[CT Birds] OT: Scope recommendations

Stuart Winquist stuartwinquist at sbcglobal.net
Tue Dec 12 23:28:24 EST 2017


James,
I suggest you look through as many scopes in the field as you can.  I have found the birding community to be very generous sharing views through their scopes when I don’t have mine with me, or I haven’t located the 2 barnacle geese nestled amongst the thousands of Canada geese with my own scope, and I often share views with strangers through my own scope.  Looking through scopes in field conditions will be more informative than in a store.  If you ask, the worst they can say is no.

Take notes: you’ll get a better feel of whether your price point will meet your needs, or if you just want to save for a few more years.  I’ve found that I can sometimes id birds better through my good Leica 10x binocs than a cheaper scope.  I have a good 20-60x Leica scope and sometimes when it is very windy or at dusk, I have better luck with binocs.

Purchasing used optics is a good way to step up in quality at a given price point, I bought a pair of binocs that way. B&H  and Adorama have a large, constantly changing inventory of used optics which you can check out on-line or in NYC.  Smaller stores may be hit or miss with inventory but are worth trying.  

A good tripod and head makes a big difference not only to track the bird, but minute vibrations from the wind, more prevalent from cheaper setups, will diminish the optical effectiveness of whatever scope you are looking through.
Good luck,
Stuart Winquist,  East Hampton
Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 12, 2017, at 8:54 PM, Roy Harvey via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
> 
> James,
> 
> I have serious doubts about those brands of scopes simply because of the price.  I fear you are just asking for frustration.
> 
> I seriously suggest looking for a used scope.  Birders sometimes upgrade, and there are others besides birders who use scopes.  No, I don't know where to look.  An old Kowa, Nikon or Bausch & Lomb might be your best bet, but there are other brands too.  (A good 20X eyepiece is better than a bad zoom.)
> 
> Don't neglect the need for a decent tripod and head.  Cheap scopes often come with table-top tripods which won't help much in the field.  The Manfrotto 128RC (formerly Bogen 3130) is the standard head for birders.  It doesn't get in the way when you are trying to get on a bird.  It is not cheap, and neither is a decent tripod, so you may have to put it on your some-day list.
> 
> I haven't read much there in many years, but when I was reading up on optics BirdForum looked like the most active and knowledgeable place to discuss such things.  A quick glance seems to confirm that this is still true.  Don't let the fact that it is based in the United Kingdom put you off, the participants are from all over (and the Brits take their birding very seriously indeed!)
> 
> http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=286
> I am not familiar with their reviews.
> http://www.birdforum.net/reviews/
> 
> Good birding!
> 
> Roy Harvey
> Beacon Falls, CT
> 
> ________________________________
> From: James Purcell via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
> To: "ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> 
> Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:17 PM
> 
> Subject: [CT Birds] OT: Scope recommendations
> 
> I'm in the process of choosing a new spotting scope to buy, and I'm looking for good recommendations that people have for models / brands that are decent quality but that are relatively cheap. The price is the key factor for me, as I'm on a college student budget right now and don't have a lot to work with, so if anyone has any good suggestions, I'd be happy to get some input!
> 
> Does anyone have any experience with Gosky or Landove scopes? I know these aren't top of the line brands, but their prices are definitely lower - is the quality of their products significantly reduced?
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> James Purcell
> 
> Fairfield, CT
> 
> _______________________________________________
> This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
> For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org




More information about the CTBirds mailing list