Buying a spotter (yes another spotting scope thread)

LongCut

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
95
Location
N/E Ohio
I am going to be buying a spotting scope soon. I have read everything I can find, or stand to read on them. After seeing an 80mm in person and realizing it is way too big, I have settled on 60-65mm models.

This will be used at the range and for hunting. I want something that is packable but still has enough power to be useful.

I have sifted through all the brands. Can I afford to get a Swaro or Kowa? Yeah, but I really can't justify it if I am being honest with myself. I have experience with some vortex stuff, including using one in Colorado last year on an elk hunt. Looked at Maven and a few others. I get a really good discount on Leupold and Vortex by the way.

I have settled on Leupold. The gold ring in particular. It seems to fit all my "wants". Plus I used on at the range a couple of years back and remember being impressed.

I am looking for some last minute advice. Any reason not to buy a gold ring, and get something else??

ETA - I already have good binos, before that gets brought up.....
 

RyGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2022
Messages
347
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
I have a vortex razor HD 20-60x85, my dad has a leupold gold ring 12-40x60. Looking through the 2 the vortex is MUCH clearer. Is that because the vortex is new and the leupold is many years old? Maybe. Is that because the vortex has a much bigger light gathering lens? Probably. Is this reply useless to you? Yes, yes it is.
You’re welcome.
 

Chromanz

New member
Joined
Jul 19, 2022
Messages
17
I bought a new Vortex diamond back HD spotting scope….not happy
The eye piece does not have any magnification or “zoom”
It’s just spins and spins and never changes magnification

This will be the last Vortex product I purchase. I think it’s time to step up to quality optics that will last seasons, not minutes out of the box at home.

Glad I check things before the trip
 

PorterHouse

Active member
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
178
Location
Texas
I made the switch from an SX-4 (20-60x85mm) to the Gold Ring HD this year.

Between using it at the family ranch, using it at the range, etc. I can confidently say the Gold Ring is hands down a better scope! Clearer for sure and way easier to get behind. And way smaller and way lighter. I’m really excited to use it this fall in Colorado for elk and mule deer.

Talk to @schmalts for the best deal!
 

LongCut

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
95
Location
N/E Ohio
I have a vortex razor HD 20-60x85, my dad has a leupold gold ring 12-40x60. Looking through the 2 the vortex is MUCH clearer. Is that because the vortex is new and the leupold is many years old? Maybe. Is that because the vortex has a much bigger light gathering lens? Probably. Is this reply useless to you? Yes, yes it is.
You’re welcome.
Thank you anyway!🤣
 

GBrokx

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
45
I am facing the same dilemma as you. I am also considering a used Swaro non-HD. As much as people talk bad about Vortex, the Razor gets good reviews and legendary warranty. I think there is a case to go with the Razor if you want an angled spotting scope, however there are people that prefer straight as well. I guess it depends if you are more likely to look downhill (straight) or uphill (angled) more. That being said, Leupold has treated me very well and I own Leupold scopes on all 4 of my rifles. They have also had good customer service and have replaced a VX-5 gold ring that I damaged at one point, so their warranty is good as well.

Another response that probably wasn't helpful, but good luck choosing and don't think you can go wrong with either.
 

Feral_Human

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2022
Messages
2
I have the Pentax 65mm, all I need for this class of scope. You can get the XW eyepieces and you will have a genuine top tier optic at a crazy affordable price. Check out the Pentax scopes and XW eyepieces
 

406dn

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
1,437
For the last 40+ years my spotting scope was a proverbial POS. A Bushnell 20x-50.

Well, no more. There is one pawn shop in town, among hundreds:(, that has some nice optics from time to time. Last year I purchased a pair of Leica Duovid 8-12x 42 binoculars there. Last week I bought a Swarovski ATS 80HD 20-60x. They let me have it for $1700.
 

BaucomHunting

New member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Marshville North Carolina
I am going to be buying a spotting scope soon. I have read everything I can find, or stand to read on them. After seeing an 80mm in person and realizing it is way too big, I have settled on 60-65mm models.

This will be used at the range and for hunting. I want something that is packable but still has enough power to be useful.

I have sifted through all the brands. Can I afford to get a Swaro or Kowa? Yeah, but I really can't justify it if I am being honest with myself. I have experience with some vortex stuff, including using one in Colorado last year on an elk hunt. Looked at Maven and a few others. I get a really good discount on Leupold and Vortex by the way.

I have settled on Leupold. The gold ring in particular. It seems to fit all my "wants". Plus I used on at the range a couple of years back and remember being impressed.

I am looking for some last minute advice. Any reason not to buy a gold ring, and get something else??

ETA - I already have good binos, before that gets brought up.....
I have some Athlon Spotting Scopes if you are interested in one of those?
 

creolesurfer

New member
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
4
I have been thinking of getting a new spotting scope too and was reading in here for suggestions/ideas.
Just FYI, if you have OnX Elite, right now there is a 35% off coupon for any Vortex product through the website www.eurooptic.com, I think the promocade is ELITEDAYS35
I grabbed the Vortex Viper 85mm Spotting Scope Angled-HD V502 for just under $600.
The price/discount really helped to make my decision and hopefully it turns out to be exactly what I am looking for.
So I am pretty stoked about it and just wanted to share in case anyone else could use it as well.
I think the sale ends on the 15th or something like that. Nevertheless, just passing it along.
 

Valley1320

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
727
Location
East central NM
I got the vortex 85mm razor uhd. And so glad I did. I wouldn't trade it for a 65mm or any lower quality of glass. In my opinion 85mm is perfect for what I do but I haven't been packing it into the backcountry either. I gotta a buddy with a 65mm swaro if I need to do that.
 

406dn

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
1,437
I mentioned earlier the scope I found.

Generally, this time of year I am in bed by 8pm, since I get up early to run my pointing dogs from horseback. But last night, I stayed up hoping to use it on the full moon and possibly seeing if I could see Saturn.

While waiting for dusk I was out on the deck looking across the valley to the hills on the other side. To say I was floored how long after sunset I could still get a nice image is an understatement. Very impressed is all I can say.

The moon and Saturn did not want to show themselves, hiding behind a thin bank of clouds. So, I still do not know if it will pull in an image of Saturn.
 

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