Spotting scope(bird/wildlife watching)

Seeking a decent quality ($175.00 to $200.00 price range?) spotting scope to be used for bird/wildlife watching. Ideally, it could be mounted on a tall, free standing tripod, such as a camera tripod.

Would be used at less than 150 yards distance, and occasionally used as spotting scope for target shooting.



Look at:

Same scope (Nikon 7350) even cheaper

Okay, one more

The Leupold is waterproof, the Nikon is water resistant. Both are solid entry level spotting scopes.

Mirakel Optical
Give Dan a call. He is a birder and knows optics. Tell him what you are looking for and your price range.

Cindy has a Nikon spotting scope. It’s about 8 years old and she likes it well enough. I don’t know how it compares to their current products either in price or quality.

However, you may remember that I do have the Leupold Wind River Katmai 8X32 waterproof binoculars and just love their optics - much better than were my old Nikon binoculars. You may remember the Leupold binoculars from the fall rendezvous. I have never used Leupold spotting scopes, but if their spotting scope optics are as much of an improvement over Nikon as are their binoculars, Leupold would be my first choice.

I know that Cabelas, Scheels, and Bass Pro Shops carry the Leupold line. You might want to check them out with your own eyeballs before buying.

By the way if you do buy a Leupold scope bring it to the spring rendezvous so I can check it out :slight_smile:

Good luck in you hunt, my friend

Good luck.

Quality vs brand name
Keep in mind that just because some Leopold binocs were better than a particular pair of Nikon binocs doesn’t provide any across-the-board info for comparisons. I can’t speak for Leopold, but Nikon and many other companies sell binoculars of so many different quality levels, so be careful when comparing apples to oranges.

I have a spotting scope I’m pretty happy with, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what brand it is. It doesn’t work well in dim light, though. At typical spotting-scope magnifications, you’d need a pretty huge objective lens (costing lots of $$$) if low-light capability matters. Otherwise, you probably can’t go wrong with the sort of scope you can find at any decent sporting goods store.

Consider the new Celestron 45 degree
eyepiece models, such as the 65mm with an 18-55 zoom. Light, super sharp, and under your price range at opticsplanet. MickJetBlue

Almost forgot …
regarding the tripod for the spotting scope. When we first got our scope I set it up on the tripod I use for my 35mm SLR. While that tripod works well for the SLR it wasn’t worth a damn for the scope - too unstable.

So in addition to checking out the scope with your own eyeballs, I strongly advise checking out the tripod WITH a scope of similar weight and power.

Getting some good feedback
Appears that I’m getting some good feedback…

The main use I’ll make of the spotting scope will be watching 3 Bluebird houses(6 broods this year), all within 70 yards of my back door. Incidental use on other bird species; Pileated Woodpeckers, Summer Tanager, Oriole, etc

Scope will be set up on a tripod, and stay in the same location most of the time.

The only other use will be spotting paper, pistol targets at less than 25 yards. All usage will be in daylight.



Here’s what I have:
I’m posting this here instead of as an addendum to my first post, so it doesn’t get missed.

Now that I’m home from work, I took a look at my scope, and see that it’s a Leopold 30x60mm (30 power, 60mm objective) I don’t remember how much it cost (would have been about 12 years ago), but I think I got it at Gander Mountain, so it probably wasn’t too outrageous.

One caveat
Bob - Something to keep in mind - in the price range you’re looking, it would be wise to keep to a fixed magnification eyepiece. Something in the range of 20 to 30 power max. Quality zooms are very expensive to manufacture and cost twice as much (or more) for the eyepiece alone than what you have budgeted for your whole outfit. You’ll be much more pleased with a fixed magnification in that range.


I have had good luck with Simons
"Simons" makes pretty decent optical equipment, that is “affordable”.

I have used several different products of theirs for the last 15 years,and they have all held up well. Good Optical quality too.

Just another brand you can “look into”. No pun intended! :slight_smile: