What spotting scopes to look at?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by kenai_king19, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. kenai_king19

    kenai_king19 Member

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    I am considering on buying a new spotting scope. Any suggestions? I'd rather not spend +2 grand for a spotting scope, but if it can give me a crystal clear picture of a possible legal buck or bull at 1000 yards then its worth it, however I don't want to spend the money if it can't do that and to have the brand name on my scope. If a scope worth a lot less could do it then awesome, but you also get what you pay for. So moderately priced would be great. So would the Leupold Gold Series be worth looking at? or the cheaper swaro's(the one under 2k):rolleyes:? or any other brand like Bushnell, Nikon, and Vortex be worth looking at. I have the Sequoia right now, and its great but this year and past years its been hard to see legal tines at extended ranges, 750+ yards, I'd like to be able to see legality of this animals at least to 1000 yards, weight isn't an issue either, I don't mind packing. thanks!
     
  2. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I've never wanted to spend 2K on a spotting scope either, so I bought a Leupold Golden Ring 12-40X60. I do love it!

    Eye Relief is really generous, and once focused at 40X.....it's still focused at any other power. It's not heavy and is relatively compact. I've successfully used it for a few years now to determine a "shooter from non shooter" at distances up to about a mile.

    Counting tines depends on alot of things.....lighting, color of antlers in relation to background, amount of mirage in the air, ect. Where I hunt, mirage makes me have to turn down the power quite frequently in order to clearly see the target or animal.........Sure, there are better scopes out there, but I think they are probably the $2K ones!

    Something else worth mentioning. The scope I got is a porro prism type. The straight tube scopes are roof prism type. Porro prism is much easier to see 3D detail in the landscape. Roof prism's are more of a 2D view. It's supposedly harder and more expensive to make a porro design the same quality as a roof design.....If that's true, then the roof prisms are better quality for the money. BUT in semi or really rugged country, I'd rather have a 3D view showing the valleys/ridges between me and the game (and even beyond) then having higher quality lenses. Just my opinion, but it works for me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  3. JUDD

    JUDD Well-Known Member

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    Look no further then Pentax. I had a PF80ED and the clarity was amazing.

    There is nothing that compares for the price.
     
  4. kenai_king19

    kenai_king19 Member

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    For counting tines this year, the deer would have been around 1300-1500 yards away and perfectly sky-lined, and I still couldn't count tines and legality. Way too fuzzy and the focus nob wasn't precise enough to get it clearer, and so on, the amount of light should have have been good, it was plenty of time after sunrise, so plenty of light, and wasn't cloudy either. I am definitely leaning towards the Golden Ring Leupolds because this one outfitter I went out with for a number of years all they used were Swaro binocs and golden ring Leupolds spotters. I was just too distracted by the elk to pay attention to the optics. :rolleyes: I had no idea about the porro prism and roof prism set-ups.I will definitely keep that in mind. Thanks for the info!

    I haven't really heard of Pentax for spotting scopes I have for photography. Time to use the good old internet to find out everything I can. Thanks!
     
  5. JUDD

    JUDD Well-Known Member

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    There is not a leupold made that will compare to a pentax spotter. . imho
     
  6. padd54

    padd54 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I have one of the Spotters that JUDD is speaking of, it was once his. :)

    Shoot me a PM, I am sure we can make a deal you will be happy with.
     
  7. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    After years of using and selling all forms of optics we have always had the best luck with Swarovski and leupold as far as spotting scopes go. As of late the Nikon ED field scopes and the Vortex Razor HD spotter have proven to be nothing short of amazing as well.

    After looking through many different brands and types of spotters the Swarovski HD scope is hands down the best. The color rendition, clarity, crispness and astounding image quality is the best i have ever seen. I am continually impressed by mine everytime i pull it out to use and that has been over the last 3 yrs lol.

    The leupold gold ring HD scopes are very impressive with great glass and they are also the most compact and lightest of all i have seen.

    The nikon ED Field scope is another great piece of glass with very nearly Swaro level of glass quality. The only downside to it i would say is possible eye relief issues (particularly to people wearing glasses) and it is a pretty heavy scope.

    The Vortex is the newest scope we have been testing and we have been VERY impressed with it. Glass and image quality are great and it is very crisp. The color rendition is nothing short of awesome. It also has a mil radian based reticle the has proven to be very valuable to our spotting. my only complaint with it would be that it is also a heavier scope, but then again as LR shooters most of our equip is lol.

    thanks
    lerch
     
  8. kenai_king19

    kenai_king19 Member

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    Lerch, I have been looking at the Nikon ED some more and then the prices, now that is the price range I LIKE!(around 1200 dollars) Have you had personal experience with this scope? Can you say for sure you can see bucks, bulls, etc at 1000+ yards and be able to see legal tines and so forth? Thats the big issue for me is that where I live I can't go to a sporting goods store and then go out back and test them not enough space to do that. I can't just go out and look its a bigger trip to test this stuff out(4-5 hr drive). Also you mentioned dealing optics, have you heard anything about the Leupold Kenai HD spotter? Just wondering how that one will shape up.

    JUDD, I have also looked at the Pentax 80 and 100, those look good to. However, I don't know anybody personally who has used these. I guess same questions for you to. Can you see legality in good conditions at 1000+ yards?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  9. JUDD

    JUDD Well-Known Member

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    I will tell you this about the pentax. I used them with a straight 25x eyepiece. I tried to put two in a bracket and make a set of bigeyes but the size of the eyepice would not premit them to get close enough to see through both at the same time.

    I used them for a bit in the feilds of PA woodchuck hunting. I had no issue whatsoever spotting woodchucks at ranges in excess of 1200 yards. My kowas I can see if a buck was legal at well over 120 yards. If I was able to get the pentax to work as bigeyes I would have chosen them over my Kowas any day of the week and twice on sunday.:rolleyes:

    Spotting legality at 1000yards would not be and issue...in fact I would bet you would be doin it with a smile on your face :D

    If you want better then a pentax your gonna have to jump to a higher class scope...Like swaro class... this is my honest opinion

    I've looked thru and use Pentax,Bushnell,Nikon,Kowa,Leica, Luepold and Swarovski maybe some other that don't even come to my mind at this time.

    For what you want to spend go with the Pentax...You won't regret the purchase. Or get With the gentleman who posted here that has my old scopes....I'm sure he would cut you a hell of a deal...and they are practically new.
     
  10. kenai_king19

    kenai_king19 Member

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    Thank you Judd, that helps out a lot. Especially the experiences you have had with them. I have a dealer maybe 10 minutes away and I will look them over heavily as well as others. What do you think of the PF-100's? I know quite a bit more weight but like I said, weight isn't an issue with me.
     
  11. JUDD

    JUDD Well-Known Member

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    Never seen one or used one. Mine was the PF80ED.

    The 100 is the same thing just bigger...If weight is not an issue give it a go.

    The only downfall I have for the pentax is the size. They are Long compared to others. But the Clarity definitly makes up for it.

    I bought mine from cameralandny...He made me a hell of a deal becasue I was a member here. The deal he cut me couldn't be touched anywhere else by a long shot.

    I would look into him before you buy elsewhere. I got scope and Eyepiece for less then 1K. (Brand new)
     
  12. kenai_king19

    kenai_king19 Member

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    I am going this week to go check out the scopes at the outdoors store by me but cameralandny based on their prices that I looked up will likely see my money if I decide to buy. They have great deals, they even have demo/sample ones cheaper yet but still the same models which is good enough in my book. I am going to look real hard into these guys for sure. Not to mention they have swaro's, nikon's, pentax, etc. Thanks for all the help!
     
  13. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    This is one of two choices for me.
    #1 Vortex angled ED 20-60x80 $750
    #2 Vortex Ravor HD 20-60x88 $ 1600

    I have the angled ED and I looked through it side by side with my buddies Swarovski HD. All I can say is that it takes a lot of money to make a jump to something marginally better.
     
  14. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    We didnt order any of the Kenai spotters this year, as there mid level scope i just had other products that fill that gap.

    I have used the nikon at our shooting range on two occasions out to 775yds, both times i was using our Swaro 80mm HD right along side of it. both these times were during mid day and in bright sunlight but glass wise i couldnt really tell a difference between the two. now the eye relief with the Nikon is a bit of a issue at times like i said, the biggest issue was with people who wore glasses. Like i said the glass was amazing overall with the only somewhat issues being eye relief and overall weight. For the higher power spotters weight will most always be a bit of a issue and if you do not wear glasses the eye is not much of a issue either

    thanks
    steve