Spotters: Under $1600


Updated January, 2023.


This is an interesting price range where you can get a lot for your money.  However, given my preference for reticled spotters, the options are not numerous.

The one I use the most is Athlon Cronus Tactical 7-42×60. It is quite good optically and mechanically, has a nice ranging reticle and I can use it handheld in a pinch on lower magnifications.  It is also easy to pack with me.  Naturally, when I really like something it gets discontinued…  There are, allegedly, a few of these still floating around.  Athlon is working on a Gen2, but it may take a little time.  Bushnell’s LMSS2 is a similar spotter, but with a Horus reticle and for more money.  It is the only game in town for a spotter of this type for the time being.  Bushnell is available with H322 and Tremor reticles.  Tremor reticle in a spotting scope is arguable an even worse idea than in a rifle scope, but H322 is workable.

If you are looking for a very packable spotter without a reticle, Maven S.2 12-27×56 is a nice design.  With smaller spotters, it is nice to be able to use them without a tripod on lower magnifications and these three let me do that.

With more traditional spotter designs, there is quite a lot to choose from: both 65mm and 85mm Vortex Razor HD spotters are here as are Athlon Cronus 20-60×85 and Burris Signature 20-60×85.  Burris also has a rather nice 30x reticle eyepiece available, so I’d probably lean toward that.

Meopta Meopro 20-60×80 is in the running as well as the sole Euro option.

I am always curious about various EO integration with conventional optics.  Torrey Pines has a small S2LRF under their Sector brand that combines a compact spotter with a reticle, internal display and external LRF.  It is something I plan to test along with the larger and more expensive S1 that has similar features.

Accufire Omnis is on my radar for similar reasons: I am curious about EO integration.  Omnis is essentially a digital spotter: a long focal length camera to replace a conventional spotter.  There is no direct view eyepiece, since you are simply looking at the screen.  In principle you can get some of this functionality with a conventional camera and a long lens, but Omnis is set up much better for the shooting sports: reticles, rangefinding, etc.  It is also relatively compact.  You can still take pictures and output videos.

 Posted by at 12:51 am

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