HIGH END spotting scopes.

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HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by zanemoseley on 11/5/2018, 7:27 pm

First topic message reminder :

So there are countless discussions about cheap/budget spotting scopes but lets say you've got nice equipment and finally want to upgrade your scope, what's the best for our purposes? I know a lot of people like the old Kowa scopes, are the new ones as good? I have an inside track on Vortex products, they have a 11-33x50 Razor spotting scope I can get for $500 which is still quite high even with the discount.

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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by Ray Bersch on 11/6/2018, 5:11 pm

Now there is the hammer head meeting the nail head.

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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by SteveT on 11/6/2018, 5:18 pm

Spotting pistol shots doesn't really push the limits of spotting scopes. You don't need a big objective or high magnification. Quality glass (and coatings) will do more for you than a big lens.

Here's my opinions

Objective: The smaller the better. Unless you shoot under strange conditions, you don't need lots of light gathering. I am not near my box, but the area under the tray of a Gun-Ho box is probably less than 3" so 50-60mm is the biggest that will fit. A bigger will interfere more with other storage in the box.

Magnification: At 20x, I can see the whole target at 25 yds if I get close to the lens, and easily see the entire target at 50 yards. Some days a little more magnification might help spot 22 holes at 50 yards, but I don't think you will ever need more than 30x.

FOV: I don't know, it will work out if the magnification is in the right range.

Type of Glass: I am not an optics expert, but a good quality 20x 30mm scope will show you more than a cheap 30x 80mm scope. I know because I compared my NG against a Harbor Freight 80mm no-name scope at a recent match.

Eye Relief: more is better, minimum is maybe 8-10mm since we are wearing safety glasses when shooting.

Weight: Lighter is always better, but unless you are bringing a serious rifle scope, the ammo will weigh a lot more.

Eyepiece: Angled is much easier to see without breaking your position. If the scope is a big body rifle scope, the angle may stick out too far and you won't be able to put anything on that side of the box.

Min Focus Distance: 30ft for 10m air gun, 50 ft for many indoor bullseye ranges

Body length: smaller is better. Gun-Ho boxes are about 18" inside, so you can't be longer than that, but the longer it is, and the bigger the body, the more it will interfere with other storage in the box.

IMO Clarity is MUCH more important than anything else. All of the cheap scopes (Blazer, Barska, Konus and no-name brands <$100) have lousy image quality. You can't see 22 holes, doubles or tell if a shot is touching the line no matter the magnification. Unfortunately, unless you live near Champions Choice or a great optics store you probably won't have the chance to try a lot of scopes.
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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by troystaten on 11/6/2018, 5:51 pm

Here is an angled version of the one I have, not a low end scope but not as expensive as some of the fancy Euro ones.  

https://www.minox-usa.com/spotting-scopes/minox-md-50-w

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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by walt k on 11/6/2018, 6:00 pm

troystaten wrote:Here is an angled version of the one I have, not a low end scope but not as expensive as some of the fancy Euro ones.  

https://www.minox-usa.com/spotting-scopes/minox-md-50-w

I have this scope also. I would have liked the low end a bit lower in power but it will do. 
I use it indoors at 50'. It is a good scope.

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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by Baydawg on 11/7/2018, 4:58 am

Coming from a Rifleman's perspective...

I spent many years with a Kowa TSN-1...great glass and reliable as the sun coming up. I was lucky enough to be in the position to buy a Prominar 77 a few years ago. It changed my life as I have a 20-60 zoom for across the course (I can see 22 holes at 300 yards most days) and a LER 25x for prone matches. I see mirage in multiple layers and it elevated my wind reading game to new levels.

with that being said...I had an old KONUS 20-60 scope from who knows when...I have been using it for practice sessions from 50ft to 50 yards and it does the job. At 50 yards I can see most holes and Im really just looking for ones in the white anyway. However, it does not fit in my shooting box. I just carry it separately.
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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by PhotoEscape on 11/7/2018, 8:01 am

Folks,
Check your boxes for this dimensions - 19.5×8.5×4.5 in or 16.9×7.5×4.7 in.  If that works, and any of you want to be a guinea pig, there is a newcomer to spotting scope market - company from PRC (not the California though) - Levenhuk.  It has spotting scope line called Blaze.  Deminsions above represent two 70 mm models, Plus (preferred) and Base.  Both have glass lenses, Plus is nitrogen filled, while Base is just nitrogen purged.  Cost is sub-$200 for Plus, and sub-$100 for Base.  What you need to be aware - plastic casing!  This means that hermetic can be gone in the blink, and nitrogen evaporates in the most opportunistic moment.  The fact that product has life time warranty would be meaningless at that moment.  Of course brightness, twilight factor, and other parameters are not the same as more expensive scopes.  So, here it is - https://www.levenhuk.com/catalogue/spotting-scopes/levenhuk-blaze-70-plus/#.W-Lsm02WxN5  B&H carries this line, but it is special order.  I personally would not consider something like this, but that is because my personal preferences when it comes to optics.  The only reason I consider suggesting this company is because they have other optical product lines, that are gaining traction.  Please do your own evaluations.  
AP


Last edited by PhotoEscape on 11/7/2018, 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling correction)
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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by 1joel1 on 11/7/2018, 9:38 am

PhotoEscape wrote:This one is "Mansutov" / Newtonian Reflector design, more useful for astronomy then terrestrial views. 
AP
Maksutov/Cassegrain is a scope with a small mirrored dot on the front correction plate. This allows for a longer focal length. The problem with astronomy scopes is that unless you get a prism finder, the image will be reversed or upside down. Best to stay with the prism style spotting scopes that are discussed here.

Konus has some budget scopes in 60 and 80mm that are China made, but certainly good enough for 50 yards. 

Joel

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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by Slartybartfast on 11/7/2018, 11:07 am

1joel1 wrote:
PhotoEscape wrote:This one is "Mansutov" / Newtonian Reflector design, more useful for astronomy then terrestrial views. 
AP
Maksutov/Cassegrain is a scope with a small mirrored dot on the front correction plate. This allows for a longer focal length. The problem with astronomy scopes is that unless you get a prism finder, the image will be reversed or upside down. Best to stay with the prism style spotting scopes that are discussed here.

Konus has some budget scopes in 60 and 80mm that are China made, but certainly good enough for 50 yards. 

Joel
I don't know what negative reviews have been read, but I read some positive reviews from rifle target shooters.
Then you find the bad reviews.

I'll spend good money on a good scope, but as someone has already posted the question needs to be asked and answered differently. Various annectodtes and recommendations are helpful, but I'm never quite certain why one is actually better than the other and whether that better parameter will really benefit me.

I really want to have a spotting scope that I can digiscope to a tablet for viewing. I don't want to become any type of expert in optics or scopes or digiscoping. I've been watching the TargetVision Hawk Camera System, and that comes with good targetshooting software and just requires a "good enough" scope. And the Optex Redtail Digital Spotting Scope which is interesting, but a lot of money to spend to simply find out if it works adequately, and would be too high a magnification at 20, 25, and 50yds as far as I calculate based on angle of view.

I think my comments and questions are digressing from the thread and I'll keep out and create my own thread if I can get round to intelligently framing my questions.
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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

Post by tray999 on 11/7/2018, 9:37 pm

I use the Kowa TS501, it has good glass from Japan, is light and compact, and at 20 power good enough to see my 22 holes at 50 yards.  It is a perfect combo of good quality, light weight, compact size and fits great in my box!!!   I love the light weight of this scope to keep my box lighter.... 
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Re: HIGH END spotting scopes.

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