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Thread: $500 Spotting Scopes

  1. #1
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    Question $500 Spotting Scopes

    There are several spotters on the market that cost around $500. Can any one offer some opinions on the following?

    thanks,

    Bausch & Lomb 15-45x60 Elite
    Nikon 16-48x60 XL II
    Vortex 20-60x60 Nomad
    Vortex 20-60x80 Skyline
    Pentax 20-50x63

  2. #2
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    Default

    If your going with the Pentax get the PF 65 ED II instead. They can be had for 5-700.

  3. #3

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    Snyd,
    I just looked at those and it appears that you have to buy the eyepiece seperately. Am I seeing that correctly?
    Loving God, Loving People, Loving America--Serving All Three

  4. #4
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    Default scope body

    Quote Originally Posted by Backcuntry View Post
    Snyd,
    I just looked at those and it appears that you have to buy the eyepiece seperately. Am I seeing that correctly?


    You can get them with the XF Zoom as a bundle or you can buy the scope body only and buy eyepieces separately. They take standard 1.25" Astro eyepieces. I have tried a few different eyepieces and ended up with the William Optics Wide Angle zoom. It gives the PF 65 scope 17-52 power. I got mine for $225. I have talked to guys over at birdforum.net in the Pentax spotter forum who use the Vixen zoom.

    Here is something I posted in a different thread here regarding eyepieces.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yup, I have had both the XF 8.5 (46x) and the XW 14 (28x). Both are excellent eyepieces. After carrying both on a sheep hunt last year I decided I wanted the convenience of a zoom but the XF zoom does not have enough eye relief for me. I then bought the wide angle William Optics Zoom II http://www.williamoptics.com/eyepiec...2_features.php and compared all three eyepieces side by side. Long and short of it is that I sold the XF and XW and now have a 17-52x wide angle zoom on the Pentax. The WO zoom at 52x definitely shows more detail than the XF at 46x and is very bright. I compared the WO Zoom and the XF Zoom side by side a few days ago sheep hunting it has more eye relief than the XF Zoom and to me is also brighter. It also has a larger field of view. Both on EDA II scopes. Also, the WO zoom only weighs 10 ozs. Much lighter than the XW and XF combo. I think the Pentax and the WO zoom is a great combo. You need to do this mod though to get full focus, I took pics and describe it. It's not a hack job to the scope or eyepiece.

    Scope Mod

    Here is something I posted on the birdforums last winter when I got the eyepiece:

    I spent some time with it today and found that even though the xw14 is a little brighter this zoom is definitely bright. I did not feel at all that is was dim in any way. It is also neck and neck with the xf as far as brightness at higher power. Plus the zoom goes to 52x where as the xf is 46x. It made a difference today. I was looking at a sign about a mile away. There was lettering that I could not read with the xf at 46x but I could read it with the zoom at 52x and it was sharp. The extra power made a difference. I checked and rechecked a few times. I could not read the lettering with the xw 14 or the zoom at any lower power. 52x did it.

    This zoom is clear and sharp all the way up to 7.5. The fov at 7.5 is so close to the same as the xf a 8.5 that I call them equal. In other words at 52x I can see as much as I can with the xf at 46x. The zoom must have a wider fov than 60. Must be 66 instead of 42 at 7.5. Maybe the WO rep that told me it was 42 at 7.5 was mistaken. Obviously it has much less fov than the XW 14 which is 70. But, for me that's ok. I have to say that for my eyes it's as sharp as my pentaxes. I think the xw has more contrast or something though. The view with the xw14 really is nice. But, with the zoom at higher power I can see more details.

    One other thing I noticed. After comparing today I noticed that when using the xw it is easy for me to move slightly and get kidney beaning because of the wide fov and/or er. I have to be carefull or I loose the image. I have never really tought of it much until today. But, I found that with the zoom it did not happen.

    I didn't really find anything wrong with the views with this eyepiece.

    Bottom line is that if you replace the plastic compression insert so the eyepiece drops in a little further so you get full focus I say this is a keeper. I could see using my PF 65 EDA II with only this eyepiece for hunting and general viewing and it would work great. It gives bright clear views and is capable of showing more detail at 52x than the xf at 46x at long distances.

  5. #5

  6. #6

    Default nikon

    I have the nikon and love it. lite and the low power is very nice in low light.

  7. #7

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    I'm curious, what's the opinion of this Nikon scope? It's light, high power magnification and a huge objective.

    http://www.binocularsbestbuy.com/Nik...cope-8311.html
    Loving God, Loving People, Loving America--Serving All Three

  8. #8
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    Default

    For the highest quality spotter in that price range please see this thread, http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=40086
    If there is anything I can answer for you or assist you with please let me know.
    Thanks and have a great day,
    Doug
    Camera Land
    1-866-9-optics
    1-516-217-1000
    gr8fuldoug@aol.com

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