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Thread: Spotting Scopes

  1. #1

    Default Spotting Scopes

    I'm going to buy myself a spotting scope for Christmas. Any recomendations?

    I want to look over bear hides with it, count brow tines on moose, take it sheep hunting.

    What is the best combination of lightweight, power, field of view, and durability?

    I've looked at the Leupold Sequioa series, any thoughts?

    Any advice would help, thanks.

    -bobble

  2. #2

    Default optics

    Lots of opinions and this topic is one of the more popular on the site, although I haven't heard much about the Sequoia, glassing through a Televid 62 is a real pleasure.

    Maybe you have already but a search on spotting scopes will likely yield enough reading to get you through the new year. In the optics forum of course.

  3. #3
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    I will second the televid 62. The ziess scopes are nice as well, I just found a good deal on the Leica at the time so that's the route I went. I was moose hunting with a buddy this year that had the leupold and it wasnt too bad, but no where near as clear at high magnification. I had to get into under 200 yards to really be able to tell for sure how many brow tines the bulls had.
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  4. #4

    Default hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt'N'Photos View Post
    I was moose hunting with a buddy this year that had the leupold and it wasnt too bad, but no where near as clear at high magnification. I had to get into under 200 yards to really be able to tell for sure how many brow tines the bulls had.
    Wow, thats pretty bad actually. At 200 I should be able to tell with 8x magnification. I realize there are a few variables there but counting brows from a mile is more like it.

  5. #5
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    you can't kill a good scope.......search for a quality used one. i like zeiss, leupold, and swarovski. check them out and buy one that you can carry (and not leave in camp). length and weight are the big issues for me.

    test for clarity and look into darkened areas rather than only bright light targets.

    don't bother with extreme low light, as these scopes aren't designed for night shooting!

    happy trails.
    jh

  6. #6
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I like Nikon

    If you can't afford the high end scopes, take a look at the Nikon scopes. I bought a fieldscope on ebay last summer. It only cost me $230 plus another $150 for a zoom eyepiece. The scope is light, has good optics, a 25 year no fault warranty, etc.

    But if you can afford a lot more, check out Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski.

  7. #7

    Thumbs up Nikon Pro-staff 15x45x60

    Quote Originally Posted by oakman View Post
    If you can't afford the high end scopes, take a look at the Nikon scopes. I bought a fieldscope on ebay last summer. It only cost me $230 plus another $150 for a zoom eyepiece. The scope is light, has good optics, a 25 year no fault warranty, etc.

    But if you can afford a lot more, check out Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski.
    I second Nikon. you need to be weight conscious about sheep I would guess so stay with the 40 to 60 eye piece. I bought the Prostaff a couple years back for around $350. My bro bought a swaro at the same time. I will never put up the extra 2k for what you get. Until you get up in the higher magnification they were too close in comparison.
    Whats more important then the scope imho is the tripod. I would spend the same for an awesome tripod as I would on the scope. Lets face it Alaska is windy!
    I have also heard that Alpen cant be beat for the lest expensive optics for the quality you get. The have won the best buy several times as well.

    You will hear that you should buy the best glass you can afford. This is the route I went and is why I ended up with the Nikon Prostaff.
    Last edited by TroutsMan; 12-10-2008 at 08:54. Reason: typo
    "Give someone a fish and you will feed them for a day. Show someone how to fish and they will just steal your fishing hole and catch more fish then you. Screw them, let them eat chicken!!"

  8. #8

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    I have several. My go to scope is the Leupold 12 X 40 variable. It has extremely wide field of view and is light enough to carry easily and many times I have used it as a monocular, can't do that with most scopes. It is compact and the optics are good enough to count brow tines at distant moose. How far? Not sure, always depends on the length of the tines and the pose the moose offers. I would stay away from any with a detatchable lens'. Just trouble, as I have two of those, one B&L and a Weatherby. The tripod is as important as the scope. I like the older ones that are tall enough to see over the brush. Nothing worse than a squatty tripod, other than for sheep hunting. As far as counting sheep anuli, I consider that a very risky endeavor and not one I would recommend. Besides that, doesn't it make more sense to determine full curl or double broomed? Would you shoot anything less than that? Bears more often than not offer little time to examine the hides, especially Grizzly, so a scope that is quick and efficient is the best medicine for them. The Sequoia is a decent low budget scope and one that I would not hesitate to carry in the field, but it has limitations. For the average hunter, the Leupold is hard to beat and I have several acquaintances that are afraid to take their high dollar scopes in the field.
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  9. #9
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitepalm View Post
    Wow, thats pretty bad actually. At 200 I should be able to tell with 8x magnification. I realize there are a few variables there but counting brows from a mile is more like it.
    Ditto. I have come to the conclusion that I wont buy any other optics that leupold makes except their rifle scopes. Every pair of binos that my buddies have are junk compared to, say, a cheaper and better pair of Nikons...

  10. #10
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    I was just talking to a buddy that worked at sportsmans for quite a while and he told me that the Leupold in question is actually made by tasco for what its worth. At lower magnification it was fairly clear, but at high magnification I just couldnt tell if there was a 4th brow tine there or not until I was right about 200 yards away, and by then I could see it in my 10x riflescope. I have some Nikon bino's I am pretty impressed with but have no experience with their spotters. Also have a nikon riflescope that has worked pretty well.
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  11. #11
    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of the Leupold spotters. I'm a big fan of the Pentax optics and would take a look at their 20-50x63. Vortex has been making some really good optics as well and has the Nomad in that same price range. Doug at Cameraland carries both of these and would be a good person to talk to about their quality.

    You can sometimes find the Nikon XL on Ebay for under $400 or pick up a Demo from Cameraland.

    If you can pull together a couple hundred more dollars I would definately recommend the Pentax 65ED.

  12. #12
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I have a Zeiss Diascope 85 with the 45-60 eye piece. It is an amazing scope.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_85_T_FL.html
    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.

  13. #13
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    Default Zeiss Diascope

    I got a sample 85mm off EBay for $1300 after Live cashback rebate. While the Zeiss scopes are increditable their flimsy cardboard factory packing is terrible and it got all scuffed up in shipping so I'm sending it back - for the money it should be near perfect.

    The 85mm is a pretty big and heavy scope- the 65mm is more practiable for hunting.



    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    I have a Zeiss Diascope 85 with the 45-60 eye piece. It is an amazing scope.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_85_T_FL.html
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Wonderer View Post
    I'm not a fan of the Leupold spotters. I'm a big fan of the Pentax optics and would take a look at their 20-50x63. Vortex has been making some really good optics as well and has the Nomad in that same price range. Doug at Cameraland carries both of these and would be a good person to talk to about their quality.

    You can sometimes find the Nikon XL on Ebay for under $400 or pick up a Demo from Cameraland.

    If you can pull together a couple hundred more dollars I would definately recommend the Pentax 65ED.
    Here's your answer... Call Doug, tell him your budget and use, and see what he recommends. I did that a year ago and ended up with the Nomad. A good glass, but my buddy's Pentax is awful nice! : )

  15. #15
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Be careful getting optics from Ebay. I got scammed trying to get a Zeiss 85 Diascope. Luckily the credit card company paid for it. I then purchased it from B&H Photo/Video online.
    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.

  16. #16
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    See Doug's post blowout day 6! I have a pentax pf65ED and I really like it but I find myself wanting for a 2 stage focus. I like the separate course and fine adjustments on the diascopes. $1200 with an eyepiece makes the deal Doug is offering hard to beat!

  17. #17
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    Default EBay scopes

    You have to be very carefull on EBay and buy only from established dealers and pay with a credit card always. The one I got was a dealer sample and only $1300 after rebates and would have been a keeper if it had been better packed. I wish they had another one to replace it.

    I've picked up some great deals EBay - I got a new 65 Diascope w/ zoom eyepiece for under $900 recently and a new Zeiss Conquest 4 x 14 AO for $440 after rebates etc. www.live.com have some great rebates last week - 30% off on all "Buy it Now" items on Ebay up to $200 max rebate - Im watching to see if they do it again. EBay has also had some 10% off anything coupons I've gotten - I used one on the Conquest scope.

    Glad you got your money back anyway!


    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Be careful getting optics from Ebay. I got scammed trying to get a Zeiss 85 Diascope. Luckily the credit card company paid for it. I then purchased it from B&H Photo/Video online.
    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

  18. #18

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    Some of us won't, or can't, spend $1200 on a spotting scope.. For those of us in that category I still feel that the best bet is to call Doug with your budget and let him take care of you. He will be one of the better prices around and is pretty well known on a lot of forums as taking care of his customers...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911-MW View Post
    Some of us won't, or can't, spend $1200 on a spotting scope.. For those of us in that category I still feel that the best bet is to call Doug with your budget and let him take care of you. He will be one of the better prices around and is pretty well known on a lot of forums as taking care of his customers...
    Ya, that's for sure, although I do at times get "scope envy" and think about a Zeiss Diascope 85 But, my Pentax 65 EDA II with the William Optics zoom gives a 17-52x scope that resolves great detail, is light and packable and the whole thing set me back about $725. werks fer me... Or, as my ol' buddy Tony used to say... "cheap but effective"...

  20. #20
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Snyd I have the same scope with the Pentax zoom. I am struggling getting it to fine focus. Do you think that the WO eye piece would make a significant improvement?

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