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Old Jan 3, 2005, 4:52 PM   #1
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(Tried searching, sorry if I missed my answer.)

I'm sitting here looking out at the Pacific. Problem is, it's about 40 miles away.

I can see the breaking surf without any aid but would like to make out more details along the coast. I've got a cheap set of 10x binocs which help some but I suspect a spotting scope is called for.

Any suggestions for a modest priced scope that will serve for digiscoping as well? Perhaps someone could recommend decent scopes at a couple of <$200 price points. (Or maybe I'm greatly underestimating what a hundred dollars will buy these days.)
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 12:04 PM   #2
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Log onto http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home/

search out the section on spotting scopes and decide. You might want to copy down the brands and models listed and then repost here to find out how good they are.

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Old Jan 4, 2005, 8:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. But that's no help. I don't know the basics in picking a scope.

Perhaps someone could steer me to an appropriate thread or a helpful site?

Yo Lin! You out there?

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Old Jan 6, 2005, 11:26 PM   #4
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Hi Bob,

Nice to see you over here! Actually, there really isn't a seriously inexpensive terrestrial type spotting scope which is really suitable for digiscoping. About the least expensive would probably be something on the order of a Kowa. On the other hand, if you don't plan on using it too much in the field, you can get seriously good results with a relatively inexpensive mirror type scope.

I get about the same quality from my $1600 Swarovski and from my $200 Meade ETX-90. The Swarovski is built like a tank, waterproof to 9 feed submersion, nitrogen filled (anti-fog) and fully capable of being bounced around in the field. The Meade is much more fragile, won't take a lot of abuse, but in image quality it's superb.

If you shop around on the web you can find one of the older models Meade ETX-90's for around $200 or less. Plan to also purchase an erectingprism (to make things correct left to rightand up and down) because celestial viewiers usually don't care about orientation. The older types didn't have the fancy computer and electronics in the base which allow easily tracking celestial bodies so are a lot less expensive. When you get the scope, you simply remove the barrel from the rather heavy base (very easy - four screws) and it has it's own tripod mount so you can mount it as a spotting scope. Mead also makes the same scope sans base and tracking as a dedicated "spotting scope," but it's much cheaper to buy the older model, remove the four screws and save about $300. The erecting prism is relatively inexpensive as well. I haven't priced one lately, but they are not expensive. There is also a dedicated port where you can connect a dSLR or SLR via a standard "T" mount and Meade "T" adapter and avail yourself of the native 1250mm F13.8 for a lens.

Best regards,

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