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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2007 at 17:37
dryan_e View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Ok everyone I posted a topic on the rifle scope side and ended up buying a Bushnell Elite 4200 becuase of all the people that like it and the great price.  But I am in the Spotting Scope market now and dont have a clue as where to start.  I know with rifle scopes 350-450 got me a real nice scope but will this do the same over here.  Also the elite scopes by Bushnell are talked up alot on the rifle side but I have heard bad things about them as far as spotting scopes are concerned.  Could I get a little help?

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2007 at 08:50
ND2000 View Drop Down
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Dryan -

 

What will you be using your spotting scope for?  If all you want to do is see target holes out to a few hundred yards, a scope in this price range MAY work.  For hunting, I think you'll be disappointed. 

 

Remember, as you increase magnification all the imperfections and glass shortfalls really show themselves.  Also, most spotters in this price range are generally no use above 20x, maybe 30x if atmospheric and light conditions are just perfect.

 

If you can swing it, I would purchase a used Leica/Swaro/Zeiss/Kowa for $700-$1,000. 

 

ND2000

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2007 at 11:39
dryan_e View Drop Down
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I wanted this to be used for 100+ yards when I target shoot. But also for scanning over a valley looking for coyotes and bobcats etc..  I want to use my new gun at longer distances than just your basic 100yrd shot.  I think a .223 will be great at getting 300yrd shots but I dont know for sure becuase I never have taken a 300yrd shot. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2007 at 14:33
spreader View Drop Down
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In that case I'd say you need to hold off on that purchase. You need to decide first what exactly you want from that scope, since if you limit yourself to a 300 yard range, a decent pair of binoculars or a monocular will be better than any cheap spotting scope. If on the other hand you do decide to buy a spotting scope, you have three excellent options - Leica, Swarovski or Zeiss. Trick though is that Leica discontinued their current line of spotting scopes, new ones are coming next Summer. So, you might be able to get some of the old stock at better prices (but we're still talking about $2000 for a scope). Zeiss is very good as well (that's what I have personally). Zeiss spotting scopes (Diascope) are made in Czech Republic using Schott glass. Quality of assembly is excellent, overall quality of scope is excellent as well. The current Zeiss spotting scope design is better than Leica in my opinion when it comes to ergonomics and mechanics of it. Optically they're very close. New Leica design would be really worth looking at when it arrives next year. Chances are it will be about $3000 though.

Swarovski has quite possibly the best ergonomics, probably even better than what you see on Diascope. Optically it's not as good as Zeiss or Leica though, which is why I didn't buy it.

Obviously you can buy any one of these used as well which will save you some money. But if you all need is a 300-yard range - don't waste your money on a spotting scope. Get a monocular (e.g. Zeiss monocular) or a good pair of binoculars, you will fine more use for it in future too.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2007 at 15:02
ND2000 View Drop Down
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"Swarovski has quite possibly the best ergonomics, probably even better than what you see on Diascope. Optically it's not as good as Zeiss or Leica though, which is why I didn't buy it."

 

Some of us would disagree, including those among us who own a Swarovski.   It all depends on what view you like.  Zeiss typically is perceived to have better resolution, but Swarovski has better contrast.  Zeiss in their spotting scope line tends to have a warm color bias, Swaro is cool (yes, that is correct), while Leica was specifically engineered to be very color neutral.

 

Sorry, couldn't resist.

 

ND2000

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2007 at 18:09
spreader View Drop Down
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Unless you're bird watching, I didn't take color into account. If color is critical, then one should go for apochromatically corrected designs, such as new APO spotting scopes that Leica would release next year. At high magnifications color fringing becomes apparent, for which APO would be a nearly perfect solution. Slight cast would often be still present, but in that case human eyes normally give preference to warmer tones and not cooler, especially considering the fact that blue light scatters much easier, it's a resolving-power-thief.

But then it also depends on color of your eyes. If I recall correctly, those that have blue eyes get up to 100 times more light in shorter wavelengths transmitted to their retina, compared to brown eyes. The reason for that is because blue eyes don't have as much melanin in iris stroma as do brown eyes. This causes more of shorter  wavelengths to pass to the retina, with some of that light being lost due to Rayleign scattering and reflected back (giving the eye "blue" color) while some light is reaching retina. People with brown eyes have fairly large amount of melanin in their iris stroma and therefore large amount of short wavelengths are completely absorbed.

Interestingly enough, an eye has rods and cons for you "to see". Cons provide your color vision and consist of three types - the type that sees blue-violet; the type that sees green and the type that is seeing purple. Of those the blue-violet cons are apparently most sensitive. Cons are primarily your "day vision" though, since at night, in darkness, your rods play much larger role. They're far more sensitive that cons, but offer you only "black and white" vision. It takes a long time for you to adapt to night vision and red is the only light that doesn't cause a bleach out of your night vision (causing adjustment process to start over).

I have heard somewhere that during World War II, when US Army came up with active night vision (using infrared illumination and infrared goggles), a lot of Germans were able to see those infrared lights with their naked eyes since they had blue eyes. I'm not sure if that story is true and what role would blue eyes have here, but I did notice that color perception and vision at night seems to be different for people with brown eyes vs. blue eyes.

Reason I bring this up is that color perception would definitely vary as you look through any scope and it may very well have something to do with color of your eyes.

But, resolving power is the single most important thing for spotting scope when shooting and hunting, and in that regard Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski are practically equal, although Swarovski does lose to Leica and Zeiss in my opinion, but not as much. So, your Swarovski is great, better than anything else on the market other than Zeiss and Leica :)

This actually reminds me of something. I should take my scope and check it against my Edmund Optics USAF resolution slide. Would be interesting to see what I get.




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2007 at 08:11
Blackbird View Drop Down
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Would not the Nikon 25-75X-82mm. ED, and the Pentax PF-80ED be a good choice for this guy ? I realize the 2 scopes I mentioned aren't in the same class as the European brands, but I'm very happy with my Pentax. Also, we have viewed .30 caliber holes on white paper at 600 yards, when the conditions were just right, with the PF-80ED.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2007 at 15:17
spreader View Drop Down
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Blackbird,

Good point actually, Pentax might be an option for him, depending on how much he likes the convenience factor.

Asahi Pentax does make pretty good optics, but I would stay away from Nikon. Several Nikon spotting scopes I saw had absolutely horrible optics (none were made in Japan). Don't know about the newest fieldscopes they make, but I would stay away from those anyway.

With Pentax though, I gotta say, the 80mm model is so bulky that I can't imagine really hauling it around with me. But their 65mm isn't very good optically. So, if you were to buy a Pentax, it would have to be the 80mm model. It's 21 inches long, about 4 inches deep with the 21-63x vario eyepiece and weighs over 4 pounds. Holding it steady by hand to survey something 300+ meters away would be very tough, limiting it to be used on tripod. I think if one wants to buy a "portable" spotting scope, anything over about 70mm becomes too big too quick.

Best way to go for him would be to decide what are his priorities first and then evaluate each potential scope in store. The problem of course is that unless he is in New York, he can't just walk into B&H and try a dozen different spotting scopes.


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