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Best scope to buy for this price range? (1 Viewer)

gkamov

Bulgarian birder
Bulgaria
Hi, everyone - and Happy New 2021!

I would appreciate your advice on buying a spotting scope (body+eyepiece together) in the following price range: 2000-2500 USD (or 1500-2000 EUR, or 1400-1800 GBP).

What would be the best option?
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

Meostar S2 82 and either of the two available EPs (20-70x normal zoom or 30-60x wide zoom) should be available below 2k€ and will be a good option if you are ok with a Swaro style focus barrel.

The 20-70x has very good ER for use with glasses and a very easy view but is obviously not very wide and has a bit red/brown color rendition. The 30-60 wide has a more neutral color rendition and nice wide field of view but eye placement is a bit tricky and it shows strong rolling ball when panning.

We have heard only good things about the quality and lately stories about Swaro style service.

Another obvious option would be the Kowa 883 but it will probably be a bit out of budget at around 2.5k€ with the 25-60 wide zoom. Good and bad examples have been observed.

The Nikon Monarch 82ED with the 30-60x wide zoom will be available towards the lower end of the budget and Henry Link has reviewed a perfect example for a friend. Other examples have not been perfect but at least good so far - no obvious lemons. Service can be hit and miss depending on your local Nikon service center and Nikon does not do too well atm in the photo business, so not sure if they will be there in 10 years to honor a warranty.

Joachim
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I have moved to 3 scopes with increasing age and wealth. When I had one it was a 65mm, if I had to go back to one it'd be a 65mm. For a general scope and a good compromise between weight and quality this for me is the best size. I love the view through my 82mm Nikon. I hate carrying it.
 

gkamov

Bulgarian birder
Bulgaria
Hi,

Meostar S2 82 and either of the two available EPs (20-70x normal zoom or 30-60x wide zoom) should be available below 2k€ and will be a good option if you are ok with a Swaro style focus barrel.

The 20-70x has very good ER for use with glasses and a very easy view but is obviously not very wide and has a bit red/brown color rendition. The 30-60 wide has a more neutral color rendition and nice wide field of view but eye placement is a bit tricky and it shows strong rolling ball when panning.

We have heard only good things about the quality and lately stories about Swaro style service.

Another obvious option would be the Kowa 883 but it will probably be a bit out of budget at around 2.5k€ with the 25-60 wide zoom. Good and bad examples have been observed.

The Nikon Monarch 82ED with the 30-60x wide zoom will be available towards the lower end of the budget and Henry Link has reviewed a perfect example for a friend. Other examples have not been perfect but at least good so far - no obvious lemons. Service can be hit and miss depending on your local Nikon service center and Nikon does not do too well atm in the photo business, so not sure if they will be there in 10 years to honor a warranty.

Joachim

Thanks a lot for the suggestions, Joachim! So an 82mm would be the best option in your opinion? Because Swarovski ATS 65 HD & 25-50X 8631 eyepiece combo also fits the bill at around 2,5 k. Would a Zeiss Conquest Gavia 85 30-60x85 also be an option? Or a Kowa TSN-773 77mm?
 

dannat

Well-known member
kowa tan 773 would be an excellent choice, i would take it over the swaro, is objective size or weight/portability more important,which tripod u using/planning to buy
 

jring

Well-known member
Thanks a lot for the suggestions, Joachim! So an 82mm would be the best option in your opinion? Because Swarovski ATS 65 HD & 25-50X 8631 eyepiece combo also fits the bill at around 2,5 k. Would a Zeiss Conquest Gavia 85 30-60x85 also be an option? Or a Kowa TSN-773 77mm?

Hi,

I just assumed full size given the sufficient budget and no specific mention of easy portability needs.

I had not listed the Gavia as a Kamakura made scope can be bought for less money than with a Zeiss sticker. Nothing bad about Kamakura (although their mainstay are binoculars), but this line is actually aimed at an even lower pricepoint and Zeiss used it as a 2nd tier model... I would prefer the ones I mentioned to the Gavia. Here is a review by Henry:


The ATS 65 is certainly a capable scope from a very reputable vendor. If easy portability was the focus, I would recommend it. In any other case, a good full size scope will show more.

The Kowa 773/4 series is a strange beast - most of the time it was priced quite high so you could get an 883/4 kit for a 200 or 300 more if you shopped around. Also the weight difference is between 883 and 773 is really small at 200g if you look at at least 4kg for the whole setup... So most went for the 883. Also it seems to have some CA while the 883 has almost none as mentioned by Kimmo in a review.

Joachim
 

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