For the birder on a budget, the 100mm angled viewing Konuspot 100 gives you more optical performance than you ever thought your budget would be able to afford. Compared to other 100mm spotting scopes, it is an exceptional bargain at its very low price.
Optical features of this scope . . .
100mm objective lens gathers over 278% more light than a 60mm scope for superior low light performance. The crown and flint glass optics are multicoated for good light transmission. The optics are quite nice for such an economically-priced spotting scope – bright, contrasty, and sharp – with only minor distortion, chromatic aberration, and astigmatism. These Konus optics are not in the class of a Leica or Zeiss spotting scope, but they come surprisingly close for only a tiny fraction the price of those top-of-the-line models. It often comes as somewhat of a shock to discover just how good economy-priced optics have become recently, thanks to state-of-the-art computer-aided design and computer-controlled lens grinding and polishing. This scope is a good example of what modern optical designers can do for very little money.
The eye relief of the standard equipment 20-60x multicoated zoom eyepiece is not specified, but we typically measure it at about 18mm eye relief at 20x, and about 12mm at 60x. There will be some minor vignetting of the field for eyeglass wearers at 60x, but very little at 20x. A shallow rubber eyecup helps shield the eye from ambient light for better contrast. It rolls down for eyeglass use.
The scope close focuses to under 30’. Through the scope, looking at a bird at this distance at 20x would effectively be the same as looking with your unaided eye from only 1’ 6” away.
The scope is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to be waterproof in wet weather. The nitrogen purging keeps the scope internally fogproof in cold weather or rain forest-type humidity.
Its retractable lens shade serves the dual purpose of improving the visual and photographic contrast as well as keeping raindrops off the objective lens during inclement weather. A slip-on plastic lens cover protects the objective lens when the scope is transported or stored. A plastic cap keeps the zoom eyepiece dust-free when the scope is not in use. The lens shade is lightly rubber armored for shock protection, as is the prism housing.
A sighting tube built into the left side of the body allows fast centering of the scope on distant birds.
The scope’s focusing knob is located at the top right front of the prism housing to allow precise focusing with either hand, even while wearing gloves or mittens. It is semi-recessed to resist snagging on clothing or carrying case and is grooved for a sure grip. Focusing speed is average compared to most scopes, with twelve turns of the focus knob needed to move from a precise focus at one end of the focus range to the other.
Its lightweight body is made of rugged injection-molded polycarbonate to keep the weight reasonable for such a large aperture scope. The body is finished in a rubberized green paint to provide a good grip in wet weather.
The Konuspot 100’s 45° viewing angle is generally more comfortable than straight-through viewing for watching treetop activity or for extended observing from a blind or back porch. It is also more convenient for observing couples of varying heights who must share a single scope, as there is little need to constantly raise and lower the tripod to a comfortable observing height for each observer. If you are tall, you will not have to crouch over to see through the Konuspot 100, as you would a straight-through scope, saving you from a possible literal pain in the neck.
The scope mounts on any photo tripod having a standard 1/4”-20 thread mounting bolt. Loosen a knob on the left side of the scope and you can rotate the scope from side to side to put the eyepiece at the most comfortable viewing angle.
A water-shedding soft carrying case is standard equipment. The case has an adjustable length shoulder strap for carrying.
For photography, a camera adapter is supplied. It needs only an inexpensive optional T-ring to connect to your 35mm camera body to turn the scope into a high power telephoto lens. The camera adapter threads onto the scope over the zoom eyepiece. There are cutouts in the camera adapter that allow you to change the magnification of the zoom eyepiece (and consequently the photographic magnification) without having to remove the camera adapter from the scope. The exact photographic magnification and focal ratio of the scope will depend on the magnification setting of the zoom eyepiece. A clever spring-loaded baffle in the adapter presses up against the rubber eyeguard of the zoom eyepiece during photography to keep ambient light from getting into the adapter through the eyepiece-adjusting cutouts. This improves the photographic contrast.
All in all, a very modestly-priced big-aperture spotting scope that performs much more expensively than it costs.
A note on our eye relief figures: Quite
often, our eye relief figures will differ from those of the
manufacturer. This is because we measure the “usable” eye relief, while
the manufacturers specify their usually-longer (but technically correct)
“designed” eye relief.
The eye lens of the eyepiece is normally
recessed below the rubber eyeguard or rubber rim of the eyepiece to keep
the lens from being scratched during use. An eyepiece might have a
“designed” eye relief of 15mm (and the eye relief will truly measure
15mm from the eye lens to where the image forms). However, if the eye
lens is recessed 3mm below the eye guard, the Ramsden Disk forms only
12mm above the eyepiece body (the 15mm “designed” eye relief, less the
3mm of eye relief made unusable by having the eye lens recessed into the
body of the eyepiece). This “usable” eye relief of 12mm (measured from
the rolled-down eyeguard – the closest point you can get your eye to the
eye lens – to where the image forms) is the eye relief figure we would
measure and list in this website.
Why is it important to list the “usable” eye relief? For
those people who don’t wear eyeglasses while observing, a few mm
difference between the eye relief they expect from the manufacturer’s
literature and the shorter eye relief they actually get in real life
doesn’t mean a lot. They can simply move a little closer to the eyepiece
to see the full field, and never realize that the eye relief is a
little shorter than they expected. However, some people must wear
eyeglasses while observing, because of severe astigmatism. These
observers can’t move closer to the eyepiece if the eye relief is shorter
than expected because their glasses get in the way. For these people,
the real life “usable” eye relief is more important than the technically
correct but sometimes not fully usable “designed” eye relief. We
measure and list the actual usable eye relief so that people in the real
world can pick the eyepieces that will work best for them.