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  #1  
Old 05-09-2018, 05:20 PM
Arrowhead Arrowhead is offline
 
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Default 60/65mm vs 80 mm spotting scope for backpack hunting

I'm interested to hear opinions on 60/65mm vs 80mm spotting scopes for backpack hunting (mountains or otherwise). I know from some posts on the For Sale section that some are selling or trading their 80mm spotters for lighter setups. Others I'm sure feel the extra low light performance of the 80mm versions are worth it despite the extra weight.

Opinions please.

Last edited by Arrowhead; 05-09-2018 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:24 PM
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bdub bdub is offline
 
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It's going to be a trade off. If you are humping up and down mountains as your main hunting I would opt for the lighter/smaller option.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:10 PM
katts69 katts69 is offline
 
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If 6-9 oz is gonna break you while backpacking go with the 65. But be reminded there is no replacement for displacement. Larger objective means more light and better glassing at peak times, dawn and dusk.
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2018, 01:47 AM
Faststeel Faststeel is offline
 
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if some one else is carrying the 80mm scope then by all means bring it. just cause some one onTV uses an 80mm scope don't mean its the only way to go. If you are going to be in the mountains in semi warm weather heat waves could be a problem for long distance glassing and no scope makes them go away.
I'd bet 97% of guys hiking in the back country do not carry an 80 mm scope, and even if you gave them a free one, they would leave it at home...FS
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:28 AM
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I take my 80mm everytime no matter what. I also don't weight sort my socks.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:35 AM
arcticcathinda arcticcathinda is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faststeel View Post
if some one else is carrying the 80mm scope then by all means bring it. just cause some one onTV uses an 80mm scope don't mean its the only way to go. If you are going to be in the mountains in semi warm weather heat waves could be a problem for long distance glassing and no scope makes them go away.
I'd bet 97% of guys hiking in the back country do not carry an 80 mm scope, and even if you gave them a free one, they would leave it at home...FS
Fully agree, I find most days I get boiled out with mirage and never get a chance to use the top end of my 25-50x eyepiece. Its never my 65mm objective that seems to be the problem.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:03 AM
Bock Fever Bock Fever is offline
 
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80mm is great for glassing from the highway but no fun to pack in. It not only weighs a ton but it also takes up more space in your pack. I carry a 65mm but I know a lot of guys just bring binoculars (12 or 15 power) if they've done their pre-scouting an know they are heading into a good sheep area and aren't going to have to glass 3 miles.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:10 AM
sjr sjr is offline
 
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The best , biggest and brightest spotting scope in the world is only as good as the tripod that holds it . Sure there's a few on here that know what I'm talking about .
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2018, 07:51 AM
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Tundra Monkey Tundra Monkey is offline
 
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I've been carrying an 80mm swaro for almost 20 yrs.

I don't feel as tho the extra 1/2 lb hampers me. My pack weighed 55lbs sans rifle even with the "monster" spotter last time I went in for a 12 day sheep hunt.

As far as a tripod, I use a Slik carbon fiber and an outdoorsman head. Put a rock bag on the tripod and it is rock solid.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:35 PM
katts69 katts69 is offline
 
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Tundra, one of the few guys on here that ainít a ***** and knows that he talking about. Keep it together, rob
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:36 PM
katts69 katts69 is offline
 
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I guess p_ssy is a bad word. Lol
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  #12  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:29 PM
West O'5 West O'5 is offline
 
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Not to stray off topic (weight) but as far as budget goes,can a guy get a decent spotter on a budget of $500-ish,or if I increase that budget to <$1000,any top picks to recommend for lightweight,decent quality spotting scope that won't break the bank but a guy will be happy with for years to come?
I'm "kinda/sorta" gearing up for a mountain hunt(hopefully this year?) but realistically any scope I buy will see far more use summer scouting/scrutinizing WT and MD bucks.That said,if I can keep it liteweight and well suited for mountain hunting,all the better?
Also,just to add to that,I've never owned a spotting scope myself and have very limited experience looking thru those owned by buddies.Whats everybody's preference,pros/cons of angled eye piece vs straight eyepiece?Does one style offer any clear advantage in terms of eye fatigue or long session glassing comfort,or is it mainly just a matter of personal preference.
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Last edited by West O'5; 05-11-2018 at 10:40 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2018, 02:22 PM
Jayhad Jayhad is offline
 
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Duplicate post
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:25 PM
Jayhad Jayhad is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West O'5 View Post
Not to stray off topic (weight) but as far as budget goes,can a guy get a decent spotter on a budget of $500-ish,or if I increase that budget to <$1000,any top picks to recommend for lightweight,decent quality spotting scope that won't break the bank but a guy will be happy with for years to come.
No,
If you step up to 1500 for a Vortex, you can sometimes find them used for as low as 600... that's a deal.
Keep your eyes on campfire.com they've had the vortex razor for under 1000usd a few times recently.

Last edited by Jayhad; 05-12-2018 at 02:33 PM.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2018, 05:06 AM
HuntinGuy HuntinGuy is offline
 
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Check out the Kowa TSN-663/664. Itís a 20-60x66 and the glass is superb, and only 2.75 lbs. I love mine, Iím not sure how you could get a better overall scope. Itís 20-60x66, and I have fully run mine through the paces and they are extremely durable.


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  #16  
Old 05-13-2018, 05:59 AM
West O'5 West O'5 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuntinGuy View Post
Check out the Kowa TSN-663/664. Itís a 20-60x66 and the glass is superb, and only 2.75 lbs. I love mine, Iím not sure how you could get a better overall scope. Itís 20-60x66, and I have fully run mine through the paces and they are extremely durable.


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Actually was looking at Kowa spotters online a cpl weeks ago,they have a flyweight 20-40x50mm that only weighs 15oz and 10.5" long iirc,it's around $450CDN?
I'd never heard tell of Kowa until then,but they offer a wide range of models from the featherweight 50mm up to high end stuff $2000+ models so I'm assuming even the lil scope is pretty decent?The size and weight certainly is attractive?
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:03 AM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West O'5 View Post
Actually was looking at Kowa spotters online a cpl weeks ago,they have a flyweight 20-40x50mm that only weighs 15oz and 10.5" long iirc,it's around $450CDN?
I'd never heard tell of Kowa until then,but they offer a wide range of models from the featherweight 50mm up to high end stuff $2000+ models so I'm assuming even the lil scope is pretty decent?The size and weight certainly is attractive?
Kowa is well known among target shooters, and birders. I have the TSN 883, and I chose it over the Swarovski 80mmHD.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:13 AM
HuntinGuy HuntinGuy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West O'5 View Post
Actually was looking at Kowa spotters online a cpl weeks ago,they have a flyweight 20-40x50mm that only weighs 15oz and 10.5" long iirc,it's around $450CDN?

I'd never heard tell of Kowa until then,but they offer a wide range of models from the featherweight 50mm up to high end stuff $2000+ models so I'm assuming even the lil scope is pretty decent?The size and weight certainly is attractive?


I have not seen the 20-40x50, but sounds like I mite need to look into one. And I do know there top end stuff is some of the best in the world.

http://www.bergerbullets.com/SW_Nati...-list-open.pdf

This link shows F-Class guys really like them, I think they are more of a professional class scope, not really known by the general ďCabelas consumerĒ

Mine is kinda middle ground and I was hesitant at first with this scope but now Iím just so impressed. Iíve had it hanging off my truck window for hundreds of kilometres Mule deer scouting, and many a miles packing it, and it had no issues.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:21 AM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuntinGuy View Post
I have not seen the 20-40x50, but sounds like I mite need to look into one. And I do know there top end stuff is some of the best in the world.

http://www.bergerbullets.com/SW_Nati...-list-open.pdf

This link shows F-Class guys really like them, I think they are more of a professional class scope, not really known by the general ďCabelas consumerĒ

Mine is kinda middle ground and I was hesitant at first with this scope but now Iím just so impressed. Iíve had it hanging off my truck window for hundreds of kilometres Mule deer scouting, and many a miles packing it, and it had no issues.
Interesting charts from F-class, Kowa is by far the favorite scope, but where are the 6.5Creedmoor shooters?
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:22 AM
HuntinGuy HuntinGuy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhunter11 View Post
Interesting charts from F-class, Kowa is by far the favorite scope, but where are the 6.5Creedmoor shooters?


Out shooting PRS


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  #21  
Old 05-13-2018, 12:09 PM
West O'5 West O'5 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntinguy View Post
out shooting prs


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😂
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:13 PM
West O'5 West O'5 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuntinGuy View Post
I have not seen the 20-40x50, but sounds like I mite need to look into one. And I do know there top end stuff is some of the best in the world.
Here ya go....

https://www.brandonoptics.com/Kowa-S...pes-_c_80.html
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  #23  
Old 05-13-2018, 08:05 PM
dave99 dave99 is offline
 
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I bought the Kowa 664 about 5 years ago. Used it a ton, and I have no regrets on the purchase. Great value and can stand up to the top scopes in its class.

To the OPís question, 65mm glass is plenty in the mountains. I think that the improved resolving power of the 80-85mm scopes is too small a benefit to justify the heavy weight and bulk.




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  #24  
Old 05-14-2018, 08:45 PM
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bdub bdub is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katts69 View Post
Tundra, one of the few guys on here that ainít a ***** and knows that he talking about. Keep it together, rob
When your clock is saying you are guaranteed closer to the date of your funeral than you are to your arrival into this world, and your are trying to squeeze a few more years of sheep hunting in before your back turns to swiss cheese or the knees seize up, a persons appreciation for lightening the pack grows.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:05 AM
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Stinky Coyote Stinky Coyote is offline
 
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lmfao at f-class shooting prs

i would be one to leave a free 80mm at home too, i'd use in the truck though

if i was shopping for a backpack spotter right now the kowa 554 15-45x would be my scope

i put a kowa 664 against swaro hd 65mm 20-60 and 25-50 wide angle a number of years ago and resolved a speed limit sign at about 1880 yards or so, the kowa beat them all and had the truest color and straightest image, more of a blue tint and swaro has more of a yellow tint, swaro puts a curve to the image for panning to reduce the rolling ball effect (so power poles along the road were clearly curved nearer the edges of the image)...for straight up judging the kowa will beat the swaro's, i suppose argument for panning comfort the edge goes to the swaro's

the kowa on that speed limit sign at 60x out resolved the swaro at 65, not by much but it did, so i can see why any target shooters would gravitate to the kowa

being japanese the kowa is much more affordable too

the wide angle would easily have been my last choice between those two. also the 664 kowa was a touch lighter than the swaro...i still have my 664, it's my truck spotter lol, i use a nikon ed50 for my pack but wish it was that new kowa 554
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  #26  
Old 05-15-2018, 06:37 PM
katts69 katts69 is offline
 
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Itís only 6 oz. not the end of the world.
When the sun goes down and you are glassing across a bowl the 80 mm more than makes up for 6 oz of weight
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  #27  
Old 05-15-2018, 07:00 PM
stonefish stonefish is offline
 
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I run an Nikon ED50. Great little scope and light. If I was looking now I would also consider the little Kowa.
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  #28  
Old 05-16-2018, 06:43 AM
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HuntingAlberta HuntingAlberta is offline
 
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I use my swaro 25-60x85 ATX. I love it. I'd never go back to the 60mm or straight scope again. Lots of sheep hunting and pack trips and i'd rather pack it around then a slightly lighter scope.
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  #29  
Old 05-17-2018, 12:09 AM
Highlander44 Highlander44 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West O'5 View Post
Not to stray off topic (weight) but as far as budget goes,can a guy get a decent spotter on a budget of $500-ish,or if I increase that budget to <$1000,any top picks to recommend for lightweight,decent quality spotting scope that won't break the bank but a guy will be happy with for years to come?
I'm "kinda/sorta" gearing up for a mountain hunt(hopefully this year?) but realistically any scope I buy will see far more use summer scouting/scrutinizing WT and MD bucks.That said,if I can keep it liteweight and well suited for mountain hunting,all the better?
Also,just to add to that,I've never owned a spotting scope myself and have very limited experience looking thru those owned by buddies.Whats everybody's preference,pros/cons of angled eye piece vs straight eyepiece?Does one style offer any clear advantage in terms of eye fatigue or long session glassing comfort,or is it mainly just a matter of personal preference.
I personally like my swaro 20-60x65 in the mountains, and prefer a straight eyepiece. I find it is easier to acquire what youíre looking for, and when it is snowing or raining, moisture is less likely to find its way on your eyepiece. Due to the compactness and good quality, Iíd seriously consider a Leupold compact spotter. Sure, and half pound or pound isnít much, but it all adds up.....
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