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Leoupold has no para focal

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/15/2009 at 21:40
spoony7 View Drop Down
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Hi guys, so what is para focal and do you need it on a spotting scope for glassing big game. I like the Leupold 40x40 60mm HD but I guess it has no para focal adjustment. Going to purchase my first spottin scope and Im very VERY green. Thanks from the newbie
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2009 at 23:03
lucznik View Drop Down
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Parfocal means that the optic does not change focus as you change magnification, either up or down.  Few (if any) spotting scopes, no matter how expensive, have ever truly achieved this ability, though some are better than others.  They all need at least some small adjustment of the focus mechanism to keep the item of interest in perfect focus once you've zoomed in or out.

While it would be nice to have, it is not a necessary (or even readily available) feature of the vast majority of today's spotting scopes. I would suggest you not worry about it.


Edited by lucznik - June/20/2009 at 23:05
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/22/2009 at 14:06
spoony7 View Drop Down
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Thanks, this will surely help me in my decision making as to which scope to buy. Although Id like to spend about $1100 for a spotting scope, Im liking the Leica name. Is it worth the extra money to maybe get a non HD version of the Leica instead of a Leupold gold ring 20x40 60mm HD?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2009 at 09:37
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There are some excellent buys on Leica 62mm spotters right now.  The leupy isn't in the same league as this Leica spotter. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2009 at 20:46
spoony7 View Drop Down
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Thanks Raider
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2009 at 22:47
Sparky View Drop Down
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Are you going to carry it in the field?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2009 at 12:12
spoony7 View Drop Down
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Yes I plan to use it for glassing in the West high country.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2009 at 19:23
John Barsness View Drop Down
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The 12-40x Leupold isn't in the same league optically as the Leica, but ain' too bad, especially the HD version.

I still have one of the pre-HD models and use it frequently, despite owning very fine top-line spotters made by Meopta, Nikon, Meopta and Swarovski. Why?

It fits in a daypack. Its very rugged, and really waterproof. And the optics are pretty good. This is why I see a lot of them among Alaskan guides, and some others here and there in the high West.
 
As a matter of fact I went on a mule deer hunt last year with a Wyoming outfitter who had a big Leica. I took along the Leupold because it fit in my daypack. The first time we started glassing some bucks was from the pickup. He hauled out his Leica and I hauled out my Leupold. He looked over and said, "Darn good mountain scope!" He has one too, and uses it a lot.
 
So a lot depends on the main use.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2009 at 22:34
spoony7 View Drop Down
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Thank you John. After many years of waterfowling, this will be my 3rd year deer hunting. I'll be hunting the California/Nevada border north of Reno in search of the illusive mule deer. Im gonna go ahead and get the Leupold but not the $1300 kit. The tripod doesnt seem all that great and Im not planning on using the camera adapters. I like the manfortto tripods "718shb" at 2.8 lbs. Do you have any other recommendations on very small packable tripods?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2009 at 09:34
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John, have you ever wished for something with a bigger obj (80mm class) when looking in poor lighting?  Will the leupy show you what you need to see then?  Thanks for the info.  I may have to add that one to my "prospect" list, as I'm battling the portability/low light/ too big/too small thing in my mind. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2009 at 16:18
John Barsness View Drop Down
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Spoony7,

Actually the Leupold tripod is pretty good, but you're more likely to get exactly what you want from Manfrotto.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2009 at 16:22
John Barsness View Drop Down
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JGRaider,

No 60-65mm objective scope is as good in low light as a 75-80mm scope--the reason I also have a couple of bigger scopes, one a Swarovski and one a Nikon.

But I have yet to find a 75-80mm scope that can be packed reasonably well in a daypack when hunting the backcountry. The big scopes are more for vehicle (or near-vehicle use) partly because they also generally require a bigger, heavier tripod to be really steady. And if they aren't really steady, then their optical advantages are lost!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2009 at 18:14
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Originally posted by John Barsness John Barsness wrote:

JGRaider,

No 60-65mm objective scope is as good in low light as a 75-80mm scope--the reason I also have a couple of bigger scopes, one a Swarovski and one a Nikon.

But I have yet to find a 75-80mm scope that can be packed reasonably well in a daypack when hunting the backcountry. The big scopes are more for vehicle (or near-vehicle use) partly because they also generally require a bigger, heavier tripod to be really steady. And if they aren't really steady, then their optical advantages are lost!



The only truly compact scope with a large objective that I know of is the collapsible Optolyth 15-45x80.  It doe snot have ED glass, so chromatic aberration is a bit stronger than I would have liked, but overall performance is very good, especially in low light.

Here are a couple of pictures of four spotters side by side for size comparison in both closed and open positions.  From left to right: Pentax 65mm ED, Optolyth 25x70, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, Optolyth 15-45x80.




For obvious reasons, collapsible scopes are not waterproof, but they definitely allow you to pack a large objective lens in a compact size.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2009 at 20:29
John Barsness View Drop Down
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Waterproofing is indeed the big problem with a collapsible scope. I also hunt with a Meopta collapsible scope on occasion, because it's so good optically, but only in really dry climates such as eastern Montana and Wyoming's sagebrush country. I simply don't trust it as much as a truly waterproof scope in the mountains--and certainly wouldn't on any such scope in the north country.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2009 at 12:47
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Koshkin, what's your take on that Nikon 82 ED as compared to the swaro and Zeiss 85mm class models?   I've heard great things about the glass, with the big negative being the eye relief.  I don't wear glasses so not a huge deal to me.  Thanks for the info guys.  Much appreciated.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2009 at 13:01
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Koshkin, what's your take on that Nikon 82 ED as compared to the swaro and Zeiss 85mm class models?   I've heard great things about the glass, with the big negative being the eye relief.  I don't wear glasses so not a huge deal to me.  Thanks for the info guys.  Much appreciated.


It is a very nice spotter unless you need to use it for any length of time.  I could not get comfortable with the eyepiece for anything but a brief observation period even with my contacts in.  With glasses, it was a lost cause.

That is one of the reasons I like Pentax spotters so much: I prefer their eyepieces.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2009 at 14:03
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What Koshkin had to say about the Nikon 82ED I can second. I spent a fair amount of time side by side with the Nikon, a Bushnell 80 ED and the Pentax 80 ED. And when it was all said and done I walked out with the Pentax and have been very pleased with it. But if I have to carry it any distance that is another mater. For the times I have to carry my spotter I picked up a Nikon 50 ED and it never ceases to amaze me how well it works. Eye relief is still an issue with glasses, but I do not look through it for long periods of time so it is not a problem.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2009 at 16:10
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Koshkin, ( or anyone else for that matter) may I ask you what your faves are....
1.  80-85mm class?
2.  65mm class?
3.  Absolute best bang for the buck in any size?

Thanks a bunch for all the help.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2009 at 20:04
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Koshkin, ( or anyone else for that matter) may I ask you what your faves are....
1.  80-85mm class?
2.  65mm class?
3.  Absolute best bang for the buck in any size?

Thanks a bunch for all the help.


This is a tough question to answer because there are so many "ifs" involved.

For the money, I think 65mm spotters offer the best compromise of portability and image quality.  As far as "bang-for-the-buck" goes, I think that Pentax PF-65ED is somewhere up there, since it accepts any standard astronomy eyepiece.  If you really want to make it shine, try one of Pentax' XW eyepieces.

In the "money-no-object" category, going to Kowa, Leica, Zeiss or Swaro will give an absolutely top notch spotter.

In the 65mm class, Kowa does not make a top of the line spotter, if memory serves me right.  Here I think Zeiss is the best.  It is a fairly compact spotter with excellent optics and the most useful magnification range of the bunch: 15-45x.  Both Leica and Swaro only have eyepiece going from either 20x or 25x and up.  I think being able to dial down to 15x as the light gets a bit low is important.  Similarly, I think that 50x and above is useless in a 65mm spotter.

In the 80mm and above class, I think Kowa's 88mm spotter is the one to beat.  Here , the comparison gets even more involved since all the alpha makers have slightly different configurations: 88mm Kowa, 85mm Swaro and Zeiss, 82mm Leica.  As far as overall size goes, I think they are all comparable, so Kowa has a performance edge.

As far as the best bang for the buck in the 85mm class goes, the Vortex Razor HD promises to be very good and I should have an evaluation sample in my hands in a little bit.

ILya
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