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Do midsize spotting scopes have pleasing image qualities at 50-60x? (1 Viewer)

Passakorn

Active member
I do both bird photos and also enjoy watching them through the scope. Both photographic equipment and a large scope start to be too heavy to carry around. I am wondering if the midsize scope (50-60mm) a good compromise? I feel that the 30X from Nikon ed50 is not enough for rather far away birds. Could someone recommend a midsize scope that still have very good image quality at high magnification (45-60X)?

Also for a full-size scope (80mm and bigger range) is the image quality at 60-80X enjoyable to watch through for a long period? I find myself enjoying watching the bird's behavior more than just trying to ID them so I would hope to get a scope that still provides a pleasing view at very high magnification that I can watch through for a long time.

For example, I use the 81mm triplet astro scope with 8-24 Baader zoom and I find 60X starts to get dim but still has rather good quality while I enjoy the Celestron C6 at 60x much more and I think it still has a rather pleasing image up to about 100x.

So far I do not own any large scope yet. I tried the Zeiss Gavia (80s mm) for the sea birds and at 60X and it was awful, especially the CA so much I don't think I could live with that much CA. At 30X I think it is more or less the same as 30X from ed50.

Have been thinking whether I should pick the SVbony 80 one for a substitute or should I get a used Nikon EDiii 60 mm instead.

Thank you so much for the suggestion.


Passakorn
 

Hermann

Well-known member
Well, the basic rule with scopes is: Size matters. A well corrected 60mm scope will give you some more detail at 60x than at lower magnifications, but observing with a 1mm exit pupil isn't exactly fun. A well corrected 80mm scope at 60x will be easier to use and show you more detail.

I personally try to keep the exit pupil of my scopes at about 1.5mm, that's 40x with the EDIII and 60x with the ED82, going higher only if necessary.

Another point to consider: There are quite a few lemons about. Sounds like the Gavia you tried may well have been one. I don't think I'd trust SVbony, so if you get one you'd be well advised to star test it carefully. The Nikon Fieldscopes and the Monarchs seem to be much better in this respect.

Hermann
 

4John

4John
I do both bird photos and also enjoy watching them through the scope. Both photographic equipment and a large scope start to be too heavy to carry around. I am wondering if the midsize scope (50-60mm) a good compromise? I feel that the 30X from Nikon ed50 is not enough for rather far away birds. Could someone recommend a midsize scope that still have very good image quality at high magnification (45-60X)?

Also for a full-size scope (80mm and bigger range) is the image quality at 60-80X enjoyable to watch through for a long period? I find myself enjoying watching the bird's behavior more than just trying to ID them so I would hope to get a scope that still provides a pleasing view at very high magnification that I can watch through for a long time.

For example, I use the 81mm triplet astro scope with 8-24 Baader zoom and I find 60X starts to get dim but still has rather good quality while I enjoy the Celestron C6 at 60x much more and I think it still has a rather pleasing image up to about 100x.

So far I do not own any large scope yet. I tried the Zeiss Gavia (80s mm) for the sea birds and at 60X and it was awful, especially the CA so much I don't think I could live with that much CA. At 30X I think it is more or less the same as 30X from ed50.

Have been thinking whether I should pick the SVbony 80 one for a substitute or should I get a used Nikon EDiii 60 mm instead.

Thank you so much for the suggestion.


Passakorn
One of the things I remember from when I had a Swarovski STS80 with the 20-60 zoom was that the atmospheric conditions were very rarely good enough to be able to use 60X magnification. Any wind vibration is also magnified with the image, so you need a solid tripod, and they tend to be heavy. The bottom line is that if you buy the world's best high magnification eyepiece you might not get much chance to use it :). Maybe the weather is better where you are !
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
I do both bird photos and also enjoy watching them through the scope. Both photographic equipment and a large scope start to be too heavy to carry around. I am wondering if the midsize scope (50-60mm) a good compromise? I feel that the 30X from Nikon ed50 is not enough for rather far away birds. Could someone recommend a midsize scope that still have very good image quality at high magnification (45-60X)?

Also for a full-size scope (80mm and bigger range) is the image quality at 60-80X enjoyable to watch through for a long period? I find myself enjoying watching the bird's behavior more than just trying to ID them so I would hope to get a scope that still provides a pleasing view at very high magnification that I can watch through for a long time.

For example, I use the 81mm triplet astro scope with 8-24 Baader zoom and I find 60X starts to get dim but still has rather good quality while I enjoy the Celestron C6 at 60x much more and I think it still has a rather pleasing image up to about 100x.

So far I do not own any large scope yet. I tried the Zeiss Gavia (80s mm) for the sea birds and at 60X and it was awful, especially the CA so much I don't think I could live with that much CA. At 30X I think it is more or less the same as 30X from ed50.

Have been thinking whether I should pick the SVbony 80 one for a substitute or should I get a used Nikon EDiii 60 mm instead.

Thank you so much for the suggestion.


Passakorn

The Swarovski ATS65HD is still sharp and retains contrast at 50x (25-50x Zoom) and is very usable in reasonable good light. But a larger scope like the ATS80HD would be a bit brighter at 50x. The ATS65HD do have less CA than it's big brother...

If 50x-60x is often required or mostly birding in dim/low light, a larger scope (80mm+) is probably the way to go. But I would rather have smaller sharp scope than a bigger one with more CA...

Btw, I'm not surprised about your findings on the Gavia. CA is too high, even for the price point, I didn't find it especially sharp either, and I quickly ruled it out when buying a scope.

I would also look at Kowa TSN-773 (pretty compact and light) and good CA control. Kowa also have very good zoom eye pieces.
 
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jring

Well-known member
Hi,

what Hermann said about the 1.5mm exit pupil for daytime spotter use is true... significantly below that things tend to get a bit dim in not so great light and also correct eye placement is tricky.

So if you want a 60 or 65mm scope, you should have a look at EP options around 40 to 45x... Or get sth around 80mm and aim for magnifications of 50 to 55x... Of course you want a reasonable or better example with ED glass...

Unfortunately noticeable sample variation is present even with alpha models, mediocre to terrible star test images can be found on here or on cloudynights... so star test your scope before buying (bring a diy artificial star and observe at 20m or more).

I was very lucky to find cheap and quite good (but not perfect) old TSN-3 in the german classifieds as my first scope and got the advice on here to add an Opticron SDLv2 on this forum... this gives 52x at max magification (so 1.5mm exit pupil with its 77mm aperture) and offers a great wide angle view sharp to the edge - very rarely used at lower magnifications... Also quite light for a full size scope at less than 1.5kg with EP...

PS: since you already own the ED50 with a 27x EP, getting either a 60mm Fieldscope ED body for 40x and use it with your EP or a 77 or 82mm body (same focal length) for 50x would be a good solution... also we have rarely seen complete lemons from this line, so your chances for a good example might be a bit better...

Cheers,

Joachim
 
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Passakorn

Active member
Thank you very much for all suggestions. In fact I have been looking at the EDiii 60mm. One thing I am not sure is if it is worth spending for an upgrade from the ED50? How much better image quality I would gain besides 40x vs 30x and a bit brighter? I have 10-30x eyepiece on ED50.

I even think of getting 60mm doublet or triplet APO astro scope to use for this purpose but it will be not very practical in the field.

Thanks a gain for all of suggestions.

Passakorn
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
In general....within the world of optics, you get what you pay for. My advice is....purchase what you can afford and don't look back, don't look over your neck at what others have, don't try out a scope knowing you can't afford it.... Just enjoy the one you purchase.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

I would see an EDiii replacing the ED50, with a ED77 or ED82 you will probably keep the small body as a lightweight solution for long hikes...

As for getting what you pay for - I would not really sign that for spotting scopes... have seen too many alpha lemons... quite a few personally...
And on the flip side you can buy a cheap astro ED refractor (or small Newtonian) made in China and will get diffraction limited or better optics with a very high probability...

Joachim
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
Thank you very much for all suggestions. In fact I have been looking at the EDiii 60mm. One thing I am not sure is if it is worth spending for an upgrade from the ED50? How much better image quality I would gain besides 40x vs 30x and a bit brighter? I have 10-30x eyepiece on ED50.

I even think of getting 60mm doublet or triplet APO astro scope to use for this purpose but it will be not very practical in the field.

Thanks a gain for all of suggestions.

Passakorn
The EDIII is a better scope but also quite a bit larger and heavier.

A lighter alternative would be the Opticron MM4 60 ED + 15-45x Opticron SDL v3

But if scoping is not the main activity, I would probably not bother.
 

Hermann

Well-known member
In fact I have been looking at the EDiii 60mm. One thing I am not sure is if it is worth spending for an upgrade from the ED50? How much better image quality I would gain besides 40x vs 30x and a bit brighter?
The ED50 is good. The 60mm Fieldscopes are better. Period. I only use the ED50 when I want to keep the weight down as much as possible. It's great for that. The EDIII is my go-to scope for anything else. I only use the ED82 in static situations. It's better than the EDIII.

Remember: Size matters ... :cool:
I have 10-30x eyepiece on ED50.
You mean the 13-33x? The problem with the Fieldscopes is that you can't easily get the WA eyepieces anymore. That's why I'd get a different scope if I had to switch now.

Hermann
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
...The problem with the Fieldscopes is that you can't easily get the WA eyepieces anymore. That's why I'd get a different scope if I had to switch now...
I agree w/this except if you are interested in used. I've had luck in the relatively recent past finding Fieldscope 60 EDII including my desired fixed eyepiece (e.g. 24x WF or MC, or 30x WF) for under $300. I think that is the best way to acquire a fixed WA eyepiece apart from buying one of the DS eyepieces that are still fairly easy to find new online. If you later want a Fieldscope 78 or 82, you'll already have the hard to obtain fixed eyepieces, so you could then aim to get the best deal on one with a 25-75x zoom, which is the one with which most are supplied.

--AP
 

KevinL

Well-known member
I've been well pleased with my Vortex Razor 20-60x85. It is sharp and bright all the way to 60x. Not exactly a small nor light scope.
 

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