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Member
Picture of Sourkraut
posted
I'm thinking of acquiring a spotting scope mainly to help me see target hits at the range, but maybe for wildlife viewing as well. Want to see targets at 100-200 yards, small caliber as in 223 and 17 HMR. Old eyes..... Cool

I can get Vortex at a major discount, so I'm leaning that way, so from a cost perspective I want to keep my cost at around $400-$600 "retail market price".

Suggestions on magnification etc for my use, as well as features to consider and price.

Thanks!!


"Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." Joe Louis
 
Posts: 500 | Location: Idaho | Registered: January 17, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
That's just the
Flomax talking
Picture of GaryBF
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Is there any choice these days except 15-60X zoom? Get at least a 60mm objective lens (more if you can afford it) for light gathering. An angled eyepiece is very helpful.
 
Posts: 10741 | Location: St. Louis, Missouri | Registered: February 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of henryaz
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I don't know what your budget is, but the scope I bought primarily for wildlife viewing (which, believe it or not, the desert is full of), is a Zeiss Victory DiaScope 85 T* FL. They are not cheap, but they provide a fantastic image. That model is now discontinued, but here is a link to the replacement model.
 
 
Posts: 6882 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by henryaz:
Zeiss Victory DiaScope 85 T* FL.


A little out of this: ( Wink )

quote:
Originally posted by Sourkraut:
I want to keep my cost at around $400-$600 "retail market price".




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 37003 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Sourkraut
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by henryaz:
Zeiss Victory DiaScope 85 T* FL.


A little out of this: ( Wink )

quote:
Originally posted by Sourkraut:
I want to keep my cost at around $400-$600 "retail market price".


Yeah, NICE optic but way out of my price range! Roll Eyes


"Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." Joe Louis
 
Posts: 500 | Location: Idaho | Registered: January 17, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Festina Lente
Picture of feersum dreadnaught
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Check out the Konus too... $320.

Saves some budget for a decent tripod.

https://www.amazon.com/Konus-7...-Scope/dp/B001DX7Q9Q



NRA Life Member - "Fear God and Dreadnaught"
 
Posts: 5591 | Location: in the red zone of the blue state, CT | Registered: October 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Sourkraut
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by GaryBF:
Is there any choice these days except 15-60X zoom? Get at least a 60mm objective lens (more if you can afford it) for light gathering. An angled eyepiece is very helpful.


Yeah, I was thinking it would be a 20-60 zoom with either a 60 or 80mm objective lens. What I've read made,it sound like at the higher end of the magnification, the optics go all to hell and the image quality is horrible. Unless you spend a ton of money. I want to see really well up to 200-300 yards if that is possible in this price range. I just don't know enough about spotting scopes.


"Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." Joe Louis
 
Posts: 500 | Location: Idaho | Registered: January 17, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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I can’t recommend any specific scopes, but some general comments.

I have a ~40 year-old Bushnell Spacemaster that was very highly regarded at the time; “Spacemaster” came from the fact that one was used on a US manned space mission. It has interchangeable fixed-power eyepieces, but I hardly ever use any but the 20 power piece. Its objective lens is 60mm in diameter and has a 45° angled eyepiece. It’s the scope I use most frequently.

Next up is a 12-40×60mm Leupold Mark 4 scope with Horus reticle. It’s the spotting scope most frequently seen in photos of military snipers. Its primary value is for spotting for other shooters who have riflescope reticles calibrated in milliradians.

At the top is a Swarovski ATS 65 HD (65mm, high definition glass). I purchased it just as it was being replaced by a similar, but upgraded model and therefore got it at a closeout price. The reviews on the birding sites rated its optical quality among the very best. I have two eyepieces, but most commonly use the 20-60× variable. It also has an angled eyepiece.

I have never felt the need for an objective lens larger than the 60-65mm of the scopes I have. I understand why some people might want the most common size up (~80mm), but for the types of observing I do, the ones I have are sufficient.
And unless we’re prepared to spend a lot more money, larger objective lenses are usually of lower quality.

As for magnification, inexpensive plus high power usually equals poor image quality. What’s more, if we’re trying to see bullet holes at long distances, magnification is only one factor that affects that. If we’re trying to see through 500 yards of air, haze and heat wave shimmer (a.k.a. “mirage”) can have significant effects and can actually make it better to use lower powers. The size of the bullet holes and the nature of the target is another big factor. The best I’ve ever done with the Swarovski was to see .30 caliber holes in a white silhouette at 700 yards. On the other hand, with 20 power it’s not always possible to resolve .22" holes in a brown cardboard target at 100 yards.

An angled eyepiece is a must if at all possible.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 37003 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Sourkraut
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Very helpful, thank you sigfreund!


"Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." Joe Louis
 
Posts: 500 | Location: Idaho | Registered: January 17, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
Picture of lyman
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I had a straight lens Spacemaster years ago that worked well, gave it to a buddy of mine a few years ago,

I use a vintage, like 60's vintage, spotting scope now, B&L if I am not mistaken, may be a Bushnell,
basically the same spotting scope used by most high power shooters back in the day,

works well for me shooting 100yrd reduced matches, and have used it at 200 ,

next step up would be a Kowa, they are fantastic, but outside your price range

as far as stands, are you looking for something to use while shooting offhand or for bench or prone?

I use a Freeland bipod, and have a Freeland tripod, but both will sway a bit when you bump them while shooting offhand,

RayVin and a few others make a more sturdy unit



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 5832 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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Another observation about seeing under different conditions.

This afternoon I set the Swarovski spotting scope on a tripod in an open area several miles out of town. According to Google Earth I was about 8 miles and 5000 feet below the summit of Colorado’s highest mountain, Mt. Elbert. With the power setting on 60× I could distinguish several individuals who were walking around at the peak. I then looked at the Outward Bound compound about 1.2 miles from my location across an open grassy pasture. The heat waves or “mirage” effect was so strong I could barely distinguish vehicles from the buildings at 20×.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 37003 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sigfreund did a great job in his post above. I thought I would add a bit of recent observations.

A few months back, one of the guys on our team asked me about a spotting scope that he wanted to use for shooting but also for other purposes. He had found one that he wanted my opinion on;
http://www.celestron.com/brows...2-spotting-scope-kit

I know nothing of Celestron but I looked at the specs. The first thing I noticed was the ED glass. The rest of the stuff looked fine. I told him that and he bought the scope, which I brought to Ottawa where I had the chance to look through it.

I was impressed, that ED glass makes a difference and that scope looked just great.

Normally I avoid ED glass in spotting scopes used solely for reading conditions in shooting, but that is not your stated purpose here. I would say that ED glass will make it easier to see the bullet holes and definitely will present a nicer picture for other purposes.
 
Posts: 2603 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Sourkraut
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
Sigfreund did a great job in his post above. I thought I would add a bit of recent observations.

A few months back, one of the guys on our team asked me about a spotting scope that he wanted to use for shooting but also for other purposes. He had found one that he wanted my opinion on;
http://www.celestron.com/brows...2-spotting-scope-kit

I know nothing of Celestron but I looked at the specs. The first thing I noticed was the ED glass. The rest of the stuff looked fine. I told him that and he bought the scope, which I brought to Ottawa where I had the chance to look through it.

I was impressed, that ED glass makes a difference and that scope looked just great.

Normally I avoid ED glass in spotting scopes used solely for reading conditions in shooting, but that is not your stated purpose here. I would say that ED glass will make it easier to see the bullet holes and definitely will present a nicer picture for other purposes.


Thank you for the comments! Why would you avoid ED glass? Cost?

Here is one I'm considering:
http://www.vortexoptics.com/pr...ngled-spotting-scope
(I get a GOOD discount)!


"Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." Joe Louis
 
Posts: 500 | Location: Idaho | Registered: January 17, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Noticed your Vortex comment.

Don't dismiss something like the Alpen 20 - 60 x 80 frequently on sale from Costco for $300 delivered.

I bought the same size Viper HD and I'm not noticing any difference spotting 22 and 30 caliber at 200 yards.

Had expected the HD aspect to have been a night and day difference.
 
Posts: 562 | Location: Washington State | Registered: November 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
That's just the
Flomax talking
Picture of GaryBF
posted Hide Post
I have the same Bushnell Spacemester as sigfreund and I never use use any eyepiece over 20X because the image brightness falls off rapidly as the power increases.
 
Posts: 10741 | Location: St. Louis, Missouri | Registered: February 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
member
Picture of henryaz
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sourkraut:

A little out of this: ( Wink )

Sorry, I missed the price range when I scanned the OP. Frown
 
 
Posts: 6882 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sourkraut:
quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
Sigfreund did a great job in his post above. I thought I would add a bit of recent observations.

A few months back, one of the guys on our team asked me about a spotting scope that he wanted to use for shooting but also for other purposes. He had found one that he wanted my opinion on;
http://www.celestron.com/brows...2-spotting-scope-kit

I know nothing of Celestron but I looked at the specs. The first thing I noticed was the ED glass. The rest of the stuff looked fine. I told him that and he bought the scope, which I brought to Ottawa where I had the chance to look through it.

I was impressed, that ED glass makes a difference and that scope looked just great.

Normally I avoid ED glass in spotting scopes used solely for reading conditions in shooting, but that is not your stated purpose here. I would say that ED glass will make it easier to see the bullet holes and definitely will present a nicer picture for other purposes.


Thank you for the comments! Why would you avoid ED glass? Cost?

Cost is not the issue. I believe that ED glass removes some or most of the effects of mirage in a scope/spotter and I need to see the mirage full force in my spotter. My riflescope has ED glass and I believe it lessens the mirage quite a bit which allows me to be more surgical with my rifle, but I need all the mirage in my spotting scope.

That's just me, your mileage may vary.


quote:

Here is one I'm considering:
http://www.vortexoptics.com/pr...ngled-spotting-scope
(I get a GOOD discount)!


Vortex has a good reputation; I have none of their products. The specs on this one look good.
 
Posts: 2603 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Buy high and sell "low"
Picture of archerman
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SourKraut,

There is no email in your profile, but I have a nice Spotting Scope combo I am looking to sell.

Thanks,


Archerman
 
Posts: 1913 | Location: N. Idaho | Registered: February 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
fugitive from reality
posted Hide Post
I have a Nikon Sky and Earth 15-45x60 scope that can see .223 holes with at 300 yards. You don't even need the brightest day, just don't be in the shade. I upgraded to a Kowa 27ler with an 80mm objective. Much much better low light performance. I've also used the Konus with the 80mm objective and it's an excellent value for the money.

Unless you are going to compete and are planning to drop $1k+ on a scope and eyepiece, I'd go with the Vortex and call it a day. I would however spend a little extra money and get one of the scopes with the 80mm objective. As I noted above, as light fades or you are trying to look into the shadows, the lack of light transmission of 60-65mm objective scope will leave you wanting something bigger.


_____________________________
'I'm pretty fly for a white guy'.

 
Posts: 5226 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bamf
posted Hide Post
I went with the Vortex Razor HD (2nd Gen) 27-60x85 because I also got a huge discount on it. I'm really happy with it. 250 yards is the furthest I've tried to spot .223 and .308 shots, and it's no problem. Further than that, I only spot shots on steel. Here's a few videos I took with it using my Phone Skope.







"I have a suggestion to keep you all occupied. Learn to swim" - Ænema
 
Posts: 4586 | Location: Puyallup, WA | Registered: November 12, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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