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20X Binocs: Alternative to BigEyes?

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Unread 11-22-2002, 07:55 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Windham, CT - in Moo-Cow country
Posts: 1,003
Re: 20X Binocs: Alternative to BigEyes?


"...do you have the Ralley's or the Senators???"

The Senators. If I needed anyhing better, I would go to a very big 80mm or 100mm ED glass spotter.

As to the optical quality of the Bushnell "Space masters".

Back in '90 or '91, they made a special run of "ED" glass 60mm Spacemasters that were fairly expensive. They only made them for about a year, cuz they didn't sell well... reason was that the Spacemaster eyepieces were (and still are) real garbage, so the best objectives on the scope was wasted by the poor eyepiece.

But I got one of these ED Spacemasters, and found that Kowa made a 50mm scope with screw on eyepieces that fit the Spacemasters, and their 11x33 (for the 50mm Kowa) was an EXCELLENT eyepiece for the ED Spacemaster, and because the SM had a 60mm obj, the real power was now 15x45...

Kowa may still have some of these eyepieces left, and they will do wonders to any SM scope.

Spring has sprung, da' creek has riz, I wonder where dem kitties is? Here, kitty kitty kitty.

LRH member #23

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Unread 11-22-2002, 11:00 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: 20X Binocs: Alternative to BigEyes?

Seem like a lot of spotting scopes have mickey-mouse eyepieces - makes you wonder why the manufactures would do that... Think it might be to save a buck and make lots of $ in corporate profit?

Have you seen the new Swarovsi HD spotting scope? Burns your eyeballs. Someone with more money than he knows what to do with should make a set of BigEyes out of two of those suckers.

Understand Nikon is working on a new bigger ED model, as in 85mm or so. That will be a good one - right now their 78ED blows away anything we have compared it to (and that is a lot of spotting scopes - had it at the Badlands three times and it was the king).

One big weakpoint in using spotting scopes is the wobbly, crappy little tripods that most companies flog - sure would like to find a really good small-sized tripod for prone use with an easy to use ballhead.
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Unread 11-23-2002, 12:53 AM
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Re: 20X Binocs: Alternative to BigEyes?

Hey Catshooter do you have the Ralley's or the Senators???
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Unread 12-11-2002, 11:51 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: dallas
Posts: 1
Re: 20X Binocs: Alternative to BigEyes?

Just FYI,
I have a pair of pentax 20 x 50 pcf binoculars that I picked up 3 years ago for hunting west texas. I have had no problems with the quality of the binoculars. I have a tripod and also a monopod that I use with them for glassing. I like the binocular format for my style of hunting because I find them easy to set up and easy on my eyes. The price was easy to take to. I have had mine fog up due to my breath before but in texas that is usually not a problem. I typically use them to scout agricultural fields in the areas that I hunt. I can clearly see the far edge of most fields to assess game. I have found that they perform well for my purposes and would purchase them again.
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Unread 12-11-2002, 01:50 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Richmond Va
Posts: 267
Re: 20X Binocs: Alternative to BigEyes?

I have been looking into making BIGEYES using some of the new costly European glass in 65 and 80 mm sizes. The problem is that because the eyepiece is fixed on the unit, making them work for more than one person is unlikely. Lot of money not to be able to share. There is a reason that Kowa, Spacemasters, and Swifts are used and it is not for their quality but because THEY WORK.
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Unread 12-11-2002, 04:34 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Nanty-Glo, Pennsylvania
Posts: 127
Re: 20X Binocs: Alternative to BigEyes?


Kowa also made a 27x WA for 60mm objectives (22x @ 50mm) that fit the Spacemasters--we have a couple sets for our glasses (there are still some around) and they are great with the Spacemasters and Balscopes. But I never thought the Spacemaster eyepieces were junk, especially the 22x WA. I've used them for about 25 years now. A friend of mine has a set put together with the ED glass (Spacemaster) and they are really nice with the 22x WA or the 27x WA eyepieces. I used to have a pair of 24x by 120mm American Battleship binoculars and the Spacemasters I thought looked pretty good comparing them to these. I don't know who made the eyepieces for the Spacemaster but Kowa made a lot of eyepieces for the Balscopes. I've heard the 22x WA eyepieces for the Swift Panther are good. I know they fit the Spacemasters and Balscopes but don't really know how good they are. I have a pair of Swift 20x by 80mm Binoculars that aren't bad but definitely not in the long range hunting class like the Spacemasters and Kowas. Savorsky (don't know how to spell it) used to make a 23x by 70mm Binocular that was good, even had a roof on it to protect it from the rain. The Weaver Spotting Scopes from the 70's were made by Kowa. A friend of mine has a pair he made up with turrets and they are superb. I saw two NEW weavers together (20x by 50mm) last year and they didn't look bad plus they were smaller and compact for pack in.
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Unread 12-15-2002, 12:22 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: occupied, USA
Posts: 189
Re: 20X Binocs: Alternative to BigEyes?

Re: The Pentax PCF binos, they are discontinuing the non-waterproof version in favor of the PCF 'WP' (waterproof).

Right now, you can get the 16x60 PCF WP from BHphotovideo.com for about $162.00 shipped, and then you get a $25.00 rebate! The 20x version will cost about $40 more as I recall.

B&H Photo is an upstanding NY retailer (I know that might seem like an oxymoron, but it isn't in this case). They have a secure site, will confirm your purchase with a reply email, will send you a tracking number (via email), and everything (based on my experience) goes smoothly as you could want.

FYI, the PCF WP have twist up eyecups, not the crappy folding type, so they are better for adjusting eye relief for your bare eyes, w/shooting glasses, whatever.

They come with a case, lens strap, and detached objective and ocular lens covers. Seems like you'd want to cut a slot in the ocular lens cover to keep it on the strap (for rainguard, etc.) They *will* accept a tripod adapter, but they don't come with said adapter. The image quality is very good, the focus is a bit stiff, but that might loosen up, or at least is better than a focus that changes at the merest touch.

Porro prism binos are easier, i.e. less costly, to manufacture, so you will get more glass for your money vs. a comparable roof prism set.

I've used mine for glassing long range around my home town, and they are very comfortable and clear, but certainly won't reveal detail like a set of 30x Bigeyes. On the other hand, I'm a lot more likely to have these smaller glasses w/me, and the price was a bargain!!

(Weight is about 28 ounces)

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it's not about need in the USA -- it's about WANT
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