Big spotter compared to a little spotter

dirtytough

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Feb 25, 2012
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I have always used an 80mm spotter. I have been thinking hard about getting a 50mm spotter to cut weight.

Anybody ever go from a big to little, or use both? This would be for strictly backpack hunting.

I would take the big spotter with me all summer scouting, and use the little one during season when pack weights are going to be a lot more.

Would I be wasting my money? Thanks for anybody with experience with both spotter sizes.
 

Matt Cashell

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I use them both. This past season I used the big one mostly. I did use the little ED50 on a quick solo trip though.

It is the magnification I missed most. The little ED50 was optically more than good enough for serious glassing in most cases.
 
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JNDEER

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depends on how you hunt, what time of day you usually need the spotter to be used, how far your looking, etc.

I love my Ed50. Once the sun has come up, I can see a long ways. This past year I used it to make out a 3x3 at somewhere between 2-3 miles (I looked it up on GE, but have forgotten now). So, for me in that instance it worked perfect.

However, the next day I had a buck spotted at first light...he was about 600 yards out and I could not see his small rack in the spotter (dark backdrop). It was not until about 15 minutes after legal shoot could I then see he was a small 2x2 through the Ed50.


For me...I am planning on looking into a 60/65 spotter as I feel the exta light gathering may have helped me see he was legal and I would have been able to start my stalk much earlier. I also want it to be lightweight. I was about to pick up that Leupy HD in the Classifieds, but someone beat me to it as it was around half a pount or more from most others in that size.
 

aggieland

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Dirty, I'm in the same boat as you. I have an Early made Vortex 20-60x80mm and honestly where I live I very seldom use it. The only time I really use a spotter is on my pack in hunts out West. So I'm very much considering selling the 80mm and picking up one of the Vortex HD 50mm spotters. It would save it over a pound in pack weight so thats enough of a reason for me. I only bow hunt with trad gear so really trying to spot game miles away is not something I typically do. I think a good HD 50mm would fit my needs better than what I have, the question is how much is it going to cost me to change. UGH..
 

littlebuf

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ive always used a little one, never seemed like enough, now i have a 85mm. ive learned the hard way that optics are worth the cost in both price and weight. my view for what its worth
 

Aron Snyder

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I have always used an 80mm spotter. I have been thinking hard about getting a 50mm spotter to cut weight.

Anybody ever go from a big to little, or use both? This would be for strictly backpack hunting.

I would take the big spotter with me all summer scouting, and use the little one during season when pack weights are going to be a lot more.

Would I be wasting my money? Thanks for anybody with experience with both spotter sizes.

Don't do it!

You're" DirtyTough", you can handle the weight!
 

JGO

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May 5, 2012
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Experiences with my glass and that of my hunting partners over the last couple of years led me to sell my 85MM Razor HD and purchase a "tweener" (Zeiss 65MM diascope). Shaved some weight but kept the glass quality pretty high. Thanks to my hunting partners I spent time behind Nikon 50MM, Kowa 60MM, Swarovski 80MM, along with my Razor HD while scouting and hunting out of a backpack. My primary uses for the scope in not particular order: 1-picking apart terrain during detailed glassing, 2 - trying to judge game to determine if a stalk or maybe even a camp relocation is in order and 3- digiscoping. Of my three priorities, digiscoping has proven to be the most demanding and if it weren't for that fact alone, I would have been more than happy with a $750 60MM Kowa. The sole reason I spent the extra money on the Zeiss was for digiscoping quality. Time and again the 60MM Kowa was the perfect blend of ultralight weight (I think it is less than 2 lbs) and quality viewing...and it is not their "HD" version. I have not encountered a situation where 80MM+ glass was a must but I can retrace several thousand steps that could have been 2lbs lighter.
 

maverick

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I use both. I've had a Leupold 12-40 x 60mm for at least 17 years. ( I'm old, I bought it new for $500) That scope is the one I pack when I'm hunting open country. Last year I bought a Razor 85mm that I pack when I'm just scouting and want to take pics and vids. The Leupold doesn't get much attention any more, but I really like that scope. It's awsome especially at 12x because of brightness and eye relief.
 

CaseyU

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I bought a kowa 602 used for a small spotter. I have a zeiss 80 i can use anytime. But this little kowa is crazy light and fantastic glass. And you can find great deals on them with everybody going to big scopes. Let me know if you want any more details or pics of the scope
 
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dirtytough

dirtytough

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Thanks for the replies. Think I will just save the $700.
 

CaseyU

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I have not had the two side by side. But the nikon is unbelievable great glass for the size. Without having them next to each other i am guessing the ed50 is going to outperform the kowa. But for the weight and size i love my kowa
 

Whisky

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I have no experience with a 50. But I do with a 80 and 65 Swaro. I feel I give up very little with the 65 compared to the 80. I think the weight difference was only 5-6 oz, but the 65 is so much more compact and that was what I was after. It makes packing it around quite a bit more convenient. Without any experience behind a 50, I would be a little hesitant to give one a try. I would think there would be a quite noticeable difference in performance between the two, unlike the 80 vs 65. Guess it all comes down to if the weight loss would be worth the gamble to you.
 

Blockcaver

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I have a Swaro 20-60x65 HD angled scope for sheep hunting where you must meet size and or age requirements. Great scope for my use. I also use my Leupold 20x50 I bought new in 1987. At 17 ounces with very good optical quality and eye relief it is my go to scope for one certain deer/moose/elk hunting. In tests on the California bighorns that live behind the house it did not give up much to the Leupold 12-40x60 HD I had at the time.
 
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