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Promaster Infinity Elite EX Spotting Scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2008 at 22:20
lucznik View Drop Down
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So, thanks to the generosity of an associate, I was again able to spend a few days testing an optic – without paying for it.  This time I had the Promaster Infinity Elite EX 15-45x65 Spotting Scope.

Let’s dispense with some of the particulars first:

For comparison purposes I had my Bushnell Elite 20-60x80 and my Leupold Golden Ring 15-30x50 spotting scopes.  To begin with, there are some definite differences in the physical sizes of these scopes. Here is a picture of them all placed “side-by-side.” 

Of course, the biggest and most important difference is the size of the objective lenses.  Here’s a picture of the three scopes’ objectives.  Notice how much extra glass there is as you jump from one class of scope to another. Each step up means more light entering the system as well as greater potential for resolving detail.

The Promaster fits squarely in the middle where I have traditionally categorized this class of spotting scope. It’s small enough that it can be carried most places without being too burdensome and yet it is big enough that it can handle most viewing chores with aplomb. It is the size of scope a person who is only going to own one should be focusing on (pun intended).

As you can see the Promaster has an angled eyepiece.  I have posted before that I don’t care for angled scopes.  This opinion was based on two things.  First, my dad always owned straight spotting scopes and I learned glassing with them.  Second, a while back I briefly owned a Vortex Impact and found that scopes angled eyepiece to be very unsatisfactory. This review is posted here on OpticsTalk. I fully expected to find the same here. I was wrong. 

The difference between the two scopes was simple, yet very important.  It was the presence on the Promaster of a ring around which the scope can rotate, allowing the user to change the direction that the eyepiece faces.  The Impact did not have this feature so the eyepiece must always face up. This ring makes all the difference in the world, especially when trying to use the scope from a window-mount.  It still wasn’t as intuitive or easy to get “on target” as with a straight scope but, I suspect this is simply because I haven’t had enough practice.  It certainly was not difficult and I find that I may even prefer it for some applications.  I may have to go find a good deal on an angled scope and spend a bit more time behind one.  (Just don’t tell my wife I said that.)

The Promaster has a 15-45x eyepiece.  According to their manual, the scope will also accept any standard 1.25” eyepiece. I don’t own any such eyepieces so, I couldn’t test this but, it might be a useful feature for someone who does.   The Promaster also sports an ED objective lens which is intended to help control chromatic aberration (CA). Finally, the scope also include both “coarse” and “fine” focus wheels intended to give you the very best control over the image.  So, how do they each stack up?

At 15x the scope is brilliant.  It offers a stunning view that is bright, clean, and free of aberration. This image stays good up through the magnification range until about the 40-45x range.  Here I had a lot of trouble and in fact, could never get a really well-focused image. I don’t know what the problem was as at lower magnification the scope performed very, very well but, at its highest power settings, it was pretty dismal. Eye relief was acceptable and I could see the full field of view (FoV) throughout the zoom range.  I do think that manufacturers measure eye relief on spotting scopes differently than they do with their binoculars because it always seems that for example, 15mm of spotting scope eye relief is a lot shorter than 15mm of binocular eye relief.


What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2008 at 07:17
anweis View Drop Down
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Thank you for your review.
Speaking of Vortex Skyline 80mm and Pentax PF 65mm, not long ago i had the chance to visit a place where they had these scopes. I had my Nikon ED 50mm with me.
I was very pleasantly surprised (again) by the Pentax, but i could not belive my own eyes when i discovered that my 50mm Nikon offered a brighter (in cloudy wheather) view than the 80mm Skyline. 
A note of caution: there is gossip on the net that not all samples of Pentax are perfect and that there are some sample variations out there (i.e., optical l"emons").
As far as the Promaster 65, the lack of sharpness at high power of the zoom is usually sign of less than perfect zoom, or imperfect assembly of optics in the scope body. It does look small and compact, though.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2008 at 09:01
JGRaider View Drop Down
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Great stuff and very well done lucznik.  Thanks for taking the time to let us know.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2008 at 12:57
anweis View Drop Down
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Is that a tripod? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2008 at 13:59
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

Is that a tripod? 
 
Sort of.  It is called a Gorilla Pod.  The three flexible arms allow you to attach it to just about any surface you can imagine.  I have a ball head on order for it but, even as it is, it works pretty awesome for getting a good stable rest.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2008 at 11:32
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wow, it is a great review. I have one question, does Promaster ED Elite allow you to exchange eyepiece?  If so, that will be awesome. I would love to see they come out with a fixed power eyepiece.  Thanks for posting such as detailed review
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2008 at 12:14
lucytuma View Drop Down
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Gorilla Pod, any suggestions of who has them ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2008 at 16:22
lucznik View Drop Down
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Just Google GorillaPod and you will come up with a bunch of different options. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2008 at 16:25
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by spf2 spf2 wrote:

...does Promaster ED Elite allow you to exchange eyepiece? ...I would love to see they come out with a fixed power eyepiece.


Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:


The Promaster has a 15-45x eyepiece.  According to their manual, the scope will also accept any standard 1.25” eyepiece.

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