Spotter Advice Needed
So I'm in the market for my first spotting scope for hunting here in NM. I'm hoping to get to use it on 3-4 hunts a year between me and my wife along with as many scouting trips as I'm able to take. I also will be using it for any weekends I can get away to hunt with friends on their hunts. I plan on most of my hunting being pack-in DIY hunts. The only experience I have so far with a scope is using a Vortex Nomad 20-60x60 on my elk hunt this past Dec. I spent several hours a day for 3 days behind this scope trying to pick through all the bulls to find a legal 6x. My understanding is that the clarity on this scope isn't that great so my "bar" is set pretty low right now. I've got it narrowed down to 4 different scopes in 2 different price ranges (ordered from least to most expensive).
Vortex Viper HD 15-45x65
This was the first scope I considered as I know it's better than the Nomad and won't break the bank either.
Vortex Razor 11-33x50
I'm really considering this one as the price is similar to the Viper and it would be very easy to pack in and out. My only real concern is that I'll end up wanting more magnification than 33x sometimes but I'm not sure. If I got this one, I would probably try and convince the wife to leg my buy an 80mm in the future to compliment this one.
Vortex Razor HD 15-48x65
I've only heard good things about this scope overall for the price.
Zeiss Dialyte 15-45x65
I've heard this is one of the best all-around scopes if you're only going to buy one and is great for packing due to it's durability and relatively light weight. My concerns are that it's the most expensive of the group and I'm not sure how I'll like the focus being on the obj as well as the straight design. I think I prefer the angled design.
Any and all experience or advice will be appreciated and put towards making my decision.
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That Zeiss has really interested me since it came out and I think I would get it if I didnt already have my 65mm Zeiss FL. I dont like angled spotters so the strait design was a plus to me. I like 65mm's. 50mm's have a smaller field of view and just dont bring in the light in my experience.
In EHJ 141 Brandon Mason and I did a full evaluation of spotting scopes for the western big-game hunter. Check it out when you get the chance.
Vortex Razor HD in 65mm. I just got mine during this passed hunting season and I'm very happy with it.
Yeah I think I just read that write up. That's the main reason in considering the dialyte as one of the options.
Originally Posted by D.Turvey, Jr
The Dialyt is a tough, durable spotter, but does not control CA as well as the other options on your list. This is likely due to the lack of ED glass in the 5 piece achromat objective assembly. Another issue with the Dialyt is the short and critical eye relief. When I tried one I found it so noticeable I went to the Zeiss website for the technical data, and the eye relief specs were suspiciously absent. If you are really looking towards Zeiss, the Diascope 65 is much better scope, and is often found lightly used around the price of the Dialyt. Furthermore, if you want to digiscope, the Diascope also has many accessories (proprietary and 3rd party) available, while the Dialyt does not.
IMO, the Razor 16-48X65 is the best choice, from your list, for your all-around uses, especially if high-contrast viewing is on your menu, where the Dialyt will struggle.
Originally Posted by Musket Man
50mm scopes do not have a smaller field of view (at least not because they have 50mm objectives). FOV depends more on the eyepiece design than the objective size. I agree on apparent brightness though!
Brandon Mason, myself and I am pretty sure Mike use the Dialyt and have never had an issue with them. When Brandon and I tested them, we never noticed any of the issues Bitterroot is bringing up, actually to the contrary. We found it to have much better contrast and brightness into the dusk hours than it's competitors. The standout was the Leica but that spotter has a heavy price point. As far as eye relief, neither Brandon or I had any issues at all. I can tell you the Dialyt is always in my pack.
I meant no offense, of course.
Originally Posted by D.Turvey, Jr
I am curious if you evaluated this spotting scope for chromatic aberration?
Also, did Zeiss give you an eye relief spec? I estimated it at around 15mm, with it shortening as magnification increased, but I did not measure it.
FWIW, I also thought the scope showed good contrast and brightness, but these are not the qualities I had issues with.
No worries, no offense taken at all. We all have our opinions and that's totally fine; that's why we are all here to discuss this stuff. In my career I have worked closely with the optics industry but that doesn't make me a subject matter expert either. As far as chromatic aberration most hunters can relate to that as "clarity". It seems to me that all the colors focused so close to the same point that I didn't notice any aberration, even with cow elk on a snow field. As far as eye relief, we don't have a number though I am sure I can get it. We didn't find the eye relief to be an issue so neither of us gave it more thought than that. I've also had a pair of Zeiss Classic 10x42's around my neck for 20 years so I am used to that type of eye cup which could be why I don't have a problem with it. The big draw to the Dialyt for me is the solid optical performance combined with the most bombproof construction around. All the optical excellence in the world doesn't mean a thing if it can't survive harsh hunting conditions.