I just got my first spotting scope, a Pentax PF65ED-a w/a Pentax XF SMC 20-60x zoom eyepiece, and can’t wait to get out and use it. Of course, it arrived right after sunset, so that will have to wait until tomorrow!
It’s surprisingly lightweight and compact (an advantage of a 65mm objective lens), and at least in my use around the house this evening, is surprisingly sharp. Fortunately I have a spare generic Arca-Swiss-style QR plate, so I can use the scope with my existing (stable, lightweight) camera tripod, although a good light pan head may be in my future, as it’s difficult to keep the scope level side-to-side using a ballhead.
The eyepiece seems very bright and has a good field of view, although the eye relief at 60x (11mm) leaves something to be desired, and I cannot see much of the view with my glasses on at that magnification.
Since this scope uses a standard 1.25″ astronomical eyepiece mount, I look forward to getting the right set of T-adapters to attach my dSLR to it. I may play around with using my Panasonic FX01 for some digiscoping just for fun too.
Even better, the weekend forecast is clear and sunny – yay!