Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: Spotting scope

  1. #1

    Default Spotting scope

    Any recommendations on a spotting scope?

  2. #2
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Palmer,Alaska
    Posts
    1,737

    Default

    What do you want to use it for? Big subject. What's your budget like for one? Are you going to use it for sheep, or goat hunting?

    You tell us what for and that will save a bunch of time.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3

    Default scope

    It will be used for spotting sheep, goats, etc on hill sides at long distance. Price that is still up for grabs.

  4. #4

    Default

    I have the leupold gold ring with HD glass. I think it was about the second clearest scope I looked at when I bought it. The Swarovski was a little better, but the price was also more than the 1250 I paid for my scope. I like the compact size of the Leopold. Not enough difference to me to pay the extra money.

  5. #5

    Default

    If money is not an option go with a Zeiss Diascope or a Leica Televid. If those are out of your price range then you might want to tell us what your price range is, that would make it a lot easier seeing as they range n quality from $130 to $2000.

  6. #6
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Palmer,Alaska
    Posts
    1,737

    Default

    There are a lot of sheep/goat guides that could spend what ever they want on glass that pick the smaller of the Leupolds. There must be a good reason. Also I've heard that the lower fixed power was a better choice. (20X) or (25X). Don't get hung up with tripods, most guides don't carry them on the climbs. Make sure you get a good padded case for your scope, it needs the added protection when you carry it in your hunting pack.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7

    Default

    If you spend some time in the mountains and are looking at sheep at a long ways times 30, the bigger more powerful glass will save you alot of unneccessary walking, I can attest to this. A hunting buddy of mine has a Zeiss Diascope 85 and the first time I saw him pull it out of his pack I thought, **** that thing is huge I cant believe you pack that on sheep hunts. Then he set it up and we were aging rams and making legal/not-legal determinations from a log ways out. I would have had to walk another mile to determine what he was sure about without walking another step. Its all a trade off but that bigger, more expensive glass, definately has its place. IMO 20-25 X eyepieces might be nice to look through but looking at sheep that are a mile+ out, your gonna have to go after them and close the distance quite a bit to tell if they are legal, the bigger glass will save you lots of walking, trust me, I saw it first hand. The question is, can I afford it, and do I want to pack it?

  8. #8
    Member shphtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    1,376

    Default best you can afford-and weight you are willing to pack

    I think AlaskaCub has done a pretty good job of distilling what you need to know. If you are a serious mountain hunter then the best glass you can afford. My recommendation is 30x to 45X magnification...rarely is a higher magnification utilizable. I have been using the 60mm (or is it 62mm?) Leica for a year or two and am currently comparing it to a newly purchased Leupold HD Spotter - there are functional trade offs involved and I haven't reached a final decision.

  9. #9
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    I too am looking for a spotting scope, however I am limited to spending less than $400 and am not really interested in sheep or goats, but will mostly be looking at bears and moose. I have been looking at the Leupold Sequoia 15-45x60 that they have at Sportsman's Wearhouse. It seems to me that it is kind of a "lower mid range" scope in the quality/price thing. It seems small and light enought to pack around, and they say it is totaly water/weather proof. I'm not trying to hijack your thread here, but if anyone has owned one and it sucked........it would be nice to know.

  10. #10

    Default

    After trying every friends spotter during trips and looking through more glass than I care to remember at the stores I settled on the Nikon Field scope III. Now with the Leica I only needed their 45 power eye piece to see what I could see with the Nikon 60 power eye piece. Was Nikon the best, no, but it was very close. I think my favorite was the Leica but the Nikon's price and the warranty was what sold me. I really like the no fault warranty. I have seen people return nothing but eye piece pieces to Nikon after their scope fell a few thousand feet and they got a new scope, no questions.
    My brother has been telling me to get a Kowa scope and I never listened. Never even looked through one. Recently I got the chance to look through his and it was amazing. We were shooting 338 at 500 yards and picking out the holes no problem. He did have the 80 mm glass so its size was too big for hunting, but I would take a look at them. Birders love em and I see why.

  11. #11
    Member shphtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    1,376

    Default appropriate choice

    I have not owned the particular scope you mention but based on your stated purpose and Leupold's reputation it sounds like it would be a good choice. Good luck.

  12. #12
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Palmer,Alaska
    Posts
    1,737

    Default

    Why not go to the birders blogs and read what they have to say on this subject? Seems there is a lot more of them than us. Their chief focus is on optics.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    I too am looking for a spotting scope, however I am limited to spending less than $400 and am not really interested in sheep or goats, but will mostly be looking at bears and moose. I have been looking at the Leupold Sequoia 15-45x60 that they have at Sportsman's Wearhouse. It seems to me that it is kind of a "lower mid range" scope in the quality/price thing. It seems small and light enought to pack around, and they say it is totaly water/weather proof. I'm not trying to hijack your thread here, but if anyone has owned one and it sucked........it would be nice to know.

    If $400 is your limit I would call Doug at Cameraland and see what he suggests in that price range as he sellls a wide range of products. And if you should not like what you got after looking through it up here you can send it back to him for full credit and try something else. Personally I love Leupy rifle scopes but that spotting scope you speak of (the Sequoia) is horrible, glass isn't good, eye relief is very critical, really cant say anything good about it other than the price. There are other midpriced spotters that are much better. Just so you know the Gold Ring spotters Leupold makes are in a totally different league than the Wind River Sequoia models and the price reflects that. For some lower end spotting scopes I wouldl look at some of the Nikon and Bushnell stuff and even the Vortex models. Eye relief can be a bit critical but they'll get the job done for what you are needing and teh price your willing to spend.

  14. #14
    Member Matt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    3,410

    Default

    Don't skimp on glass. If you can afford it, then get something like the Zeiss, Swarvoski, or Leica. If you can't, then save until you can.

  15. #15
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    535

    Default

    I'm pretty sure that the Wind River style products Leupold puts out are made in Japan, and that the Gold Ring stuff is made in the USA. I bought a pair of Wind River Cascade binoculars that are great to me. Its all personal opinion though, you can't just ask if this one is better than that one without trying them out. I have a friend who would get nothing less than his Leica binos, but for me the Leupolds are just fine. Try them out, didn't they plan a optics outing last summer to try out everyones different stuff up at UAF or something? Check out the optics page.

  16. #16

    Default

    I called Doug and this is what he recommended. http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/vortex.pl?page=vortexnomad

    I have been quite happy with it. Just over 2lbs and a good glass.

  17. #17
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    Thanks guys, what great info! so.........This Doug fellow, is he local to Anchorage or is he a mail order kind of thing? I know there are at least a few schools of thought on optics and prices. And while I would love to tell you all that I will indeed save every penny until I can afford that fantastic Leica or Zies spotting scope, the truth is that it just aint gonna ever happen. I have always figured that if I limit my self to spending about $400 -$500 on any one item, scope, gps, rangefinder, rifle etc. then I can afford to have I nice (sometimes very very nice) set up, and if anything should happen to any one of the items, well then.......it aint the end of the world! Now on the other hand, If I had a $2500 spotting scope and it got smashed, stolen, lost or whatever, I would be truly upset! I simply could not replace it. I guess for a guy like me who doesnt live in a $500,000 house, doesnt drive a $50,000 truck, a middle of the road but decent scope will work fine for me. Now dont get me wrong here, if you can afford the best, then more power to ya, I just dont have the means to make it happen right now.

  18. #18

    Default

    Take a serious look at the Nikon XL II, I think thats one of the best spoters you can get for under $400. I've looked through the Swaro spotters and they are the real deal but a little (OK, a lot) out of my price range. I've been using my Nikon XL II for about 2-3 years now and i'm happy with it's performance but eventually I will save up enough to get one of those Swaro's.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    Thanks guys, what great info! so.........This Doug fellow, is he local to Anchorage or is he a mail order kind of thing? I know there are at least a few schools of thought on optics and prices. And while I would love to tell you all that I will indeed save every penny until I can afford that fantastic Leica or Zies spotting scope, the truth is that it just aint gonna ever happen. I have always figured that if I limit my self to spending about $400 -$500 on any one item, scope, gps, rangefinder, rifle etc. then I can afford to have I nice (sometimes very very nice) set up, and if anything should happen to any one of the items, well then.......it aint the end of the world! Now on the other hand, If I had a $2500 spotting scope and it got smashed, stolen, lost or whatever, I would be truly upset! I simply could not replace it. I guess for a guy like me who doesnt live in a $500,000 house, doesnt drive a $50,000 truck, a middle of the road but decent scope will work fine for me. Now dont get me wrong here, if you can afford the best, then more power to ya, I just dont have the means to make it happen right now.
    Doug is Camerland. He sponsor the Photography section here. He is on the east coast, but great to work with. PM him for info, you can find him on the Photo threads. Good luck!

  20. #20

    Default

    I have a 20X with a 60mm lense Leupold that I use for hunting that requires a spotting scope. Works pretty good. Rugged, and has held up to weather extremes. You can find those used about. The 25X/50mmm smaller one looks good. Leupold stands behind those scope, so there is not a lot of risk in buying a used one.

    I like the fixed powers, straight eyepiece versions for hunting.

    The Nikons look pretty good to me too, but I have not used one extensively.

    The cheap varaibles, of which I own a few, are pretty much garbage. If you buy one of those, you will buy a better one later.

    The older Bushnell spacemasters with a fixed 20X or so eyepeice are pretty good optically, not that weather resistant. But you can find them around, and they are inexpensive.

    I have a Kowa TSN 66mm and a 25X long eye releif 45 degree eyepeice that is great. Waterprrof, you can look thorugh it all day without eye strain. Very heavy and needs a good mount, but a great scope! Mostly use for watching mirage for LR Rifle shooting, looking at birds, long range animal watching.

    The birders have the gouge on optics, as noted above. Check out some of thier reviews of optics.

    Don't forget to get binos as well, you will not be sorry...

    Hope that helps, lots of options avaialble. I have not seen any spectacular Russian scopes either.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •