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Best scope for approx 500?

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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 17:58   #1
hr21
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Best scope for approx 500?

Hi All,

After a scope as we often find ourselves not being able to properly see certain birds which are very far away.

For example, we went to see Hawfinch but the blighter was ridiculously far away! Definitely needing a x60 to see.

So I am after a 20x60 scope, pref 80/82.

I have had a look around and quite like the following,

Hawke Endurance ED 20x60x82 scope for 650 with tripod, head and stay on case.

I was wondering if there was much else to consider? When I say 500, I mean for the scope itself and I can add some cash on for the tripod/ head/ case.

I have seen a used Viking av80 ed for 350 at cleyspy but there doesn't seem to be much out there on these.

Thanks.
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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 18:58   #2
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Couple of options... https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Opto...es_198506.html and http://www.ffordes.com/product/17091513022981 secondhand usually allows better value and the money saved can go towards paying for a birding trip!
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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 22:12   #3
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Hi,

if you want a scope really sharp at 60x, ED glass or fluorite is pretty much mandatory.

I tend to prefer used alpha glass - Kowa small body scopes (series 6x3 for angled or 6x4 for straight or the old 3 and 4) are very nice with a current zoom EP or the 30 wide. Nikon fieldscopes are also highly regarded - EPs are getting a bit rare and the zoom EPs are fairly narrow but the wide EPs are great. Leica, Zeiss or Swaro can also be good but are often quite expensive even used. Opticron has also some nice ED glass.

If you want to get a new 2nd tier scope, please try before you buy or get it from some place with a good return policy - sample variation can really spoil your day. Also you might want to read up on star testing scopes to get some results... you can take images of a slightly defocussed star and post here or on cloudynights for evaluation.

Joachim, who likes his 30 yo Kowa TSN-3 quite a lot...
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Old Monday 11th December 2017, 13:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
Couple of options... https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Opto...es_198506.html and http://www.ffordes.com/product/17091513022981 secondhand usually allows better value and the money saved can go towards paying for a birding trip!
Nice find with the Nikon scope which actually has the 25-75x zoom on it, not just a 25x eyepiece.
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Old Monday 11th December 2017, 19:12   #5
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Nice find with the Nikon scope which actually has the 25-75x zoom on it, not just a 25x eyepiece.
Hm, Daniels 2nd link shows an ED82 with a 25x EP for me... or did I miss sth?

Joachim
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Old Monday 11th December 2017, 21:14   #6
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Hm, Daniels 2nd link shows an ED82 with a 25x EP for me... or did I miss sth?

Joachim
The zoom ring and the twist up eyecup neither of which the old 25x eyepiece has. I have the zoom eyepiece.
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Old Monday 11th December 2017, 22:13   #7
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Zoom it is...
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Old Monday 11th December 2017, 22:37   #8
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Regarding the ED82, it's one of those MC2 zoom's I think - mine is so well used that the eyecup fell off so looks a bit more utilitarian... A good deal on ebay at present is an Optricon HR80ED with the SDL zoom, soc and tripod for under 600 (I'm not affiliated with the seller).
This scope is very highly regarded, comparing favourably to all the top end kit, and the zoom goes up to 72x - plenty of reach. I briefly tried a MM3 with this zoom and was very impressed with the clarity, eye relief and placement and sharpness, I'm sure it is a wonderful accompaniment to an 80mm scope.

Cley Spy also have a couple of old APO Televids well inside your budget, including one with a zoom. Whilst a bit long in the tooth and heavy, these are superb scopes built to last a long time - I've had two of these in the past and both were a pleasure to own. Their design still looks as elegant as the day they were released IMO.
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Last edited by dwatsonbirder : Monday 11th December 2017 at 22:40.
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Old Sunday 8th April 2018, 19:14   #9
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Hi all - I'm now ready to purchase one, I was considering getting a nikon ed50 to begin with, but I have also seen a nikon 82a with mc zoom for 799.

Any other used ones out there I should consider?

MM3 is fairly reasonable price but not sure if it is much better than ed50
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Old Monday 9th April 2018, 09:28   #10
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Hi,

Kowa ED and fluorite bodies (the ones ending in 3 for angled or 4 for straight) are also not too shabby and often available cheap. Modern Kowa EPs are easily available and fit for all but the TSN 823/4 which have a different bayonet. Some can also take the Opticron SDLv2 zoom and then make a really great scope.
My TSN-3 with that zoom is very sharp at max magnification of 52x and I have not yet looked through an alpha which was so much better to justify an upgrade.

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2018, 04:30   #11
chris murphy
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Hi,

Kowa ED and fluorite bodies (the ones ending in 3 for angled or 4 for straight) are also not too shabby and often available cheap. Modern Kowa EPs are easily available and fit for all but the TSN 823/4 which have a different bayonet. Some can also take the Opticron SDLv2 zoom and then make a really great scope.
My TSN-3 with that zoom is very sharp at max magnification of 52x and I have not yet looked through an alpha which was so much better to justify an upgrade.

Joachim
There is a Kowa 663 with 20 - 60 x zoom in the used advert from Infocus for 399. This is what I have and I think it is fantastic. I can't think of better value for money and would strongly recommend this.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2018, 16:38   #12
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I like the Nikon 78 ED Fieldscope. They often sell used in pristine condition for very modest prices.

--AP
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Old Friday 13th April 2018, 16:05   #13
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Originally Posted by chris murphy View Post
There is a Kowa 663 with 20 - 60 x zoom in the used advert from Infocus for 399. This is what I have and I think it is fantastic. I can't think of better value for money and would strongly recommend this.
I have made inquiries about this and they say it as
A few light scratches on the front lens
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Old Saturday 14th April 2018, 10:11   #14
jring
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I have made inquiries about this and they say it as
A few light scratches on the front lens
Little scratches at the front lens are usually not very problematic - at the eyepiece and especially near the field stop is where little flaws can make a big difference.

Can you get an image or actually go there and test it?

Joachim
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