Alpen 15 - 45 x 60mm Waterproof, compact spotting scope, model 728 with an MSRP of $303 designed in the US and made in China is a great tool for the hunter and shooter alike.
Description 15-45 x 60mm with a 45˚ angled viewing
Objective Lens Diameter in (mm) 60
Focus System Eyepiece Center
Prism Type Porro
FOV. (ft @ 1000 yds) Low/High 115/59
Exit Pupil 4.0-1.3 mm
Eye Relief 18-15 mm
Close Focus High/Low 19-24 ft
Product Length 13 inches
Lens Coating Multi-coated
Net Weight 28 ounces
Tripod Adaptable Yes
Prism Material BaK4
What is good about this spotting scope
First it is covered in a soft rubber so will take some abuse.
The 728 has multi-coated lenses for bright images, and they are for the price, exceptionally bright images when compared to other spotting scopes in the same and slightly higher price range. The exit pupil size at the higher end (45) being larger than many other scopes is the reason for the added brightness, this scope's range is 4.0 mm (15x) and 1.3mm (45x) while some competitive models are in the 3.3-1.1 mm range.
This Alpen spotting scope has longer eye relief (18-15 mm) than some of the competitive scopes, which are typically in the 15-11mm range also adds to the comfort level when using in the field.
It is waterproof and light weight with a 45˚ angled eye piece making it more comfortable when spotting for game, as one does not have to lay flat on the ground to observe as one would with a straight eye piece. This 45˚ angled viewing is particularly well suited to use when multiple observers are using the scope because you do not need to constantly reorient the scope or contort your body to see.
The spotting scope comes with a small light weight tripod suitble for field or bench use, and a soft durable carrying case.
Has a built in lens hood to eliminate glare when spotting looking towards the sun, which is the norm at either sunrise or sunset, a key element missing in some competitively priced spotting scopes. This valuable feature is also included on many of Alpen's other products such as rifle scopes, and a true benefit to the hunter.
Comes with a lens cleaning cloth, both eye piece and Objective lens covers, and is compact and waterproof.
One of the most impressive things about Alpen Optics equipment is the Limited Lifetime no fault Warranty.
As tested the spotting scope was also supplied with Alpen's model 703 Car Window Mount, which with a single control handle adjusts both horizontal and vertical angle, locking both off when tightened. This window mount is very solid and durable, making game observations from a vehicle extremely easy.
The price! With an MSRP of $303 and with a current special web price of $187
It comes with all the usual warnings, about not disassembling as it voids the warranty, and viewing the sun is dangerous to your health as it can damage your eyes.
What is less good about the 728
The objective lens cap does not work when the lens hood is extended, as the lens hood is larger in diameter, the cap no longer functions as it, like most camera lens caps fits inside the lens. When changing the zoom power is does require some small adjustment of the focus control, from the 15 to 45 power adjustment of about 1/4 of a rotation was needed, not a big deal, but worthy of note.
More on Alpen Optics and their products
Alpen Optics have a number of spotting scopes, one for each budget, all manufactured to the same precision standards, and one can see these models here, they are also available with hard travel cases as a kit which includes the scope, hard case and car window mount as seen here.
ALPEN was established in 1997 and offers a line of binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes and accessories giving some of the best values in the industry today. Their objective is to provide superior quality optical products at affordable prices. Products range from their entry level Sport Series to the world class Rainier top-of-the-line family of binoculars and spotting scopes. Alpen strive to provide performance features and quality normally found only on products selling for several times higher. Alpen believes their customers are the most important reason for their past and future success, they are also committed to providing customer service that is second to none, hence the no-fault warranty.