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Thread: spotting scopes

  1. #1

    Default spotting scopes

    I would like to get a new spotting scope. Would like other peoples likes and dislikes

  2. #2
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I've been wanting a spotting scope myself for a long time. Deciding on which one to buy is a long process but it all boils down to hom much money is in your budget. I could not justify 1000 bucks or more so I was looking at Vortex, Leupold and Redfield which is now made by Leupold. I compared them all at 3 Bears in the Valley at Trunk Road. They have a small sign you can use to zoom in one at the top rear of the store. After all my comparisons, I decided that Vortex had won my vote. I pondered on when to buy and when they finally showed up in stock they all went out the door in a day or two and I was not there. Then a Great Friend which is just like a Brother came to stay with us for a while and surprized me with the Vortex Nomad which was the one I had my eye on to begin with. We used it this hunting season for moose and am very impressed with it. Thanks Again Bro!!!

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    TM2 check out the optics forum here and also search the archives...there is a wealth of info that you seek.
    Proud to be an American!

  4. #4

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    I've also been recently lookin into getting a new scope and have been askin around.. Just thought I'd share with you though that I found sportsmansguide is having Optics sale so you may wanna check it out... my wife will kill me if I keep spending money on hunting gear so this sale is a godsend haha

    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/s...056&rp=section

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevOrt View Post
    I've also been recently lookin into getting a new scope and have been askin around.. Just thought I'd share with you though that I found sportsmansguide is having Optics sale so you may wanna check it out... my wife will kill me if I keep spending money on hunting gear so this sale is a godsend haha

    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/s...056&rp=section
    With optics you generally get what you pay for.
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  6. #6
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    Right now, the Vortex 80mm is a great buy. The difference between that and my Swarovski 80mm HD is negligible and the Vortex is half the price!

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    I've narrowed my search down to a Vortex Razor 80mm. I just last week put the Swaro 80mm and the Vortex Razor 80mm side by side and noticed no difference, both great scopes. I'd rather pay 1600 and spend the remaining 1400 on other gear. I just cant justify the extra cost, I would be paying for a name of Swarovski only.


  8. #8

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    For vehicle or tall tripod use, a straight spotter is great. For low tripods (sitting), sharing views, digiscoping, up-hill, and top-of-pack (no tripod) use, the angled is very hard to beat. Unless you get off on carrying weight, a 60+mm objective is perfectly fine for 98% of all hunting situations, as is a 45x eyepiece. A few guys can really make use of the 60x, but not many. I've come to understand that it's very easy to over-estimate your scope usage and needs.

    I now own a Swaro 65mm HD unit, angled with 15-45 eyepiece. Costly, BUT...it stays set up on a good Manfro tripod with fluid head in my country home. We use it all year long to view wildlife and take pics/video.

  9. #9
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Dill View Post
    . Unless you get off on carrying weight, a 60+mm objective is perfectly fine for 98% of all hunting situations, as is a 45x eyepiece. A few guys can really make use of the 60x, but not many. I've come to understand that it's very easy to over-estimate your scope usage and needs..
    Very true

    I have a 45x Zeiss and seldom can use that much power due to mirage...not an attribute of the scope but of the atmosphere, an 80mm will be worse in that regard than a 60mm. Most of the 80mm HD scopes seem targeted at birders- high powers over relatively short distances looking for details- not long range observation.

  10. #10
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Very true

    I have a 45x Zeiss and seldom can use that much power due to mirage...not an attribute of the scope but of the atmosphere, an 80mm will be worse in that regard than a 60mm. Most of the 80mm HD scopes seem targeted at birders- high powers over relatively short distances looking for details- not long range observation.
    For me, this is a key feature and why I like a more powerful scope. To my eye lamb tips are hard to clearly define even at 300-500 yards, especially when a fine or worse is on the table for making a mistake. Higher powered glass gives quite a bit of confidence! My hunt partner this year was able to confirm that his ram was indeed broomed though most of the "jagged" portion of the break had been rubbed smooth.

  11. #11
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    For me, this is a key feature and why I like a more powerful scope. To my eye lamb tips are hard to clearly define even at 300-500 yards
    Good point- I guess another use would be counting and evaluating brow tines but such utility is pretty subjective to the individual user and what they need a spotter to do. I looked long and hard at those 80mm HD Swaros but I just couldn't justify the substantial cost increase for what I would normally be using a spotter for.

    My main use this year outside of sheep hunting was spotting a lone caribou bull at 2.5 miles on a subsistence tag. He was invisible with 10x binos and the mirage obscurred him completely at 45x....but on 30x he stood out like a sore thumb.

    An hour and a half later and the longest stalk of my life...we bagged him.

  12. #12
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    i've been seeing this vortex brand pop up in alaska recently. I never new of them but I've often wondered why I keep seeing extremely competent outdoorsman using this Vortex brand. Thanks for the heads up about these well priced vortex spotting scopes!

  13. #13
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    They seem to be what you would get if Swarovski moved manufacturing to china and did a great job of overseeing the labor. Quality optics at a bargain price. At least for their higher end stuff. Their low end stuff seems like average bargain bin fare to me.

  14. #14
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Where you guys buying your Vortex spotting scopes at? Anyone else that owns one mind sharing your thoughts on this spotter?

  15. #15
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Looks like Amazon has multiple sites that sell the Vortex.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Same place I buy all my optics, forum sponsor and all around great guy Doug at www.Cameralandny.com

  17. #17
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Where you guys buying your Vortex spotting scopes at? Anyone else that owns one mind sharing your thoughts on this spotter?
    I got the new Viper HD 65mm straight from Camera Land and couldn't be happier.

  18. #18
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    I own a 20-60x80 Skyline ED and a 20-60x60 Nomad (both straight) The skyline is a great scope for open country hunting (Antelope in E. Montana) but I wouldn't use it in AK. It is nice when you can window mount it or set it up on a knoll to spot but at 19 in long and 67 oz it doesn't have enough benefits to make me want to hike it up and down a mountain. The Nomad is a great scope for use in the mountains. I compared it to my fathers Leupold and couldn't tell any differnce in the image quality when they were side by side. It is much nicer to pack around at 14 in and 36 oz. I am sure the optics on Swaro, Zeiss, and Leica are a little better but I am not convinced that they are $1000+ better. I own a pair of Leica binos and my wife has 10x42 viper HDs and my Leicas don't have $800 more optical quality than the viper HDs but that is what the price difference is.
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  19. #19
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    I got into amateur astronomy for awhile. I spent years buying and trading optics until I got the best binoculars, eyepieces, scopes etc. A few things about optics:

    1. The price for quality is not linear. To get that last ten to twenty percent of performance cost twice as much.
    2. Used quality optics are like gold. They have high resale, always will. You won't get 100% out of a retail buy but you'll always get your money back if you shop and buy second hand for Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica etc.
    3. That last ten to twenty percent of performance is magical.
    4. You'll always be satisfied with your glass. You'll never look through another optic and have congnitive dissonance or lust for more. Buying as good as you can afford the first time is a lifetime purchase.

    That said, I don't have a Swarovski on my rifle. I just don't spend enough time looking through it. My spotting scope and binoculars though, I spend hours and hours gazing through them so the price for optic perfection is a bargain over time.

    If I could have one rifle scope off the shelf right now though, it'd be the Swarovski 1-6x down there at Mt. View. Oh man that thing is magical. Do NOT look through that thing unless your wallet is strapped down and duct taped shut! Humorous note though, let your wife see you looking at it and let her see the price. You'll get a world record eye roll, Psha, and put that freakin' thing away action! Kinda neat! (and a side helping of "If you buy that thing, you're DEAD!" look)

    Swarovski 80s are bulky but the magnesium housing makes them very manageable weight wise. I like the straight through to keep my eyes oriented towards my game/target. Some guys are fantastic at acquisition but following a critter at a long distance, I like to maintain line of sight. The better optics make a lot of time glassing comfortable, enjoyable. A great tripod makes a difference too. Steadier and better. Personal opinion is all it is.

  20. #20
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    I've own the Vortex Viper HD 10x42's and love them. I took out some Lieca, cheaper Leupold, and the Vortex. If I was blindfolded I would of picked the Vortex, and did. Fairly sure I will pick up the Razor spotter. Locally, you can go to any Three Bears, or sportsman warehouse.


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