Cheap(er) spotting scopes

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Re: Cheap(er) spotting scopes

Post by ShootingStar »

I know Merlin has already made his purchase, but I was interested and following the information given.
I don't have one, but spent some time at a Smallbore Silhouette Match looking through a Konuspot 80.
I was surprised by it's clarity - especially for it's current sale price (at Optics Planet) of $180!!!

Now I admit to not having a tremendous amount of experience with ANY spotting scope, so I'm certainly not qualified to comment - especially on comparisons of one Brand or Model to another.

Let's keep this thread going with those of you who ARE experienced with multiple, low-er cost spotting scopes.
I'm willing to learn, but only have a little money to burn!

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Re: Cheap(er) spotting scopes

Post by Jerry G »

It is ALL in the quality of the glass, not in the power. You will see more with a quality 30X scope than a 60X cheep one.
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Re: Cheap(er) spotting scopes

Post by PAndy »

I have a Celestron 80mm. I am happy with it so far. Main observations are: first, it is very large. I would not want to lug it up and down a 600 yard high power range. Second, it is much more user friendly at the 20x to 30x range. Like many inexpensive scopes, at higher power the eye relief goes to nothing and the image is harder to focus. But it is working fine for basic range work.
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Re: Cheap(er) spotting scopes

Post by Dee »

I got lucky and scooped the newer Kowa 800 series with the 27x IIRC long eye relief eyepiece for around $400 years ago. I looked through cheaper glass and it works well for what it cost but there are definite weak points which is why they sell the higher dollar scopes I guess. That said even the Kowa can't see a tiny bullet hole 600 yards way unless its the best of conditions. In S. LA on a humid day when we'd shoot HP the mirage is so heavy at times the animals are dancing around, one of those shoot n see stickers 3" diameter will never settle to see well in a scope much less a 6mm hole even at Turkey range lol. What I look for in clarity is the ability to see clearly enough that I can pick out distinct spots on the animals to use for making my wind call, down to a paint chip. If the shooter and spotter can both see those tiny areas clearly it is a great help zeroing in on where you want them to break the shot and gets them to focus down to just that tiny point losing focus on the target overall. That of course is much easier to see in SB then HP. When conditions are at the crappiest the best glass has an edge but even it has its limits for HP. As light fades the better glass stays brighter longer I find as well.
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Re: Cheap(er) spotting scopes

Post by Merlin »

After having the Celestron 100 for a while now.... I feel it resolves about the same as my 60 mm Meopta. It is twice as heavy and somewhat harder to focus properly. It cost ~210.00 vs 1000+ for the Meopta.... A bigger heavier scope requires a better tripod/mount... I'm into it for ~210.00 and may or may not keep it - if for nothing but to have a spare.
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Re: Cheap(er) spotting scopes

Post by Smayone »

In August of '21 I got into the market for a Cheaper Spotting Scope. Found this post and asked Merlin about the scope. He had since upgraded and sold me the Celestron for what he had in it...$209. (Celestron Ultima 100, Model 52252, 100mm Spotting Scope, 45 Degree View Angle, with Eye Piece). He cautioned me that I would need a good stand because the scope is heavy. I bought a Vortex Pro GT Tripod new for cheap because it had just been discontinued. I'm using the scope for practice shooting Lever Action Smallbore Silhouette. I had some red half scale paper targets already but was getting a little low. I ordered more but seller was only doing black. I have no problem at all seeing hits on red Rams at 100 meters but with black Rams I'm not able to see all the hits every time. I''m stretching my red targets with target pasters. Another work around is required when I roll the scope over at an angle. I can go about 30 degrees right of vertical which works when I'm standing but beyond that the front of the's front heavy...starts to droop. There's probably an easy fix for that but it's not been such a problem that I have spent any time to find a fix. (If you've got this scope and already have the fix please give me a heads up.). Bottom line; for what I've got in it, I've been really pleased. Thanks Merlin. :ymhug:
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Re: Cheap(er) spotting scopes

Post by Jetmugg »

For what it's worth, the large Celestron binoculars are well worth consideration.

I've been quite happy with a pair of the Celestron 20x 80mm "Skymaster", which sell for about $200 or less.

I haven't had a chance to check out the 25x 100mm version yet, but have heard other shooters give them positive reviews.

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Re: Cheap(er) spotting scopes

Post by 375Short »

We have been satisfied with our Celestron. I had a second criteria, I wanted not overly expensive and not made in China. That was disheartening. In general it seemed , US brands, European brands and Japanese brands, once you moved away from the top end product line they where all made in China. Obviously I dropped the No China requirement, apparently my desire to save a buck outweighs my patriotism when it came to spotting scope shopping. The cheap scope did have a payoff, shortly after it’s purchase, on a very windy day while setting targets, it blew over and broke in half. I was very angry at myself, lessons have a price but in this case at least it wasn’t taught with a $2K spotting scope. Epoxied it back together and it remains providing good service.
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