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spotting scopes

 
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  #22  
Old 09-29-2013, 11:57 PM
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High Price Spotting Scopes

High price range. This range spans over $2,000 from the low to high end. Generally, I think you get what you pay for. The products at the high end will do a better job of implementing the features that distinguish these scopes from the mid-range products:

Apochromatic objective lens: The objective is a triplet design using HD/ED/XD glass. Color fringing is nearly absent and the sweet spot over which the image is crystal clear extends nearly from edge to edge.

Field flattener: Image blur near the edge of the field of view due to focus change (rather than color fringing) is also nearly absent. Image distortion is also significantly reduced.

Wide field of view: The eyepieces are enormous by comparison to low end scopes. They provide a wide field of view with a long eye relief that allows eyeglasses to be worn. For people with astigmatism or other vision problems that require eyeglasses, a high end scope is a good investment. The field of view is expansive and there is little or no “bean” obscuration as the viewer scans the eye across the field of view. Eye and neck strain from shifting the eye to avoid obscuration doesn’t happen.

Color fidelity: Lens coatings are optimized for both high transmission and excellent color uniformity. Colors are accurate. Outer objective and eyepiece lens surfaces have hard, hydrophobic coatings that shed water and are easy to clean.

High contrast: Stray light and glare are significantly reduced through the proper use of internal coatings and “glare stops”. The image is so bright and clear that it seems to jump out at you. Low contrast image details are visible, as though you were standing right next to the object.

Precision mechanics: Focus and zoom adjustments have excellent precision and stay tight, rather than becoming loose over time. These products have well thought out ergonomics and are a joy to use.

Durability: These scopes have either aluminum or magnesium alloy bodies, and usually have a rubber coating that protects the scope from scratches and dings.

Environmental: Scopes are rated for waterproofness, humidity and temperature range, just like military gear. This rating means the scope has been extensively tested in an environmental chamber.

Excellent digiscoping accessories: Digital camera attachments that fit in place of the eyepiece or over the eyepiece are offered. Switching back and forth from the eye to the camera is quick and easy.

Examples of scopes in this price range include the Vortex Razor HD (low end) and the Meopta S2 HD (mid range). Of course the high end “alpha glass” includes the Zeiss Victory Diascope, Leica APO Televid and Swarovski ATS/STS. The Swarovski ATX/STX modular scopes are the most versatile spotting scopes in the world. The top dogs in the digiscoping world are probably the Swarovski ATS/STS and ATX/STX because of the TLS APO digital camera lens system.

For most people, these high end scopes are a lifetime investment. They will give decades of service to the buyer and then be handed down to the next generation.
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  #23  
Old 09-30-2013, 12:03 AM
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Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting

One last comment about scopes for target shooting: I recommend against using scopes larger than 65 mm for viewing targets at shooting ranges. Most people are familiar with mirage - the wavy distortion of an image during sunny days when the wind is up. However, sunlight also creates turbulent air that causes image blur, even when there is no wind. This effect is worse the closer one gets to the ground, and the hotter the temperature. The effect is also worse for larger objectives.

In my experience, when viewing across generally flat terrain like a shooting range, I am better off using a smaller objective of 65 mm or less. Under these conditions, an HD/ED/XD 65 mm lens will usually equal or outperform a larger scope. The higher magnification of the larger scope usually doesn’t help, because it just makes a blurry image larger rather than allowing me to see more details. Unless you have serious vision problems or need to view targets in low light conditions, I think the smaller objective HD/ED/XD scope seems to work best in this application.
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  #24  
Old 09-30-2013, 03:55 AM
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Re: spotting scopes

Thanks Bruce, good enough I'm printing for reference. I thought eye relief cups not being useful, and improvements with a large eyepiece were just me. Any thought as to why bino, and spotting scope don't have models with friendlier eye relief. It would seem to be a big chunk of the market?
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  #25  
Old 09-30-2013, 07:27 AM
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Re: spotting scopes

Quote:
Originally Posted by HARPERC View Post
Thanks Bruce, good enough I'm printing for reference.
+1! Thanks as always for taking the time to put together a long, technical, well thought out response. It is extremely helpful and much appreciated.
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  #26  
Old 09-30-2013, 07:54 AM
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Re: spotting scopes

A+ on the advise
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  #27  
Old 09-30-2013, 09:39 AM
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Re: spotting scopes

Quote:
Originally Posted by varmintH8R View Post
+1! Thanks as always for taking the time to put together a long, technical, well thought out response. It is extremely helpful and much appreciated.

+2. The timing on this advise couldn't have been better and it kept me from making a rookie mistake. Many thanks
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  #28  
Old 10-02-2013, 06:48 PM
BMF BMF is offline
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Re: spotting scopes

Wow, good stuff Mr. Bruce. So where would the Zeiss Dialyt be in the mix? It's about 1200$ so.....in the mid-class. Would it be comparable to the Gold Ring HD ?
Thanks Brent
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