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Spotting scope selection???

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2011 at 14:15
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Hey guys,

New to the forum and am looking for some advice.  I am looking to buy a spotting scope.  It will be used primarily for backcountry mule deer and elk hunting.  I may need to judge deer and elk up to ¾-1 mile away. 

My first question is the size.  Obviously weight and size are important as I will be backpacking in many miles.  So I am thinking either 50 or 60 mm.  I know the 60 will give me more low light performance and allow me to see better at higher magnification, but is it worth the weight?  I noticed that many of the 50mm only magnify up to 30x.  Would this be enough magnification to look out to a mile and judge game?

Lastly is price and specific models.  I really like what I read of the Nikon ed 50.  It would be the very top of my price range though.  Do you guys think it magnification would be adequate for my needs?  Also, the Nikon goldring 15-30x50mm is only $400. How does it stack up?  If I need to go with the 60mm I will need to do some more research on models and price so any help there would be appreciated. 

Thanks for any input!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2011 at 22:18
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Anyone?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 08:31
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I have a Nikon ED50 that I purchased for exactly the uses you describe, grizbacker.  So far, so good, but I am holding my final judgement until the end of the season.  It practically disappears into the pack though!

For me, the 30x magnification is plenty for most glassing up to 2 miles away.  The ED50 also accepts other eyepieces.  The MC1 zoom eyepiece is 13-30 on the ED50, but the MC2 would be a 13-40.  I have my eye out for a good used one right now.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 10:17
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My ED 50 is angled and it has a wide angle 20x fixed power eyepiece. I tried and still have the 13-30 eyepiece, but i liked the 20x much better because of sharper view and much wider field of view. It even has a longer eye relief. I suggest the angled body, because it would allow you to use a shorter and smaller tripod. 20x is plenty for spotting racks.
This package, when mounted on good light tripod, is mountain worthy. I carried mine hunting and birding on 3 continents and it is the best scope i've ever had and used. I do treat it well and keep it in a neoprene case.
My Swarovski HD 80 mm has been waiting for the day when it will get sold ever since i purchased the 50 ED.
I can't tell you the tripod number, but Manfrotto makes a 2-3 lb tripod that works perfectly with the little ED 50. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 10:38
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I use my ED50 with a Vortex High Country Tripod.  It is a tiny package and works well.  If I can find a fixed 27x eyepiece, I will likely use it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 20:57
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Thanks for the input guys!  I am still a little worried about the magnification on the 50mm.  I have been looking into some 60mm scopes.  I liked what i read about the vortex viper HD but it sure is heavy.  Anybody know much about it? 
Also, I was looking into a nikon
 
Fieldscope III ED.  It is the old version with 20-45X eyepiece.  However, when shopping around I came across the Tactical Fieldscope TF3 ED.  It appears to be the same scope but in black.  It is also quite a bit cheaper.  My question is, are they essentially the same scope? If not, what are the differences?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 22:33
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The Fieldscope EDIII and TF3 are the same scope.  The 20-45 eyepiece is the same eyepiece that usually comes with the ED50, it is just a 13-30 on the ED50.

I would take the ED50 over either the Fieldscope ED3 or the Viper HD.   In fact,  I did.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 22:45
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Bitteroot,
 
If you dont mind me asking, why did you choose the 50mm over the other two? Was it mostly because of the weight or is it an optical quality issue?  I ask because I here the ED III has good quality just like the 50.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 22:51
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Yeah the EDIII might have a slight edge in overall performance, even.  But it is twice as heavy.  I use my ED50 for backpacking.  I have a Razor 85HD for everything else.

The ED50's optical quality is very, very good.  I was looking at deer at two miles with it last weekend.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 22:56
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Bitteroot,
I am torn between the two!  I love the weight savings of the 50.  I just worry about judging deer at distance.  You said you were looking at deer two miles away.  Would you be able to judge antler size at that distance?
 
P.S. Where in montana are you from? Bitteroot valley?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 23:13
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I was judging antler size.  With good atmospheric conditions, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

P.S.  I am in the Bitterroot, but I went to school in Bozeman.

Go CATS!!
Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 23:24
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Haha... We are on opposite side of the rivalry then!  Thats alright though, my brother plays for the cats. 
Thanks for your advice.  I am now leaning toward the 50 but I'm just not sold on one or the other yet.  I am used to an 80mm 60x scope so I get a little unconfortable about only having 30x.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2011 at 23:57
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Originally posted by grizbacker grizbacker wrote:

Haha... We are on opposite side of the rivalry then!  Thats alright though, my brother plays for the cats. 
Thanks for your advice.  I am now leaning toward the 50 but I'm just not sold on one or the other yet.  I am used to an 80mm 60x scope so I get a little unconfortable about only having 30x.


I was in the same boat, and I would be lying if I didn't miss that extra magnification sometimes, but certainly not enough to justify the weight penalty.  You can see surprisingly good detail with 30x.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2011 at 11:02
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With my ED 50 and 20xWA, i could see  pheasants at 1600 meters (1 mile) and tell what species and whether they were male or female, 25 minutes after sunset. I can see .22 holes on white paper at 300 yards easily. That is sharp and bright. This scope is optically as good as or better than a 65mm with a zoom, but much more portable.
 
It is normal for you to fret over size and power; Most people do. I found my 50ED better than several 65mm Nikons i looked though. The only small scope that i though was optically better was a handpicked Pentax 65mm ED with a $500 WA eyepiece on it. But, much heavier and larger and no longer waterproof.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2011 at 21:43
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Here is a question for you guys.  If I were to buy a fieldscope III 60mm with the 20-45x eyepiece, could I then buy the ED 50 scope body only and use the eyepiece for the 50 as well? Are they the same exact eypiece?
This would allow me to choose between the two depending on the hunt but save some money as well.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2011 at 00:01
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Originally posted by grizbacker grizbacker wrote:

Here is a question for you guys.  If I were to buy a fieldscope III 60mm with the 20-45x eyepiece, could I then buy the ED 50 scope body only and use the eyepiece for the 50 as well? Are they the same exact eypiece?
This would allow me to choose between the two depending on the hunt but save some money as well.  


Yes, it is the exact same eyepiece, and will screw on to either one.  It will just be a 13-30 on the ED50, due to the focal length of the ED50.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2011 at 15:11
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I might do that then.  I can get the fieldscope ed III with the 20-45x eyepiece used in good condition for 700$ and I can get an ed 50 body only new for 300$.  So for 1000$ I would have two pretty good options depending on the hunt.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2011 at 15:21
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THat sounds like a good plan.  Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2011 at 15:25
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When looking at these eypieces, is there a difference between the 7466 and the MC or MCII?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2011 at 21:16
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The 7466 was the original Fieldscope zoom.  The MC zoom stayed with the model number 7466, but was multicoated.  If you see a 7466 marketed now, it is almost certainly a MC.  The MCII is an entirely different zoom.  It would be a 20-60 on the 60mm and a 13-40 on the ED50.  It is also fully interchangeable on all non-EDG fieldscopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2011 at 21:14
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Well guys thanks for the input.  I ended up buying both the ed 60 fieldscope and the ed 50.  I plan to use the 50 for multi dayhunts and the 60 for day hunts and from the road.  The clarity from both scopes is great!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2011 at 21:26
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Awesome!
 
I think I will post a review of the ED50 after the season.  I am expecting my MCII eyepiece this week, and I look forward to comparing it to the MC.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2011 at 19:23
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Awesome!
 
I think I will post a review of the ED50 after the season.  I am expecting my MCII eyepiece this week, and I look forward to comparing it to the MC.
 
Would be interested in hearing about the mc II performance.  I also got one on the way but wont get to use it till novemeber.  Did you order yours online?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2011 at 19:41
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I had to get mine on that stupid giant online auction site for a great deal.  I wish SWFA had them in stock, I would have went through them.
 
I am still looking for the 27x wide.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2011 at 20:50
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

I had to get mine on that stupid giant online auction site for a great deal.  I wish SWFA had them in stock, I would have went through them.
 
I am still looking for the 27x wide.
 
Ebay?  They are hard to find.  I found one online but had to pay quite a bit for it.  Come to find out a week later my father found them locally for a much better price, oh well might try to sell my other one if I can get what I paid for it and pick up a cheaper one.
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