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Advice > Which Scope/Tripod .....

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Old Saturday 30th December 2017, 18:33   #1
GadgetJim57
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Advice > Which Scope/Tripod .....

Please share your advice and experience with good quality scopes and tripods .....

I would like to invest in a good Scope and Tripod to watch birds along the coast for my trip up the Oregon Coast ..... I plan on traveling the Oregon Coast for several weeks in June, 2018.

So far, this is what I have added to my Wish List:

1) Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
2) Celstron - Regal Premium Tripod

I want a tripod that will provide very good support, so the spotting scope is not wobbly.

I'm hoping to spend around $500.00 or less for both spotting scope and tripod .....
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Old Friday 5th January 2018, 12:10   #2
Paul Longland
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Wow that's a pretty tight budget unless optics are enormously cheaper on your side of the pond so that rules out any of the premium brands such as Swarozski. Kona et al.

I have a Hawke Frontier ED 85mm 20-60 zoom which performs pretty well for a mid-priced budget scope, but even that may be outside your price range (I paid £600 GBP for it a few years back and the tripod was not included).

There are some decent budget brands around such as Delta (not sure if these are available stateside) from china and these would worth checking out along with some of the offerings from Vanguard.
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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 19:32   #3
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I am not a professional, so I do not need high-end equipment that costs thousands of dollars.

Seems like what I have on my wish list is much better than any of the low-end spotting scopes and tripods.

I would greatly appreciate suggestions regarding Spotting Scopes and Tripods .... I have seen many that are within my price range ....

I could go as high as $600-700 total (for both Spotting Scope and Tripod) .....

I would like an Angled Spotting Scope 20-60x/60-80mm, fine-tuning focus, and a sturdy tripod, which I will be using while traveling up the Pacific Coast from Fort Bragg, California, to Astoria, Oregon.

I will be using the Spotting Scope for observing Birds, Whales, Seals and Sea Lions.
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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 19:58   #4
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As far as the Celestrons go, a bit heavy. But the 80mm should work well. Celestron do not seem to make a 65mm that balances wel. My 65mm tips over. Just sitting on a table it tips over.
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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 20:10   #5
GadgetJim57
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Originally Posted by Tero View Post
As far as the Celestrons go, a bit heavy. But the 80mm should work well. Celestron do not seem to make a 65mm that balances wel. My 65mm tips over. Just sitting on a table it tips over.
What other Spotting Scopes would be a good choice ..... I definitely do NOT want my Spotting Scope falling to the ground ... !!!

Any recommendations for a good Tripod ... ?
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Old Sunday 7th January 2018, 20:14   #6
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I have not had to shop for one lately. The Celestrons seem to be best money for that price range. I use a Vixen eyepiece on mine, slightly better than the Celestron. You just need to make sure you can return if not to your liking. The 80mm models wit a sturdy tripod should be steady. I think the 80mm does not tip over, but I have not seen one
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 18:01   #7
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The main thing is to test before you buy.
I don't know the market in the US. For years I used a Kowa 60 mm scope with a 28x wide angle eye-piece. I was very happy with it - but as I got older I found the weight was an issue and I was increasingly leaving it at home.
Recently I bought an Opticron GA Travelscope (60 mm objective lens, central focussing, 12 - 25 Zoom I think!). It's about half the weight. Also a Velbon sherpa tripod which is very stable. The combination came to about £700. No idea if these models are available in the US or what they would cost there but I'm very happy with the combination. I doubt if it's worth the extra cost of going for an 80mm objective lens - I think you might well get a better return for your money by going for a 60mm and increasing the quality. Others may well disagree!
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Old Monday 22nd January 2018, 15:00   #8
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As a travel setup I use a combination of the Hawke Endurance 50mm 12-36x spotter -- which is a great little performer -- and a Vanguard VEO2 265CB travel tripod, which folds small and is carbon fibre, so super lightweight (but also available as an aluminium model, which is cheaper).

If you want a slightly larger scope then Hawke also do the Endurance as a 16-48x68 and a 20-60x85 model in both ED and non-ED variants. Vanguard's Endeavor HD (available as a 65mm and 82mm option) are well made, and perform well through the first 2/3 of the zoom range before detail starts falling off markedly (an issue with zoom eyepieces on entry level scopes in general).

One scope that doesn't seem to suffer from that is the Olivon T650 I reviewed a while back. It's a great value scope that performs very well. Not too sure if they are available in the US, but worth checking out if they are.

I've reviewed all of these on the Ireland's Wildlife site... won't link to the reviews here as I've had friendly reminders from the admins before not to link to my own site, but you'll be able to find them if you want them.

Best of luck with your choice.
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Old Thursday 1st February 2018, 13:19   #9
Vámibimbero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetJim57 View Post
Please share your advice and experience with good quality scopes and tripods .....

I would like to invest in a good Scope and Tripod to watch birds along the coast for my trip up the Oregon Coast ..... I plan on traveling the Oregon Coast for several weeks in June, 2018.

So far, this is what I have added to my Wish List:

1) Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
2) Celstron - Regal Premium Tripod

I want a tripod that will provide very good support, so the spotting scope is not wobbly.

I'm hoping to spend around $500.00 or less for both spotting scope and tripod .....
I would not close out any possibility to buy a secondhand used scope and a new/almost new tripod. Regarding telescopes, a rock solid tripod and good tripod head is VERY important, as the combo will improve the view with any telescope. Amongst used secondhand scopes, you can find good Kowa scopes in reasonable price, also other brands, I am sure. And yes, maybe you are not using now the scope a lot, but when you will, image quality matters. Personally I had Zeiss DiaScope 85 before, and now I am very happy with an old Kowa Tsn-4, keeping in mind that I am going out less and less actually...
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 16:40   #10
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Keep doing your homework on this and avoid rushing in. Buy secondhand but get the advice of other birders and take someone knowledgeable with you when you go to inspect a scope.

There's no way I would spend money on a cheaper scope when bargains are to be had secondhand. The time you spend researching and gathering advice could perhaps be spent saving up a little more money.

Avoid the beginner's tax and get something good in the first place. I would guess 500 dollars would get you an Opticron ED or Nikon Fieldscope ED. Older versions of the latter could be had for quite a lot less.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 17:01   #11
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Another option might be to contact the local Audubon society branch and get some of the members to let you look through their scopes.
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