Need Spotting Scope Help Before Purchase

JAYgs8163

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It is not just that the $400 Leupold is "kind of close" in clarity when looking at them for 10 minutes. Or even 30. Try looking though both for 4+ hours a day. THEN tell me the Swaro is not worth 9x more than the $400 spotter. Eye fatigue is a killer.

For the serious western hunter, high end glass isn't expensive....it is priceless. I wouldn't go any less than a Meopta S2 20-70×82HD. Way outperforms a Vortex Razor spotter.
View attachment 371858
But for glassing out west, where 2-4+ miles is commonplace, top choice is either Swaro or Kowa. And a good tripod is a necessity.
View attachment 371859
This deer is 3.1 miles away.
View attachment 371866
And this one is 880 yards
View attachment 371865
That picture at 3.1 miles is crazy clear. There are actually 2 deer in the picture and I think a third also bedded in the shadow of one of the lower Saguaros. What scope is taking those pics. Thanks for the post and sharing @lancetkenyon.
 

CombatDiver

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I bought a Leupold Mark IV a few weeks ago using 10% Tuesdays and my Cabelas points it brought the price down nicely. It still hasn't arrived but the reason I ordered it sight unseen is due to the incredible clarity on my Leupold scopes. They are definitely better than almost anything out there for the price.
 

yobuck

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All optics are good in the middle of the day when you have plenty of sun lite. I started out with a 30.00 20x40 spotter sense then I have traded up today with a Kiowa Prominar 884 the clarity is always there in snow rain wind daylight and in late evening. When your 2 miles from an animal and you looking at antlers, you can see them. It’s the fine details on the better scopes that make a difference. I have been there when I was younger with lower quality optics and today at 60 and what I see with these I wonder what did I miss when I was really looking. At the same time quality optics do not deprecate very much. And they will last a lifetime.
Fact is that when the conditions are good, all of them are good, or at least pretty good.
When the conditions are fair, the better ones will be a little bit better.
But when the conditions are bad, none of them are any good.
Regardless as to the name or how much they cost.
Anybody not knowing that isnt talking from a position of experience during those type of conditions.
And when the conditions are poor there wont be any hunting done at the longer distances anyway.
Except of coarse on the keyboards and at the bar rooms.
 

lancetkenyon

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That picture at 3.1 miles is crazy clear. There are actually 2 deer in the picture and I think a third also bedded in the shadow of one of the lower Saguaros. What scope is taking those pics. Thanks for the post and sharing @lancetkenyon.
These pics are incredible, which spotter did you use to take these photos?
Swaro BTX w. 95mm body.

Here is a story about good glass compared to great glass.
Two seasons ago, during a late season elk hunt, I had my Meopta 15x56 and Swaro 15x56 binos on tripods, looking nearly due west just after sunset, along with my Meopta S2 spotter. My son-in-law was using my Meopta stuff, and I was using my Swaro stuff. Glassing an east facing hillside 2+ miles away into the sunset, the Meopta showed a black hillside. With my Swaros, I was picking out bulls coming out of the timber still. He switched to the spotter, and still nothing. I broke out the Swaro BTX (took about 3 minutes), and immediately found the bulls to critique. I could see them until about 22 minutes after sunset. That extra 30+ minutes of hunting time could easily make the difference you might need.
 

yobuck

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It is not just that the $400 Leupold is "kind of close" in clarity when looking at them for 10 minutes. Or even 30. Try looking though both for 4+ hours a day. THEN tell me the Swaro is not worth 9x more than the $400 spotter. Eye fatigue is a killer.

For the serious western hunter, high end glass isn't expensive....it is priceless. I wouldn't go any less than a Meopta S2 20-70×82HD. Way outperforms a Vortex Razor spotter.
View attachment 371858
But for glassing out west, where 2-4+ miles is commonplace, top choice is either Swaro or Kowa. And a good tripod is a necessity.
View attachment 371859
This deer is 3.1 miles away.
View attachment 371866
And this one is 880 yards
View attachment 371865
It is not just that the $400 Leupold is "kind of close" in clarity when looking at them for 10 minutes. Or even 30. Try looking though both for 4+ hours a day. THEN tell me the Swaro is not worth 9x more than the $400 spotter. Eye fatigue is a killer.

For the serious western hunter, high end glass isn't expensive....it is priceless. I wouldn't go any less than a Meopta S2 20-70×82HD. Way outperforms a Vortex Razor spotter.
View attachment 371858
But for glassing out west, where 2-4+ miles is commonplace, top choice is either Swaro or Kowa. And a good tripod is a necessity.
View attachment 371859
This deer is 3.1 miles away.
View attachment 371866
And this one is 880 yards
View attachment 371865
Swaro BTX w. 95mm body.

Here is a story about good glass compared to great glass.
Two seasons ago, during a late season elk hunt, I had my Meopta 15x56 and Swaro 15x56 binos on tripods, looking nearly due west just after sunset, along with my Meopta S2 spotter. My son-in-law was using my Meopta stuff, and I was using my Swaro stuff. Glassing an east facing hillside 2+ miles away into the sunset, the Meopta showed a black hillside. With my Swaros, I was picking out bulls coming out of the timber still. He switched to the spotter, and still nothing. I broke out the Swaro BTX (took about 3 minutes), and immediately found the bulls to critique. I could see them until about 22 minutes after sunset. That extra 30+ minutes of hunting time could easily make the difference you might need.
Thats all well and good, but you are in a sence at least comparing apples to oranges as to the various glassing locations around the country.
Ive hunted in the west, so i can fully appreciate the differences
in air quality for glassing between the eastern and western parts of the country.
I can take you to places in Pa where the view of the area will blow you away, and guess what? nobody will be hunting at those places. Occasionally someone might set up there, but reality is that they are only posing for pictures, and not really hunting.
Im more than 50 years of long range only hunting, i only know one man whoes word id trust to have killed a buck at a mile in Pa. And ive known lots of guys who would liked to have done that.
And lack of good optics has never been a reason for it not happening by many of them.
Right now i can name at least 10 guys who own and use twin Swarovsci spotters in brackets. And at least that many including myself who have and use Kowas.
But the fact also is that comparing the humid eastern air to the dry western air is to compare apples and oranges.
And the quality of the optics wont change that.
 

JAYgs8163

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Thats all well and good, but you are in a sence at least comparing apples to oranges as to the various glassing locations around the country.
Ive hunted in the west, so i can fully appreciate the differences
in air quality for glassing between the eastern and western parts of the country.
I can take you to places in Pa where the view of the area will blow you away, and guess what? nobody will be hunting at those places. Occasionally someone might set up there, but reality is that they are only posing for pictures, and not really hunting.
Im more than 50 years of long range only hunting, i only know one man whoes word id trust to have killed a buck at a mile in Pa. And ive known lots of guys who would liked to have done that.
And lack of good optics has never been a reason for it not happening by many of them.
Right now i can name at least 10 guys who own and use twin Swarovsci spotters in brackets. And at least that many including myself who have and use Kowas.
But the fact also is that comparing the humid eastern air to the dry western air is to compare apples and oranges.
And the quality of the optics wont change that.

Good thing the OP is getting the feedback from people using optics in the west as that is the primary reason of his purchase.
 

yobuck

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east central fl. /n.c. pa.
Good thing the OP is getting the feedback from people using optics in the west as that is the primary reason of his purchase.
Well ill make you a bet.
We can set up some of what ever optics you choose at whatever location you choose on a decent day as for conditions.
And i will set up a set of (opticly clean) vintage, meaning 60s and 70s 60 mm spotters in brackets.
We will mark the cost on each set, you can invite whoever you like to look thru them and decide on which set they would be willing to put up their money to purchase.
This thread started out with a person asking about a good but reasonable scope for his planned hunt.
And im here to tell him that if he is willing to buy a good used scope, he can get there for $500 and even less, much less, and if he is interested in driving a bit he can see for himself by comparing the less expensive with the most expensive.
 

JAYgs8163

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Well ill make you a bet.
We can set up some of what ever optics you choose at whatever location you choose on a decent day as for conditions.
And i will set up a set of (opticly clean) vintage, meaning 60s and 70s 60 mm spotters in brackets.
We will mark the cost on each set, you can invite whoever you like to look thru them and decide on which set they would be willing to put up their money to purchase.
This thread started out with a person asking about a good but reasonable scope for his planned hunt.
And im here to tell him that if he is willing to buy a good used scope, he can get there for $500 and even less, much less, and if he is interested in driving a bit he can see for himself by comparing the less expensive with the most expensive.

I agree. But I also have tons of experience with marginal and high quality optics. I’ve got a fantastic Pentax pack scope with a very high quality eye piece. Does the job 75% of the time. It however struggles as compared to my $1500 used Swarovski I have. Environment conditions to environment conditions it’s just not as good. I see this all the time. Almost as good is NOT as good! Especially early morning, late afternoon, and middle day when it’s warm and dealing with the heat waves you can experience with Western hunting. My Antelope hunt last year is a prime example, My son in law had my Pentax, I had my Swaro, my pal had his Razor, everyone kept looking through the Swarovski as the other couldn’t handle the heat waves in the middle of the day, or the early morning or late afternoon. When you buy a 500 scope, you get exactly that, a 500 scope!! Can he stumble onto some ridiculous deal, sure. You get what you pay for in optics.
 

Grubby

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I really appreciate all the feedback that you have provided me. It has given me more education than I possibly could have imagined. Truly, I am at a point in my life where I make a good living And have some money to spend. I am 45 years old and have just started to buy into out west hunting and the preference point game. I lived most of my professional career with very limited vacation time to do the trips that I have wanted to make to hunt. I only dreamed about this prior to taking a new job in 2019. I have to balance the money that I spend on equipment with money I spend on tags and preference points. If I keep it around 1500, I can invest in points and tags without any issue from my wife. Going more expensive means that I will have to sacrifice in one area. I will be looking for used swaro‘s as I continue my quest for a good optic to take with me.

Thanks again,

Grub
 

JAYgs8163

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Saw this earlier today but have no experience with Meopta.

 

lancetkenyon

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Thats all well and good, but you are in a sence at least comparing apples to oranges as to the various glassing locations around the country.
Ive hunted in the west, so i can fully appreciate the differences
in air quality for glassing between the eastern and western parts of the country.
I can take you to places in Pa where the view of the area will blow you away, and guess what? nobody will be hunting at those places. Occasionally someone might set up there, but reality is that they are only posing for pictures, and not really hunting.
Im more than 50 years of long range only hunting, i only know one man whoes word id trust to have killed a buck at a mile in Pa. And ive known lots of guys who would liked to have done that.
And lack of good optics has never been a reason for it not happening by many of them.
Right now i can name at least 10 guys who own and use twin Swarovsci spotters in brackets. And at least that many including myself who have and use Kowas.
But the fact also is that comparing the humid eastern air to the dry western air is to compare apples and oranges.
And the quality of the optics wont change that.
I have never killed a deer at a mile. In fact, my daughter has killed deer further than I have.
But I have been able to glass pronghorn at 4+ miles, and decided they were worth a drive over to make an attempt at them, when other people couldn't even see them with cheaper glass.
Western hunting, a lot of times (but not always), is benefitted by good glass more than a benchrest accurate rifle. Can't count how many times I have glassed game from 800yds to 4+ miles that led to a plan being formulated to go after them...or eliminated the need to get closer to see them.

I gave my suggestion for a $1500 spotter. But also explained how they are limited. A hunt that takes years of planning and saving for deserves the best chance you can give it to be successful. Great glass can get you an additional 45-60 minutes of prime hunting time per day.

I used cheaper glass for years. And rifles, and scopes, and tripods, and clothing. But I upgraded when I could, and almost every time, wished I would have just saved a little more and went a step above in the first place. As I am sure a lot of other have as well.

Not all hunting benefits from a $4k optic over a $400 optic. But where I hunt, it definitely 100% does. Spending 70-100+ hours behind glass on a hunt quickly separates the decent from the good from the great glass.
 

yobuck

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east central fl. /n.c. pa.
Good thing the OP is getting the feedback from people using optics in the west as that is the primary reason of his purchase.
I have never killed a deer at a mile. In fact, my daughter has killed deer further than I have.
But I have been able to glass pronghorn at 4+ miles, and decided they were worth a drive over to make an attempt at them, when other people couldn't even see them with cheaper glass.
Western hunting, a lot of times (but not always), is benefitted by good glass more than a benchrest accurate rifle. Can't count how many times I have glassed game from 800yds to 4+ miles that led to a plan being formulated to go after them...or eliminated the need to get closer to see them.

I gave my suggestion for a $1500 spotter. But also explained how they are limited. A hunt that takes years of planning and saving for deserves the best chance you can give it to be successful. Great glass can get you an additional 45-60 minutes of prime hunting time per day.

I used cheaper glass for years. And rifles, and scopes, and tripods, and clothing. But I upgraded when I could, and almost every time, wished I would have just saved a little more and went a step above in the first place. As I am sure a lot of other have as well.

Not all hunting benefits from a $4k optic over a $400 optic. But where I hunt, it definitely 100% does. Spending 70-100+ hours behind glass on a hunt quickly separates the decent from the good from the great glass.
Well the hunting part of the hunt is always benefited with good glass is it not?
The discussion here isnt with regard to the best, but what is considered good, or at least good enough.
 

Elk Hunter 338

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I am on the search for a fairly good spotting scope for a Wyoming Elk Hunt. I am looking at the Vortex Razor straight spotting scope 27-60 x 85mm. I am hoping to find someone in North East Ohio that may be willing to meet up with me to be able to take a long view to help me make that decision. This is a big purchase for me that I cannot afford to mess up.

Please feel free to post to this message or PM me if you would be willing to share your glass. I will travel to you.

Thanks,

Grub
if your in the area of the price for the vortex .. find a used swaro or leica your eyes will thank you later!! and yes they are worth the extra money
 
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