Wednesday, March 31, 2010

From Richard:

We are looking to purchase a spotting scope. We will be using it at Yellowstone in a month, but will also use it locally for bird watching.

We think we want the larger 80 or 82 mm version of whatever we buy. Do you agree or would a 60mm be sufficient?
We think we want an angled body. Do you have any comments about why or why not?

We need to stay under $1000, including the accessories (tripod, etc).

Can you use a digital camera on all spotting scopes? Can you use any camera or just specific cameras per scope?

We have been looking at the Nikon Prostaff 20–60 X 82mm and the Bushnell Elite ED 20-60x80mm. We have been looking at these mostly because of the price. What do you think of these two? If both are okay, which would you choose? Would you suggest any others?

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Richard:
Thanks for your questions. I would suggest choosing a large objective lens scope if you don't have a problem with carrying a bit more weight. It will gather much more light, especially in low light situations, than a smaller 60mm scope.
I would suggest an angled spotting scope if people of different heights are using it, you are sharing it with groups, and because you can leave it lower on the tripod for added stability.
These scopes are all nice, but I would say under $1,000, the two best you could get would be the Bushnell you mentioned, the 80mm Elite, or the Vortex Skyline 80mm ED.

Not all cameras will work for digiscoping. In order to digiscope with these scopes, you will need a small-bodied point-and-shoot digital camera with a below 4x optical zoom.
With a camera like that, and this adapter, you can digiscope with either the Bushnell or Skyline ED set at 20x on its magnification range.
If you have a DSLR camera body, you can also get a T-ring and use it with this adapter and the body of the Bushnell scope (this setup would require removing both the eyepiece of the spotting scope and the lens of your camera).

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