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Nikon Spotting scope 80A or Opticon Classic IF-2 MT?

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Old Friday 19th March 2004, 09:50   #1
mroek
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Nikon Spotting scope 80A or Opticon Classic IF-2 MT?

I'm not considering myself as an active birder, but I am interested in birds in general, and Eagles especially. Where I live we have mostly White-tailed Sea Eagles and Golden Eagles.

Now I am in the process of buying a scope, and I have a Nikon Spotting Scope 80A with the 20-60x zoom eyepiece (called Sky & Earth in the US, I think) on loan. I should rush in to say that I'm unwilling to spend a huge amount of money on this, and the Nikon fits the bill quite ok. The contender in this price range seems to be a scope called Opticron Classic IF-2 MT with a 18-54x zoom. This is a bit more expensive, but I can live with it if it is better than the Nikon.

I have not (yet) been able to look at (and through) the Opticron, but my neighbour has a Swaro AT80HD that I can compare to.

I find the Nikon to be very sharp, even at 60x. The field of view is quite good, but not in the Swaro class, naturally. The only thing I'm not satisfied with is the level of chromatic aberrations. A bird on a roof with the sky as the background will have relatively heavy fringing surrounding it. I am not going to use the scope for digiscoping, so I can live with it, but I'm wondering if anyone has tested the Opticron and can tell me if this scope suffers from the same problem? Both of these scopes have normal glass.

My dealer is willing to send me the Opticron on loan also, but I'd like to know if I should care or just keep the Nikon.

Best regards
-Řyvind

P.S: If you're interested you can watch a few of my pictures on a Norwegian photo critique site called foto.no:

White tailed Sea Eagle:

http://foto.no/cgi-bin/bildekritikk/...3&serieid=3067

Golden Eagle:

http://foto.no/cgi-bin/bildekritikk/...3&serieid=4503
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Old Saturday 20th March 2004, 11:13   #2
alan_rymer
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Řyvind

Sorry you had no response to your question.
I have no experience with either of those two scopes!.
I think I would stay with the Nikon. Its unlikely that the IF-2 would be any better. To reduce the amount of chromatic abberation would mean having to spend a lot more money for a Scope with ED/HD/Fleurite Glass.

HTH
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Old Saturday 20th March 2004, 11:31   #3
william j clive
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I have owned a Nikon Sky and Earth and an Opticron, but not the model you specify. I would choose the Nikon every time. Nikon optics and cameras are very highly rated generally.

Clive
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Old Saturday 20th March 2004, 14:37   #4
scampo
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There is a place in the UK selling Nikon ED78s at a bargain price - click above on the Warehouse Express banner. They have the 38x eyepiece in the offer and that is a very wide, exceptionally clear eyep[iece indeed.

The ED78 is the old model in the Nikon range but was their top model until a few months ago. It uses the very best quality ED glass and is, as many on this forum have pointed out, a true bargain at this price. No CA whatever - and if you ever get into it, a digiscoper's dream.

If you cannot stretch to that Nikon, the shop also have a few 60mm fluorite Kowa 613s left, I see, which are again, a very fine but smaller scope of a much higher quality than the two you mention. And at an even lower price, I see some nikon Fieldscope IIIs - a real beauty but not ED glass. What you would gain is a much wider field of view, a much easier to use eyepiece.
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Last edited by scampo : Saturday 20th March 2004 at 14:43.
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Old Saturday 20th March 2004, 22:33   #5
mroek
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Thanks for your replies!

I don't want to order from the UK, it's a bit to awkward when it comes to possible warranty issues.

However, I've gotten in touch with a person that has owned the Opticron in question, and who now owns both the Nikon and a Leica Televid 77. He said that the Opticron was a tad better than the Nikon, but not by a big margin. I think I'll stay with Nikon, it will probably be good enough for my needs.


Regards,
-Řyvind
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Old Saturday 20th March 2004, 22:46   #6
scampo
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It will - but Nikon have a European warranty, so buying a UK scope would be fine from that point of view, I am certain.
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Last edited by scampo : Wednesday 31st March 2004 at 06:46.
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Old Wednesday 31st March 2004, 06:24   #7
jayhunter
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Superb picture of the Sea Eagle. Was that using the Nikon scope? If so stick with it the result is great.
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Old Wednesday 31st March 2004, 06:31   #8
mroek
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Sorry if I mislead anyone. I have never been into digiscoping, I do all my photography with a Nikon D100 and various lenses. Most of my eagle pictures are with a Sigma 50-500 lens.

I find digiscoped images to be of lesser quality than I desire, even with the top quality scopes. No offense to anyone. I have also seen great digiscoped images, but not very many.

But anyway, thanks for your kind comments on my picture.

Regards
-Řyvind
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