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Spotting scopes: fixed vs variable, eye relief, etc.

 
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:26 PM
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Location: Wenatchee, WA
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Spotting scopes: fixed vs variable, eye relief, etc.

Well, after farting around w/ the old Bushnell 15-45x straight tube scope this hunting season, I'm looking at finally getting a decent spotting scope. Looking at getting a Kowa TSN 661 w/ a 25x LER, w/ the idea that I can use it for a) NRA HighPower competition (and most any kind of matches I might go to, 600yd BR, tactical, varmint, regular range use) and b) hunting varmints, and c) scouting for big game. Right now I'm using an old CC45 w/ a fixed 30X eyepiece, not LER or WA, and not very clear for competition. Probably going to retire it to 'loaner' status.

Will a fixed 25x LER work well enough for hunting as well? In competition there seems to be a trend towards less emphasis on magnification and more on wide angle, to be able to see the wind/mirage on 'upstream' of your target. Obviously a bigger 80mm or 100mm would be better for mirage, but not so good in terms of $$$ and having to lug it around. I can get a variable power eyepiece for it, but it's an added expense and the eye relief goes to heck. I'm assuming long eye relief would be reasonably important/useful for hunting, or would wide viewing angle be more important?

TIA,

Monte
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:40 AM
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Re: Spotting scopes: fixed vs variable, eye relief, etc.

I have a TSN821 with both a 27LER and a 15-60 eyepiece. Almost never use the 15-60. The 27LER is great for both target spotting and for long range glassing. It seems to me that any time I could use more magnification I end up getting hosed by mirage anyway,
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Old 11-08-2004, 04:24 PM
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Re: Spotting scopes: fixed vs variable, eye relief, etc.

...very happy with Swarovski 20-60 x 65mm
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Old 11-08-2004, 04:36 PM
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Re: Spotting scopes: fixed vs variable, eye relief, etc.

I'm not really looking for recommendations on what particular scope to buy; that's pretty much set at this point. More interested in pluses minuses of fixed vs. variable, long eye relief vs. wide viewing angle for hunting purposes.

Thanks,

Monte
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:22 PM
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Re: Spotting scopes: fixed vs variable, eye relief, etc.

...always better off with variable for the purposes you stated... eye relief is infinitely adjustable by twisting eyecup in or out... field of view is a fixed formula based on power to objective lense diameter, i.e. the lower the power setting, the greater the field of view... once again variable can adjust for more or less field of view... like I said, Swarovski 25-60 x 65...hope this helps...
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:36 PM
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Re: Spotting scopes: fixed vs variable, eye relief, etc.

...correction on above message... should read "Swarovski 20-60 x 65"... thanks
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:50 PM
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Re: Spotting scopes: fixed vs variable, eye relief, etc.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>
...always better off with variable for the purposes you stated... eye relief is infinitely adjustable by twisting eyecup in or out...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

By 'infinitely adjustable' I take it you mean it has the twist-up eyecups instead of the fold-down style.

Maybe this is more of a technique question. Let me phrase it slightly differently.

In competition, the shooter is set up w/ the gun, looking thru the spotting scope watching the conditions at some point btwn the firing point and the target, and switches to the actual sights (iron or telescopic) just at the last little bit before he takes the shot. Obviously, this works a whole lot better w/ a target that ain't moving! The LER eyepieces have an advantage as you don't have to get as close to the eyepiece to see the full field of view, and the WA eyepieces allow you to see more of the conditions 'upwind' of the target; variables are a compromise that does neither quite as well, though exacting target identification isn't exactly the object either.

Do you (or other LR hunters) actually use the scope like this, or is it more just for finding and observing the game, and gets set aside once the rifle is taken up and aimed at the target? This is assuming solo hunting, not team. Is it completely fruity to think of setting up w/ the spotting scope next to your firing position, say observing a group of deer or elk grazing in one area of a clearcut a ways off, watching the wind conditions btwn you and the animals, switching to the rifle scope when the conditions come back around to a favorable pattern? Is it more normal to use the scope just to find, ID, and observe the animal, and then do all final conditions watching thru the rifle scope itself?

Trying to figure all this stuff out...

Thanks,

Monte
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