Top critical review
82 people found this helpful
Great range spotter but not so good for other uses.
on February 27, 2013
So, I went to the range with my new Ruger 10/22TD rifle and started plinking away at a small target 100 yards away, using a nice 3-9 Pentax riflescope. After a few shots, shooting this very small diameter ammo, I realized that I was either missing the target completely, or the holes in the target were too small to see, even with my riflescope set on 9x power. After the first session was over, I did the 100 yards walk and was pleasantly surprised to see many holes on the target, some very close to the center. I then embarked on quite a lot of research to find a suitable spotting scope. My criteria was that I wanted something to use on the range and also to use for general enjoyment, including terrestrial and star gazing. After reading many reviews, I decided that this particular scope, with its huge 100mm objective (front) lens offered the best design for multi uses.
1/ On the range, it is superb. Those small .22 round holes on the target stand out sharply at 100yds and more. Score 10/10.
2/ For terrestrial viewing, it is very average. Like all spotters, it is more comfortable to use in the lower magnification range. The 100mm lens brings in a lot of light, but could be sharper. Score 7/10.
3/ Astronomy. Pointing it at Saturn, I could see 4 of its moons. However, not very impressed by the scope's clarity when looking at the moon. Score 6/10
Overall, my wife and I were disappointed by the sharpness of the optics and also the fairly shallow depth of focus. It is excellent as a shooting range spotter, but so-so for terrestrial and astronomical uses. However, it is probably better than many other spotters out there, especially ones with 80mm or 60mm objective lenses. There is a big jump in price to the high-end Kowa's, where the overall performance is outstanding. We now only use this spotter for the range, where it is good, but less fun to use elsewhere.
The included bag offers good rain protection, but is not padded. Scope can be used while inside its bag. The scope's construction is impressive and the zoom and focus wheels turn smoothly and feel good quality. Nice looking item, nice finish and good value. You would have to pay more than double to get a better scope. I noticed that Celestron offers the same scope with a much more expensive eye-piece. Possibly greatly improves sharpness.
Get a good quality, stable tripod that rigidly supports this big spotter. Also, don't lose the front lens cover, because it falls off easily.
Finally, a very well constructed scope. Perfect for the range. However, if you are an avid bird watcher, you will need to spend much more to get much more.