Spotting scope

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech' started by Daymoth, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    So im tempted to get a spotting scope. One that I could use for casual astrophotography without the bulk, and for wildlife.

    But I dont even know where to start. I obviously want something lightweight that I can take on a walk in my rucksack, but that I can get some nice magnification ( say x30- x60).

    I also would prefer to get something thats easy to find second hand.

    I see a lot of guides online but weight never seems to be a consideration.

    Does anyone here have experience/ can help me with where to start my research?
    Darren likes this.
  2. SteveMat

    SteveMat Summit Camper

    I don't know much about astro photography but i'm a keen birder and use a Vanguard Endeavor 65ed scope, which is a good balance between weight, size, cost and optical quality. I can see the moon well through it but not tried any other stars etc. Many birders use 82's but they're fairly bulky imo (though i might get one for birding at the seaside etc.) Astro scopes are quite bulky afaik as well. What's your budget? - top end scopes cost thousands.
  3. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    Oh im checking that one! The weight looks good, I think I would not want anything above 2kg.

    I was thinking something around the 80-90mm but to be honest, I havent had the chance to play around with one so I dont know if they would be super bulky and annoying.

    Budget is low, around the 200s.

    God so many brands ive never heard off...
  4. SteveMat

    SteveMat Summit Camper

    For a budget that low i would look at vanguard, celestron, cheaper hawkes or opticrons. Might be worth going second hand via a legitimate shop. In-focus, ace optics, sherwoods, london camera exchange etc. I would be wary of ebay 'cause you can't be sure of internal optics quality. Also be aware of eye relief etc if you wear glasses! ED glass is desirable but probably out of your budget, best to look through a few before purchase if possible. It's a big thing, spotting scopes lol!

    Oh, for photography you will probably need an adapter to connect your camera or phone as well!

    Edit, meant to add, you need to decide whether your primary focus is astronomy or wildlife i think.
    Daymoth likes this.
  5. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    Thanks so much!! I think going to a shop and playing around with some makes sense.

    Ill check those brands thankyou!!
    SteveMat likes this.
  6. Rmr

    Rmr Section Hiker

    Highly recommend Opticron, the Mighty Midget would be ideal for your needs and would fit in a pack nicely.
    SteveMat and Daymoth like this.
  7. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    Ive found several MM2 second hand options that include the eye piece etc and I am very tempted.

    Do you have one? Do you find the lack of waterproofness an issue?
  8. Rmr

    Rmr Section Hiker

    Not had one myself but know a local park ranger that carrys one whenever he's working, looked through it a few times and was impressed. I thought it was nitrogen filled but not 100% sure.
  9. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    Oh maybe its another MM model. Ill Iook at the 3 and 4. Thanks!
  10. Nevis

    Nevis Section Hiker

    Got any links? been looking for one myself :)
  11. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    The birders store has one with no eye piece. And the opticron website seems to quote for some kits but i cant figure if they have them on stock or how it works, i might email them.
  12. Rmr

    Rmr Section Hiker

    Kowa TSN-501, forgot about this,its fully waterproof,about 400g and compact. I had one of their scopes years ago, a earlier model of this and it was excellent. Price wise around £225.
  13. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    400g!! Thats much lighter than others ive looked at! Thanks for the tip!
  14. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    Got my second hand MM2! Thanks for all the suggestions!

    See those red flowers from my window?
    [​IMG]

    Boom
    [​IMG]

    I can see why people use tripods with these things, the small field of view makes a minimal shake huge.( I used an adapter for my phone, is fiddly but I find it easier than using my eyes, im weird)
    SteveMat, Rmr and Clare like this.
  15. Rmr

    Rmr Section Hiker

    Pleased you managed to find one
  16. Nevis

    Nevis Section Hiker

    Nice :) if you don’t mind me asking how much did you pay and where from?
  17. Daymoth

    Daymoth Section Hiker

    Im away from the m25 and i can see the rings of saturn and the moons of jupiter with this tiny scope!!!!! They are small, but i do see them :)
    Rmr and cathyjc like this.

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