What Is A Spotting Scope?
A spotting scope is a portable telescope that has been added advanced optics to present an erect image. It is used for bird watching as well as other naturalist activities such as hunting, surveillance, verifying expert shooter’s shorts as well as other applications that require more magnification than a pair of binoculars. In simple terms, a spotting scope can also be defined as telescopes that have been customized and designed specifically for daytime terrestrial viewing.
A spotting scope is very useful for researcher and hobbyist who like hunting and researching on birds and other wildlife. In fact, a spotting scope allows us to safely photograph or view targets that might place us in harm’s way. For instance, when you want to watch a lion chasing a prey, you can set the power of the scope at 20-power magnification, stand a safe distance, and enjoy the whole episode.
Best Spotting Scope | Top 10 Spotting Scope Reviews & Comparison
Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope Review
The Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope features waterproof, magnesium and rubber armored body that has an integral side out sunshades. The scope also features a fast and fine focus knob that helps you to focus on the object. In addition, a large tripod mounting foot comes with a standard threaded socket placed below the main tube. At the back of the main tube, there are threads that accommodate the camera adapter.Read the Full Review
Vortex Razor HD 16-48×65 Angled Spotting Scope Reviews
The Vortex Razor HD 16-48×65 angled spotting scope comes with a high-quality glass that has specialized optical that have the ability to provide very clear and bright images. The angled viewing design make it one of the best scopes to use when hunting. Besides making it easy to use, this design makes it produce color-rich images even at the maximum magnification. The construction materials are of the highest quality making it very durable.Read the Full Review
Leupold SX-1 Ventana Angled Spotting Scope Review
The scope offers superior optical quality. The objective lens provides outstanding resolution and clarity. Moreover, the lens comes with detachable lens covers that protect the lens when the spotting scope is not in use. The optics chamber is also filled with nitrogen, meaning that you won’t be worried about fogging.Read the Full Review
Celestron LandScout 60MM Spotting Scope Review
All the Celestron Landscout Spotting scopes feature large focusing wheels that wrap around the body. The focus ring features a rubberized track that allows you to adjust it, even if you are wearing winter gloves. It is easy to reach any position, and you can control it with either your left or right hand. You will enjoy a smooth action, without sticking points.Read the Full Review
Tasco 20-60×60 Zoom Spotting Scope Review
Today, competition has increased, and the price of owning a much better or more efficient spotting scope has significantly reduced. You don’t have to place an order on the low-quality spotting scope anymore.
A perfect example of a spotting scope that can explain this scenario is the Tasco 20-60×60 Zoom Spotting Scope w/Mountable Tripod & 45 degrees EP, which comes with amazing features. Moreover, it is offered at a fantastic price, which makes it affordable for almost everyone. This article explains everything about this 45 degrees angled spotting spot in detail.
Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Kit Review
The Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Kit come featuring almost everything you need for hunting. The package includes the Redfield Rampage spotting scope, a tripod, a view through a case that has a strap, a soft storage case, eyepiece as well as the objective covers. All these accessories are manufactured with the high-quality materials and remarkable attention to detail.Read the Full Review
Konus 7122 20x-60x100mm Spotting Scope With Case Review
The exterior of the Konus spotting scope features a metal which is encased in rubber armor. The glass is relatively heavy since it weighs about 5.3 pounds and measures about 18.8 inches long. It comes with all the necessary accessories to help you get started. The box contains a soft carrying case, the Konus 7122 20–60×100 mm Spotting Scope as well as camera adapter.
BARSKA 20-60×60 Waterproof Straight Spotting Scope with Tripod Review
It has a straight body design with a pan-head tripod. It weighs 3.2 pounds and measures 13.5 inches by 2.8 inches by 4 inches. This spotting scope is totally waterproof and fog proof. Therefore, when you are in such weather conditions, you can carry on with your viewing.
The rubber armor is shock absorbing and this offers protection to the spotting scope. It also has a sunshade, offering you with a good way to view objects clearly. The tripod is mountable.
Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope With Tripod Review
When it comes to the kinds of high-grade spotting scopes like this model from Emarth, consumers tend to expect premium performance. This model meets the premium standard in many ways, and one way is the feature of having a dynamic lens equipped with multicoated optics and a rich forest green color. When using this spotting scope, operators experience outstanding, brilliant brightness and optimal clarity levels for the best possible viewing experience.
With a BK-7 prism built into it, buyers of this Emarth spotting scope will enjoy the added benefit of having the crispest and well-defined viewing experience possible with any scope product.
Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting Scope Review
If you are looking for a spotting scope that is excellent for all types of viewing solutions, Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting scope, should be your best choice. This is a powerful compact and portable spotting scope from Celestron, that comes with Maksutove-Cassegrain optical path, an erect-image 450 diagonal (Also corrects the view literally) and 32mm eyepiece.Read the Full Review
Reasons for Buying Spotting Scopes over ordinary binoculars
Unlike the binoculars, the spotting scope features advanced optics and higher magnification that shows exquisite details of images within its view. The features in spotting scopes can be found in extra large binoculars that are used by the scientist. However, the scopes are compact making them portable. This means you can travel with them everywhere, whether you are going for hunting, bird watching or doing some kind of research on a specific object. Here additional advantages of buying a spotting scope over ordinary binoculars.
A spotting scope has higher magnification than the most advanced binocular. A normal binocular has magnification from 7 to 10 times the actual size of the object. However, a spotting scope has a magnification of 20 to 60. This can provide excellent details when hunting or bird watching.
Another reason why you would prefer a spotting scope to a binocular is the eyepieces. Normally a binocular has two eyepieces so that both of your eyes are involved in viewing clearer images. However, the scopes have only one eyepiece that can be used with either eye. This will eliminate any uneven images that may result due to poor adjustment between the two eyepieces.
As previously mentioned, the most advanced binocular that may have close features resembling those found in a spotting scope may be heavier and larger than a scope. Although you need a tripod for effective use, the results are far much better than when using binoculars.
Generally, binoculars are smaller than the scopes hence more portable. However, recent scopes are portable since the come with tripods and other accessories that are detachable for easier portability. In addition, when you compare the results in terms of clarity of the images, you will never use the binoculars. Remember, for you to get the best of everything there must be a small sacrifice.
Angled Body vs. Straight Body Spotting Scopes
When choosing the spotting scopes, many people do not know whether to choose a straight or angled scope. We will try to clarify this so that you can know which is scope is best for you. Straight and angle are the two basic body designs of a spotting scope. A straight spotting scope has the eyepieces aligned together while the angled scope, the eyepiece is placed at an offset of 90 or 45 degrees from the barrel.
Many individuals prefer the straight body scopes since you can easily mount them on the glass window of your car when watching birds or other animals? These scopes are also easy to use when in an elevated position. However, if you are tall, you might prefer the angled scopes. However, the choice of either of the two-body design will depend on how you want to use them. For instance, when you are using the straight body scope your eyes will be in a straight line with the image you are viewing.
However, when using the angled scope you can look down into the object you are observing or observe it sides. This means that an angled scope lets you observe the object at a different height as well as rotate it to watch the objects at any of the sides.
When using the straight body scope you have to bend your knees to look through the scope while you just need to turn your head a little when using the angled scope. An angled scope can be mounted lower for better and steady image formation. This means that you need to carry a smaller and lightweight tripod. However, the straight body scope will require a bigger tripod since it requires to be mounted at the height of your eyes.
Choosing the best spotting scope is rather easy. However, it is very important for you to consider your priorities and identity. For instance, if you are tall an angled scope is likely to suit your needs. However, if you want something that you would mount on your car window, a straight body scope is the best for you.
Main Consideration Before Buying
Apart from the body, designs there are other features that you must consider. Make sure that you go through the review of the scopes and do research on the following features.
A spotting scope is often referred to two numbers that are separated by an X. The first two numbers will specify the magnifying power of a spotting scope with a varying power. For example 15 – 45 x 60. With this kind of a scope, the object being viewed will appear to be 15 to 45 times closer than you would see it with the unaided eye. When looking for the best scope you should ensure that you select a scope that has good magnification with the base model being the example we have listed.
It is very important to test the performance of the scope or read the customer review on the magnification of the scope. You will find that some models will show an image quality that deteriorates when the magnification increases. Choose a model that offers a quality image at all magnification powers.
Objective lens size
The quality of the image delivered by a spotting scope will depend on the size o the objective lens. When you choose a scope with a larger objective lens, you will have a better quality image. It is also important to check the lens carefully. If the lens is large and is manufactured with inferior glass, the image will be poor.
So if you are looking for a good scope that will deliver good quality image even at higher power ensure that you go for scopes that have objective lenses made from high-quality glass such as APO glass, ED glass or their equivalent.
The eyepiece of your scope is one of the most important parts of your device, thus, it is very important to select a good one. A high-quality eyepiece will not only deliver a quality image but also provide excellent eye relief.
Ensure that you select an eyepiece with zoom in it since it will help you to change the magnification faster. This kind of eyepiece will also work well in rough weathers.
Waterproofing and fog proofing
Although these features are not present in all spotting scopes, they are essential requirements if you are looking for a quality scope. The waterproofing seal will not only protect the scope from water but also from dust and dirt. This will increase the longevity of the scope.
In addition, the fog proof feature enables you to use the scope where there is fog. If a scope does not have this feature, it is completely unusable in fog-prone areas.
prisms type is another important consideration that you must take into consideration. Most scopes come with prisms that are made from BAK 4 or BK-7 prism. Remember the prisms together with their constituent as well as their arrangement will determine the quality of the image you will get.
For instance, a roof prism system will have all the prisms arranged in a single line behind the objective lenses resulting in a narrow streamlined effect. The Porro prism system is more advanced and has the prisms little displaced from the objective lens, offering a bigger field of view as well as more depth of perception.
Field of view
Field of view refers to the hemispherical area that one can observe at once or in portions through the scope. Ensure that you select a scope that has a wide view that is ideal for fast moving an object and provide a narrower view when you adjust it to higher magnifications.
It goes without saying, brands that have even in the production of the spotting scopes have more experience and a likely to offer quality scopes that those brands that have started manufacturing the scopes. However this is not always the case, make sure that you do proper research on the quality of the materials used to make the scope, as well as the features, installed.
Set your budget
When deciding on which type of scope to purchase, it is very important to make sure that you set a price range. Some of the scopes are quite expensive and offer features that are almost the same with the inexpensive ones. Scopes especially those manufactured by reputable companies tend to be expensive and are not different from those manufactured by upcoming companies. Do proper research before purchasing the scope.
In conclusion, remember to select compact spotting scopes for portability. The scope you select must be small and lightweight. This will make it possible for you to carry it for long distances especially if you are hunting. It is also very important to purchase a scope that is made of quality material so that it can give your quality for an extended period.