Which spotting scope? (My very first post!)

idi1796

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Jun 12, 2013
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Bend, OR
First off I would like to say hello to everyone. Yesterday was the first time I have ever seen this site and I love it. In just one day I have learned a ton from reading recent and older posts. Let me start by letting you know that I just moved to Bend, OR about 9 months ago all the way from Michigan. Due to the costs of non-resident rates, I could only afford to bird hunt last fall so this year is my first full season here in OR and I am pumped. With the type and style of hunting so different from the midwest, I have been upgrading my gear. Part of that will be the purchase of my very first spotting scope which is the reason for this thread. I have Vortex binos and absolutely love them so I have pretty much narrowed it down (unless there is a great reason to expand my thinking) to the Razor HD 11-33x50 compact or the Viper HD 20-60x80. So my question is two fold, would a compact or full size scope make more sense? And would the higher end Razor actually be more beneficial than the Viper full size?

Thanks and I'm glad to be here!
 

breacher

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Jun 11, 2013
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Alpine, CA
If you're looking at compact spotters, I would give a hard look at the Nikon Fieldscope ED50. I've never see the Vortex line of compact spotters but I'd be willing to bet they'd give them a run for there money. Very clear glass and nice for the backpack trips. My buddy has one and its a great little spotter!
 

Chad44

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Castle rock, co
I had my search narrowed done to the razor 65mm scope. Was on the wait list when I found a used swarovski that I couldn't pass on. Everything I gathered from other more knowing people on here was that if you're going for one all around scope get the 65mm. The little guys are sweet for backpacking but for seeing holes in paper or judging an antelope the larger objective is better. If you step up to an 85mm then you're stuck packing that hog in the mountains, which a lot of guys on here do and don't seem to mind it. Hope this helps. There are great reviews on the razors. From what I gathered they will hang with the big boys at half the $$$.
 

ElkNut1

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As Chad mentions the best All Purpose Spotter is the 65, it's both packable & great for truck/road use out to the 5 mile range for spotting & sizing animals up. The Razor 50 is good to aprox 3 miles for best use. We have some 65's in stock but should have both 50 & 65 within the next 10 days.

ElkNut1
 
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idi1796

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Bend, OR
I completely agree and believe that a 65 is the way to go. Now the big question I have now is the differences between the Razor HD and the Viper HD other than the fact that the Razor is twice the price. I know you get what you pay for but is the Razor actually worth double? Since this is my first year elk and mule deer hunting I still have other gear and upgrades to pay for so I am just trying to be as efficient as possible. I appreciate all the comments so far.
 

sk1

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i think that depends on how you define efficient.....if by efficient you mean you need to spread out the expenses to buy all the basics so you can hunt, the viper im sure could get you by.....but, if by efficient you mean getting what you want the first time and not having to spend more money upgrading later, then the razor.

i haven't seen either of them in person so im not much help there, but if the funding is there.....im a big fan of the buy once cry once theory. i cant tell you how many times ive tried to go the cheaper route and only ended up disappointed and buying what i wanted shortly after. i cant say that's the case here in this situation with your optics choices, but maybe something to consider.
 
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idi1796

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I think the same way as you sk1. I like to buy equipment only once and never have to second guess myself. The razor will more than likely be my choice but I am just curious I guess the difference between the two.
 

Chad44

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i think that depends on how you define efficient.....if by efficient you mean you need to spread out the expenses to buy all the basics so you can hunt, the viper im sure could get you by.....but, if by efficient you mean getting what you want the first time and not having to spend more money upgrading later, then the razor.

i haven't seen either of them in person so im not much help there, but if the funding is there.....im a big fan of the buy once cry once theory. i cant tell you how many times ive tried to go the cheaper route and only ended up disappointed and buying what i wanted shortly after. i cant say that's the case here in this situation with your optics choices, but maybe something to consider.
I agree. The fact of the matter is you can very easily get by without a spotter. Being that this is you first few years hunting I doubt you'll be passing on animals and strictly trophy hunting. I've been hunting for around 10 years in colorado and just bought one because I drew a trophy deer tag. Before this year if it had antlers and was within 60 yards it was hopefully dead. You may be a lot different but that's my take. It's hard enough getting close to a young elk/deer much less a mature one. I guess I'm saying to purchase everything you NEED first then look to the things that can make it easier. IMHO
 
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idi1796

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You are right. I will definitely be ecstatic with any elk and I think that you might be right that a spotter is not absolutely necessary.

I agree. The fact of the matter is you can very easily get by without a spotter. Being that this is you first few years hunting I doubt you'll be passing on animals and strictly trophy hunting. I've been hunting for around 10 years in colorado and just bought one because I drew a trophy deer tag. Before this year if it had antlers and was within 60 yards it was hopefully dead. You may be a lot different but that's my take. It's hard enough getting close to a young elk/deer much less a mature one. I guess I'm saying to purchase everything you NEED first then look to the things that can make it easier. IMHO
 

ssliger

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I recently purchased a Meopta Meostar HD spotting scope. I am in love with it. Take a look at it. You can get an 82 mm scope for only 2 more ounces than a Razor 65. It also comes with a wide angle lens. It does cost $1000 more.
 

luke moffat

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Feb 24, 2012
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I recently purchased a Meopta Meostar HD spotting scope. I am in love with it. Take a look at it. You can get an 82 mm scope for only 2 more ounces than a Razor 65. It also comes with a wide angle lens. It does cost $1000 more.

It is true that the Razor 65 weighs in at 48 oz and the Meostar 82HD weighs in at 50.4.....however Vortex includes the weight of their spotting scopes in their total weights. Meopta 82 HD eyepiece weigh 13.6 oz making the total weight 64 oz or just 1.7 oz less than the 85mm Razor HD with its 20-60 eyepiece. I am sure the Meostar is a great scope, just wanna make sure you aren't disappointed when you throw the thing on a scale and realize its nearly a pound heavier than you thought.
 

MattB

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It is true that the Razor 65 weighs in at 48 oz and the Meostar 82HD weighs in at 50.4.....however Vortex includes the weight of their spotting scopes in their total weights. Meopta 82 HD eyepiece weigh 13.6 oz making the total weight 64 oz or just 1.7 oz less than the 85mm Razor HD with its 20-60 eyepiece. I am sure the Meostar is a great scope, just wanna make sure you aren't disappointed when you throw the thing on a scale and realize its nearly a pound heavier than you thought.

I had the same issue with the new Leica scope a year ago - won it at a wildlife fundraiser only to be disappointed that the advertised weights I had seen did not include the weights of the 15 oz. eye piece in the total weight of the scope. The 65mm version ended up only being a few oz. lighter than my 80mm objective non-HD Swarovski spotter. The image quality was beautiful, but not worth carrying that much weight with that small of an objective.
 

ssliger

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It is true that the Razor 65 weighs in at 48 oz and the Meostar 82HD weighs in at 50.4.....however Vortex includes the weight of their spotting scopes in their total weights. Meopta 82 HD eyepiece weigh 13.6 oz making the total weight 64 oz or just 1.7 oz less than the 85mm Razor HD with its 20-60 eyepiece. I am sure the Meostar is a great scope, just wanna make sure you aren't disappointed when you throw the thing on a scale and realize its nearly a pound heavier than you thought.

Thanks for the heads up, didn't really think about the eye piece weight. I'm just getting into some backcountry hunting and figuring out my gear is a lot of fun, but expensive. The hunts I have planned this year are close to home. So many roads you can really only get 3 miles away from any road.
 
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