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04-24-2012, 03:19 PM   #1
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Pentax spotting scopes locator pin hole not working with Manfrotto heads

Just purchased a Pentax PF80EDA and PF65EDA II spotting scope, a Manfrotto tripod, and a Manfrotto 128RC head.

When I tried to mount the scopes I discovered that the spring loaded pin in the base plate that is supposed to fit in a hole in the bottom of the scope to prevent the scope from twisting wouldn't fit.

The pin on the Manfrotto base is 4.5mm and the hole in the bottom of the spotting scope appears to be 4mm.

OK... So I ordered a mounting plate for a Manfrotto 701HDV head. This is a more expensive head and has a metal locking pin instead of the plastic one on the 128RC figuring maybe the pin on the 701HDV head would fit. Nope. It's 4.5mm too.

The make things worse. None of the tech specs for any heads list the size of the sping loaded pin and not of the spotting scope tech specs list the size of the pin hole.

Strangely, I have a cheap ($40) Tripod made in China I bought 5 or 6 years ago and the pin on this tripod fits the hole in the Pentax Spotting scope fine.

I found a thread on another forum where some others have run into the same problem with Pentax Spotting scopes locking pin hole not working with heads from well known Tripod makers. This problem seems to go back to at least 2006.
No solution recommended on that thread other than drill out the hole in the bottom of the scope base. These scopes with eyepeices are $1000. I really would rather not be drilling on them.

Can anyone recommend a head with a locking pin that will fit a Pentax Spotting scope?


Last edited by JoeSixPack; 04-24-2012 at 03:20 PM. Reason: typo in title
04-24-2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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Would this be any help?
link to a bird forum thread, there's an adaptor plate mentioned a few posts down Help with Pentax spotting scope [Archive] - BirdForum
04-24-2012, 05:56 PM   #3
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I don't get it. What's to stop the anti-twist plate from twisting on base plate? From the photo on B&H it looks like the plastic locator pin has been removed from the base plate (no hole for it in the 200USS?)

Looks like you are just trading one problem for another here. Scope won't twist on the 200USS but thw USS200 will then twist on the base plate.

I'm leaning towards just drilling out the 4mm hole in the bottom of the Pentax scope to 4.5mm.

Amazing that the scope/camera companies can't work with the Tripod makers so that base plates actually have a standard size locator pin or at least the Tripod makers could include an extra smaller (5 cent?) pin.
04-29-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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Just solved my problem. I swapped the Manfrotto 128RC for a Manfrotto 701HDV.

The quick release plate on the Manfrotto 701HDV has both a 1/4 and 3/8 screw. The Pentax PF80EDA has both a 1/4 and 3/8 inch hole in the base so you can attach it to the 701HDV quick release plate with both the 1/4 and 3/8 screws. The scope can't twist with two screws in it.

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