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Selection Plight For Viewing Cattle Livestock

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Selection Plight For Viewing Cattle Livestock

Postby grimmer on Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:33 am

After using several power binoculars and 2 different monoculars I need an expert opinion. 7x35.... 10-22x50

I need a product (generally speaking) that can view as close as 30 yards and out greater than 1000 yards.

I use this tool to look at the general health of cows and more closely signs of calving. At times cows are standoffish or in a different pasture and depending on my opinion of calving expectancy I can determine most conditions at a considerable distance, while other times I'm looking more closely at the cows behind from a considerable distance...i.e. 1000 yards or greater.

So my field of view across this range is usually small.

Over time I have determined the following features important to me:
Handheld preferably...Large Eye Relief, staight eyepiece. I typically would carry this with me in my truck and when inside the home I would moreoften use it handheld but I could have a tripod handy.

Thanks for your expertice
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:13 am

Re: Selection Plight For Viewing Cattle Livestock

Postby Jne_K on Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:26 am


Sorry, what you are asking is impossible as far as hnadholding. To view detail with any optical instrument at those ranges will require very high magnification and that ALWAYS means a tripod for steadiness. You cannot handhold. Never.

A spotting scope is your only option and that is going to be a matter of how much you can spend as to performance. Optical quality, not features, is the most important factor in performance, not features.

$500 will buy you a good scope. My favorites in this price range include the Vortex Skyline and the Alpen 788. Both are as good as it gets for this price and will do a nice job for you.

Good choices in a spotting scope under $1000 include the Bushnell Elite 20-60x80 or the Brunton Eterna, 20-60x80 in either straight or angled. These are excellent scopes at a reaonable price, compared to premium grade scopes usually used for this distance, which typically start at $1400.

You will also discover, that even with the most expensive spotting scope, a la a Leica for $4000, the atmosphere will always limit the amount of detail you can see at those distances. There will be days when the atmosphere is too turbulent to use more than 30x.

For the basics on spotting scopes and more, see my article at
What is a Spotting Scope?
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert


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