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Help picking a spotter for a gift

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/29/2009 at 21:30
Larry5000 View Drop Down
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A friend's wife asked me to help her buy her husband a spotting scope for Christmas, and she asked me whether he'd prefer one of Swarovski's extendable scopes or what Swarovski calls their "observation" model.  (I know, pretty lucky, right?!).   The scope would be used primarily for scouting elk at long distances in Colorado, and probably not as much actually during the hunts - so weight might not be as much of a factor as it might be to some folks.

 I don't see that SWFA sells the extendable scopes, and I don't know much about them.  What is the benefit or differences in the extendable vs standard?  And is angled vs. straight scopes pretty much just a matter of preference?  He's pretty tall, and I would think angled might be better?

Also, he's sold on the notion that Lecia, Swarovski, and Zeiss are the only way to go for all things optics, so I could recommend any one of those to her, but probably should not recommend one of the other brands even though they may be just as good.
 
Any thoughts or help making a recommendation would be very much appreciated.
 
Thanks
Nate
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2009 at 17:59
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Can't go wrong with any of the elite three, you get what you pay for and more.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2009 at 17:55
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I don't think any extendable scope is waterproof (I don't see how it could be), so that fact alone would be a deal breaker for me as a hunting optic.  I don't want any optic for hunting use that isn't waterproof.

As for straight vs. angled, that's a personal preference thing.  Both have advantages and disadvantages.  I prefer angled, because it allows you to set tripod height lower for a steadier setup, it can be shared with multiple people of varying heights without changing tripod height, it is much easier to view at upward angles, and with a rotating body, it's more flexible, as you can change eyepiece angle according to the situation.  A straight scope is a little easier to line up and acquire your target of interest in the distance, and it's better for looking through the scope while lying on the ground without using a tripod.

You absolutely won't be disappointed in the optical quality of any of the high end scope brands, so you can't make a bad choice there.  However, you don't have to spend "alpha" scope money to get a very good spotter.  Nikon, Pentax, and Vortex are examples of very good scopes for much less than what the alpha scopes cost.


Edited by RifleDude - December/01/2009 at 18:02
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2009 at 01:44
Kavall View Drop Down
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The CTS 85 is water resistant to 4m or 13 ft. So yes, an expandable spotting scope can be water resistant. The term water proof, is actually pretty much lie. Everything is water resistant to a point. It's the point of failure that's most important. There are things that can fail when they get wet and things designed to survive being submersed under water to 11100 meters (Bell&Ross Hydromax). 

As for the spotter question.. If you are sitting on a hillside glassing for hours on end, I'd rather have binocular vision on a tripod.
It's not in your brands and likely higher than she was considering.

http://swfa.com/Kowa-32x82-High-Lander-Binocular-P5095.aspx

If I'm carrying the scope around with me for a closer look. I'd go with one of the 65mm objectives from one of the names you listed. I would also go with a straight eyepiece. Unless the guy's really used to angled, it will be harder to adjust to aiming one in hunting situations. (Personally I like angled eyepieces)

Since she likes Swavorski.

http://swfa.com/Swarovski-STS-65-Spotter-P712.aspx
http://swfa.com/Swarovski-20-60x-Eyepiece-P710.aspx
A compact tripod would also be, in my opinion, a NEEDED item
I'm a fan of the Manfrotto tripods. I'm not up on all their models though and can't give a good suggestion on the exact model.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2009 at 12:24
Larry5000 View Drop Down
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Thanks yall!
 
'preciate the help 
 
(I admit, I think I knew but hadn't fully appreciated that the eye pieces are necessary and sold separately...(
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2009 at 13:23
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Kavall Kavall wrote:

The CTS 85 is water resistant to 4m or 13 ft. So yes, an expandable spotting scope can be water resistant. The term water proof, is actually pretty much lie. Everything is water resistant to a point. It's the point of failure that's most important.
 
I realize that, but what I mean by "waterproof" is that it doesn't get condensation inside the scope when used in wet weather.  The CTS85 and other collapsible scopes aren't inert gas purged to prevent internal fogging; they can't be.  Extendable scopes can be water resistant in normal use while in the rain if you don't move the body sections while it's raining.  But, water will get inside if you collapse the scope when the body is wet without first drying the body.  Thus, they are not truly "waterproof" in the same way a gas purged, standard spotter is.  For me, this would be a deal breaker as a hunting scope.  A non-collapsible, sealed scope will not have the same issues in rain as long as you don't remove the eyepiece while it's raining. 
 
Also, you will probably have a somewhat difficult time finding the CTS 85 in the states, as most dealers don't sell them here because they aren't popular in the US.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2009 at 13:59
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I have a collapsible Meopta.  I have used it in some pretty cold weather and have not had fogging issues with it so far.  Can't say I have used it in the rain yet though and can see what Ted said about not wanting to collapse it while the tube is wet would be exactly right.  You would want to dry it off very well before collapsing it. 

For my personal use, I really like it.  It is small and easy to carry around with me when I am out scouting or spot stalking. 

If it is just an observation only scope and compactness and easy portability is not needed then I would not consider getting one as the other models will probably serve you better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2009 at 20:55
Kavall View Drop Down
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Completely stolen from another forum....

Hi all -

The CT-series collapsable spotting scopes were so infrequently sold here in the US that we have stopped making them a part of our regular catalog, but we can still special order them. In 9 years of working as the Swarovski Optik "birder" in the US, I only ever saw one fellow using one at a birding venue, and he might also have been an avid hunter, too.

This is not to say that the CTs were inferior to the solid-body scopes, it's that they were different, and the American consumer is reluctant ot try something different.

That said, when the roof prisms in the CTs were equipped with the Swarobright coating (after the introduction of the EL binocular) the problem with the "yellow" went away.

The scope sitting on a tripod can get soaking wet and no water will get inside UNLESS you collapse it down without making sure that it is perfectly dry first. If you transport water inside it by collapsing it while wet and thus fog the lenses, you CAN dry it out - open it up, and set it in a warm spot or under a warm light for a few hours. This will allow the water inside to evaporate, and now you can "pump" the scope closed and open a few times to clear out the moisture-laden air and replace it with dry air.

Depending on the amount of water that was transported inside the scope, this might take a few sessions to accomplish, but it's better than sending it in for service...

Clay Taylor
Swarovski Optik N.A.

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