Which High-End Spotter to Buy?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by southdeltahunt, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. southdeltahunt

    southdeltahunt Member

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    I think I have finally convinced myself to drop a couple grand on a high-end HD spotting scope. It looks like the choices are Kowa, Vortex and Swarovski. I really wish I could line them all up test them together at dusk from 1000 yards but I doubt Ill have that opportunity. Which one should I buy??
    Thanks
     
  2. JUDD

    JUDD Well-Known Member

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    Before you drop the cash on them look into the Pentax Line... I have Kowa's now and I swear my old pentax scopes were more clear and crisp.

    I looked thru Kowa's,Swaro's, bushnell's, Nikon, Celestron's Burris and I would rate the Pentax at or near the top for half the cost of some.
     

  3. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I read a good review by a MT guide on vortex hd 20-60x85. He had used alot of brands, price was 1500 about?
     
  4. padd54

    padd54 Well-Known Member

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    I still have one of JUDD's old Pentax PF80 ED spotters.
    I can let you have it, with a XW-20 eyepiece, for $750 shipped and insured to your door.
    It only has a small area of the lock ring that was filed down in an attempt to make BIG-EYES out of the pair.
    I have two so this is an extra/back-up.

    Ray
     
  5. ReachnOut

    ReachnOut Well-Known Member

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    I'd also suggest a look at Pentax in Spotter. Did some field testing for them about 15 years ago and was really impressed with the price v. quality. The Spotter was A+ on clarity and light gathering. Still have a 6x24 mil-dot that is of great quality and has had thousands of rounds shot under it and spent its life bouncing around my pickup on an old 220 Swift. Might save you a couple of bucks and still get quality results.PENTAX Sport Optics Home
     
  6. JUDD

    JUDD Well-Known Member

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    That's a steal for that scope....The clarity and brightness of them is amazing
     
  7. mountainman

    mountainman Active Member

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    I would take alook at the new zeiss 85tfl with the 20-75 eyepiece.I just got one 2 days ago and it's unreal, clear, bright,very sharp. It was in the 20's yesterday with very little haze at extreme long range. I was looking at some guys tractor in his yard and I could read the name brand ( long brand name) at I know, at least 5 to 7 miles. I was amazed, never thought a scope could do that and so clear, bright and sharp a picture. It's one investment I'm glad I made.
     
  8. Sako7STW

    Sako7STW Well-Known Member

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    I have to call BS on this one. Maybe the lower line of Kowa's but no way will it compare to a Prominar. I have the Kowa TSN-884 and have now spent a good 300 hours or so behind it Elk, Deer, and Pronghorn hunting and besides my rifle, it is hands down the best thing I have ever purchased for hunting. Before I purchased this scope, i spent over a year evaluating what scope I was going to purchase as i was saving up the money. I had it narrowed down to the Zeiss. I felt it was the best scope on the market for my eyes. Then Scott talked me into trying out the Kowa with a guarantee that if I wasn't 100% satisfied in what I got, he would take it back and send me the Zeiss because he felt the Kowa was a better scope. After getting the Kowa i took it to Utah and compared it with the Zeiss, Leica, and Swaro at the same time and it was simply hands down the best of the four. The focus is so precise it seams you think it is in focus and then you can fine tune it to just amazing clarity. I felt the color was the most accurate of the four as well. All four are suppurb scopes and it seamed the other three had one thing that they did very well and the rest was just good. the Kowa just seamed that it did everything well and had no real shortfalls. The day I did this, it was bright and sunny outside in the morning, but that afternoon it clouded up and was raining on and off, so I got to try the comparison in a good variety of conditions. I will say the Kowa is not perfect, I hate the lens caps, and the sunshade slides out too easily but other than, I would not give up this scope for any other, no way!

    Before narrowing it down, I had compared the Pentax, Bushnell ED, Brunton, Vortex (not HD as it wasnt out yet), Leupold, Nikon ED ( I own the 65mm ED actually), Sightron, and Burris. The Pentax is a good scope and the best of the list above, but it is NOT in the same class as the Zeiss, Swaro, Leica, and definitely not the Kowa. My opinion, take it or leave it.
     
  9. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  10. JUDD

    JUDD Well-Known Member

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    Might be BS to you and that's your opinion.
    I have Kowa's now. so I pretty sure I am giving them a good comparison.
    I have nothing to gain with giving Pentax there props. They are damn good scopes. And putting them in the same class as Nikon Bushnell and Leupold is insane. They are not even in the same class of optics!

    Whatever take it for whats it's worth I gave my thoughts it's you all's money...
     
  11. southdeltahunt

    southdeltahunt Member

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    Thats what I'm talking 'bout. What tripod do you recommend to keep it steady/adjust smoothly at that range?
     
  12. southdeltahunt

    southdeltahunt Member

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    Thanks for everyones honest opinion. They are all important to the discussion.

    I also want to see my bullet holes from 600-1000 and need the best glass/power combo.

    Two interesting questions:
    1- the new Zeiss has 15x more zoom than the others at 75x! Wouldnt this put them over the top?

    2- from SWFA.com - • "Utilizes Kowa's new innovative inner focus system to decrease image movement when focusing on objects-even single handed."

    I had already asked what tripod to use for steadiness; especially during zooming & focusing. Does this feature of the Kowa put them over the top?
     
  13. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    I would get a swaro or Kowa. Id lean to the Kowa but I believe you would be happy with either one.
     
  14. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have the Swaro ATS 20~60 x 80 HD. The problem seeing bullet holes is not the spotter it is the Mirage. If we could get rid of the heat waves any of the spoters would probably work. I find my self backing down on power to reduce the mirage and get a clearer picture.

    All this said I am basiclly satisfied with the scope. But for what it cost I am not doing back flips about its performance.

    Jeff