Re: what is a good spotting scope for elk hunting
For the same money you are planning to spend, I'd get BOTH of following:
1. Leupold HD 12-40 (for packing and general use)
2. Pentax PF-100 (for looooong range spotting)
1. The Leupold, while not the best optically of those you listed, is very very good. But most importantly it's THE most comfortable to use. Hands down. For long glassing sessions this is very important. This is why a lot of sheep hunters use them (as told to me by a guide in Montana) Both the exit pupil and eye relief is the largest that I know of - 5mm for the exit pupil and 30 mm of eye relief. For comparison the top of line Lieca has an exit pupil of 3.3mm and 18mm of eye relief. It is also the most portable of those mentioned.
2. The Pentax because it has the highest power you can get. Optics are rated as good as the best on your list. You can get a 90x eyepiece as well as many zooms. As opposed to 60x tops for most in the list. You can also use very high quality telescope eyepieces with it. This is ideal when glassing far distances from the truck. This isn't a very portable scope, but you'll have the Leupold if you need a portable option.
Again, you can get both of these, for about the same price one top of the line Lieca, Swaro, Kowa, etc...
This is the combo that I'm saving up for.
Last edited by WildcatB; 11-03-2008 at 05:07 PM.