HIGH END spotting scopes.

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Post by zanemoseley on Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:27 pm

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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Post by SteveT on Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:43 pm

Any of the Kowa's or a Vortex 50mm will work very well. You would probably be able to pick out 22 holes and doubles that the rest of us wouldn't see, but is that worth the extra weight and size?

I think the NG 20x33 spotting scope like this is the best bullseye scope regardless of price. They are small and have optic quality better than most. I can see holes better than any of the cheaper 50mm or 60mm scopes. Unfortunately they are not available, so you would have to wait for one on eBay or Gunbroker.
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Post by Steve B on Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:04 pm

I hear the Nikon 50mm spotting scope is pretty nice...

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Post by zanemoseley on Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:05 pm

Just read the Kowa TSN-501 is now made is China. Big thumbs down for a $350 scope made in China.

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Post by Jack H on Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:23 pm

Get one of these
HIGH END spotting scopes. Spot-Scope
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Post by zanemoseley on Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:26 pm

Is that an old Kowa.

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Post by Jack H on Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:14 pm

Bausch & Lomb    From my rifle days.  I have two.


But in my pistol boxes are old Bushnel Sentry & Competitor.
I also have for good weather a Burris 30x60.
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Post by PhotoEscape on Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:14 pm

Uff............., guys! You are opening huge can of worms here.  I'm a soaker for good optics.  With that said, when we are talking about top line, or asking for what is the "best for our purposes", my first reaction would be "85mm".
So, i.e. in Vortex stable it would be Razor HD 27-60x85 ($1,500).  In Nikon - EDG VR 20-60x85 ($6,000).  And there are Leupold, Leica, Swarovski, Kowa, etc.  So, probably starting point would be "how much I want to spend".
I can refer you to these two sites - http://store.birdwatching.net/scopes/our-scope-faves.html and https://www.opticsden.com/best-spotting-scope/
AP
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Post by zanemoseley on Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:50 pm

A 85mm might he hard to shoehorn into a pistol case.

Budget.. $500ish. That's big money compared to most scopes people use. My 50mm celestron isn't bad but 22 holes at 50 yards can be a chore.

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Post by PhotoEscape on Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:01 pm

Zane, you can try upgrading to Celestron Regal M2 80 ED or 100ED.  A little bit more money, but higher magnification, ED glass, nitrogen filled.  Two last features would give better light passing capabilities, and no fogging.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/917619-REG/celestron_52305_regal_m2_80ed_spotting.html
AP
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Post by 1joel1 on Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:39 am

I bought an older Celestron ED 80mm and I use it out to 300 yards to see .223 and .264 holes. I paid $350 used and it was well worth it imho. With the larger and better quality optics, you get brighter and contrastier views. 

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Post by zanemoseley on Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:49 am

Again... An 80-100mm scope won't fit in a pistol box. I do have a Celestron Ultima 80mm left from my smallbore rifle days. Its quite nice.

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Post by zanemoseley on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:22 am

Dang I just emailed Vortex, their new production Razor spotting scopes are made in China. Older ones were Japan. Bad business move I think, they've established a good brand now they're gonna start cutting quality....

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Post by PhotoEscape on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:25 am

I know nothing about pistol boxes.  Apparently there are limitations to content with.  This is another chapter of BE Sport I need to learn.  However when it comes to optics, there are also limitations imposed by physical properties of light.  Every time we ask to see clearly smaller object at further distance, we are asking for more light passing through the lenses.  In order to pass through sufficient amount of light objective (big lens upfront), tube, and refractor/eye piece must have well defined mathematically computed diameters.  I want to point out that increasing magnification will do nothing, if light isn't there. Subsequently, one must decide which  limitation should be prevailing, - ability to see desired subject or ability to fit one tool inside of another.  Without studying chapter on boxes, it is my impression that maybe size of box is easier to modify.
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Post by troystaten on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:46 am

I have a Minox compact model, max mag is only 30 power but it is nicely made and has nice glass.  Not in the same price range as something by Swarski (spelling) or Leica but I am happy with it.

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Post by Slartybartfast on Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:18 pm

I'm thinking I need to start a thread asking about LOW END spotting scopes.
I've got a scope loaned to me, and it was purchased because it was cheap. And all I can say is there are lots of things I don't like about it. The low eye relief, straight eyepiece, and lousy light gathering are highest on the list.

How much of a gamble/waste of money would a Celestron C70 Mini Mak be? Reading a bunch of reviews it seems a steal at less than 100$.
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Post by zanemoseley on Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:33 pm

That C70 Mini Mak looks interesting large objective in a relatively small package. The reviews aren't very promising. I like my 80mm Ultima and my 50mm Landscout is good for the money but overall not the best due to the small objective.

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Post by PhotoEscape on Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:36 pm

This one is "Mansutov" / Newtonian Reflector design, more useful for astronomy then terrestrial views. 
AP
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Post by zanemoseley on Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:48 pm

The Celestron Regal M2 65ED might fit in a box decent.

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Post by swissyhawk on Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:59 pm

Here's a nice comparison of the vortex razor and the nikon fieldscope.

http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/vortex/razor50mm_vs_nikon50mm.html

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Post by Axehandle on Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:37 pm

FWIW you don't need a lot of scope for 22 holes at 50 yards.  Spend that fancy scope money on guns and ammo.

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Post by Olde Pilot on Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:41 pm

Second that motion, Axehandle. No need for super glass at 50 yards.

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Post by zanemoseley on Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:27 pm

I agree you don't need a $3000 spotting scope but I'm getting a bit sick of my budget scope. Perhaps mid range is the more correct term.

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Post by desben on Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:34 pm

How about Leupold? Any experience with their spotting scope? They have a 15-30x50 for $450.
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Post by bdas on Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:31 pm

Axehandle wrote:FWIW you don't need a lot of scope for 22 holes at 50 yards.  Spend that fancy scope money on guns and ammo.
Maybe it would help to ask the question differently.  What is a reasonable set of specifications for a bullseye scope that would fit in a typical pistol box, and allow good-to-excellent viewing of 22 holes at 50 yards?

Objective size: ???  (60mm max?)
Magnification Range: ???
Field of view: ???
Type of glass / coatings: ???
Eye Relief: ???
Weight: ???  (what would be considered "normal" or "light" or "heavy"?)
Eyepiece style: Angled is better than straight
Water proof: Yes
Fog proof: Yes
Minimum Focus Distance: 25ft or less
Body Length: Less than 14 inches
Other important features: ???

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