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Best spotting scope under $1,000

 
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2011, 10:28 AM
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Location: greenwood, IN
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Re: Best spotting scope under $1,000

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Originally Posted by dewiseman View Post
I bet you never will get a consensus on scopes at this price range (PROBABLY not at any price range) I have a minox 62ED w/ 20-45 straight eyepiece, and like it very much for hunting. At 2lbs1oz and 13" long, it is very lite and packable. The focus dial is very easy to use, and the image is great. I don't have a great deal of experience with spotting scopes but I can tell you that looking at a two story house at 400yds (just under) at sunset, looking at a small window (probably a bathroom) on hi (45x) I can see the difference in depth between the window trim and wall. (you can see that the trim stands out from the wall, not flat or even with the wall) The color and 3 dimensional image are very comparable to my swaro 10x42 slc's. You can get great deals on this scope in the demo section on SWFA or Cameraland ($699. or less. grabbed mine from swfa for under $500. last year) Another one to consider. Good luck.
never seen one. I have seen their other optics that came out of Europe, and were pretty good. Is the scope water proof and shock proof? A lot of the high end scopes are not

When I looked a scopes prior to buying one I based everything off a Swarovski 82mm scope with a 20-60x eyepiece in the noon sunlight over black top parking lots. I still think the Swarovski is the best I've ever looked thru. I liked the Lieca, but found the shimmer off it tobe bothersome with my old eyes. There is a Nikon and a Bushnell that are very good, but both are over a thousand dollars, but neither will run with a Swarovski. The Kowa was ever so slightly lower in optical quality than the Nikon and Bushnell, but a later look see with the same scope that had the Flourite lenses was a no contest. The only scope better was the Swarovski, and it was just ever so slightly better.

My tests were run over a black top parking lot in mid July. All tests were conducted right at 12 noon on cloudless days in high eighty and low ninety temps. All scopes were mounted on a super heavyduty tripod that was about 12" off the ground (I really wanted the test to be about 8" off the blacktop, but the tripod wouldn't go any lower). I used a series of targets that were about 100, 250, and 400 yards out, plus one that was well over 750 yards. I wanted to do a 1000 yard test, but could not get all the pieces together at the sametime. The four hundred yard test was a simple stop sign that was very bright and shiney. Some scopes even showed a slight flare with the red in that bright light. The actually items checked on that one were the rusted screws holding the sign in place. The better scopes picked out the screw driver slot, and the pitting from rust. Looking back I think I could have used a regular optical test target for the four hundred and seven hundred yard test.

What makes me mad is that a week after I took delivery of the KOWA, I could have had the Swarovski for about $1200!!
gary
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  #9  
Old 08-22-2011, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Olympia Washington
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Re: Best spotting scope under $1,000

I have heard several people reporting good things about KOWA products. I haven't found any locally to look at. When I was comparing the Minox 10 x 43 HG binoculars to the swarro 10x42 slc it was a close call (using their optics test sign) took them outside as the light was fading and was still impressed with both. For the difference in price I was going to go with the minox but then found a pair of swaros at my local gun show for a deal I couldn't refuse. The only swaro spotting scope around carried a 2k sticker and I wasn't wanting to spend that much. (made the mistake of looking through a swaro z6 rifle scope and then had to have it.) One of the best scopes I have gotten to look through was the Nikon fieldscope ED but again carried around $1600. price tag. Wouldn't you love it if we could get all these different optics together outside for a true side by side comparrison. The thing with swarovski is that everything they make is good, without question and that has allways been their reputation.
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2011, 09:06 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 98
Re: Best spotting scope under $1,000

How about a Meopta S75 with a 20X60 power eye piece? I have an angled body and lens for sale at $850.

Seriously, they put out some good European glass.
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2011, 10:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northern Utah
Posts: 830
Re: Best spotting scope under $1,000

I don't know where you live but there is a Nikon Fieldscope III ED 20-60x60mm straight for sale in the Utah KSL classifieds for $600. That's an absolutely smoking deal!
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2011, 10:31 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
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Re: Best spotting scope under $1,000

Quote:
Originally Posted by dewiseman View Post
I have heard several people reporting good things about KOWA products. I haven't found any locally to look at. When I was comparing the Minox 10 x 43 HG binoculars to the swarro 10x42 slc it was a close call (using their optics test sign) took them outside as the light was fading and was still impressed with both. For the difference in price I was going to go with the minox but then found a pair of swaros at my local gun show for a deal I couldn't refuse. The only swaro spotting scope around carried a 2k sticker and I wasn't wanting to spend that much. (made the mistake of looking through a swaro z6 rifle scope and then had to have it.) One of the best scopes I have gotten to look through was the Nikon fieldscope ED but again carried around $1600. price tag. Wouldn't you love it if we could get all these different optics together outside for a true side by side comparrison. The thing with swarovski is that everything they make is good, without question and that has allways been their reputation.
I had a dealer that loaned me several to try actually he and another guy along with me did the tests), and a friend that I built bullet making parts for over the years that used a Swarovski. Each scope was mounted with a claw mount that I had several copies of. Last time I looked at the Nikon, it was a little under $1300. Just ever so slightly better than the Kowa with the non coated lense that was 60% of the price. The Nikon is also not completely water proof. One sleeper in the group is the Celestron, and have never had the chance to look thru the big Pentax scopes
gary
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  #13  
Old 08-23-2011, 05:42 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northern Utah
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Re: Best spotting scope under $1,000

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Originally Posted by Trickymissfit View Post
Last time I looked at the Nikon, it was a little under $1300. Just ever so slightly better than the Kowa with the non coated lense that was 60% of the price. The Nikon is also not completely water proof.
I don't know what Nikon you're thinking of, but the Fieldscope is water proof according to all the literature I've looked at.

Last edited by Browninglover1; 08-23-2011 at 05:49 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-23-2011, 11:34 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 33
Re: Best spotting scope under $1,000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Browninglover1 View Post
I don't know where you live but there is a Nikon Fieldscope III ED 20-60x60mm straight for sale in the Utah KSL classifieds for $600. That's an absolutely smoking deal!
Be careful buying at this price, as they are typically factory refurbs from Nikon, and only carry a 90 day warranty. That being said you can typically find the non-ED 20-60x60 for just under $1k. They are one of the most durable scopes for the money, and very packable. The optics, despite not being ED/HD, are top notch.

I own one and see no reason to upgrade to ED or to a larger objective. The 80mm and 85mm objective scopes are too cumbersome to carry in the high country. The only reason I would consider upgrading to ED would be for digiscoping. But I rarely use my scope for this purpose.
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