Spotting Scope Power??

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by spdrman, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. spdrman

    spdrman Well-Known Member

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    I've been looking alot into spotting scopes and cant decide what I want, it will mainly be used for backcountry mule deer hunting, Price isnt an issue and I was set on buying a Swarovski 20-60x65 but I've also been considering the Zeiss Dialyt 18-45x65 because it looks like it would be easy to stuff in a pack with its straight body design, both scopes are within a 1/2" on length and are within 2 ounces on weight

    My concern is the max 45 power on the Zeiss? Am I going to regret not having 60 power when trying to judge mulies between 700-1200 yards? or will the 45 power be enough?

    Or should I not even worry about size and weight and just buy the Swarovski 20-60x80? Is the bigger objective worth packin around another 10-12 ounces??
     
  2. 7mmpredator

    7mmpredator Well-Known Member

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    Do yourself a favor and look at Vortex Razor HD reviews. :)
     

  3. spdrman

    spdrman Well-Known Member

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    I was strongly considering the razor until I decided I wanted a smaller objective, and the I've still been considering one
     
  4. 7mmpredator

    7mmpredator Well-Known Member

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    I've owned Leupold 12-40x60s, Swarovski 20-60x65 and 20-60x80s non HD but I'm loving the Razor HD and the spare cash in my pocket! In my experience all the lighter weight is not so much of a benefit once the wind is blowing. I use a beefy tripod as well. That being said I'm being taxi'ed by horses and not backpacking.
     
  5. spdrman

    spdrman Well-Known Member

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    Wish horses could fit in on my list of things to get but im going to have to wait on those, I already have the beefy tripod for my video camera, do you notice a big difference between the 60mm and 80mm scopes you've used??
     
  6. 7mmpredator

    7mmpredator Well-Known Member

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    Honestly its not night and day. With either if you use the higher magnification, the exit pupil is smaller and hence less bright. I'd bet you can get more clarity from a Swaro 65mm HD than a standard 80mm and save space and weight to boot. On one elk hunt my guide had a piss poor spotter that any little touch would throw it out of focus and a chihuahua legged tripod that was absolutely frustrating.

    Add to that a horse that had a belly ache and would roll over and lay down while I was walking him down steep snowy slopes....on my rifle scabbard!
    Somehow I was lucky enough to kill a 307 6x6 on the third day!
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    think mof it this way: Divide the lense diameter with the power. This gives you the actual light transmission you'll see. Ideally you want a factor of three. An 82mm lense divided by 27x gives you 3.03. The same lense divided by 45x gives you 1.82. Ok, but getting somewhat marginal. Kowa is now selling an 88mm lensed scope that will still only give you 1.95, but still better. A 20x scope with a 60mm lense will give you about 3.0, but with a field of view loss in that matters a lot. I use an 82mm lense with a 27x eyepiece, and that's a very bright scope to look thru. It has all the resolution I ever could use.
    gary
     
  8. bearpaw

    bearpaw Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you that I had, emphasis on "had", a zeiss 85 and loved it. Had some misfortune with the scope and contacted zeiss about the problem looking for some warranty help with a scope that I paid a butt load of cash for. Added to the equation by explaining that i am a guide and clients take note of the optics I use. Zeiss did not call me back when they said they would, ended up playing catch up with them for about a year to finally be told they would check inventory and resell me a scope for guide rate cost. F%#K ZEISS! will never own one again. Swaro gets my vote now.
     
  9. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    a few years back I did a bunch of tests with several scopes in very hot weather in the noon time sun over a black top parking lot. I was looking to see which scope gave me the least mirage and glare. The Swarovski 80mm was the best by far, but also at almost $1000 higher than the next competetor. Ended up buying an 82mm Kowa for $780 delivered. I think they are over a grand right now, but that's life. Not all good scopes are water proof and shock resistent, so keep that in mind.

    I like the size of the Lieca, and it was slightly better than the Kowa without the ED lenses. With the ED lense the Kowa is better, and just slightly behind the Swarovski. But for what we are doing you just don't need ED lense coatings! Birders use a lot of Kowas with ED lenses because they hook cameras up to them. The Nikon Field Scope (I think that's the one) is a little more money than the Kowa, but about the same optical quality; unless the Kowa has the ED lenses. I don't think the Nikon is completely water proof (thats what some folks say, I've never owned one). Pentax sells a 100mm scope, and at 45x will give you a 2.22 light factor. But that scope is also very big. I think an 88mm lense with a 45x eyepiece might just be about as good as it gets. But in realality the scope starts to get big and heavy.
    gary
     
  10. spdrman

    spdrman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the replies and knowledge of spotting scopes, it was greatly appreciated, I was talking with some guys a work and there are guys with Zeiss, Lieca, swaros, nikon, vortex razor and kowas so im going to borrow them and go compare
     
  11. Sako7STW

    Sako7STW Well-Known Member

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    Look for Kowa scopes. They have a superb packing scope in the Prominar TSN 664. I have the big brother Kowa Prominar TSN-884. I just came back from my mule deer hunt and used the scope ALOT! It helped me find a really nice muley (5x6, 26" wide, 25" tall) 3 miles away that I put the stock on and got. I can tell you first hand, for muleys get the highest power and best color definition scope you can. My buddy was with me that had the smaller size Swaro and it was very nice as well. Not worth the extra money though, honestly not as good as the Kowa. The color definition when looking for gray deer in gray sage brush is extremely important. If money is not a factor, then dont waste your time on lesser scopes that "put extra money in my wallet and are almost as good as....". Almost can be the difference between finding the buck of a life time and well.... shooting the forked horn for meat in the freezer.
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    try to set your scope with at least a 2.75 light transmission factor, and really a 3.0 is much better. Also a little thing I didn't touch on, and really few users know as well, is the addition of screw on filters for your scope. But there's a downside which I'll tell you about later. They make filters that will add contrast and take it away. Help to make certain colors stand out, and so on. Plus on those super hot and bright sunny days there are polarizing filters and even pure haze filters to help you out (keep in mind you will loose a little bit of light, but not a lot). Now for that dreaded downside that you all knew was gonna come. Big diameter filters don't come cheap! As in seriously expensive for the great big ones that are top of the line in quality. But they do maker cheapers ones that will do the job. A 60mm filter will cost a fraction of what an 82mm will get you for! One of these days I'm gonna break down and buy an 82mm polarizing filter at about $279!! Yet if it were a 60mm lense I could get one for less than $100, and probably closer to$75.

    For an eyepiece, I recommend that you ask around to try several. Zoom eyepieces are nice, but a prime eyepiece will almost always give you a better view. I prefer prime eye pieces because my eyes don't seem to like the changes that come about from going from low power to high power. I like the long eye reliefe eyepieces, but also would think that one of the wide angle eyepieces might work even better.

    Often I see guys out at the range or elsewhere constantly fighting with a good scope, or even cussing the blurred image from the scope when the problem was the cheap tripod and mount they bought at Best Buys or Kmart. You kinda get what you pay for here boys and girls! Buy the most ridgid tripod your budgit will allow. Also try to imagine just how your gonna use it (hight wise). Probably gonna be less than 24" most of the time, so you don't need the added weight of one that goes to 60". The better tripods will need a head mounted on them. I use a ball mounting head on mine, but actually have three I can use. Then with that head I attach a male dovetail on the scope to latch into the claw on the head. I happen to use Monfretto stuff, but there are several really good brands out there. On the otherhand I don't have a tripod that will go under 24" that's anygood, and I need one. It will be a Monfretto because of all the heads I own. They make carbon fiber ones that are very light and have virtually zero vibration. I honestly think 50% of the scopes that are replaced are because of a bad mount!
    gary
     
  13. Sako7STW

    Sako7STW Well-Known Member

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    I hardly ever turn my scope up past 20x which is the lowest setting. I like a bright crisp picture. I will at times go up to 40x while scanning but not often. Unless I have a subject I am trying to look very close at, I never use 60X. I wish they would come out with a 15x super wide angle eyepiece for these scopes. They would be awesome for carpeting an area that is really big. When we elk hunt I have a perch we call Windy Point that I can see as far as 5-6 miles out and 15 miles wide in prime hunting area. To do a proper scan (gridding), even at 20x it can take a good half hour.

    What is the best way to combat heat register? I really struggled with it this last trip on a few days when the temps got into the 60's and the sky was clear and bright. Usually I am up high looking down which eliminates most heat register. This trip I was down low looking high so it was a major factor.
     
  14. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that you could get a super wide field of view with a 15x eyepiece and the typical 80mm scope sold these days. I think your gonna need something like 10x, or something completely different in concept. Going away from a typical refractor is going to make a very heavy piece of equipment to lug around (there are a couple exceptions). Size wise it's hard to beat the Leupold, but that's also why the big boys are better. Everytime you bend a beam of light your gonna loose some light. Everytime the light beam passes thru a lense you also loose a small fraction of light plus gain some distortion. Right now nothing beats a refractor for long range viewing, but they usually come with a field of view loss. There are some new short tube 80 and 100mm scopes out there, that fall into this price range. But with them you give up the water proof and shock proof idea. Optically they probably are at least as good if not better than 98% sold. I think the best idea might be a set of Kowa big eyes in 60mm or 77mm (if they even make them that small). Probably a budgit breaker as well.
    gary