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Budget spotting scope question (1 Viewer)

HarryF123

New member
Hi All,
I am looking to invest in my first spotting scope both for bird watching and my other hobby of plane spotting.
I unfortunately spend more than £200, and hence have found the following options. I was wondering whether anyone had any thoughts/opinions?

Celestron Trailseeker 100
Celestron Ultima 80
trailseeker 80
Acuter natureclose St80B 20-60X80
Acuter natureclose St65b 16-38x65

Or if anyone had any other suggestions
Kind regards
Harry
 

Original PaulE

Well-known member
Hi All,
I am looking to invest in my first spotting scope both for bird watching and my other hobby of plane spotting.
I unfortunately spend more than £200, and hence have found the following options. I was wondering whether anyone had any thoughts/opinions?

Celestron Trailseeker 100
Celestron Ultima 80
trailseeker 80
Acuter natureclose St80B 20-60X80
Acuter natureclose St65b 16-38x65

Or if anyone had any other suggestions
Kind regards
Harry

Depending what you are going to be using it for ,at that budget would probably go for a decent pair of bins, don't forget you will need a tripod as well and you will struggle to find anything decent at that price , Optricon are good at the lower end put you probably need to double your budget for one of those.

Cheers
 

HarryF123

New member
Depending what you are going to be using it for ,at that budget would probably go for a decent pair of bins, don't forget you will need a tripod as well and you will struggle to find anything decent at that price , Optricon are good at the lower end put you probably need to double your budget for one of those.

Cheers


Thanks for the reply. A scope would be preferred as it would be better for me to use with regards to the aircraft, although I will have a look into binoculars also
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Hi Harry, and welcome.

I have been plane spotting for over 60 years and still do daily.
200,000 properly listed, perhaps 400,000 plus casual observations.
I didn't even have to look years ago as all the aircraft had different sounds.

My advice will be different to the birdwatchers here.
They usually want no false colour and waterproof good quality optics.

I used a 3 inch astro long focus refractor with a 53x terrestrial eyepiece from the age of 15.
I followed aircraft for up to 200 miles plus.
On a mahogany solid leg tripod with brass pillar mount.

I also use a Celestron/Skywatcher 80mm f/5 refractor with erecting prism and astro eyepieces. On an old Slik 88 tripod.

I think that any of the scopes you mention is O.K.
Probably the easiest is the 16x to 48x? ((not 38)x 65. On a rather heavy old fashioned photo tripod with video head. I.e. sideways and up/down with a handle.
Make sure that the handle doesn't hit your eye. Some handles are bent to avoid this.

Look at Optical Vision Ltd. website.

Also an 8x42 or 10x42 Nikon Aculon binocular.

Secondhand scopes are cheaper, but one has to know optics to choose wisely.

Ideally a Canon 15x50 IS would be good, but these are maybe £700 or more. I wouldn't buy secondhand stabilised binoculars. But way outside your budget.

I also use a 10x25 binocular for daytime aircraft observation. Very good views. Also of birds.

The £80 Horizon 8115 tripod is heavy at 3.6Kg but used from a garden etc. quite O.K. if one is fit.

Regards.
B.
 
Last edited:

Binastro

Well-known member
Harry,

Normally I identify aircraft of Boeing 737 size at up to 4 miles with unaided eyes.
With unaided eyes it is fairly easy to identify some aircraft at 35,000ft height from the contrails.

A £30 Canon A720IS at 6x zoom and digital zoom normally gets the individual number at 6,000ft.

I use 8x32 or 8.5x44 binoculars to identify medium size aircraft at 10 to 15 miles.
Light aircraft at 5 miles.
Over cities, aircraft and helicopters need two engines and 2,000 ft minimum height.
I think that single engined aircraft can fly along the Thames.
The helicopters fly along the H corridors.

A Canon 8x25 IS binocular will see names on the side of larger aircraft at 10 miles. But this is not a robust binocular.

On a solid tripod Victor bombers were seen almost daily as dark dots in front of the contrail at 200 miles at 80 times. They were dark dots even though painted white. Usually flying north. Last seen at 250 miles.
I measured a height of 63,000ft on one flying very high with an 80x filar micrometer eyepiece and a protractor.

A 10x42 binocular will probably do well in your location. But a spotting scope can be useful depending on your observing location and requirements.

It is also good for birds.

Regards,
B.
 
Last edited:

richard866945

Bino repair man
telescope for planes and birds

Hello Harry.
There is a Bushnell Spacemaster 60mm ED with 15x-45x zoom plus two fixed lenses , 15x and 20x, which are better for photography for £149
and a Helios Natureclose 16x-48x65 for £125
PM me if you want a contact number.
Regards Richard



Hi All,
I am looking to invest in my first spotting scope both for bird watching and my other hobby of plane spotting.
I unfortunately spend more than £200, and hence have found the following options. I was wondering whether anyone had any thoughts/opinions?

Celestron Trailseeker 100
Celestron Ultima 80
trailseeker 80
Acuter natureclose St80B 20-60X80
Acuter natureclose St65b 16-38x65

Or if anyone had any other suggestions
Kind regards
Harry
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

the Spacemaster ED might indeed be a good deal - you'll be hard pressed to find ED glass at that price... Let alone with three EPs...

In this classic Better View Desired test of old results are a bit of a mixed bag... but mainly due to the terribad bundled eyepiece which is not present in this bundle...

https://www.cloudynights.com/BVD/Scope-Fever.php

If straight is ok with you, it might be a great option and even leave some cash for a tripod and head.

Joachim
 

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