Thursday, August 11, 2016

Best tripod for the new Razor HD Scope?

I'm going to be purchasing the new Vortex Razor HD 27-60x85 Angled Spotting Scope and am looking for a good tripod for it. I'm hoping to find one that is carbon fiber with the flip locks and that doesn't require an adapter plate to attach the scope to it, any suggestions?




Dear Brianne,
Thanks for your inquiry.

You will need to choose the Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head, which is the only tripod head to which you can attach that new Razor scope without using the quick release plate.

For the carbon fiber leg set with lever locks, I'd recommend this kit, which comes with the head I mentioned: Manfrotto 128RC/MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber Tripod Package.  Another nice leg set would be the Swarovski CT 101 Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs, which would pair nicely with the 128RC Head.
Please let us know if you have any other questions!

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quality difference: Ranger vs. Shrike binoculars

What is the difference between the Eagle Optics Ranger ED vs. the Eagle Optics Shrike 10x42 binoculars?  To a person using it for hiking or sports events, will they measurably notice the difference?
 Thanks for your help.



Dear Jim,
Two things: Glass quality and build quality.
In addition to being phase corrected and having fully multi-coated lenses, the Ranger has Extra-low Dispersion glass and dialectic prism coatings.

In terms of build quality, the movement of the center hinge, eyecups, focus knob, the general mechanics, etc., is so much better on the Ranger in terms of stiction and movement.

Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass helps color correct and enhance resolution, resulting in a brighter image with better sharpness. The dialectic prism coating increases light transmission efficiency.

Yes. You would certainly notice the difference in quality, as I think most people would.
The Ranger has better edge-to-edge sharpness, brightness, center resolution, and color tone.

If we may be of further assistance, please call us at 800-289-1132.


Eagle Optics

Monday, August 1, 2016

Comparing two Gitzo tripod legsets

What is difference between Gitzo Traveler 1545 T Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs and the Gitzo Traveler 1555 T Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs? Are they equally stable in windy conditions? I will mostly use it for bird watching with my Swarovski spotting scope.




Dear Barbara,
One of the differences is the number of leg sections. The 1545 is a 4-leg section tripod and the 1555 is a 5 leg-section, meaning that when fully collapsed, it will close down smaller.

The 1545 is also about 2" taller. Regarding stability, the 1545 will be slightly more stable for two reasons. One is that it has fewer leg sections and secondly, because it has fewer leg sections, the lower of the sections is slightly larger in diameter. 

If it's not a problem that the 1545 is about 3" longer when it's folded up, I'd recommend that one. With a scope, especially at the higher magnification range, the added stability will be nice. You could get away with the smaller 1555, but in some situations you may find it to be just undersized.

Both tripods are considered super compact. If you have any other questions, feel free to call Eagle Optics at 800-289-1132.

Kind regards,

Eagle Optics

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lens covers needed for compact binocular

I am interested in purchasing the .  However,
I see that they do not come with lens covers.  Are there any EO objective lens covers and rainguard covers that will fit the Swarovski CL Pocket 10x25?

Thank you,

Gary M.

Hi Gary,
Thanks so much for your inquiry. We do carry the Vortex Compact Binocular Rainguard, which is actually works well, and is a good fit for the objective lenses of the Swaro 10x25. It is a little loose as a rainguard for the ocular lenses, though.
If you decide to purchase it and aren't satisfied, return it to us for a refund within 30 days.
 Let me know if I may be of further assistance.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What tripod is best for me with a straight scope?

Hello Eagle Optics,
I am considering buying a straight spotting scope, and I'm stuck on which carbon tripod to buy under $500. I am 5'9" tall. 

I like the Manfrotto 190Go Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg. Will the Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head work with that? Will this setup be tall enough for me and my straight spotting scope?

Thanks so much,



Hi Bob,
Thanks for your inquiry!
Here in the store, I set up the Manfrotto 190Go Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg with the Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head and a straight spotting scope. The head and leg are compatible, but since you are 5'9" tall, I just don’t think it will be tall enough for you with your straight scope. The center column will raise the scope up to your eye level, but at the expense of stability—since the scope is about 14” above the top of the leg set.

I tried this with a taller carbon leg set I like, the Opticron XFS-C Birdwatchers Carbon Tripod Leg and the same Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head. It was much better, height-wise. The center column only had to be raised about 5”, and therefore will be more stable in varying conditions in the field.

Let us know if you have any questions.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Zeiss Conquest HD--adequate eye relief?


I'm considering buying the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42 binocular, and have heard some users complain about the eye relief not being long enough for non-eyeglass wearers.

Has Zeiss addressed this, or have they introduced a new eye cup design?

Thank you,

John G.


Hi John,
Thanks for your inquiry. According to Zeiss, and in our own experience, a great majority of non-eyeglass wearers don’t have a problem with the eye relief on the Zeiss 8x42 Conquest HD Binocular. Therefore,  Zeiss isn’t planning any changes. However, if you decide to purchase it and you do require longer eye relief, we can facilitate getting you the replacement eyecups. 

Definitely try it to find out if it works for you--most likely, it will!

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Need Adapter for my iPhone 6s and Swarovski ATS scope

Dear EO,
I have a Swarovski ATS 80 HD scope with the 20-60 Zoom Eyepiece (purchased from you in May 2015).

I would like to consider adding a Phone Skope digiscoping adapter to work with my iPhone 6s.

What piece(s) might you suggest?

Many thanks!



Dear Tad,
Thanks for your inquiry! You would need these two pieces to adapt your iPhone 6s for digiscoping with your Swaro ATS:

I've seen some great results with the photo quality of the 6s for digiscoping--and with your wonderful Swarovski scope, you're in for a fun and challenging new hobby!  If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to help.


Eagle Optics

Monday, May 9, 2016

What head for a monopod?

Hello there!
I would like to order the Gitzo GM2561T Traveler Carbon Fiber Monopod I think I need a head and a quick release for ease of use with my spotting scope.  Will the Manfrotto 200PL-38 3/8-Inch Quick Release Adapter Plate work?




Dear Diane,
Thanks for your inquiry.

We had a discussion about this among the staff. Our recommendation is to get the Manfrotto Monopod 234RC Tilt Top-Swivel Tripod Head.

With the 200PL plate only, you wouldn’t have a tilt feature, and you’d have to lean the monopod to look up or down. That wouldn’t be ideal.

If you still have questions, please call the store to get a better understanding, 800-289-1132.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tripod head and car window mount questions

I am looking for assistance with selecting a tripod head.  I recently purchased a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod locally (MT190CXPRO3) and intend to use it and whatever new tripod head your recommend for birding and photography.

I have looked over your selection of Manfrotto heads, viewed your instructive videos on Choosing the Right Tripod Head, and have narrowed my on-line search to the Manfrotto 700RC2 Tripod Head and Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head.

First, are either manufactured in Italy?  Second, which would you recommend for my use(s)?  In addition to holding my binoculars, cameras, and spotting scope, I plan on ordering the Manfrotto Car Window Mount.  Which of these two tripod heads will work best with the car window mount? 

Thanks, in advance, for your help with my questions and for making so much information available on your website.

Patricia W.


Dear Patricia,
Thanks for your interest in Eagle Optics.
Both these tripods are manufactured in Italy and distributed in the US.

I would recommend the 128 RC as the best of the 2.
It’s more fluid in its movement, heavier duty depending on which size scope and gear you use, and I think build quality and overall use is a bit better yet than the 700 RC2.

These heads take the same tripod plate, and they share that same plate with that on the little 391 RC2 head of the Manfrotto Car Window Mount, but the position that the plate will sit on the 128 RC head is the same as on the 391CWM head, whereas the position you have to use the plate on the 700RC2 is different.

This means that it is also more convenient to move between using the 128RC head and car window mount head than it would be to move between the 700RC2 and 391 Car window mount heads because in the latter example, you will have to switch the position of the plate each time you move back and forth between the two.

I hope this makes sense, helps you distinguish which route you might want to go, and if you have any other questions, I’m happy to help.


Eagle Optics

Looking for a travel tripod

Hi Eagle Optics,
I am looking for a lightweight carbon tripod kit for an upcoming birding trip. I'd like to fit it in my carry-on luggage, so it needs to fold down to a length under 20".  Do you have recommendations?




Hi Bob,
Thanks for your inquiry. Here are a few suggestions. Remember, you can save some inches by removing the center column (with the tripod head attached) and laying it next to the leg set in your luggage.

Manfrotto 190Go Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg  17.7" folded 3 lbs. (Leg set only, head not included)

Vortex Summit Carbon Tripod 18.5" folded length (includes head) 

Opticron XFS-C Traveller Carbon Tripod Leg 18.9" folded length (Leg set only, head not included)

A good lightweight and compact tripod head is the Manfrotto 700RC2 Tripod Head.

If you have further questions, let us know. Happy travels!

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Need advice for an older Kowa scope

Recently, I was given a Kowa TSN-1 spotting scope with a 20X Wide Angle eyepiece, which I will use for birding.  I have an old Bogen #3021 tripod that I would like to mount it on and need some advice on the following:

1.  Which tripod head would you recommend for this tripod?
2.  Can I get a mounting plate for the base of the scope to connect with the tripod head that you recommend?

3.  Should I also consider upgrading the eyepiece, and if so, what would you recommend?




Dear Victor,
Thanks for your inquiry!

I would suggest the Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head, which comes with a quick-release plate. It is a nice quality, heavy-duty, fluid-moving tripod head. We sell a lot of them and also use this head for demo purposes here in the store.

Unfortunately, there is no new Kowa eyepiece that will fit your older Kowa scope. However, you may be able to find one on eBay.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Friday, March 25, 2016

Small scope for astronomy

Can the   be used for light astronomy like the moon or stars?




Hi Casey,
Thanks so much for your inquiry.
You could certainly use the scope for light astronomy and to view the moon and larger planets. It wouldn't be satisfactory for viewing stars or objects in deep space.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

STM and STS Swarovski scope differences

Regarding the Swarovski 80 mm STS HD Spotting Scope: what is the  difference between the STS and the STM  scopes?

Thank you!


Hi Delphi,
Thanks so much for your inquiry.
The now discontinued STM and ATM bodies were made of magnesium. The current ATS and STS scope bodies are made of aluminum. The color of the focus wheel on the ATM/STM is green; they changed that to black in the newer ATS/STS models.

If you have any further questions, please let me know!

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Monday, March 21, 2016

Does the Swarovski ATX have HD lenses?

Do all ATX or STX Swarovski spotting scopes have HD lenses? They do not say HD on them that I can see like my HD ATS 80.




Hi Lindsay,
Thanks for your inquiry. The term HD (High Definition) is a marketing term rather than a technical term referring to a specific type of glass.   All the ATX and  STX scopes use Swarovski's Swarovision optical system which is noticeably improved over the optics in the ATS/STS HD scopes.  

Anyone using one of the new ATX/STX scopes would certainly say that they are "high definition" and regarding performance, one could safely say there is nothing better currently being made by any manufacturer.

If you have any other questions or I can help out any further, just let me know.

Best regards,

Eagle Optics

Friday, March 4, 2016

Is there a compact binocular for eyeglass wearers?

Hi there,

Looking for a 10x compact to stuff in my waist pack. I use a 7x42 and would use the 10x25 only when needed for more reach just on static birds (not moving) like perched raptor or duck on water in the distance. I know I can't follow moving birds with a compact. I wear glasses and the  looks the best for eye glasses.

But I'm worried about the tiny exit pupil and folding barrels. How frustrating is it to align with glasses or is it a bit easier than the other compacts? No IPD lock I would assume? Do the barrels get knocked out of IPD easily since both move independently?  Wondering if I shouldn't bother at all since compacts can be frustrating with glasses.

Thanks in advance,


Dear Beth,
Thanks for your inquiry! I understand your hesitation to try a compact as an eyeglass wearer--especially a 10x.

Having said that, I think the Swarovski is the one of the best compacts on the market for brightness, resolution, and ergonomics. It has more than adequate eye relief for eyeglass wearers. The hinge has good tension so barrels will, for the most part, hold their place while in hand. I don't know of any binocular that has a built-in IPD lock, but there is the Vortex Binoc-Loc for Roof Prism BinocularsHowever, that would make your compact binocular not quite as compact while stored in your waist pack.

You will have a significantly smaller exit pupil than what you're used to with your 7x42! Probably the best way to find out if you like it is simply order it. We ship fast and free (Fed Ex Ground) and you will have 30 days to field-test it.

If you have further questions, don't hesitate to write or call.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Questions from an eyeglass wearer

I wear eyeglasses. Does that affect what kind of binoculars I would buy? How do I know whether it's best to keep my glasses on or take them off? Any guidance appreciated. Thanks!




Dear Ruth,

Thanks for your great question.
Check the specifications for any binocular you're considering. You'll want to make sure that the binocular you choose has at least 15mm of eye relief. Some people need more, and some people can get away with a little less. I wear glasses, and I need at least 14 mm.
Some people, if their eyeglass lenses are thicker, or if their glasses are farther away from their face, may need a little more, like 16 mm or 17mm. For most people though, 15 mm is adequate.
The point is to leave your eyeglasses on. Simply twist the eyecups down, to their lowest position.
If you have further questions, please ask. We're always happy to help!
Eagle Optics

Monday, February 22, 2016

Which is the current Celestron Regal model?

Hi EO Folks,
What is the difference between the Celestron Regal 65 "M2" and the Celestron Regal 65 "F-ED"?  I see both out there and want to buy a Celestron but not sure what is what.




Dear Randall.
Thanks for your inquiry! According to the Celestron website, "The Regal M2 spotting scope series is the next generation of our top-performing Regal F-ED spotting scopes."

So the Celestron Regal M2 is the most updated model. The Regal F-ED is discontinued.

If I may be of further assistance, please let me know.


Eagle Optics

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Do I need separate tripods for my camera and my spotting scope?

I'm a nature photographer and interested in digiscoping--so I'll be buying a spotting scope soon. Regarding a tripod, I have a pretty nice one for my camera.  Do spotting scopes require a different tripod?




Hi Mike,
Thanks for your good question!

You say you have a nice tripod for photography. The most important thing to determine is whether it is also suitable for your new spotting scope.  

No doubt the leg set, assuming it has an adequate weight capacity, will be fine (many digiscopers will buy carbon fiber, since it has less vibration than aluminum).  

It’s the tripod head you will need to evaluate for dual use. Here is our video which will help understand the differences in tripod heads: Choosing the Right Tripod Head

Let me know if you have further questions, and thanks!

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Monday, January 11, 2016

Does larger aperture mean wider field of view?

Hello EO,
I plan to purchase either the Eagle Optics Ranger ED 8x32 Binocular or Eagle Optics Ranger ED 8x42 Binocular.  I was surprised that the Field of View for the 8x42 (341’/1000 yds) was less than the 8x32 (393’/1000 yds).  Why is that?  

Shouldn’t the wider objective lens of the 8x42 (42mm) give a broader field of view than the 8x32 (32mm)?  

Is there an advantage of one over the other?

Thank you very much.
David J.


 Dear David,
Thanks for your inquiry. It’s true that the shorter-barreled binoculars have a wider field of view (excluding compacts), though lots of people, like yourself, assume the opposite would be true. Field of view doesn’t increase with larger objective lens sizes. In fact, the Eagle Optics Ranger ED 10x50 Binocular has an even narrower field of view than the 42mm and 32mm Ranger ED.

You might find this video helpful for a more detailed explanation of aperture size, and  here is a brief article from our website to illustrate FOV.

The 32mm Ranger ED is the one to choose if you want a more lightweight binocular with wider FOV. However, it won’t be quite as bright in low light as the 42mm Ranger ED would.

Let me know if I may be of further assistance.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Need smaller, lighter binocular for vacation

A friend recommended your online store to me.

I have a trip coming up to the Galapagos Islands and want to replace my binoculars.

My current pair is a 7X35 Nikon, 10 years old.  I like the wide field of vision, but they are a bit heavy.  Ideally I'd like better magnification, lighter weight, wide field of vision, good price.

Can you provide some recommendations?  I'd like to have the new ones at least two weeks in advance of my trip (which is in early February).

Thank you,



Hi Jeana,
Thanks for your inquiry.  Do you know what the weight is of your current binoculars and do you have a budget in mind for the replacement pair?
I would recommend any consideration be waterproof.

One challenge with your request will be the wide field of view in conjunction with increased magnification.  Those two attributes almost always work against one another, meaning that as we increase magnification we generally get a narrower field of view.
In general, an 8x32 sounds like the ideal size binocular for you.  They will generally have a wide field of view and be relatively light weight while providing you with some additional magnification.  While 8x32’s generally have a wide field of view (compared to an 8x42), it’s unlikely that any will have one as wide as your 7x35.

Another advantage of an 8x32 is that there are many binoculars this size that have an excellent close focus, which is a great feature for observing the docile wildlife of the Galapogos Islands up close!
A good mid-priced option that is popular and would fit your needs is the  

If you had something else in mind or if I can be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to email or call.

Best regards,

Eagle Optics