Spotting scopes from Telescope makers?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Gixxer, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. Gixxer

    Gixxer Member

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    Hello to all, this is my first post here. I am about to upgrade my spotter for range use, and after looking at several different models from sports optics makers, I thought "What about telescope makers? They only make optics to look at PLANETS, the glass has to be good." So, after doing some research, I had found some spotters made by Celestron and Meade (kinda partial to Celestron, my buddy has this huge cannon looking thing otherwise known as a telescope from them, its badass), and they run from under $600 to the most badass looking ones(think watching the space shuttle launches) just a hair over $600. Some of em are not variable power, you adjust the MAG by using different sized eyepieces. Getting 100x out of em is CAKE. What do you guys think?

    kinda badass, $200
    http://www.celestron.com/prod_pgs/spot/c90_mak_04.htm

    really badass, $630
    http://www.celestron.com/prod_pgs/spot/c5_spotter_04.htm

    Your input is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
     
  2. Chrismadrid

    Chrismadrid Well-Known Member

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    I came to the same conclusion - have (actually had, as my wife has liberated it) a Minimak from celestron for spotting at 30 mag - closeish in. VERY light (as are many catadioptrics) - Fine for the use it was bought for though I'm the first to criticise this particular model for being not all that crisp - but for 75$cdn I did not expect it.
     

  3. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Neither of these advertise that they have "Fully" Multi coated lenses. That can mean that the coatings are only on one side of the lenses and not necessarily all the lenses. The light gathering abilities of the 5" might be negated if the coatings are not up to snuff. Also the powers advertised are a bit high. I would look at cost and availability of lenses in the 15 to 25 power range for spotting shots on targets. At the higher powers the mirage will be a handicapping factor.

    Have you looked through either of these scopes? I would recommend looking through all the scopes you are interested in that fit your price range. LOOK THROUGH THEM OUTSIDE FROM A TRIPOD. It will be hard to determine if they are worth a hoot for shooting and hunting if you are only looking at the back of the store. Pick something small to look at like a distant license plate and see what kind of detail you notice. If you see big numbers then look for small ones. If you see small numbers then look for slots in the screw heads. try two scopes side by side and look at the same thing. This will help you see what the optical differences are. Also consider the feeling of durability you have when you hold the scope. Does it feel fragile or does it feel strong. You might be very careful not to bump it and knock it around but will your friends be that careful? Will you use it in rough terrain where it will get jostled on the ride in. $600 is a lot of money and it could be wasted from a single fall if the insides get damaged.

    Good luck and spend wisely. And welcome to the LRH forums. Search for "spotting scope" and input my screen name for posts newer than 4 years and you should find lots of good advice from lots of good folks here. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  4. Gixxer

    Gixxer Member

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    Thanks for the info. I had planned o going to a telescope shop to see if they had any of those spotters for a demo. I was hoping to get the best bang for the buck to see bullet holes in paper @ up to 500yd. I shall do a search. The last thing I want to do is drop $1600 on a Zeiss spotter, that money is for the US Optics to go on my 7mm!!
     
  5. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    I am really happy with my $500 Minox SD. In this thread I gave a range report on seeing 7mm bullet holes on white paper at 300 yards. It comes with a zoom lens and has other lenses available and a photo adapter as well.
     
  6. magicofmt

    magicofmt Well-Known Member

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    I have the ultima 80 straight and can see .223 holes at 300 yds, no problem. For less than $200, it's a great spotter!
     
  7. Gixxer

    Gixxer Member

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    So then, would it be safe to say that no matter how good the glass is, if there is mirage, you pretty much will not be able to see bullet holes anyways? What I want is to see unmistakable bullet holes clear as day out to 500. I shoot up 8.5"x14" computer paper with a homemade yellow and red dot with a 1" thick crosshair on it. The wind is always blowing where I shoot, so I hardly ever put bullets in the black.
     
  8. magicofmt

    magicofmt Well-Known Member

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    I was at 400 yds last summer and saw what I thought was a real flyer, high and to the right, 9 inches. Turns out, it was a fly, not my 2nd shot which was 1/4 in away from the last shot, just lucky. Didn't realize it till I saw the live fly walking across the target. 500 yds, it's tough to see holes.
     
  9. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    Maybe under optimum conditions you can see the bullet holes, if you know where to look, but maybe you won't always have optimum conditions?

    The thing I worry about with celestial scopes is their ruggedness and weatherproofing, if not actual waterproofing?

    It's hard to beat a spotting scope designed for the purpose for which you intend to use it. Meade's and such are meant to focus on stars, points of light, not necessarily to discern bullet holes in paper. If you get one and it works great, I would be very interested to know it.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  10. Gixxer

    Gixxer Member

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    Well, the 90mm model is rubber coated, and I only plan on using it at the range, so I guess I can always take the plunge, buy it, and if it sucks, return it. I have to go somewhere and try out a Swaro or Zeiss to see what really good looks like for a comparison. I have limited use(NEVER, actually) with high end optics, so I have no clue really what good glass looks like. Who knows, I might just have to save up all year and get a Zeiss. Maybe more than a year, who knows. The wife would flip if I dropped cash on something like that without proof of saving for months to get the cash!
     
  11. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Bullet holes at 500 yards is tough to see as stated above. If there is any mirage you will have to power down making things clearer but smaller. Conditions have to be almost perfect. That is one of the reasons we shoot steel. The bullet splash in sprayed on paint will confirm the location of the first hit quite easily and then if the following shots hit you will hear it. If the splash dosen't grow then the hits are close. If it grows or you get a new splash mark you can see that. Paper holes are always small and hard to see.

    I think your requirements for a scope are similar to my requirements. My numero uno stipulation was that the scope would focus at the highest power. Many cheaper scopes would focus at the lower powers but when you got near max X they would stay a little blurry no matter what you did. This will affect (shorten) the max distance you can discern holes when the conditions are perfect.

    If you want to look through the high dollar scopes go ahead BUT BE WARNED!!! You WILL see the difference and you will want one, bad. I recommend these separate approaches.

    1. Pick your price and buy the scope that offers you the most features and (looked through) quality in that range.
    2. Pick your features after finding out what is most important and buy the cheapest scope with those features that also meats your optical standards (after looking through it and satisfying yourself that it meets your needs).
    3. Go full nuts and save your money for the best scope you can stand to buy. Look through these as well. You will find one for you that may or may not have the highest price tag.

    And while you are conjuring up a price you should include $300 for a Manfrotto tripod and tripod head that has the features you like (combined approx cost). The best scope won't do you a bit of good if it jiggles all the time. And your back will thank you for buying a full size tripos to stand behind. Consider a pistol grip tripod head. The conventional ones often leave you looking through the scope with a handle bumping your Adams apple.
     
  12. FnSpr1akid

    FnSpr1akid Member

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    I cracked and bought a Nikon kit 15-45x I have yet to regret it good nikon glass GREAT focus ability the 20-60x80 is my next purchase. 45x I can see bullet holes in cheap walmart targets at 300yards on white paper it is really easy, but let the day warm up and it gets hard.