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View Full Version : New Spotting Scope under $500



Rackman1
02-21-2012, 08:05 AM
Im new to hunting out west and get by just fine with my 10x42 Binos in the midwest what spotting scope does anyone reccomend I purchase for my upcoming trip out west! Im new to spotting scopes so size brand and warranty would be great to know. Your experience is valued. Thanks

Drhorsepower
02-21-2012, 08:15 AM
Hey rackman, welcome to the best forum on the web. What type of hunting are you planning on doing out west? I think your best bet would be a Nikon ed50. They are typically more than 500$. I know natchezss had them for 400 refurbished with a straight eye piece. I do not know if they have anymore. You can also check eBay, they usually have them for around your price range refurbished or used. That glass IMO packs the best bang for the buck and for performance and size. You can buy a larger objective but I think you will get more out of the nikon ed50 than you will out of any other bigger glass in the sub 500$ range. That's my .02 cents. Your other option is to wait and save more money on a higher end scope. The best you can afford will always be sorry enough is what my dad always tells me.

Rackman1
02-21-2012, 08:29 AM
Thanks for the advice Ive been reading most of your threads in the optics forum I cant tell you how much i appreciate the help. This is a great forum. Elk is my first choice then Mulies!

JNDEER
02-21-2012, 08:55 AM
Vortex or ED50, IMO.

jenbickel
02-21-2012, 09:01 AM
If you go the Nikon route, check with camofire.com... you can view their past deals and look at the Nikon spotting scopes and email them and see which ones they have left. I did that the other day and they had some that they hadn't even had in the "daily deals." You can get a $500 spotting scope for like half off....

Brocka
02-21-2012, 09:38 AM
Vortex Nomad is a great scope at very affordable price, Also I second the Camofire.com. Great website!

Bitterroot Bulls
02-21-2012, 10:40 AM
As a former Vortex Nomad owner, I was not really impressed with that scope. I think you could do a lot better with your budget.

I like DrH's ED50 recommendation. I just about can't believe this deal:

http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=NK8303BR01

If you can find a Pentax PF 65 ED in your price range, it is also a great option.

The Celestron Regal ED is also a great value.

Brocka
02-21-2012, 10:49 AM
As a former Vortex Nomad owner, I was not really impressed with that scope. I think you could do a lot better with your budget.

I like DrH's ED50 recommendation. I just about can't believe this deal:

http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=NK8303BR01

If you can find a Pentax PF 65 ED in your price range, it is also a great option.

The Celestron Regal ED is also a great value.

BB what were the con's for you on the Nomad?

Bitterroot Bulls
02-21-2012, 10:58 AM
BB what were the con's for you on the Nomad?

The biggest issue I had was chromatic aberration (CA). Color fringing was visible in the center of the field, and noticeable at the edge.

There was also noticeable field curvature. The eyepiece was optimized somewhere in the middle of the magnification range and the scope lost resolution at the high end. Depth of field was also pretty shallow, so I was always messing with the focus.

A lot of these problems are common ones in the Nomad's price range, and it isn't really a bad scope compared to many or most in its price range. The scopes I listed above just correct aberrations much better than the Nomad, especially CA.

Brocka
02-21-2012, 11:14 AM
The biggest issue I had was chromatic aberration (CA). Color fringing was visible in the center of the field, and noticeable at the edge.

There was also noticeable field curvature. The eyepiece was optimized somewhere in the middle of the magnification range and the scope lost resolution at the high end. Depth of field was also pretty shallow, so I was always messing with the focus.

A lot of these problems are common ones in the Nomad's price range, and it isn't really a bad scope compared to many or most in its price range. The scopes I listed above just correct aberrations much better than the Nomad, especially CA.

Your expertise is always appreciated! Your are so much smarter than the guy behind the counter trying to sell you the scope haha! Thanks for the info.

buckbull
02-21-2012, 11:40 AM
The minox md50 is also one to look at.

Bitterroot Bulls
02-21-2012, 11:51 AM
The minox md50 is also one to look at.

That is another great value scope. While the others I listed perform better, IMO, the Minox midget offers great performance and substantial savings, if you find a deal like those Cameralandny demos.

buckbull
02-21-2012, 06:49 PM
That is another great value scope. While the others I listed perform better, IMO, the Minox midget offers great performance and substantial savings, if you find a deal like those Cameralandny demos.

Thats exactly where I purchased mine. I bought the "demo" model and saved lots of cash. I couldn't tell that the scope had been out of the box.

hvfd21walker
02-21-2012, 06:58 PM
Leupold Kenais are pretty good scopes for the money to. I also second camofire.com.

Musket Man
02-21-2012, 09:42 PM
I think it somewhat has to do with what quality of binos you have too. If you are looking through really good binos next to a lesser quality spotting scope you will likely not be happy with it. its all relative IMO.

gethuntin
02-22-2012, 03:14 PM
Just an FYI the ED50 from Natchezz they show it comes with the zoom eyempiece but they come with the 16x Wide angle lense.
Very nice eyepiece just not alot of magnification.

As a former Vortex Nomad owner, I was not really impressed with that scope. I think you could do a lot better with your budget.

I like DrH's ED50 recommendation. I just about can't believe this deal:

http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=NK8303BR01

If you can find a Pentax PF 65 ED in your price range, it is also a great option.

The Celestron Regal ED is also a great value.

Bitterroot Bulls
02-22-2012, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the info on the 16x eyepiece. If it is the big wide angle eyepiece, it s an even better value, as that eyepiece is easily sold on eBay for more than the MC 13-30 zoom goes for. If it is the cheap little 16x, then not so good, but a great deal nonetheless, as you can find the zoom for about $100 pretty often.

Did you order one? Perhaps you could post a pic of the eyepiece.

gethuntin
02-23-2012, 09:39 AM
Yes i actually ordered two- both came with this eyepiece.

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h114/gethuntin/P2160115.jpg


Thanks for the info on the 16x eyepiece. If it is the big wide angle eyepiece, it s an even better value, as that eyepiece is easily sold on eBay for more than the MC 13-30 zoom goes for. If it is the cheap little 16x, then not so good, but a great deal nonetheless, as you can find the zoom for about $100 pretty often.

Did you order one? Perhaps you could post a pic of the eyepiece.

Bitterroot Bulls
02-23-2012, 10:08 AM
That is the DS (digiscoping) series wide angle eyepiece. I have one myself. It has excellent performance for viewing, but is really designed to work with Nikon's proprietary digiscoping adapters. One could sell that eyepiece and purchase either the 13-30 MC zoom, or the 13-40 MCII eyepiece. I have had both zooms, and prefer the MCII.

Big Sky
02-23-2012, 10:36 AM
That is the DS (digiscoping) series wide angle eyepiece. I have one myself. It has excellent performance for viewing, but is really designed to work with Nikon's proprietary digiscoping adapters. One could sell that eyepiece and purchase either the 13-30 MC zoom, or the 13-40 MCII eyepiece. I have had both zooms, and prefer the MCII.
Where can you find a MCII eyepiece? I have been looking and can not find one any where. It looks like they were discontuned to me.

gethuntin
02-23-2012, 11:16 AM
Kinda been looking for the MCII or a 27x wideangle as well def a tough find. There is a MCII on ebay all the way from Spain guy is asking over $200 for it. Buy it Now $300 something.


Where can you find a MCII eyepiece? I have been looking and can not find one any where. It looks like they were discontuned to me.

gethuntin
02-23-2012, 11:18 AM
How is the MCII at 40x through the ED50- i thought the MC on 30x was so so for clarity on the average day.


That is the DS (digiscoping) series wide angle eyepiece. I have one myself. It has excellent performance for viewing, but is really designed to work with Nikon's proprietary digiscoping adapters. One could sell that eyepiece and purchase either the 13-30 MC zoom, or the 13-40 MCII eyepiece. I have had both zooms, and prefer the MCII.

Grizbacker
02-29-2012, 09:45 AM
Hey guys. Just saw this thread. I have a few of the MC and MCII eypieces new in box. Pm me if you are interested.