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Thread: Another Spotting Scope Thread

  1. #1
    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Default Another Spotting Scope Thread

    Well, i have been reading and playing with and comparing spotters.

    My first choice is a used swaro stm/sts 20-60x65mm and shopping around can get one for 1900 and under depending on the deal. Hoping to finally land one at the 1500 mark.

    The second spotter that interests me is the vortex razor due to reviews. The weight is interesting as well but finding a used one is tough which brings the cost difference within 400-800 dollars (used swaro and new razor). Unfortunately i don't have friends with either of these spotters t ouse in the field and I'm looking for any other info or thoughts.

    Note: I currently run the pentax so i am looking to buy my final spotter for sheep hunting and not have to upgrade again.
    NRA life Member JVJ

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    i forgot to add, for the razor users… do you find you miss the extra 12 power going from a 60 to a 48 power?
    NRA life Member JVJ

  3. #3

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    Get the good binos first. You generally glass behind them much more than the spotter.

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Vortex also makes the Razor 20x60x85 if you are worried about not being able to get in close enough. I've only looked through them in the store, but I wasn't able to distinguish $500 of difference between the two at sportsmans. A lot of the guys over of Rokslide swear by them.

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Have you checked 24hrcampfire? I've seen some on there in the last 2-3 weeks. Good way to go on the high end glass IMO
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

  6. #6

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    Very good point......

    Quote Originally Posted by kaboku68 View Post
    Get the good binos first. You generally glass behind them much more than the spotter.

  7. #7

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    As other have mentioned if you don't have good binos get them first.
    When I bought my spotting scope I went to Sportsman's and lined a bunch of them up to compare them. For my eyes, it was pretty much a tossup between the Swarovski 20-60x65 and the Leica's. I prefer the focusing mechanism better on the Swaro, but the main deciding factor for me was that a friend of mine recently had an experience with his brand new Leica range finding binos literally falling apart on him. The worst part though was the trouble he had with Leica not wanting to take care of the problem. It took him 18 months to get things resolved with Leica. I chose the Swarovski 20-60x65 and have been very happy, I've had it seven years.

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    I prefer the Leica to the Swarovski. Make sure you get the ones made in Germany, not the ones made in Portugal. Most people don't know there is a high and low grade in Leica. You need 60X when sheep spotting or you can hike closer and waste valuable time chasing close but sub-legal rams.

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    If you buy anything other than Leica or Swarovski you are buying second class gear. If you never want to buy another set of binocs or another spotter, buy a Leica or swaro. If you absolutely cannot afford one of those then start evaluating the second tier manufacturers but I would only do that if you had absolutely no other options.

  10. #10

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    I am no glass guru, optimus prime spotter fanatic that has reviewed and purchased every possible brand and model of glass out there. Wish I was but just can't afford it, for me the Zen-Ray ED2 20-60x-82mm seems to suit me just fine. Read lots of reviews and heard it is very comparable to the Vortex Razor HD. For you Vortex guys I am not saying it is I was just stating this is what I have read, please do not jump me. I plan on getting a sidexside comparison this fall. Yes I know its not one of the big three and yes it will most likely only help me shoot second class animals but for the price on cameraland I couldn't pass it up. Just my .02

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    That's a good one slickwilly, 2nd class glass for 2nd class animal. 1st class animal is invisible in inferior optics....

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    Last winter I borrowed some spotting scopes and compared them outside in several different locations along turnagain arm and potters marsh on an overcast day as day light was slowly going away. I looked at sheep, houses, twigs, and stuff. My 20 year old bausch and lomb elite which I like, was not even close to being competitive. The best bang for the buck was the bushnell 20-60 80mm... but it was to big for me to be hauling up the mountains. The Swaro 20-60 65mm was just a touch better than the bushnell and smaller (65mm vs 80mm). The leupold HD 12-40 60mm was lacking in power... except as the day became darker. The higher power of the other spotters was not effective as the day got darker. You had to drop them back to 40 to use them. So in low light situations the extra magnification wasn't helpful. If I wasn't worried about the weight or the bulk of the Bushnell it would be a no brainer, cheaper and very, Very good. I think the leupold would be ok, but why not get a little more magnification for those days that it is useable. I have used the Swaro's a lot over the past year... i really like them. Although I did give the eyepiece a couple wraps of electrical tape to help the eyepiece cover stay on in my pack.
    As a side note... I take my really nice binoculars sheep hunting only if there is a lot of snow to sort through because they are heavy. I have a lite "cheap" $200 pair for August and early september.

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    akpride,
    Keep searching and keep your powder dry. There is a lot of great glass changing hands on these sites. 24HCF is particulary good - so is Camera Land.

  14. #14

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    Slickwilly,
    I have a couple pairs of Zen-Ray binoculars and been very pleased with them. I came across them on a bird watcher forum and they are quite the glass for the money. I had my mind set on Vortex before I bought the ZR's but think I made the right choice as they seem like better glass at a cheaper price. I have considered getting one of their spotting scopes but hadn't been able to find many reviews. I would be interested how the spotting scopes match up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKFreezerFiller View Post
    Slickwilly,
    I have a couple pairs of Zen-Ray binoculars and been very pleased with them. I came across them on a bird watcher forum and they are quite the glass for the money. I had my mind set on Vortex before I bought the ZR's but think I made the right choice as they seem like better glass at a cheaper price. I have considered getting one of their spotting scopes but hadn't been able to find many reviews. I would be interested how the spotting scopes match up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Here is some reading for you about the Zen Ray spotter

    http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=202943

    http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=188349

  16. #16
    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    You clowns can spend a couple mortgage payments on a swaro or buy one of these for half the price

    http://www.meoptasportsoptics.com/sh.../kzkeaJXj.html
    "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
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    Member Bambistew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt83 View Post
    You clowns can spend a couple mortgage payments on a swaro or buy one of these for half the price

    http://www.meoptasportsoptics.com/sh.../kzkeaJXj.html
    Half price? Where? I'm interested in these as they look really light compared to others.

  18. #18
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bambistew View Post
    Half price? Where? I'm interested in these as they look really light compared to others.

    Make sure you are including the eyepiece when you look at those specs. I believe in real life they are with-in a few oz's of the other 82/85mm spotters out there.

    Yk

  19. #19
    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bambistew View Post
    Half price? Where? I'm interested in these as they look really light compared to others.
    I was exaggerting on the half price, not the couple of mortgage payments though....they are just as good but cheaper
    "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
    Thomas Jefferson

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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt83 View Post
    You clowns can spend a couple mortgage payments on a swaro or buy one of these for half the price

    http://www.meoptasportsoptics.com/sh.../kzkeaJXj.html
    Arrogant cheapskate says what?

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