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Jon Boy
10-23-2011, 03:54 PM
Im in need of a new spotter thats light weight. Ive been lugging around a wind river sequoia 15-45x60. Its heavy and I cant use it much past 30 power anyways, and at low light its useless. I just cant justify toting it along when it weighs as much as it does and it doesnt give me much use. But on the other hand, ive been hunting the back country and its too dam big to not have a spotter.

Ive read this review http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89:compact-spotters&catid=6:spotting-scope-reviews&Itemid=6

I already new the ed50 is the best out there but a bit out of my price range, Ive found a few refurbished ones for under 500 (my price range) but im not sure what to think about the refurbished models.

I thought that the Leupold Compact would have been a lot closer to the ed50 than what the review said, I was dissapointed to see that because thats what I originally planned on.

the minox md50 seemed to be the ticket it was cheaper than the leupold while also being optically better. It was a little bit heavier but not by much.

Are there any other light weight spotting scopes out there that im missing? Do you feel like this review is incorrect in anyway from your personal in-the-field experience? Any other suggestions are welcome

Drhorsepower
10-23-2011, 04:22 PM
Just an opinion but I find reviews usually biased. Especially in some magazines. I would look for more reviews and compare results. Also reviews on individual products. I think the Leupold spotter is great!! In daylight probably compares to ed50. But that first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes is where that extra money you spend on the spotter comes into play and boy does it pay for itself. Don't go cheap.

Bitterroot Bulls
10-23-2011, 05:58 PM
Ive read this review http://opticsthoughts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89:compact-spotters&catid=6:spotting-scope-reviews&Itemid=6



Jon Boy, you can take Ilya Koshkin's reviews (Optics Thoughts is his website) to the bank. He works every day in the optics industry, and knows his stuff. He doesn't take any money from anybody on his reviews, and they are absolutely not biased.

I have used all three of the spotters you mentioned. I currently own the Nikon ED50. It is the best compact spotter. Period. The Minox is very good, and very inexpensive. You can find screaming deals on demos online.

http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/minox.pl?page=62225

If I didn't have the ED50, I would have an MD50.

Jon Boy
10-23-2011, 06:13 PM
Sounds like im going to get the MD50. I saw it on cameraland as well and had already considered it. For under 200 bones its not gunna break the bank and I wont feel to bad about buying the ED50 in a year or 2 after buying a cheaper spotter. Im going to invest in a good tripod though so I wont have to buy that twice. Any suggestions on a really light tripod?

Bitterroot Bulls
10-24-2011, 10:53 AM
I use a Vortex High Country with my ED50. It works pretty well, but it feels like I could bend the legs pretty easy when they are extended. I would look at the smaller Slik carbon tripods, if you want to buy once.

Bitterroot Bulls
10-24-2011, 10:58 AM
Also, I noticed that the removeable zoom eyepiece on the Vortex Viper HD 80mm and 65mm has magnifications listed for not only the 80 and 65, but also a 50mm spotter. It seems like another compact spotter is in the works.

Jon Boy
10-24-2011, 11:17 AM
Too late Bitterroot I already pulled the trigger on the Minox last night. From all the reviews I read it sounded like spotter for me at this time. Ill look into those tripods. Thanks for the help

Jon Boy
10-31-2011, 05:49 PM
Wow is all I can say about the MD50. I just took it out, its cloudy, raining, and fairly gloomy, not a whole lot of light and this thing performed flawlessly. Really clear even on 30 power and far better than my clunky wind river sequoia. I honestly think for what I paid this is the best deal on optics ive ever come across. Im not sure Ill ever buy the ED50 unless I come across a larger sum of money.

Bitterroot Bulls
10-31-2011, 09:36 PM
The MD50 at those prices is a screamin' deal, no doubt.

I also had a Sequoia ... briefly. Not the best product from Leupold.

T43
11-01-2011, 08:59 AM
If you're broke like myself the Brunton Echo is a good $130 option. I know there are better optics out there but I picked one of these up for my deer hunt this year and I'll be happy with it for a few years at least. Decent optics and I hardly notice it in my pack.

buckbull
11-03-2011, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the info Bitterroot Bulls. I purchased the MD50 and its excellent and a great deal.

Bitterroot Bulls
11-03-2011, 08:55 AM
Glad I could help.

jay
11-03-2011, 12:48 PM
jonboy and buckbull, did you guys order the scope from the link bitteroot provided or somewhere else, i was interested in getting one too...thanks guys!

Bitterroot Bulls
11-03-2011, 01:05 PM
I see they only have the angled version left at the discounted price. Looks like they are selling out of the demos.

http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/minox.pl?page=62225

jay
11-04-2011, 07:31 AM
Bitteroot, what do you prefer, angled or straight? Thanks for the info!

Bitterroot Bulls
11-04-2011, 07:33 AM
I am an angled guy, but that is definitely a preference.

I like angled because it lets you use a shorter, lighter tripod, and makes it easier for multiple people to look through the spotter.

jay
11-04-2011, 07:42 AM
cool,thanks for the info. This may be a dumb question as i've already read this thread but do you think this is a smart buy coming from the eastmans forum optic guru! Appreciate all the reviews and info you provide to everyone here.

Bitterroot Bulls
11-04-2011, 07:47 AM
Like I said earlier, if I didn't have an ED50, I would have an MD50.

As far as Cameralandny goes, I have had nothing but positive experiences with them through many purchases (including the ED50).

jay
11-04-2011, 07:54 AM
Minox BF 10x42 BR, they have these on sale too for 139.00, have any experience with them bitterroot?

Bitterroot Bulls
11-04-2011, 08:22 AM
Not a lot with the low end Minox. Probably decent, but looks like a narrow FOV.

jay
11-04-2011, 10:19 AM
i ended up ordering the minox spotter and a vortex diamondback BDC scope for my browning 30-06 i recently purchased. Got both for right around 400, pretty happy bout that, thanks guys for all the info, now lets hope i like em' when they get here...

buckbull
11-04-2011, 11:20 AM
yes, I purchased the angled model from Bitteroots recommended website. Even though it was a demo model, mine is in NIB condition. Really a great deal.

Bitterroot Bulls
11-04-2011, 12:30 PM
i ended up ordering the minox spotter and a vortex diamondback BDC scope for my browning 30-06 i recently purchased. Got both for right around 400, pretty happy bout that, thanks guys for all the info, now lets hope i like em' when they get here...

I bet you will like both of them. Be sure to post some impressions when you get them.

Now the long wait for the delivery truck begins ...

Jon Boy
11-04-2011, 12:37 PM
Mine was NIB as well. I finally got some good field time out of it and im still very impressed. I highly recommend it to any one on a budget. Now I just need buy a new tripod.

westernwannabe
11-05-2011, 10:09 PM
Bitterroot they should be paying you commission! Ordered mine today wish I would have pulled the trigger while they still had the straight demo scopes. Saw that they up the price on them. They must have almost sold all of them now.

jay
11-08-2011, 12:57 PM
let me know how you like yours westernwannabe...

westernwannabe
11-08-2011, 08:47 PM
It's coming tomorrow. I'll be testing it out on the farm this weekend for sure!

jay
11-09-2011, 07:59 AM
i got mine yesterday but haven't had a chance to really try it out, trying to look out my office window with it, pretty sad:(...

Tim Sandstrom
11-18-2011, 01:07 PM
Bitter,

I am at a cross road. Does a guy go for a compact spotter or does he go for a more of the "middle of the road" like say a 65 objective? I cannot decide if I want to basically set myself up for the need for two spotters by going with a compact and then wishing on scout trips, etc that I had a bigger objective for nicer viewing and light capture.

Is there a middle of the road that would be somewhat friendly to the backpack and also be friendly to having that "top tier" spotter?

Bitterroot Bulls
11-22-2011, 02:06 PM
Tim,

Welcome to Eastman's Forums. I am sorry I did not respond earlier, but I have been out chasin' elk.

My philosophy is that a premium 50mm spotter like the Nikon ED50 is much lighter and performs at a level very near a good 65mm spotter. To really benefit from the objective size increase, it is my optinion you want to go to the 80mm/85mm spotters.

Now that is my opinion from owning some excellent 65mm spotters (Zeiss Diascope and Pentax 65 EDA). Others find the 65mm spotters the perfect solution for their needs. If I did go back to a 65mm spotter, it would be the Swaro 65HD, as it is not only high performing but also fairly light and compact, with its magnesium body.

A3dhunter
11-23-2011, 06:06 PM
For those that have tried the Minox vs Nikon 50mm scopes, if the Minox was $260 plus tax and shipping, and the Nikon could be had for under $600, is the Nikon worth another $300?

Would prefer a straight scope instead of angled if that matters.
Would either/both be an upgrade over the Vortex Nomad scope?

Bitterroot Bulls
11-23-2011, 06:52 PM
I own the Nikon ED50.
I have used the Minox MD50.
I once owned a Nomad.

The Nikon is easily the best in sharpness, field flatness, color rendition, and (especially) Chromatic Aberration control.
The Minox is close behind everywhere but CA control.
My Nomad showed gobs of CA, and lacked contrast. I love Vortex products, but the Nomad left me flat.

A3dhunter
11-23-2011, 07:43 PM
I own the Nikon ED50.
I have used the Minox MD50.
I once owned a Nomad.

The Nikon is easily the best in sharpness, field flatness, color rendition, and (especially) Chromatic Aberration control.
The Minox is close behind everywhere but CA control.
My Nomad showed gobs of CA, and lacked contrast. I love Vortex products, but the Nomad left me flat.

I agree about the Nomad. I have switched to using some Viper 15x50 binos most of the time, it is just not enjoyable using the Nomad. That being said, in your opinion, is the Nikon worth double the cost of the Minox? Is it truly a noticeable difference?

Bitterroot Bulls
11-23-2011, 10:22 PM
I agree about the Nomad. I have switched to using some Viper 15x50 binos most of the time, it is just not enjoyable using the Nomad. That being said, in your opinion, is the Nikon worth double the cost of the Minox? Is it truly a noticeable difference?

The difference was worth it to me. I bought the ED50. YMMV.

griz
11-24-2011, 01:54 PM
Bitterroot Bulls. Do you think the swarovski 65 would be worth the extra 650.00 plus or would you stay with the ED50? Have 15-45 wind river now. Don't want to buy another after this one! What's your thoughts? Thanks

Bitterroot Bulls
11-24-2011, 10:18 PM
Bitterroot Bulls. Do you think the swarovski 65 would be worth the extra 650.00 plus or would you stay with the ED50? Have 15-45 wind river now. Don't want to buy another after this one! What's your thoughts? Thanks

I prefer the image of the ED50 to the non-HD Swaro 65. The ED50 is close enough to the HD Swaro 65 in image for me to make good use of the weight and size savings of the ED50. I have the scopes I want: The Nikon ED50 and Vortex Razor 85HD. I found great deals on both and together they were less expensive than a Swaro 65HD w/ eyepiece. I use the ED50 on my solo trips and take the Razor when hunting with a partner. One guy takes the tripod while the other takes the spotter.

Am I done buying/trading spotters? I probably should be, but as I have said before, I am an optics addict, and i am always looking for some new advantage.

griz
11-24-2011, 10:51 PM
Thanks for your imput! Sounds like I can save some money!

mcseal2
11-27-2011, 07:46 PM
I agree about the Nomad. I have switched to using some Viper 15x50 binos most of the time, it is just not enjoyable using the Nomad. That being said, in your opinion, is the Nikon worth double the cost of the Minox? Is it truly a noticeable difference?

off the subject, but how do you like those binos? I've been considering getting them, the Vortex Kaibab, Minox 15x, or the Swaro 15x56. The weight of the vipers sure looks good compared to the others, but I didn't know how much I'd give up in low light with the 50mm.

A3dhunter
12-04-2011, 07:51 PM
off the subject, but how do you like those binos? I've been considering getting them, the Vortex Kaibab, Minox 15x, or the Swaro 15x56. The weight of the vipers sure looks good compared to the others, but I didn't know how much I'd give up in low light with the 50mm.

I like them but it is hard to get the focus adjusted "just right".
A little too far and object blurs, not quite far enough and it is still blurry, causes a lot of eye strain.

I also have the Razors and they are better glass. I just wish they were 15 power.....

I would suggest you stay away from the Viper's unless the newer model has better focus adjustment.

mcseal2
03-01-2012, 09:26 PM
Natchez shooters supply just got the ED-50's back in stock. Refurbished for $369.95 with eyepiece. I have one ordered and will post my impressions when it arrives.

jay
03-02-2012, 10:24 AM
I haven't looked thru the ED50, but I really like my MD50. Very good glass for the price and size...

mcseal2
03-02-2012, 12:35 PM
Did some checking and the ED50 from Natchez comes with the fixed 16x eyepiece. At that price I still want it, I'll just have to get a 13-30 elsewhere. Figured I'd post that for anyone interested.

hardstalk
03-02-2012, 01:22 PM
I just spoke with them as well. 16x eyepiece or no eyepiece, without eyepiece its actually more money 400 I believers but nikon voids warranty after 90 days. I was as excited as well

BigSurArcher
03-02-2012, 01:31 PM
Thats the route I took. I bought the scope + 16x from Natchez and then got a 13-30 brand new on Ebay. I have the eyepiece and the scope will be here today, hopefully soon. Can't wait to compare it with my Kowa. I just wish I was getting an angled ED50.

Muleys 24/7
03-17-2012, 08:00 PM
Now that everyones had their Nikon ED50's for a little while, what do you guys think.....Is that the way to go? Has anyone compaired them nikons side by side with the leupold 50 spotter?

Bitterroot Bulls
03-17-2012, 08:05 PM
I have had them side by side. Not really a competition, IMO. The Nikon corrects aberrations much better.

Muleys 24/7
03-17-2012, 08:11 PM
I'm pretty sure I have my leupold 50 sold, and was thinking of putting that money towards a nikon ed50. I'm just waiting for a good deal to pop up for the angled.

Bitterroot Bulls
03-17-2012, 08:12 PM
Geez, Muley!

You are going to have a dream spotter setup!

Have you had that Zeiss in good atmospheric conditions yet?

Muleys 24/7
03-17-2012, 08:24 PM
Geez, Muley!

You are going to have a dream spotter setup!

Have you had that Zeiss in good atmospheric conditions yet?
Yea, the next day after I was asking about that I took the Zeiss back up to the mountains to check out some bald eagles that migrated down from the sierras, them eagles were a half mile away and it was cool out, so no heat waves,everything I spotted that day was a dream. I have never compared highend spotters side by side but I do know, I couldn't ask for a better veiw than I got out of my zeiss. I can't wait to start diascopeing with a camera or camcorder on that zeiss, I'm going to get some great pic's / footage.

Muleys 24/7
03-17-2012, 08:30 PM
Bitterroot Bulls, And I have to tell you thanks again for the great advice. I love that spotter!

Bitterroot Bulls
03-17-2012, 08:41 PM
Anytime Muleys,

Glad it worked out for ya.

Drhorsepower
03-17-2012, 08:46 PM
I found a deal on a zeiss 85mm it doesn't have the lotutec coating. It's in a pelican case and comes with tripod and good head. I want to say a bogen. 1600$ anyone interested pm me

Muleys 24/7
03-17-2012, 08:49 PM
I found a deal on a zeiss 85mm it doesn't have the lotutec coating. It's in a pelican case and comes with tripod and good head. I want to say a bogen. 1600$ anyone interested pm meJust wondering,What power is the eyepiece?

Drhorsepower
03-17-2012, 09:03 PM
Just wondering,What power is the eyepiece?

20-60. Not bad though. I tried convincing my wife that I can sell my swaro I just bought to pick it up but she said we would have some problems if I did!!! Haha.

Muleys 24/7
03-17-2012, 09:26 PM
sounds like a good deal.......I have the pelican case on it's way for mine.

mcseal2
03-19-2012, 06:42 PM
Just got my ED50 a little while ago. Wow, I am very impressed, I should have bought it long ago. I did some price match and trading with SWFA also and have 13x56 Minox binos on the way also. Good glass is addictive.

Bitterroot Bulls
03-19-2012, 06:45 PM
Just got my ED50 a little while ago. Wow, I am very impressed, I should have bought it long ago. I did some price match and trading with SWFA also and have 13x56 Minox binos on the way also. Good glass is addictive.

That is funny McSeal,

I think a 15X56 Minox is going in the optics quiver this year. So now I will have two pairs of binoculars and a spotter in the pack. Good grief ... hardly ultralight.

mcseal2
03-22-2012, 05:34 PM
I'm hoping that my 13x binos will be enough of a compromise I can use them for everything and not pack 2 sets. I have a tripod mount for them also. I'll have my Vortex 8x42's to fall back on if it doesn't work like I hope. The 13x should be ideal truck binos for scouting if nothing else.

Jon Boy
03-22-2012, 05:51 PM
Ive been thinking about buying a large pair of binos for extended glassing off a tripod. They would be ideal for the place I back packed into a few weekends ago. Theres one particular vantage point that i can glass 2 dozen small finger ridges and seems like a big pair of binos would work well for long range and long periods of time. camerland has a pair of demo minox 15x56 for 600 right now.

clacklin009
04-01-2012, 03:12 PM
I've never had a spotter and I'm not sure which one I want. I have narrowed it down to the ED 50 and the Prostaff 5. I backpack in so I'm thinking the ED 50 is the better choice. I've liked the optic quality of the Prostaff 5 but I would like some input about any differences in optic quality and if it is worth the extra money for the ED 50.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-01-2012, 03:32 PM
Welcome to EF, clacklin009!

I have not seen the Prostaff 5. I could not say how good it is. I own an ED50, and have used all of the top 50mm spotters. I assure you, it is the best of the bunch, without question. It is quite competitive with even the high end 65mm spotters, IMO.

clacklin009
04-01-2012, 08:48 PM
Thanks Bitterroot Bulls for the welcome and the post. IYO is 30 x magnification enough. The magnification is the main reason I'm looking at anything besides the ED50. If more magnification is best I've also thought about the Leupold 80mm Kenai. Any help on what works best?

Bitterroot Bulls
04-01-2012, 09:07 PM
Well, I have the MCII eyepiece on my ED50, which is a 13-40 vs. the MC eyepiece's 13-30. I do like having that little extra sometimes. Under good viewing conditions, I really like the 60x of my Vortex Razor HD.

90% of the time 30x is plenty for me, and I glass quite long distances.

clacklin009
04-01-2012, 09:14 PM
Didn't know there were that many eye pieces. Sounds like I will be happy with the ED50. I've heard guys talk about seeing heat waves at high power, how much of a problem is that. At what temps and magnifications do you start to have problems?

Bitterroot Bulls
04-01-2012, 09:32 PM
Didn't know there were that many eye pieces. Sounds like I will be happy with the ED50. I've heard guys talk about seeing heat waves at high power, how much of a problem is that. At what temps and magnifications do you start to have problems?

When people say "heat waves" they mean atmospheric disturbance, which can happen at all sorts of temperatures. It is magnified at higher magnifications, and conversely, mitigated at lower magnifications. It really is case to case on what temp and mags it shows up. When the air is stable, a quality optic will show a sharp image right up to max power.

NoMoreOldNo7
04-01-2012, 10:29 PM
Hey clackin, I don't mean to hi-jack this thread, but just had to say I love hunting them Aleutians. I have a pair hanging on the wall that I took a few years back. Its quite a sight seeing them coming in over the hils in grove after grove.

Anyway, back to the compact spotters, again sorry about the hi-jack. Bitterroot will steer you straight, has some great insight to the world of optics, I know he has helped me out a great deal.

And welcome to Eastmans

Muleys 24/7
05-01-2012, 07:29 PM
Now that I'm going to be apart of the Nikon ED 50 club, I was wondering what most of the ED 50 owners are useing for a compact tripod?

ChadH
05-04-2012, 04:03 PM
Now that I'm going to be apart of the Nikon ED 50 club, I was wondering what most of the ED 50 owners are useing for a compact tripod?
Great question. I am very interested in something smaller than the Manfrotto I have.

I am also looking for an ED50, Nacheez is out of stock, Cameraland has them at $699. Anyone know where the best deal is right now?

dead river
05-05-2012, 02:01 PM
I have a straight nikon ed50 body that is 99% if anyone wants it. I will list on ebay or clist next week but figured i would give folks on here a chance first.

I bought an angled version, and will not need both. Body only, in box, with the soft case. 475.00

Bryan
864-506-1465