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Spotting Scope

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by funski, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. funski

    funski Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    210
    Looking for a decent spotting scope. Just curious what you guys are using or suggestions, 25-60 variable.
    As usual --Thanks in advance
    Jim
     
  2. bossbasl

    bossbasl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    883
    Swarovski
     
  3. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
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    6,742
    Location:
    S-E PA
    Kowa
     
  4. poacherjoe

    poacherjoe Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Central Kommiefornia
    Zeiss or Lieca
     
  5. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    3,225
    I have had opportunity to spend time on an 800-900-and 1000 yard rifle range looking through a Swarovski. They are without a doubt wonderful. My personal money was spent on a Kowa. Still pricey but had the quality of optics easily read the mirage drift at about 1/2 the money. For my use the optional Long eye relief eyepiece was a great advantage to allow me to stay in shooting position better and still see the spotting scope. The old Unertel you had to get your eye perfectly centered on the eye piece with your glasses up against the scope to see.

    Something I learned along the way: May people are all about magnification power. Many variable scopes loose definition at higher magnification settings. A very clear 20 power with a large diameter objective lens, like 80 or 100 mm, will give you far more detail than a 50 power scope that looses it's definition.

    The Army Marksmanship Unit has some huge old scopes that probably have an 8 inch front lens. Even though they are probably 50 pus years old, you can really pick out detail with them. Of course it takes a stout man to carry it and another to carry the stand.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
    bossbasl thanked this.
  6. dklees

    dklees Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
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    496
    How far are you normally shooting and what caliber? If it's something like .30 cal 200 meters or under you don't have to spend a fortune to get decent results. I actually like the Redfield or Leupold 60mm and have decent results. Pentax also makes a really decent ED 65mm and some larger ones like 80mm and I think 100mm but being ED they are more expensive. Look up reviews for all of them as I've seen the one for Pentax compared to Zeiss and other high ends. The more you spend the more you get, but you can get really decent results without spending a fortune. If you are out to 600 yds or more, only high end scopes seem to get the job done under good conditions. With hot days, small caliber like 6mm or .223, every scope will have trouble at 600 yds or more. Just used a Redfield Sunday and was impressed with the resolution.

    Edit: Read this , Premium Spotting Scopes in Review: Nikon, Zeiss, Leica, Pentax 80mm, 85mm, 105mm Optics
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  7. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    7,911
    Most of the time I can see better using my 10X50 Sightron on my 6mm Norma, than a Spotting scope. The higher the power the more wobble it seems. However, I have a Celestron Ultima 20X100 that's pretty amazing, but I had to build a frame to mount it on a bench, it's big. Inexpensive compared to Kowa but probably performs at 98% of it. Go to Optics Planet and look at the Celestron, you may be surprised at the quality and price. I also have a Redfield Rampage 20X60. Nice scope for the price, about $180.00. I use it for small bore shooting and also mount it on the window of the car/truck occasionally.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  8. danthemanx07

    danthemanx07 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    52
    I bought a Simmons Cabela's black friday special for dirt cheap. All of my shooting is at 100yds, so I couldnt justify big money on a spotting scope. Think I paid $40-50. Works well for what I need.
     
  9. 2@low8

    2@low8 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
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    Location:
    Wyoming
    I have spent time behind all the high end spotting scopes, Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski, Nikkon EDG, Meopta, Kowa, and Night Force to name a few. I think it really comes down to what you are going to use it for. If you are just using it on the range or sitting behind it judging animals at long distances. I personally use a Leica Televid HD 82 and love it. It doesn't cause eye strain that I have experienced while using other scopes. I have actually been very impressed with the Vortex spotting scopes for the money. I got to use a new Maven spotting scope over the weekend and was very impressed with the optical clarity.

    Just like with shotguns and fly rods, try out as many as you can before you buy to see what one you like the best.

    Ian
     
  10. bowhunterklk

    bowhunterklk TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Find a used late eighties Bausch and Lomb 15-45...this is right before Nikon bought them... these are a great buy with very excellent glass... swarovski's are awesome but they have an awesome price...
     
  11. Jim R

    Jim R Ljutic Nut TS Supporters

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    1,728
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Lieca
     
  12. Yoda117

    Yoda117 Active Member

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    Nov 5, 2015
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    First question: what's your budget?
    Second question: seriously, what's your budget?

    Personally, I'm a fan of Leupold for most things, but my top shelf glass is Leica. At that price range, it's more about personal preference than anything else.

    Don't worry about the magnification power. Focus (no pun intended) on the clarity/quality of the glass. losing 5X of power in lieu of a clearer image is more than a fair trade IMO.
     
  13. DandyRandy

    DandyRandy Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Minnesota
    Depends on what you are going to do with it. What ranges are you use it for. How much money do you want to spend. Shooting Army service rifle in the military and civilian we used a 25 power scope. Mine was a Champions choice. We used them 100 to 600 yards. Scope cost under $300. A comparable Nikon, Leupold, or Vortex will do the same. Focus at the distances you will be using it for is important. Swarovski is top of the line but huge money. Howa also top of the line but around half the Swarovski but still a lot more than Nikon's or Leupold's. If you want to see a bullet hole clearly at or beyond 300 yards you have to step up to more expensive optics. Look on some shooting forums. Archery talk classifieds and such. Lots of really good optics for sale for far cheaper than new. Shooting under 300 yards at the range Vortex, Nikon, Leupold, etc. will be fine. If you can, try as many of them before you buy
     
  14. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Jul 17, 2007
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    6,347
    The Swarovski models are what most guys swear by around here and they are excellent. I am still using a Leupold Gold Ring that is a lot more compact than the typical Swarovski but not quite the resolution capabilities of the higher end scopes. Still able to fond animals at 2+ miles though until the sun starts warming things up and the mirage limits how much magnification you can use. I have a hard time justifying a $2500+ dollar spotting scope when I have one that has been doing a good job for me going on 20 years.
     
  15. ggrace31

    ggrace31 TS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
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    4
    There are tons of factors but take into account how and were you are going to use it as one big one. All high end glass is great. You have to be more diserning about mid range. I like the Swaro products.
     
  16. Allenn

    Allenn Member

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    Oct 2, 2016
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    Location:
    Ohio
    Kowa, 20-60 eyepiece.
     
  17. Big Iron

    Big Iron Member

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    Sep 10, 2015
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    Location:
    Kaysville Utah
    I personally use a Kowa but a guy cant go wrong with any of the top end glass makers. One scope that would be taking a look at is the new Zeiss Gavia 85
     
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