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Anyone else tried the new Nikon 13-30x50 ED Spotting Scope

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Unread 08-17-2006, 11:17 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 14
Anyone else tried the new Nikon 13-30x50 ED Spotting Scope

I got one a month ago despite not being able to find virtually any info out there from folks who had one yet. Although I have only had it in the field or at the range a half-dozen times, I have to say I am extremely suprised at the performance for the price ($700, so it's not an economy model, nor is it in the Swarovski realm.) For a 50mm objective spotting scope it has very, very suprising low-light performance and the contrast/resolution/detail (even at dim light) is the best I've seen. It has far better clarity and resolution than my older Leupold 12-40x60 I got rid of a couple years back. Right after getting it I tried a comparison after dark with a very, very dimly lit object at 100 yards between the spotting scope and some of the better optics I had on hand at the time: a 3.5-10x44 Zeiss Conquest set at 8x and a Leupold Vari-X III 2.5-8x36 set on 6 power. The spotting scope, set at 13x and thus with smaller exit pupil diameter, nonetheless easily bested both MUCH to my suprise. I've not owned any other Nikon optics in the past, but this sure made me rethink that possibility... Needless to say however my 8.5x42 Swarovski binos bested the Nikon spotter for low-light performance and contrast/resolution/detail, but not by nearly as much as one would expect given the price difference.

Anyone else had a chance to compare them side by side with some actual other 50mm spotting scopes? I'd be interested in hearing your impressions comparing apples to apples (spotting scope to spotting scope I mean.)

I can say this, it's a tiny little bugger, as I recall about 8.25" long and 16 ounces, and it's performance handily outpaces the performance I expected in a package this size. You can be sure with this level of clarity in that small a package, it will be in my fanny pack traveling with me for most of my hunting season! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] Best $700 I've spent in a good long while frankly.

Hope that info helps someone out there!
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Unread 08-18-2006, 10:00 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Anyone else tried the new Nikon 13-30x50 ED Spotting Scope

I used some a while back when I did some LR seminars for Nikon. I saw these guys looking through what I thought were camcorders, turned out they were hand-holding the little ED scopes. Fantastic little scope - the ones I used had nylon cases that you fit your hand for steadying the scope freehand.
You have a fine hunting spotter - matter of fact it is high on my list to obtain for this coming season.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 01:48 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: WA
Posts: 38
Just thought I'd touch bases again in case anyone had interest in these. I've had 2 seasons now using the little Nikon spotter and I have to say I don't have a single regret with this little gem. it's small enough to go in my fanny pack easy enough, and in fact even in the large front pockets of my Cabelas scent lock jacket. I love this little spotting scope! For the money and the size, 2 years later I must say I've still seen nothing that approaches the clarity and quality. Anyway, hope the information helps someone out there in their selection process.
Scott L.
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Unread 05-30-2008, 05:24 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,324
Spotting scopes

First, read this article:


Written by a friend of mine. We shoot 500 meter groundhog matches together.

Mine is a 20-60 77mm Leica Televid. Like most spotters, WHEN CONDITIONS ARE VERY GOOD, even .22 cal. bullet impacts at that distance can be seen. On sunny days, and/or with mirage running, no scope will perform well. If a spotting scope could be produced to eliminate mirage, it will sell hundreds of thousands, but such is not the case. However, most cheap spotters will not do well even under ideal conditions. Larger objective lens sizes usually are better, and the Pentax 100mm is very good. But it is heavy. At a match last week, I looked through a new Burris 20-60 80mm that sells for $239 but conditions were not good and I was not able to evalutate it. Might be worth a try.
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Unread 06-01-2008, 08:24 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 25
i picked up a demo for $499 after reading everything i could find on them. im impressed w the clarity, but its a tad dark at max magnification(was expected). great complement to my shootin buddys full size leupy PR. ez pack in the field. im extremely happy w it. anyone seen where u can get the case w the hand loop and open ends? the one that came w it is simply for storage

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Unread 06-03-2008, 02:59 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 29
For $785 you can get the Kowa 821M with fixed 27X eyepiece that is a 82mm objective.

I think you are getting more scope for your money there.
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Unread 06-03-2008, 06:30 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 25
note Nikon calls them a "Fieldscope", and thats where they shine. wonderful tool for walkin around zappin varmints and such. useable at the range. light and small

8.1" long, bit over 16 ounces, the Kowa, while probably another wonderful range/fixed position scope, is 15" long and weighs 3 times as much. different tools for different jobs

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