Vortex makes super great quality scopes, for (relatively) cheap. I just purchased a dis-continued model, the Votrex Skyline 80mm with a zoom from 20-60x.
I've somepared it to Leica and Nikon and Swarovski, and it actualyy hold up. Not to mentioned all Vortex products come with a UNLIMITED LIFETIME warrentty. My tripos cost me about $150, so everything together was about $600. Still over you bugdet... but if you go higher up you won't find anything under a drand. Unless it is a crap model rom a crap brand.
I would go to your lol Audubon/Wild Bird shop and they usualy help out A LOT. The Fat Rocin in Hamden, CT (obviously a long drive) would be worth t. The owner, Jim Zipp, is an amazing, and published, photographer and avid birder. He set me in the riht direction..
I'd find a store like that. But as far as quality for less money, a Vortex is the way to go. My model is discontinued, but came probablybe fund online. But vortex just came out with the Skyline II (or some name like tha) with a few nice new features.
Good luck!! And make sure you put a lot of planning into purchasig a scope. Panning, veritcal and horizontal ease of turning, focus knobs, retractable lens-shields.
Once you get a scope, you wonder how you ever had a birding life/experience/situations without one!!
(PS.... Good luck on the NOHO and Ivory, Alex!!!)
[log in to unmask]
> Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2010 07:28:41 -0500
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] scope advice
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Hi Justin,
> My Nikon Fieldscope was a bit pricier than your budget, but that was five
> years ago. I think that one of the big online distributors (B&H Photo,
> etc.) might have great prices on this superb, affordable scope. I love it -
> the Nikon glass is simply far superior to scopes costing 3-5X as much! Yes,
> I am biased, but my binocs are Nikon Superior E 10 x 42 that I would put up
> against Leica or any of the pricier alternatives out there.
> Frank Boyle
> Rohrersville, MD (and Burlington, Vermont)
> [log in to unmask]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Justin Woods
> Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 11:22 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [VTBIRD] scope advice
> Hello List--
> I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on purchasing a
> reasonably priced,
> good scope.
> My glasses are Nikon Actions -- which are my idea of reasonably priced/good.
> Is there
> something like this in the scope world?
> I have possibly 3-4 hundred dollars set aside for this purchase.
> Thanks in advance!
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