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  1. #11
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    I haven't been on the forums for a while, thanks to everyone for the comments and advice. I really don't want to wait and save up enough for an expensive scope, I would like to get something decent for this year and next. With what I make and my bills it would take a long time to save enough for an expensive scope, I know I'm not going to get the clarity of a high dollar scope at the higher zoom levels and in low light but I want something to use until I can afford some really good glass. I read the reviews on the Sequoia and they don't sound very good, could be a QC issue where you might get lucky and get a good one once in a while. I will check out the lower end Nikons and the Vortex, thanks again.

  2. #12
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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 06:06 PM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by elktracker View Post
    I really don't want to wait and save up enough for an expensive scope, I would like to get something decent for this year and next. With what I make and my bills it would take a long time to save enough for an expensive scope, I know I'm not going to get the clarity of a high dollar scope at the higher zoom levels and in low light but I want something to use until I can afford some really good glass.
    Man I hear you. I agree 100% in the "buy the highest quality" stuff that you can afford, but when you are young, have very little in the bank, have a limited income and looking at buying binoculars, a spotting scope, tripod, new rifle and scope, pack, GPS unit, new clothing, tent, sleeping bag, coolers, tags, bonus points, and 50 other items, it isn't possible for a lot of us to be buying the best that there is. Sounds like you at least got some good input on this thread (as did I) and good luck with finding a good scope.

  4. #14
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    4th_point, I've seen some of your other posts on optics, looks like you have done a lot of research and know what you are talking about. I just read a review on the Alpen 786 (http://www.westernshooter.com/2008/1...ing-scope.html), sounds like it is a great scope for the money. I have never heard of Alpen before but I will definitely give them some consideration. I would like to compare the Alpen 786 side by side to a Vortex Nomad. What is your personal opinion on the Vortex?

    NDHunter, you make a good point. A scope isn't the only piece of equipment I need/want to buy, even if I had the money for a high end scope I would have a hard time dropping it all on one item.

  5. #15
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    You may look at Theron. I have seen through a pair of their binos and was impressed for the price. I can only assume their spotters are similar in quality. Saving up and getting a better scope is always a good idea but if it means not having one for a season or two, is no scope better than a less expensive scope. I made that decision a while back and I'm glad I did. Not only did I have better than nothing for a couple years but now I have a spotter my 3 year old can look through an I don't worry about it tipping over...as much.
    Last edited by T43; 03-10-2011 at 10:35 AM.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by elktracker View Post
    4th_point, I've seen some of your other posts on optics, looks like you have done a lot of research and know what you are talking about. I just read a review on the Alpen 786 (http://www.westernshooter.com/2008/1...ing-scope.html), sounds like it is a great scope for the money. I have never heard of Alpen before but I will definitely give them some consideration. I would like to compare the Alpen 786 side by side to a Vortex Nomad. What is your personal opinion on the Vortex?

    NDHunter, you make a good point. A scope isn't the only piece of equipment I need/want to buy, even if I had the money for a high end scope I would have a hard time dropping it all on one item.
    Thanks for the compliment elktracker, but I'm still a rookie with optics! I just enjoy looking at and comparing different optics like a lot of other guys.

    I think Outdoor Life rated the Alpen 786 as a "Best Buy" for several years and there's at least 1 or 2 spotter shootouts that rate the 786 well. I had a Alpen 742 for a little while, and it had really good resolution for a $200 scope. But, it didn't handle stray light well, and the focus was so sensitive it made the scope impossible to use. The 786 is much better, and has a great image for the price but I haven't tried it in difficult lighting conditions to see how it handles stray light.

    I did look at the Nomad a few years when I was shopping for my first spotter, but I don't remember why I didn't like it. Its been awhile. I ended up buying another Vortex scope called the Stokes Sandpiper 15-45x65. Vortex made this scope for the birding community and Stokes put their name on it. That was a great scope, and actually was considered the best budget scope in the Cornell spotter review. I sold it awhile ago to buy an ED50. If you do a search you should be able to find some good reviews of the Nomad. IIRC, its never really been considered a decent scope. I don't think Vortex has updated this scope, but it might be worthwhile to look into to see if they did.

    The new Viper scopes from Vortex look really nice, but I haven't tried one yet.

  7. #17
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    Got down to Salt Lake last week and looked through some scopes at Sportsman's Warehouse. I looked at an Alpen 742 and a Vortex Nomad. The Alpen was a little sharper but the Vortex was definitely better built. The focus on the Alpen seemed cheep to me. I saw an Alpen 786 but didn't realize it was an 80 mm scope before and that is just more than I want to carry around.

    I also looked through a Nikon ED 50 just out of curiosity and that got me thinking I don't really need a 20-60x because I could see just as much detail at 30x on the Nikon as I could at 60x on the cheaper scopes. It was so much brighter and clearer I guess I just don't see the need for the extra magnification. I'm sure a Swaro at 60x is awesome but that's not going to happen. So now I am thinking about not getting a new tent and spending the extra to get the ED 50.

    I am also wondering if anyone has compared the ED 50 to the Leupold Gold Ring 15-30 compact scope? I am sure the Nikon is better but is it really $400 better?

  8. #18
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    I just bought a Nikon prostaff for $400 and havn't put it through the ringer yet. But has done well gopher hunting so far.

  9. #19
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    http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/...spotting-scope

    My vote is for Vortex. Quality stuff for the price. I have this scope and am satisfied. Plus their customer service and warranty is second to none.

    Also keep an eye on camofire.com. They have a spotting scope pop up once and a while and they are usually right in that price range.

    Edit: In fact there is a scope on camofire as I right this. Nikon ProStaff 20-60x82. Normally a $850 scope for just over $400. give it a look if you get this in time

    http://www.camofire.com/
    Last edited by RobinHood; 04-06-2011 at 10:07 PM.

  10. #20
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    I bought the Vortex Nomad before going into guiding last year. Previous years had me carrying around a 20-60X80mm Zeiss. Which was amazing to look through. But when guiding all fall, it becomes the biggest pain to carrying around day in and day out. I really do like the Nomad. Its light as heck and fits great in my pack and i barely notice im carrying it. It is built very well and withstands plenty of abuse it went through last season. Been using it all winter watching animals, and will carry it again this coming fall.

 

 

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