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Premium scope for beginner?

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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 19:15   #1
tom.s.
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Premium scope for beginner?

HI Folks!

For many years I was watching birds in my garden having a bino at my living room window. I did that not systematicly and most of the birds I even could not name. Only knew what they look like and how their singing sounds.
However, a few years ago I started birding more seriously and now I am thinking over to buy a scope (I got a little nice Celestron Hummingbird from a friend but that´s not what I mean).

Asking two experienced birders I got two different answers:

1) Get a midrange Scope for around 500 Euros like Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A (selling for 400.- now) and maybe in some years you can upgrade to Kowa, Swaro etc. if you are still interested in birding.

2) Get an Kowa, Swaro etc straight from the beginning. You will have much more fun and surely will stick with birding for a long time.

Besides the advice to not ask two persons the same thing, what do you suggest?

Thanks for any help!


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Tom
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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 20:01   #2
hwinbermuda
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2) Get an Kowa, Swaro etc straight from the beginning. You will have much more fun and surely will stick with birding for a long time.
I have managed to go birding most days for 50 years in some form or other, with great enjoyment, without any of those.

If you want to become a great lister, and be able to see minute details for ages on end, yup, go for it.
If you want to have the 'best equipment' (although there is no agreement as to what the best equipment is - even the manufacturers keep coming up with new models that are better than last year's best, so we have no chance) yup, go for it.

If you want to enjoy birding, find what you are comfortable with, and go from there. There is currently a thread on 'what binos for wmas, money not an issue, I am sure I have seen similar scope threads, which are well worth reading.

I often go out and see people with bins and cameras, but no scopes now; a few years ago everyone had to have a scope.

I got some really quizzical responses when I let slip that I often walk out with no optics, relying on eyes and ears, because I enjoy birds, not lists. So really find your own niche.

BUT go to an optics shop and try the whole range of available scopes, check for weight, ease of focus, clarity, colour of image, magnification etc etc etc then make your own mind up.

But I am a heretic.

H
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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 21:36   #3
tom.s.
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Thanks for that input. I am definitely not a lister. And I see many people finally going back to basics after doing things a long time on a high technical level. As there is no optic shop nearby I have to do a preselection before I order. But surely will check some of the scopes.
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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 22:02   #4
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But I am a heretic.
H
Plenty on market day in Fakenham!
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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 02:27   #5
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Besides the advice to not ask two persons the same thing, what do you suggest?
Hi Tom,

I did choose option 3) get an older former alpha scope and I'm very content with my old Kowa - not seeing me upgrade anytime soon and didn't break the bank.

Stuff like old fluorite (TSN-3/4, 823/4) or ED (603/4, 613/4, 663/4) Kowas are worth a look, as are Nikon Fieldscope ED, Leica APO Televid 62 or 77 and Swaro AT80 HD (not the non-HD please) and maybe Pentax.

As always, you should buy used optics in person or with a no questions asked return policy...

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Tuesday 18th December 2018 at 15:58. Reason: broken grammar
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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 04:59   #6
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Plenty on market day in Fakenham!
not as many as Friday Market in Dereham tho borr
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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 15:22   #7
tom.s.
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Stuff like old fluorite (TSN-3/4, 823/4) or ED (603/4, 613/4, 663/4) are worth a look, as are Nikon Fieldscopes, Leica APO Televid 62 or 77 and Swaro AT80 HD (not the non-HD please) and maybe Pentax.
Third Option
I´ll keep an eye on the sales in the forum
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Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 17:39   #8
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For sure you don't need a scope to enjoy birding, just a pair of binos, and you don't need a top-line pair of binos these days either as mid-priced binos can be excellent value. Birding is one thing, but if you suspect that your interest might expand to other aspects of nature such as dragonflies and butterflies and flowers, then a close focusing pair of binos (focusing down to 1.5m is ideal) will bring you great pleasure, and you don't need to carry a tripod!

However scopes can bring great pleasure too and based in Middle Europe you could do a lot worse than consider Meopta's S2 82 HD scope with either 30-60 wide angle eyepiece or the 20-70x which is my preference. This scope is a fine performer and great value for money and its made in the Czech Republic by a company which has made scopes for Zeiss and Leica.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2018, 06:58   #9
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I have a good bino. So that´s no issue.
The Meopta seems to be a good choice. But why the 20-70x eyepiece instead of 30-60x wide angel?
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2018, 09:15   #10
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I have a good bino. So that´s no issue.
The Meopta seems to be a good choice. But why the 20-70x eyepiece instead of 30-60x wide angel?
For the extra range, I think he meant, specially at 20x to make targeting easier. Check out Lee’s review on the Meopta scope forum.

I prefer the constant-AFOV 30-60x myself.

Don’t forget to budget for a sturdy tripod. Ordinary photo-grade ones may not be sufficient to dampen vibrations at 60x magnification.

Last edited by fazalmajid : Wednesday 19th December 2018 at 09:18.
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2018, 10:30   #11
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I would also opt for the wider angle eyepiece and sacrifice a little bit of magnification. You can still fairly easily target the object at x30 combined with the wider field of view.
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2018, 12:37   #12
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I have a good bino. So that´s no issue.
The Meopta seems to be a good choice. But why the 20-70x eyepiece instead of 30-60x wide angel?
Simply because 20x works well even if there is 'heat shimmer' that can make even 30x difficult to use and of course when you need it and the conditions are suitable you have the extra pull of 70x rather than 60x. I have reviewed this scope with both eyepieces and I wouldn't argue with anyone who said they preferred the 30-60 and its fov but I find the 20-70 more versatile overall.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2018, 23:28   #13
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If you are not sure about your future birding or using scopes, I recommend you get (0) a used Nikon Fieldscope I with 20x eyepiece in pristine condition for under $180. If you are committed to birding or to scope use, I would recommend starting with either (1) a used Nikon 60ED (<$400) or 78ED Fieldscope (<$700) with 24 or 30x eyepiece plus the 20-60/25-75x zoom, or else (2) a top-end travel scope, such as the Nikon 50ED Fieldscope with 27x eyepiece.

In general, I think it is hard to beat the used Nikon Fieldscopes when it comes to quality for price. What's nice is that you don't have to wait around for them to be available, or waste time/effort bidding (unless you like that sort of thing) because these days a good number are always on offer (from mostly Japanese sellers) at very nice prices and in absolutely pristine condition.

--AP
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Old Tuesday 25th December 2018, 08:22   #14
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Try this The Emarth 20-60x60AE Spotting Scope.Clear optics, HUGE magnification (it's pretty good for stargazing, even though I bought it as a spotting scope), and nicely compact.
Spammer?

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Old Tuesday 25th December 2018, 10:31   #15
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Spammer?

Joachim
He has been dealt with

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Old Tuesday 25th December 2018, 19:26   #16
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Thank you Lee and merry Christmas!

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Old Wednesday 26th December 2018, 17:40   #17
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It won't be 'much more fun'. The difference between the best and the very good is much smaller than some people make out. The difference between the very good and the rubbish is, however, huge.

I agree with the second-hand comments. Second-hand Nikons do seem to be especially good value.
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