Review of the Nikon Prostaff 20-60X82
If you’re a rifle shooter, and enjoy practicing your long distance marksmanship skills, a good spotting scope is an invaluable tool. I’m currently on my third spotting scope, and I’ve learned a few things while on this path. Firstly, a good, capable spotting scope isn’t cheap – particularly if you want to clearly see how well you’re grouping out past 200 yards. Wanting to concentrate my spend on firearms and ammo, and less on accessories, my first stop on the spotting scope trail was the Barska 20 – 60×60 mm spotting scope – a sub-$100.00 purchase which I quickly found to be inadequate for my needs. Next I picked up a Konus 7120 20x-60x80mm Spotting Scope and truth be told, it was adequate for 80% of my needs for a spotting scope and a darn good value. Where the Konus failed to meet expectations was at 200 yards. It performed great at 50 yards, adequately at 100 yards, but nearly unusable at 200 yards. The shooting club I normally use for practice does have a 200 yard range, and while I don’t always shoot at that distance, I do enjoy doing so from time to time. So I began looking for the next rung up the spotting scope ladder, and happened upon the Nikon Prostaff 20-60X82.
At a retail price of about $650.00, this spotting scope was really more money than I wanted to spend…by no small margin. So I had pretty high expectations when I took it out to the range the first time (I’ve been using it for roughly 6 months as of this writing). I decided to test it doing some prone shooting from 100 yards with my M&P 15:
Here’s a couple of photos of the actual spotting scope. Note that it did not come with a tripod, so I simply used the one which came with my Konus – the Prostaff 20-60X82 has, like most spotting scopes a standard tripod mount making it compatible with any standard photographic tripod.
At 100 yards, this spotting scope is a night and day difference from anything else I’ve used. The view of the target is very bright and optically far more clear. I’ll go as far as saying that in terms of magnification and clarity of view, the Nikon Prostaff 20-60X82 provides the same view of the target at 100 yards which my Konus 7120 does at 50 yards. It’s also has excellent eye relief and I have no problem looking through the viewfinder as a glasses wearer.
Using my point and shoot digital camera, I took some photos of the target from 100 yards simply holding up the lens to the viewfinder. Obviously this process is flawed, but it will give you some idea as to what the view looks like. Here’s one at 100 yards, maximum magnification:
Seeing individual shots and groups is absolutely no problem at 100 yards with this spotting scope.
I didn’t have time to set up over at the 200 yard range, but here’s a photo looking through the viewfinder at minimum magnification at 100 yards – a fair approximation of what the view would be like if the target were at 200 yards, and magnification was at the maximum setting:
The scope is still very useful at 200 yards. 300 yards would probably be pushing it but I have not been able to test it beyond 200 yards. That said, the Nikon Prostaff 20-60X82 does exactly what I need it to do, and does it very well.
My only real complaint about the Nikon Prostaff 20-60X82 is that it did not come with an sort of a case. However, I did purchase this spotting scope case from Amazon which seems to work just fine:
Oddly enough, I couldn’t even find an accessory case for it on Nikon’s website. While the Nikon Prostaff 20-60X82 is a very expensive accessory to purchase for rifle shooters, it provides a function which greatly enhances my rifle shooting experience. The good folks at Amazon can save you more than a few bucks off the retail price as well:
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.