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Best spotting scope under $2000?


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I've been using a B&L Discoverer for a LONG time, but have looked through some pretty amazing optics lately that make me realize maybe it's time to step up. The Kowa TSN-82SV is pretty amazing for the price - around $1100 w/fixed eye piece. The Vortex Razor HD 27-60x85, around $1600, has great reviews, but I haven't had the opportunity to try one yet. 

 

I'm looking for an angled eyepiece, probably 80-85mm objective minimum, and haven't made up my mind on fixed power eye pieces or zoom.

Edited by Three Foot Johnson
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I have a 20 year old Leupold 12-40X60 that has never disappointed me on the range or bird watching or casual astronomy.  A good tripod with easy adjustments is worth the investment.

 

 I use a Manfrotto tripod with a pistol grip mount.  The scope mounts like a bayonet, easy on, easy off.   Get them at a camera store.  The tripod extends to over 6 feet tall and is solid when extended. The pistol grip mount is squeeze-aim- release and it’s locked in position.  Not good for shooting prone, but just about everything else is convenient.

 

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Here in Billings during sight in days where I am a Chief Range Officer, the Vortex Razor dominates......see an occasional Nikon, Leica and Swarovski.

 

I personally use the old Kowa TSN-1 angled 25x eyepiece, have used it since 1989 when I shot NRA Service Rifle....still a fabulous scope.

 

Bugler

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I’ve tried the Celestron Regal M2 and thought it was horrible compared to my expectations.  All sorts of good reviews but all I could conclude were a bunch of 1st time buyers that didn’t know any better, at least for the one I had. Anything above 20 was near useless and I sent it back right away.

 

Bought a Nightforce TS-80 and a world of difference.  It’s a rebranded Meopta.  I got as open box sale from Camerland so great price and huge difference.  I think unless stepping up into a higher end Kowa at over 2k this is probably the sweet spot.

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I have a Kowa, recommended by a world class Buffalo Rifle shooter friend.....To me it's the Cadillac of spotting scopes for the price....

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The big Vortex Razer if you are hurting for money but much better:  The best Kowa you can afford.  Excellent Kowa's can be had for about 2K.

I use a 4K Hensoldt but the only reason is I have to have the Horus reticle. A $2.5K  Kowa with fluorite crystal objective is clearer than my Hensoldt. The big fluorite Kowa makes Swaro, Zeiss, Leica, etc. look poor.

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I second the big Kowa or a Swarovski ATS85. Doug at Cameraland in NY often has excellent deals on Kowa, I’d give him a call. 

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Are you wanting to use a 60mm or 80 mm objective lens?

 

Randy

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