Better binos vs spotting scope

Old man bob

Member
Joined
May 13, 2019
Messages
86
Location
Arizona
If You are a serious western Hunter, Quality 15s on a tripod and if You use a spotter it needs be quailty or nothing. I have tried spotters in the range of 1,000$ and under and none of them are worth a crap And I can't afford $3300 for the best thus I get by with quailty 15's only. I am talking Swaro ,Zeiss , Leica...... Minox and Vortex are worth for the lower end of top notch binos. I had a Vortex scope on a 300 win Mag and it did ok but got rid of it didn't like the feel. Some here will dissagree with me but down here in AZ,we do more glassing than any where with big binos . When I was in N.Dakota in oil feild I even used 15 hunting Turkey in the rolling hillsout west. Some Guys here will use High qualty 10's on a tripod too. If You are some what young find away to get the best and You will have it for many years..........BOB!
 

NEWHunter

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Messages
276
Location
Brookfield, WI
With 8x already, I certainly wouldn’t go with 10x. I’m an eastern whitetail guy and I’ve always used 10x Leupolds. I took my 10x to WY last year I felt I was under powered.

Bought a pair of 12x and I think I might sell the 10x and just use the 12x full time now. I don’t feel I’m overpowered here in WI and they aren’t that much heavier than the 10x. I’ll know how the 12x does in WY in a few months. Good luck in your decision
 

bullbugle307

Active member
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
131
If you're hunting wide open country, a spotter is a must. If you hunt where visibility is limited, such as elk or deer hunting in densely forested areas, I'll oftentimes leave the spotter in the truck cause it's just useless weight.

I've packed my spotter along many times on elk hunts, never pulled it out of the pack, and realized it was of no use to me where I'm hunting at the time and I just packed a lot of extra weight for nothing.
 

ScottP

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2013
Messages
279
Location
Oregon
This is sound advice. With $3k, you can get top-tier glass in the large bins and spotter and be set for life. Some good deals can be had on the forum classifieds if you have time to shop around. Check out the Kowa prominar spotters as well, you could get into one of the larger ones for ~$2k used.

Personally, if I had that much to spend I would get a pair of Maven B2 or meopta meostar binos and the meopta meopro spotter. You can buy both for your budget, you will give up a little to the Swarovski, but not much. I love Swarovski and have a few optics from them, but I have a hard time justifying it anymore.
 

jeremys4

Active member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
335
Location
Reno,NV
If solo hunting I would stick with binos if you have a buddy to tag along spotting scope. My binos are Nikon 12x42 monarch 5 scope is Btx 95mm I will pack both if I’m going into open country I’ll bring both but I don’t back pack.
 

PrairieHunter

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
1,039
Location
Laramie, WY
If solo hunting I would stick with binos if you have a buddy to tag along spotting scope. My binos are Nikon 12x42 monarch 5 scope is Btx 95mm I will pack both if I’m going into open country I’ll bring both but I don’t back pack.
Daym, you carry a 95 MM spotter while hunting! That's freaking awesome.
 

Old man bob

Member
Joined
May 13, 2019
Messages
86
Location
Arizona
The problem with cheap Spotters is , way out they are blurry . And that what Yo got it for to see way out. Down here in the desert we glass miles not yards. Quality 15's are as good as most 2500$ spotting scopes. If You wanna see detail 2 miles away with a cheapo it aint gonna happen. I glassed up a Bull 4 miles away about 13 years ago on my daughters Elk hunt. My buddy , an outfitter was with and He had a swaro spotter ,can't remember which one but it wasn't the bottom of the line.We could see it was huge. But You couldn't tell if it was 330 or 380. The very best would have helped. Just trying to give examples. Sell the Nikons and on down if You are serious. And as far as Leoupold goes I don't know there top end stuff. But I will say they are Worth the $. About 20 Years ago My Mechanic had about an 8 to 900 $ nikon scope and the same priced Leoupold put next to each other on his back patio. We glassed the Mtn's about 2 miles away ,and hands down the Leoupold was clearer.If on budget I would much rather have Leoupold. Just a thought and word of advice to those without Glassing experience. Escpeciolly You easterners comming out WEST. Any optic on a tripod is better. A tripod is a must.
 

schmalts

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
8,173
Location
WI
Spotting scopes are far the hardest thing to recommend to anyone asking what to get. The prices, powers, objectives, body styles are all worlds apart. I hate to say it, but if a guy can afford it you need 3 different spotting scopes. I have an 85mm for when I am not packing in or very short packs in, and then the toss up fo the 65mm or 50mm for packing in depending on the terrain and how far I will be spotting. If I am in rolling hills and not looking over 1/2 mile the 50mm gets the nod. 1/2 mile up to 1.5 miles the 65mm gets the nod. Anything farther the 85mm needs to come along or I need to suffer not seeing that well out that far but it really sucks packing that big spotting scope on your back. I have been able to get away with small tripods for all 3 spotters though, while not ideal for the bigger one I will suffer with a smaller tripod than a smaller spotter if weight savings is the goal. I get PM's to recommend a spotter all the time and most people do not like my answers because they get what I just typed above.
 
Last edited:

schmalts

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
8,173
Location
WI
And as far as Leoupold goes I don't know there top end stuff. But I will say they are Worth the $. About 20 Years ago My Mechanic had about an 8 to 900 $ nikon scope and the same priced Leoupold put next to each other on his back patio. We glassed the Mtn's about 2 miles away ,and hands down the Leoupold was clearer.If on budget I would much rather have Leoupold. Just a thought and word of advice to those without Glassing experience. Escpeciolly You easterners comming out WEST. Any optic on a tripod is better. A tripod is a must.
The top end Leupold are Japanese made high quality optics. There is very few low price spotters worth buying and most I do not sell that brand. The Theron Saker was probably the best low price spotter you could buy for the money but the construction quality was a bit less than the high end units. But they stayed clear all the way out to 45X but like any 60mm it will suffer in low light on high magnification. The Saker is no longer offered and I have a hard time recommending any low end spotting scope these days because most are terrible compared to high end. The Binoculars thing is different, you can get a lower price bino with very close to high price performance. But spotting scopes.... it is a different story. My Advice, do not spend less than you can possibly afford on a spotter, but with binoculars you can get away with it as long as you do your research.
 

grandejuan

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
417
Location
Arizona
I've found that the reason so many folks say they don't use their spotter much is the strain from keeping one eye closed for any amount of time. If you go to your corner drug store and buy an eye patch, you will be able to glass with your spotter for hours at a time. It's just like using your 15x binocs on your tripod plus you have more magnification available at your finger tips. I use my 10x42 Leica Ultravids and my spotter (Bausch &Lomb 20-60 x80 apochromat) about evenly with no eyestrain. There is also the added benefit of looking like pirate for the amusement of your hunting partners. GJ
 

madtom

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
517
Location
WY
I have high end 10x and 15x binos, and use both from a tripod. Sold my spotter and don’t miss it. YMMV.
 

LuketheDog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2015
Messages
1,125
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
Whatever you do, keep a part of your budget for a good tripod and adapter if your binos are 10x or above. If you aren't putting your higher-power binos on a tripod for longer periods of glassing you're leaving something on the table...
 

seigeto

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
14
Location
Ontario
Thanks for everyone's input! Did some travelling and checked out all the Swaro's I could and decided to go with a the Swaro EL 12x50. Have picked up a used Gitzo tripod for a steal, now to just sort out the proper head. So close to having this locked and can't wait.
 
Top