Sub-0 Spoting scope for lake house porch
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.
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.....
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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.
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. Looks & seems to perform great too, I always have to test out my father-in-law's xmas gifts before they get gift wrapped.
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- Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:20 am
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.