Originally Posted by upettersson
Seems like we've got similar prices for the bigger brands.
I've looked around a little for used scopes in Sweden, but the market isn't huge, and never really used ebay and such I'm a bit unsure who's trustworthy and not. Some really good deals on there, saw a Swaro 65HD + 25-50W for around 1425€.
I would say both. But I realize a 4kg setup would bring a lovely ~20-25kg pack into a 25-30kg pack. With aging I've gone from 100km hikes to more and more canoeing, where you easily could bring 250kg. And I don't hike and canoe every day as a profession
The Kowa 553 sounds very interesting! Quick google and I found a Canadian site with a preorder for ~CAD$2500. Released in August?
That's the real tricky part, isn't it
I want a Kowa 883 which weighs 1000g with a 500g tripod and can be shoved into my glove box - and keep it under $2500 please!
As a first scope, I really felt something smaller, really portable and not super expensive would be my best bet.
As much as I would love a Swaro ATS65HD or similar scope I think I might decide to look the the smaller section. A bigger tube might come later.
That leaves me with:
Opticron MM4 50 or 60 + SDLv2
Nikon ED50A + 27xW DS
Vortex smaller 50's?
Eventually Kowa 553, which I think will be rather expensive.
Thanks for all input everyone.
(And I'm still not sure if a Swaro would still be better)
I purchased two ED50's from Japan. The first was/is perfect and sharp as a tack from 13-40X. The second appeared as good until I compared both side by side with 13-40X zooms. I interchanged lenses and verified that the second ED50 was not as sharp at higher mags as the first sample. Looking through the objective I saw why. The 2nd sample has a smudge on a lens or prism that distorts high mag views.
If someone purchased the second sample from Japan my guess is they would never know of its limitations unless they had a comparison sample or performed a careful inspection. The low mag views are fine but as mag increases the image degrades accordingly. I use a fixed 16X (30X on my ED82) lens on it that works just fine, though it is limited to 16X. It will probably end up in the hands of an aspiring birder, free of charge.
My wife loves the ED50/13-40X combo and we take it wherever we go. However, after looking at Opticron scopes I'm pretty sure I would not buy the Nikon's again. And, buying directly from Japan may or may not be a wise decision, especially regarding warranty issues.
One last comment. I tried the 27X DS on both ED50's and I just could not get comfortable with it. I happily used a 30X on my ED82 for many years but the 27X on the ED50 just didn't make my day. Others give the 27X high praise so take what I say with a grain of salt.