Adding a spotter this fall, help me choose

Joined
Jan 15, 2020
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USA
Hello everyone, I'm adding a spotting scope this fall, I'm on a limited budget, have three scopes I'm considering, don't really have the option to go look at any of them in person before purchasing so I'm looking for advice or experience with any of the three.

Which of three is best optically wise, best at low and high end power, best at evening/fading light? Any advice greatly appreciated.

1- Leupold SX-4 Pro Guide HD 15-45x65
2- Leupold Gold Ring HD 12-40x60
3- Vortex Razor HD 22-48x65
 

Dukerugger25

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Nov 12, 2016
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115
The vortex Razor is lights out in my opinion. I owned the gen 1 model for the past 4yrs and recently sold it because I found myself just carrying the smaller 11-33x version. Most of my hunting is with a bow, so I do not need the higher mag. I used the scope in temps from 0 - 100F and it performed in a range of weather and lighting conditions.
 

gr8fuldoug

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Dec 3, 2007
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Old Bethpage NY
Have you considered the Athlon Ares UHD 15-45x65?

  • UHD Glass: Extra-low dispersion glass gives you an image with little or no chromatic fringe so the final result brings an ultimate clearest and sharpest image to your eyes
  • Interchangeable: Eyepiece Interchangeable Eyepiece allows you to swap the standard variable power eyepiece with a fixed 24 power eyepiece with a MIL ranging reticle in it.
  • ESP Dielectric Coating: ESP Dielectric Coating is a multi layer prism coating that reflects over 99% of the light to your eyes bringing you a clear, bright image that displays accurate color reproduction.
  • Aluminum Alloy Chassis: Aluminum alloy chassis offers you the strength of a metal chassis and the life time durability.
  • XPL Coating: XPL Coating gives you an extra protection on the exterior lenses from dirt, oil and scratches
  • Bak4 Prism: Bak-4 glass prisms reflect more light to your eyes thus will give you brighter and sharper image.
  • Advanced Fully Multi-Coated: Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses bring you better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light spectrum.
  • Argon Purged: Argon Purging uses the inertia gas with bigger size molecules to purge any moisture out of the tube giving you better waterproofing and thermal stability .
  • Waterproof: Waterproof to protect the binocular in the harshest weather conditions or if accidently submerged underwater
  • Rotating Ring: Rotating Ring allows you to rotate the scope around tripod supporting ring into the most comfortable and convenient angle for observation
 

muleystalker

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Apr 21, 2014
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I had the Vortex Razor 11-33x50 and sold it, just too small for me power wise, My buddy has the Vortex Razor 22-48x65 and its not bad but I ended up buying a KOWA Promiser 663M with XD glass, which is a 66mm objective and your choice of eye pieces, I went with the 20-60x zoom for hunting and a 25x long eye relief for F-CLASS. It is a stellar piece of glass, I like it way better than the Vortex and its pretty light weight. KOWA makes great glass, I have been using one of their 82mm, TSN 82SV spotters for F-Class for years.
I would check KOWA out they make some of the best spotting scopes in the world, they are actually the ones who invited this type of a spotting scope, if you look back our own navy used to use their scopes and Big Bino's on all our navy ships staring even before WWII. Out of all the their one spotters out there I have looked at their TSN 880 Prominar series beats them all. Good luck with your choice.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
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Location
USA
Thanks for the info guys, I've about decided to spend a little more to start with and hopefully end up with a scope I'll enjoy and use more in the long run.

Thanks Muleystalker, I started looking into kowas, hadn't heard of them before, the 77mm has my attention now. Looks to be a good all around spotting scope possibly
 

th82457

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Jul 5, 2011
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678
I believe recently discontinued, but if you can find one - Pentax made a couple of really nice compact spotters that have ED glass & are very high quality. I bought the 15x45 version with I believe 60mm objective. It is extremely clear & very packable for hunting. They also made a 20x60 model. I had a Vortex Viper which was clear, but physically much larger/bulky to haul around in my day pack.
 

muleystalker

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Apr 21, 2014
Messages
485
Location
Bay Area, Ca.
Thanks for the info guys, I've about decided to spend a little more to start with and hopefully end up with a scope I'll enjoy and use more in the long run.

Thanks Muleystalker, I started looking into kowas, hadn't heard of them before, the 77mm has my attention now. Looks to be a good all around spotting scope possibly
Your welcome, that is a phenomenal scope and you will not be disappointed. Its a great all around scope, big objective, awesome clarity, it has the Fluorite glass and not as heavy as the 88MM. A great choice in-between the 663 series and the 88 series. Let us know what you think once you get it.

Dave.
 

dmj

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Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
844
I've been told kowa are top tier and second to none. Have a buddy that has the kowa 883 model. I will admit it is very nice. When I started looking for a spotter I came across some very good reviews for the meopta brand. I did purchase one of the meopta, it's a meostar s2. Believe it's their top of the line spotter. It was considerably cheaper than the kowa and Swarovski. I do like it, seems to be a very high quality spotter, but have to admit I haven't had the opportunity to compare it side by side with the kowa or Swarovski. That may be it's down fall but so far I'm happy with it. Good luck with your search.
 

Lynn Coleman

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Aug 24, 2013
Messages
55
Older model Vortex Viper 20-60 80mm. Decent, but not great, spend a little more $ and get what you want and you will be happier
 

muleystalker

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Apr 21, 2014
Messages
485
Location
Bay Area, Ca.
dmj, there is nothing wrong with the Meoptas, they are great glass. I beleive if you look at the most recent top model of Meopta that would compete with the Kowa 77series you would find they are priced very similar and the Meopta may even be a bit more. My buddy has the one that is badged for Nightforce and it’s great, but it’s a beast to pack, lol.
That being said they are great glass too, couldn’t go wrong with either. Meopta makes the spotting scope for Nightforce and used to make the euro line for Cabels both spotting scopes and bino’s. But I don’t know if they are currently making them.
 
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