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Forum: Sold Items 05-21-2009, 01:34 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Quality B+W and Hoya UV Filters: 77mm & 52mm
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 2
Views: 2,733
Still have 77mm UV and 52mm UV and polarizer.
Forum: Sold Items 05-19-2009, 04:23 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Quality B+W and Hoya UV Filters: 77mm & 52mm
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 2
Views: 2,733
One filter sold. Hoya 77mm Standard UV, B+W 52mm MRC UV and and Tiffen 52mm circular polarizer still available.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-18-2009, 09:15 AM  
A* 300mm F4 Worthwhile?
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 23
Views: 3,563
Sigmas are a dime a dozen. You can buy those anytime. You won't see very many A* lenses, though. Assuming you can live without the AF, let's hope your Sigma bid is rejected so you can get the 300mm A*.

As for the books, that's nothing. My wife and I have way more books that that. You still have empty shelf space! I probably have a few hundred stacked up waiting for for storage space to appear. And I have two shipments from Amazon coming!

I also sell the old gear to pay for the new gear. Just sold my Nikon 17-55 f2.8 DX (nice lens but close to two pounds to carry -- too heavy for travel). This sale plus the sale of some accessories here will cover most of the cost of a Voightlander Ultron SL II 40mm f/2 and a pair of Fujinon binoculars that I ordered this morning.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-17-2009, 10:11 AM  
A* 300mm F4 Worthwhile?
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 23
Views: 3,563
I owned a 300mm M* f/4 lens, which is identical to the A* except for the aperture mechanism and the "A style" trim (no metal "window" around the distance marking). The 300mm f/4 was the very first "*" lens made by Pentax.

This lens has outstanding optics -- better than non-ED/non-"*" lenses. It's sharp wide open and gets better closed down a stop or two. Very high contrast and very low flare. It really doesn't get any better in a 300mm f/4 lens. It should perform better than the Tokina f/5.6. The focusing ring turns almost all the way around, which gives you very precise focusing but it takes a while to go from near to far. So not the quickest focusing for sports. The lens is on the heavy side and would be better if it had a tripod foot.

I doubt that modern designs would have better image quality, but would add auto-focus and a tripod foot.

I used mine for occasional landscape shots (capturing a detail in a distance vista). I didn't use it much, but when I did the results were great. I also tried using it for sports/action use and it was not so great for that. The focusing is slow, and the lack of a tripod foot made the camera/lens combination unbalanced on a monopod.
Forum: Sold Items 05-17-2009, 08:53 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Quality B+W and Hoya UV Filters: 77mm & 52mm
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 2
Views: 2,733
Filters For Sale. 77mm UV, 52mm UV and 52mm circular polarizer. Doing some spring cleaning and I've found some filters that I don't need and can be put to good use by others.

All in excellent condition with perfect glass and no damage - just a small amount of dust and perhaps a handling mark on the mounting ring. I purchased all of the items new. All prices INCLUDE SHIPPING within U.S. via US Postal Service and payment through PayPal. I'll also accept a Postal Money Order. Shipping to U.S. ONLY on this sale.


B+W 77mm UV (010) MRC SOLD


Hoya 77mm UV(0) "Standard" Single-layer coating on both sides "Purple" label -- Made in Japan. Includes original storage case. Sells for $39 new at B&H Photo.
$25 (Includes shipping)



B+W 52mm UV (010) MRC Easy to clean multi-coating. Made in Germany. Includes original case and box. Sells for $40 new at B&H Photo.
$25 (Includes shipping)


Tiffen 52mm Circular Polarizer Uncoated. Made in Japan. Sells for $20 new at B&H Photo.
$12 (Includes shipping)


I will discount the price for multiple items. Buy two items and save $5 off the total. Buy all three and save $10 off the total!

I had these listed with other gear in another thread and thought I'd re-list them separately.

SALES TERMS: PLEASE READ BEFORE AGREEING TO BUY

I guarantee that the item works as described and I will refund your money if it does not meet the description or is defective (other than shipping damage). You must notify me within THREE DAYS of receipt of the item if there is a problem. THE BUYER IS RESPONSIBLE TO INSURE COMPATIBILITY WITH THE INTENDED APPLICATION. I am an individual seller so I can't accept returns.

Payment by PayPal is preferred, but I will accept a U.S. Postal Service money order. Buyer must contact seller within one day of close of the deal to confirm payment method and amount (if shipping is not to U. S.). If international shipping is requested, please confirm the cost with me before sending payment. Payment must be received within 3 days (PayPal) or 7 days (Money Order) from the close of auction or else item will be re-listed and negative feedback will be posted.

Please send a Private Message if interested.
Forum: Sold Items 05-15-2009, 08:32 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Hood and Filter BLOW-OUT! Lots of good stuff.
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 3
Views: 2,233
Replied to PMs. Some items sold. Prices reduced on a few others.
Forum: Sold Items 05-15-2009, 10:05 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Hood and Filter BLOW-OUT! Lots of good stuff.
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 3
Views: 2,233
Three Filters Still Available! Doing some spring cleaning and I've found some small items that I don't need and can be put to good use by others.

All in excellent condition (used but with few signs of use). I purchased all of the items new. All prices INCLUDE SHIPPING within U.S. via US Postal Service and payment through PayPal. I'll also accept a Postal Money order. Shipping to U.S. ONLY on this sale.

Price is listed BELOW item:

Filters:

B+W 77mm UV (010) MRC Easy to clean multi-coating. Made in Germany. Includes original case. Sells for $64 new at B&H Photo.
$45

Hoya 77mm UV(0) Single-coated both sides. Made in Japan. Includes original storage case. Sells for $39 new at B&H Photo.
$25

B+W 52mm UV (010) MRC Easy to clean multi-coating. Made in Germany. Includes original case and box. Sells for $40 new at B&H Photo.
$25

I will discount the price for multiple items. Buy two items and save $5 off the total. Buy all three remaining items and save $10 off the total!

Pentax 49mm SMC Skylight SOLD
B+W 49mm UV (010) MRC SOLD
Hoya 49mm UV HMC SOLD

Hoods:

Pentax round plastic hood. SOLD
B+W round metal screw-on hood. SOLD
Hama rectangular plastic clip-on hood. SOLD


SALES TERMS: PLEASE READ BEFORE AGREEING TO BUY

I guarantee that the item works as described and I will refund your money if it does not meet the description or is defective (other than shipping damage). You must notify me within THREE DAYS of receipt of the item if there is a problem. THE BUYER IS RESPONSIBLE TO INSURE COMPATIBILITY WITH THE INTENDED APPLICATION. I am an individual seller so I can't accept returns. Please note that I cannot be responsible for shipping damage or loss.

Payment by PayPal is preferred, but I will accept a U.S. Postal Service money order. Buyer must contact seller within one day of close of the deal to confirm payment method and amount (if shipping is not to U. S.). If international shipping is requested, please confirm the cost with me before sending payment. Payment must be received within 3 days (PayPal) or 7 days (Money Order) from the close of auction or else item will be re-listed and negative feedback will be posted.

Please send a Private Message if interested.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-21-2009, 09:14 AM  
Seeking opinions on switching systems (Pentax to Nikon)
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 211
Views: 24,618
I never cared for super-zooms, as there are too many compromises in performance. The Nikon 18-200 is no exception: lots of distortion at the wide end, soft at the long end, and slow, slow, slow. But if you like the convenience of this sort of lens then the Nikon probably performs well in it this class. "People are happy" with the Pentax/Tamron super-zooms also, and they have the same performance compromises.

If you are displeased with your Nikon lenses, why not just sell them and get something else (e.g., Sigma in Nikon mount), or dump the Fuji body also and get Pentax, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica, or whatever you want? There are lots of alternatives, and selling camera gear is easy in this Internet age. When I was unhappy with Pentax, I simply sold the equipment with only a modest loss and moved on. (I also tested the Nikon gear before selling the Pentax, so I wasn't just jumping around at random.)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-19-2009, 10:03 PM  
Seeking opinions on switching systems (Pentax to Nikon)
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 211
Views: 24,618
This is simply ridiculous. I've owned both Pentax and Nikon SLR systems. I had two different Pentax DSLRs, three Pentax film bodies and over two dozen Pentax lenses over the past twenty years including the original M* lens, DA* lenses, DA Limited lenses, FA Limited lenses, etc. I currently own a Nikon D80 and a D300, and seven Nikon lenses including the 17-55mm f2.8, the 70-200mm f2.8, the 60mm f2.8 D Micro-Nikkor, the 105mm f2.8 VR Micro-Nikkor, etc.

Both the Pentax and Nikon lenses produce fine images. The Nikon 60mm macro produces images that are just as good as my Pentax DFA 50mm macro; the Nikon 105mm macro produces images just as good as my Pentax 100mm smc-A macro; my Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 DX outperforms my Pentax DA 16-45 f4 in just about every respect: one full stop faster, far less CA, faster and quieter AF, better contrast and color saturation. The Nikon 70-200mm VR is simply in a class by itself: it outperforms my Pentax DA* 50-135mm and has 50% more reach. Yes, the Nikon gear is more expensive and heavier to carry. But it doesn't disappoint in either optical or mechanical performance, especially the pro level gear.

I do like the Pentax Limited prime lenses. and a combination of the new 15mm, the 35mm Macro, and the 70mm would be ideal for travel photography. Nikon doesn't have anything that matches that level of performance in a compact, light but still well-constructed package. I lighten the load by leaving the f2.8 zooms at home when traveling, but I miss the Pentax compact size. (Actually, my Pentax LX camera and three prime lenses is what I take to travel as light as possible.)

Pentax and Nikon both make some very fine lenses and cameras. Your blanket assertion that every Nikon lens is inferior is contrary to the experience of millions of other users. If you can't get good results with any Nikon lens, then it clearly indicates that there is something wrong: either with your old Fuji S3 camera or with the operator.



That's fine for you. However, those of us who shoot sports action and indoor events need fast and accurate AF. When I switched from Pentax to Nikon, it made a huge difference. Instead of about half of my sports action photos being out of focus with Pentax, only about 5% are out of focus with Nikon. Many photos from school events and concerts were out of focus with Pentax; almost every picture from school events and concerts with the Nikon are in focus. Better AF (and higher frame rates), better noise performance at high ISO, and superior TTL flash performance are the areas where current Nikon DSLRs outperform current Pentax DSLRs.
Forum: Sold Items 03-04-2009, 10:13 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Bogen/Manfrotto Mini Ball Head, Quick Release System, and Tripod Strap
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 3
Views: 5,259
Lowered price for multiple items and corrected description.
Forum: Sold Items 03-03-2009, 01:24 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Bogen/Manfrotto Mini Ball Head, Quick Release System, and Tripod Strap
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 3
Views: 5,259
Exactly. The adapter is the base that screws onto the tripod head. The plate screws into the camera bottom. You leave the base on the tripod head and the plate on the camera. When you want to use the camera on the tripod, the base and the plate snap together instantly. To remove the camera, push the button on the base's lever and push the lever to the side and the plate instantly comes off. Much more convenient than screwing the tripod mounting in to attach and unscrewing to remove the camera. And much less wear and tear on the camera.

Many new tripod head have the quick release adapter built into the head. This adapter adds the feature to a tripod head that doesn't have the feature. Either way, you need to have a plate for each camera you want to use with the quick release.
Forum: Sold Items 03-03-2009, 11:17 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Bogen/Manfrotto Mini Ball Head, Quick Release System, and Tripod Strap
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 3
Views: 5,259
SOLD

For sale -- Bogen/Manfrotto Medium Ball Head, Quick Release System, and Tripod Strap.

1. Bogen/Manfrotto Medium Ball Head Model 3262.

In the title of the post I called this a "Mini" Ball Head, but Manfrotto called it a "Medium Ball Head."This is a fine small ball head for use with an SLR with a small to medium size lens, or any point and shoot camera. It is rated for 8.8 lbs. It is all-metal with a cast aluminum body, mounting platform and handle, and steel hardware. The ball appears to be brass. The head will mount on either a 1/4" x 20 tripod thread or a 3/8" x 16 thread, and it includes a spring-loaded reducer bushing right in the base. The camera mount is also either a 1/4" x 20 thread or a 3/8" x 16 thread, and it also includes a spring-loaded reducer bushing right in the camera mount. The 3/8" x 16 thread is great if you want to use the quick release adapter system listed below (which is how I used it). Condition is "EX-" with perfect operation of the head. There is one small spot of paint loss on the handle, some marks on the cork camera mount platform (no chipping or peeling), and some minor paint loss around the bottom tripod mount socket. (The other light spots in the photos are just reflections.) A nice little head when you want to travel light with a small tripod, body and a few prime lenses or lighter zooms.

This product is discontinued, and the closest current product is the Manfrotto 484 Mini Ball head. In my opinion the current product is not as good, as it doesn't include the built-in bushings allowing either 1/4" x 20 or 3/8" x 16 on both the camera mount and the trip attachment. The current product sells for $45:

Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 484 Mini Ball Head | 484 | B&H

I am selling this ball tripod head for $20 plus shipping.

2. Bogen/Manfrotto Model 354 quick release adapter (base clamp) with two RC4 Manfrotto quick release plates.

This adapter allows the quick attachment and release of a camera from a tripod head without screwing and unscrewing the mounting bolt. It is a tremendous convenience and I would never use a tripod without a quick release. This adapter is all metal and very stable, with a cast aluminum base and plate, and a brass locking mechanism. Operation is very reliable and positive with no wiggle or movement of the camera. There is no chance or accidental release as you must push the lever in as you slide it to the side to release the lock. It attaches to the head with either a 1/4" x 20 thread or a 3/8" x 16 thread via two separate machined threads in the base.

It works perfectly and I have used it successfully with both cameras and small telescopes. Condition is Very Good with a few minor nicks and spots of paint loss, and a some paint loss around the bottom mounting holes.

This product is discontinued, and the closest current product is the Manfrotto 394 "Rapid Connect 4 Low Profile Adapter with 3271 (RC4) Plate." The only difference is that the new product has a bubble level. The current product sells for $45:

Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 394 Rapid Connect 4 Quick | 394

I am including TWO Manfrotto RC4 plates: one older plate with a cork base and a 1/4" x 20 camera mount screw, and an almost new plate with a rubber base and both a 1/4" x 20 screw and a 3/8" x 16 screw. The older plate is in Very Good condition with just one small spot of paint loss and some wear to the cork (no chipping or peeling). The new plate is in excellent ++ condition with no visible signs of use. The RC4 plates sell for $16 new:

Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 410PL Quick Release Plate - | 410PL

The price for the adapter plus the two plates is $28 plus shipping.

3. Bogen/Manfrotto shoulder strap for Bogen/Manfrotto tripods.

This is a fabric strap with a bolt and D-ring on one end, and a loop on the other. The screw attaches to the screw thread on the top of many Bogen/Manfrotto tripods, and the loop goes around the legs of the tripod. YOU MUST HAVE A BOGEN/MANFROTTO WITH THE SCREW THREADS ON THE TRIPOD TO USE THIS STRAP. Condition of the strap is EX- with some tarnish on the zinc-plated hardware. The fabric itself is in excellent condition with no fraying, no loose or damaged threads, and little signs of use.

Similar straps from Manfrotto sell for $16:

Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 440STRAP (3045) | 440STRAP/111

The price for this strap is $6 plus shipping.

If you want everything, the price is $45. Buy two out of three and take 10% off the total.

I purchased all of the items new. The photos show the actual items to be sold. Check my feedback here and on eBay (user: garyml1) and buy with confidence!

I will ship all items to the U.S. via U.S.P.S. Priority Mail. It will cost me $8.30 to ship a single item, so that is what you pay for a single item. Buy two or all three and I will charge just $10 for shipping. Insurance is extra.

I will ship Canada, Europe or Australia but you will have to pay the actual shipping costs. I don't know whether it is worth it to pay for international shipping on these low value items; that is for you to decide. Please do not ask me to estimate the cost of international shipping: go to the U.S. Postal Service Web site and calculate the shipping for a 2 lbs. package from San Diego, California (92101) to your destination.

SALES TERMS: PLEASE READ BEFORE AGREEING TO BUY

I guarantee that the item works as described and I will refund your money if it does not meet the description or is defective (other than shipping damage). You must notify me within THREE DAYS of receipt of the item if there is a problem. THE BUYER IS RESPONSIBLE TO INSURE COMPATIBILITY WITH THE INTENDED APPLICATION. I am an individual seller so I can't accept returns. Please note that I cannot be responsible for shipping damage or loss: you can purchase shipping insurance to protect against this loss.

Payment by PayPal is preferred, but I will accept a U.S. Postal Service money order. Buyer must contact seller within one day of close of the deal to confirm payment method and amount (if shipping is not to Continental U. S.). If international shipping is requested, please confirm the cost with me before sending payment. Payment must be received within 3 days (PayPal) or 7 days (Money Order) from the close of auction or else item will be re-listed and negative feedback will be posted.

Please send a Private Message if interested.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-16-2009, 02:58 PM  
Lens Grading Help and Shaking parts sound...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 15
Views: 4,389
First of all, a rattling inside the lens may not be a defect (as others have pointed out). In addition to the ball bearings, the aperture mechanism uses moving levers. Older macro lenses have quite a bit of extension in them, and the rattle may simply be from some play in the mechanism that allows the aperture actuation as the lens extends. Check the operation of the aperture carefully and look for loose metal bits or moving elements or light stops. If everything looks and works ok, then it is probably a non-issue.

A tiny scratch on a front or rear element is unlikely to affect performance. A tiny scratch on the rear element has less effect with longer focal length lenses. It is extremely unlikely to have an effect on a 105mm lens.

But scratches on the glass do affect value and should be disclosed. As to how much it affects value depends on the lens and the scratch. Yours is a inexpensive, older lens and a tiny scratch. I would guess that the effect on value is almost nothing. If I were selling this product, I would disclose the defect and show in a photo the problem. If the lens is otherwise in EX condition, a single defect like this would put it in EX- or maybe BGN+ condition.

Finally, you have learned the lesson that many of us have learned, that the description of condition of photo gear on eBay is not reliable. Expect to get something in worse condition than described. You now need to decide if you are happy with the lens at the price paid and the actual condition. If you are, then just let it slide. If not, then contact the seller and demand that he accept a return and refund your money.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2009, 10:39 PM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
I saw the March S&T in a bookstore today and saw the ad. It said that Hutec has a new partnership with "Pentax Japan" to make objectives. Maybe this means that Pentax will keep open the Japanese factory that makes the astro optics. Or maybe they just have tens of thousands of lenses in some warehouse and they are selling them to Hutech at a bargain price. Or maybe they will make these parts in their Vietnam or Philippines factory.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2009, 10:32 PM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
Radio telescopes are fine, but I love fine optics. Nothing is better than a fine lens, either on a camera or in a telescope system. I am just amazed at how anyone can make such pure, bubble-free glass, then shape it perfectly within thousandth of an inch, and coat it so that almost no light is lost. Add a finely made, precision focusing mechanism to create a perfectly sharp image and I'm in heaven.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2009, 09:14 AM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
My 100mm with the mount & tripod is about 22 lbs. Both fit in one padded bag with a big padded divider down the middle. My bag with my other stuff (eyepiece case, binoculars, SkyScout, flashlight, etc.) is probably about 6 lbs. So total travel weight is about 28 lbs. or 12.7 kgs.



I'll look for the ad. I just re-subscribed to S&T after a lapse of a few years. I'm waiting for the March issue in the mail (and no Borg ads in the issues I have on hand).



Dome-nice! [Photo of Mauna Kea summit deleted.]
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-11-2009, 08:38 PM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
That 225mm Cassegrain sounds nice. I always wanted to try a bino-viewer. The sky conditions are not very good where I live, so I need portability for the opportunities when I can go to dark skys (in the mountains and desert east of the city). I used to have a 200mm Newtonian on an equatorial mount. It was just too big to take on any sort of trip, so I switched to smaller scopes. The 100mm refractor I have now is probably the maximum size I can transport with ease.

Some of the older eyepieces have some really sharp optics, at the expense of eye relief and field of view. It seems like you are a bit of a collector, both camera gear and telescope gear.

Funny you should mention the focus on the Moon, as I did had to refocus when moving from Saturn to the Moon. Maybe I didn't have the focus perfect on Saturn, as I can't believe that the telescope focus was different for these two objects. I thought it was odd at the time. I will explore this further.

I didn't see the ad, but I read a comment in another thread here on PT that Pentax will make lenses for the Borg system. Rather a neat line of travel scopes. It's a pity that Pentax won't share their plans for their astro products, and we have to rely on rumors from the Internet and from store sales people.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-11-2009, 11:29 AM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
I know you were kidding about the Vixen. I just had to speak up as a matter of honor. :)

Both the Pentax 105mm and 125mm have an 88mm image circle, sufficient to cover most any medium format camera. The 125 has this giant helical focusing ring-the draw tube size is somewhere between 3 and 4 inches. That thing will hold any camera or imaging device. When I was at OPT last weekend I was checking it out and it is very well made and smooth in operation.

Pentax 105 SDP APO Refractor OTA - OPT Telescopes

Pentax 125 SDP APO Refractor with Case - OPT Telescopes

I finally had a chance to use the Pentax 7 XW eyepiece last night. Conditions were not ideal as the jet stream is still overhead and the upper atmosphere is quite turbulent. Overall, I really like this eyepiece. It brings out the best in my current telescope and it is ready for anything i might get in the future. Eye relief is fantastic for this focal length, and the 70 degree field of view is perfect for me. You can get "black-out" and "kidney-beaning" if your eye is too close. But if I crank out the eye shade to the right length, then I can hit the focus spot with ease.

About an hour after sunset Venus was setting to the west and the full Moon was rising in the east. Venus looked good and was equally sharp across the entire field of view. M 42 looked beautiful and was also sharp edge to edge. The 4 brightest stars of the Trapezium were clear and sharp, but with the turbulent air and the moon glow the fainter stars were not visible. My wife came out at that point and was was quite impressed with the view of M 42 (or maybe just humoring me with my new toy). She had no problem getting the focus spot.

A couple of hours later I went out again to look at Saturn and the Moon. Saturn looked good with the edge-on rings just super-crisp. I could just barely make out a hint of banding on the surface of Saturn, but the air and the Moon glow were affecting visibility. The Vixen has a two-piece lens cap for the objective, and you can remove the center section to "stop down" the scope. I used this to look at the Moon. I have to say that the 7mm was a bit too much for such a bright Moon. Looking through the 7mm, some detail was lost because everything looked "overexposed." I saw more detail with my 12.5mm Celestron Ultima. Maybe a filter would have helped with the Pentax 7mm.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-10-2009, 05:29 PM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
Now let's not start saying bad things about my Vixen! It was a good deal and it performs very well for a ED doublet (semi-apochromatic?). It certainly lacks the fit and finish of a Pentax or Televue, but the optics are good and it performs very well.

I admit that the Pentax XW eyepiece is a little over the top on this scope, but it will be the last 7mm eyepiece that I will need to buy. I'm sure there is a Televue, Takahashi, or even Pentax premium refractor in my future some time down the road.

I saw the Pentax 75 at the store last weekend. A very nice scope and very well made, but rather expensive compared to the wave of cheap 80 & 100mm ED doublets on the market.



The store only stocked the Pentax 75 through the 125mm, but I have seen photos of much larger ones. The big ones are probably more of a custom order thing, for a school or very wealthy amateur.

I agree that price is a problem with Pentax, but other companies who sell premium telescopes seems to be doing ok. Televue charges a lot more for their TV 76 than Pentax charges for the 75. But Pentax does no advertising at all for their astronomy products, so they lack the name recognition. I could not find a single bit of information on a Pentax company Web site about their telescopes and eyepieces, and I had to dig deep to even find a reference to their binoculars. How sad is that?

They have some astro great products, and it looks like those products will disappear due to incompetent management.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-10-2009, 10:39 AM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
Ok, the weather has cleared. But a full moon tonight. :(
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-10-2009, 08:11 AM  
Bought my first ltd today! 70 f/2.4
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 16
Views: 2,573
You need tubes that have the electrical contacts; otherwise you can't control the aperture. The Pentax brand tubes won't work, but Kenko makes a tube set with the electrical connections and they work fine with DA lenses.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-09-2009, 10:25 PM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
They call it "aperture fever" in the astronomy biz: sort of like LBA for astronomy gear. Of course, it has rained non-stop here for the last two days so I haven't even tested the new eyepiece in the nighttime sky. :(

I can post a few pictures of the setup when I get a chance. I don't have the capability to do any decent astro-photography -- that's a whole other can of worms. That Pentax 125mm 'scope would help with that, but $7000 is a bit out of my budget at present. :eek:
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-07-2009, 10:40 PM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
Yes, a Pentax XW 7mm eyepiece for a telescope:

Pentax 7mm XW Eyepiece - 1.25" - OPT Telescopes

I'm using it on a Vixen (Japanese) 4" APO refractor. With this f/9 scope, it gives me about 130X which is perfect for planets and the Moon. I tested it in the store today and it definitely out-performs the highly rated Televue Nagler 7mm. Better contrast, better eye relief, and less pincushion distortion. I'd be looking at Saturn with it right about now, except tonight it is cloudy and raining. :(

The sad part is that the salesman told me that Pentax had stopped production of their telescopes and eyepieces, and once the current stock is gone then they will no longer be available. Pentax makes a range of refractors, from little ones to huge ones (with matching huge price tags). They have several of them on display in the showroom of the store and they are beautiful. I was looking at this one today - too bad it is out of my price range:

Pentax 125 SDP APO Refractor with Case - OPT Telescopes

Their eyepieces are also very nicely made, and I may pick up one or two more before they are gone.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-07-2009, 10:14 PM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
Definitely not "innerspace."
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-07-2009, 10:13 PM  
Got A New Pentax Lens Today ...
Posted By GaryML
Replies: 26
Views: 4,454
Nope. Not one of those. If it was, I certainly wouldn't pick it up. Yuck.
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