Compact Spotting Scope

OR Archer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
2,109
Location
Eugene, OR
Now from everything I've read the Nikon ED50 is kind of the benchmark when it comes to a compact backcountry spotter. What other compact spotters are out there that offer good optical quality in a small light weight package. Now I know these type of spotters aren't going to be on the same level of optical quality like a full size Swaro or Leica but can still get the job done on a high country mule deer hunt. So what other spotters should I take a look at?
 

pronghorn

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
90
You could buy 3 and half Minox for the price of one Nikon. That has me concerned. I do have a pair of the 15x58 Minox that I like quite a bit though.
 
Last edited:

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
3,956
Location
Western MT
I have an ED50, and I have used most of the other compacts. My favorites are the ED50, then the Minox MD50, then the Leupold GR. The Nikon is the best, period, and not by a little. But, if I didn't have the Nikon, I would have the Minox Midget. You can find the Minox demos for under $200 occasionally. (Check Cameralandny.com)
 

TrevorKaech

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
26
Location
Western WA
I was looking at getting a Nikon ED50 before next season. However, I was hoping to also get the 13-40x eyepiece. Are these two pieces never sold together? Do I have to buy each individually? If the price gets too high I may not be able to justify Nikon quality and price and just stick it out with a Minox for a few seasons.
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
3,956
Location
Western MT
I have the ED50 w/ the 13-40 MCII eyepiece (and 16xDS). Mine came with the MC 13-30. That eyepiece still performs very well, but I much prefer the MCII, especially in field flatness. The image stays sharp right up to 40x, too. I found an MCII on eBay, and later traded the MC for the 16x. I have never seen the ED50 sold with the MCII, only with the MC.

It is very hard to find the MCII right now at any price, unfortunately.
 
OP
OR Archer

OR Archer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
2,109
Location
Eugene, OR
Has anyone had a chance to look at the new Nikon Prostaff 5 60mm scope yet?
 

luke moffat

Administrator
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
2,533
I'm a big fan of the little Minox 50mm. Price is right and all I need in a scouting spotter. If actually hunting I'll bring the 65mm HD swaro.
 

RosinBag

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
2,954
Location
Roseville, CA.
I tried the ED50 and couldn't figure out why anyone would use it. I would save my money and buy a better spotter. The Nikon was one of the worst I ever used for field of view, eye relief and clarity.
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
3,956
Location
Western MT
I tried the ED50 and couldn't figure out why anyone would use it. I would save my money and buy a better spotter. The Nikon was one of the worst I ever used for field of view, eye relief and clarity.
I believe there must have been something seriously wrong with that specific scope, Rosin.
 

RosinBag

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
2,954
Location
Roseville, CA.
Bitterroot, you may be right....I have heard dozens of people say how well the ED50 worked as a light weight spotter.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
4,993
Location
The Wilderness
I think Rosin, much like myself, had to much time behind a Swaro or Zeiss and used that to compare to the ED50....that would be my guess anyway.

The ED50 for me was not worth packing, but as far as light weight scopes go, it's pretty hard to beat.
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
3,956
Location
Western MT
I think Rosin, much like myself, had to much time behind a Swaro or Zeiss and used that to compare to the ED50....that would be my guess anyway.

The ED50 for me was not worth packing, but as far as light weight scopes go, it's pretty hard to beat.
That is what is great about this forum ... Lots of good opinions without a lot of attitude.

My opinion differs a little bit. I used to have a Diascope 65tFL. I have spent some time with the Swaro 65HD as well, and, IMO, the ED50 with the 13-40 eyepiece gives up very little in performance to either (I don't like the 13-30 eyepiece as much). Both 65mm spotters are a bit brighter at dawn and dusk, as they should be given their aperture advantage.
 

merch

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
22
Does anyone have experience with Zeiss Dialyt Spotter? They state weight at 42oz and 15-45x zoom, may be an option as a compact. I can't seem to find a ED50 to try.
 

RosinBag

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
2,954
Location
Roseville, CA.
Aron, that could be the problem....I had my Swaro side by side to it and I thought for the weight differnce was not enough to need a light weight spotter. It only saved about 20 ounces from one to the other.
 

luke moffat

Administrator
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
2,533
I have a Swaro 65mm HD and my Minox while nearly a 1/3 the weight isn't a 1/3 the glass. Excellent little spotter. Especially with a 2 or 4 oz ultrapod II tripod.
 

luke moffat

Administrator
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
2,533
I got the angled 50 mm minox so I can use a teeny little spotter like the ultrapod. Tried using the ultrapod with a straight scope I had and quickly found it not worth the trouble. With the angled however, using it above brushline I set it on the ground or pack once I find something of interest worth getting a closer look at. I certainly don't just comb the country side with it, just use it as a platform to look at things closer for extreme minimal weight penalty.
 

dotman

1
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
8,206
I got the angled 50 mm minox so I can use a teeny little spotter like the ultrapod. Tried using the ultrapod with a straight scope I had and quickly found it not worth the trouble. With the angled however, using it above brushline I set it on the ground or pack once I find something of interest worth getting a closer look at. I certainly don't just comb the country side with it, just use it as a platform to look at things closer for extreme minimal weight penalty.
Which head do you use with the ultrapod and minox?
 
Top