Longrange spotting scope help!

pyroducksx3

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I need a spotting scope that can positively identify any points a deer or elk may have at 1000 or more yards. I think the 60/65 mm scopes are out and although the are heavier than I want think the 80/85 are my only options. My first choice at this point is the zeiss 85 diascope with the 20-75x, second is vortex razor third a swaro. Where I hunt, an elk has to be a slick spike so I have to be 100% sure that he doesnt have a little fork or anything otherwise Im in big trouble and a deer has to be 3 points or better so I need the best I can get. This is a huge investment for me and I need to get this right. Thank you
 

Travis Bertrand

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you cant go wrong with any of the three listed. just depends on how many duckets you want to hand over. I wouldnt count out the 60mm versions either....
 
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pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

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the ziess will cost me about 400$ more than the vortex if they let me use the 500$ dollar rebate with my discount

** well they wont so I can get the scope for 2400 not quite as good a deal I was hoping**
 
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luke moffat

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The swaro HD 65mm will do what you are descirbing. Had one for 2 years.....simply awesome. Only went to the big glass for sheep hunting for 75X is WAY nice. But for the rest of my hunting I really don't feel it gives me much of an advantage over the 65mm Swaro I sold to a member here. Its over a pound heavier and way bulkier. The digiscoping is a bit better with the Zeiss than I got with the swaro, but if thats no concern I'd save the money, weight, and volume and go with the 65mm.
 
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pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

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I do plan on digiscoping but more just for personal pleasure and looking cool on FB ;),nothing proffesional.
 

Juan_ID

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A Swaro 65 will do what you're asking and then some. I can and have used it to field judge deer at distances well over 1000 yards, it also did good with digiscoping if conditions were right... The Razor HD is hard to beat especially at ElkNut's price tho. I just got a great deal on a new Swaro 80mm HD so I sold my 65 to try out the 80mm... Couldn't pass up the deal I got, so we'll see how I like the 80 a little later this month on a late season archery hunt... Good luck on your decision.
 
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ElkNut1

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You will have no problem sizing up Elk or Deer at 1000+ yards with the Razor HD 85. I've been taking mine on deer hunts the last month & could easily pick out racks & any trash on them to a couple miles out. We picked out spike bucks with spikes as small as a few inches in length at several thousand yards, Elk would even carry out further. 65MM Spotters can also do this but for digiscoping in your future you will get better photos out of the larger objective lens. If interested I can get you a cost on the Vortex line of Optics!

ElkNut1
 
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pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

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I thought for a little while I could be a big timer but the Ziess turned out to be more around 2400 and a little out of my league. The 80mm swaro is the same price as the ziess so I would gone with the ziess. So it looks like Im between a 65mm swaro or a 85mm razor and Im thinking the razor is my first choice.
 

Juan_ID

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I compared my 65 non-HD Swaro to the 85 Razor and was just about sold on selling my 65 to fund the Razor. I was going to sell it for the simple fact that my digi-scoping results should have improved (but I can show you some pics through my 65 that I think turned out flat awesome!) Around that time my buddy told me of a used 80mm HD Swaro for a good deal so it all happened to go through for the better. Long story short I ended up getting a new 80mm HD Swaro for 1800... If you aren't in a big rush I'd look around, every now and then there are great deals on used spotters... But as I said before the Razor is hard to beat IMO. If I had to do it over and I could only choose between the 65 Swaro and the Razor I think I'd go with the Razor...
 

swat8888

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Luke and fellow sheep hunters....how much better are the 85's than the 60's in terms of judging rams from long distance (miles) and shorter distances 1000yds or less. One of these days I will invest in better glass and for the majority of alaska hunting I don't see as much use in better binos over a better spotter. Trying to figure out how much more helpful an 85, or a better quality 60 would be. I've used a Nikon XL II 48x 60mm a few years, last year used a buddies Zeiss Dialyt 45x 65mm, and my buddies Leupold 40x not sure on the mm, I think 60. I don't mind carrying more weight/bulk of a 85 over a 65 if its good enough to save me hours of hiking around just to find out the old boy is a nice 7/8 curl. The Nikon has been okay, not great in low light and alot of atmospheric issues when trying to judge that last 1/8 of a curl. The Zeiss wasn't anything spectacular either, worked a little better at shorter distance, didn't really notice a difference at long range...the eye relief sucks on it too, probably the main reason I didn't like it.
 

dotman

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I wonder what is in the works for next year, with the big rebate Zeiss is throwing out might be worth waiting. Either get new tech or a better deal once the demos start to show up. I also wonder if Vortex will come out with anything in 65mm class to compete. If you don't need it right away I would hold off for anothe 4-6 months unless a smokin deal comes up.
 

Ryan Avery

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I would go with the Razor. Best bang for the buck. Call Paul(Elknut), see what he can do for ya.

I sat behind a lot of spotters this year. The Razor gives up nothing to the big dogs.
 
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pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

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Well I was just about to buy the razor and I found a store that had a razor and swaro's. I went outside thinking I had a swaro 65mm hd and the razor, didnt lok real close at the swaro for some reason guess I had already decided on the razor. We focused on a transformer pretty far away 800+. My buddy was on the razor and I was on the swaro. I got it all focused in and then switched to the razor. I kept trying to focus it because I couldnt get it as sharp as the swaro. We both agreed the swaro was noticably better. When we got inside I realized it was a swaro 80mm hd, which is out of the price range. They had no swaro 65 anything but they did have a swaro 80mm non hd. It was too dark to go back out with the non hd swaro and the vortex but I have heard that there isnt a noticable difference between the non hd and hd. The swaro 80mm non hd was on clearance for 1649$ so even though I couldnt get the swaro 80mm non hd and razor together it looks like this guy is going with the swaro.
 

Nick Muche

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Good choice, I love mine.. BUT... I wish I could have gotten it for the price you paid!!!
 

Juan_ID

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Wise choice! I truly think there's a very clear difference between Swaro and Vortex. Colors seem to be "off" while looking through the Razor, while the colors looked more "true" through the Swaro as well as the edges of objects seem more crisp through the Swaro... I definitely don't think you'll ever come to regret that decision, if you indeed end up with the Swaro...
 
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pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

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So the saga continues. The store had misunderstood what I wanted and had a swaro atm 80mm non hd and I wanted a stm 80mm non hd, so they we have to order it in from another store. This opened up some options though as Im now not limited to in stock items. They also have a swaro stm 65mm hd for 1710$ compared to the swaro 80mm stm non hd I am most likely going to purchace. Weight isnt a factor mu biggest concern is the brightest and sharpest image for longrange identification of points (mostly being able to posiitively Id a true spike elk at longrange 1000+ yards) is my best choice still the 80mm non hd? Thanks

I was able to compare the angled 80mm swaro non hd to the razor today though and it was noticibly more sharp and bright
 

Juan_ID

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IMO yes, the 80 would still be better even though it isn't HD. HD is only better for digiscoping IMO
 

Matt Cashell

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This thread is interesting to me, and shows that everybody's eyes are different.

I am really surprised that the Razor was having trouble resolving detail for pyro and Juan. That is the opposite of my experience. One thing to remember is that unit variation is an issue with all optics products and a "cherry" copy of a certain model will outperform a "lemon" of the same model. I tend to guess the Razors that are having trouble keeping up with the Swaros are not "cherry" copies.

With all that said, all of the Swarovski spotters I have seen non-HD and HD both have been really high performers, and it seems like Swarovski's quality control keeps unit variation to a minimum. I agree completely that very few Swarovski spotter owners regret their purchase.

I respectfully disagree with Juan on the non-HD vs. HD. The HD models will show much less CA in high contrast areas. Pyro, before you buy make sure you check out the Swaro in high-contrast viewing situations, as fringing could interfere with your ability to judge that spike in situations like he is standing in the snow.

One other note: I have just received a Meostar S2 spotter with the 30-60 WA eyepiece, and I am quite impressed so far. If you can find one to look at, I would recommend taking a peek.
 
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pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

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Just fyi I compared the razor to the swaro 80mm hd at one store and a different razor and swaro 80mm non hd at a different store so they were different razors vs different swaro's. In both situations the swaro was better, I didnt get to compare the scopes in a wide range of situations. The swaro stm 80mm hd vs angled razor was late afternoon, rainy and starting to get dark. Target was a transformer with two crows ot it at 800+ yards. The swaro you could clearly see the wires the cows beak and fine details. With the razor you could see that there were wires and that they were crows but it was noticibly more "fuzzy" or less focused. Two days later I went to a different store and compared a swaro atm 80mm non hd vs a angled razor. It was mornign about 10am but stormy , rainy and somewhat dark for that time of day. Target was a large pine tree again 800+ yards similar distance as first test but not as good a target to determine detail. Again the swaro was noticinly more clear and brighter than the razor. I was able to more clearly see branches/needles and details of the bark with the swaro. If the swaro wasnt on super clearence sale and still over 2gs the difference may not be worth the cost increase but for 200$ more the swaro is an easy decision. If I had gotten the razor Im sure I would have been dissapointed but with the cost being so close the swaro is an easy choice. My main problem is the 80mm or 65 hd. Im thinking 80mm unless someone has reason to not go that route. I did like the focusing course/fine knob of the razor better but the swaro glass is just better

***edit*** also on the first day I had two friends and they both agreed the swaro was better and on the second test I had one of the same friends and he found the swaro to be better but he wasnt sure if it was as big a difference as the difference between the two scopes on the first day.
 
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Matt Cashell

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Definitely go with what your eyes like best!

I strongly urge you to check the non-HD in high contrast situations before you buy though. The test I use most often, if a snowy burn isn't available, is to check out the dark skyline on clouds in late afternoon. If you aren't bothered by color fringing in that situation, you should be GTG.

It is awesome that you are actually checking them side by side to find the best fit.
 
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