Mid Priced Compact/Lightweight Spotting Scopes

Elkaholic Hunter

Previously Ian Wargo
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Montana
This is good info. I am running my current set up for opening day this weekend/the beginning of next week. I will use it as a re-evaluation period and think about a higher power set up and mount. I had looked at the Outdoorsmen's mount a while ago but didn't feel like it was as necessary on an 8x, but will revisit it.

Thank you all for the solid feedback, I really appreciate you taking the time to share both your experience and expertise on here.
Cool, we got you thinking on it anyway. You can’t take advantage of a good pair of binos until you have them on a tripod so you may not realize the difference if you’re holding different pairs by hand in the store. But once you look through good binos on a tripod you’ll be amazed.
To add to that I have a phone scope that I can hook to my binos and if I want to look at detail of something I can crank the zoom up on my iPhone and get the same Magnification or better as one of the smaller spotters your talking about.
No doubt Outdoorsman is good, but look at Field Optics Research rapid-release bino adapter. $45 used to be $30 but still most affordable option on the market that I have seen.
Also I do have a Zeiss diascope 15-56x65 which I love but if find myself leaving it the truck a lot because there’s not much my binos can’t do. Don’t get me wrong a spotter has its place but the only time it ever comes out of my pack is to see if the animal is truly worth the hike. Even though the diascope is top shelf I really don’t like “glassing” with it, there’s almost nothing I can’t find with my binos I only use the spotter to size an animal up.
 

muleystalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Messages
736
Location
Bay Area, Ca.
Cool, we got you thinking on it anyway. You can’t take advantage of a good pair of binos until you have them on a tripod so you may not realize the difference if you’re holding different pairs by hand in the store. But once you look through good binos on a tripod you’ll be amazed.
To add to that I have a phone scope that I can hook to my binos and if I want to look at detail of something I can crank the zoom up on my iPhone and get the same Magnification or better as one of the smaller spotters your talking about.
No doubt Outdoorsman is good, but look at Field Optics Research rapid-release bino adapter. $45 used to be $30 but still most affordable option on the market that I have seen.
Also I do have a Zeiss diascope 15-56x65 which I love but if find myself leaving it the truck a lot because there’s not much my binos can’t do. Don’t get me wrong a spotter has its place but the only time it ever comes out of my pack is to see if the animal is truly worth the hike. Even though the diascope is top shelf I really don’t like “glassing” with it, there’s almost nothing I can’t find with my binos I only use the spotter to size an animal up.
What he/\ /\ said!
 

JAYgs8163

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
3,550
Location
Southern Arizona
Here’s a good choice. Friend of mine has these and I’ve looked through them. Good glass and reasonably priced. @gr8fuldoug

 

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brcfo_outdoors

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
843
Location
Left Coast
I just wanted to follow up with you guys as I promised I would. Ended up getting out on the trail and realizing that my whole system had become bloated and I was carrying more weight than I was comfortable with. Rifle with a chassis had gotten a lot heavier than I anticipated, binos on my chest were heavy, extra water weight, digital camera, etc made the hike in fairly grueling. The next day I set up for glassing, and as it always seems to be when you are looking for them, I found all the faults in the MeoPros. Also found myself wanting a little extra magnification and benefiting from resting them on my tripod. Ultimately decided I wanted better magnification and optical performance in a more compact and lightweight package that would be good both hand held or supported. Opted for a Swarovski SLC 10x42, and just placed the order this morning after a few weeks of research. I will purchase a tripod and mount for them at some point, but want to spread out the expense.

I know I ended up going a completely different direction than when I started this thread, but I want to echo my previous thanks for all your time, expertise, and guidance. Thank you, I really appreciate your responses and suggestions.
 

Willybuck

Active Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Michigan
Leupold 12-40 gold ring HD is a pretty nice scope for the price. Super compact, decent weight, great eye relief, and good glass. I have one I would sell if you are interested. Only reason I upgraded was to be able to age sheep by ring counting at a longer distance.
KU_Geo what did you upgrade too?
 

KU_Geo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
176
Location
Denver, Co
KU_Geo what did you upgrade too?
I upgraded to a swarovski 65mm STS. Glass is definitely better, but it’s not nearly as compact or light. I sold the leupold, but sometimes wish I still had it due to its smaller size. but I decided that realistically I only need one spotter, and the swaro is going to fill that niche for at least the next several years. If I wasn’t sheep hunting, I’d probably go back to the leupold for my hunts here in CO, WY, etc...
 

JDJHNTR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
189
Location
MS.
Hard to beat the Leupold Gold Ring 12-40x60 for the size and price. Can pick them up on the used market for $500-600. Excellent glass foe the price.
 

ChrisAU

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2018
Messages
478
I was able to steal a Kowa 602 for $350 on eBay a few weeks ago. The eye cup was broken...Kowa sent me a new one that threaded right on. Couldn’t believe my luck, it’s a fantastic light spotter.
 

mntnflyr4fun

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
56
Location
Oregon
Best be looking at the Athlon Ares if you want to get super view out at a reasonable cost. My 20-60x80 has blown me away.......
 

mntnflyr4fun

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Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
56
Location
Oregon
I’m sure the op has already fulfilled his need since this is a 1.5 year old thread!
That my friend may be true, but you are still reading this thread as well as many others(me included) from time to time and so I posted to provide added information to any one looking to gather information on the subject. That ok with you?
 

JAYgs8163

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Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
3,550
Location
Southern Arizona
That my friend may be true, but you are still reading this thread as well as many others(me included) from time to time and so I posted to provide added information to any one looking to gather information on the subject. That ok with you?
Sure is “my friend” and I had already read the entire thread and was well informed of his solution in his post #32. I had also recommended he look at ARES products at Cameraland in the thread. Regardless, I’m waiting for my STC Swaro compact spotter to come in and will add some additional information since this thread is now active again.
 

wyosteve

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2014
Messages
525
Location
wyoming
I just picked up a Swaro ATC on Black Friday and have used it a bit at this point, but will either start a new thread specifically on the Swaro small spotter or wait until JAY posts his impressions.
 
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