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Best Spotting Scope

 
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excavator
(218 posts)
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Jun-20-11, 
00:22 AM (MST)
"Best Spotting Scope"

I have never owned a spotting scope, but I think I pretty much need to break down and get one. I was wondering what you guys felt was the best spotting scope out there for under $2,500?

Thanks,

Excavator

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: Best Spott...  littlejoe      Jun-20-11   1 
 RE: Best Spott...  hezzy      Jun-20-11   2 
  RE: Best Spott...  BAGGEMnTAGG...      Jun-22-11   3 
   RE: Best Spott...  cpa0730      Jul-17-11   4 
    RE: Best Spott...  cowboy57      Aug-09-12   13 
 RE: Best Spott...  jarheadhunt...      Jul-19-11   5 
  RE: Best Spott...  mlycrzy      Jul-23-11   6 
   RE: Best Spott...  fowllivin      Jun-03-12   7 
    RE: Best Spott...  acorn      Jun-04-12   8 
     RE: Best Spott...  mmwb      Jun-04-12   9 
 RE: Best Spott...  nfh      Jun-04-12   10 
  RE: Best Spott...  goatroper      Jun-07-12   11 
   RE: Best Spott...  bowhunt      Jun-12-12   12 
    RE: Best Spott...  grizzly      Aug-09-12   14 
     RE: Best Spott...  BPKHunter      Aug-12-12   15 
      RE: Best Spott...  deepforks      Aug-13-12   16 
       RE: Best Spott...  mmwb      Aug-13-12   17 
 RE: Best Spott...  Shooter150      Aug-17-12   18 
 RE: Best Spott...  Muleystwent...      Aug-24-12   19 
  RE: Best Spott...  nmwapiti      Aug-26-12   20 
   RE: Best Spott...  greyghost      Dec-19-12   21 
    RE: Best Spott...  Willametter...      Dec-28-12   22 
     RE: Best Spott...  grizzly      Dec-28-12   23 
     RE: Best Spott...  greyghost      Dec-28-12   24 
      RE: Best Spott...  Willametter...      Dec-29-12   25 
       RE: Best Spott...  greyghost      Dec-29-12   26 
        RE: Best Spott...  cabinfever      Jan-28-13   27 
         RE: Best Spott...  BPKHunter      Feb-13-13   28 
          RE: Best Spott...  grizzly      Feb-14-13   29 

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littlejoe
(1268 posts)
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Jun-20-11, 
08:58 AM (MST)
1. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I have had Leica and Swarovski and think both are great.

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hezzy
(155 posts)
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Jun-20-11, 
08:26 PM (MST)
2. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

i love my zeiss 85 mm. I got it from cameralandny.com as a floor model? when i got it it was brand new never been touched for 2200. dont forget to plan on a tripod and head. doesnt matter what kind of scope it is if its on a crappy tripod you'll get crappy results!

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BAGGEMnTAGGEM
(20 posts)
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Jun-22-11, 
00:30 AM (MST)
3. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

Look at the Vortex Razor 20-60x85 HD. It's only $1600. so you can have enough to pick up a real good tripod to go with it. The guy that started vortex used to work for swarofski so you know there not bad products.

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cpa0730
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Jul-17-11, 
11:17 PM (MST)
4. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

Vortex are junk, period! Zeiss spotting scopes have a clear center and very blurry edges. I'd go swaro or leica.

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cowboy57
(344 posts)
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Aug-09-12, 
02:03 PM (MST)
13. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

Vortex HD for the money.I have them next swaro and zeiss can't tell the difference

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jarheadhunter
(902 posts)
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Jul-19-11, 
12:22 PM (MST)
5. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I have a Swaro and that's the only one of the Big 3 I have used. I haven't regreted the money spent since I got it. I have used it side by side with a Leupold Gold Ring and there was no comparison there. I think you would be happy with any one of the big three. By once cry once!

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mlycrzy
(1753 posts)
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Jul-23-11, 
03:53 PM (MST)
6. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I was in the same boat a few years ago and finally broke down and spent the money on a new angled Swaro spotter. It definately hurt the pocket book but I will never have to buy another and they are only going to go up in price.

I chose the Sawarovski over the Leica mainly because of the looks. The costomer service has been great and I am VERY pleased it. Also, as metioned above get a quality tripod to go with it and you will be set. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

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fowllivin
(46 posts)
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Jun-03-12, 
04:03 PM (MST)
7. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I have a nikon prostaff 16x48x65 and I love it. I have never looked through a higher end scope but all I can say is that for around $350 it is an amazing scope. I fully recommended it.

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acorn
(68 posts)
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Jun-04-12, 
01:50 PM (MST)
8. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

>I have a nikon prostaff 16x48x65
>and I love it. I
>have never looked through a
>higher end scope but all
>I can say is that
>for around $350 it is
>an amazing scope. I fully
>recommended it.


Good advice there! I love my pro staff and it's a 1/4 of the cost. Take the saved money and buy good binos or another gun! My 2 cents.

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mmwb
(2122 posts)
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Jun-04-12, 
04:53 PM (MST)
9. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

Full sized scopes well covered above. If you want an ultra compact, light weight model, look at the Nikon ED50.

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nfh
(5138 posts)
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Jun-04-12, 
08:06 PM (MST)
10. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

whatever fits your eye. take all brands and explore them outside condtions. i tried every brand and for some reason my eye likes burris. no its not the most expensive or the best but my eye fits burris glass for some reason.

my buddies tease me when i got the cheaper model but when i try there swaro or whatever i just cant see anything.

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goatroper
(379 posts)
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Jun-07-12, 
03:05 AM (MST)
11. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I owned them all and have a Zeiss and pref it over my Swaro 65 HD I sold here on MM, now am going to pick these Leopold's LSX-3 on my way to scout Unit 7 in Nv soon..I hear there best thing on the market...I will use them and if there good enough I'll keep them...if not I will return them!
Vortex..Razor Hd are great glass also.
just gotta listen and you have to try them out do not buy anything you have never held in ya hands and looked through..
I have to special order..
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Hunting/Optics/Spotting-Scopes%7C/pc/104791680/c/104752080/sc/104600880/Leupold174-LSX-3-Boone-Crockett-Spotting-Scope/1199567.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fhunting-optics-spotting-scopes%2Fleupold%2F_%2FN-1100060%2B1000003881%2FNe-1000003881%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104600880%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253Bcat104791680%253Bcat104752080%26WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNU&WTz_l=SBC%3Bcat104791680%3Bcat104752080%3Bcat104600880

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bowhunt
(3262 posts)
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Jun-12-12, 
08:15 AM (MST)
12. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I would go look through all of them, and hold them.
See what you like, and what you see through well. I would consider:

-Swaro
-Leica
-Kowa
-Vortex (Razor)
-Zeiss

Good luck

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grizzly
(2427 posts)
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Aug-09-12, 
04:35 PM (MST)
14. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

Search MM for previous discussions on Kowa. You can pick up a 20x60-66 for $1340 or a 20x60-77 for $2365 (including eyepieces) if you look hard.

They are worth considering, some say Kowa are better than Big 3. I have owned Swaro, currently own Leica and Vortex. My next scope will be Kowa, hands down. Everybody's eyes are different. Find the best glass for your eyes.

Also the ZenRay ED2 20x60-82 for $1,000. That is a good scope too (very similar to the Vortex Razor).

Grizzly

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BPKHunter
(1567 posts)
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Aug-12-12, 
04:25 PM (MST)
15. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I started out with a Bushnell Elite, 15-45x60mm. Decent lightweight scope I still use when backpacking, too inexpensive to sell.

I then tried a Zeiss, but found I do not like the blurry edge. Found a great deal on a 65mm HD Swaro. Convenient size, decent weight, and great optics. No spotter looks great to me, because even at the min magnification of 20x, the atmosphere becomes so noticeable. Clearly much clearer than my Bushnell and much better overall than Zeiss, though if I ignore the edge they are similar.

I hear good things about both Kowa and the big Vortex for the $$. I know no other company will beat the warranty or service level of Swaro.

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deepforks
(1035 posts)
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Aug-13-12, 
12:41 PM (MST)
16. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

what would you all choose between the vortex razor hd or leupold gold ring boone & crocket (both 20-60 power)? i have a friend who can get me leupold products for way cheap. i think he said these gold rings he can get me for around $1200. i know the obvious choice is the leupold, if you're only looking at price. but i'd like to know what is the better scope between the two?

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mmwb
(2122 posts)
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Aug-13-12, 
09:06 PM (MST)
17. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

Put them side by side, along with a few others in your price range. Your eyes may choose a different best than someone else's.

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Shooter150
(17 posts)
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Aug-17-12, 
08:13 AM (MST)
18. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I have Vortex razor. My brother has a swaro and a razor. They are both great. I have also looked through the kowa numerous times and they are definitively comparable. Tripods are equally important as mentioned previously.

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Muleystwenty4seven
(36 posts)
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Aug-24-12, 
08:17 PM (MST)
19. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I have a Zeiss 85mm and love it!The eye piece is 20x75, super clear and bright from edge to edge. I don't know what these people are smoking trying to knock Zeiss. It's a very high quality spotter and it is one of the top three of the super brands.

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nmwapiti
(778 posts)
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Aug-26-12, 
08:23 PM (MST)
20. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

Ceck out the Alpen Rainier HD. You will be really impressed!

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greyghost
(71 posts)
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Dec-19-12, 
10:27 PM (MST)
21. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

It is my understanding that all optics have a blurry edge regardless of the brand. The difference being that Zeiss does not use anything to block the edge like some other brands do, thus being able to see distortion on the edge. From what I can see it is very minimal and I would of never noticed it in mine except someone told me about it.

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Willametteriveroutlaw
(318 posts)
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Dec-28-12, 
09:37 AM (MST)
22. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

>It is my understanding that all
>optics have a blurry edge
>regardless of the brand. The
>difference being that Zeiss does
>not use anything to block
>the edge like some other
>brands do, thus being able
>to see distortion on the
>edge. From what I can
>see it is very minimal
>and I would of never
>noticed it in mine except
>someone told me about it.
>


No, good glass does not have blurry edges, the new Swaro's are clear from edge to edge as are the high end Leicas and Zeiss.. Crappy glass from china and Japan has blurry edges.

Vortex has nothing to do with Swarovski, no matter what anyone tells you. They are rebranded chinese import glass (most likely Zen Ray and others). They are owned by Eagle optics, not made in America (spotters and binocluars at least) and the optical quality is no where near the german glass or even the nice Japanese glass. Map the glass and you'll see the difference immediately.

If you want a good scope for your budget, but a new STS HD 65 kit from Cabelas for 2200.00 and you'll have 300 left for a new tripod.

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grizzly
(2427 posts)
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Dec-28-12, 
11:23 AM (MST)
23. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I have to agree. If Vortex was really as good as the Big 3, they would sell them at the same price. They discount because they have to, not because they are philanthropic and want to help the hunter save money.

The only glass I would consider with the Big 3 is the Kowa Prominar. I have compared them all side-by-side. For my eyes (and everybody is different), Kowa is better.

Vortex Razor HD is the "Best of the Rest". IMO.

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greyghost
(71 posts)
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Dec-28-12, 
10:26 PM (MST)
24. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I am sure the glass in my Zeiss was not made in China or Japan, and I am sure Swarovski uses a piece in their scope to block the eye from being able to see the edge of the glass.

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Willametteriveroutlaw
(318 posts)
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Dec-29-12, 
10:16 AM (MST)
25. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"


>I am sure Swarovski uses
>a piece in their scope
>to block the eye from
>being able to see the
>edge of the glass.

They don't.. How old is your Zeiss?


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greyghost
(71 posts)
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Dec-29-12, 
11:25 AM (MST)
26. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

2006

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cabinfever
(2449 posts)
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Jan-28-13, 
10:56 AM (MST)
27. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

Sorry to ressurect this post. I'm sure the orignal poster has already purchased a scope, however for future readers i would advise against purchasing vortex spotting scopes. It's true they have great glass for the money however the housing and the way they are assembled are "cookie cutter" at best. My brothers skyline broke in half twice. The scope is composed of two pieces which are held together with plastic components. Sure, Vortex replaced them but that don't do a whole lot of good when your in the field hunting. My swarokski is still going strong.

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BPKHunter
(1567 posts)
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Feb-13-13, 
05:25 PM (MST)
28. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

I can't speak for newer Zeiss, and for disclosure I own 2 Zeiss riflescopes, but the one I bought in 2007 sure as HELL had blurry edges and my research told me from multiple sources this would be the case as they did not use the ring to block it, as was mentioned.

I do not own, and I will not own Zeiss or Leica bino's or spotters because their warranty/service is no match for Swarovski. Send my bino's in for cleaning, no cost, need new eyecups or lens cover, they are at my door in 3 days max.

I own a Leica Rangefinder, because it has no match and they only have a 2 year warranty anyway. I have Zeiss riflescopes because the conquest line has the best optics for that price point, but riflescopes aren't all about the glass and Bino's/Spotters are. I agree that Zeiss/Leica may be equiv to Swaro glass, but not in service. No way. Go green!!

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grizzly
(2427 posts)
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Feb-14-13, 
02:55 PM (MST)
29. "RE: Best Spotting Scope"

This thread is almost two years old. Gotta be a new record.

Above, I state that my next scope would be a Kowa. Well, I lied.

After looking them all over again, I just bought a Swarovski ATM 80 HD.

The Big 3, Kowa, Razor, and Zen Ray all have nice glass... and I believe either the Kowa, Razor, or Zen Ray is probably the "best value", but after saving for over a year I was ready to pay what it took to get the very best. Even if I paid a lot for a relatively small improvement.

My eyes liked the Swarovski glass the best, plus the fit/finish was beyond compare. Their service/warranty is awesome as well.

I was going to go with the 65, but the ATM 80 only weighs 5oz more and you increase the area of your objective lens by 51.48%. I felt like 51% more objective lens was worth the 5oz.

Plus I really like the Swarovski 25-50 Wide Angle Lens.

I just figured since the thread was still alive, I'd share my final decision.

PS. Cameralandny has some Demo Swarovski's for pretty cheap right now.

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