Spotting scope upgrade.

renello

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
95
Location
NW Ontario
Would like to get a good spotter. My budget is in the 1-2k range. I would also like information on adaptors that allow taking pictures through spotter with my cell phone. Good sources of information and even links to good deals appreciated. Thanks.
 

hblifgrd

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
11
Location
California
Would like to get a good spotter. My budget is in the 1-2k range. I would also like information on adaptors that allow taking pictures through spotter with my cell phone. Good sources of information and even links to good deals appreciated. Thanks.
I have a vortex razor HD 22-48x65, been very happy with it the last 2 years. I also use phoneskope adapters they are awesome.
 

ntodwild

Active member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
147
Location
Washington
Man, this is a giant can of worms. Aside from price range do you have any details of use for a scope? As far as digiscopes goes I would recommend "Glassitup" or "Phone Skope". Both work and are very effective at video and photos for digiscoping.

I personally did a review on the Glassitup system here on this forum in comparison to the Phone Skope. There are others for sure and people may chime in on them.
 

SnowyMountaineer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
1,263
Location
WY
My budget was similar, and I have been very happy with a demo 65mm Swaro HD. It really depends on application, though in all cases I'd pay for glass quality over objective size and such personally, if it came down to it.
 
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mthillrunner

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
147
Location
SW MT
I bought a kowa tsn 664 last year, it has a 20-60 zoom. It’s all the scope I’ll ever need. I believe I paid $1150 for the scope & eye piece which is a pretty good deal for that scope. Finding a used kowa is tough as it’s not a super common brand. The friends that have looked through it have all liked it very much. I pack it around some, I wouldn’t want to carry around one any larger. I also have a phoneskope adapter with the wireless trigger, works great
 

AggieCowboy

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Messages
22
I'm a big fan of the Vortex Razor HD. I have the newer Viper and it's great. I think it's hard to not consider Vortex, especially with their warranty, but I know that some people don't like them. I've also been very impressed with my phone skope. Super easy and fast to use. I didn't get a phone skope until last summer because I didn't think that it would work very well but I was wrong!
 

TimeOnTarget

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Messages
1,129
Location
SD
You can find a used Swaro in that price range. Phone skope is all the further you need to look. Its a mighty expensive piece of plasitc but it does the job very well.
 

PrairieHunter

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
994
Location
Laramie, WY
There is a big learning curve when it comes to spotters as the models sold to hunters are a bit different than those sold to other users. The real difference in spotters is in the eye piece, not the body. In fact if you want the best picture a fixed eye piece is far superior to an adjustable, which is what comes on 99% of hunting spotters. The adjustable eye piece offers flexibility but also drawbacks on things like FOV, light transmission, etc... I have found that I can see better through a mid range (25x-50x) fixed eye piece than I can with an adjustable ones. Brands like Baader and Tele Vue make excellent eye pieces but you will not hear them mentioned on hunting pages, where the big 3 get most of the talk.

Here is what the Audobon society lists in that price range.
https://www.audubon.org/news/midrange

The better question is what kind of binos do you have. If you don't already have alpha binos I'd recommend upgrading there first.

The next question you need to answer is what size objective. 80-100MM is full size and quite bulky to carry around. The smaller objectives have drawbacks but are easier to lug around if you do backpack trips. Just depends how you use it. I use mine occasionally but never far from the truck, and I prefer the best picture/light transmission when I use it so I prefer a full size spotter. I use mine primarily for antelope.

If you want a scope that performs do some research with photographers, birders, and star gazers as they are very knowledgeable on optics, more so than hunters. One model you might consider are the Nikon Field Scope 82. You will be hard pressed to find a better scope for 1k than this. https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Eyepieces-Nikon-FIELD-SCOPE-ED82-Spotting-Scope-w-30-50-75x-From-JAPAN-5408/183762702993?hash=item2ac91c5291:g:N6oAAOSwBBRcdojb

It gets really good reviews from the bird crowd and those fixed eye pieces are amazing.

Always keep in mind that you are giving up the best picture/FOV/light transmission every time you decrease objective size, use an adjustable eye piece, increase magnification, etc...

Best views/photos will be through a 80-100mm objective spotter with a fixed eye piece in the 25-50x range.

Worst views/photos will be through a small objective spotter 65MM or less objective with an adjustable eye piece cranked up to max magnification.
 

PrairieHunter

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
994
Location
Laramie, WY
I bought a kowa tsn 664 last year, it has a 20-60 zoom. It’s all the scope I’ll ever need. I believe I paid $1150 for the scope & eye piece which is a pretty good deal for that scope. Finding a used kowa is tough as it’s not a super common brand. The friends that have looked through it have all liked it very much. I pack it around some, I wouldn’t want to carry around one any larger. I also have a phoneskope adapter with the wireless trigger, works great
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l1313.TR6.TRC2.A0.H0.Xkowa+spotting+scope.TRS0&_nkw=kowa+spotting+scope&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=kow+spotting+scope
 

wyoboypt

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
272
Meopta s2 82mm hd. Awesome scope. If you want a lighter scope to pack, get a used 65 mm swaro.
 
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