65mm or 80mm??

JG358

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I decided it's time to take the plunge and get some good glass. I'm torn between the 65 and 80 Swaro.
How much difference does it really make? Is it worth packing in the bigger spotter?
 
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Matt Cashell

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I have had all three major sizes of glass. Now I use a Nikon ED50 when going solo and split up my tripod and Razor 85HD when going with a partner.

Another thing to consider is the 80mm Swaro HD is not much heavier or bulkier than most 65mm spotters. Exit pupil gets tiny on the Swaro 65 at 60x (1.08mm) which greatly affects low light permormance.

Some feel handicapped by the little ED50, but I have found it to be remarkably high performing, especially with the 13-40 MCII eyepiece. I don't feel like it loses much in performance compared to my old Zeiss Diascope 65tFL. YMMV.
 
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It's worth it to me to pack the extra weight, but most guys run a 65 or less for backpack hunts.

I can tell you that you'll be packing the better part of 6 lbs with a 80/85 spotter and tripod.

My 85mm Zeiss, spotting scope, 75X eye piece and Outdoorsman tripod weigh 7 lbs, but I'm happy packed it when the glassing starts.
 

luke moffat

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For me it really depends on what you are hunting and how far back you are packing. If only going in 5-7 miles and then climbing 3000' and hunting deer which are often a first/last light sort of deal then I'd opt of the 80mm class. If you are like me and have 20+ mile approaches for sheep and then go up 3000' I opted for the smaller lighter 65mm. Personally, I wouldn't own a 65mm if it didn't go to 60X though. I had a Ziess Diascope that had the 15-45X and compared it to my buddies 65mm Swaro and if the conditions allow the 60X is way nice. Needless to say I picked up a 65mm HD spotter the next year.

For just straight glassing though, nothing is gonna beat that Hubble Aron hauls around. The one I looked through was a joy to glass with. Though still not worth the additional 1.5 pounds for me at least when I sheep hunt primarily with my wife so every pound counts.

I wrote of an article that might be worth reading for ya as well:
http://www.rokslide.com/2012-01-09-05-09-42/optics/161-spotting-scope-65-or-80mm
 
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I use the Swaro 80mm HD. I went with the 80mm because of low light permormance. Best scope I have ever had! On a side note I run the Swaro 10X50 because of the low light permormance over the 10X42. For me a little more weight is worth the few extra minutes I get of glassing at prime time.
 

a3dhunter

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You should buy the 80mm, since I won't be packing it or paying for it, but would get to stick with my 50mm and rely on you to check over anything it wouldn't.
It's only money....I'm sure the you wife won't mind as long as she doesn't know how much it cost! And don't tell her it was my idea either!
 
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JG358

JG358

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You should buy the 80mm, since I won't be packing it or paying for it, but would get to stick with my 50mm and rely on you to check over anything it wouldn't.
It's only money....I'm sure the you wife won't mind as long as she doesn't know how much it cost! And don't tell her it was my idea either!
That could work since your gonna be carrying the tent. :)

She knows what all my toys cost....doesn't seem to mind. I think she thinks of it as a backup retirement plan.
 

robby denning

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I'm using the Swaro CT 30 x 75 and it's been a good trade off for weight and bigger objective. Of course it's not a variable power scope, but it gets the job done and much cheaper than the really big glass. I did a review on it, we just haven't got it uploaded yet.
 

luke moffat

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I'm using the Swaro CT 30 x 75 and it's been a good trade off for weight and bigger objective. Of course it's not a variable power scope, but it gets the job done and much cheaper than the really big glass. I did a review on it, we just haven't got it uploaded yet.
Looking forward to that review Robby.
 
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JG358

JG358

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It's worth it to me to pack the extra weight, but most guys run a 65 or less for backpack hunts.

I can tell you that you'll be packing the better part of 6 lbs with a 80/85 spotter and tripod.

My 85mm Zeiss, spotting scope, 75X eye piece and Outdoorsman tripod weigh 7 lbs, but I'm happy packed it when the glassing starts.
I've never played with them side by side in low light, How much more glassing time does the 80mm really give you?

For me it really depends on what you are hunting and how far back you are packing. If only going in 5-7 miles and then climbing 3000' and hunting deer which are often a first/last light sort of deal then I'd opt of the 80mm class. If you are like me and have 20+ mile approaches for sheep and then go up 3000' I opted for the smaller lighter 65mm. Personally, I wouldn't own a 65mm if it didn't go to 60X though. I had a Ziess Diascope that had the 15-45X and compared it to my buddies 65mm Swaro and if the conditions allow the 60X is way nice. Needless to say I picked up a 65mm HD spotter the next year.

For just straight glassing though, nothing is gonna beat that Hubble Aron hauls around. The one I looked through was a joy to glass with. Though still not worth the additional 1.5 pounds for me at least when I sheep hunt primarily with my wife so every pound counts.

I wrote of an article that might be worth reading for ya as well:
http://www.rokslide.com/2012-01-09-05-09-42/optics/161-spotting-scope-65-or-80mm
Thanks for the link. :)
 

a3dhunter

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That could work since your gonna be carrying the tent. :)

She knows what all my toys cost....doesn't seem to mind. I think she thinks of it as a backup retirement plan.
No problem, just remember your ear plugs this year so I don't have to listen to you cry about me getting a good nights sleep! ;)
 

justin davis

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I had the same decision. Went with the 80 mm. Very happy with it. Little more weight but the light gathering makes a difference to me
 

Bryan Martin

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Feb 26, 2012
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British Columbia, Canada
There is no doubt that an 80 to 85 mm Objective spotting scope works better than the smaller objective scopes, all else being equal. But, they are more expensive and heavier than the 60-65 mm scopes. If weight and budget were no option, go big. I personally use a Leica 82 mm Spotter, angled, with 25-50 mm eyepiece and Leica digi-scope system. I use a full size (standing height), carbon fiber tripod that weights 4.5-5 lbs. Total weight for both would probably be 9 - 9.5 lbs, but I hunt and guide lots of sheep and need to judge their size, from long distance and often in low light. Also, I often use a spotting scope for hours per day, not only for judging, but also for spotting bedded sheep. So, I can either carry a lighter system and have to walk closer or miss an animal or carry this set up. For years, I carried a 60 mm Nikon Field Scope ED with 20-60x eyepiece and a 2 3/4 lb tripod. Total weight was 3-4 lbs less, but it did not have the performance of the 80-85 mm scopes. Also, I like the taller tripod when hunting animals like brown bear in the brush, as I can't always see if I'm sitting or kneeling. Most hunter would be fine with a 60-65 mm scope though. The smaller/lighter the spotting scope, the lighter the tripod can be, but there is no use having a 2,000-4,000 scope on a $100 tripod as in the wind, it will shake and it would last. Buy a quality tripod also. I've even used a Nikon 50mm ED spotting scope with the 13-40x lens on a stone sheep hunt. It worked, but I regretted not having the bigger, 82 mm with full sized tripod. If you are strong enough to carry it, the 80-85 mm spotters definitely perform the best. I hope this helps. But the hunter behind the glass is more important than the glass.
 
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