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Sub alpha but especially durable scopes

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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 08:31   #1
sixtus
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Sub alpha but especially durable scopes

Folks just wondering if there are any mid range brands particularly noted for durability and model longevity but below the alpha level price ranges.

I am chasing a 65 or 80mm scope for the record.

1. I researched the celestron regal but ruled it out as checking the amazon reviews the eyepiece assembly seem to break easily, when dropped, bumped etc. Including focussing and glass issues it turns up 14% critical reviews on Amazon.

2. Pentax 65- a well known scope but there are numerous reports of it breaking in half due to the plastic threaded mid body. I also just recieved one with siezed up eyepiece lock ring. I know , something that could happen to anything mass production, but the plastic threaded body is unacceptable to my way of thinking.

Two random examples but I get a feeling the market demands glass above all else, so mid range scopes with high level glass are leaving other factors behind compared to the big boys.

However you can get mid range binoculars which rock it with the big boys. For example Fujinon FMTR- series are good glass and as tough as anything out there, often chosen by military forces. Steiner was another example. In fact it seems to me that you can find mid-range binoculars often in better place quality and durability wise than their equivalent level in spotting scopes. Why is that? Or are their brands in spotting scopes I am completely missing?

Last edited by sixtus : Thursday 22nd August 2019 at 08:52.
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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 12:59   #2
In Focus
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The Opticron ES 80 is a very solid scope - we've sold hundreds over its lifetime:

https://www.opticron.co.uk/our-produ...-v4-fieldscope

Although it is now discontinued we have a steady flow of used ones - currently three available on our web shop:

https://www.at-infocus.co.uk/product...ed-telescopes/

Please email [email protected] if you want more information and/or to find out the cost of shipping to Australia.

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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 17:00   #3
Alexis Powell
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My recommendation is a used Nikon Fieldscope 60ED II or III, 78ED, or 82ED. These are widely available and sell for US $250-$900 with eyepiece depending on the exact configuration (an angled 82ED being the most expensive). They are all super durable and they have exquisite optics.

--AP
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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 20:20   #4
sixtus
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Thanks all. I'll look into freight, In Focus.

Alexis, thanks and just found the post you made recently here on good used scopes
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=380224

I see on ebay, Japanese buyers with good reputation are selling some of the Kowa and Nikon ED later series scopes. So these are considered reasonable options to pursue?

I guess the only issue is warranty. Obviously you get what you pay for and not having a warranty for a used scope is the risk you assume.
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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 22:28   #5
sixtus
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Btw Alexis you wouldn't happen to know off the top of your head which are the waterproof versions of the
fieldscope EdII, EDIII, Ed78ED and Ed82ED ? Seems to be some varying reports on the net.

Big requirement is also good seals and purging due to being in a rainforest region with, 12-40ft of rain a year and high spore loads. Unsealed optics can fail in weeks or months here. Even items kept dry indoors here grow mold.
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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 22:51   #6
Alexis Powell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtus View Post
...Btw Alexis you wouldn't happen to know off the top of your head which are the waterproof versions of the fieldscope EdII, EDIII, Ed78ED and Ed82ED ? Seems to be some varying reports on the net...
Indeed, reports vary. In my personal experience and general impression based on other's reports, none of these scopes is as well waterproofed as you might like.

The EDII and 78ED are supposed to be water resistant as long as the focus isn't operated. They aren't truly sealed. I think they rely on o-rings or rubber packing on each side of the focus collar. In my experience, they can leak or fog up after being drenched in heavy rain. I treat mine like a telephoto camera lens and put a plastic cover over them if used in the rain.

The EDIII and 82ED are supposed to be better waterproofed than the older models. They are N purged and maybe (like the new Monarch Fieldscopes) supposed to be submersible to 1 m for 10 min (but probably not while operating the focus). I take that to mean that they aren't really perfectly sealed. Probably have better o-rings but that's it. My 82ED hasn't leaked rain but I haven't tested it as much as the 78ED.

Likely none of the above sounds very good to you. I understand what you mean by humidity, but I know that these scopes have been used successfully by residents of humid tropical locales. We actually have a similar problem in bottomland forest areas in eastern Kansas. We don't get as much rain as the tropics, but nevertheless have 95 degree F temps and saturated air for long periods of summer, so everything organic (and inorganic!) grows mold. I didn't grow up with AC or dehumidifier, so everything from my childhood is moldy. If kept in dry storage it is stable, but just add a bit of water (or humidity) and it reactivates!

--AP

Last edited by Alexis Powell : Thursday 22nd August 2019 at 22:56.
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Old Friday 23rd August 2019, 05:11   #7
sixtus
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Thanks Alexis, appreciate the heads up. I am very glad I ran into you on this thread. I will give them all some consideration and aim for whatever resists weather the most.

As to humidity and tropics, I hear you. Bigger issue here though is the spore load. Aka proximity to paleoforest, aka amazon type rainforest. The density and flora diversity also means dozens of aggressive mold types not found elsewhere. The rain season 6 months long means its great growing weather, some of these molds pull stitching and boot soles apart in a year.

As to optics, certainly non purged types were used in our regions, and still are. I know hunters happy using cheap binos until they are almost too moldy to view through, then they just dispose of them. A lot of gear here is split like that, you either choose the long term environment proof option, or the semi-disposable route. A good spotter I obviously prefer in the former camp, I like to get out in the weather. Regular use in with unpurged you are going to lose image quality to mold eventually. If you get actual water into the unit, its going to happen a lot quicker.

Thanks again for those suggestions btw, great to increase the knowledge bank.

Last edited by sixtus : Friday 23rd August 2019 at 06:36.
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