20-60X-80mm Spotting Scopes

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by David P. Herne, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. David P. Herne

    David P. Herne Well-Known Member

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    Gentlemen,
    Some weeks ago I had an exchange with one of our own (Vince Foster) regarding my intentions to liquidate my old Leupold 12-40X-60mm Gold Ring spotting scope and upgrade all the way to a Swarovski HD 20-60X-80mm model. But Vince asked me to take a good look at the Pentax 20-60X-80mm ED model before committing. I did so, and in fact, the scope has many of the same features that make the Swarovski so desirable (e.g. very bright, high resolution optics, rubber armoured body, exceptional warranty). Of course, the big Swarovski HD unit has no real equal in terms of its resolving power, but short of this, would any of you guys still go and spend $870 more for the Swarovski. Or would you order the Pentax, never looking back?

    Dave
     
  2. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    Dave,

    Good you asked! http://betterviewdesired.com , the bird watchers reviews have shown it to be the new Referance Standard in large spotters, no equal and is what all others are being judged by at present. It uses their astronomical eyepieces and that's a big deal. Read this wright up and tell us what you think after that. [​IMG]
    http://betterviewdesired.com/Pentax/index.html
     

  3. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    BTW, I know a guy from the range that I saw the other day there, he had one there he said he got from a Pentax Rep..... for $600!

    They want $1100 or there abouts in town for it. They are bitchin, and Don at Boondocks would have talked me into one but I wanted the 12-40 Lupy for it's compactness and low power setting. Price wasn't an issue, I would have got the Pentax had it fit my needs better. I printed the article at betterviewdesired and gave it to Don to hang on his Pentax that's for sale there. It was better than he had even heard, and from a bird watcher, that's saying something. A lot of nice reviews on that site, best I've ever seen anywhere.
     
  4. Nicholas

    Nicholas Well-Known Member

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    I too have a Swarovski STS 80 on my want list and hopefully comming soon list. I have looked through them many times and would not consider anything else.
     
  5. David P. Herne

    David P. Herne Well-Known Member

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    Brent,
    Though not quite completely convinced that the Pentax is the way to go, you may still have just made up my mind for me. All I have to do now is simply have a visit with one, up close and personal.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  6. ss8541

    ss8541 Well-Known Member

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    I have been happy with mine so far. I can also tell you where one will only cost you 700.00 after rebate with the 20-60 eyepiece. It even comes with a full size Pentax tripod although a bogen it is not.
     
  7. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    $700, with a tripod. Where at? New or used?
     
  8. ss8541

    ss8541 Well-Known Member

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  9. sakofan

    sakofan Well-Known Member

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  10. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Last weekend we compared a Nikon ED to the HD Swaro, to my eyes the Nikon had truer color rendition, I could not decide which was sharper (definition) - they are both superb. The Swaro had a strange grey-yellow cast to the image, the Nikon was bang-on re what the light was doing vs what we saw through the scopes. I really like the big eyepiece on the Swaro, it is quality all the way.

    I have used a Swara a lot and they are superb, but suspect that a heavy advertising budget helps with their reputation and brand loyalty. Truth is I have seen a lot of negative stuff with that brand, maybe because I have been around a lot of Swaro users. For example turrets should NOT separate off of brand new scopes but it happened a while back - just shows that any manufacturer can let a lemon slip out ( I also know of a new Zeiss that had a wonky turret assembly - no crosshair movement period, and several other really good scopes that failed miserably as in internal fogging, terrible optics, one dial was marked left but moved the bullet right etc.)

    I believe that the new Swaro displaced the Nikon 78ED scope in those birder trials, but Nikon has just countered with a bigger ED scope that might reclaim the title, not sure tho.

    I am using both 60 and 78 ED scopes from Nikon and the only scope that has come close to matching them is the new HD Swaro. There are some excellent scopes that I have never compared to so far, but the ED's kick Leupold, Bushnell B&L type scopes pretty bad.

    I am not saying the Nikon ED is the only fine scope on the market, just real happy with mine.
     
  11. ss8541

    ss8541 Well-Known Member

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    I have not had a chance to compare my scope with the newest 80 mm Swaro HD. This past weekend it ended up where my Pentax was set up next to both a 65 mm HD Swaro, and a Leupold Gold ring, but my evaluation of that is it was not an apples to apples comparison. You can never expect the smaller scopes to perform as well, and it was an overcast day to boot. I can say out of 13 shooters that looked through it everyone was impressed. I would also look at the Nikons and the Swaro myself. Price was a big factor for me though since I have to many other projects going. I have used my scope for 9 days in the field so far this deer season, and 5 of those days where in the rain. The scope never got a chance to dry out and spent several nights in a tent down at 28 to 30 degrees after getting thoroughly soaked that day. I never had any type of problem with it. I guess all I can say is that it is doing everything I ask of it to date. I only wish it was under 30 ounces for my backpack hunts. There will always be that trade off in weight though. Keep in mind the size of these scopes. You might want to think of one of the 65 mm scopes for serious field use. I choose to lug mine even on backpack hunts, but I am still fairly young and dumb at heart. I also stay in good shape, so lugging 80 pounds of gear just hurts instead of killing me.

    [ 10-08-2003: Message edited by: ss8541 ]
     
  12. sakofan

    sakofan Well-Known Member

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    Anybody tried the Tactical Fieldscope TFIII 20-45X 60mm??
    Good to see so much love for my Nikons..sakofan..
    [​IMG]
     
  13. ss8541

    ss8541 Well-Known Member

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    Is the TFIII offered with a Mil Dot reticule?
    If so that may be the next scope I buy for Tac use.
     
  14. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    I have the Nikon Tactical ED 60mm scope and it is very fine. We use it on the ground for the spotter and the big 78 on a heavy tripod behind the shooters for another spotter when we have several guys busting rocks or shooting steel. It is not as bright as the 78 but it is a fine spotting scope for the money.