Time for a new spotter

novaman64

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Camino, CA
Just got back from a elk hunting trip out of state. Before I went I had sold my cheapo (complete garbage Winchester compact spotter) knowing the guide would have a good spotter and I have a good set of binos (12x, that work decent off a set of shooting sticks to stabilize).

That being said guide had a gorgeous Zeiss, and well I probably shouldn't have looked through it, as its way out of my price range. Trying to stay in the $700-800 area, as I know I'm going to need to fork out some cash for a good lightweight tripod as well. Primarily I will be using it for day hunts, but also have a few big backpack trips every year so weight/size is a concern. Right now the 2 spotters that I am looking at are the Vortex Razor HD 11-33x50 (not sure if the 33 will be enough power, but love the size and weight) and also the Vortex Viper HD 15-45x56. Same price range, more magnification, haven't gotten to look through one, and it is physically bigger and heavier. Thoughts on the decision between these two spotters?

Anything else in the price range that I should be looking at? I do prefer a angled eyepiece spotter....
 

Wedgy

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Nikon ED50 will beat any compact scope in that price range. They are the top sports camera lens mfg for a reason, I have $12k in camera lenses but the internals of their riflescopes aren't the best. Get the 13-40x eyepiece, not the 13-30x it comes with. Buy it on Ebay or Amazon from Japan body only and buy the eye piece separately. There was on one here recently. I can spot hits on paper at 600 so why bring my big Meopta ? Read some reviews which are mostly in the birding sports as this scope isn't known tor really marketed to shooters. Fits in the palm of your hand and weighs less than a Vortex Summit compact tripod. Vortex tripods are better than their scopes, don't even consider the Viper. Razor glass is considerably better but won't get you to 40x, not in this weight or price range.

Amazon.com : Nikon ED50 Angled FieldScope Pearlescent Green Scope : Refracting Telescopes : Camera & Photo
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FJH1IA/?tag=lrhmag19-20
 

novaman64

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Camino, CA
Nikon ED50 will beat any compact scope in that price range. They are the top sports camera lens mfg for a reason, I have $12k in camera lenses but the internals of their riflescopes aren't the best. Get the 13-40x eyepiece, not the 13-30x it comes with. Buy it on Ebay or Amazon from Japan body only and buy the eye piece separately. There was on one here recently. I can spot hits on paper at 600 so why bring my big Meopta ? Read some reviews which are mostly in the birding sports as this scope isn't known tor really marketed to shooters. Fits in the palm of your hand and weighs less than a Vortex Summit compact tripod. Vortex tripods are better than their scopes, don't even consider the Viper. Razor glass is considerably better but won't get you to 40x, not in this weight or price range.

Amazon.com : Nikon ED50 Angled FieldScope Pearlescent Green Scope : Refracting Telescopes : Camera & Photo
Amazon.com : Nikon FieldScope Zoom Eyepiece MCII 13-40x (50) / 20-60x (60) / 25-75x (82) : Binoculars : Camera & Photo

Thanks for the info. With the 40x eyepiece on the ED50 how is the image clarity at max resolution? Sounds like a lightweight nice setup that should fit the bill perfectly. Between the Nikon ED50 and the Razor HD 65 is there a big difference in image quality at say 40x?
 

Wedgy

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Image in the ED50 is clear all the way thru to 40x. I'm comparing 50mm to 50mm scopes which I consider "compact", the 65mm Razor is double the weight of the Nikon and at that point I go with the large 85mm scope because it is only a pound more than the 65mm.
Nikon ED50 = 22.4oz
Razor 65mm= 48.5oz
Razor 85mm =65.7oz
Size compared to a BR2 with Vortex Summit tripod
 

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novaman64

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Location
Camino, CA
Image in the ED50 is clear all the way thru to 40x. I'm comparing 50mm to 50mm scopes which I consider "compact", the 65mm Razor is double the weight of the Nikon and at that point I go with the large 85mm scope because it is only a pound more than the 65mm.
Nikon ED50 = 22.4oz
Razor 65mm= 48.5oz
Razor 85mm =65.7oz
Size compared to a BR2 with Vortex Summit tripod

Cool, thanks for the info. I think thats the route I may end up going, and it should save me some money over the other spotters I was looking at as well. Is that Vortex Summit SS tripod pretty good in terms of stability and weight? Any recommendation of running a pan head vs a ball head?
 

Wedgy

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The Summit is lightweight and has twist lock legs which are fast. In general lightweight is less stable but I think it's a good option for a lightweight setup. For heads I prefer a fluid pan head but the Bogen 128LP I use on my big spotter weighs more than this entire setup....but it is stable. I have the Vortex ball head it came with but would prefer the pan head as it allows one hand operation instead of on hand on the scope and one to lock the head. Not a fan of the pistol grip type, I prefer the joystick type like a BR rest. If you go with the Vortex get an extra quick release plate to mount your camera, rangefinder, or a rifle rest on the tripod.
Hope this helps.
 

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