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View Full Version : I need a spotting scope


FinweElensar
07-02-2007, 9:13 PM
When I sight in a new rifle, I'd have to rent one of the range's scopes for $2. Might as well get my own.

Would binoculars do the job?
http://www.jgsales.com/images/BushnellBino16xSm.jpg (http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/optics/binoculars/p/bushnell-16x32-compact-rubber-armored-binoculars-new-/cPath/203_204/products_id/1402?osCsid=b0eb125a2a1df085e3aa5411d34055fb)

It's only $30, and I'm shooting at 100 and less, more likely at the 50 yard line most of the time.

wilit
07-03-2007, 8:38 AM
I've got this one from CDNN. http://www.cdnninvestments.com/tasp20spscne.html

Definately not the nicest, but it works very well for what I use it for.

wildcard
07-03-2007, 8:51 AM
You should be able to see holes with binoculars as long as you don't go beyond 100 yds.

maxicon
07-03-2007, 11:28 AM
I use binocs sometimes - 10x50 - and they work OK, but they're more of a pain than a scope on a tripod.

A good bet in an affordable spotter is the Konuspot-80, at around $210:
http://www.opticsplanet.net/konus-konuspot-80-80mm-3-1-spotting-scope.html

Like with all optics, it's hard to get too cheap and get anything worthwhile in the long term.

bwiese
07-03-2007, 11:36 AM
I picked up an Orion Arcadia 20-60X spotting scope.

Does the job for me at the range.

Prc329
07-03-2007, 12:19 PM
I have that Konuspot and it works very well.

PistolPete75
07-12-2007, 3:02 PM
$50 sounds good to me. I think I'm going to get it.

wildcard
07-12-2007, 3:47 PM
$50 sounds good to me. I think I'm going to get it.

Have to account for what you intend to do with it. If for range use and target shooting at long ranges.. get a real spotting scope with much higher magnification and better glass. If for hunting and general viewing, pick up something with probably around 10X magnification and a wide field of view. good glass would be important here too. It's hard to keep steady any binoculars above 10X unless you use something to steady yourself.

Just read the reviews. I'd stick to Nikon and Pentax for decent binoculars.

PistolPete75
07-12-2007, 3:56 PM
Have to account for what you intend to do with it. If for range use and target shooting at long ranges.. get a real spotting scope with much higher magnification and better glass. If for hunting and general viewing, pick up something with probably around 10X magnification and a wide field of view. good glass would be important here too. It's hard to keep steady any binoculars above 10X unless you use something to steady yourself.

Just read the reviews. I'd stick to Nikon and Pentax for decent binoculars.

i was referring to this cheap spotting scope. should be good enough.
http://www.cdnninvestments.com/tasp20spscne.html

wildcard
07-12-2007, 4:03 PM
i was referring to this cheap spotting scope. should be good enough.
http://www.cdnninvestments.com/tasp20spscne.html

Thought you may have been talking about the binoculars :p

bruce_ventura
07-18-2007, 9:57 PM
While I'm not an expert on spotting scopes, I develop optical sighting devices for a living. During the past year I've been researching rifles scopes for work-related projects. I guess that makes me an expert in some way.

A year I ago bought a "cheap" Bushnell 18-36x50 spotting scope on sale for $100 at Big5. I wanted something to use at the range. It came in a nice aluminum case with a lightweight tripod. I've used it a lot. Here's what I learned during the last year.
A) Even for a cheap (<$50) scope the resolution in bright daylight in the center of the field of view is not too bad. I can easily see .22 cal bullet holes in paper targets at 100 yards. While cheap optics cannot correct optical aberrations like spherical aberration and coma as well as expensive optics, they do well enough at the center of the field of view. Resolution always degrades to some extent as you look toward the edge of the field of view. In a cheap scope it is more noticeable, though.
B) Contrast (ability to distinguish dark from light areas) is just as important as resolution. Low-quality optics degrade contrast a lot more than they degrade resolution for two reasons: 1) poor control of scattered light (fewer light baffles or no diffuse black paint inside the scope; and 2) poor lens surface figure (high wavefront error or "fringes") which increases scattered light due to diffraction. All this means that when you move into direct sunlight and/or the target illumination becomes dim, it will be much harder to distinguish fine details, such as bullet holes in paper targets at 100 yards. If you always shoot while in the shade and the target is always well illuminated (full daylight, no shadows), then your eye's fantastic constrast sensitivity overcomes these deficiencies.
C) The 36X magnification setting is useless. I don't bother using any magnification over 27X. The resolution is the same as at 27X, but the field of view is smaller. Why? Mainly because the exit pupil of the scoped is smaller than the eye pupil (even in mid-day sunlight), which lowers the brightness and degrades the eye's contrast sensitivity.

I recommend you look for a Bushnell or other name brand on sale for at least $100. You are likely to be dissapointed with a cheaper scope after you spend some time with it at the range and compare your scope with more expensive ones. I've heard the Konus scopes are a good value - I was favorably impressed with their rifle scopes at the last SHOT Show. Look for a 50-60 mm objective. Don't go larger in that price range. 25X mag is sufficient. If possible, try before you buy and compare with a higher priced scope. I did look at a cheaper Russian scope before I bought the Bushnell - the contrast was terrible. When I buy another scope (for high power competition) I will spend at least $300, and another >$200 on the tripod. Serious competitors spend twice that.

Bruce

ibanezfoo
07-19-2007, 10:54 AM
I've got this one from CDNN. http://www.cdnninvestments.com/tasp20spscne.html

Definately not the nicest, but it works very well for what I use it for.

I got one just like that off ebay. Can't complain for 50 bucks. See holes just fine at 100 yds.

-Bryan

Budd
07-19-2007, 11:55 AM
Awhile back I picked up a Nikon Prostaff 16-48x65mm. It is very nice and clear. But also more expensive. No problem seeing out beyond 600 yards.

Satex
07-19-2007, 12:30 PM
Check out Champions Choice at http://www.champchoice.com/.
They have their own branded spotting scopes that perform very well and are affordable as compared to the high end scopes. I would stay away from the Big5 specials and any scope under $200. In optics what you get is what you pay for.

rksimple
07-19-2007, 12:42 PM
In optics what you get is what you pay for.

So true. I have a cheap (came free with a scope purchase) burris 20x compact spotter. It's OK but at 100 yards, despite the 10x advantage, I can see holes in paper better with my set of Leica Geovids.

In addition to the others mentioned, Nikon Sky and Earth models have good reviews.