Originally Posted by sparkyman
In my experience 60x days are few and far between. In the west the last couple of years the wildfire seasons have been horrible and on days like those 15x is about the only useful power. You can have all the zoom and clarity you want but all you see is a blurry hillside through the smoke. One other thing to consider is if you will be hiking with it or not. 80mm is a big heavy scope.
This is what I have run into these past few years, and my scope goes from about 12-36 on average i tend not to go above 26, But two days ago I ordered another tripod for it with the micro tilt adjustment on it and it has made a world of differance, my scope fairly cheap compared to todays scopes back in 1997 it cost about $300 and it has done all I asked of it and more, and its still like new, Buying that new tripod has changed everything about it because I can now take the zoom right up to 36 and the view is as clear as anything in the $1000 price bracket and I love the fact that it goes down to 12 power because its great for closer ranges and lets in alot of light seeing as its a 12-36x50 straight scope, perfect for back packing although its about 14"3/8 long I dont even know if its waterproof but it never fogs up so I guess it must be,
If I was in your position I would go with the smaller one because its easier to stash in your kit/back pack or what ever, Just make sure you get one of them mirco tilt tripods for the range because they speed up focusing and dont flex like the cheap one they All come with and you can get one for about 40/45 Dollars and they are better than using a camera type tripod, I cant believe how much differance this Tripod has made to my scope,
I hope this helps and good luck with your choices.