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Sub-0 Spoting scope for lake house porch

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Sub-$200 Spoting scope for lake house porch

Postby bp78 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:58 pm

We're looking for a gift again this year for my father in law. He loved the Nikon Action 12x binoculars we got him last year from OP but is now looking for more magnification and understands it'll be 100% tripod mounted. Looking at these scopes (or others in the price range) which would be the best buy for full sunshine, tripod mounted viewing of boats and other things around the lake (It'll likely stay in the sunroom of their Lake Champlain cottage, so portability isn't too much of an issue but probably not enough room for a big telescope).

http://www.opticsplanet.com/celestron-u ... potti.html
http://www.opticsplanet.com/burris-20x- ... otter.html
http://www.opticsplanet.com/tasco-20-60 ... 06080.html
http://www.opticsplanet.com/vortex-impa ... -70ra.html

The Nikon product is great and we appreciate the warranty / implied quality and I've been impressed with my Vortex binoculars.

Thanks.
bp
bp78
 

Re: Sub-$200 Spoting scope for lake house porch

Postby PhilR. on Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:19 pm

Although there's a lot to choose from in your price range, I would recommend that you either stay under $100, or go right up to $200. I say that because the scopes in the middle of the range aren't really better than a $69 Simmons that you can get at your local Wally World. I purchased a Simmons to keep set up in my workshop, as the rear doors look out over the rest of the property and my small shooting range. I didn't want something expensive as it's use is just for daytime viewing at a maximum of 50 yards, and I don't have to worry about a cheap scope being left unattended.

I also have a near-$200 Bushnell that I use when shooting service rifle matches. Setting the two up side-by-side, I can find hardly any difference in the quality of the view. This made me a bit upset to find that the Simmons provides about 90% the goodness of the Bushy, but for about 38% the price. I have also since compared my cheap beater Simmons to several other low-end spotters, and it easily holds it's own.

OTOH, going up to about $200 will get you an 80mm Celestron Ultima, which is better than any Bushnell, Barska, Burris, or Alpen that I've ever looked through. Of all the $200 and under scopes out there, this would be the one I would pick for stationary tripod use. I haven't looked through the 80mm version, but the 65mm version that I purchased for my brother is a pretty decent scope for the money, and better than the more expensive Bushnell.

So basically I'm trying to say that in your price range, either stay under $100 and get something perfectly useable for the daytime, or go all the way up to the limit of your budget.

There are a few others to mention. I haven't looked through them, but these might be worth your time to investigate. At the closer to $100 end, you have the Yukon Firefalls, which got some good press in the birdwatching.com ratings chart for mid-priced scopes. It would be worth your time to check it out. both can be had under $100. If I didn't already have the Simmons, I would be highly inclined to get the 50mm Yukon. The Bushnell Spacemaster might also be worth looking into (or through), along with the Brunton Echo 50mm which looks like it was made in the same factory as the very good but now discontinued Celestron 50mm.

In the around $200 area, also look at the Konusspot 80mm. It does cost about $30 more than your budget, but it does get good reviews, and it would be a good choice for stationary use.

Whatever you do, don't get a Burris.....
PhilR.
 
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Re: Sub-$200 Spoting scope for lake house porch

Postby Jne_K on Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:58 am

Hi

Best buy in that price range is the Celestron Ultima 80 OP. This si exactly the same as the standard Celestron Ultima 80, but with the addition of a Celestron tripod and still at a price less than the standard Ultima 80. We struck a deal with Celestron to offer this as a package at a great price, but I still would have recommended the Ultima 80 as a best choice and that is based on actual use and testing of the scope. To get a significantly better scope, you will need to move up to the $400 scope range.
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Re: Sub-$200 Spoting scope for lake house porch

Postby bp78 on Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:54 am

Thanks Joanie, Great advice as always.

We ordered that suggested Celestron Ultima 80 and were shocked that Optics Planet already has it already delivered to our place in North Carolina yesterday. Very fast shipping. :D Looks & seems to perform great too, I always have to test out my father-in-law's xmas gifts before they get gift wrapped. :wink:
bp78
 

Re: Sub-$200 Spoting scope for lake house porch

Postby Jne_K on Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:59 am

You are so very welcome. Better get that wrapped.
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Re: Sub-$200 Spoting scope for lake house porch

Postby michaelclarve on Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:27 am

Hi folks,

How would you select any gift to give your near ones.. May I know which will take active part... in this... Heart or mind.. ?? and why..?

May I have your suggestion on this..?

Regards,
micheal.

.
personalised presents || personalised present ideas
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Re: Sub-$200 Spoting scope for lake house porch

Postby Jne_K on Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:10 am

Hi

Wish I could advise, there, but that is a matter of knowing the recipient well enough to know if the gift is something that is a good fit. On the other hand, I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't enjoy the view of scenery and landscape through a spotting scope and I think it appeals equally to those with a technical mind and those who are more aesthetic in their outlook.
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert

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