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Budget scope for wildfire spotting

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2018 at 13:35
Island Mountain Farm View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: July/08/2018
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Well it's that time again in North Central WA state, wildfire time that is.

Our property is at a high enough elevation that we have a broad view to the northwest and for the past 20 years we've called in at least one fire every season. We've got a nice pair of Leopold 10x50 binoculars but sometimes the DNR would like a little more information than I can provide them with what I've got.

Looking for the best value in a $200 to $300 spotting scope for using at long distances. I am hoping to be able to let them know if I see flames, what kind of fuel the fire's in, if it's staying put or running. Don't need a lot of detail just a closer look than I can get with the binoculars.

Thanks for your help.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2018 at 14:22
koshkin View Drop Down
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Dark Lord of Optics

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Why not get a large binocular that sits on a tripod?  It will work well for extended observation.

You can pick up something like Pentax PF 20x60 for a couple of hundred bucks.

It sounds like for what you need 20x is sufficient amount of magnification and using two eyes helps with eye fatigue and scanning through a wide field of regard.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2018 at 19:46
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Optics GrassHopper
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Thank you koshkin, you have probably forgotten more about optics than I have ever learned.

I actually started off thinking in terms of the Big Eyes we used onboard Coast Guard vessels. I thought I could get the civilian equivalent or military surplus, turns out they're a bit spendyOuch. Someone suggested spotting scopes so I headed off in that direction.

After reading up on the model you suggested that looks like the way to go, we've gone from cool and moist to freakin' hot and dry in the period of 2 weeks and suddenly fires are popping up at an alarming rate. I think I'll order up a pair, buy the tripod adapter, and get them in service.

Thanks again.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 11:01
Island Mountain Farm View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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Went ahead and picked up the Pentax, just in time I might add. Pretty impressed with it but it really isn't a handheld device. So I'm in the market for a tripod. I'm leaning towards the Barska adapter just because of reviews but am clueless about which tripod to buy. Much as I love to buy the best toys, in this instance I'm looking for value with the understanding that I'm not a professional photographer or star gazer. Any thoughts on a tripod for that weight of device and for someone who stands about 6' tall?

Thanks for your help, southern Okanagan in BC just experienced over 1000 lightning strikes Tuesday night and have about a dozen small to mid sized fires going. Lots of smoke moving in our direction making it even more challenging to pick out any starts in our neck of the woods. I will want to get this rig set up as soon as possible.
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