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View Full Version : Cheapo asks, spotting scope or telescope?


scottj
02-17-2007, 10:24 AM
I admit this is a stupid question but why spend $225 for a Konus spotting scope when I can get a telescope for $70 from Costco? Is the telescope just too big and awkward and/or powerful?

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11121748&topnav=&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&N=4007953&Mo=6&No=6&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=1564&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&Sp=C&hierPath=111*22172*1564*

I want something to see the holes in the paper at the range for a variety of calibers and distances.

Scott

MrTuffPaws
02-17-2007, 12:17 PM
You can get some really cheap spotting scopes from the likes of BSA. The optics are not the best by far, but they work.

virulosity
02-17-2007, 12:22 PM
You are not alone. I use a $80 telescope because it has better range of magnification and focus than a spotter. If you don't mind the extra weight, go for it.

NeoWeird
02-17-2007, 12:29 PM
Most optics get their big name prices because of lens clarity, light transmission, tolerances, etc. So if you just want something that you are going to use in day light at all times, and won't be bashed around, and you don't care if the image is noot absolutely crisp etc. - just a scope to see the holes and not much else, then I see no reason to pay for the bigger name brand ones.

Now if you are going to start hunting with it, and looking through foliage, low light, etc. where detail is vital to know what you are pointing at, then you should invest in something better. But for range time, I see no reason why the BSA or even a no name brand wouldn't work just as fine for the average shooter.

anothergunnut
02-17-2007, 2:24 PM
I bought a cheap BSA spotting scope for what I thought was a pretty modest requirement. I only wanted to be able to use at 100 yards in bright day light. I could not see .22 holes in a black target at 100 yards. I sent it back and haven't replaced it.

xenophobe
02-17-2007, 2:55 PM
EDIT: Sorry.... I don't have any valid answer for you...

HandCannon
02-17-2007, 4:35 PM
Buy the best spotting scope you can reasonably budget for that item; your eyes will thank you

If you are never going to shoot past 100 yards, then fine, get a cheap one...BUT, on a hot day (mirage) or a cloudy day (dim light), you won't even be able to clearly see 223 holes at 200 yards with a cheapy spotting scope and you will be straining to see through a grainy, dim, ugly image through your scope.

scewper
02-17-2007, 6:30 PM
With a telescope, your targets that you see through it will be upside down and backwards.. Just remember that when adjusting your sights/scope :P
Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

EricCartmann
02-17-2007, 7:49 PM
I picked up mine for only $100. It is a "Winchester" but says "made in China" :D It is a 12-50x50 scope. Comes with softcase, hardcase, lense cover and a a Tripod.

I have to say for $100 it does everything I need it to do. I just use it at the range to zero in my weapon.

you can find these scopes online just about anyplace, from walmart to cheaper than dirt.

Here are some pics of me and my spotting scope =)

cush
02-17-2007, 8:09 PM
With a telescope, your targets that you see through it will be upside down and backwards.. Just remember that when adjusting your sights/scope :P
Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

You're correct . . . unless you get an erecting prism.
Look at the options mid page at this site: http://www.williamoptics.com/wo_shop/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=276 (kind of a cool looking Patriot edition)
I have a Megrez80 but a spotting scope is much easier to use.

Just talked with somebody at Scopecity who didn't like the Konus but did think the Yukon 6-100X100 was good for the money. About the same price at Cheaper Than Dirt. I've read some good reviews of the Yukon for what it's worth.

This is all based on the idea of a low cost scope. I first picked up a cheap Bushnell for ~ $80. It works but I would prefer something better.

One issue I haven't resolved is how much eye relief I'm willing to pay for. If you want to keep safety glasses on, for example at a public range, eye relief is important.

- Cush

scottj
02-20-2007, 1:47 PM
That's interesting about the telescope image being inverted. I wonder how long I would remember that and how much ammo I would waste after forgetting?

Dr. Peter Venkman
02-20-2007, 2:17 PM
I picked up mine for only $100. It is a "Winchester" but says "made in China" :D It is a 12-50x50 scope. Comes with softcase, hardcase, lense cover and a a Tripod.

I have to say for $100 it does everything I need it to do. I just use it at the range to zero in my weapon.

you can find these scopes online just about anyplace, from walmart to cheaper than dirt.

Here are some pics of me and my spotting scope =)

That's what I use.

5968
02-20-2007, 2:50 PM
I use the same one as EricCartmann too! Works for me.

Parag
02-20-2007, 8:23 PM
You can pick up good 80mm refractor kits from Orion Telescopes <http://www.telescope.com/> or B&H <http://www.bhphotovideo.com>.

For the same amount of money, you will get better optics with a refractor than with a dedicated spotting scope, but it will not be as robust or as weather-proof.

I picked up an inexpensive Celestron kit from B&H a while ago, on a closeout sale. I already have a nice Bogen tripod for my cameras, so it now does double-duty with the scope. I've found a small fixed-leg table-top tripod can work well (not the flexy-leg ones tho').

Get a kit with the 45-degree angle viewer - those are right-sideup. There are straight-through and 90-degree viewers, both right-side-up and inverted. (The latter are for serious astronomy - fewer lenses to distort the image.)

The nice part is all the eye-pieces are of a standard size (1.25" if I recall correctly - there are also larger ones for really serious scopes). They can be added later to improve magnification or field-of-view. The not-so-nice part is that really good eye-pieces can cost more than the scope itself!

And of course, they're also great for star-gazing too.

-- Parag

scottj
02-21-2007, 9:21 AM
Wow, I had no idea B&H handled telescopes, spotting scopes, and rifle scopes. I deal with B&H all the time so this is welcome news.

Scott