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Thread: Spotting scope search!! Any assistance please

  1. #1
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    Default Spotting scope search!! Any assistance please

    I have this posted under the optics section but think I may get more response over here. Thanks to all that have responded already.

    I am seriously thinking about upgrading this year as I should have the funds pretty soon. At this time I have a leupold gold ring(not HD) 15-40x60. It has served me well on two sheep hunts but I think there is better glass out there.

    Considerations are definetly weight. I do not want to increase much with out a big increase in clarity.

    I will be using it from sheep hunting, to high country mule deer, to glassing bears.

    I want to make this my last purchase as far a spotting scope goes, of course that is as long as I dont loose it!

    Can you long time light weight open country hunters tell me what you use and why you would recommend it over what I have?

    Feel free to tell me about your tripod too.

    Thanks all.

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    I guess I'll go first. Your Leupold spotter is plenty nice but you can't beat great glass. So imho the only was to improve on what you have is to choose one of the three euro spotters. The prices for them are steep especially with de-valued dollars. Straight or angled is a consideration with the straight body being a little more user friendly. The brands in question, Swarovski, Leica and Zeiss have two objective sizes so obviously the smaller of the two will weigh less. Finding the best price can be done by looking at Cameraland in NYC and Euro Optics in PA.. The key is to buy a show demo or returned stock to get the lowest price.
    Good luck and I'm sure others will chime in here too. There are a lot of knowledgeable people on this site that will help.

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    IM waiting for the Vortex Viper HD to come out!. I looked through a Vortex razor. That one was very nice!

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    Take all the suggestions you get on here and look up reviews and specs for everyone. See which one fits the best for your potential use and go with that one. Then watch ebay for a deal and BUY BUY BUY!

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    Member mtnclimber's Avatar
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    Not to be off topic, but i wish the razor came in a 65mm.. Great scope but so heavy, especially for us sheep hunters and plentycoupe

  6. #6

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    I own optics made by Zeiss, Swarovski and Leica , so I'm not brand loyal. I sure like my Swarovski 65mm straight body spotting scope. Not what I'd call light weight, but I don't know if there's such a thing as a great quality light weight spotting scope.

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    plentycoupe,
    The only way you are going to get noticeable improvement is to lock in on one of the euro brand optics. You should experience them in person to see what fits you best. Their weight is offset by the questions they can answer and the energy you will save. Keep us posted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plentycoupe View Post
    I have this posted under the optics section but think I may get more response over here. Thanks to all that have responded already.

    I am seriously thinking about upgrading this year as I should have the funds pretty soon. At this time I have a leupold gold ring(not HD) 15-40x60. It has served me well on two sheep hunts but I think there is better glass out there.



    Considerations are definetly weight. I do not want to increase much with out a big increase in clarity.

    I will be using it from sheep hunting, to high country mule deer, to glassing bears.

    I want to make this my last purchase as far a spotting scope goes, of course that is as long as I dont loose it!

    Can you long time light weight open country hunters tell me what you use and why you would recommend it over what I have?

    Feel free to tell me about your tripod too.

    Thanks all.


    I am looking at buying one of these leupolds that you are looking to upgrade from, what don't you like about it? Are you not able to see long distances with great clarity? would the HD be a better option vs non HD for the leupold

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    I did the Same thing u r doing about 3 years back. Trading up. I think any of the big 3 are comparable. 65mm glass will save weight over the 80. Still about twice the weight of what you have now.

    I ended up with a swarovski. Wouldn't go back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyb View Post
    I am looking at buying one of these leupolds that you are looking to upgrade from, what don't you like about it? Are you not able to see long distances with great clarity? would the HD be a better option vs non HD for the leupold
    Well I wouldn't say that I don't like the leupold and I do not have any experience with and HD version of any brand. I am partial to Leupold and have their scopes on every rifle I own.
    I just decided that I wanted to upgrade on one piece of expensive equipment because I am in a position to do so right now. So my thoughts went to the spotting scope.
    My leupold has done very well on a sheep hunt and some glassing bears and caribou. But again I am sure that one of the big three would be better at long distances as for clarity and what not.
    I am leaning towards the Swarovski.
    If I wasnt in the position to make such a purchase though I would not hesitate to go with the leupold again and do plan to keep it as a backup.
    Thanks all

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Go top shelf if you can...

    Two veteran AK hunters have made comments about high end glass that helped me understand why many committed hunters end up in what knikglacier called "euro glass" above. Both Bob Hodson and Joe Want have related that the critical performance of high-end Swaro (Joe) or Leica (Bob) was most notable when subtle factors like color resolution or low light resolution were needed. In those situations, the difference means possibly seeing or not seeing a bear (or other game animal) that is actually there. On top of that is the recurring observation about trophy animals of any species, that often the biggest ones are older ones - and they got that way by being less predictable or more elusive... coming out only at the edges of light each day, for instance. For a hunt that we plan for all year - a one-shot kind of deal where the tales you tell in December, January, February depend on seeing that animal first... I have come to appreciate the loyal who say go Swaro/go Leica (and maybe go Zeiss) or go home. The optical properties/advantages of high end glass can be subtle, but crucial in those situations.

    That said, I'd add that other brands are recommended by folks who depend on great optical glass (http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/scopes_advisor.html). Among those other brands is Kowa, which Bob Hodson now carries at Barney's Sports Chalet. Birdwatching optics sites are an excellent info source as pointed out often by Snyd/AOD Moderator.

    FYI- I'm still new to hunting, so I would certainly defer to those with more field experience. I have tried to pay attention to the wealth of experience around (the university of advanced studies in hunting, one could argue, IS Alaska, at least in the USA) though. Just passing stuff along.

    Good luck, man.

  12. #12
    Member f0zzy2's Avatar
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    I just ordered the new Zeiss dialyt spotter from Cameraland. Your welcome to come check it our. I know stid2677 likes his.

  13. #13

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    If your serious about buying you should contact schrapnel on 24hourcampfire.com he deals in used high end optics. I just bought a Leica 20x60x77 from him for $1600 that I'm very happy with.

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    If you can't go high end, take a look at www.camofire.com right now. VORTEX SKYLINE ED 20-60x80 STRAIGHT SPOTTING SCOPE for $399.99. On sale for the next 7 1/2 hours.

    Otherwise, I second cameraland for their specials.
    Death is like an old whore in a bar--I'll buy her a drink but I won't go upstairs with her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milo View Post
    If you can't go high end, take a look at www.camofire.com right now. VORTEX SKYLINE ED 20-60x80 STRAIGHT SPOTTING SCOPE for $399.99. On sale for the next 7 1/2 hours.
    Never mind. Apparently they ran out.
    Death is like an old whore in a bar--I'll buy her a drink but I won't go upstairs with her.

  16. #16
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    These are a few photos I took with a point and shoot camera looking through the new Zeiss spotting scope.





    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  17. #17
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    One way to tell great scopes from good scopes when using them, inspect the edge of the field of view, not the center. Itís a place where quality or workmanship issues really show up. Iíve had one Zeiss that got returned to the factory because you could see blurring in a spot on the edge.

    One way to save money is to look for factory refurbished. Iíve bought a Leica factory refurbished scope and couldnít be happier. It came with a full warranty in factory sealed box with all the literature. The only way you could tell tit had been refurbished was the note inside saying so.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milo View Post
    If you can't go high end, take a look at www.camofire.com right now. VORTEX SKYLINE ED 20-60x80 STRAIGHT SPOTTING SCOPE for $399.99. On sale for the next 7 1/2 hours.

    Otherwise, I second cameraland for their specials.
    Yep I picked one of those up 2 weeks ago to be my cabin/truck spotter. Impressed with the side by side comparision to the Swaro 65mm HD. Granted its a lot larger and heavier, but for times with weight isn't as much of a consideration its a bargin for sure.

  19. #19

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    I bought a Kowa from Bob a 20X60X66 HD and have really liked it. You can tell a subtle diff between the big three and the Kowa maybe but IMHO not enought to to make the jump up. A recent review I looked at had rated the Kowa large objective scope (88mm I think) better than any of the big three large objective scopes. This is want finally swayed me toward the Kowa. Bob has nothing but good things to say about them.

  20. #20

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    Plenty:
    Check your pm's

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