Budget Spotting Scope and Tripod

TheNorris

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What’s the general consensus on a good budget spotting scope and tripod? I typically run Vortex optics but I just don’t have room in my budget for my 3rd season CO Elk trip coming up. Looking for something that’s going to give me some improved reach over my 10x32 binos, hopefully around $300, or ever cheaper if possible. Thanks
 

Northpark

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Unless you are trying to judge trophies you’d be better off with a pair of 10x42 binos in my opinion. If you really want a spotter not many great ones with a good tripod you’ll be looking to spend at least $500. Probably some version of a vortex or Athlon spotter with a aluminum tripod.
 

dtrkyman

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Athlon gets good reviews, I bought a cheap tri pod on Amazon(no longer on there) 5 years ago and it is still going strong, zero complaints.

Tri pod and spotter for 300 will be tough!
 

Mountainrancher

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The vanguard scopes are awesome for the money and IMO can’t be beat sub 500 now that the athlon ares has gone up in price. This one in the classifieds here would leave you room to buy a decent aluminum tripod and be under or around your budget
 
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TheNorris

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Unless you are trying to judge trophies you’d be better off with a pair of 10x42 binos in my opinion. If you really want a spotter not many great ones with a good tripod you’ll be looking to spend at least $500. Probably some version of a vortex or Athlon spotter with a aluminum tripod.
My older Vortex 10x32 are great so not looking to upgrade those. I do want to try out a spotter. I stumbled upon these refurb Vortex.


I’ll probably pick up one of these models at $250 or $300 and then track down a cheap tripod.
 
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TheNorris

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Athlon gets good reviews, I bought a cheap tri pod on Amazon(no longer on there) 5 years ago and it is still going strong, zero complaints.

Tri pod and spotter for 300 will be tough!
There is a few tripods on Amazon with good reviews for cheap. Sometimes I don’t trust those reviews though.
 
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TheNorris

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The vanguard scopes are awesome for the money and IMO can’t be beat sub 500 now that the athlon ares has gone up in price. This one in the classifieds here would leave you room to buy a decent aluminum tripod and be under or around your budget
How would you say this vanguard would compare to one of the Vortex refurbs I listed above? Comparable?
 

Mountainrancher

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How would you say this vanguard would compare to one of the Vortex refurbs I listed above? Comparable?
The vanguard is far above the diamondback scopes and is every bit as good as the older viper I’ve compared it to if not better
 

Blue72

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I have a Nikon ED50 in the classifieds for around your budget

you would have to step up to expensive alpha glass to get something that is only marginally better
 
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TheNorris

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The vanguard is far above the diamondback scopes and is every bit as good as the older viper I’ve compared it to if not better
You had me convinced to pick the Vanguard up and give it a try. Just hear back from the poster and it was already sold. So the search continues!
 
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TheNorris

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I have a Nikon ED50 in the classifieds for around your budget

you would have to step up to expensive alpha glass to get something that is only marginally better
Thanks for letting me know. I wasn’t fast enough, you sold that quick!
 
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TheNorris

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Another option is renting something for the trip.
I though about that. But I do enough target shooting at distance that I can sort of justify one as a target spotter. But renting may not be a bad option, at least I’d know how a quality spotter performs if I decided to buy later.
 

T28w

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I was in your shoes two years ago and got a vanguard endeavor 65a. I wasn’t impressed and ended up selling it. When I had my maven 10x42s on a tripod comparing them to the spotter, I was really disappointed as the vanguard got good reviews but maybe mine was a lemon. At the range, at 100 yards, i struggled picking out bullet holes on paper. In its defense it was hot and maybe mirage was the major contributor?
 

T28w

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If you have decent/good Binos, I think you are going to have to put up more money to be worthwhile.
 

Blue72

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Thanks for letting me know. I wasn’t fast enough, you sold that quick!

it’s an amazing scope. It’s reputation is very well deserved. I still think it’s the best way for you to go. You can find them on eBay. You will never find the need to upgrade in the future
 
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TheNorris

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If you have decent/good Binos, I think you are going to have to put up more money to be worthwhile.
I’m running this older Vortex model - Talon 10x32. Here are the specs:


Having never really used a spotting scope before, is it likely not going to give me much advantage in my price range? For example, if I went with one of those refurb Vortex Diamondback spotters for $250 on a cheap tripod, is that a good improvement over just my 10x32 binos on a tripod?
 

Drenalin

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I would personally rent a decent set of 10x42 and a tripod in that price range. Having never elk hunted, I’m under the impression that most folks find binos sufficient for most situations.
 

Rob5589

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I’m running this older Vortex model - Talon 10x32. Here are the specs:


Having never really used a spotting scope before, is it likely not going to give me much advantage in my price range? For example, if I went with one of those refurb Vortex Diamondback spotters for $250 on a cheap tripod, is that a good improvement over just my 10x32 binos on a tripod?
A cheap scope on a cheap tripod is going to disappoint. What good is it if the scope has poor resolving qualities; then sits on top of an unsteady tripod? You're better off buying a decent tripod from Doug @ Cameraland and using your current binos on it.
 
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