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Spotting scopes

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Unread 02-17-2009, 11:54 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 168
Spotting scopes

I have finally convinced the wife that I need to get a spotting scope for myself. My price range is a max of $400.00-$500.00. The spotting scope will have to be a multipurpose scope, that I can use to spot out of my truck as well as hiking the hills.
What are some of the good spotting scopes in this price range that I should be looking for?
I realize that this is not alot of money to spend on a spotting scope, but at this time this is what my budget will allow.
Also should I be looking for one with an angled or straight eye piece?
The power range I have in mind is 20 x 60 x 80 or 15 x 45 x 60 or 20 x 60 x 60.
I know that alot of you guys have owned many different brands. What are some of your likes and dislikes in some of the scopes that you have.
Any advise would be great, and thanks for the help.
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Unread 02-17-2009, 07:25 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Gillette WY
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Re: Spotting scopes

I would have to say opt for the bushnell excursion. IMO i would say it can't be beat in its price range!

Bushnell Excursion Review.
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Unread 02-19-2009, 12:45 PM
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Re: Spotting scopes

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Unread 02-22-2009, 08:27 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Clearwood, WA
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Re: Spotting scopes

I'm in the same boat, looking for something in the $4-500 range. I keep coming back to the Bushnell Excursion like ZSteinle recommended. If you wear glasses, the Excursion seems like the only choice. The eye relief on them is amazing.
I looked at the Excursion 20-60x80, Leupold Compact 15-30x50, and the Nikon Spotter XL II 6-48x60, and the Alpen 788 20-60x80. So far, the Excursion is the top pick for me. Plus the Excursion is the only one in this price range that comes with ED glass. If you have a Cabela's or somewhere similar around you, go check them out. The Excursion can be found for less than $400 with a little searching. Good luck

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Unread 02-22-2009, 10:42 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: east central fl. /n.c. pa.
Posts: 850
Re: Spotting scopes

im from pa. and do all of my hunting there.
most pa. long range hunting is from a stationary position, so packing isnt much of a problem.
its rare to see someone using a single spotting scope. everybody uses binoculars, and most are twin spotters in a bracket.
hands down the most popular is the bushnell spacemaster.
certainly kowa, or swarovski, are better scopes. but they are also far more expensive.
ive bought dozens of used spotters on ebay.
at this moment, i have 4 bushnell spotters ive bought used on ebay. i will eventually be putting them in brackets, as i did all the others.
last night i saw one go for $80 with a 15x45 eyepiece.
i can guarantee that scope will do all you are asking for.
a window mount will cost about $15 also on ebay.
for spotting from a vehicle, a straight thru eyepiece is a must. also, for mounting in pairs, that would be better.
as a rule, zoom eyepieces arent as sharp as standard ones of same power. eye relief is due to the eyepiece, and not the scope itself.
a zoom is fine for single spotter use.
there are lots of good spotters out there today. but very few are better than the older bushnell spacemasters.
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Unread 02-22-2009, 11:50 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Elko, NV
Posts: 461
Re: Spotting scopes

I have a Nikon Prostaff Spotting scope. Great optic for the price. It's lightweight, sharp, contrasty, performs well in low light, and is in your price range. I can see bullet holes on cardboard at 600 yards on overcast days. I've used it for hunting the last 3 years. Nikon's customer service isn't the best though. The tripod mount stripped out and Nikon was going to charge me to have it fixed. I complained and they fixed it for free. It took 4+ months to get it back.

I've never looked through the Bushnell Excursion so I can't give you a comparison. However, I've heard good things about them and had really good luck with everything I've bought from Bushnell. Their customer service is top notch. I lost a turret screw to a scope. I called them to order a replacement and they sent it free of charge, even after I told them I lost it. It was in my hands 3 days after I called them.

I'd find a store that has both and take them outside and compare them side by side.
If the optics where equal, I'd go with the Bushnell.

If you where to up your top price just a little, I'd take a serious look at the Nikon Fieldscope ED50. The optics are very impressive and it's ultra light and small. It weights 16oz compared to the Bushnell that weights 48oz.

There's a store on ebay that sells one for $550. Here's a link to their current auction: Nikon Fieldscope ED50.

Good luck.

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Unread 02-24-2009, 09:30 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 168
Re: Spotting scopes

I have been cruising the net a bit looking at a few different spotters. I am sorta starting to get things narrowed down a bit, but there are so many choices. What about a Bushnell Elite 20 x 60 x 70 would this be better than the Bushnell Excursion 20 x 60 x 80, or is the ED glass in the Excursion better than the Elite without the ED glass? I have also looked at the Nikon Prostaff 16 x 48 x 60 and the 20 x 60 x 82, but I am unsure if the 48 power will be enough magnification. Also what about Vortex how does there glass compare? I have to say that I am leaning to the Bushnell Excursion 20 x 60 x 80, from what you guys have said I can't go wrong with this scope.
I see some spotting scopes offered with the body only, with having to purchase a eye piece extra. Is this something that I would have to do with the spotting scopes listed above? I know this is a dumb question, but why sell a spotting scope without the eye piece with the scope already?

Last edited by lefty15; 02-24-2009 at 09:39 AM.
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