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Looking for decent scope $400-$500

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2008 at 16:19
elkhorn98 View Drop Down
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I am starting to research scopes and was impressed by the Nikon Prostaff 65mm. I am also considering the new bushnell flp 60 or 80 mm or the nikon XL II. Any comments on these? I will use at the range and deer hunting. Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2008 at 18:04
lucznik View Drop Down
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From the group you have listed, I would pick the Bushnell 60mm FLP Excursion.  The 80mm version would be too big for me and I don't care for any of the Prostaff offerings. 

 
The Spotter XL II is nice.  I have a friend who owns the original Spotter XL and swears by it as the best scope for backcountry hunting.  He knows his stuff too.  He has killed 2 mule deer that net well over 200" each.  They are absolute MONSTERS!!


Edited by lucznik - September/29/2008 at 18:04
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2008 at 15:04
ms6852 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by elkhorn98 elkhorn98 wrote:

I am starting to research scopes and was impressed by the Nikon Prostaff 65mm. I am also considering the new bushnell flp 60 or 80 mm or the nikon XL II. Any comments on these? I will use at the range and deer hunting. Thanks.
 
If you like the prostaff go with it.  A plus about the Nikon prostaff is that it allows you to change eye lens pieces with fixed power that allow for better (eye relief)...(which is a short coming) of Nikon scopes.  Should you decide to ever do any digiscoping  you already have an optically better scope than some of the cheaper scopes with ED glass.  If you will be working in low light conditions than you definately need at least an 80mm objective for better brightness.  As for your use in the range you will be limited to no more than 200 yds allowing for environmental conditions to be favorable.  If you desire a 300 yds range you are going to have to move up to a minimum of the Bushnell Elite 20-60x80 with ED lens.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2008 at 15:44
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by ms6852 ms6852 wrote:

Originally posted by elkhorn98 elkhorn98 wrote:

I am starting to research scopes and was impressed by the Nikon Prostaff 65mm. I am also considering the new bushnell flp 60 or 80 mm or the nikon XL II. Any comments on these? I will use at the range and deer hunting. Thanks.
...Should you decide to ever do any digiscoping  you already have an optically better scope than some of the cheaper scopes with ED glass. 
I'm not sure I would agree with that.  I've handled Nikon Prostaffs a few different times and none of them were particularly good.  They weren't terrible by any means but, I wouldn't place them above any scope I'm aware of that utilizes ED glass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2008 at 14:13
ms6852 View Drop Down
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Barska  and celestron are the scopes that I refer too as the cheaper scopes with ED which I find that the Nikon prostaff is better optically.  On the same basis I find the Vortex sandpiper and the Nikon optically equal.  Now when it comes features of the scopes that always plays into personal preferences.  But I do agree with you in that ED lenses will always have the edge optically.  But I must disagree that the 400 dollar scope with ED is better optically than the Nikon prostaff...or sandpiper
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2008 at 15:48
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by ms6852 ms6852 wrote:

Barska  and celestron are the scopes that I refer too as the cheaper scopes with ED...
I'm right on board with you about Barska.  I've never actually looked through their spotting scopes but, I have looked through some of their binoculars.  What total crap.  I couldn't get even a recognizable image out of them at any range.  It was like looking through my eyeglasses after coating them with Vaseline. So, in this instance, I accept your premise and stand corrected.
 
I don't know about Celestron.  It seems to be one of those brands that everyone has heard about but no one has actually ever seen. I know they make some fairly inexpensive stuff but, some of it, I have been told, is supposed to be pretty good - specifically as regards some of their CAT scopes.
  
Originally posted by ms6852 ms6852 wrote:

...I must disagree that the 400 dollar scope with ED is better optically than the Nikon prostaff...or sandpiper
Again, I think this depends on the scope in question.  I would, for example, happily choose the 15-45x60 Bushnell Excursion FLP scope with its ED lens and $320 price tag over the Nikon Prostaff.  
 
I would also take the non-ED Stokes Sandpiper (it's made by the same parent company as Vortex but, it is a different brand) over the Nikon Prostaff, especially since the Sandpiper can be found for only $200 right now.
 
The choice between the Excursion and the Sandpiper would be a bit closer.   I would want (if possible) to compare them side-by-side before definitively making that call.  My initial thought is that the Excursion would win because of its super-long eye relief but, the Sandpiper's low cost and high performance ratio can't be summarily ignored.


Edited by lucznik - October/09/2008 at 15:52
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2008 at 16:22
ms6852 View Drop Down
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I had no idea you could get a such a great deal on the sandpiper.  I have not had the opportunity to look through the excursion and am quite anxious to see if like the bruntons which I think are some great sleepers for their price can be matched optically...what are your thoughts on these two scopes?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2008 at 17:56
lucznik View Drop Down
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I like the Excursion.  It is a great scope for the coin.  It is not as good as the Leupold Golden Ring that originated the FLP design but, it is better than a lot of other options in, and even above, its price range.   The eye relief is just unreal.
 
I've never seen the 60mm Brunton Eterna.  Outdoor Life liked it, if you believe anything those clowns have to say. I have seen the 50mm Eterna and it is very nice, though a bit bulky and boxy.  Brunton has a good reputation for making quality optics, they just have a tendency to overprice them a bit. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2008 at 11:22
ms6852 View Drop Down
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Thanks for the info and the insight
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