Which spotter? $1500 budget

armyjoe

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So I'm in the market for a new spotter and my budget is $1500. I know I can't get one of the "alpha" spotter but your guys input would be great. I owned a Nikon Prostaff 5 and didn't like it at all (wasn't even as clear as my binos) so its time to upgrade.

Thanks,
Joe
 

Hardstalk

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Id go with the razor hd from vortex even people with budgets set for alpha glass like the razor..... Drumroll please... Now may i introduce bitterroot bulls. I have a hunch he will chime in shortly.
 

Juan_ID

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I bought my 65mm Swaro for less than that NEW out the door... If you get in touch with the right people there are some GREAT buys out there. (sorry but don't know if it's ok for me to say where I got it from for that price) just thought I'd throw it out there. But I think my uncle got his for about 1500 too but from a different guy... But you can for sure find a used Swaro for that price if not a lil cheaper...
 

Matt Cashell

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Taaa Daaaa!

Thanks for the segway, Hardstalk

That is a great deal on the Zeiss, but the Razor will actually outperform it due to aperture advantage (85mm vs. 65mm). The Razor gives up little, if anything in optical performance to the "Big Three." The Zeiss will save you some weight and bulk, and would be the better choice if portability was a big concern. Either are excellent spotters, and I have owned and used both extensively (although my Zeiss 65 was the older silver model with the older zoom eyepiece).

That is my take.

I'll be here all week, tip your waitress, etc. etc...

EDIT:

The Swaro spotters in that price range are the non-HD spotters, and are very good, but show significantly more Chromatic Aberration than either the above Zeiss or Razor.
 
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bnkwnto

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You could talk to doug an camara land and probably get a demo swaro or Leica for fairly close to that. Awesome company and great to work it.
 
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armyjoe

armyjoe

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I've been really leaning towards the Razor but my buddy owns the Zen Ray ED2 (i haven't looked through it) and he says it is as good or better then the Razor. Any input on this one since it is a little cheaper?

That Zeiss is an amazing deal though

Oh, and I've looked for a good use HD Swaro and finding one isn't easy at all. haha
 

Matt Cashell

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I've been really leaning towards the Razor but my buddy owns the Zen Ray ED2 (i haven't looked through it) and he says it is as good or better then the Razor. Any input on this one since it is a little cheaper?

Not many unsatisfied ED2 spotter owners out there, but I can't vouch for it, as I haven't seen it myself. I can, and do, vouch for the Razor HD. It has served me quite well. I read a comparison of the two that mentioned that they had internal differences, even though externally they are very similar. Vortex has the objective assembly listed as a triplet, I don't know about the ED2 there. The ED2 is available with a WA 25-50 zoom eyepiece, if you are interested in such an eyepiece. Check with Paul at ElkNut (a Rokslide member) on a Razor HD price.
 

Yellowknife

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I would counsel patience if you can. You can find great deals on used, demo, or slightly out of date glass if you can are willing to sit back and wait for them. I use samplelist.com quite a bit, and of course cameraland and they seem to pop up in the classifieds on here and other places fairly often.

I picked up a new Zeiss 85 T*FL this year for a (relative) song. It was the older style and had been sitting on a shelf in a local store for several years. They found it in the back and put it in the display case at a steep discount. I still see some of those older Zeiss spotters for sale once in a while (Doug had a couple for $1250 just recently) and they aren't bad glass.

Personally, I would also consider long term durability and resale value in your purchase also. The ZR might be awesome optically, but I have had many issues with Chinese optics in long term durability. The issues are usually less to do with the engineering and assembly than they are with components. The factory that builds the spotter might be great, but where did the o-rings come from? Does the rubber supplier for armor mix in UV inhibitors? Will the plastics crack in the cold? All issues I've had with various Asian optics.

Yk
 

GrantMan

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I have had the razor for a couple of years now and is a good scope although it is large and fairly heavy. I mostly hike in on day hunts (2-10 miles) so the weight is not a big factor for me plus it actually saves hiking when you find a good vantage point to glass from. The selling point to me on the razor was the price vs performance and the VIP warranty. The ZR was not available when I bought my scope so my decision on the Razor was an easy one. I do have a pair of ZR 7x36 binos and really do like them.
 

JDB9818

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I just spent some time this past week behind my new Vortex Razor HD. I love this thing. I looked at Swaro HD spotters when trying to decide on which one to get, but I just couldnt justify the extra expense when compared to the Vortex.

Get with Elknut on here and he can get you a heck of a good deal on the Vortex.
 

sk1

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I have the zen ray ed2 and am extremely happy with it, however I am the opposite of BB and have not looked through a vortex razor....from what I understand they are very similar. While I do strongly recommend the ED2 (which zen ray is just getting more in stock any day now) if $1500 is your budget, I would consider the razor because vortex has been around longer and zen ray is still getting established. I have been told by zen ray they will cover there ed2 with a no fault warranty like vortex. However, that being said I would call Paul aka Elknut as others have said, and ask him for his best price he can give you on the razor...with that in hand compare it price wise to the ed2, and if you have it in your budget to spend a few hundred extra, i would do the vortex for the simple reason of how long they have been around.

I am extremely happy with my ED2, but chose that over vortex mainly because i got it for $999 and wanted the few extra hundred for other things i felt i needed to buy
 

GrantMan

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I didn't know the ED2 had a no fault warranty. I think if I was to buy a scope today I would get both the ED2 and the Razor from a retailer that had a good return policy and give them a good side by side comparison and see if the extra cost for the razor was worth it.
 

sk1

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I didn't know the ED2 had a no fault warranty. I think if I was to buy a scope today I would get both the ED2 and the Razor from a retailer that had a good return policy and give them a good side by side comparison and see if the extra cost for the razor was worth it.

now don't take my word for it.....but when I was on the fence I called Zen Ray and spoke with Charles. I asked if they were going to change to a no fault warranty and he said yes the website just needs to be updated but he said it would apply regardless of purchase date so I chose Zen Ray.....if that was the route someone decided to go and warranty is an issue, it's worth double checking with them.
 

sk1

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update - their website now does include the ED2 spotter as a no fault warranty i just checked :D
 
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armyjoe

armyjoe

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Wow, I didn't expect so many people to reply. Thanks for the help guys. After some talking to the manufactures and narrowing it down between the Razor or the ED2, I think I'm going with the ED2. I talked to both companies and the BOTH offer a no fault warranty - they BOTH have triple objective construction. They both have, etc.... Pretty dang close to the same thing here.

I'm think going with the Zen Ray because Charles and company has a great active duty military discount. Vortex does too don't get me wrong, but they go off of the MSRP price to discount, which is $2000. So even with a discount I'm more then what I can buy from Elknut. I hope my choice is solid but saving extra few hundred and getting as close to the same thing as possible ---- can't beat that any way you put it.
 

Jeff Martin

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I personally like the Kowa TNS66 with Prominar glass. Glass is second to none (even big 3)nand can be had for $1400.
I know folks may be concerned about the ruggedness of the Prominar but I think it is overstated myself.
 

pyroducksx3

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Nobody talks about the nikon fieldscopes, I was interested in these but was just curious why there is absolutely no interest in the 60mm 20-60?
 

sk1

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me personally i dont mind the extra size and weight of a big 80 to 85mm scope so i havent really looked at anything outside of that category
 
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