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Diminishing Returns & Happy Medium

Printed From: OpticsTalk by SWFA, Inc.
Category: Other Optics
Forum Name: Spotting Scopes
Forum Description: Big Eye Optics
Printed Date: July/11/2020 at 13:36
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Diminishing Returns & Happy Medium
Posted By: Dustysa4
Subject: Diminishing Returns & Happy Medium
Date Posted: February/23/2017 at 12:34
Shopping for spotting scopes seems to be more elusive than shopping for other types of optics. I'm currently in the market for my first spotting scope ever. I'd like to keep it under $500, we'll see if that's possible. I'd like to be able to spot 22 holes at 200 yards, but I've come to understand that is largely dependent on environmental conditions. Until now I've simply used binoculars, my riflescopes, borrowed a spotter, or walked my butt downrange to see past 100 yards. I try to find a acceptable middle ground when shopping for sport optics. For example, I'm more than happy with my Vortex New Diamondback 10x42 binoculars. I've looked through the Nikon Monarch 5's, and awesome as they are, I couldn't justify the jump in price...diminishing returns. Yet it's quite confusing because the Vortex Diamondback riflescopes are subpar for my standards, and they don't seem to be equal in value to what you get with their binoculars. I'm reluctant to take a chance on a Diamondback spotter because of this variance between different types of optics under the same name.

If you're still with me after my novel, I guess my question is whether this happy medium exists in the spotting scope world for less than $500? What are some good examples of SWFA riflescope type value, but in spotting scopes? I'm cool with a fixed power, seems like most affordable optics look pretty terrible past 40x anyway. Some random spotters I've considered are the Minox MD50, Konus (all but 100mm), Vanguard Endeavor HD (either size), Bushnell Legend Ultra HD (either size), Leupold GR 15-30x50. In a moment of weakness I even considered the Vortex Razor compact 11-33x50, simply because it seems to get lots of praise. It's a bit more than I'd like to spend, and it's annoying that the angled scope doesn't rotate. Any of these a waste of time? Or notably better than the others? Thanks for any direction you can provide...

Posted By: Whitefire
Date Posted: February/24/2017 at 18:12
You express your needs well. I'm not going to be a lot of help, I can only share my own experience...
I ran the gamut about 5 years ago and settled on the Vortex Razor 20 - 60 x 80. Much better than the pack and lagging just a bit behind the upper crust.

I grew weary of trying to test the pack - you mentioned a couple - in the store also ordering and returning, was not convinced the upper tear was worth $1500 more thus the Vortex.
I did not try a single fixed, so I can't go there.

I am content with my purchase. It is indeed clear however, not as sharp at the highest magnification as Swarovski and company.

As for your budget, I got a deal on my Vortex and it was still double your stated limit, then added a Pelican case for another $150.

It's my opinion that it may take a bit more than $500 to obtain your desired objective, perhaps other, more knowledgeable folks can offer better insight.

May His face shine upon you and give you peace.

Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: February/24/2017 at 22:46
$500 is a bit difficult.

Since this seems to be for range use, go for a largish objective.

Hawke Frontier ED 20-60x85 will do what you want.

Sightron S2 20-60x85 is quite decent as well, as is Hawke Endurance ED 20-60x85.


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Posted By: Dustysa4
Date Posted: February/26/2017 at 14:48
Thanks guys! I guess to reach my goals I'm going to have to step up my budget a tick. Thanks so much for the recommendations. 


Posted By: Newbweatherby
Date Posted: August/05/2017 at 23:55
Have you looked and the Vangaurd endeavor 20x69x82 hd?You can find them under 500.00 and if you read some of the forums like rockslide and birding forums they feel the endeavor out performs the vortex vipers I have one and I can't say enough good things about also vangaurd has the same warranty that vortex has lifetime - no questions asked. I k ow that's how I got mine I originally had the endeavor 20x69x80xf and I broke the ocular the day the brown truck dropped it off at my house so i sent it in to vangaurd in and i asked how much to upgrade the hd model I was told 60.00$ so no I love it and showing at the range comparing to Leopold and the owner could not believe how bright and clear the vangaurd was.Any how good luck with your decision.

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