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Thread: Spotting Scopes......whats good for $500 or under?

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    Member Kingsalmonmoosekiller's Avatar
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    Default Spotting Scopes......whats good for $500 or under?

    I am looking for some advice on spotting scopes. I am looking for a decent mid line spotting scope for around $500 or under. Anyone have any by Leupold? Are they any good? What else is good in that price range? I am looking for good or bad experiences.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    a little more than what you're looking to pay, but when I buy my new spotter this spring (happy birthday to me!) it's going to be a pentax 65ED for around $800. I think that's the best deal going for light and clear unless you're going all in over the $1K mark.
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    Member B&C 04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsalmonmoosekiller View Post
    I am looking for some advice on spotting scopes. I am looking for a decent mid line spotting scope for around $500 or under. Anyone have any by Leupold? Are they any good? What else is good in that price range? I am looking for good or bad experiences.
    I still have my first spotter and still love to use it. Nikon Spotter XL, I think you can get them from Cameraland and for a decent price. It's not like my Swaro but has good features at a good price.
    "A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." T. R.

  4. #4

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    Here a few to consider that Doug from Cameraland (forum sponsor here just look for the banner in the optics section) has for sale as demos to consider:


    #62210 MD-62 Straight with Minox #62300 20-45x Zoom Eyepiece only $399.99, reduced from $848.00. Add a DCM 5.0 - Digital camera, monitor and eyepiece all in one at time of purchase for only $79.99

    #62211 MD-62 Angled with Minox #62300 20-45x Zoom Eyepiece only $399.99, reduced from $898.00. Add a DCM 5.0 - Digital camera, monitor and eyepiece all in one at time of purchase for only $79.99


    Vortex Skyline 20-60x80 Straight Spotting Scope only $299.99, reduced from $429.99.

    Vortex Skyline 20-60x80 ED only $449.99 in your choice of Straight (orig. $799.00) or Angled (orig. $819.00).

    Given your price limit, if weight and size isn't too much of an issue than I would jump on the Vortex Skyline ED I have the non-ED version at my cabin and am very impressed with it. Much better than the Nikon XL II granted its much larger so that comes into play. If you wanted to go a more compact route those Minox spotters look pretty sweet, but I have no experience with them. Be worth giving Doug a call and seeing what he suggest given your limit. I have yet to hear him steering somebody wrong.

    Good Luck

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Choke up some more cashola and get a top quality glass...it will last for 25 years.
    Unless you not projected to live and hunt 25 more years.
    Then get an economy spotting scope.

    Here in Alaska i use a spotting scope more than any other single item of gear. I use it hour after hour, day after day, until my right eye socket hurts. Get the best.
    dennis

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    Member Kingsalmonmoosekiller's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I have been looking pretty hard for the last few days. I think I have come to the conclusion that I am going to need pony up some more dough to be happy! No sense in spending $500 on a sub par spotter and then having to buy something else down the road. So......that being said, any suggestions in the $1200 to $1500 range. I don't think I can justify going more than $1500? But, then again......it's only money!

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    I have used the Nikon Spotter XL for about 4 years, way too light in any breeze. They are a good mid range spotter, but I still regret not saving for what I really wanted and not just what I could afford at that time.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsalmonmoosekiller View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have been looking pretty hard for the last few days. I think I have come to the conclusion that I am going to need pony up some more dough to be happy! No sense in spending $500 on a sub par spotter and then having to buy something else down the road. So......that being said, any suggestions in the $1200 to $1500 range. I don't think I can justify going more than $1500? But, then again......it's only money!
    You can get top quality glass in that price range for sure. I got a Swaro 65mm HD with the 20-60 eyepiece for $1199 as a demo model from Doug at Cameraland. Just gotta shop for the deals and have the cash to throw down on it fast.

    Good luck.

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    Don't forget to look at Kowa's. Barneys has them and they are a great spotter. I used my Kowa last year hunting for the first time and it was amazing.

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    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Don't go with a Leupold. I had a leupold Sequoia my wife bought me and it was terrible. I could never get it to clearly focus at over 45. If you go cheap you will just have to upgrade soon. I have a Leica now and I love it!

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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnkwnto View Post
    Don't go with a Leupold. I had a leupold Sequoia my wife bought me and it was terrible. I could never get it to clearly focus at over 45. If you go cheap you will just have to upgrade soon. I have a Leica now and I love it!
    Crap! I read the reviews and it said nothing but good about this scope! I'm expecting one in the mail any day now.........Crap crappy crap crap!

    -akiceman25

  12. #12

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    I agree with bnkwnto, I had the Sequoia for a little bit. Was less than impressed. For the money the Nikon XL II was much better than that model leupold. Not all leupy spotters are that bad, from what I hear some of the gold ring models are pretty sweet. Just stay away from the Sequoia if you can.

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    Member Kingsalmonmoosekiller's Avatar
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    Yes, I looked at the Sequoia for about a minute. It looked like a pretty low end Leupold? I also looked at the 15-30X50 Gold Ring compact. Looks really small to me? If I do go with Leupold, it will be a the 12-40 X 60 Gold Ring HD. I think they are about $1200 on Cabelas, so just about right for my price range. I also saw a new one by Leupold. I think it is called the Kenai HD?

  14. #14

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    Given your new price range, if you want a small tough compact option I think you could do a lot worse than this compact Zeiss:

    http://www.adorama.com/ZSFS184565.ht...m_source=gbase

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Mid-priced scopes on birdwatching forums.
    Snyd got me onto birdwatcher's forums for optics reviews/ideas.
    The Pentax 65ED models, mentioned by Wyo2AK make a good benchmark for comparison:

    http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/2...copes2009.html
    http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/2...hart_main.html

    Good luck.

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