Fieldscope III ED Zoom, 60mm, straight viewing, 20-60x zoom

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The 60mm Nikon Fieldscope III ED provides the best images available from a 60mm waterproof spotting scope. Whether you’re looking to extend your life list at remote birding hot spots, or just looking at the feeders and nests in your backyard, the Nikon Fieldscope III ED 60mm gives you exceptional optical performance in a small and easily-handled package.

A review on the on-line review site Better View Desired named the 60mm Fieldscope III ED their “Reference Standard” among 50mm to 60mm spotting scopes. The review said, among other complementary things, “The image quality of the Nikon Fieldscope III ED has to be seen to be believed. This scope is sharp! Colors are clean and pure. Contrast and color differentiation are excellent. Every detail of the bird is easily visible right out to the limits of whatever power you are using . . . the 60mm Nikon Fieldscope III ED is clearly the Reference Standard for 60mm scopes. Given the optical and mechanical quality, the wide range of excellent eyepieces, and the compact size, there is nothing else on the market that comes close to it.”

The ED (extra-low dispersion) glass optics virtually eliminate color fringing in the image. Colors are pure and saturated, allowing you to easily identify subtle field marks that are often masked by poor color fidelity in lesser scopes. The optics are fully multicoated with proprietary Nikon high-transmission antireflective coatings that increase both light transmission and contrast to levels rarely seen in a 60mm scope. Some observers swear that the 60mm Nikon is as bright as, or brighter than, some competitive 65mm and larger scopes.

The review in Better View Desired said “The image is bright and easy to look at. Only in direct comparison to an exceptional 80 or 85 mm scope will you see any improvement in brightness . . . in 95% of birding situations, an exceptional 60 mm scope will show you all there is that you need to see. In a very few situations (dirty air, unstable air, or fog) the 60mm scope will actually outperform the bigger scopes at equivalent powers.”

Optical features of this scope . . .

  • ED glass: The extra-low dispersion ED glass element in the Nikon’s 60mm doublet objective lens combines high light transmission with very low chromatic aberration. This gives markedly reduced color fringing at the edges of the field when compared with conventional crown and flint glass optics, plus excellent color fidelity and saturation across the field.

  • Fully multicoated: The optics are fully multicoated with Nikon’s proprietary high transmission antireflection coatings for an excellent light transmission that complements the excellent color fidelity of the ED objective lens.

  • Zoom eyepiece: The standard equipment 20-60x multicoated zoom eyepiece has a rubber-rimmed eyecup that twists up, shielding the eye from ambient light for better contrast when observing with the unaided eye. The eyecup twists back down to provide greater eye relief for eyeglass use. The eyepiece threads securely into place and can be changed in seconds. An optical glass window at the rear of the Fieldscope’s body, just inside the eyepiece port, seals the porro prism optics against moisture and dust which might eventually cause damage. At 20x the field of view is 105’ across at 1000 yards. At 40x the field at 1000 yards is 61’ across, dropping to 52’ at 60x.

  • Good eye relief: The eye relief is specified as 14.1mm at 20x. While this is technically correct, the actual usable eye relief will typically measure a mm or two less due to the recessing of the eyepiece lens to protect it from being scratched accidentally when the eyecup is in the down position for eyeglass use. A somewhat shorter eye relief than specified is typical of all spotting scopes. There will be some vignetting of the field for eyeglass wearers.

  • Other eyepieces available: The supplied premium quality 20-60x zoom eyepiece is so exceptionally sharp and high in contrast that many birders see no reason to buy individual single magnification eyepieces. For those who wear eyeglasses, however, or for those who want wider fields of view than any zoom eyepiece can provide, Nikon has a wide range of optional eyepieces available. There are long eye relief 30x, 40x, and 60x fixed magnification wide angle models with an eyeglass-friendly 17mm or better eye relief. There are also 24x, 40x, and 60x eyepieces designed for digiscoping.

  • Good close focusing: The scope close focuses down to a good 16.4’, making it usable for viewing backyard feeders, although the field is little more than 6” wide at this short a distance. 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 about 10” away.
Mechanical features of this scope . . .
  • Fully waterproof: The rugged Fieldscope’s die-cast body is O-ring sealed and dry nitrogen purged to be totally waterproof and fogproof in all weather and temperature conditions. This allows the scope to survive sudden showers as well as full monsoon conditions, and to resist internal fogging, no matter how cold the air temperature or how high the humidity. A rubber-armored self-storing lens shade slides out from the front of the body to improve visual and photographic contrast. Light rubber armoring around the prism housing helps protect the optics from unexpected bumps and thumps.

  • Handy focusing collar: The Nikon Fieldscope uses a wide knurled rubber focusing collar around the barrel that can be operated with either hand, even while wearing gloves. The focus moves from the horizon to a good 16.4’ in a mere three-quarters of a turn of the collar. Focusing is smooth, although it can get a little stiff during long sub-freezing observing sessions.

  • Straight-through viewing: The Fieldscope’s straight-through design is generally better for quickly locating birds in the field than a 45° viewing angle model. With a straight-through scope, you can sight over the barrel to center in on the bird before trying a high power eyepiece view that often has a confusingly narrow field. It is difficult to sight over a 45° viewing barrel, as the prism housing and eyepiece can block the view. On the other hand, a 45° viewing angle is generally more comfortable than a straight-through scope for watching treetop activity or for extended observing from a blind or back porch. You won’t get a crick in your neck from crouching over to look through the scope as you often have to with a straight-through model on a too-short tripod. A 45° model is also more convenient for couples of varying heights who must share a single scope, as there’s little need to constantly raise and lower the tripod to a comfortable height for each observer. The Nikon #N60EAWZ is such a 45° viewing model, should that style be more convenient.

  • Photo tripod mounting: The 60mm Fieldscope mounts on any photo tripod having a standard 1/4”-20 thread mounting bolt. It converts to a Nikon-quality 800mm f/13.3 telephoto lens when used with optional four-element photo adapter #1317 (for use with Nikon cameras only, with no T-ring needed).

  • Supplied accessories: Protective dust covers are provided for both the objective lens and the eyepiece. A soft water-resistant carrying case of Cordura-type nylon (with adjustable length shoulder strap) is standard equipment. The case is the stay-on type that allows you to mount the scope on a tripod with the case still on the scope. Fold-back flaps give you full access to all controls so you can use the scope while it is still in its case. A separate soft zippered carrying case for one or two additional eyepieces that attaches to the shoulder strap is also standard equipment.

  • 25-year warranty: In addition to the 25-year limited Nikon USA warranty, the 60mm Fieldscope is also covered by Nikon’s unique no-fault warranty. If anything happens to the Fieldscope that’s not covered by Nikon’s normal 25-year warranty, it costs you only $10 and return shipping and handling to get it fixed or replaced! Whether you drop the Fieldscope out of a canoe, drive off with it on the roof of your car, or loan it to a clumsy friend who uses it to drive tent pegs, there’s no need to worry. If you can send back the pieces, you’re covered by Nikon’s no-fault warranty.
To sum it up: This 60mm Nikon Fieldscope III is one the finest spotting scopes you can find. Its ED optics will regularly equal or outperform many larger aperture scopes in side-by-side comparisons of resolution, contrast, and perceived sharpness. While it is not inexpensive, you’d be hard-pressed to equal the optical and mechanical quality of this Nikon at any price.
Magnification is the ability of a telescope to make a small, distant object large enough to examine in detail. If you look at the Moon (250,000 miles away) with a 125 power (125x) telescope, it's essentially the same as looking at it with your bare eyes from 2000 miles away (250,000 ÷ 125 = 2000). The same telescope used terrestrially will make an object one mile away appear to be only 42 feet away (5280 feet ÷ 125 = 42).
The magnification of a telescope is determined by dividing the focal length of the telescope (usually in millimeters) by the focal length of the eyepiece used (again, usually in millimeters; but in all cases by the same unit of measurement used for the telescope focal length). For example, a 2000mm focal length telescope and a 10mm focal length eyepiece will give you a magnification of 200 power (2000 ÷ 10 = 200). The same 2000mm telescope with a 20mm eyepiece will give you 100x (2000 ÷ 20 = 100).
Field of view 1000 yards:
105' @ 20x
Near Focus:
Eye Relief:
Eye relief is the distance from the last surface of the eye lens of an eyepiece to the plane behind the eyepiece where all the light rays of the exit pupil come to a focus and the circular image is formed, sometimes called the “Ramsden Disk.” This is where your eye should be positioned to see the full field of view of the eyepiece. If you must wear glasses because of astigmatism, you’ll usually need at least 15mm of eye relief or longer if you want to see the full field of view with your glasses on.

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.

14mm @ 20x
Exit Pupil:
The circular image or beam of light formed by the eyepiece of a telescope. To take full advantage of a scope's light-gathering capacity, the diameter of an eyepiece exit pupil should be no larger than the 7mm diameter of your eye's dark-adapted pupil, so that all of the light collected by the telescope enters your eye. (The eyepiece exit pupil diameter is found by dividing the eyepiece focal length by the telescope focal ratio.) Your eye's ability to dilate declines with increasing age (to a dark-adapted pupil of about 5mm by age 50 or so). For those in this age group, eyepieces with exit pupils larger than their eyes can dilate to simply waste their telescope's light-gathering capacity, as some of the scope's light will fall on their iris instead of entering their eye.
3mm @ 20x
Twilight Factor:
A number used to compare the effectiveness of binoculars or spotting scopes used in low light. The twilight factor is found by multiplying the size of the objective lens (in mm) by the magnification and then finding the square root of that result. The larger the twilight factor, the more detail you can see in low light. A twilight factor of 17 or better if usually required for reasonable low light use.
34.64 @ 20x
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
A binocular or spotting scope whose body is clad in rubber or polyurethane armor is said to be armored. Armor can be applied for looks, a better grip, noise-proofing, etc. An armored body does not guarantee that a binocular or spotting scope is waterproof, although most waterproof optics are armored.
Photographic Focal Length:
The effective focal length of a spotting scope/camera adapter combination when the scope is used as a telephoto lens. The photographic focal length divided by 50 will give you the magnification of the combination compared to your standard camera lens.
Photographic Focal Ratio:
The photographic “speed” of a spotting scope/camera adapter combination when used for photography. The smaller the “f/ratio,” the faster the exposure (to capture birds in motion), or the dimmer the light level in which you can successfully shoot.
The weight of this product.
44 oz.
"No-Fault" 25 Years Limited
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Eyepieces (1)
40/60/75X high power wide angle eyepiece for 50/60/78/82mm Nikon Fieldscopes
by Nikon
  • 20-60x zoom eyepiece
  • Dust covers
  • Soft stay-on carrying case
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Nikon - Fieldscope III ED Zoom, 60mm, straight viewing, 20-60x zoom

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Nikon - Fieldscope III ED Zoom, 60mm, straight viewing, 20-60x zoomImage showing the standard equipment stay-on soft case, shoulder strap, and eyepiece case.
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Our Product #: N60ESWZ
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In the same way that Nikon cameras continue to set new standards in optical quality and technology, redefining the limits of the possible, this Nikon 60mm ED Fieldscope continues to set new standards in spotting scope performance . . .

. . . our 34th year