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Thread: 60mm, 65mm, or 80mm?

  1. #1

    Default 60mm, 65mm, or 80mm?

    I'm not sure what the big difference is in these for all practical purposes. I have heard a lot of people on these forums carrying an 80mm spotting scope but others carry only a 60 or 65mm. What are the advantages of a bigger objective? The major con that I see behind the larger scope is bulk. Weight isn't much more than a 60mm but there is a noticeable difference in bulk and when backpacking that is definitely something to consider. What do y'all say?
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  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    It comes down to the ability to "gather light" The larger objective will allow you to view better in low light conditions at higher magnification.

    A spotting scope is one piece of optical equipment you shouldn't compromise on, as if it isn't top notch, it really isn't worth packing.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    You will never wish for a smaller scope. I have a Zeiss Diascope 85 and would not trade it for anything. Obviously with a larger scope, you will have more focal range, but also a brighter image.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  4. #4

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    That makes sense to me but what about the bulk of a larger scope? Do you ever find it burdensome to pack in a larger, bulkier scope? By this I mean you only have a limited number of cubes to put all your stuff in and a larger scope means a lot more cubes are taken up. I don't see the weight difference between these scopes as being significant enough to worry about because I understand the advantages the larger objective brings to the table makes it worth the weight but, in your experience, have you found the bulk of these larger scopes to be a burden?

    Also, what is a good weight goal of a reliable, packable tripod?
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    For weight/volume difference, I would not give it too much thought. Truth is, they are all rather cumbersome. I think it is more important to have the extra magnification and clarity/brightness.

    For a tripod, this is important. My Zeiss zoomed all the way in is hard to stabilize. You need a good tripod and you need to learn about counter balance (weight). A back pack or gear bag hung from under the tripod does this. Most all high end tripods have a hook of some kind to attach a bag/pack to. This stabilizes the rather lightweight tripod. The closer you are to the ground, the easier it is as well. A taller tripod moves more. If nothing else, take a cheap nylon or mesh bag and put some rocks in it when you get there and hang it from the tripod. It will make things much easier on windy days. You can also get spike feet for the tripod that will hold in the ground better than the rubber bottoms. A cheap accessory. I know Bogen/Manfrotto tripods have this accessory. Neoprene leg protectors are nice when it is really cold. Another cheap accessory. B&H Photo/Video has the best selection. Go to Digital Photography--Tripods--Bogen/Manfrotto tripods. There are many to choose from. The head you choose will be very important. Research that carefully. Below is a link to a decent set up.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ro_Carbon.html

    If you click specifications, you will see the weight. Total is about 6 lbs for this set up. Under accessories, you will see the leg protectors and spike feet.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I should also mention, just in case you are into photography, that people use high end spotting scopes like huge telephoto lenses. Generally referred to as digizooming or digiscoping, it is a great way to photograph wildlife/birds. Basically, you get a high end spotting scope, a VERY sturdy tripod, a camera adapter that holds a point and shoot digital camera in front of the eye piece of the scope, and a remote cable shutter release to decrease the vibration you would impart when depressing the shutter. Not sure if this is of interest to you, but figured I would mention it just in case. Below is a website with more info. When it opens, check out the instruction tab in the upper right. There are some articles/pictures there that will explain the process further.

    http://www.zbirding.info/
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default Zeiss scopes

    Zeiss just changed the coating or something on their diascopes - I don't see how it could get much better - and you can catch some good deals on the T* Diascopes if you shop around. I picked up a 65 mm T* FL diascope with the zoom eyepiece new for $770 delivered to my door - I would have rather had the 85mm but couldn't pass that deal up.

    FWIW - I've been playing with two Zeiss 6X Diatal rifle scopes - one an older 70s? Carl Zeiss scope and a newer one with the T* coating - otherwise they appear identical. . So far I haven't been able to tell any difference in optical performance.
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  8. #8

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    tvfinak, where did you pick that up at? That's in the upper limits of my price range but I haven't found anything made by zeis that cheap (spotters that is). Where are some of the cheaper places to look? Keep in mind, I am currently stationed in South Korea so visiting a store isn't an option. Thanks for all y'alls help as well!!!
    Loving God, Loving People, Loving America--Serving All Three

  9. #9
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Be carefull of Ebay. I saw a good deal there on the Zeiss Diascope 85. Got scammed. Ebay was of no help. Luckily my credit card company gave me my money back. Lesson learned. I bought the Zeiss from B&H. You can search online and find a good deal perhaps. Just research the retailer to be sure they are legit. There are so many scams out there for electronics and high end optics (cameras, lenses, spotting scopes). You can check www.resellerratings.com and find out if a store is legit. Just type in the name of the business in the search box. A useful website. Something I have done with good success in the past is going to Google and typing "Zeiss Diascope sale" or "Zeiss Diascope clearance" etc... Sometimes that will pull up links to online retailers that have good deals. Keep in mind too that Zeiss, Leica, and Swarovski are high end scopes. They are expensive to say the least. I had a ton of buyers remorse after dropping the cash. But sometimes you get what you pay for. When it comes to optics, that is the case in my experience. But there are many less expensive spotting scopes out there that are decent. Make no mistake about it, Zeiss and the others mentioned are superior. But you can also check out Nikon, Burris, Leupold, and such. There are some nice offerings that won't break the bank. I would give some thought to how often you will use it and in general how important it is to you.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default Ebay

    I picked it up off EBay from an established seller that turns a lot of Zeiss stuff. Ebay / Paypal had a rebate coupon so I combined the two to get that deal. If it hadn't been so cheap I would have never sprang for that much scope and instead settled for a Nikon or Pentax.

    If you watch closely you will occasionaly see a deal slip through where an item sells for considerably less that what that item sells for even from the same dealer. I watched and bid on a number of items was lucky enough to catch one of those - I bid my max. price early to discourage others and apparently the other bidders gave up early when the price just kept climbing.

    Do an advanced search and check the sale prices for the same item for the last 30 days and it will usually show up a deal or two.

    As usual watch out for scams - for high end stuff I only buy from established dealers and always pay with a credit card.


    Quote Originally Posted by Backcuntry View Post
    tvfinak, where did you pick that up at? That's in the upper limits of my price range but I haven't found anything made by zeis that cheap (spotters that is). Where are some of the cheaper places to look? Keep in mind, I am currently stationed in South Korea so visiting a store isn't an option. Thanks for all y'alls help as well!!!
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  11. #11
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    Default Be wary

    Who was the dealer and how did you get scammed?

    I bought mine from a dealer who sells a lot of Zeiss stuff and has good feed back over a long period of time. I paid with credit card of course just to be sure. The dealer normally sells the same scope for quite a bit more; I got luck and for some reason the one i bought hadn't been bid up as high as the others. If not for the deal I would have probably bought a less expensive scope like the Nikon - I just don't see that much difference in the better quality optics anymore.

    I see that Zeiss has came out with something new- Louteck or such - which is apparently a new coating or such so the older line of Diascopes like I just bought is now discountinued. There should be some good deals on the older scopes showing up.

    I'll check out the reseller rating thing- thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Be carefull of Ebay. I saw a good deal there on the Zeiss Diascope 85. Got scammed. Ebay was of no help. Luckily my credit card company gave me my money back. Lesson learned. I bought the Zeiss from B&H. You can search online and find a good deal perhaps. Just research the retailer to be sure they are legit. There are so many scams out there for electronics and high end optics (cameras, lenses, spotting scopes). You can check www.resellerratings.com and find out if a store is legit. Just type in the name of the business in the search box. A useful website. Something I have done with good success in the past is going to Google and typing "Zeiss Diascope sale" or "Zeiss Diascope clearance" etc... Sometimes that will pull up links to online retailers that have good deals. Keep in mind too that Zeiss, Leica, and Swarovski are high end scopes. They are expensive to say the least. I had a ton of buyers remorse after dropping the cash. But sometimes you get what you pay for. When it comes to optics, that is the case in my experience. But there are many less expensive spotting scopes out there that are decent. Make no mistake about it, Zeiss and the others mentioned are superior. But you can also check out Nikon, Burris, Leupold, and such. There are some nice offerings that won't break the bank. I would give some thought to how often you will use it and in general how important it is to you.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  12. #12

    Default

    I appreciate the replies!!!
    Loving God, Loving People, Loving America--Serving All Three

  13. #13
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    Default Got it today

    My scope showed up today - I couldn't believe it was that fast!

    Everything appears to be 100% correct - the scope body was factory sealed by the importer and it came with the warranty cards etc. The eyepiece was the correct zoom lense - I can't find anything amiss.

    I still can't believe I got it that cheap. Now if I can only get deal on an 85mm I'll sell this one.


    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    I picked it up off EBay from an established seller that turns a lot of Zeiss stuff. Ebay / Paypal had a rebate coupon so I combined the two to get that deal. If it hadn't been so cheap I would have never sprang for that much scope and instead settled for a Nikon or Pentax.

    As usual watch out for scams - for high end stuff I only buy from established dealers and always pay with a credit card.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  14. #14

    Default

    I would never pack around the 80 or 85 mm spotting scopes.

    I have the Zeiss Diascope 65mm model with 15-45x. Use it for all types of hunting - sheep included. If your hunting involves backpacking your way in and back out, then I choose 65mm sized models. I used to have the Leupold 12-40X model. It was good but not as good as the Zeiss. Also, the extra 5 power on the Zeiss is beneficial for sheep hunting.

    If you're just going to spot from the road or from a primary base camp, and not going to be hauling camp and hunting equipment around on your back, then the 85 is a bit easier to look through and transmits more light to the eye on equal power settings. My friend had the 85 mm Diascope and I the 65 mm Diascope. We set them both up side by side one winter evening and in the fading light compared the two while focusing on several different distant items. The resolution was pretty much the same. The 85 mm was easier to catch the field of view and a bit brighter in the fading light.

    But the 85 is too large and heavy for my Alaskan hunting purposes. But to each his own.

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