Your opinion on spotter size?

Lawnboi

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Well its getting about to be the time that ill be getting a new spotter. Now that vortex came out with the 50mm, 65mm, and 85mm razor spotting scopes I still don't quite know which one I would like.

Iv used a 65mm in the past, and there were times I felt it wasn't quite adequate, although that may be because of the poor quality glass.

I'm looking at using this mainly for hunting in the lower 48. I would like something that I can use for a while and not be wanting something new in 2 years.

So If you could have only 1 size spotter for all around mulie, elk and antelope hunting what size would you be carrying? Mainly for pack in trips as well.
 

ckleeves

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I think 65 is a nice all around size. 50's leave me wanting more, they are nice and light but I will carry the weight of a 65 any day. 85's are killer, I want one for truck glassing and digiscoping but I wouldn't want to carry one unless I was sheep or goat hunting.
 
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luke moffat

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Feb 24, 2012
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I've had a 65mm and would have stayed with it had Zeiss not come out with 75X zoom in their 85mm. The Swaro 60X on their 65mm is pretty darn sweet IMO. However, at 4+ pounds for the zeiss I recently picked up a 50mm Nikon to take on trips when super zoom and extreme detail isn't as critical. Like spring/summer bear hunting, caribou hunting, and scouting.

Hope that helps. If I had to have just one spotter though, without quiestion it'd be the 65mm Swaro. Gives you the zoom of most 80mm scopes while keeping the weight of the 65mms. Can't gather light at 60X zoom, back it down to what most 65mm scopes are (45X) and go with that.
 
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sk1

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I carry my 85 everywhere and yes, it's heavy. If you're going to look at it and be like crap, i dont want to lug that thing around, then don't buy it....I take my 85mm, and many times dont even use it, well on my day hunts that is, definitely covered some miles for me this year on my backpack trip. I hate seeing something in the distance and not being able to identify it, so it usually finds its way into my pack, regardless of the additional 8lbs it weighs tripod included. I do have days where I look at it and don't want to take it, definitely. I do hope to eventually get a 50mm scope and a sub 2lb tripod for my day hunts as that 85mm is definitely not always necessary.

I have no experience behind a 50mm, but have used 65 and 85.......I think if you're looking for all around performance and still counting ounces, you'd have no choice but to go with the 65mm. Just get a quality one to maximize its ability and I would think you will be happy enough. I am absolutely no optics expert, but that's what my common sense opinion tells me....wait and see what others have to say, but unless you're a "willing to pay the weight penalty" type of guy, I think it's got to be 65mm all the way. I decided when I bought mine I wanted to go big or go home, so add 8lbs to my starting pack weight, every trip.

good luck
 

ohhiitznik

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Feb 24, 2012
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Rochester Hills, MI
I had a vortex viper 65mm hd. The damn thing was a good piece of glass for a great price. And its only 3.5 lbs. Even in low light it performed well as I was glassing a drainage about 1-2 miles away. If you don't spring for the 65mm razor, look at the 65mm viper. I haven't looked through a razor yet, but that viper was great for the price and not super heavy.
 

RosinBag

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I use the Swaro STM 65 and have never needed any bigger, yet. I would alos never pack the 50 as it generally isn't better than my 12x50 Swaro's.
 

Whisky

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I started with a 80mm Swaro. As I got into more backpack hunting it didn't take long for me to sell the 80 and get a 65mm. I think I saved only 5 ounces or so, which isn't much, but the size difference was huge. The 65's are much less bulky. I also went with the 25-50 wide eye piece. No regrets at all.
 

tstowater

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Iowa
Buy at least a 65 and better glass than you want to spend the money on or you will be looking for something better within 2 years if you are doing any amount of hunting where you could use the spotter. The 80/85 would be better, but takes up room and weighs more. I have several spotters that I bought on the cheap and every time I look at them, I wonder what I was thinking.
 

TRIPLE

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Nov 12, 2012
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I truly think you're the only person that can make the decision on spotting scope size. Obviously optical performance wise bigger is better, but it all depends on hunting styles. If most of you hunting/scouting trips are local "long" weekends then its real easy to justify an 80/85. If you do multiple 5+ day backpack/bivy hunts I'd lean towards a 65 (swaro 65 is best IMO) or be willing to accept a weight penalty of the bigs. Personally I'd avoid 50mm glass of any brand. Whatever you choose spend the money on the best you can afford.
 
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