Looking for spotting scope recommendations

danny warren

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 1, 2014
112
123
43
Name
Danny
Boat
14ft minnow,17ft Willies driftboat
As the title states. I am in the market for a quality spotting scope for backcountry hunting. Looking for personal recommendations. All help is appreciated. Currently leaning towards the vortex razor.
 

wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
9,228
8,864
maple valley, wa
Name
laurence
Boat
2021 Allied WildCat 30
I’ve had a Kowa for 20 years. It’s still outstanding.
 
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tacklejacked

Capt./ Ho if I get to drive
Jun 2, 2009
2,939
3,161
Seabeck
Name
Greg
Boat
22 Hewescraft Searunner ET HT
I like my razor hd. Durable, clear and holds it own against other higher end brands.
 
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thesaltyhooker

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 25, 2018
136
67
34
Renton
Name
Anders
Boat
North River Seahawk
spotting scopes is a slippery slippery slope.
what's your budget? What magnifiction? for back country im assuming you want a lighter/more compact.
I've been super happy with my Maven bino's, so much so that my vortex are now relegated to boat duty.
Check out their new compact scope. although can't go wrong with most of the big name stuff.
But the maven CS1 15-45x65 for 650 bucks would be hard to beat for the price.
 
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cozenone

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 25, 2020
383
374
northwest
Name
joe
Boat
none
For the price, the Vortex is hard to beat, very little distortion on the edges and draws quite a bit of light.
 
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ShadowX

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 10, 2010
1,765
1,467
Los Angeles
Name
Alex
Boat
None
Kowa TSN-883 with the 25x LER ocular. You will never regret the purchase other than to buy once, cry once. The key is the pure fluorite crystal objective lens, which makes the scope very expensive. You get practically zero color fringing and divergence due to the fluorite crystal. I can see a spider sitting in middle of web almost 150 yards away on a tree.

If you are a birdwatcher, I suggest the Swarovski ATS 80 HD. That is a better scope for bird watching due to the camera adapters available. I prefer the angled lens because it can be positioned in many ways when lying low. If you have lots of money, go for the ZEISS Victory Harpia 95. Its a little heavier and bigger, but its an amazing scope. It probably won't fit your needs since you are hunting backcountry and will need to go light.
 
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Baby J

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 28, 2017
423
476
48
Puyallup
Name
Jeremy
Boat
23' Walkaround
I am happy with my Vortex as well and still feel like they provide great value or bang for the buck. That being said, I wish I’d have just pooled my money for my spotting scope and binoculars together and just bought the best binoculars I could afford. Maybe I’m just getting old but spotting scopes just make my eyes tired after a while. I spend probably 90% of my glassing time behind the binoculars.
 

wdlfbio

Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
9,228
8,864
maple valley, wa
Name
laurence
Boat
2021 Allied WildCat 30
I am happy with my Vortex as well and still feel like they provide great value or bang for the buck. That being said, I wish I’d have just pooled my money for my spotting scope and binoculars together and just bought the best binoculars I could afford. Maybe I’m just getting old but spotting scopes just make my eyes tired after a while. I spend probably 90% of my glassing time behind the binoculars.
get an eye patch. Adds a tone of relief, because no more squinting
 

ShadowX

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 10, 2010
1,765
1,467
Los Angeles
Name
Alex
Boat
None
I am happy with my Vortex as well and still feel like they provide great value or bang for the buck. That being said, I wish I’d have just pooled my money for my spotting scope and binoculars together and just bought the best binoculars I could afford. Maybe I’m just getting old but spotting scopes just make my eyes tired after a while. I spend probably 90% of my glassing time behind the binoculars.
The Long Eye Relief (LER) eyepiece lens makes a huge difference in viewing comfort. You don't have to squint anymore. You can even view the image with eyeglasses on. The reason why you prefer the binoculars is that it has a better eye relief and most likely has a lower power level. At lower power levels, the viewing angle opens up. The LER eyepiece does the same thing but at a higher magnification. There is no doubt the spotting scope is much brighter and crisper than any binoculars since it has the largest objective lens. It makes a big difference during sunsets or cloudy days when there is less light available.
 

J Dean

Newbie
Nov 20, 2016
10
15
59
Eagle Idaho
Name
Jim Dean
Boat
yes
I just got a 65mm Razor. Great glass and enough Magnification for most anything in the west and still small enough to be packable. Good compromise.