RFI spotting scopes

To: "Peter Shute" <>
Subject: RFI spotting scopes
From: "Alistair McKeough" <>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 15:53:49 +1000
52% is a massive improvement. Enough to make a serious difference between
being able to make an ID or not. Where it gets harder is when you get a 5%
to 7% improvement going from $1600 to $3200.

Like most things the improvement in optics becomes increasingly marginal
with price. A good quality scope with a decent eyepiece should allow you to
ID just about everything in half-decent light. Once you've spent over $1.5K
the size of the objective will probably make more difference than anything
else. I doubt you'd miss many IDs against anything else with a Nikon RAII
80mm (for about $1K with eyepiece).

However, there is a real drive from the big guns to put extra-low dispersion
and fluorite glass into spotting scopes. I personally think this is being
driven in large part by a surge in digi-scoping. Yes, these super optical
glasses transfer light better meaning you in theory get a marginally better
view, but their real advantage is that they dramatically limit chromatic
aberration. Super-tight control of chroma is far more important in
photography than in bird watching - chromo you wouldn't notice when
observing can ruin a photograph. So I think with the top gun scopes you're
paying a very large premium for a try hard camera lens.

I'd happily pay double for very marginal improvements in a camera lens. I
don't know that I would in a scope. But it's very personal and only the
purchaser can decide whether it's worth it to them.

$500 or $1000 probably makes a difference in being able to make the ID.
$1500 or $3000 probably just means a better view.


On 27/09/2007, Peter Shute <> wrote:
> There are some interesting pages about scopes on the Olivon website. At:
> they say:
> "From $200 to $2000, each time you double the retail price of a spotting
> scope you can expect about a 10-15% improvement in optical performance."
> That would be US dollars, I guess. Applying that formula, a $400 scope
> would be 15% better than a $200 scope, $800 would be 32% better, and
> $1600 would be 52% better.
> A lot of money for only a 52% improvement.  Any comments?
> No, they don't define "optical performance".
> Peter Shute
>  wrote on Monday, 24 September 2007
> 3:25 PM:
> > My only word of warning is don't buy a cheap scope.
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
> send the message:
> unsubscribe
> (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
> to: 

To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU