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Best Spotting Scope for the $$

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Old 03-25-2013, 03:20 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 7
Best Spotting Scope for the $$

Im considering a new spotting scope. I think 1000 would be my cap. What would you guys suggest?
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:42 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 5,692
Re: Best Spotting Scope for the $$

I have to get a new one soon, as well.

I think I am going with this one...

Vortex Viper HD Spotting Scope 20-60x 80mm Armored Green

And this tri-pod...

Leupold Tripod Compact Black Gray
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:46 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Gillette WY
Posts: 667
Re: Best Spotting Scope for the $$

For the money I would look at the zen ray. Got a chance to test one for a week and as the owner of a swaro 80hd I was very impressed. The zen ray obviously wasnt better but at 1/3 th price it was very close! I have a pair of zen ray binoculars and they are nothing short of amazing for the 400 bucks I spent on them.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:57 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Northeast Wisconsin
Posts: 139
Re: Best Spotting Scope for the $$

I looked into this a while ago, your best bet is to do research on bird watching forums. Those people are way more concerned with clairity, color, and detail than most and they spend big dollars to get it all and will have reviews on everything.
The last time I looked (about 2 years ago) the Celestron Regal was getting rave reviews as one of the best spotters under $1000 and it comes in at just about half of that.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:28 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dallas,OR
Posts: 345
Re: Best Spotting Scope for the $$

The 12-40X60 Leupold Gold Ring HD is in your price range and is very easy on the eyes with it's 30mm of eye relief all the way out to 40 power. I'd put it up there close to the ATM 20-60X65 Swaro I have. The Swaro is awesome, but when you get past 40 power the eye relief sucks. I use the Leupy way more for hunting now. I picked mine up for $700 gently used. IMHO the Leupold Compact tripod is a POS....I'll make you a good deal on one if you like?
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:29 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 21
Re: Best Spotting Scope for the $$

I just had the same dilemma. Was looking at Zen-Ray, Pentax ED and Vortex Razor HD. The Vortex was the most money, but won in the end. This is my third and hopefully last spotting scope. I always try to get the most for my money but am finding that spending more saves me from buying twice.

I have to recommend the service I got at Cameraland. I usually buy online without the sales pitch. They made me a believer.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:00 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 3,464
Re: Best Spotting Scope for the $$

Another vote for Vortex or Celestron
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