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  1. #1
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    Best budget spotting scope? (under $400)

    I'm looking for some advice on the best spotting scope I can get for less than $400. Right now I am leaning towards the Leupold Sequoia 20x60. I haven't been able to look through one yet because there is no where around here that has a decent selection of scopes in stock. I want a 20-60 power that is reasonably light as I will be using it on back country hunts. I would love to buy a Swarovski or even a high end Nikon like the one I use everyday for work but right now my budget won't allow it.
    Also if anyone has a used scope in good shape that might be better than what I can get new I would be interested.
    Thanks.

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    I too am looking for a new spotting scope. My uncle has a Sequoia 15x45 and i really dont like it that well. I just can't ever seem to get it focused very well. At low power it isnt too bad but when you try to zoom in, it isnt very clear. If you go onto Cabelas website and look at the reviews for the Sequoia, they really aren't all that good, with guys saying the same thing that I thought about it. I'm pretty sure im going to get a NIKON Prostaff. They are a little over $400 but I am just waiting for them to go on sale. I think it is a lot clearer and the reviews on Cabelas are also a lot better too. I just saw Cabelas has free shipping so that would save some cash...I would try and find a place where you can look through a Sequoia before buying one. Honestly with the Leupold name on it, I was disappointed with it.

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    A good spotting scope under $400 seems impossible to me. I know this isn't the answer you're looking for but I definitely suggest holding off and build the cash stash. I'm disappointed that Leupold has come out with so many low end items. I bought the 12-40x60 Golden Ring and love it. I honestly think if you skimp you will regret it in the long run.
    Arise... Kill, Eat! - Acts 10:13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkoholic307 View Post
    A good spotting scope under $400 seems impossible to me. I know this isn't the answer you're looking for but I definitely suggest holding off and build the cash stash. I'm disappointed that Leupold has come out with so many low end items. I bought the 12-40x60 Golden Ring and love it. I honestly think if you skimp you will regret it in the long run.
    Agreed. I have used some of the lower end spotting scopes and they are not up to snuff. I would recommend a nikon like was mentioned earlier if needed,but ultimately I would hold off and wait for something else.

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    I agree with the last two posts. You get what you pay for. A few years ago I bought a new Nikon Prostaff 65mm. It wasn't bad at lower mags, but did not have a crisp focus at higher mags. It didn't do well in low light conditions either. In AZ, heat waves are a problem and this scope was terrible with heat waves. My buddy had a really old Bushnell fixed 25x spotter that we set up side by side. I could see no difference in image quality....that was dissapointing! I consider it a decent range scope, but that's about it. I sold it and bought a lightly used Zeiss I found on Craigslist for under $1000. I am very happy that I spent the extra $$. If the glass is mediocre you won't bother to carry it in your pack. It must be benificial to carry the extra weight. You'ld be better off with good 12x or 15x binos than a mediocre spotter.

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    I second for a look at nikon. I got a great spotting scope that has been indestructable for me and it only ran $550. Above the $400 mark but they make some nice stuff for uner $400.
    People in SUV's and suburbs will kill more game animals than a man with a bow, ever could.

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    If you want one soon, maybe look at the Vortex Nomad 20-60x60? They're just over $300 at Cabelas.
    Arise... Kill, Eat! - Acts 10:13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkoholic307 View Post
    If you want one soon, maybe look at the Vortex Nomad 20-60x60? They're just over $300 at Cabelas.

    I have this scope and really like it. Its pretty light, and is very clear.

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    I'm in the same boat wanting a sub-$400 spotting scope. I've narrowed it down to the Alpen 786/788. I like straight eyepieces so I'd get the 786. It gets good reviews from hunters, birders, etc. I don't think there's really anything better in this price range, and I've researched and looked through almost all of the budget spotters available locally over the past few years. I currently have an ED50, but want an 80mm for those times when weight is not an issue.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide to get and how it works for you.
    Last edited by 4th_point; 03-09-2011 at 07:06 PM.

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    I actually like my Leupold sequoia 15x45. I've spent alot of time looking through an older 12-40 gold ring and nikon pro-staff and think mine is just as clear. I probably haven't used it at the extreme ranges some of you do in the mountains though, when I hunt up there we cut weight and only carry the gold ring. I don't need much over 30x around home. I figured when I save up enough money to buy a new HD gold ring this scope will get de-moted to riding in the truck with the window mount during months when antlers are intact. On a side note, I also bought the Leupold 10x50 Olympic binoculars and really like them. They only weigh 26oz and I'm real impressed with the clarity and light gathering. They will get retired to the truck eventually if I find a good deal on 10x42 zeiss classics, but I'm happy with these and in no hurry.

 

 

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