Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

$400 scope recommendations?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 15:13   #1
Bosque
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: S Oregon
Posts: 84
$400 scope recommendations?

I'm currently using a 35+ year old Bushnell spacemaster, straight, solid gray metal body, ~65mm with a fixed 25x eyepiece (I also have a 60x eyepiece, but it's so dark that it's near impossible to see anything). To compare against I have semi-decent binoculars, Minox HG 8x33 and it'd be nice to have something at least in a similar optics class.

I've made the mistake of looking through some friends scopes this last weekend of back to back CBCs, and realized I should really get a new one if I plan on spending anymore time using a scope. I looked through a newer spacemaster (looked like this), an EO Raven scope, and just to make anything I can afford seem crappy, a Swarovski STM 65 (wow). I'd like to get a newer scope, but I work for an non-profit conservation group so my funds are kind of limited.

Is there anything in the approximately $400 range that is worth buying? At first glance the scopes that are in my price, weight range (I'd like to have something I wouldn't actually mind carrying in the field) and are angled scopes, are the Vortex Viper 15-45x65mm, Vortex Nomad 20-60x60mm and Leupold SX-1 Ventana 15-45x60mm. The Celestron Regal 16-48x65mm F-ED is also in my price range, but weighs about a pound more than I actually want to carry.

Are any of these three worth buying? Are there other options in this price range I should be looking at? I think nearly anything would be an upgrade on what I have but I'd like to get something I won't be annoyed using for many years to come.

Thanks for any insight.

Last edited by Bosque : Thursday 22nd December 2011 at 15:15.
Bosque is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 16:40   #2
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,421
The Regal was my first thought but you mentioned weight. If you can get past the weight issue it is an excellent optical performer in this price range. I haven't found a better one at this price point or even somewhat above it.

On the other hand I would recommend, wholeheartedly, the Nikon ED50. I picked one up about a month ago and it is quite amazing actually. Excellent optical performance for such a small scope. I bought mine from Doug at Cameraland NY via Ebay. Price was $400 (free shipping) plus it came with a fixed 13x, semi-wide angle eyepiece. That is an excellent price for the scope with or without the eyepiece. You could always add other Nikon eyepieces on at a later date though they are becoming a bit harder to find. The little Nikon 13-40x zoom would be a good addition to the fixed power 13x. That one still is available from a few internet retailers but would cost more.

Here is a link to a current auction for the same scope with the same eyepiece from the same retailer.....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Fields...item519c72df82

Note: The eyepiece in the picture is not the same one that comes with the scope.
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Travel scope - recommendations, please. Kiteman001 Spotting Scopes & tripod/heads 29 Friday 18th February 2011 19:22
Recommendations for a second scope? Quacker Spotting Scopes & tripod/heads 29 Wednesday 30th March 2005 19:29
scope recommendations dreamngtree Spotting Scopes & tripod/heads 7 Friday 22nd October 2004 18:13
Recommendations for a cheap scope? cjnelson Spotting Scopes & tripod/heads 6 Friday 10th September 2004 12:29
Zoom Spotting Scope...recommendations please guys! viperastro Spotting Scopes & tripod/heads 16 Monday 6th October 2003 16:24

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.10859299 seconds with 14 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 02:26.