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Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Short On Cache, Mar 25, 2013.
Im considering a new spotting scope. I think 1000 would be my cap. What would you guys suggest?
I have to get a new one soon, as well.
I think I am going with this one...
Vortex Viper HD Spotting Scope 20-60x 80mm Armored Green
And this tri-pod...
Leupold Tripod Compact Black Gray
For the money I would look at the zen ray. Got a chance to test one for a week and as the owner of a swaro 80hd I was very impressed. The zen ray obviously wasnt better but at 1/3 th price it was very close! I have a pair of zen ray binoculars and they are nothing short of amazing for the 400 bucks I spent on them.
I looked into this a while ago, your best bet is to do research on bird watching forums. Those people are way more concerned with clairity, color, and detail than most and they spend big dollars to get it all and will have reviews on everything.
The last time I looked (about 2 years ago) the Celestron Regal was getting rave reviews as one of the best spotters under $1000 and it comes in at just about half of that.
The 12-40X60 Leupold Gold Ring HD is in your price range and is very easy on the eyes with it's 30mm of eye relief all the way out to 40 power. I'd put it up there close to the ATM 20-60X65 Swaro I have. The Swaro is awesome, but when you get past 40 power the eye relief sucks. I use the Leupy way more for hunting now. I picked mine up for $700 gently used. IMHO the Leupold Compact tripod is a POS....I'll make you a good deal on one if you like?
I just had the same dilemma. Was looking at Zen-Ray, Pentax ED and Vortex Razor HD. The Vortex was the most money, but won in the end. This is my third and hopefully last spotting scope. I always try to get the most for my money but am finding that spending more saves me from buying twice.
I have to recommend the service I got at Cameraland. I usually buy online without the sales pitch. They made me a believer.
Hope this helps.
Another vote for Vortex or Celestron
I have a Zen-Ray ZEN ED2 20-60x82mm Angled Spotting Scope last year and could not be more pleased.
Camera Land is having a sale on them right now for $869.99 and you can't beat that price!
Zen Ray - CameraLand NY
Go with the Zen Ray for your price point. It's as good or better than the Razor. I'm prejudiced though, as I ordered the Zen Ray, then went with the Meopta Meostar for $1k more simply cuz the reviews put it up there with Alpha scopes, and I couldn't be happier with the glass and better FOV.
I bought a Meopta a few years back when first really available in the states. They had intro pricing and a 20 -60 x 70 HD with cover w zippers to use while on a tripod is great, a Great tripod and great tech support. I used it in the steep mtns of Idaho, the canyons too, took it out on the big rivers in Idaho and western MT to test on birds on the water, now in eastern MT it gets a workout on ultra long range scouting. It has been impeccable for me. I see nothing to improve on except more weight, size and $. Meopta is some top quality and better pricing than many. As one of the oldest and largest in Europe, they have great support, and great support set up here in the US.
That thing looks really similar to a Vortex Razor HD spotting scope......Colors and all.
Is it the same thing for 1/2 the price?
It's made in China, not Japan, but it is nearly identical and even the Razor eyepiece seems to fit.