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Can't decide on which spotting scope

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#1 BGtraveller

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:44 AM

Hi all,

 

I need a spotting scope for nature viewing AND occasional astro. It needs to be a spotting scope instead of small refractor for a lot of reasons (small kids, size, lightweight, weatherproof, very quick setup, etc. )

 

I have narrowed my choices to two scopes but can't decide which one is a better one. Your input is appreciated.

 

1. Celestron Regal M2 

https://www.celestro...-spotting-scope

 

2. APM APO 95mm Spotting Scope with Mark IV Hyperion 8-24-mm

https://www.apm-tele...m-eyepiece.html

 

Thanks!



#2 25585

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:58 AM

The Celestron uses 1.25" eyepieces I believe, giving you a massive range of choice.  



#3 25585

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 08:01 AM

Regals take 1.25" eyepieces, giving plenty of choice https://www.celestro...-with-the-scope



#4 cookjaiii

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 08:16 AM

Don't they both take 1.25" eyepieces? 


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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:10 AM

Might also want to consider this 80mm, for complete no-tools convenience. The deviation is uniformly-adjustable from straight-through to 90o and the zoom eyepiece is dedicated. I also note that most of these spotting scopes seem to be made in the same factory. I did a mini-review somewhere on Cloudy Nights... don't recall where.    Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 170 Orion Zoom Spotting Scope jpg 67.jpg
  • 171 Orion Zoom Spotting Scope 93 67.jpg

Edited by TOMDEY, 17 February 2020 - 09:12 AM.

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#6 Jon Isaacs  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 11:11 AM

The Orion Grandview is an Achromat, the other two are ED/apos. Decent color correction is important for a spotting scope, high contrast views are compromised by the CA.

 

The Baader zoom is a good one. It's not clear though whether the APM is capable of using 1.25 inch eyepieces, the Baader comes with several adapters and an APM adapter is also mentioned. There's no explicit mention of 1.25 inch compatibility.

 

Jon



#7 TOMDEY

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 11:34 AM

The Orion Grandview is an Achromat, the other two are ED/apos. Decent color correction is important for a spotting scope, high contrast views are compromised by the CA.

 

The Baader zoom is a good one. It's not clear though whether the APM is capable of using 1.25 inch eyepieces, the Baader comes with several adapters and an APM adapter is also mentioned. There's no explicit mention of 1.25 inch compatibility.

 

Jon

Yes, agree! In the limit... the ideal spotting scope would be built by Astro-Physics, to their exacting optical and mechanical standards... and no doubt some folks would buy them, at whatever the price. I know I'd be hoping to find some compelling reason to ~need~ such an offering!    Tom



#8 Rich V.

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 12:08 PM

 

The Baader zoom is a good one. It's not clear though whether the APM is capable of using 1.25 inch eyepieces, the Baader comes with several adapters and an APM adapter is also mentioned. There's no explicit mention of 1.25 inch compatibility.

 

Jon

APM says this in the manual about the included 1-1/4" eyepiece adapter:

 

"With this adapter for 1.25" eyepieces you can use your own eyepieces with the spotting scope and realize different magnifications. The adapter is simply tacked to the spotting scope instead

of the supplied zoom­ eyepiece and ready to take your own eyepiece. Suitable eyepieces are
e.g. the Ultra Flat Field eyepieces with focal lengths between 10 mm and 24 mm or the XWA
3.5 mm and 5 mm from APM Telescopes."

 

APM doesn't say if all 1-1/4" eyepieces will come to focus, though.

 

Rich


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#9 BillP

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 01:07 PM

I would probably go with the Pentax 80 instead.  It costs less than the other two and will use most all your 1.25" astronomical eyepieces.

 

https://www.bhphotov...cope.html/specs

 

I think where the deal breaker may be in any of these is astronomical performance at high magnification as the long light path porro prisms to correct view typically introduce SA which rears its ugly head the closer when up at high mags on star points.  Clean split of doubles is where you are likely to see it most.  Unfortunately, hard to say which of any of these have accounted for this extra CA from the long prism with the prescription of the main objective.  With an 80mm astro scope is a piece of cake to get a good sharp view at 200x on star points.  Not so much IMO with spotters.  Might be best to ask others who have these what is the mighest mag they have been able to achieve on a tight double and get a clean split to see where each tops out.

 

PS - not sure what ages you mean when you say "small" kids.  But if it is primarily for them then I would go smaller, like a Pentax 65 ED as it is really small and light and works very well on any old camera tripod.  But again, if primarily for them I would probably not get one with interchangeable eyepieces either as just makes for more complications.


Edited by BillP, 17 February 2020 - 01:11 PM.

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#10 BGtraveller

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 02:25 PM

Thanks all for your input. I'll check the other scopes you suggested. Here is the situation - I live in a very light poluted city and for all astro observations, I must travel to the nearest mountain, about 2 hours drive. Kids are below 7 yrs old and quite impatient. I need this scope as something grab and go, easy to use and very quick to set it up. Obviously, if all of the above was different, I'd get dedicated telescope.

APM, is said to be quite ok with the Baader zoom and I do not plan to use other eyepieces for the sake of convenience.

Regal, on the other hand, is a better known brand and from what I've read, it is a very good scope.

APM would be 30% more expensive, but that is not a deciding factor.

As far as I know, both use Bak 4 and are fully multi coated.

#11 Jon Isaacs  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 05:10 PM

Bill suggests the Pentax 80 mm and that would be my preference as well. Pentax is well known in the spotting scope world, Celestron with its Regal line are closer to entry-level. The Pentax with the Baader zoom would be a nice combo.

 

Jon



#12 Passerine

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 06:51 PM

Some of the spotting scopes being suggested here are mighty nice toys for 7 year olds and younger kids!  But maybe sharing with the kids is only part of the plan.

 

Don't forget binoculars are great for dual use, daytime nature and entry into astronomy.  I've heard that the Pentax Papilio models are great fun for young kids as well as adults, and affordable enough you might be able to get more than one.  They focus very closely, up to ~1/2 meter for flowers, insects, etc.  But maybe that's not important to you.

Here's an old thread from 6 years ago about the Papilio's:

https://www.cloudyni...pentax-papilio/

 

For spotting scope or binocular shopping, you might consider calling the folks at "Out of this World Optics."  They carry premium optics brands for nature observing but also more affordable options and they might have some good ideas or recommendations.

http://outofthisworldshop.com/optics/

 

Dave



#13 Rich V.

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:40 PM

 

For spotting scope or binocular shopping, you might consider calling the folks at "Out of this World Optics."  They carry premium optics brands for nature observing but also more affordable options and they might have some good ideas or recommendations.

http://outofthisworldshop.com/optics/

 

+1 for Out of This World Optics.  Great place to deal with and very helpful.  waytogo.gif



#14 Riccardo_italy

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 12:25 AM

My daughter has already observed in my Regal 65.
Given your needs, I think the Pentax 80 is the best option. The APM will show you more, but it's much bigger. The Regal is a sort of Pentax a bit cheaper and a bit heavier. See my review of the Regal if you want, in the CN users review.
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#15 Riccardo_italy

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 12:28 AM

Ps, if you can get the zoom and a Pentax XW 20mm with the scope...

#16 Lola Bruce

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 01:56 PM

I have the Regal 80mm ED and it is excellent.


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#17 photoracer18

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 03:54 PM

Whatever spotting scope you buy needs to be the 45 degree version no matter what. I would also recommend the Pentax 80. I have the Pentax 100ED but it was only available in the straight thru version which is good for me because I don't use it for astro. The Pentax 8-24 zoom is also very good.



#18 Binojunky

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 04:24 PM

I have the Regal 65 , its the second version which was design wise a large(IMHO) improvement over the earlier version, for what I paid and use it for no complaints, however with most optics if you spend more then better instruments come along,D.



#19 j.gardavsky

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 05:01 PM

Under similar circumstances, the angled view 80mm Pentax would be also my choice, and most probably in the bh photo video package together with the Pentax zoom.

This spotting scope is light weight 3.5 lb / 1.6 kg, and is fog proof.

 

All other astronomy 1.25" EPs which are close to be parfocal with the Pentax EPs, should work.

 

Otherwise, the discontinued Leica APO Televids 77mm with the Leica zoom, change the hands on the eBay for as less as  1,000 EUR .

They cost a bit more when you buy them in brick&mortar shops, https://www.fernrohr...en/second-hand/

 

A rugged spotting spotting scope is a great grab-and-go choice for holidays, camping, hiking, ...

 

JG




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