Help with Spoter size

Tookeymonster

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I can only afford one so what size should I get?

20-60x65mm or 20-16x80mm

I like the Idea of a smaller spoter for backpacking but is the 80mm really that much better?

Im looking at the Vortex Razor HD for $1600 new or a used Swarovski ATM HD for $1950 used?
 

Gman

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Everyone has a personal preference on this but my experience may be relevant considering the scopes you're looking at. I had a Vortex Razor HD and LOVED it. Especially for the money, but it's a great scope regardless of cost. However I found that I left it behind more and more due to weight and size. Most of my trips are backpack style trips. Sold that and got a good deal on a Swaro non-HD ATM 65. Before I sold the Vortex I put them side by side and they were so similar to my eyes. I like the Swaro color a touch better but I wouldn't say it's better, I just prefer that contrast. I don't regret it at all and the 65 takes less room in my pack and never gets left now.

If I had the unlimited budget I'd have both, but I don't think you'll be lacking at all with the Swaro. I would suggest really looking at where you want to use it and going from there. If you're not doing alot of backpacking and will drop weight in other places the 80 is a viable option - Aron Snyder packs an 85 all over the place but he sacrifices weight in other areas to compensate.

It's funny, I was in the exact same position as you a while ago -- I opted for the larger and then went smaller. Interested in seeing what you decide.
 
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Tookeymonster

Tookeymonster

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I can get the Vortex Viper HD 15-45x65 for $650, thinking I may go with it unless I can find a non HD Swarov???


but the 15-45x65 is only 15 oz lighter than the Razor 20x60- 80mm
 
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Juan_ID

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I would say check ArcheryTalk for a used Swaro, there are some good deals on there from time to time...
 

Matt Cashell

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You will get a lot of opinions on this of course, but here is mine:

I like a two spotter setup. I would get the big one (80mm-85mm) first. The advantage over a 65mm is there. A spotter of this class is still backpackable, especially if you can split the load (tripod/scope) with a partner. Then you can supplement the big spotter with a high quality 50mm spotter, for light/fast/solo trips.

The Nikon ED50 performs pretty closely to even the best 65mm spotters, IMO, while the 80mm class spotters offer just enough advantage over the 65mm spotters.

One thing about the non-HD Swaros is they do show quite a bit of Chromatic Aberration (CA), although it doesn't bother everyone, as Gman can apparently attest.
 

Matt Cashell

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TM,

I am so lazy I am going to quote myself from another thread:

Chromatic Abberation is usually seen as "color fringing" at high contrast edges in the image. Think a black moose on a snowy background. At the edge you will see a shine of color, usually purple or yellow. It is the result of white light "dispersing" (splitting) into the primary colors when it passes through the objective lens. the result is the CA lowers contrast and apparent resolution.

Although it can't be fully corrected, there are a few ways optics designers deal with this issue. The most common is the inclusion of flourite in the glass composition of the objective. Glass with flourite (or other similarly performing substances - like lananthum) disperses light a whole lot less. Companies market this kind of glass using whatever term they want like ED (extra-low dispersion), HD (High Density), APO (apochromatic), FL (flourite) or others but they all refer to the same thing in sports optics.

Kowa went so far as to use a pure flourite crystal lens in the objective assembly of their awesome 88mm Prominar spotter. When I have looked through this spotter in a number of situations, I have never been able to detect a hint of CA.

The Zeiss Dialyt and non-HD Swaros use standard optical glass, and although their images are still really good, they do show noticeable CA. the ED50 corrects for CA very well, which is one of the reasons why it provides such a great image in such a small spotter.

Now CA bothers some, and doesn't bother others. I see it easily and find it annoying. The human brain can ignore CA pretty well, and look through it to see detail. People that don't see CA much are usually happy with non-HD/ED/FL glass. The camera always sees it, however, so if your digiscoping HD/ED/FL becomes more important.

Hope that helps.
 

Gman

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One thing about the non-HD Swaros is they do show quite a bit of Chromatic Aberration (CA), although it doesn't bother everyone, as Gman can apparently attest.
The idea of CA is irrelevant for me in the sense I wanted HD Swaro glass but I was already all puckered up at spending so much on a spotter at the non-HD level! :) I think it's called "Oh-my-God-how-much-did-I-just-spend-Aberration". I will say this though, just like I read a thousand times and was initially skeptical I've never regretted spending (after doing so) what I did and I'm totally on-board with the "buy one, cry once" mantra.

Listen to Biterroot Bulls - he knows his glass! The OP could probably get a nice Kowa at an attractive price point couldn't he?
 

Nick Muche

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I have never regretted spending the hard earned money on my Swaro spotter. It is a pleasure to have in my pack and I love using it, so do my friends :)
 
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