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High-end Scopes Review

For Bird Watcher's Digest, November, 2009

by Michael and Diane Porter

An Aside to Scope Manufacturers

Considering the importance of aiming a spotting scope, it's hard to understand why the best brains in scope making haven't come up with a better solution. Here's a modest proposal.

For years, we have mounted red-dot sights on our scopes. When you look through a red-dot sight, you see an illuminated red dot overlying the image. You get instant, perfect acquisition of the bird, even at 60 power. No wasted time zooming out and zooming in. It makes the scope many times more useful. The red dot sights we use are small and weigh less than 2 ounces.

Why not build a mounting point for a red-dot sight into the scope's sunshade? The cost would be minuscule. Scope makers could also sell an accessory bracket that slides into the mounting point (similar to a camera hot shoe) and takes a red-dot sight at the top.

Customers could buy their own red-dot sights, which are available in all shapes, sizes, and prices, starting as low as $10. Red-dot sights are not lasers and don't project any light on the bird. The dot is generated by a low-power LED. The tiny lithium battery in ours lasts over a year in normal use.
Minimal cost, large increase in the functionality of the scope, happy customers, and a chance to sell accessories. What's not to like? Are you listening, scope makers?

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