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Thread: Upgrade Spotting scope/bino combo?

  1. #1

    Default Upgrade Spotting scope/bino combo?

    So I want to upgrade my bino's and spotter. I've talked to Doug and Neil at cameraland and I'm considering the Vortex Nomad straight ($290) 20-60x60 from the sponsor or possibly upgrade to the Minox md 62 straight 20-45x62 ($449). I had originally planned on a Prostaff/Monarch $500 combo but the Nomad seems like a good upgrade, is the Minox $160 more scope?

    On the Bino's plan A was a Monarch ATB 10x42 but the suggestion was the Minox BV was as good but a little cheap and the BD was way better at only $250 and a way better deal.

    As for budget I want the best bang for the buck and good quality. I wanted to spend $500 but If I'm getting way more quality for a few bills more then I can add $200 and have x-mas early. What's your thoughts? I'm not a snob but like decent stuff, m77, rem 700, vx-II, etc.

  2. #2
    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
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    I guess the first question would be what are you going to hunting or using them for the most?

    With our knowing your main use, if you can squeeze out the extra $200 right now it will be well worth it in the long run. I don't have any experience with the spotters listed but haven't heard any bad reviews of the Vortex line. The Nomad looks to be a decent spotter. Also check out the Pentax PF 63. If it were me I would try to keep the spotter in the $300-$350 range and put as much money into the binos as possible. I imagine you'll spend many more hours staring through the binos than you will the spotter so allocate your money accordingly.

    For binos in 10x42, check out the Pentax SP's or Zen Ray ED2 (both at $400). If you have a little time to wait for a deal the Promaster Infinity Elite ELX and Minox HG's sometimes get reduced even more than they are listed for now (both in the $500-$550 range).

    Pentax SP 10x43 + Vortex Nomad = $700

    Just a heads up, you're going to get a lot of responces to spend all $500-$700 on a pair of binos this year and save up again next for the spotter so I might as well be the first one to throw it out there.

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I was going to say exactly what AK Wanderer said in his last 2 sentences.

  4. #4

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    I've looked through 200-500 dollar binos and then the leica's. The leica's are way better but I don't feel I NEED that much better. There is no 1 purpose for them but right now I ride/drive/walk, see something with teh eye, bino to see what it is, and if it's an animal I spot it to see if I should go after it. I'm military so the situation will change. I'm happy with my vx-ii level gear for now.

    So is the vortex a decent spotter? What about the BD's? The zen ray's ED are $299 on the demo page but Doug nor Neil even mentioned them.

  5. #5
    Member outaMT's Avatar
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    No experience with Vortex spotters or scopes, but I recently bought their Fury line binos-great quality, crisp/ clear/bright optics and a life time warranty on all thier products.

    Ive priced the Vortex line against Leupold (yeah, Im a fan) and prices are comparable, but a bit of savings on the Vortex products.

    Id be interested in hearing what folks say about Vortex quality on spotters and scopes though..the company seems pretty aggressive with costumer service and satisfaction.

    http://www.vortexoptics.com/category/base_camp

  6. #6

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    I have a large vortex big sky 20-60X80mm spotter at my cabin that I use. I can very happy with it. Not Euro glass, but for the price I paid for it is great.

    That said I'd 2nd skipping the spotter this year and just go with a pair of binos. I look through my binos 20X longer per hunting season or more than my spotting scope. In fact I shouldn't even call mine a spotting scope because I can only recall a handful of critters I have actually spotted with it. 99% of the time I spot the animals with the binos and use my "identifying scope" to find out what the animal is, if its legal, how big and what not.

  7. #7

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    I have a large vortex big sky 20-60X80mm spotter at my cabin that I use. I can very happy with it. Not Euro glass, but for the price I paid for it is great.

    That said I'd 2nd skipping the spotter this year and just go with a pair of binos. I look through my binos 20X longer per hunting season or more than my spotting scope. In fact I shouldn't even call mine a spotting scope because I can only recall a handful of critters I have actually spotted with it. 99% of the time I spot the animals with the binos and use my "identifying scope" to find out what the animal is, if its legal, how big and what not.

  8. #8

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    Called again and asked what teh next step up was and the have the Minox HG's for $500 and claim tehy are just under teh big 3. I went to Mt view sport and looked at a pair, they are nice but I couldn't see much of a differnce and the counter guy didn't seem to knowledgable. I looked through them, Monarchs, and zeiss through the door glass across the street and couldn't tell a difference but that isn't a very good test either. So what about the HG's and the Nomad? Or should I go HG's and the md 62?

    I'm actually in more need of the spotter this year, last moose season my trophy's worked every time but trying to discern 50 inches or an extra point with the spotter left me wanting more. Too many darn choices...

  9. #9
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I am a fan of the Minox HG's and you won't really see the difference until you spend a few hours peering through them and try them at low light conditions. They are very good glass and an extremely good value at $500! They will be more expensive when Doug runs out of the made in Japan versions and only has the made in Germany versions. By all accounts the quality is the same but the new label adds about 500 more to the tag!
    I do love mine but of course still drool over the Swarovision 10x43 EL's..... (Talk about spendy!!)

    I am pleased with my Pentax PF65EDII scope with the Pentax variable eye piece. It seems to be about the best quality mid priced spotter out there. I enjoy mine and it get's the job done very well though the new Zeiss Victory Diascope would be a welcome replacement if a pile of cash fell in my lap.

  10. #10

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    OK what do you think, the HG's in 8 or a 10x? Book says 10x now, 8x when I'm older. What do you guys think?
    The vortex fury 8x32 for an extra truck set to always have handy. Possibly 7x instead.
    Then the spotter, nomad, minox, or pentax non ed, what do you think?

    F- the budget, buy now and enjoy.

    They say if you don't fly 1st class your kids will LOL.

  11. #11
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I like the 10X in the 43mm HG's I would consider 8x in something with the 32mm objective to gain a little light from the larger exit pupil. I am not sure on the non ED scopes. Best to try and get hands on with them. I have only spent any real time with the EDII pentax.

  12. #12
    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
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    To give you an idea of where the Minox HG's stand: For a few years the Pentax SP binos were considered by many to be the best binos on the market for under $1,000. Then the Minox HG's came out and optics enthusiasts moved them ahead of the SP's as the best bino in this price range. Pentax then came out with the Pentax ED to compete with the HG's. The only problem is the new Pentax ED may be a better bino but it also costs a couple hundred more which can push them out of some peoples price range. If you do a little research you'll find that the HG's are still rated as one of the best binos for under $1,000 and would probably rate as the best bino in the $500 range with the Pentax SP's following a close second.

    I have a pair of Pentax SP's in 10x43 and would definately buy the 10x again. After a couple hours of practice you get pretty steady with then.

    Like LuJon, I have the Pentax 65EDII spotter and really don't have experience with the others listed. I've become a big fan of Pentax's quality and think that Boondocks in Eagle River may have the Pentax 63 non ED scope if you wanted to take a look.

  13. #13

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    Alright doubled the budget adn will prolly sell teh extra 300 wm Ruger to stomach it, I'm ordering the Minox HG's, prolly a 10x and a Minox spotter and a vortex fury 8x33 for a truck/small pair. Might add a cheap 7-8x33 for the kid too. If the power is too high might go 8.5x HG's, 6.5x33 on the vortex, and the Minox spotter.

  14. #14
    Member outaMT's Avatar
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    "Alright doubled the budget adn will prolly sell teh extra 300 wm Ruger to stomach it,"

    Rep on that...I feel ya!

  15. #15

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    I just got home from work(slope)and by Lujons suggestion ordered the Minox HG 10x43's that arrived while I was gone. I think I'm going to be vert pleased with these binocs from what I've seen through themso far out the house looking to the mountains.
    What some have said about Doug on hear is very true by my accounts, very helpful and friendly to work with and he took care of me for sure. Don't really understand the "open box discount" for the Minox as mine were sealed and obviously not opened yet and the carbon fiber tripod I bought at the same time from him was upgraded to a panhead by him free of charge. Thank you Doug and Lujon.
    Look around for good used to get more bang for your buck. 2 weeks ago I found my Nikon Fieldscope 82mm on Craigslist new in box and seeing new online prices of 1300.00 and change feel good about getting it for the 800.00 I did.
    Good luck, the Minox will need more of a test than the parking lot at Mountain View Sports,I did the same thing. They wanted over 12 hundred for the Minox if I remember right, 499.00 at Cameraland. Easy choice.

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    Appreciate the comments.. on the spotters, straight or angles? thanks.

  17. #17

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    I went straight so I can window mount it if need be. I got teh HG's and MD-62 coming tomorrow, hence the scope and 300 for sale ...

  18. #18

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    Got my stuff today... first impression in the light is the color and brightness are awesome on the HG's. 10x is a little shakey free standing but so is 8. the vortex fury 8x3x's I got are awesome for the price, I probably wouldn't have complained if that was all I bought. As for the spotter it is better than teh Barska but I can't tell yet if it's $300 better or not, brow tine will tell in the trees at 400-1000 yards next month.

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