Spotters: Under $900

 

There is a big gap between categories here, but I think that spotting scope selection truly gets interesting once you arrive to the $700-$900 range, so it is justified.

 

Once again, I will start with the smallest objective lens diameter and move on up:

 

50mm:

Nikon Fieldscope II 13-30×50 is a gem of a spotting scope and it can double as a hand held monocular in a pinch.  Optically it is superb and easily the best 50mm spotter I have seen.  Be mindful of short eyerelief though.

Vortex Recon 10×50 and 15×50.  These are an almost new category of devices.  They work fine as both a spotter and a monocular, except they come with a handstrap, so the monocular functionality is much easier than with any other small spotter.  Both configurations are available with or without a ranging reticle (I’d go for the one with a reticle).  Optically these are excellent and eyerelief is quite a bit longer than on the Nikon.

 

65mm:

Pentax PF-65 ED. This the spotter that I use for my purposes.  I think this is the best overall compromise of size, weight and performance.  It is most commonly available with the XF zoom 20-60x eyepiece.  However, this spotter really comes to life with one of Pentax’ spectacular XW eyepieces.  I would recommend you check out XW14, which works out to ~28x magnification.

Hawke Endurance ED 16-48×65.  This spotter is a cheaper than the Pentax and similar optically.  It is, however, notably bigger and heavier.  Pick your poson…

 

80mm:

Vortex Viper HD 20-60×80. I do not have too much mileage with this one, but it is a nice spotter.

 Posted by at 11:03 pm

  One Response to “Spotters: Under $900”

  1. […] Re: Trying to decide on Spotting Scope Under $1,000. I did order a Pentax 80mm today, up grading from an older Bushnell Space Master. Vortex Razor and Zen Ray where in the running, but what brought me to the Pentax 80mm was the eyepiece. For under a 1,000 I got a Pentax and a 20mm fixed eyepiece. I did not look at scopes over 2K. Reviews such as the following Pentax 80mm Ed Spotting Scope | Better View Desired http://opticsthoughts.com/?page_id=100 […]