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Thread: Best cheep spotting scope

  1. #1

    Best cheep spotting scope

    My current spotting scope is a bit rubbish at spotting holes in paper at 100m so wondering what people would sugest in terms of mag and lense size for spotting 100m+ (preferably 200m)

    Been looking at a 25 115 80 but dont know if thats what I should be aiming for (pun intended)

    ATB

    Chasey

  2. #2
    I brought a spotting scope back from the states. Bushnell 20-60 x60 I think. Was around 160USD. Useable with 20-45 mag and easy to spot bullet holes at 200m, 400 at a push. Problem is keeping the thing still even on a tripod. Been windy here since September so don't know how it is in calm.... In the end it doesn't spot as well as my 20 mag rifle scopes, maybe because the rifle is steadier.

    edi

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chasey View Post
    My current spotting scope is a bit rubbish at spotting holes in paper at 100m so wondering what people would sugest in terms of mag and lense size for spotting 100m+ (preferably 200m)

    Been looking at a 25 115 80 but dont know if thats what I should be aiming for (pun intended)

    ATB




    Chasey



    Ah! Chasey,you be wanting the Rockin` Robin model...cheep cheep!
    "you nae be needing these no more"
    I said as I slipped the knife through the cord

    সাম্বার হরিণ



  4. #4
    I would look at a 2nd hand Kowa. They are fantastic scopes and don't carry the hefty prices of other major brands. I have a tsn663 with a 20-60 zoom, older models can be picked up cheaply there is an 80mm obj body on eBay for about 30quid currently
    Last edited by Charlieh; 09-05-2016 at 19:33.

  5. #5
    +1 on the Kowa. I use a tsn2 20-60 and it's better than my eyes.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.

    Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they never get it wrong.

  6. #6
    Just a warning about buying any spotting scope, especially secondhand; you must try them before you buy.

    Having read loads of reviews and comments I had pretty much decided on a secondhand Kowa, so went to a Kay Optical in Morden as he had several in stock. He also had a multitude of scopes of different brands both new and used, cheap and expensive, and was very happy for me to try one against another. I've never seen so many scopes! Over about an hour he let me compare numerous new and used scopes side by side in and beyond my notional 400 price range and I was disappointed with all of the secondhand Kowas. The image just wasn't as crisp as I had expected, and in some cases had a yellow tinge to it. Whether this was just these ones I'm not sure, but I tried 5 Kowas and they were all beaten on image quality by my eventual choice, a new Hilkinson 20-60x77.

    I know this scope is a "cheap" Japanese OEM scope, and whether it lasts as long as a Kowa only time will tell, but on image quality it beat all the Kowas and everything else in and just above my price range hands down. I've had it about 15 months and so far so good. My only criticism is that the eye relief is a little short for when using it prone, but I manage.

    I'm not suggesting that you buy one brand over another, only that you have to try out several before you decide what to get, whether buying new or used.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Humpers View Post
    Just a warning about buying any spotting scope, especially secondhand; you must try them before you buy.

    ...

    I'm not suggesting that you buy one brand over another, only that you have to try out several before you decide what to get, whether buying new or used.
    This is great advice and particularly important when looking for at the entry level price points. Everyone's eyes are different and what looks ok to one person might not work so well for you and make sure you get a chance to look out to the distances you plan to shoot. There are some pretty good scopes out there for reasonable money. Just don't be tempted to look through anything way above your max price point.

  8. #8
    Depending on your circumstances it may be worth considering a draw type scope that you could also use for stalking.
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  9. #9
    I spent a lot of time in this last year. Initially I bought a cheaply a Visionking catadioptric or mirror scope. These are compact as the mirror 'folds' the light to increase the focal length via the mirror, the offset is they are a bit chubbier. This was quite successful for 80 but light transmission was poor and out passed 400 resolution was not good enough to spot holes. I have four Vortex scopes and sights and think their products are very good. So, in a brand based decision I went with their Diamondback 20-60x60 45deg eyepiece, in short this was rubbish, I don't know if this was just a bad one but it went back. As a result I started doing some real home work and went to several astronomic and 'birding' sites and shops. In the end I went with a Celestron Ultima 80 20-60x80 and I bought a separate fixed 45 eyepiece which is a good quality lens and more compact. Beware this lens is BIG and is ok for the range but not for stalking. I tried it next to seven other scopes including Swarovski and Leica, are they better yes, but 5-8 times the price secondhand! I wouldn't want it to get soaked (it does come with quite a nice waterproof cover) but the build quality is excellent for the 120 I paid for it. The other side is I have used it for a little bit of night sky observation as well.

  10. #10
    I was looking for the same thing, a scope that I could carry in my drag bag for target shooting that wouldnt break the bank and would do for spotting out to 300 or so, in the end I bought a celestron ultima 80 and at around 200 euro im happy enough with it, believe it or not I could spot 308 holes on target at 600 in good conditions with it...I also picked up a door mount from dealextreme for 25 euro and it does for a spot of birdwatching as well...

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