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Optolyth S80 Compact

Waterproof

Michael and Diane Porter and a team of Iowa birders tested 24 spotting scopes for a review in the March, 2003, issue of Bird Watcher's Digest. This account is part of that review.

Optolyth S80 CompactThis new compact scope from Deutsche Optik is made in Germany. It feels rugged and well engineered. It focuses remarkably close, 10 feet. It is pleasant and sure to handle, thanks to the rubberized housing. Just under 13 inches long, the body is one of the shortest of the full-sized scopes we tested. The eyepiece has a glasses-friendly, extensible eyecup.

It comes in four models: angled (pictured at right) and straight through; and with HD ("high definition") glass or with regular glass. The 20-60x zoom eyepiece is purchased separately.

The model we tested did not have the special HD glass. It scored a bit lower on resolution than some of the other top scopes, but it might have fared better if we had been looking at an HD version.

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