Spotting scope range?

cody21peterson

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2016
Messages
352
I recently saw a photo of some elk that was taken from a mile away. It was pretty clear and you could count the points on the bulls. I was scouting last week and took a picture of a mule deer about 1000 yards away at full magnification (my vortex ranger 1000 is not very consistent at ranging from 700-1000 yards). My spotter is a vortex diamondback 20-60x60. The picture of the deer is very grainy and I could not count the points.
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I know this is a cheap model of glass but I would like to upgrade maybe next year. Anyway, my question is, does the magnification or glass diameter matter more for long range? Or are they equal? Does it make sense buying a 50 power maven or is a 60 power vortex really necessary?


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LaHunter

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Mar 9, 2013
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N.E. LA
Spotting scope quality is obviously a huge factor, magnification, objective diameter, air quality, humidity, temperature, lighting, sun angle, etc, etc. All of these factor in to the effective 'range' of a spotting scope. In general, a 'cheap' spotting scope will usually get very 'grainy' at the upper end of its magnification range. Top end spotters tend to have better resolution at the upper end of their magnification range.

I have no experience with the Maven, but I have used a Vortex Razor HD 65 mm spotter. Under IDEAL conditions, it would produce a clear picture at the upper end of its magnification. I have spotted deer with it at over 1 mile and was able to judge antler detail pretty well.

It's hard to say which is more important, objective diameter or magnification.

Hope this helps
 

Blockcaver

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Sep 9, 2012
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1,525
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BC
There aee an Infinite amount of variables taking digiscope photos external to your equipment. Gear related include but not limited to camera quality....my iPhone 7 beats my iPhone 5 by a bunch.......but a DSLR is undoubtably better yet. Camera settings and amount of digital zoom employed, whether you use a remote shutter, lens clenliness, etc.

Preciseness of your focus on the spotter, clean lens, HD spotting scope lenses, quality of the tripod and how it is setup, wind moving tripod, heatwaves, sun angle, etc.

Good luck with your photo endeavors!
 

JO.

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Joined
Jul 12, 2016
Messages
122
Location
Colorado
I had the same spotter as you in the 80mm model a few years ago. I had never really used one much until then. I borrowed a viper 80mm for most of a season and noticed it was much better than the diamondback. I decided to buy a new scope and the main reason I used mine so little (aside from disappointing image quality) was weight. I ended up buying a razor 11-33x50. The image quality is leaps and bounds above the diamondback despite its size. A cheaper spotter vs a good one shows much more difference than say a cheap set of binos vs a good pair. Higher magnification really tests the quality of glass. Higher mag lower quality glass will reveal all of its short comings. I would try and look at a 65mm razor model. It would be middle of the road for size and weight and would be a big upgrade from your current setup.
 

dotman

1
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
8,201
If you want a really decent spotter for a good price checkout the Vanguard Endeavor HD line, very underrated. I wouldn't buy a razor as there are other options that are really similar in optical performance for less.
 
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