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Recommendations for backpacking spotting scope

 
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  #1  
Old 04-22-2010, 11:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1
Recommendations for backpacking spotting scope

Iím looking to buy a spotting scope for the first time. I plan on taking this with me occasionally when hunting, more often for scouting (backcountry) and general wildlife watching. Iím willing to spend in the neighborhood of $1,000. A little more if itís really worth it.

Because I plan on humping this up the hills with me, being light and compact is important. While I could afford those Swarovski or Ziess scopes if I waited a bit, I wouldnít want to pack them around.

From what little research and asking around Iíve done, I am looking hard at the Leupold Golden Ring 12-40x60 (maybe in HD?). Based on what Iím looking for, I was stoked to see the compact model. But I donít knowÖ something bothers me about being a compact and such a lower price.

At any rate, I donít even attempt to be a long range shooter, I just figured there are people here who know spotting scopes and can give some advice. Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2010, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: north Alabama
Posts: 279
Re: Recommendations for backpacking spotting scope

I use a Pentax PF 65EDIIA that I really like. It is fairly light and compact. Clarity is excellent.
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2010, 09:29 AM
NJS NJS is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Re: Recommendations for backpacking spotting scope

The 60/65mm spotting scopes are super for backpack hunting... I'd look for a used or "demo" Leica/Zeiss or Swaro spotter... MHO... NJS
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 824
Re: Recommendations for backpacking spotting scope

Alfred, I have that 12x40 HD scope and it is quite a scope. The only thing is that I have had days that I wish it was lighter. I have looked at the lighter weight Leupolds and may end up getting one of those as well for packing. I've read some of the reviews and they look pretty good. I'll probably keep the HD for glassing at or near the truck and a lighter one for the long days on foot. Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2010, 11:01 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 112
Re: Recommendations for backpacking spotting scope

I just bought an ED50 and have carried it on a couple of short hunts. I really like how compact it is. I paid $400 for a refurb with 16x digiscoping eyepiece, then got a 13-30x zoom eyepiece for $50. I'm using a Slik Sprint Pro with it. Before the ED50, I had a Stokes Sandpiper 15-45x65, but never packed this scope. The Sandpiper had a great image for the price, and was lightweight for a 65mm but was too bulky for me.

I have also used the Leupold 10-20x40. Nice and compact, but I wasn't impressed by the image quality. I also thought about the 50mm Leupold, but the ED50 seems to be the #1 compact scope with many people. Its really a nice image with excellent depth of field.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2010, 03:03 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: nw. montana
Posts: 36
Re: Recommendations for backpacking spotting scope

how does that nikon work in low light with the 50mm objective ? thank you ahead for your info
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  #7  
Old 05-10-2010, 02:25 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
Posts: 10
Re: Recommendations for backpacking spotting scope

Take a look at the Kowa TSN-660 series. The 60mm objective, combined with the quality of the glass and 26oz weight makes a great backpacking spotting scope. The Outdoorsmans, one of the sponsors of this site, sells them for $810.

If you can sacrifice a little more money and weight, look at the 66mm Kowa for $925 (standard lenses) or $1340 (XD lenses).
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