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Old 09-01-12, 07:44 PM
Hatchling Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Default Buying a scope for birding.

I am a new member and fairly new to birding. I am looking to buy a scope and don't have the cash for a Leica, Kowa etc.
Any advice on where I should be looking to spend around 300?
Also, has anyone heard of/used a scope called a Helios Fieldmaster A90? Price seems too good to be true for what you apparently get.
Any advice would be great.
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Old 10-01-12, 08:55 AM
Dave H's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 311
Blog Entries: 20

Sorry, can't help with that model or make, but just to say that within the budget you have, you could buy a used scope that's in several classes higher than you could buy new. Of course you would be unlikely to get a warranty with it and any used/private purchase has a risk, so may not suit you.

I started with a used Delta70 which was OK. Sold that (for around what I paid for it) and bought a used Opticron HR66 year 1995 model. This was truly excellent and a long way from the performance of the Delta (although in fairness to the Delta, I didn't try a better eyepiece in it).
This scope was straight, I discovered that an angled scope would suit me better so I bought a used Opticron Imagic 65 (2005) with good eyepiece. The cost of the scope with eyepiece was less that the new cost of the eyepiece alone. Its a good scope, not up there with the top brands, maybe, but a very credible performer for a little over 120.

These "bargains" aren't unusual. The HR66 was, in its day, one of the top of the range scopes from Opticron. To buy a better performer new might well cost over 500 to 600.

There is a thread somewhere on this forum where members have discussed their scopes, many are quite happy with their purchases.

Good luck with whatever you choose.


Last edited by Dave H; 10-01-12 at 12:45 PM. Reason: corrected model name. HR66
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Old 10-01-12, 11:48 AM
dales birder's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: north yorks
Posts: 1,171

The helios scope does look good for the money,their bins are certainly always worth a look.We are thinking of upgrading one of our scopes and would be interested in what users have to say.t present we have a 20+ year old Mirador 20x60 which was o.k. in its time and a cheap Piccalo marketed by Opticron which is great for about 75 but limited in poor light.Any comments would be of interest.
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Old 12-01-12, 04:30 PM
Hatchling Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Default Thanks.

Thanks for the replies, guys. Gonna do some research before I take the plunge. If you ever come across anyone who has used the Helios one please let me know.
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