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scope under $400 for wildlife watching needed

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2008 at 10:36
richardmcfarlane View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: February/20/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 1

Rookie here. So planning a family trip to Yellowstone and would like a decent spotting scope for checking out the wildlife that isn't in the middle of the road. Weight isn't a big concern since it wont go too far from the car. Zoom would be nice. Easy for a 10 year old to use will also be nice. Recommendations will be appreciated! Also websites recommendations will be appreciated, I've bought photo gear from B&H and competitor but I'm sure other places have better prices on spotting scopes.

thanks in advance!


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2008 at 10:56
Chris Farris II View Drop Down

Joined: August/13/2007
Location: United States
Status: Online
Points: 3063
I would go with a Nikon Pro staff for that kind of money not much better IMHO. The Bushnell is also a good deal for the money a little more money but definately something to look at. Both of these would be good investments. Nikon Spotting scope Kit or this one Bushnell Elite Spotting Scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2008 at 20:04
lucznik View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: November/27/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1436
Have you considered that perhaps binoculars would be better suited to the kind of trip you are planning?  They wouldn't need a tripod/window mount and don't require any set up at all. 

The 6x30 and 8x30 Leupold Yosemites were actually designed specifically for children to use.   They sell for under $100 and even many adults think these are the "bee's knees."  You could buy enough of these for yourself, your wife, and your child and still not break your $400 budget.  Then everyone can be looking at and enjoying the wildlife at the same time.

If you are sure about a spotting scope, I would suggest something fairly small.  The 60mm Bushnell Elite mentioned by CFII would be good.  Other options within your stated budget would include the 50mm Leupold Gold Ring, Vortex Nomad or Impact, Brunton 50mm Eterna, Kowa 500 series, or Stokes Sandpiper.  And don't forget a decent tripod and/or window mount.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2008 at 11:19
mwyates View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 1196
Lucznik's advice makes a lot of sense.  Binoculars should be good for viewing elk, bison and such from 500 yards.  I don't think a 10 year old will have much success with a spotting scope, expecially at higher powers.  A good tripod would be a necessity.  Whatever you get, be sure to shop first with the good folks at
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