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Birding Spotting Scope

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Birding Spotting Scope

Postby ronny on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:48 pm

Hi. I'm looking for a spotting scope to use for birding, where my wife will be carrying it around to go birding with our 13 yr old son. They currently use the Leupold Sequoia 15-45x60mm, which of course we purchased from OpticsPlanet. I'm looking to get them the next level up. Which one do you recommend? I'm considering the quality of glass for clarity, weight, and price. Can I get a good one for less than $500? I was looking at the Bushnell Legend 20-60x80 (too heavy?), Leupold 20-60x80 (good glass?), or Nikon Prostaff 5 20-60x82 (paying for the brand?). What are your thoughts on these or are there others I should be considering given my purchase criteria?

Re: Birding Spotting Scope

Postby Steven_L on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:31 pm

I would say the best overall is the Nikon Prostaff 5. It's light, attractive, and resolution and light transmission are extremely good for a product in this price range. Plus, you can choose between straight and angled eyepieces. Angled will let you keep your tripod lower and more stable, but straight is easier for beginners to acquire their target. The Bushnell Legend has just a bit of a resolution edge, but not really light transmission. The Legend is SO heavy, but everything about it exudes quality except the eyepiece, which I think they could put a bit more care into. The Leupold Ventana is not a favorite, but is handy like the Nikon.

Overall I would choose the Prostaff 5 over the others. When you step up in quality next time, be prepared to spend several times your current price range, and they will be substantially heavier. When you're ready for a Kowa, Swarovski, or Zeiss, we're ready to help, but they won't do tons more than the spotters you are currently looking at. You pay a lot for very small percentage points of increase in performance when you get to extreme top level optics.

I believe you will be extremely pleased with the new Nikon Prostaff 5.
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