Anyone use spotting scopes?

Rifle scopes, iron sights and optics. Spotting scopes and target acquisition devices.

Anyone use spotting scopes?

Post by mickb » 03 Jul 2019, 10:42 pm

I always like to have one around. Ordered a pentax-65EDII which is upper mid range( not the class of kowa or leica etc). I honestly don't view a lot of game here at the close ranges I hunt at. But its compact and with a light weight tripod makes for some enjoyable viewing in the outdoors, also brings up Jupiters moons and the rings of saturn on a clear night.
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Re: Anyone use spotting scopes?

Post by bladeracer » 04 Jul 2019, 12:05 pm

mickb wrote:I always like to have one around. Ordered a pentax-65EDII which is upper mid range( not the class of kowa or leica etc). I honestly don't view a lot of game here at the close ranges I hunt at. But its compact and with a light weight tripod makes for some enjoyable viewing in the outdoors, also brings up Jupiters moons and the rings of saturn on a clear night.


I use one but only for seeing bullet holes in paper, I wouldn't even attempt to find game with it. The magnification is huge, and the field of view is tiny. It needs to be set up on a tripod, out of the wind. I just use 10-power bino's in the field.
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Re: Anyone use spotting scopes?

Post by marksman » 04 Jul 2019, 4:46 pm

they can be very handy off a fence post :thumbsup:
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Re: Anyone use spotting scopes?

Post by Noisydad » 04 Jul 2019, 7:30 pm

Yep. For range usage I use a Redfeild Rampage 60x 80 with the angle eyepiece. Excellent value for money and comes in a very tough bag and has a transferable lifetime warranty no matter how you break it.
With any spotting scope you need a heavy duty, ridged tripod to, preferably with a ball mounted head.
Cheap, light, spindly looking tripods vibrate in the wind way to much.
There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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Re: Anyone use spotting scopes?

Post by SCJ429 » 04 Jul 2019, 7:46 pm

You will find that cheap spotting scopes will be disappointing. The best I have seen have been Swarovski and Leica. For out in the field I use my scope or some binos.

Celestron make some cheap telescopes that are good for star gazing or looking at Jupiter.
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Re: Anyone use spotting scopes?

Post by No1Mk3 » 05 Jul 2019, 8:27 am

Pentax are a good scope, and the few I have looked through compare very well with my Kowa 20 - 60 x 80. I use it for range work, casual stargazing and bird/game watching as well as photography. When I used to hunt I also only used binoculars, cheap 10x Russian, good lenses and rugged as all F**k, still have them 35 years later and still as good as the day I bought them. Your Pentax can be set up to take digital cameras also, Cheers.
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Re: Anyone use spotting scopes?

Post by mickb » 08 Jul 2019, 5:05 am

No1mk3, yes the pentax apparently fight out of their weight division so to speak, almost as good as the top end ones you mention, except at the highest magnifications I noticed some difference.

I like the pentax as it can also use standard astro eyepieces, gives some versatility. and you can get grades higher than the factory zoom. Hadnt looked into an adaptor for a camera yet but that might be the next plan.. Tripod is the manfrotto 055B, heavy duty, probably larger than I need for a 65mm but nice and stable.
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Re: Anyone use spotting scopes?

Post by mickb » 08 Jul 2019, 5:49 am

SCJ429 wrote:You will find that cheap spotting scopes will be disappointing. The best I have seen have been Swarovski and Leica. For out in the field I use my scope or some binos.

Celestron make some cheap telescopes that are good for star gazing or looking at Jupiter.


I agree. The pentaxes are upper mid range, close to the top end. $900 without eyepiece. I'd go as low as $500 for decent optics, durability and housing waterproof and gas purged a must) - was looking at the vortex diamond or leopold ventana around these levels too.

Real astro scopes are far superior for night viewing yes, especially their ability for right angle viewing, dont break your neck looking straight up, and the mirror size. I used to have an old york optical 4.5", then an 8" skywatcher which was a beast. Now just have a little 5" tabletop dobsonian. I still like a bit of casual stargazing with a spotter as its easier to bring camping or to local lookouts etc
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Re: Anyone use spotting scopes?

Post by TassieTiger » 08 Jul 2019, 8:23 am

mickb wrote:I always like to have one around. Ordered a pentax-65EDII which is upper mid range( not the class of kowa or leica etc). I honestly don't view a lot of game here at the close ranges I hunt at. But its compact and with a light weight tripod makes for some enjoyable viewing in the outdoors, also brings up Jupiters moons and the rings of saturn on a clear night.


Can you take a photo of saturn's rings as your seeing it through your spotting scope ? Ive borrowed a 100x scope and I've got a 60X spotting scope and through both of those - Saturn only looks like a larger star to me. I was going to go to a 6 or 8' autonomous telescope but the local come and try astronomy night - where I was going to lean on more experienced people for advice - was clouded in and cancelled.
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