birder
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Pentax Pentax PF-80ED 80mm ED Waterproof Spotting Scope - Angled - with Case - Limited Liftime USA Warranty (requires eyepiece):

Very happy with this purchase, I use it for digiscoping and birding. Very clear and crisp view and very illuminated. Used it with a DC Casio P600 up to today and are now using a Pentax K100D for digiscoping. They complement themselves very well. [...]

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