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Looking for a new spotting scope!
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johnbra
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:02 pm    Post subject: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

well the time has finally come when i can realistically pursue the idea of getting a spotting scope. I drew a special deer tag for this fall and i want to find a nice deer, hoping this new addition will help with the cause. I know you get what you pay for, but regardless the scope i cant justify paying more than $800. I have no doubt a swarovski is worth its money but $1500 is still $1500. That being said ive looked into a few options within my budget and wanted to see what everyone thought. As of now, the scope i have my eye on at the moment is the the vortex skyline or viper (i understand that vortex is now discontinuing the sklyline model and have found some at decent prices, input on this model would be especially great) 20-60x80mm, the vortex nomad 20-60x60, Nikon prostaff with 80mm, or trying to find an early model Nikon fieldscope. My buddy bought the Nikon fieldscope 4-5 years ago and i like that scope, however its the only one ive looked through. Just curious if any of these vortex compares to the early model fieldscope, as feildscopes now are $1000+ Is the difference between a 60mm and 80mm that large? Any input would be great, thanks!
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

There was a review of spotting scopes in one of the gun/hunting magazines recently and I hung on to it because I want a better one too. Can't remember which mag but I'll look for it this weekend.

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Dawgdad
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

How good does it need to be? $200 Celestron or Konus will show you enough resolution to see .22 holes at 300 yards.


eye reilief and lightr transmisssion of the igh E- glass is waht you will pay for. Check out forum at SWFA,com

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

The review is in the July/August issue of "Successful Hunter" magazine.

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English Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

I have a Vortex Stokes Sandpiper & an very impressed with the optical quality for a $300 scope.
Unfortunately I cannot say the same for its robustness, as a small drop resulted in the frame that the eyepiece screws into fracturing through the mounting ring(thin "zinc" casting).
Luckily I've managed to bodge it back together with no discernible fall in performance.
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johnbra
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

How good does it need to be? Well thats a good question.... My lack of experience with spotting scopes leaves me asking that very question. However, i went to a local gunshop this weekend and looked through the vortex viper 15-45x 65mm and then through the skyline 20-60x80mm ED. there wasnt much distance to view in the city but the furthest target i found the skyline seemed to be just the slightest touch better, and i liked the big view of the 80mm. The Gun shop made me a great deal on it so i went with the skyline. However Im not sure how impressed I am, and maybe my expectations are too high. To give everyone an idea (and i dont know how good this is) but later that night we set it up and i was able to see the bowtie on the tailgate of a chevy 1.8 miles away. It was a touch fuzzy but could still be identified. I guess i was hoping it might be a touch more clear and a little brighter. Do you think my expectations too high? Im Going ou tomorrow to put it next to my buddies 3-4 year old Nikon Fieldscope to see how it compares. Let you know what i find out.
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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:08 am    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

Just my opinion: when you like the variable 20-60X you better save some money till you can buy the 20-60x80 with the Swarovski-name printed on. When you want good quality and don't want to spend so much money, go for a fixed 30x or 45x.
I still have no regrets about spending the money on my Swarovski 20-60x80, but to be honnest, I use my (cheap 100 euro) binoculars in 9x63 much more often.
And I didn't use it myself, but a friend has Yukon binoculars with very high multiplication (variable till 100x ?) and it seems to be OK on sunny days. With poor light it's another story. But I think you will like its price + it's always easier to look with both eyes, less fatiguing and faster to find the target.

Optics follow the rule that you get what you pay for, so better think about how often you can use it and how helpfull it will be in difficult situation. It's a little stupid to pay for a 20-60x80 Swarovsky or even the 20x mechanically staiblized Zeiss-binoculars to be left at home because it's to heavy to carry.
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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

Aloysius wrote:
Optics follow the rule that you get what you pay for, so better think about how often you can use it and how helpfull it will be in difficult situation. It's a little stupid to pay for a 20-60x80 Swarovsky or even the 20x mechanically staiblized Zeiss-binoculars to be left at home because it's to heavy to carry.

I think Aloysius nailed this.

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johnbra
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

Well just got back from the scope comparison.... Put the vortex up next to a Nikon prostaff 20-60x80mm and a nikon fieldscope 20-60x60mm and to be honest there wasnt much differecne as far as viewing is concerned. They were all VERY comparable, in fact almost identicle. We were looking at a hillside around 3-4 miles away and could see a person and their dog walking a 4 wheeler trail. This was at about 530pm so i'd be interested to see if sunset would make a difference. The vortex's field of view was noticably bigger than the others, but more so than the fieldscope (obviously since the fieldscope had a smaller lense). The fieldscope might have been a touch bit clearer but really hard to tell. However, the vortex was much bigger and bulkier than the fieldscope, and a little bit bigger than the prostaff. So as far as i can tell at this time its all about a wash. We can see pretty much the same thing through all of them, size (in my opinion) is really what your paying for IN THIS CASE. After reading all the reviews and knowing friends with nikon products, I have alot more faith in the vortex warranty. And just to comment on aloysius' message, i totally agree that you get what you pay for, and for the 600-800 range i dont think this is too bad. I'd love to have a swaro's but anything over $1000 (though i'm sure the quality is worth it) is out of my budget. Same reason that most of us probably dont have a $60,000 diesel pickup, love to have the power, ride, speed ect, but i just cant justify it. My two cents anyway. Hope this helps someone out in some way. If you have any more questions or comments feel free to post, I love to hear other points of view.
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Vince
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

John...a brilliant comparison of a number of very good quality spotting scopes mate.

As you say...anything over $1K is out of your budget...and mine too...but what you have shown us is great. My budget is considerably smaller than yours mate...but even so, the info you provided goes along way to showing the difference between some well known brand name scopes.

Thanks mate.

Cheers, Vince

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:32 am    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

Great thread guys.
I use a pair of 8x28 binos when out after ducks. I have a great pair of 10x50 binos real early zeiss metal body and look like grandads. they are amazing to use glassing for game but as Aloys has pointed out they stay in the truck cause I cant be shagged carrying the extra weight. I use my 3x9x40 scope to check out any long range suspicious looking objects. I dont carry my wee binos unless I think I will be out glassing open stuff the scope is just too easy.A animal has to be a seriously long way away before 9x is not enough.

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Dawgdad
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:44 am    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

Cheap scopes are just that, they get real dim when you crank magnification, will not stay focused and have almost zero eye relief.

The major difference between less expensive scopes /$200-$500 and top of the line (over $500) can be best seen at the edges of the day. On a bright sunny day the $200 scope will give you good resolution and image quality as far as you need to see, in low light the higher end stuff will give you images long after the cheaper stuff has faded to black.

I have two compact binoculars I use and happend to have both in my pack one morning before dawn. I could hear something in the ravine below me but could not see with my eyes yet, I grabbed the Simmons 10x25mm and saw nothing - went to the 8x42mm Bushnell H2O with BaK4 glass and could see the coyote mousing in the brush pile.

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

Imo, the cheap scopes you find today are almost perfectly equal to the expensive scopes of five and ten years ago. I have used quite a few scopes on my firearms and one thing is true, in that the tech on that new scope you just bought 6 months ago is outdated.

Yes I'm all for modern tech, but when the price approaches a used car, forget it. Resolution is the biggest factor on prices of scopes and while I may be getting older, I cannot justify the ultra high price of a scope if the person behind the buttplate can't do his/her part.

Marketing has sure done it's part in the last few years, perhaps one of the manufactures might want to tell me how I can still shoot moa at 200 yards on one of my /06's using a 35 year old weaver scope?

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johnbra
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

Well i have some news for everybody, good news for anyone looking for a scope, bad news for me! I was just informed that I paid waaay too much for my scope (and i thought i got a good deal on mine), eagleoptics.com is blowing these things out for MUCH less than i paid for mine. If you dont mind the size of the thing i think the scope is definately worth the price. right now my setup is going for 450, good price if you ask me. Just a heads up.
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English Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Looking for a new spotting scope! Reply with quote

I've dealt with Eagle Optics in the past & they have given good service.
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