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Hi, 

This is the scope I currently use. 
 

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof Scope for Bird Watching Target Shooting Archery Range Outdoor Activities -with Tripod & Digiscoping Adapter https://a.co/d/1Gnj5cV

 

 

I’m happy with it as my first ever scope, but the quality(as expected) isn’t great. I have a sturdy tripod. I’m curious if anyone thinks upgrading to a scope in the 400-600$ range would be worth the upgrade? And if so, any suggestions on exact models? Thanks!

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3 hours ago, Snake Fingers said:

I personally don’t even have a scope(too expensive for me). but if I were you I’d think about how much you use your scope, and whether upgrading is worth it for how much you use your scope. 

Personally, I use my scope in these scenarios:

Seawatches

Foe shorebirds/waterbirds that are at least somewhat far away 

For anything else that is probably going to be far away that’s not sonfbirds(raptors, etc.)

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1 minute ago, IKLland said:

Personally, I use my scope in these scenarios:

Seawatches

Foe shorebirds/waterbirds that are at least somewhat far away 

For anything else that is probably going to be far away that’s not sonfbirds(raptors, etc.)

How often do you do those things?

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1 minute ago, Snake Fingers said:

How often do you do those things?

It greatly depends on the time of year, but I’d say in general, 

seawatch about once a month during the winter/migrations, very few during summer. Sometimes more then once. 
 

Shorebirds/waterbirds about 2-4 times a month 

Raptors, etc about 1 every couple months, that was just an example because I’ve only used my scope once for that.

 

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8 minutes ago, IKLland said:

It greatly depends on the time of year, but I’d say in general, 

seawatch about once a month during the winter/migrations, very few during summer. Sometimes more then once. 
 

Shorebirds/waterbirds about 2-4 times a month 

Raptors, etc about 1 every couple months, that was just an example because I’ve only used my scope once for that.

 

Since you use it a good amount, and I’m assuming you derive joy from watching faraway birds with it(I’m assuming you derive joy from seeing birds) You should probably upgrade. However one last consideration: are you in a financial hard spot?(aka not having that much money like me for example) it’s up to you in the end.
 

Edited by Snake Fingers
Sorry if I used “derive” incorrectly
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6 minutes ago, Snake Fingers said:

However one last consideration: are you in a financial hard spot?

I’m actually still pretty young(😉, like others on here). I have some bird today money that I can use on this, and I would have enough. 

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I went from a $150 scope I used for 7 years to that same GoSky.  It was a good improvement.  It got damaged, so I decided to move up to a Vortex Viper 20-60x85.  It is such a big improvement that I wasn't even sure was possible.  My suggestion is if you still want an 80+ scope (assume you would for seawatches), save more or try to find the $900 scope on sale or used.  

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2 hours ago, chipperatl said:

I decided to move up to a Vortex Viper 20-60x85.  It is such a big improvement that I wasn't even sure was possible.  My suggestion is if you still want an 80+ scope (assume you would for seawatches), save more or try to find the $900 scope on sale or used.  

Big agreement with this. I tried a few different scopes in the $500-1300 range at my local Audubon shop. The Viper was in that bunch and is definitely at a sweet spot for price to quality. 

(I still ended up going with the Kowa 660 since it’s the best scope I tried before getting into the crazy expensive ones)

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Anyone know that the difference between the 80ED and 100ED is in this scope? And which one is better?

Celestron Regal M2 100ED Spotting Scope – ED Glass for Hunting, Birding and Outdoor Actvities – Phase and Dielectric Coated BaK-4 Prism – Fully Multi-Coated Optics – Dual Focus – 22-67x Zoom Eyepiece https://a.co/d/dWELLY8

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14 hours ago, IKLland said:

Anyone know that the difference between the 80ED and 100ED is in this scope? And which one is better?

Celestron Regal M2 100ED Spotting Scope – ED Glass for Hunting, Birding and Outdoor Actvities – Phase and Dielectric Coated BaK-4 Prism – Fully Multi-Coated Optics – Dual Focus – 22-67x Zoom Eyepiece https://a.co/d/dWELLY8

No idea, but the 100 will weigh more.  

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On 1/10/2023 at 8:20 AM, Charlie Spencer said:

I've decided this is going to be my birthday present.

On 1/9/2023 at 8:13 AM, Snake Fingers said:

if I were you I’d think about how much you use your scope,

I keep coming back to SF's point.  I don't visit many wide-open spots, maybe a couple a year.  I think I'm better off looking for something cheap as a starter scope.  I'll spend some of the difference on a better tripod I can use over the long haul if I eventually upgrade.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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18 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I keep coming back to SF's point.  I don't visit many wide-open spots, maybe a couple a year.  I think I'm better off looking for something cheap as a starter scope.  I'll spend some of the difference on a better tripod I can use over the long haul if I eventually upgrade.

If you aren't often scanning farm fields or lakes/oceans, that might be better.  I picked up a carbon fiber tripod, and it is soooooo nice having that huge reduction in weight, even with it being an extra tall one (taller than my 6'5" frame).  

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2 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Do you plan to use the tripod for photography when you're not using the scope? The reason I ask is the max height without raising the centre column on this one seems short for photography, at least for me. I like my camera high enough that I'm not stooping over when I look through the viewfinder, without raising the centre post. Google says that it's recommended to get a tripod as tall as you are. "A tripod should at least match your height so that you do not have to bend to look into the viewfinder. Once you put your camera on a tripod, the viewfinder should be at eye level. It is fine if it goes higher than your eye level because you can always adjust the legs to be shorter." (emphasis in bold is their's, not mine)  I know that height doesn't apply the same for spotting scopes because of the angled eyepiece, but it's something to consider if you want your tripod to double for both scope and camera support. Being 6' tall myself, I would want a taller tripod than the 52.4" of this one, even if I was mounting an angled scope to it. You may want to use a tape measure and see what height range you'd be comfortable looking through a viewfinder/eyepiece at and shop accordingly. Keep in mind that the tripod head and scope/camera will put the eyepiece a little higher than the tripod's max height.

Max Height without Center Column 52.4" / 133 cm

 

 

Edited by lonestranger
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1 hour ago, lonestranger said:

Do you plan to use the tripod for photography when you're not using the scope?

I don't plan on it; it didn't even occur to me.  I've never tried digiscoping but I assume a comfortable height for the scope will also be good for that.  I'm 5'6", by the way.

I found the same Celestron new on Amazon for $205, and I have a $40 gift card, so I think I've settled on this scope as a starter.

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59 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I'm 5'6", by the way.

If you take a little stool with you, (the kind you sit on, not the other kind silly), the tripod's max height won't matter as much and you'll be more comfortable for those longer viewings. Yeah, I am lazy and usually sit with my legs tucked right into the tripod's legs when I can. 

31 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Dear Diary, today I learned I don't know jack-squat about choosing a tripod!  Such fun!

I don't know much about jack squatting, nor do I want to. 😉  I don't know much about tripods for that matter, so your due diligence is in order.  I'll share my preferences with you from my past experiences with mostly cheap end tripod legs, none of them over $150. I prefer cam-lock legs over twist-lock legs, I find them easier to use but have no idea if they lock any better. Extension arms and monopod conversions are features that I would probably never use if I had them. Multiple locking angles for the legs is really handy for uneven terrain, one leg could be used nearly horizontally while the two other legs are nearly vertical. I like having spikes AND rubber feet to my legs, the rubber feet rotate in/out to hide/expose the spikes. I seldom use the spikes but I do have occasions where I take advantage of the fact that they are there.

 

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