Best spotting scope under $1,000

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by mjm0073, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. mjm0073

    mjm0073 Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    I have read a ton of the posts on the subject of spotting scopes but have not really seen a consensus. I am looking for a Straight spotting scope, under $1,000. I will use it a lot of the time for target shooting, but I also intend to use it for hunting muley's, antelope, elk...etc and would like for it to be as compact as possible. Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions are greatly appreciated!
     

  2. tvarden

    tvarden Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    I have a Bushnell Elite 15x45x60 and it works very well for what you are looking for, plus can be had for under 400.00..
     

  3. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    without hesitation I'll say the KOWA 82mm with a strait eye piece and the uncoated lenses. I have one, and have about $780 in it plus the cover. I use the 27x eyepiece, and it'll pick out the pull pin on a pop rivit at 375 yards with no problems. Your gonna have to spend about $1200 to get something better, and then only slightly better
    gary
     
  4. 2Rsquared

    2Rsquared Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    I am starting out in High Power competition shooting and I just bought the KOWA TSN-82SV. It is a very popular spotting scope amongst all the folks that shoot High Power.

    The glass on the KOWA scopes is awesome. KOWA's are also used by a lot of Birders...and those guys can be quite picky about their optics. I do not know any reason why it could not pull double duty for hunting.

    I suggest an angled eye piece. I got the 25x long-eye relief for shooting with eye protection (glasses). You can get higher magnification eye pieces but much higher than 25x and the mirage takes over.
     
  5. 6mm Remington

    6mm Remington Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    I have a Leupold Gold Ring 25x50mm fixed spotting scope that I love! It is light and compact and it will be with you when you need it instead of sitting in the truck! The quality of glass is excellent also!

    Leupold makes a new scope that I believe is a 15-30x50mm Gold Ring Compact that is a winner also. I checked one out at the store and if I had not purchased the 25 power fixed scope already, I would likely get this one. I am very happy with the one I own though and these are around $400.00 to $500.00.
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    when you have a 50mm lense divided by 30x you end up with a light factor of 1.66. That's pretty dim. An 82mm lense with a 27x eyepiece will give you a 3.0, and that's about all the light you'd ever want comming into your eyes unless you were a teenager. Even a 45x eyepiece will give you 1.8 with 50% more magnification. Plus the KOWA has extremely good glass.
    gary
     
  7. dewiseman

    dewiseman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    I bet you never will get a consensus on scopes at this price range (PROBABLY not at any price range) I have a minox 62ED w/ 20-45 straight eyepiece, and like it very much for hunting. At 2lbs1oz and 13" long, it is very lite and packable. The focus dial is very easy to use, and the image is great. I don't have a great deal of experience with spotting scopes but I can tell you that looking at a two story house at 400yds (just under) at sunset, looking at a small window (probably a bathroom) on hi (45x) I can see the difference in depth between the window trim and wall. (you can see that the trim stands out from the wall, not flat or even with the wall) The color and 3 dimensional image are very comparable to my swaro 10x42 slc's. You can get great deals on this scope in the demo section on SWFA or Cameraland ($699. or less. grabbed mine from swfa for under $500. last year) Another one to consider. Good luck.
     
  8. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    never seen one. I have seen their other optics that came out of Europe, and were pretty good. Is the scope water proof and shock proof? A lot of the high end scopes are not

    When I looked a scopes prior to buying one I based everything off a Swarovski 82mm scope with a 20-60x eyepiece in the noon sunlight over black top parking lots. I still think the Swarovski is the best I've ever looked thru. I liked the Lieca, but found the shimmer off it tobe bothersome with my old eyes. There is a Nikon and a Bushnell that are very good, but both are over a thousand dollars, but neither will run with a Swarovski. The Kowa was ever so slightly lower in optical quality than the Nikon and Bushnell, but a later look see with the same scope that had the Flourite lenses was a no contest. The only scope better was the Swarovski, and it was just ever so slightly better.

    My tests were run over a black top parking lot in mid July. All tests were conducted right at 12 noon on cloudless days in high eighty and low ninety temps. All scopes were mounted on a super heavyduty tripod that was about 12" off the ground (I really wanted the test to be about 8" off the blacktop, but the tripod wouldn't go any lower). I used a series of targets that were about 100, 250, and 400 yards out, plus one that was well over 750 yards. I wanted to do a 1000 yard test, but could not get all the pieces together at the sametime. The four hundred yard test was a simple stop sign that was very bright and shiney. Some scopes even showed a slight flare with the red in that bright light. The actually items checked on that one were the rusted screws holding the sign in place. The better scopes picked out the screw driver slot, and the pitting from rust. Looking back I think I could have used a regular optical test target for the four hundred and seven hundred yard test.

    What makes me mad is that a week after I took delivery of the KOWA, I could have had the Swarovski for about $1200!!
    gary
     
  9. dewiseman

    dewiseman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    I have heard several people reporting good things about KOWA products. I haven't found any locally to look at. When I was comparing the Minox 10 x 43 HG binoculars to the swarro 10x42 slc it was a close call (using their optics test sign) took them outside as the light was fading and was still impressed with both. For the difference in price I was going to go with the minox but then found a pair of swaros at my local gun show for a deal I couldn't refuse. The only swaro spotting scope around carried a 2k sticker and I wasn't wanting to spend that much. (made the mistake of looking through a swaro z6 rifle scope and then had to have it.) One of the best scopes I have gotten to look through was the Nikon fieldscope ED but again carried around $1600. price tag. Wouldn't you love it if we could get all these different optics together outside for a true side by side comparrison. The thing with swarovski is that everything they make is good, without question and that has allways been their reputation.
     
  10. IDbound

    IDbound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    125
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    How about a Meopta S75 with a 20X60 power eye piece? I have an angled body and lens for sale at $850.

    Seriously, they put out some good European glass.
     
  11. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,151
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    I don't know where you live but there is a Nikon Fieldscope III ED 20-60x60mm straight for sale in the Utah KSL classifieds for $600. That's an absolutely smoking deal!
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    I had a dealer that loaned me several to try actually he and another guy along with me did the tests), and a friend that I built bullet making parts for over the years that used a Swarovski. Each scope was mounted with a claw mount that I had several copies of. Last time I looked at the Nikon, it was a little under $1300. Just ever so slightly better than the Kowa with the non coated lense that was 60% of the price. The Nikon is also not completely water proof. One sleeper in the group is the Celestron, and have never had the chance to look thru the big Pentax scopes
    gary
     
  13. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,151
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    I don't know what Nikon you're thinking of, but the Fieldscope is water proof according to all the literature I've looked at.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  14. solitude

    solitude Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Be careful buying at this price, as they are typically factory refurbs from Nikon, and only carry a 90 day warranty. That being said you can typically find the non-ED 20-60x60 for just under $1k. They are one of the most durable scopes for the money, and very packable. The optics, despite not being ED/HD, are top notch.

    I own one and see no reason to upgrade to ED or to a larger objective. The 80mm and 85mm objective scopes are too cumbersome to carry in the high country. The only reason I would consider upgrading to ED would be for digiscoping. But I rarely use my scope for this purpose.