Is a cheap spotting scope worth the price?

Schnyd112

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I guess I'll dissent from the ranks a little, I think the gap has closed considerably between the upper echelon glass and the "cheaper" mid range models. I owned a Zeiss Diascope 20-60 that I paid a hefty sum for, even 10 years ago. Looked through my fair share of Swaros as well. Are they better than the Vortex/Athlon mid range models? Abolutely! Are they 1500-2k better, I suppose that is completely up to the end user. I have my eye on the Athlon Ares spotter, seems to get good review and I like the usable range. Even with my Zeiss I rarely was on 60x. I might take the plunge and see if I can get by.

we run the swaro up to max magnification pretty regularly. Even next to my leupold, which while old is not bad glass, it is amazing what more we can see. Taking another step down from the leupold may make a scope not be worth the weight.

At $400 for the vortex spotting scope I don't think I have made it to mid range glass. If it isn't fine enough to count points then it's better left in the truck.

I like the idea of upgrading binoculars first though.
 

HARPERC

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The only use I have for 60X on my Swaro is looking at the moon on clear, high desert nights.

It's true glass across the board is better. I got my Swaro when they updated, a steal of a deal, in store close out, Cabela's points, a few christmas gift cards, out of pocket a little over $500. Price played a huge part in buying the old model vs the new.
 

J E Custom

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One other issue that must be considered when buying a spotting scope for hunting is durability, All most any spotting scope will work at the range , but failure during a hunt may end up costing a lot more than the difference between a cheep one and a quality one.

There is however a brake over point where the cost increase exceeds the quality increase so I recommend buying a good one but not necessarily
the most expensive one to get the most bang for the buck.

Just my opinion

J E CUSTOM
 

Schnyd112

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This is at 60x with the swaro. Two small 5 point bulls a long ways away.

The picture may not actually be at 60x but we were watching these bulls at full power.
 

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CaptnC

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I'm probably going to ask the dumbest question ever about spotting scopes...but here goes...

Why is the eye piece not straight on all models?

It is the most uncomfortable thing to do looking through one...just got my first...bottom end...been happy with it compared to the ones supplied by the ranges.

Fun to video hitting steel with it...and the moon on clear nights...lol
 
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C.O. Shooter

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Recently I had the opportunity to compare a Vortex Razor HD vs my Vortex Viper HD, both 20x60x80. For the cost of the upgrade, I can’t say I’d switch. I was comparing on a bright sunny day and not at low light. I believe this is where Razor would out perform the Viper. Just my two cents. I’d love to have a Swarovski, but that is just crazy expensive.

On the same day, I had the chance to look through a pair of Swarovski 8.32 EL’s. I can honestly say, those were the nicest glass/binoculars I have ever looked through.
 

J E Custom

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I'm probably going to ask the dummies question ever about spotting scopes...but here goes...

Why is the eye piece not straight on all models?

It is the most uncomfortable thing to do looking through one...just got my first...bottom end...been happy with it compared to the ones supplied by the ranges.

Fun to video hitting steel with it...and the moon on clear nights...lol


Spotting scopes with an angled eye piece is used for different, more comfortable viewing in the prone position, or sitting without loosing your shooting position. when shooting prone, some people set the scope to one side of the other so all they have to do Is turn there head and look through it without it interfering with their shooting position. others set it below them when glassing for hours to minimize fatigue.

Some of the high end spotting scopes can be rotated for straight viewing, to angle viewing for best position. hear is a link to one of these that work well and are not to expensive.

http://www.armslist.com/posts/2505869/wisconsin-optics-for-sale--redfield-regal-ii

I am sure that other manufactures make this type of spotter.

J E CUSTOM
 

jrsolocam

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Uff da...the newer spotters are pretty good. Yes, Swarovski, Zeiss etc are the best. But Vortex, Zen Ray and Bushnell are so good, and 20% the cost, go for it...
 

Garycrow

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Jan 30, 2011
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Wait to buy the spotting scope until you have the money for a good one. You can certainly hunt elk without a spotting scope. You might even be able to pick up something nice used for a song after the season.
 

Canhunter35

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I bought a bushnell 15-45x. If the sun is out it’s okay, but as soon as the disappears it’s useless. I’d save your money for a better one. My .02 cents
 
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