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Spotting Scopes & Tripods


Before buying on line, it's advisable to check out spotting scopes at a local store to see how you like them.

The following scopes are listed according to price and on-line recommendations.


     Economy Scopes (under $200)

Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope  [about $150 - Jul 2011]

Vortex Impact RA 25 - 75x70 mm Angled Spotting Scope  [about $150 - Jul 2011]  

Bushnell Trophy 20-60x65 Waterproof Spotting Scope (Green)  [about $176 - Jul 2011]  

  

  Mid-Priced Scopes ($200 to $500)

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 (45 degree) Spotting Scope  [about $430 - Jul 2011]

Alpen Waterproof 20-60X80 Spotting Scope 788  [about $460 - Jul 2011]

Bushnell Legend Ultra High Definition Black Ed Glass Spotting Scope, 15-45X60mm 
     [compact -- about $300 - Jul 2011]

Pentax PF-65ED II Spotting Scope  [about $460 - Jul 2011]

Leupold Gr 15-30X50Mm Compact Spotting Scope  [compact -- about $500 - Jul 2011]

  

  Top-Affordable Scopes ($500 to $1000)

Brunton Eterna Angled Scope with 20-60 X 80 lens  [about $872 on sale - Jul 2011]

Bushnell Elite 20-60x80 ED, Angled  [not through Amazon - about $872 - Jul 2011]

Nikon Fieldscope 50mm ED Angled Spotting scope  [compact -- about $800 - Jul 2011]

Vortex, Skyline 20-60x80ED Straight Spotting Scope  
     [about $730] angled [about $750 - Jul 2011]

Pentax PF-80ED-A 80mm ED Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope w/Case
   
 [ about $530 for body - Jul 2011];  20x50 zoom eyepiece [about $460]

     

  The Very Best Scopes (over $1000) 

Leica APO-Televid 82, 82mm Angled, with 25-50x Vario Eyepiece  
     [straight about $3,900 - Jul 2011]  (Can buy body and a different eyepiece separately)]

Swarovski STM-80-HD Spotting Scope  [without eyepiece about $2,540 - Jul 2011]
     Eyepieces:  25-50-xWW   [about $700]  20-60-xs [about $540]

Kowa TSN-884 Prominar ED 88mm Straight Spotting Scope 
     [angled -- bodies only $2,310 - Jul 2011]   Eyepieces:  20-60 zoom   [about $600]

Nikon Fieldscope ED82 - Spotting scope 25-75 x 82   [about $1,600 - Jul 2011]

Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 Straight Spotting Scope RZR-S1 
     [angled about $1,600 - Jul 2011]]

  

   

Tripods

Before buying a tripod and head on line, it's advisable to check them out at a local store to see
how the leg-extension mechanism works, how heavy they are and what kind of head you'd like.

The following tripods are listed by composition and size. Heads are listed with their scopes.


  

  Aluminum (from #65 to $160) 

Slik Pro 330 EZ Tripod Kit, with SH-707E Multi-Action Pan Head 
    
[about $115 - Jul 2011]   Weight: 4.4 lbs.

Slik Pro 340 EZ - Tripod - with Slik SH-707E  [about $120 - Jul 2011]   Weight: 3.5 lbs.

Vanguard Tracker-2 All Aluminum Alloy Tripod with 3-Way Panhead 
    
[about $120 - Jul 2011]    Weight: 10 lbs.

Vortex Pro GT Tripod Binoculars  [needs a head - about $100 - Jul 2011]   Weight: 3 lbs.

Manfrotto 055 XB Tripod Legs  [needs a head -about $160 - Jul 2011]   Weight: 5.1 lbs.

  

  Carbon Fiber (from $250 to $420) 

Manfrotto 190CX3 Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs 
    
[needs a head -about $250 - Jul 2011]   Weight: 2.9 lbs.

Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 3-Section Pro Carbon Fiber Legs 
    
[needs a head -about $295 - Jul 2011]   Weight: 2.9 lbs.

Gitzo GT0531 Series 0 6X  3-Section Tripod with G-Lock 
    
[needs a head -about $420 - Jul 2011]   Weight: 2.4 lbs.  Length: 25.2

  


  Heads (from $85 to $362) 

Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head  [about $85 - Jul 2011]  Weight: 2 lbs.

Manfrotto 222 Grip Action Ball Tripod Head  [about $114 - Jul 2011]

Manfrotto 322 RC2 Grip Action Ball Head  [about $124 - Jul 2011]

Swarovski DH 101 Tripod Head  [about $362 - Jul 2011]  Weight: 1.9 lbs.

Gitzo GH2720QR Birdwatching Tripod Head  [about $350 - Jul 2011]  Weight: 1.2 lbs.