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Old Friday 13th March 2015, 18:50   #1
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I have $1500 to spend on a scope.

Hello everyone. I am new to spotting scopes but have been enjoying shore birding this winter and it is apparent that I need a spotting scope. I ended up buying a Vanguard Endevor HD 82mm at a Cabela's on the way back from visiting family in the south. Its seemed fairly nice in the store but after using it outside I discovered that it is terrible at anything over 35-40mm in brighter light. It is very soft and has tons of CA at higher magnifications and is actually easier to make out details at 20x than at 60x. I am sending it back to see if the tech people at Vanguard think it is substandard for that model or not. I think it must be because it gets very good reviews on amazon.

After doing more research I have decided that I might have been a little naive to think that I could get a decent view for $600 so I have decided to step up my budget to $1500. I know that $1500 is low for a good scope but that it the top of my budget right now.

I am leaning towards the Vortex Razor HD 85mm, which seems to get great reviews and have an amazing warranty, even for accidental damage!! But I am worried because the Vanguard got great reviews too.

What I am wondering, is that my best choice or should I go with a used model of a more premium scope? Like a Zeiss Diascope, Nikon EIII, Kowa?

My wife and I both wear glasses so good eye relief is very important.

I am also interested in digiscoping with a M4/3 camera.

Any help would be appreciated!!
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Old Friday 13th March 2015, 18:58   #2
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I am also considering the Razor HD 65 model. Has anyone used one of these and would I see much of a difference in the two?

I just realized that maybe I should have posted this in the spotting scope forum, oops!! Sorry about that.
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Old Saturday 14th March 2015, 14:02   #3
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Try the Opticron....I have the HR66 but there is also the 80. I find HR 66 to be just fine for shore birding and it would fall within your budget of $1425. I compared the Opticron to the Swaro 65 (and even the Swaro 80mm as I had that prior) and found that it beat out the Swaro....It also beat out the Kowa....

give it a shot...B and H just got them in stock or do what I did and order they Eagle Optics and give it a try. You will be surprised.... jim
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Old Saturday 14th March 2015, 14:34   #4
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I have been very pleased with my Razor HD 85. The optics are excellent, and it is well built. I have used it from sub-zero F in the Rockies to the steamy jungles of the Ecuadorian Amazon without any problems.

I have heard good things about Opticrons as well, but I've never tried one myself. Good luck!
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Old Saturday 14th March 2015, 18:06   #5
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Ditto on Jim's comments. I have tried all of the Opticron scopes and they are excellent performers at their price points.

Another to consider would be the Zen Ray Prime 82 mm. Personally I would opt for the 25-50x wide angle zoom out of the options. You barely lose any brightness and no sharpness when zooming from 25 to 50.
Visit our Optics Review site......
Digiscoped videos .....
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