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Author Topic: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES  (Read 1508 times)

Roger in France

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SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« on: August 25, 2009, 10:22:34 AM »

Knowing the wide interests of Mayhem Members I anticipate there are those who will advise me.....

I am thinking of buying a scope for bird watching, what should I buy?

My research leans me towards a spotting scope at 45deg. with an object lens of at least 60mm, probably 80. Armoured casing and a decent tripod. I do not want to spend a fortune so the top end of the market is out but I think for around 300 I should be able to get something decent.

Interestingly far fewer scopes appear on Ebay France than in the UK. However, the retailers in France and Germany seem to offer a decent range.

All advice and comments will be appreciated.

Roger in France
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andyn

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2009, 12:30:21 PM »

My parents do bird watching, they have a Kowa TSN-601 scope on a Velbon tripod. Apparently the prices have gone up a considerable amount since they bought theirs...

I know nothing about the thing, but when I've looked through it it's been very good, easy to focus and very clear. I've also taken pictures through it with my camera. They say getting a padded cover for it is essential. Have a look on the RSPB website.

Andy :-))
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Wasyl

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2009, 12:59:08 PM »

Hi Roger,I used to do Field Target shooting and i bought a Spotting scope fom a business seller on ebay,and it isa very good scope,and itdid,nt cost me an arm or a leg,its alleged retail price was 379 but i only paid 82 + postage,
A friend of mine has a Kowa,601? i think,and he paid well over 150 s/hand to be truthfull i think mines is better,i,now use it for "feathered bird watching"and star gazing and i think its great value for money,the one i have is still available on ebay,its a Nipon with a 20-60-70

Wullie

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Robert Davies

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 02:47:23 PM »


Roger,

Don't confine yourself to just monocular capability.

Take a look at this site http://www.strathspey.co.uk

They deal in (some very) high end binoculars at reasonable prices, there is plenty of info there, but with one caveat, prices are PLUS VAT.

Just another err... view of the issue :)

No connection, just a happy customer.

-Rob
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Mark47

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2009, 10:37:48 AM »

I would stick to 60mm scopes for birds, I'm into astronomy and I have a 80mm Equinox scope as a grab and go. The 80mm does need a far stabler platform to perform on, (it takes far longer to dampen movement or knocks usually 4-5 seconds without an adequate tripod for the job. The bird will be gone by this time) this increases the weight by at least another 3-4 kilos. Total weight to lug about is around 8-9kilos with eyepieces.

The suggestion of binos is a good one if you can get a pair to sit on a camera tripod. Again your better to try them out on a tripod to see how long the dampening time takes. :-))

Another thought is to get a scope with an erecting prism so that your image is the correct way up when viewing. I don't know if all spotting scopes have them, (just something to look out for. As I said I'm an Astronomer).

Mark
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Roger in France

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 12:40:48 PM »

Thanks to you all. Plenty of good advice there.

I have looked at the RSPB shop but things look a little expensive compared to what I can see as being rather similar at other places. However, the RSPB advice on making a selection appears helpful.

Roger in France
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richtea

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2009, 01:09:40 PM »

Try looking at IN FOCUS Denby Dale,they have a guide to choosing the right kit.
Regards
richtea
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Tug

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2009, 08:02:44 PM »

Roger, the french prices for the same thing are so much higher, even allowing for postage, Try looking at some [german] sites, that is where mine came from, (and the scope,) but we cannot mention that!
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Colin H

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2009, 10:14:12 PM »

I have a little experience with both scopes & bino's. Scopes from long range target shooting & bino's from the military.

From my experience a scope would be more useful from a hide whereas walking in the countryside bino's would be the way to go.

Colin H.
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tobyker

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2009, 11:16:53 PM »

Aldi do a monocular one from time to time.OK for the garden.
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BlazingPenguin

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Re: SPOTTING SCOPES/TELESCOPES
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2009, 05:47:21 PM »

The Aldi/Lidl offerings are fine for spotting and way under your budget.

But for that money the Meade ETX range gives you much more versatility, you will have a choice of magnifications, the ability to use filters etc, as well as to directly attach a camera at prime focus for piccies, you can also connect to a PC/Lappy to watch onscreen, either live-feed or stop frame...your only limited by your imagination.

Oh....and its a half ways decent astronomical scope too, for that its fully automatic and can find the star/planet etc for you. It comes with a remote to move the scope around, but for spotting the advantage is in being able to move the telescope with minimal disturbing movement from the user....YOU!

Cheers
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