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What Spotting scope!

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    Posted: February 11 2020 at 12:25pm
OK guy's; I am currently using a fairly old (secondhand) Japanese made spotting scope that has a x40 magnification.
I can see most of the holes on the target at 200 metres, but sometimes the odd one or two are just not obvious. But the image quality is good because the lens is good quality.
So I am thinking about changing for a X60 scope; but I'm concerned about the image quality. Some of the lower end scopes have more magnification, but poor image quality; so no better than what I have.

So what is a good spotting scope for minimum 200 metre use that's also affordable?  up to 400 dollars budget! There are so many on the market these days; it's a potential minefield.

I have a small Tasco scope for 50m .22 that's great, I bought it 10 years ago. But I've seen both good and bad reports about their recent stuff. So need some advice on whats good and what to avoid!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2020 at 3:03pm
Scope makers LOVE to inflate "Power" as in magnification. The truth is no matter what the limiting factor (because of laws of physics) you will never ever get mote than 20X magnification per inch of open objective lens (the big one at the front) diameter. Open excludes any central mirror, which may add 1~2 " to the advertised diameter.

I use an old, a few years astronomical telescope (without all the computer controls) & with an "erecting prism". Astronomical images are inverted, to save light loss.
Astronomical telescopes don't really "magnify" so much as grab weak light & amplify it.
Astronomers want the latest, greatest most computerized thing available & because of that older scopes drop in value like rock off a cliff.
You can probably search online or a 5" (125mm)  or 6" (150mm) scope from a few years back & get an awesome instrument for 5% of its new value.
Just make sure its a known brand, (Meade, Celestron & so on) & takes interchangeable 1.25" (30.6mm) eyepiece accessories (the industry standard.) Many fixed & zoom eyepieces exist.
My 5" Bausch & Lomb, with all its accessories (except the tripod & erecting prism) was under US$200.00!
It does up to 64X with no loss of sharpness, but any higher & the limited diameter starts to rear its ugly head.



Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2020 at 4:03pm
That’s a cool looking scope.  

Image clarity is more important than the magnification.  40x is plenty at 200 meters if you have decent lenses that give a clear image.  So is stability of the mount.  A good scope stand will cost $200 to $300 here in the US. 

I sprung for a $1700 Nikon and the next year, the Talladega Marksmanship Park opened with electronic targets and monitors at each firing point.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2020 at 5:15pm
i cannot contribute much - i have an inexpensive one that works great out to 200 for general purpose use , its best in the 100 range , my new sig Tango 6 scope is far sharper in reality than the spotter , it has served in the past for getting people zeroed in during deer hunting sight in when i was a range officer , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 12 2020 at 7:06am
Very true "resolution" is vital.
I usually use that beast at 26X mag & being astronomical its designed to record incredibly tiny objects (stars billions & billions of miles away only fill a minute angle of view), usually measured in "arc seconds" clearly so they tend to have really sharp clear optics.

Common examples

The full moon's average apparent size is about 31 arcminutes (or 0.52°).

An arcminute is approximately the resolution of the human eye.

An arcsecond is approximately the angle subtended by a U.S. dime coin (18 mm) at a distance of 4 kilometres (about 2.5 mi).[5] An arcsecond is also the angle subtended by

  • an object of diameter 725.27 km at a distance of one astronomical unit,
  • an object of diameter 45866916 km at one light-year,
  • an object of diameter one astronomical unit (149597870.7 km) at a distance of one parsec, per the definition of the latter.[6]

A milliarcsecond is about the size of a dime atop the Eiffel Tower as seen from New York City.

A microarcsecond is about the size of a period at the end of a sentence in the Apollo mission manuals left on the Moon as seen from Earth.

A nanoarcsecond is about the size of a penny on Neptune's moon Triton as observed from Earth.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 12 2020 at 7:09am
That tripod shown is the old "Leitz Tiltall", its about as rigid as yu can get while remaining portable. Any tripods performance can be boosted with just a 2 gallon jug of water! What you do is hang it from the center where the legs come together, it "cinches down" all the legs & makes an amazing difference to rigidity! HugI recently acquired a Leitz auto level, complete with its MASSIVE tripod. Its a pain to take anywhere because of its weight & bulk, but its rigid as all get out. I just have to fabricate an adapter from the 3/8" standard thread to the 1/4 X 20 of the scope base.
It was $10.oo at a yard sale because the industry has switched to lasers.
You might want to look into something similar.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 12 2020 at 10:58am
Thanks for the input guys. I agree that the image quality is the most important thing.
I'm thinking maybe best to hold off buying something new and keep an eye out for a better quality second hand scope. (A new top quality scope is more than the cost of a rifle).
Having tried a few average quality scopes that other shooters use; I must say that most of them don't show any better results than my old one. Even with better magnification.
When we shoot at the range in Chinon in summer, you get a lot of heat mirage. This always seems worse in the larger scopes, where as not so much of a problem with my x40 scope. So if I change, it needs to be for a worthwhile improvement.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 12 2020 at 1:55pm
The amount of air (& dust & water vapor & heat distortion) increases with magnification & with distance. A lot of the time people blame the scope for "Poor Quality" when its just the loss of sharpness, contrast & distortion in a few hundred yards of turbulent atmosphere.Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 12 2020 at 2:04pm
A quick search on EBay France produced this little gem. Kowa are very good!
Nopt sure of the pricing though as I'm unfamiliar with the format.

It also doubles as a high power camera lens of you have a camera with interchangeable lenses.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 13 2020 at 12:24pm
Thanks for the link Shamu. 
That looks like a good option. Although there's already 15 bids and it's got 3 days to go. I don't really do E-Bay to be honest. Any auction that finishes on a weekend is complicated as I have no access to internet during the weekend.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 13 2020 at 1:41pm
Ah well, back to the drawing board. . .
Is that format for money €€,cc or am I mis-reading it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 13 2020 at 10:42pm
The article is actually in the UK. It would most certainly do the job at the right price. If they had a "buy it now" price I might be tempted. I'm sure something will turn up in France. I'm not in a hurry; just need to keep an eye out for a good item. I think second hand Japanese will probably be the best price/quality deal. The German stuff is obviously the best quality, but price is just too much even second hand.
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