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August 20th, 2009

Nikon Unveils New EDG Spotting Scopes

There is an “arms race” going on now among the top optics-makers trying to grab market share at the high end of the spotting scope field. Prices have climbed into the stratosphere as companies provide ever-bigger objectives with ultra-premium glass. The latest 80+ mm “super-spotters” are running $3000 to $4000 with zoom eyepieces. Last year, Kowa released its superb flourite-lensed TSN-883/4 Prominar at $2905.00 (88mm body with 20-60 zoom eyepiece). Leica followed suit with its Televid 82 APO spotting scope priced at $3995 (82mm body with 20-50 Vario eyepiece, $3195.00 body only). Yep, that’s four grand for a spotting scope — we could buy a nice used truck for that.

Nikon EDG spotting scopes

New Nikon EDG 65mm and 85mm Spotting Scopes
Now Nikon has joined the “big-buck-glass” game with its new line of EDG spotting scopes in 65mm and 85mm objective lens sizes. With a 20-60X zoom eyepiece, the larger 85mm Fieldscope retails for $3299.00, a new high for Nikon. But the new Nikon looks impressive. The new EDG Fieldscopes offer the same exclusive ED glass lenses and premium prisms as Nikon’s highly praised EDG binoculars. Nikon says the new ED lenses deliver superior sharpness and color correction (without chromatic distortion), and ultra high contrast. The 85mm objective also provides a wider field of view than most spotting scopes. For enhanced low-light performance, the straight (non-angled) EDG scopes feature what Nikon calls “Dielectric High-Reflective Multilayer Prism Coating”. Hmm… “Dialetric Prisms” — that sounds like something Scotty would use on the Starship Enterprise.

Nikon EDG spotting scopes

Will the new Nikon EDGs run with the top-of-the-line Kowa, Leica, Swarovski, and Zeiss spotters? We’ll have to wait until comparison testing can be done. But we can say that the new Nikons EDGs are a big step up from past Nikon Fieldscopes. The EDG body is more compact and the unit is better balanced. We like the large focus ring, but would prefer a dual-focus system. The mounting bracket looks very solid, which should reduce wobbles when mounted on a tripod. Early reviewers say that the EDGs are very bright, with outstanding eyepieces.

New, Improved ED Eyepieces
Nikon has also released a whole set of new eyepieces for the EDG scopes. For long-range use, there is a new fixed-power eyepiece that delivers 75X magnification on the 85mm Fieldscope. We’ve used up to 82X magnification on other spotting scopes and we can assure you, 75X is NOT too much when viewing conditions are good. The 75X eyepiece would be a great choice if you’re trying to resolve bullet holes at 600 yards and beyond.

Nikon EDG spotting scopes eyepieces

High Power and iron sights shooters will like the new 20X/25X LER (long eye relief) eyepiece. This provides enough power to see target spotters, while offering easy viewing (and a wide field of view), when you are in shooting position and want to take a quick look through the glass. This eyepiece features ED glass, and provides 20X magnification with the smaller 65mm Fieldscope and 25X magnification with its 85mm big brother. All the new EDG eyepieces feature fuully multi-coated lenses, and many offer twist-out eyecups, which are handy for eye-glass wearers.

Permalink New Product, Optics 3 Comments »
August 20th, 2009

Brownells Releases Catalog Number 62

Brownells catalog The latest Brownells Catalog #62, is now available and it’s bigger than ever. This monster 592-page catalog now contains over 30,000 total products, with more than 1,200 that are new since 2008. Some of the thirty sections include: AR-15/M16; 1911 AUTO; Rifle and Shotgun Sights; Holsters and Mag Holders; General Gunsmith Tools; Metal Finishing; Screws and Hardware Kits; plus sections for Rings and Bases; Books and Videos; Optics and Accessories; and Stockwork.

According to company President Pete Brownell, “The ‘Dream Gun’ idea has proven to be very popular and we’ve updated it with six new-to-the-big-book ARs and another eight new 1911s showing some ideas on building a gun just the way you want it using products in the Catalog”.

Catalog #62 is currently available for purchase. To order, or for more information, call 800-741-0015 or visit and mention code “PFE”.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »