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Range Spotter?

Printed From: OpticsTalk by SWFA, Inc.
Category: Other Optics
Forum Name: Spotting Scopes
Forum Description: Big Eye Optics
Printed Date: August/17/2018 at 10:27
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.10 -

Topic: Range Spotter?
Posted By: Folically Challenged
Subject: Range Spotter?
Date Posted: November/01/2017 at 18:19
I left my spotter with the guide on my last trip, and will be needing another.

'Twas a Vortex Skyline, 20-60x80.  Nothin' fancy, Chinese made, fairly good view below 40X, darkened considerably toward 60X, $350-ish when I got it 4 or 5 years back.  It was fine for range work, but big and heavy, and I wouldn't have brought it along on a backpack hunt.  However, we had horses to schlep it around, so it wasn't an issue. We even used it to find my goat, since the guide's spotter went [breasts]-up.

So nearly as I can tell, Alpen makes a near clone of the Skyline.  For that matter, I've noticed there seem to be lots of companies selling basically the same scopes in a given configuration.  I see lots of brand-new companies with "lifetime" warranties on their products, but I have a suspicion that my lifetime might well be longer than theirs.

What's available these days in that $300-$500 price range that's worth a look?  Or, does moving to $750 get me into something that's far better?  If I were to go that high, would it make sense to consider a used model of a higher-end spotter?



Posted By: Peddler
Date Posted: November/01/2017 at 18:55
Follically challenged but not on my face and vertically challenged and probably older than you 😂 buy the best glass you can afford. Don’t look back.

When you are dead, you don't know you are dead.It is difficult only for others.

It is the same when you are stupid.

Posted By: Folically Challenged
Date Posted: November/02/2017 at 06:05
Originally posted by Peddler Peddler wrote:

buy the best glass you can afford. Don’t look back.

That's my mantra most of the time.  In this instance, I could afford a high end Alpha offering, but it would be about like buying a 75 hp tractor and a bat-wing mower to cut 1/4 acre's worth of grass each week. 

To my eyes, it seems as if there are 4 or 5 kinds of spotting scope "chassis", into which different grades of glass (and probably mechanicals) are stuffed.  I'll display my utter ignorance about this below:

*  "Standard" spotter body:  Hawke offerings, Sightron SII, Vortex Diamondback, Sig Oscar 7, Bushnell Trophy, Alpen, etc.

*  "Wiggle" body:  Meopta, Vortex Razor, Kowa 88, Athlon Ares, and others

*  "Clunky" body:  Vortex Viper, Bushnell Legend & Elite, Kowa 82, Barska Blackhawk (just going by thumbnail pictures)

*  "Big Bell" body:  Vanguard, Burris, Redfield

I know that each of these companies is not reinventing the wheel to design their own proprietary stuff, and I would fully expect different price points to reflect different levels of glass, robustness of mechanicals, expected overall durability, and a hedge against warranty claims.  Like the rest of the world, I'm just trying to figure out where the best bang for the buck lies.

Years back, it seemed (to me, anyway), that Vortex was stuffing better glass into their offerings at a given price point.  Is that still the case today?  Have Hawke/Athlon surpassed them in that regard?  Do Vanguard/Promaster/Zenray have the "wow" in their spotters that their binoculars enjoyed when first introduced?

Yeah, I know - I'm making a damned science fair project outa this.  I just can't seem to find a quick & dirty guide for how to select a spotter.


Posted By: stickbow46
Date Posted: November/11/2017 at 13:02
FC,you might want to take a look at the SWFA used list,sometimes you can get a great deal for a reasonable price..........Ernie

Pearls of Wisdom are Heard not Spoken

Posted By: EJett
Date Posted: March/29/2018 at 13:05
About 4 years ago I purchased a Vortex Viper HD 20-60x80HD.  It's a great scope, a bit above your price point.  If I was going to make that same choice again, I'd go with the smaller 65mm scope just to reduce the bulk and weight.  Might be more than you want to spend though at something less than $700  I'm quite sure you'd like it, but maybe not the price.


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