Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Review of Barr and Strous Sahara 20-60x80 scope

Hello all,
Recently,  I purchased a spotting scope and a tripod. I was looking for something with good optics, BAK-4 Prisms, 60 zoom and under £200. I present you with the Barr & Stroud Sahara Spotting scope (20-60x80). It was a bargain for just £106 on Amazon, and after a visit to Ham Wall RSPB, I was really impressed. Only at 60x does the image begin to lose some of the quality, but it is still an image of high  quality. Looking through other birder's scopes for the last few years (usually, they offer me a look after I point out something they've missed, such as a Marsh Harrier...) of makes such as Leica, Kowa, Opticron, Zeiss and Swarovski, I would say that the Barr and Stroud optics rival that of these scopes, for less than a 10th of the price! It also comes with a very high quality stay-on-case, giving more protection to the already well protected scope. To buy a stay-on-case on its own, you'd be looking at handing over £90-£100! The attention to detail is also excellent, with a sun shield,, and well-positioned focus wheel. Overall, a great buy: 5 STARS!!

Of course, all the money you spent on a scope will go down the drain if you don't buy a reasonable tripod. My tripod with this scope is very good indeed, and it cost me £16.09. It's an Amazon own-brand 60inch tripod, but it is the best out there for less than £50! Able to hold 3 kilogrammes, I used this tripod with a visit to Ham Wall, and I was impressed by the stability, fluid movement and general performance of the tripod. However, I have two criticisms. One is the "Amazon Basics" written down the side, which makes it look cheap and tacky. Also, it has a habit of the head slipping by just a few millimetres, which means if you let go of the scope, then go back to it, you've moved the image by 10 metres! However, if you are patient with the tripod, it will deliver the goods, and is transportable. Overall, 4 STARS!

All in all, this is a good buy for just £120 on Amazon, and it works well as a high quality, budget duo. If you have any thoughts on these pieces of equipment, please comment below...

George

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