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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Nomad 20-60x60

Vortex scope spotting Nomad
Manufacturer
Vortex

Reviews summary

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Overall rating
4.00 star(s) 2 ratings
Recommended
Yes
Price
240$
Pros
  • Lightweight and rugged with lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Useful really 20-40X. Focus touchy
This was my first major step towards a better quality budget scope. My first scope was a tripod and Audubon Dimensions 80WA 80mm Spotting Scope - 80WA-ES combo for less than $160. Let's just say, you get what you pay for. The Radian tripod was way too light and the scope really only had one really useful 20X eyepiece. Everything was too light and shaky to be very useful.

I was hoping for a much better combo with the Vortex Nomad. And, even though this model is discontinued, it continues to be sold by Eagle Optics and other places. And Vortex will honor it's lifetime warranty, so the risk was nominal and the upgrade was really noticeable.

I also upgraded the tripod as well to a Manfrotto 190XB 3 Section Black Aluminum Tripod Legs with 128RC Micro Fluid Head. Don't skip on the tripod if you want your scope to really perform.

The scope is a lightweight (36.1 ounces) with a polycarbonate body. Fit and finish are good. The eyepiece is covered with a hard plastic screw-off protective cover that is not tethered. It is waterproof and fog-proof with green rubber armoring. My first scope was heavier and neither armored nor water/fog-proof.

The ability to zoom from 20-60 is pretty easy but the range above 40X makes the heat/air shimmer so much more magnified, and the image is so much darker, that that power is not very useful. Plus the focus at the upper end of the zoom is very touchy. So I tend to use this scope in the lower range and am very happy with this.

The optics are good and the eye-relief works for my glasses. But don't expect Swarovski quality at this price point.

The provided case is OK but not more than basic with some velcro to keep the flaps out of the way or the lens cover back.

I do like the ability to shift the angled scope from upright to "straight" by loosening a single screw and twisting the body 45 to 90 degrees.

I was able to do a decent full-moon digiscope using this scope and was very pleased with the results.

Overall, this is a decent scope for the money and easy to carry on your birding outings.
Recommended
Yes
Price
339$
Pros
  • Rugged, clear image, lightweight, affordable
Cons
  • Darker view at higher zoom
Here's a follow up post to my main review in the product description.
In addition, the tripod mount collar works very well, and the lens caps fit nicely (the objective cap is a little tight, but it's firmly secure, not so much so that it's a pain to deal with).
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