Field Review: NIGHTFORCE TS-82 XTREME Hi-Def Spotting Scope
By Jeff Brozovich
Upon receiving the Nightforce TS-82 20-70x Xtreme Hi-Def spotting scope, and opening the box it becomes clear everything you need is included. The very well packaged box has not only the scope body but also a 20-70x eye piece. This is important when considering the purchase of a high end spotter because some are sold without the eye piece. The eye piece alone can run into an extra $400 to $600 and should be considered when comparing prices. Also neatly packaged in the box are lense covers, a lens cleaning cloth, DVD and printed owners manuals.
I have owned and been using the TS-82 for close to a year now; actually two of them. I first purchased a straight model and later sold it to get an Angled model. The angled vs straight debate has good points on both sides. But that's not what this review is about so I will only say do some research to see what model will work best for your needs and type of use. It is great to have options to buy either. I will also add that during my testing and use of both the TS-82 in angled and straight, I could detect zero difference in the clarity of either unit. As far as I can see the straight body and the angled body are equal in optical quality.
So lets back up a bit and I will briefly share my history with spotters. My first spotter was not worth the time to pack it. But was very inexpensive and I guess was better than nothing most of the time. Then I upgraded a little and was happy there for sometime. But a day came when I found the opportunity to use a high end spotter on a trip out west and I was SOLD! So arriving home found me on a mission to let go of a few of my cherished collector Weatherby's and buy a Sawrovski ATS 80 HD. The Swaro is a great scope. I used it for about 6 years and during that time I had the opportunity to compare it to many different units. I never felt "under-gunned". My only complaint was the fact that, in most any instance, I found backing off just a bit from the full 60X power setting found a sharper image. I simply accepted it and worked by going to full power then back a touch. But then comes along the release of the New Nightforce TS-82. It is no secret I use Nightforce scopes on all my long range rigs. So knowing what I know about the company and their products, and what I have seen using their new ATACR long range rifle scope. I had to try this spotter and ordered one right up. First impressions mean a lot so I almost outran the brown truck out of the driveway to go test it out. Now, knowing what I had come to accept about the Swaro having a bit less optic quality on full 60X power, I had not even considered the TS-82 having 10X more power on top to be much of an advantage. So let me tell you, I was a bit more than excited when I cranked it all the way up to 70 and the image was crisp and clear. Wow, what a plus! I use this a lot when sizing up a bull elk or Muley buck at distance. I am not sure I would ever want to give this up. Lets go to the field and see now.
Please keep in mind all the photos in this article were taken in this manner. I simply used my phone. Yep, manually held the phone to the eye piece and snapped pics. So these sample pictures are not a true representation of the quality of what is seen when looking through the TS-82. But I hope they will help me get my points across about what I have been seeing. Also please ignore any dark areas around the exterior of the pics. This is simply a result of me holding a phone camera to an eye piece. There is no shadow in real life, none, zip!
To demonstrate the clarity over the full range of of power from 20X to 70X I took some deer pics. These two does were just under a mile; I think right at 1720 yards to be exact.
The first picture is set on 20X
The same two deer zoomed in to 70X
Same field, same time of day a group of 3 Bucks slightly farther out on 70X. Remember these deer are a mile away and this pic was holding a phone camera to the eyepiece.
Nightforce TS-82 Review - 2I probably should go over a few basic functions of the TS-82. Quickly assembled and easily equipped with a quick change base for switching from a tripod to a window mount.
The very effective Nightforce knurl has been employed on the large focus ring that is easily found without looking, as well as on the power ring and the body position lock. The body does rotate within a ring so you can position it to a comfortable angle. This is especially useful on the angled body models as seen in the picture below.
The power selector ring is firm and smooth throughout the entire scale and easily located on the eye piece. Also, the eye relief adjustment is generous, offering about 7/16" travel to accommodate the use of eye glasses or a comfortable eye relief for most any eye.
On the front of the huge 82 mm objective bell is a retractable sun shade offering 1.5" of shading. You simply pull out or push back when not in use. It glides smooth as silk.
Lens covers consist of a plastic cap on the eye end and a nice well built cover on the objective end that retracts when you squeeze the slides to release it.
Here are the specifications of the TS-82™ XTREME HI-DEF™ 20-70x SPOTTING SCOPE:
Magnification: 20-70x (opt. 30-60x)
Field of view: 123.1' / 20x | 1.17mm / 70x
Exit Pupil: 4.1mm / 20x | 1.17mm / 70x
Dioptric correction: ± 5D
Eye Relief: 18mm
Focus: 4.59 yards-infinity
Length with eyepiece: 16.4" (s) 15.9" (a)
Weight with eyepiece: 67 oz. (approx.)
So in summary, I have to say the Nightforce TS-82 spotting scope leaves me with little to want for. If I had to do it again, would I purchase another TS-82? Well remember I already have.
Thanks for reading! Hope I answered some of the questions you may have when looking for a top shelf spotter.
Jeff Brozovich is a long time big game hunter who has become proficient at long range hunting, shooting and training. He also has a passion for ELR and is often stretching the distances well over 2000 yards. If Jeff is not out shooting you will often find him in his reloading room setting up a long range rifle, fine tuning a precision load or testing bullets. Jeff enjoys hunting with family and friends as well as riding horses in the beautiful mountains of Montana.