Hardware Discussion => Optics => Topic started by: JT on June 26, 2018, 01:19:23 pm

Title: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: JT on June 26, 2018, 01:19:23 pm
I need a new spotting scope. I was looking at a 9"x18" steel pig at 300 yards with my old spotter and could not tell it was a pig. It just is not focusing. It is over 40 years old so do you think it is worn out? I am about worn out too. I was looking at 4 scopes in the $500 range and 1 @ $400. I have a 15% coupon that expires today. Which one?
Nikon Prostaff 16-48x60
Nikon Prostaff  5  20-60x82
Vanguard Endeavor HD82  20-60x82
Vortex Diamond Back 20-60-80
Vortex Diamond Back 20-60x60 this one is $400 and is lighter than the 80mm scopes.
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: coelacanth on June 26, 2018, 02:36:43 pm
No experience with any of those scopes but as a general observation, unless you are going to need it for handgun ranges or other types of activities the higher power scopes will give you enhanced detail a 300 yards.  Another good rule when selecting optics is to buy the best stuff you can afford because the perception of quality will remain long after the price is forgotten.  I've had good luck with Nikon optics over the years but Vortex also has a good reputation.   Hopefully somebody will chime in with some actual experience with these scopes. 
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: car-ram-rod on June 26, 2018, 03:09:28 pm
Ifnya don’t like it send it back and upgrade more
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: JT on June 26, 2018, 04:29:48 pm
My old scope is a 20-50X50 Bushnel from Japan. 1st time I tried using it at 300 yards with these glasses. I dont think it likes my glasses. I was playing with it at home. I extended the eye cup and removed the glasses. At 300+ yards I can see the louvers on a roof AC. With the glasses it was just a blur. I will go ahead and get a bigger scope anyway. I found out the Vanguard is rated up with the Vortex Viper or higher. A couple more scopes came up. Hawke Endurance and Athlon Ares. It gets more confusing. The Hawke is available with or without ED glass which bumps it about $100. Probably way more than I need but I wanted a little better quality. Otherwise I could just get a Konus for $200.
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: ynotaz on June 27, 2018, 07:36:45 am
80mm is useful for hunting when light gathering at dusk and dawn is critical. 

For paper poking in Arizona where even cloudy days are bright, opt for better glass over size.  A good 60mm scope should handle 300yds easily.  I also like Vortex and love their warranty.
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: car-ram-rod on June 27, 2018, 07:47:59 am
I run a Vortex Razor SS, if ya wana check it out your more then welcome. I’ll have that thing for the rest of my life!

Vanguard is junk.

Nikon is trying so hard to make a come back after being stomped my the others.

Athlon, nah. Just not there yet. There trying and they remind me of SWFA like 5 years ago when ppl were trying to make it a thing. Athlon is like skinny jeans. Another fade that you find here and there and walk right past shaking your head

Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: JT on June 27, 2018, 10:56:27 am
I looked at the Razor and it is a very nice scope but more than I wanted to spend. Probably capable out to 600 yards on paper and more on steel. I looked at a bunch of reviews and comparisons and went with the Athlon Ares 15-45X65 ED. It had better reviews than the larger Athlon scopes and is more portable. I could see the steel pig at 300 yards better with my Weaver Grand Slam 2-8X36 than my old spotter. I have to test it out at the range but the focus problem may have been due to my glasses. I have to see the optometrist today anyway. The other front runner was the Hawke Endurance ED 20-60X85. Both were in the $500 range.
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: JT on July 05, 2018, 03:51:47 pm
I took the Athlon to the 300 yard range today and I could definitely see the pig and the strikes. It was very easy to see the 22 caliber bullet holes at 100 yards. I did not put up any paper at 300. The Mini 14 I used today only has a 4x scope and it is hard to see a white 9"x18" steel pig. I need to get some orange paint. The scope seems a bit on the heavy side for its size.
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: revlimit on July 06, 2018, 04:11:18 pm
had a Nikon, image got worse with more magnification, 48 power was worthless.
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: JT on July 07, 2018, 11:55:02 am
I was told to run a scope at 80%-85% of the highest magnification. After that it starts falling off. The 35x setting is probably the best with the 60 mm lens on this one.
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: JarheadAZ on July 08, 2018, 07:23:49 am
Vortex Diamondback 20-60x80.

I have the Vortex Nomad 20-60x80 (out of production for a couple of years now), which functionally duplicates the Diamondback except for having a lightweight frame/shell for birdwatchers.

I have used it a lot to spot 223 holes in paper at 300yd and it works. The difference between the 60mm objective and the 80mm objective helps in lower light, but the real benefit is the larger exit pupil diameter it provides. The larger exit pupil diameter allows you to use it with better clarity in the higher powers. That 20mm difference in objective diameter makes a huge difference in resolution, making the 223 cal in paper at 300 capability possible.

One calculates exit pupil diameter by dividing objective diameter over Magnification power.  60mm/60x = 1mm, not great, since the human eye's pupil is about 2-3mm. This means there will be dark vignetting around the edges of the image at anything higher than 20x to 40x. 80mm/60MM is 1.33 which is much better, allowing powers around 26.6x to 55.2x to be sharp, and still avoid the vignetting.

The human eye, healthy and unaided, is capable of resolving details of about 1MOA at 100yd, or 1" at 100yd. In order to resolve a 1/4" detail at 300yd, you would need 12x magnification. That doesn't sound like much. Taking into account optical losses in the optics, human frailties, and the ever present dust in Arizona air, being able to provide a bright and clear image at about 26.6x to 55.2x, instead of 20x to 40x, allows the shooter to maintain good visual acuity; and the better you can get it, the less eyestrain will become a deterrent to ease of use.

As age progresses, the eye's lens becomes more rigid and is less able to resolve a sharp focus. This puts a big premium on extra resolving capacity in our optics. Eyestrain is pain caused by the muscles that squeeze the eye's lens in order to refocus it to different distances. It my age of 72, that lens is as hard as a rock, the muscles get tired easily, and the resulting eye muscle discomfort translates as eye strain. Add my encroaching cataracts, and my shooting becomes even a bit more complicated.

I would buy another Nomad for my Granddaughter if they were still available. I will probably eventually have to buy the Diamondback for her. Of course, the 'right' solution would be to give the Nomad to her, and buy the Diamondback for myself; but somehow, buying things far her goes over better than buying things for myself with the Wife.

Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: coelacanth on July 08, 2018, 08:59:53 am
Good summary Greg.  I too have better luck buying things for the kids and grand kids than for me - funny how that works.    :whistle
Title: Re: Spotting Scope Need fast answer.
Post by: Bunkrmonkey on February 24, 2019, 03:48:23 pm
My friend has the vortex diamondback and loves it. Also, I believe they have a lifetime warranty.