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Old 09-17-2012, 20:39   #1
CBennett
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Vortex Nomad or Redfield Rampage or other

well as the title says spotting scope for range use mostly seeing holes in paper or spotting for hits/misses from 100-300 yds or so(mostly 100-200) looking to spend between $300-350. If there is anything as nice or better im all ears! Ive upped my budget from the $200 range to the $300-350 range. Thus the new post.
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Old 09-17-2012, 22:03   #2
ithaca_deerslayer
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I just got a Leupold Ventana 15-45 x 60mm, angled, kit with tabletop tripod and hard case and soft carry case and strap. Runs typically $350 or under.

Love it.

Fabulous optical quality. All the functionality of adjustments with the scope and stand work well.

Holds focus when zooming in and then back out.

Stand could use a wider spread, but it adjusts to level.

Some cheaper scopes advertise more zoom, like up to 60x or whatever, but then read the reviews and people talk about how the image degrades as they zoom. You can't get something for nothing.

I've always liked the couple of Leupold rifle scopes I've had, no complaints there. So, I figured this spotting scope has at least some standard, and it does I doubt there is better for the money. The next jump in quality seems to come after you spend a grand.

Oh, the angled is real nice. I prefer that to straight for easier viewing in most situations. I'm more likely to be standing or leaning over a bench. You can still see it when sitting, just lower it. Straight is fine if you know you will always be sitting, but if any standing then straight becomes a pain quick.

I have a fairly large 90mm refractor telescope and can tell you that magnification beyond 45x needs some serious bracing to keep a scope steady. If you don't have a good solid mount, there's no point to the magnification. And then there's the weather and air conditions. So while I sometimes go 91x or 120x under perfect clear sky night conditions if calm enough, I spend a lot of time looking at things both day and night with just 36x. So a small spotting scope with a good usable 45x is plenty for those more portable opportunuties

Last edited by ithaca_deerslayer; 09-19-2012 at 08:11..
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:29   #3
CBennett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ithaca_deerslayer View Post
I just got a Leupold Ventana 15-45 x 60mm, angled, kit with tabletop tripod and hard case and soft carry case and strap. Runs typically $350 or under.

Love it.

Fabulous optical quality. All the functionality of adjustments with the scope and stand work well.

Holds focus when zooming in and then back out.

Stand could use a wider spread, but it adjusts to level.

Some cheaper scopes advertise more zoom, like up to 60x or whatever, but then read the reviews and people talk about how the image degrades as they zoom. You can't get something for nothing.

I've always liked the couple of Leupold rifle scopes I've had, no complaints there. So, I figured this spotting scope has at least some standard, and it does I doubt there is better for the money. The next jump in quality seems to come after you spend a grand.

Oh, the angled is real nice. I prefer that to straight for easier viewing in most situations. I'm more likely to be standing or leaning over a bench. You can still see it when sitting, just lower it. Straight is fine if you know you will always be sitting, but if any standing then straight becomes a pain quick.

I have a fairly large 90mm refractor telescope and can tell you that magnification beyond 45x needs some serious bracing to keep a scope steady. If you don't have a good solid mount, there's no point to the magnification. And then there's the weather and air conditions. So while I sometimes go 95x or 120x under perfect clear sky night conditions if calm enough, I spend a lot of time looking at things both day and night with just 36x. So a small spotting scope with a good usable 45x is plenty for those more portable opportunuties

would you be able to see holes in paper .5.56 or 5.45 and .30 caliber(30-06 for the M1 garand) at 200 yds? or more? any clue? not many of the reviews have said much about how far they can see and what especially for paper punching they can see...meaning what size hole at what distance...most just talk about yeah its clear glass and then they go into technical aspects of why its clear and then a few will say yeah I can spot bucks at 800 yards...I dont care can you see a bullet hole at 200-300 lol just not much info on that.

the only thing I can say is that with my 4.5-20 X scope I can see holes easily at 100 yards..its just odd taking along a scoped rifle your not shooting to try to spot holes lol. but thats all I got to see any distance right now and walking up after every 3-5 shots is getting OLD! So I know my intensity optics cranked up to 20X can see even .22LR holes at 100 yards..so I assume for anything more I would need even more than 20X thats what im basing my assumptions off.

and since ive heard/read that Redfield is now owned or made by leupold do they use the same quality glass..in other words am i getting a Leupold quality scope for less $$ with a Redfield??

Last edited by CBennett; 09-18-2012 at 06:35..
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Old 09-18-2012, 17:18   #4
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I don't know anything about the Redfield scopes. But I wouldn't think a hypothetical change in parent company necessarily means a change in design or quality.

I haven't tried out my scope on bullet holes yet. I know what I believe it will do based on what I've seen so far with it, but I'll actually spot targets at 200 yards and then get back to you here with my evaluation

As to getting a low cost item with the same quality and performance as the higher cost items, isn't that why they made a Ford Escort GT turbo? No need to buy a Mustang when you can get the same for less

Last edited by ithaca_deerslayer; 09-18-2012 at 17:20..
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Old 09-18-2012, 17:23   #5
Cole125
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Buy once, cry once, and get a Leupold.
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Old 09-18-2012, 17:40   #6
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Buy once, cry once, and get a Leupold.
as long as it will show holes (.223 or .30-06/.308) at 200 I will...ive heard nothing yet that says if this will or wont do that yet though. Though I did see one that said he could "clearly" see .223 holes with his at 300 yards..but then another said that .30 rounds at 200 was doable but much more was pushing it...to me a pretty big difference lol..just wish there was more info out on this scope its a good price thats for sure.(meaning the Ventana).


and I agree to a point but a few years ago when I wanted a nice scope I almost got a Leupold 4-12 VX1 I was just about to pull the trigger..then I got told about Intensity Optics sale...I grabbed a 4.5-20 and liked it and still do much more then the leupold..not that its a bad scope but I just think the 4.5-20 is nicer for the $$$ I paid. It almost never goes off 20X for Silhouette competition.

Last edited by CBennett; 09-18-2012 at 17:48..
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Old 09-18-2012, 17:45   #7
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Originally Posted by ithaca_deerslayer View Post
I don't know anything about the Redfield scopes. But I wouldn't think a hypothetical change in parent company necessarily means a change in design or quality.

I haven't tried out my scope on bullet holes yet. I know what I believe it will do based on what I've seen so far with it, but I'll actually spot targets at 200 yards and then get back to you here with my evaluation

As to getting a low cost item with the same quality and performance as the higher cost items, isn't that why they made a Ford Escort GT turbo? No need to buy a Mustang when you can get the same for less

well that happens sometimes when a parent company uses same optics in a lesser known brand sometimes it comes in a few bucks cheaper than the better known brand..thats why I figured if the redfield and leopold had the same optics in the scopes you still get the Leopold warranty and its also a bit less $$(i think like $50-60 cheaper i believe)
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Old 09-18-2012, 19:32   #8
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as long as it will show holes (.223 or .30-06/.308) at 200 I will...ive heard nothing yet that says if this will or wont do that yet though. Though I did see one that said he could "clearly" see .223 holes with his at 300 yards..but then another said that .30 rounds at 200 was doable but much more was pushing it...to me a pretty big difference lol..

.
Probably both statements are true.

I fully expect, based on this optical quality to see bullet holes clearly at 200 yards. But if lighting is bad, or heatwaves all over the range, or a windy day, then it might be tough see them farther than that. But it won't be the scope's fault. It is clear at 200 yards for looking at birds and leaves so far. Very clear, bullet holes should be no problem. But I'll blast some targets and have a gander, just to be certain of it

I had a great Leupold 6.5-20x 50mm on a 6mm Rem, bull barrel, hair trigger, bedded stock. But I had to sell it for college. That was many years ago, but I still miss that gun and scope. I've got a very nice 3-9x 40mm Leupold scope on my .30-06. Other guns have an assortment of Tasco, Bushnell, and Winchester glass. None as nice as the Leupold. But don't get me wrong, I'm sure other brands in the premium price range are just as nice.

So I can only say what I like, but can't say what is the best. Depends on what someone is willing to splurge for, I bet.

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Old 09-18-2012, 20:51   #9
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Probably both statements are true.

I fully expect, based on this optical quality to see bullet holes clearly at 200 yards. But if lighting is bad, or heatwaves all over the range, or a windy day, then it might be tough see them farther than that. But it won't be the scope's fault. It is clear at 200 yards for looking at birds and leaves so far. Very clear, bullet holes should be no problem. But I'll blast some targets and have a gander, just to be certain of it

I had a great Leupold 6.5-20x 50mm on a 6mm Rem, bull barrel, hair trigger, bedded stock. But I had to sell it for college. That was many years ago, but I still miss that gun and scope. I've got a very nice 3-9x 40mm Leupold scope on my .30-06. Other guns have an assortment of Tasco, Bushnell, and Winchester glass. None as nice as the Leupold. But don't get me wrong, I'm sure other brands in the premium price range are just as nice.

So I can only say what I like, but can't say what is the best. Depends on what someone is willing to splurge for, I bet.
yeah i think i am gonna get the leupold i just want to confirm a couple things b4 i do.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:29   #10
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Bullet hole test of the Leupold 15-45x 60mm SX-1 Ventana angled spotting scope.

Ok, I just popped some 7mm holes for you at 245 yards. NRA 50ft pistol timed and rapid target, made of that sturdier off-white 10.75 x 12" paper with black bulls-eye and scoring numbers in the rings.

A word about the target position, the backstop is solid and deep wood piled up so the holes are not drilling through and not letting light shine back to me through the black bull, making that the hardest to see. If, however, you mount a target in the open on a shoot through cardboard, then the black bull would be the easiest to see, with light shining through the holes. But in this test the background is not shining light through.

At 45x, I can see the shots in white clearly. Bulls-eye shots can be seen too, but are harder to distiguish between the printed "9" and "10" scoring numbers in the bull, but I can still see it is a bullet hole and not the print. Cannot read the scoring numbers.

Got my Orion 90mm telescope out, too. At 36x, not nearly as good as the Leupold, can only make out the white shots, and not as well, almost not seeing a couple. Cannot see the black bull holes good enough to distinguish. At 91x, I can see all the holes, but not as clearly as the Leupold. The holes are fuzzier and darker. The black bull holes are a real challenge, but can be seen, just not as clear as with the Leupold (and those black bull holes aren't easy with the Leupold to begin with).

The overall image of the target and everything else out there is crisper and cleaner with the Leupold than than with the Orion. With the Orion, the 36x is a cleaner image than the 91x, but just wasn't quite enough magnification. The Leupold at 45x beats both.

The Leupold needs all 45x for this test. I doubt a cheaper scope would do better. I don't know if a 60x 80mm larger and more expensive Leupold or similar price range/quality scope would do much better, but it might if it held together a crisp 60x image.

But a problem with all my viewing in this test is the waves of heat washing over the field, making the image go in and out of clarity. Has nothing to do with the scopes, as it happens with both, and with all 3 lenses tried. It is just a normal morning out there, warming up from the 50s to 60s, should be in 70s later.

A ton of choices out there for scopes to pick from. Look at them and compare if you can. I'd love to see how a 20-60x 80mm Leupold would do in this test, but that next size up costs a lot more, and maybe wouldn't be as handy as what I have.

I'd say my scope will see your 200 yard bullet holes fine. 300 yards would have to be really pushing it. Not sure what size and quality and price scope would get you out to 300 yards with ease, considering black bulls and shadows. The heat waves are going create havoc, and you are going to need a really solid sturdy mount system.

I also have an older Tasco 15-45x 50mm, straight configuration, model 20EB telescope. The Leupold blows it away. Decided to get it out and add to the test. Can only barely make out a couple fuzzy holes in the white, maybe, sort of, if you squint, maybe those are the holes.

My Orion Outsider 10x50m binoculars, Leupold vari-x II 3-9x 40mm rifle scope, and Winchester 4-12x 44mm rifle scope can just barely make out a couple holes in the white, but not all of them, and none of the holes in the black bull.

For final comparison, I put up a target at 200 yards, out in the open, shoot through cardboard, so each hole has a light hole. No problems seeing all the holes very clear and easy with the Leupold at 45x.

So to summarize this monster post, you'd be good with this scope at 200 yards. Farther than that, or a lot of heat waves, or mounting targets on a non-shoot through backstop, will all add degrees of difficulty.

Last edited by ithaca_deerslayer; 09-19-2012 at 19:17..
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Old 09-19-2012, 16:01   #11
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Thanks for the review thats what I needed. A lot more so than the internet ones that always were talking about seeing elk or deer or birds or looking at leaves lol. But very little about bullet holes and distances. Unless I find some killer deal on something else thats normally more between now and October 16th(next 3 weeks give or take) I will get that when I get the $$$. Im debating if I should get the scope alone($275-279) or the kit ($319) ive got a cheap tripod I think it came with my cam corder or telescope i cant remember which it came with and the telescopes long gone lol. that would work till I could get a nicer one(probably just as good as the cheapies that come with the kit) but I dont know if the carrying case or what ever else makes the difference worth the $$

the range I shoot at has plywood/press board type backers that you can staple or tack your target to they go out to around 300-400 yards then on top of a hill at around 536(by laser range finder) they have some "rams" that you can shoot at thick metal jobbers I think they have backers out to 300 then at 400 I think is the backstop...cant remember how its set up.

I normally dont shoot any further than 100(sighting in and practice) and now and then 200. I think the max range as I recall on .22 Silhouette is 100yds/meters and the longer ranges I was thinking for the M1 Garand matches...

I know the range runs CMP M1 Garand matches but ive not been to one yet to see how the course of fire is or how far they shoot...

I know that in the rules they call for multiple positions and times fire at 200 yards.

Another certain number from certain positions from 300 yds

then some at 600 yards...well on thinking obviously you cant very well shoot 600 yards on a range that only goes the 300=400 max so im ASSUMING they set a target at 200-300 that represents a 600 yard shot??

I got my M1 too late in the year to go to a match to try it out they had run the last match of the year for M1's 2 weeks B4 I got mine :(

Last edited by CBennett; 09-19-2012 at 16:29..
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Old 09-23-2012, 18:04   #12
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Interesting, was just watching the end of my pasture, 250 yards away, at dusk watching for deer. No deer but compared back and forth the low light capabilty between the Leupold 15-45x60mm spotting scope and Orion 10x50mm binoculars.

The spotting scope is much clearer in these low light conditions than the binoculars. As the details of the last fence post started to fad away into a dark blur in the binoculars, it was still clear enough visible in the spotting scope. Same with other stuff at that distance.

This surprises me, as 10x50mm binoculars are often thought of as great low light tools, and great for star watching. I often use them to see wild animals out there at night that my dog alerts me to. Animals that I can't see in the dark with my naked eyes.

The Leupold is at least good enough to have better night vision than those binoculars. Binoculars that blow my smaller 10x25mm Nikon Sportstar binoculars, in low light, that I carry for hunting.

Last edited by ithaca_deerslayer; 09-23-2012 at 18:33..
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Old 10-15-2012, 17:49   #13
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Yeah its come down to the Ventana,Theron Saker and Celestron Regal 65 guess which ever is cheaper at the time I buy...im gonna give it a week or 2 to see if anything goes on sale since its the end of the season for a lot of stuff..they all seemed to be well reviewed in Optics and Birding froums..The Celestron would have to be on sale as its $400 normally and I JUST missed it being $229 by 1 day on Amazon.com :( . The Theron Saker is hit or miss on being in stock as its considered a value beyond its class or best for the $$ and the leupold is anywhere from $255-279 depending on what you can find for "deals".

They are all in the 15-45 range for power and 60-65 for the size so realtively close..Im betting its the ventana if nothing on the other 2 changes in the next 2 weeks or so(now that ive got the $$) as the Saker is again out of stock and the Regal is again $400
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Old 10-15-2012, 20:07   #14
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Saw a button buck out in my pasture. That was kinda nice.

Grab the binocs and there's 3 doe grazing. Get Leupold spotting scope, and that ain't no doe, it's a button buck!

Even showed my 7 yr old son, and he could see it. Was glad he could make it out through the scope. He described what he saw

Non scope story. Saw a buck cross the road 20 yards front of us, and as it went into the field my son said that's a 3 pointer. It was. Only had antlers on one side.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:42   #15
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lol yeah i will have 1 of the 3 most likely the Leopold in a couple weeks I dont even have a decent set of Binoculars anymore(kids wrecked them)
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Old 10-16-2012, 19:00   #16
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lol yeah i will have 1 of the 3 most likely the Leopold in a couple weeks I dont even have a decent set of Binoculars anymore(kids wrecked them)
I've got 1 kid and 2 sets of binoculars on the counter

His are a garage sale 7x35mm that actually work well enough. Mine are a set of 10x50mm with dust caps on.

He knows he is not allowed to touch mine. I'll show him any gun he wants, letting him handle them. But don't touch my binocs!
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Old 10-17-2012, 18:10   #17
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Well I just ordered the angled Ventana 15-45X60 for $230(scope only not the kit ive got a tripod that probably just as good(or bad lol) as the one in that kit. so hopefully I made the right move...the Theron Saker and Celestron Regal 65 were both slightly higher rated(because of better optics and ED and Flourite coatings and such to eliminate CA ) but I got sick of waiting for them to either go back on sale or actually be in stock...fingers crossed that even if the optics are not as sharp the Leupold will be good for what I want.
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Old 10-17-2012, 19:24   #18
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Hope you like it, but don't blame if you don't

Was just looking at 5 deer in my pasture tonight with it. Well before dark. Lots of scratching, licking, and pooping.

Nothing like a scope on a kitchen table, looking at wildlife
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Old 10-17-2012, 20:36   #19
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i dont think i will dislike it im just hoping its as good as the Regal 6 or the Saker..if its close i will be happy. I dont think its got the ED or flourite glass like the other 2 that was my only worry really...and that there was so little info on the scope to begin with..found that a bit strange for a well respected brand....i mean other than what you helped with and 7 reviews off opticsplanet...nothing...for a leupold product i found that strange.
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