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Thread: Telescope vs binoculars

  1. #1

    Telescope vs binoculars

    Sorry to post back to back but what are everyone's thoughts about using telescopes instead of binoculars for stalking . Like the look and thought of a telescope but are they as good ? What size of lens is the right choice? What are the good makes.


  2. #2
    A decent (not necessarily very modern) telescope is very useful on the hill, certainly - but perhaps as well as, rather than instead of, binoculars.

  3. #3
    Most of my stalking is woodland so I would guess the binoculars would be the first choice then?

  4. #4
    Binoculars are an essential if not the most important item of stalking gear. If you can't find deer you can't shoot them. You can certainly find deer at long range with binoculars, and mostly you can sort out what are shoot able and non shootable beasts, but that requires experience. You can tell a buck from a doe just by body conformation even in mid winter when a buck doesn't have antlers and if you can't see their backside.

    I have though three telescopes, two of which I have inherited. All have different uses. The first is a 32x70 Kowa with an angled eyepiece and really needs a tripod. It's bulky but brilliant for observing any wildlife with. You can get really good look at a pack of hinds from a mile or more away. It is great for reconnaissance and generally watching, but really too big and bulky for stalking. I would definately take it if two or three of us where going out and could carry it in a backpack or leave it in the vehicle. The 2nd is an old Negretti and zambra four draw 30x scope. It is a family heirloom so only goes out occasionally but it is ideal for stalking,being nicely portable. But not a toll for spending hours watching something through like the previous.

    But I also have a 10-20x40 compact leupold scope
    GR 10-20x40mm Compact Leupold

    That tends to live in my stalking coat or in the car. It's small enough and light enough to carry with me and the 20x is enough to confirm whether or not that buck that is 400 yds away across is one I want to take. I did buy this scope and was offered a good deal. It's optics are pretty good but not as bright as say Zeiss / Swarovski.

    If I was starting again looking for a telescope for general wildlife use, including stalking, I would probably look at 50 mm objective lense from one of German or top jap (impressed with Kowa) in the compact spotting scope style. The 70mm of my Kowa makes it wonderfully bright, but it is bulky. A straight eyepiece makes life much easier for using it without a tripod and rested just on a pack. I would also get a lightweight tripod, that could do double duty as a rifle rest. But I would be sorely tempted by a Grays scope. I have used the single draw Swarovski scopes. Wonderful optics, but for me they are neither one nor the other. They are not long enough to properly triangulate a firm stable hold of your knees as you can with a three or four draw scope, but they are also awkward on a tripod.

  5. #5
    Thanks heym,
    reading this right you would have binoculars and a telescope? And If I were to Only choose one then having a telescope would be a big hinderence?

  6. #6
    Draw-telescopes are not guaranteed water-tight as the air volume changes so they need which can be a problem for water ingress, thus making binoculars a better bet for day-to-day use.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by big ears View Post
    Thanks heym,
    reading this right you would have binoculars and a telescope? And If I were to Only choose one then having a telescope would be a big hinderence?
    Yup, I use the bins all the time. I use the telescope occasionally just to check / confirm what I have seen if I can't confirm it already. Get the best 7x42 bins you can afford, and better to get really good second hand than latest Zeiss/Swarovski or Leica - there are plenty who must have latest and trade in their older model that's hardly used. Then get a good 6x42 scope by one of the previous brands plus Schmidt & bender, or ffailing that a Meopta or Leupold. And spend what you have left on the rifle. Then save up your pennies for a telescope.

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