Black Gold Sights - Pure Gold
Spotting Scope Recommendation
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
bowdude 08-Jul-19
Brotsky 08-Jul-19
Mark Watkins 08-Jul-19
NoWiser 08-Jul-19
bowdude 08-Jul-19
Mike B 09-Jul-19
pav 09-Jul-19
bowdude 10-Jul-19
bowdude 10-Jul-19
Ambush 10-Jul-19
YZF-88 10-Jul-19
Kurt 10-Jul-19
ElkNut1 10-Jul-19
Mike B 11-Jul-19
From: bowdude
08-Jul-19
What are your recommendations for a variable power spotting scope. I have a fixed 20 spotting scope that seldom gets used. My wife and I are going on a vacation in September and she wants a variable power spotting scope that we can mount a phone scope and camera to and take some pictures. We won't use it a lot over the next few years, just for picture taking when we go on trips so a high dollar spotter doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Any recommendations and experiences you would like to share?

From: Brotsky
08-Jul-19

Brotsky's embedded Photo
Brotsky's embedded Photo
Kevin, what is your budget going to be? This pic is taken through a mid-range Vortex Viper spotter 15-45X65mm. Range was probably around one mile or a touch more. Some of the problems you're going to have will be time of day, how much mirage your getting, light transmission and quality of camera etc. I have other pics I've taken at similar range that have also turned out much better. The conditions play a huge role in it. If you're looking at taking pics much over 5-600 yards you'll need way better glass and good conditions.

From: Mark Watkins
08-Jul-19
I own a Swaro...a buddy bought the Vortex. We compared several times on a mule deer hunt.

If you are sheep hunting (and doing lots of glassing), the eye fatigue will be less and picture will be better with a Swaro.

We were both vey impressed with the Vortex.

I'd get the angled unless your going to be spotting mostly from a truck window.

Mark

From: NoWiser
08-Jul-19
A used Kowa is a very good value. I have a 664 and am impressed with it. It's not quite on par with a Swaro but is darn close for 1/3 of the cost and blows away a lot of the more popular, similarly priced competition.

From: bowdude
08-Jul-19
I told my wife that we could spend 6-8 hundred on a spotting scope. The camera would be an I phone 10. It would have to be a scope with an angled eye piece and focus separate from the eye piece. If it works out well, she could get an adapter for her SLR camera. She has mostly Cannon SLR lens and cameras and a Nikon camera. She prefers the Cannon. Reading up on the subject, it seems to be known as Digiscoping. I am just starting my research so any input is appreciated.

From: Mike B
09-Jul-19

Mike B's Link
Bowdude, check at the link, above.

Orion makes some awful good glass, and the "ED" scopes are basically the same performance as a triplet. I've had their telescopes in the past, and wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

A good spotting scope will also make a decent stargazing scope capable of seeing things like the Andromeda galaxy, the nebula's in Sagittarius (visible now), etc. Only suggestion there is don't use some pos tripod...get something that's solid. They also make smart phone mounts, so your pics won't be blurry and shaky.

For your $800 you can get a quality, complete outfit..scope, tripod, camera mount and whatever other accessories you might need.

From: pav
09-Jul-19
Just went through the same process last month. Wound up buying the Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A with 20-60X zoom. The online reviews were great. Darin Cooper's review of the 65S version on Rokslide was surprisingly impressive. Same time I'm trying to decide, Vanguard becomes a corporate sponsor of P&Y and offers a nice discount to members. Was already leaning Vanguard, but figured that had to be a sign.... :^)

Unfortunately, I have no real world experience to share yet....

From: bowdude
10-Jul-19
Thanks Mike B. The 80mm looks good.

From: bowdude
10-Jul-19
Thanks Mike B. The 80mm looks good.

From: Ambush
10-Jul-19
Check Nikon for some digi-scoping packages. Since they make cameras and scopes, they marry them very well. Then you have to decide how much bulk and weight you are willing to tolerate. The best scope/tripod combo going is not going to be very useful if you left it behind because you don't want to carry it. I bought a Nikon ED 50 for that very reason. Lighter scope also means lighter tripod. But adding the overhung weight of a bigger camera means you need a more "solid" head. If you have cameras already, the phone pics will be noticeably less quality than you're used to. The Phonescopes are handy and do a credible job for what they are.

Used is a good route to go because you can likely recoup all your money if you decide to go bigger or smaller.

From: YZF-88
10-Jul-19

YZF-88's embedded Photo
YZF-88's embedded Photo
I have a Vortex Razor 14-48 x 65mm and made a 3D printed adapter for my iPhone. Great combo. Took this pic in my neighborhood recently. Not a cool as a buck or bull. I’ll start videoing antlers this weekend.

From: Kurt
10-Jul-19
Great photo YZF!

From: ElkNut1
10-Jul-19
Agreed! Sweet photo YZF!!! I use the 16-48-65 & 20-60-85 Vortex Razor line, I wouldn't trade them for anything!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Mike B
11-Jul-19

Mike B's embedded Photo
Mike B's embedded Photo
Great image YZ. Only issue was your phone overexposed the image a bit, which made it look washed out.

Is this better?

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