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Thread: Spotting scope questions

  1. #1
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    Default Spotting scope questions

    I'm wanting to know what everyone's opinion on these three spotting scopes.
    Vortex razor hd 65mm
    Pentax ED2 65mm
    Leupold Gold ring non HD 60mm

  2. #2
    Member xcrnr's Avatar
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    Vortex makes a very impressive scope for the money. Anything non-ED is tough with variable lighting conditions. I don't think you can go wrong with the Vortex.

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    While I have no knowledge of these scopes, a couple questions are in order: What will the scope be used for and what light conditions? If back packing then I would want a light weight scope and small light weight tri-pod. If I was going to be using a vehicle of some sort, then weight may not be a issue. As far as light conditions, I would want a scope that gathers light real well and that might mean a lager scope.
    While out hunting, talk with people to see what spotting scopes they are using, how they like them and see if they will allow you to look through it.

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    When I was looking at scopes I compared the Vortex Razor 65mm HD to the Swaro 60mm HD and the Vortex gave the Swaro a run for its money....at about $800 less too. I can't speak for the other two you are looking at, but that Vortex was a very good scope.

  5. #5
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I have the razor 85mm. It is much better than my 20 year old Nikon........I don't have anything to compare it to.

    My razor binos in 12x50 are awesome.

  6. #6
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    All good scopes, I bet you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between them. I would look at the weights and ergo's mostly. Vortex and Leupold have a better warranty then Pentax, though Pentax did repair my bino's that were dropped for free. All that being said, I have a Vortex Razor HD 65mm and I am happy.

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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    I have a pair of Pentax marine binoculars that are money. Excellent product and I wouldn't be afraid of buying their spotting scope.

  8. #8

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    I've been using a Leupold 12x40x60 Gold Ring spotter for about 15 years. It works well and it's a nice size. I've been tempted to upgrade to a Swazi spotter, but I haven't yet.

  9. #9

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    Vortex warranty. Pulls me in every time. Cosmetically, I tend to like their products more than Leupold. No real reason why.

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    I had a chance to use the Vortex 85mm angled spotter and the Leupold Gold ring spotters on this years moose/caribou hunt. I really liked the Leupold for spotting especially with the lower magnification of 12-40 and also the strait eye piece as well as the size/weight. I didn't like the that leupold did not have a sunshade. I liked the glass on the Vortex and the higher magnification range as well as the sunshade. I didn't like the size/weight of it or the angled eyepiece. My main use for it would be for spotting, judging the legality of moose, and possibly a sheep hunt in the future. I have heard great things about the pentax also, but am not sure I like the 20-60x eye piece that comes with it. I am leaning towards the Vortex over the other two due to the zoom range of 15-48, so it falls right in the middle of the other two, has HD glass and the warranty and price can't be beat. If anyone has any other suggestions please let me know. Thanks

  11. #11

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    I have the vortex scope and got to use the warranty this fall. Got scope out for caribou hunt and heard a rattle. Figured it was lenses cover. Nope it was the lense inside and had come loose. Sent it to vortex and within two weeks I had a replacement scope on the door step. It looks like a refurbished scope but I went from a two or three year old broken scope to a functioning scope. Impressed with the warranty

    Steve

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_JR View Post
    When I was looking at scopes I compared the Vortex Razor 65mm HD to the Swaro 60mm HD and the Vortex gave the Swaro a run for its money....at about $800 less too. I can't speak for the other two you are looking at, but that Vortex was a very good scope.
    I'm sure it did in full light looking out the window of the store.

  13. #13
    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota boy View Post
    I'm sure it did in full light looking out the window of the store.
    I actually checked them both out multiple times in multiple light conditions, at various distances, through all power levels, etc.

    Yes, in the lowest light settings the Swaro outperformed the Vortex, but the margin was relatively small as compared to the price difference.

    The Swaro also outshined in the fact that it went all the way to 60x (at a lighter weight if I remember correctly). At first I found the two focus knobs on the Vortex cumbersome, but now think it is a better set up, especially for getting that last bit of fine focus adjustment.

    Overall I was very impressed with how well the Vortex compared to the Swaro at a significantly lower price and for most instances I think it is a fine scope, hence my recommendation in the initial reply.

    Maybe I should have clarified that I did end up with the Swaro because of the higher power, lighter weight, and better light gathering ability...but this thread isn't about the Swaro and so I provided my experience with Vortex.

  14. #14
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    love my pentax 65ed. Next glass purchase will probably be Vortex.
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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I just picked up a Vortex Viper HD 65 from Cabelas. Huge Bargain Cave deal because the eyepiece was loose. Brought it home expecting to send it back to Vortex and found that it was just in fact loose. Like it had a bur in the threads was all. Works like a champ now and smooth as silk. I like the glass. Nice and bright.
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    I just returned from a successful sheep hunt in the Brooks. I use the vortex razor 65 hd spotter and love it. Sometimes i wish i had just a little more zoom when trying to count rings and determine legality of sheep. Other than that its a great scope, nice a bright. I did a lot of comparisons between the vortex and a swaro hd when i bought mine originally and for the price i thought i was better suited with the vortex. I've used there warranty in the past and its very easy to use and they have a very quick turn around. No questions asked.


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    Member pa 5-0's Avatar
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    Just back for the Brooks. Can't say enough about my Swaro ATM. Never thought I would spend that kind of money but they're simply awesome. One more comment on scope selection, I HIGHLY RECCOMMEND an angled scope. My guide had a straight Swaro which I found an absolute pain in the ***** to use. Hurt my neck and getting it in a good place to look thru was a straight up hassle. Looking down into my angled scope was almost effortless. Just my .02.
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    What about looking down slope with an angled ocular? It seems one might have to climb up on the scope to peer through an angled ocular. Looking up hill with an angled seems quite desirable, but what about down slope?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenmack View Post
    What about looking down slope with an angled ocular?
    Get a tripod with adjustable legs.

  20. #20
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    Does anyone have any experience with the Kowa scopes? I am looking at the 664 with the 20-60 eyepiece. It get great reviews and the bigger scopes with the same glass are compared to the big three makers. I can get one for around $1250-$1400, it seems like a great scope for a great price.

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