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Yet Another ???-Nikon Fieldscope 82 ED

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2009 at 09:19
JGRaider View Drop Down
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I'm seriously not trying to wear you guys out, but your opinions are very important to me.  My criteria in selecting a spotter are as follows:  I don't wear glasses, I want to use a zoom that is indeed usable at 60x, I want a straight eyepeice (don't like angled), there will be a decent amount of low light viewing, I hunt primarily open country, portability not a huge concern.  Trying to stay @ the $1400 price point.
 
I am considering the following:
1.  Zeiss 85 T FL--there seems to be some great deals around on good used samples @ $1500 or so w/eyepiece.
2.  Nikon Fieldscope 82 ED-- Can get brand new for under $1100 w/EP.
3.  Swaro 65 HD--Would have to find a good used one
4.  Kowa TSN 664 Prominar--New w/zoom for $1100
 
The only drawback I can see to the smaller 65mm class spotter is low light viewing.  I've heard great things about the Nikon on various bird forums, but have never looked through one.  I'm not able to look through any of these anywhere near where I live or I'd do so.  Please give your opinions and why you feel the way you do.  Thanks a bunch. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2009 at 11:16
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If portability is indeed not a concern, you want the best usability @ 60X, and you can indeed get a used one in good condition at that price, I would get the Zeiss 85.  No question.  I think 60X is really straining the limits of a 65mm objective. 
 
I have heard too many complaints about the Nikon eyepiece, and the short time I played with one, I didn't care for its eyepiece either.  So, my second choice would be either the Swaro or Kowa.  It would be a tough choice between those two.  I love the image quality of the Swaro, but I prefer the dual ratio focusers on the Zeiss and Kowa to the mid-body helical focuser of the Swaro and Nikon.  I just feel you can get more precise focus control without image shake with the dual ratio focus knobs.
 
If you can learn to like angled eyepieces, I would take a hard look at the new Vortex Razor spotter.  I originally thought I would like a straight eyepiece better, but after owning an angled spotter, I actually prefer the angled now.  It is much more forgiving of tripod height, you don't have to set the tripod as high (more stable in windy conditions), it is much easier to view at an uphill angle, and I've found it's really no more difficult to find an object of interest through an angled scope vs. straight.  When you are sitting at a shooting bench or you're in tight quarters, you can rotate the scope to angle the eyepiece in any direction.  If you are sharing the spotter with multiple people of different heights, an angled eyepiece will easily adapt without having to change tripod height.  The only situation where I think a straight spotter has a real advantage is when you are using the spotter while laying on the ground and you have to get directly behind it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2009 at 11:30
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Get Your Popcorn ReadyI've been on an eternal search for a 20-60x spotter, just being nosey.
I have heard good things about the Pentax 20-60x82, and I believe it's in your price range.


Edited by BeltFed - August/04/2009 at 11:32
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2009 at 16:37
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The Pentax 20-60x80mm ED is well worth a look. As well as the Bushnell Elite 20-60x80 ED. To me liked both of them better than the Nikon. And ended up with the Pentax. There have been a number of posts on both the Pentax and the Bushnell here on this forum.

I did think about an alpha scope, but did not want to spend that much and was not sure about a used scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2009 at 09:08
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I understand the view through the Pentax, especially with the XW eyepieces, is excellent for sure.  The pentax w/the eyepiece is much longer than either the Nikon or Zeiss which is why I wasn't considering it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2009 at 16:57
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I am exactly in the same dilemma than JGRaider, but I do mind the weight and size a little and I want to point this:  the zeiss Diascope 85mm has one of the biggest objectives, beign 30% bigger, than the 65mm  and just 20% heavier than the  65mm alpha class...  49.1 oz vs 61.1 oz,  so I think that this is not much a difference in weight  but it is do a diffierence in performance, so maybe it has the best relation on performance, price and weight..

For all the reviews I have read, I dont think the small swaro could beat the big zeiss on optical performance, and even worst by price...., you just pay more on weight but just a few ounces.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2009 at 17:02
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by the way, what do you think about the  Leica Televid 77, in this spotters fight, could it be as good as the  diascope 85mm / swaro 65 HD ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2009 at 17:19
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I have the Leica Televid 77 APO and am very pleased with it.  It is a very good scope.  I bought mine used off the Sample List, so I got a very good price on it.  Otherwise, I would not have selected it as my first choice.  I think it is roughly comparable to the Swaro 65 and Zeiss 85, but the Zeiss probably outperforms it a bit at higher magnification due to the larger objective.  I haven't done a side by side comparison, though.  I thought the Zeiss had more field edge softness than the Leica, but the Leica variable eyepiece maybe has a bit more tunnel vision on low power.  Some of the earlier Televids did not have an eyepiece lock, so the eyepiece would rotate if you're not careful when turning the power ring.  An eyepiece lock was added to later Televids.
 
It is a heavy scope.  It's both longer and heavier than the Zeiss, if that's an issue.  I usually hear people say the Zeiss and Swaro spotters are a tad better than the Televid (the old one, not the new one), and that may very well be true; I don't know.  But, if they are, the difference is not huge.  The Televid 77 is certainly a fine scope, so if you can get a good deal on one, I wouldn't rule it out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2009 at 17:38
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I certainly agree with RifleDude on his post, as I tested a Leica 77 APO against my neighbor's Zeiss 85 T FL and preferred the Zeiss for the reason he mentioned (no locking EP on that particular Leica, Zeiss bigger obj made resolution a little better), but the Leica is certainly no slouch.   After doing extensive research, and asking (more like pestering) every knowledgable forum, member, and optic dealers, I've ordered a Nikon 82 ED.  I feel it's a premium spotter at a not so premium price.  I analyzed it's shortcomings, i.e. marginal eye relief, narrow field of view, but I don't wear glasses so I felt it was a moot point.  It is very well constructed, has a view through case, about the same weight as the Zeiss 85 w/ eyepieces, and is about 1.25" shorter.  I do prefer the Zeiss (and Leica) dual focus system but that's a tradeoff I accepted.  I got a killer price w bogen tripod and head for under $1300 brand new in box.  I felt saving the $1000 swung the choice to the Nikon.  Plus it's the only 85mm class spotter with a max 75x zoom, but I obviously know atmospheric conditions play a big part in being able to use high powered zooms. 

I had it narrowed down to this:
85MM class spotters:
1. money no object-Kowa 884 Prominar, or even the 774
2. If I were able to find a like new sample to save $$ off of new--Zeiss 85 T FL
3. Best value in a premium spotter--Nikon 82 ED Fieldscope
4.  Swaro's just too expensive like Kowa's, but if willing to spend $2500 probably worth it
5.  Pentax 80 ED too long and heavy, but fantastic eyepieces (XW)

65mm spotters:
1.  Money no object--Swaro 65 HD
2.  Kowa 664 Prominar--too close to the swaro to make me want to buy a swaro
3.  Zeiss 65 T FL--wanted higher mag than 45x (maybe I'm crazy).

In short, I wanted the extra resolution and light gathering ability of the 85mm class spotters, and the price on the Nikon was too good to pass up.  I also did extensive research with various bird forums and other optics forums to gather all the ideas/info/ actual field use scenarios I could get my hands on.  We'll see how it turns out.  Hope this helps anyone in my situation.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2009 at 20:06
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Sounds like you got a great deal, JGRaider!  The Nikon ED is a good scope.  Be sure and post your impressions of it after you have spent some time with it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2009 at 20:44
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Congratulations JG Raider!!! I found you on all forums that I visited...  hope you'll enjoy your nikon and find the monster bucks hidden in the distance with it ! Give em lots of lead !
PLease do not forget to tell us how does it work....

I'll keep reading and asking a little more before I get mine one.  I'm very pleased to find all of you guys are very kind and knowledge people.

Excellent

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2009 at 21:01
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I owe you guys a big thanks for helping me out.  I'll spend some time with it and my neighbors Zeiss and give you the scoop, at least as I see it!  Agustinmx, good luck to you too.  I'll help any way I can.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2009 at 08:19
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I'm disappointed that you went ahead & bought something.  I was enjoying the comments since I'm also in the market for a spotter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2009 at 09:51
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Start your own post with what you are looking for. And as you have seen there are many who very happy to help guide you on your selection.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2009 at 11:22
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Creditman, I've been researching and asking questions for months on man forums.  I'll be glad to help you any way I can.
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