need advice on spotting scope

From time to time I have need of a spotting scope. Some times I need it for target shooting other times I use it for tracking rockets out at the desert
dry lake flight area we frequent. My old scope, a military M49 unit was ripped off last month. I'm looking at replacing it with either a Leupold Wind River 15-45x60 unit or the Nikon 20-60x60 earth and sky unit. One is available for $230.00 the other for about $530.00. I also thought about a Bausch & Lomb unit but I'm not too sure about the quality of the optics. I trust Leupold..they make great scopes and I also trust Nikon, their lenses are legendary. So if any of you have direct experience with these and could give me a shove in the right direction I'd be very appreciative. I can spend up to $550 but no more. Any advice?
--
R. J. Talley
Teacher/James Madison Fellow
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Reece,
For $550, try two of the Leupolds (yeah I know) mounted on an aluminum plate, say 2"x10"x1/4" and the plate onto the tripod. If you do it right, you'll end up with some ridiculously awesome binoculars and be better able to follow the bullet heading downrange.
Many X's, Andy

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It depends...
Some of the important things to look for are field of view (FOV), exit pupil dia, and that all the optics are fully - multi coated. If you want something you can also use for astronomy, you'll want an exit pupil dia that matches yours and a wide FOV or apparent FOV. Also, fully multi-coated is more important for night viewing.
For daytime only viewing, exit pupil is virtually irrelevant, and the coatings quality only becomes apparent at high magnification. Also, aperture is less important for daytime viewing, while larger is better for the night sky.
Another thing to look for is eyepiece design. Better scopes have removable eyepieces. Plossels, Erfels and Kelners are good for spotting scopes. The less elements, the better. Anything more than 5 wastes light and can distort the image. Anything less than 4 is cheap!
IMHO
Am I a spotting scope expert? No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. ;-)
-- Drake "Doc" Damerau
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Do a search for Televue Ranger. It's a telescope/spotting scope. Televue makes great optics. I have a Pronto and am very pleased with it. You should be able to find a Ranger for around $550.
Todd

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