Best Spotting Scope 2018 With Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
This article distinguished the key features describing to us what is the best spotting scope. Whether you enjoy the outdoors, stargazing, spotting wildlife, or are a fan of camping, hiking, target shooting, hunting, law enforcement, or surveillance, you will need a scope that delivers. Selecting a worthwhile spotting scope is a truly challenging task as this optical device involves a number of key elements. And each of them matters.
This buyer’s guide explains the optimal parameters and their differences. The brand is important, but not the determining factor. The price range varies from $100 to $200 and above. However, you can find a decent sample both at a budget-saving and a premium-class price. So, let us start our better spotting scopes review.
Different Types of Spotting Scopes:
There are so many specifications regarding various parts of this complex optical device. The spotting scope may be angled or straight, compact or full-sized, it may differ depending on the prism category, the diameter of objective lens, the level of magnification and definition, the width of the field of view, the type of coating of the optics, the type of focusing system, the level of protection from water and fog, the completeness of package offered, etc. Even after looking through dozens of the best spotting scope reviews, you can still have some doubts and unanswered questions, but we will do our best to reveal the most important features and the optimal parameters.
There are so many manufacturers that produce or resell the good spotting scopes. There are such known brands with extended product lines as Nikon, Trinity, Bushnell, Celestron, Leupold, BOSMA, Millett, Trijicon, Swarovski, Vortex Optics, Optik, Kowa. It is understood that any producer has more and less successful models, so we would not recommend you to be guided by a brand’s fame only. However, a well-known manufacturer is a kind of a key to carefully selected quality materials and precise assembly. In our review, we were eager to show both recognized and less popular brands producing optical equipment in order to give the more comprehensive and fair description of today’s market.
Best Spotting Scope:
1. 20x-60x 60AE Waterproof 45-Degrees Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod by Emarth
This is the best spotting scope which was developed with the traveller in mind. Being fog and waterproof, ergonomically designed, usable, compact, and portable, this model is a perfect fit for various outdoor activities. The unit measures 350 by 100 by 75 mm and weighs 640g, so you can carry it along with a tripod in a carrying bag hassle-free. The shock-absorbing rubber armor and sealing elements provide the enhanced handling, maximum protection, and great performance in any weather conditions.
The supreme quality of the optical elements involves the dynamic lens centered focusing system, a large 60-mm objective lens, and the superior BK-7 prism, all the optics is fully multi-coated. All these benefits result in revealing you Images with increased brightness and clarity, shown in vivid color, optimum contrast, with sharp resolution and high transmission.
The facility of this affordable spotting scope allows you to enjoy the variable 20x to 60x magnification with a 39-19m/1,000m field of view. The eyepiece diameter is 16 mm and the eye relief is 17-13.5 mm, so glass-wearers may use it easily. Lifetime money back guarantee and lifetime warranty ensure the incredible stability and durability of this product.
2. 20x-60x 80 Porro Prism Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod and Digiscoping Phone Adapter by Gosky
The second best among the very good spotting scopes is this robust unit, offered at a reasonable price. This model features the super large 80-mm objective lens, fully multi-coated with green film as well as other key optical elements. The BAK-4 prism delivers 20x to 60x variable magnification and just an 18-feet close focus distance.
The advanced dynamic lens focusing system promotes easy zooming in on a target. You can expect the field of view equal to 115.2 feet/ 1,000 yards at 20x and 57.6 feet/1,000 yards at 60x magnification. Due to a sturdy Magnalium frame covered tightly with rubber armor, you can be sure of the durability and living waterproof function of this device. The big 20-mm eyepiece diameter and a digiscoping cell phone adapter attached to this product allow taking fascinating photos and videos of a distant world.
This unit is not as lightweight as the previous one, its weight is 1230g and dimensions are 450 by 170 by 110 mm. Nevertheless, the purchase comes with a short metal tablet tripod for use on a flat surface, a carrying case, protective covers, and handy straps. You can also rely on a 1-year free exchange warranty offering the hassle-free refund or replace.
3. 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope by Celestron
This unit with a large achromatic 80-mm objective lens can offer you the noticeably brighter and sharper images than other entry-level spotters and it comes for a reasonable price. This refractor style spotting scope is supplemented by multi-layer anti-reflection coatings on all the optical elements, including an objective lens, zoom eyepiece and the BAK-4 prism. Aligned with a built-in zoom lens, these elements ensure much brighter and sharper images with a magnification varying from 20x to 60x times.
The blue fringing typical for an achromatic lens is completely eliminated at 20x magnification. The focusing in is a breeze with just a few turns of the focus knob allowing you to observe the whole 2-degree field of view at 20x magnification. This angled spotting scope measures 6 by 7 by 18 inches and weighs about 4 pounds.
What is the best spotting scope? For many people it is the one with 45-degree angled eyepiece and detachable rubber eye-cup, and, thus, the possibility to affix a camera and use a shorter tripod for viewing or taking pictures. This one additionally features a sleek, waterproof design and soft protective case with zippers on both ends for the superior durability.
4. Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope with Tripod by ROXANT
This product combines the high-definition military-grade optical glass, the superior quality BAK-4 prism, fully multi-coated lenses, and an affordable price to provide you the excellent light transmission and pure colored, crystal clear images suitable even for law enforcement applications. Its 50-mm objective lens allows a wide angle of view (the field of view varies between 52m – 26m / 1,000m) and the 45-degree angled eyepiece brings the ultimate comfort of viewing.
The BAK4-class prism provides true zooming from 20x to 36x and 8-m minimal focal length. The dimensions of this unit are 232 by 135 by 78 mm, so it perfectly pairs with a handheld, foldable tripod and carrying case, which makes this spotting scope a practical, convenient, portable optical device with a versatile use. The exterior of this product is as durable and well-thought-out as the internal parts.
The firm non-slip rubber armor, a large, easy adjustable textured focus ring, and a comfortable molded grip are essential in an all-conditions use, as well as the other benefits such as a retractable eyepiece, extendable built-in sunshade on the main barrel. A lifetime support offered is a kind of icing on the cake of this worthy unit.
5. 20x-60x 80 Prism Waterproof Spotting Scope with Tripod and Digiscoping Adapter by landove
This medium-priced model is another very best spotting scope in our list. It features the dynamic lens focusing and large focus wheel for quick and precise adjustment, also the fully coated optics, an 80-mm objective lens, BAK-4 prism, and variable 20x to 60x magnification for the crisp, clear, contrast-rich and bright viewing. Other specifications include a 20-mm eyepiece diameter, the 6-m near focus, a large eye relief, and the acceptable total weight not exceeding 4 pounds.
Besides, the body of this device comprises a sturdy metal and shockproof and anti-skid rubber armor, complemented with the special water- and fog proof seal and Nitrogen filling. This all-weather conditions spotting scope comes with a usable tripod, universal cell phone adapter, and some other necessary small things for comfortable and safe viewing and clip/picture making. This unit perfectly combines the great optical performance, portability, and value.
6. Vortex 20x-60x 85 Razor HD Waterproof Spotting Scope by Vortex Optics
We will complement our best spotting scope reviews with a description of this worthwhile unit from a known manufacturer. Although it is times more expensive, it offers the ultimate quality and performance. This unit offers 20x to 60x magnification, while the largest 85-mm objective lens and Porro prism provide the wider field of view and the clearer view. The built-in sunshade, a zoom eyepiece, and a dual focus knob promote more comfortable use.
The premium quality, high-density extra-low dispersion glass, and the dielectric prism coatings aid in delivering the perfect resolution, the clearest, and the most color accurate image. In addition, the proprietary anti-reflective coating improves light transmission for the maximum brightness. The O-ring seal and Argon gas purge preserve damage from water and fog, while the ultra-hard coating of exterior lens protects them from dirt and scratches.
7. 15x-45x 60 Porro Prism Waterproof Spotting Scope with Tripod and Digiscoping Adapter by Gosky
This compact yet powerful spotting scope belongs to a medium price range and features 15x to 45x magnification and the dynamic lens focusing system. The large 60-mm objective lens, fully coated with a green film, is coupled by a quality prism and eyepiece for a crisp, bright and clear image. The sturdy Magnalium framework and shockproof rubber armor guarantee the protection and durability of this model.
The special O-ring securely seals the key elements of a spotting scope from moisture and dust, the nitrogen gas purging additionally increases the waterproof feature. This unit comes with an eyepiece shield that can be stretched out in order to prevent the eyepiece from possible damage. The digiscoping cell phone adapter, offered with this purchase, will enable you to take videos or images effortlessly.
8. 20×60 Angled Waterproof Portable High Powered Spotting Scope with Tripod for Target Shooting, Archery, Outdoor Activities by OXA
This budget-saving purchase yet offers a great performance, promoted by a variable 20x magnification, a 60-mm object lens, and the dynamic lens focusing system. The angled spotting scope facilitates focusing on target while the quality BK-7 prism with fully multi-coated optics provides a high light transmission, increased clarity and brightness.
The case comprises a durable frame, shock-absorbent and non-skid rubber armor, special tight-fitting sealing elements, and an additional eyepiece shield to cover the eyepiece. This very best spotting scope ensures the living water- and fog proof functions and, thus, resistance to the toughest weather conditions. This product entices you with a 30-day money back guarantee, a 12-month warranty, and a lifetime support service.
9. 20x-60x 60AE Zoom Monocular Telescope with 45-Degree Angled Eyepiece and Tripod for Bird Watching by Feyachi
This super affordable model allows adjusting the magnifying glass and the focus knob in order to get a crisp and bright image with a variable 20x to 60x magnification. The large 60-mm objective lens and fully coated optics promote a perfect targeting when general observation or hunting.
The tripod with a lowered mounting height provides a better wind stability permitting a comfortable glassing for extended periods of time. The case of this spotting scope is securely sealed for totally waterproof and fog proof properties and covered with shock-absorbing rubber armor. This durable unit is also furnished with a glare-reducing sunshade for your optimal viewing in any weather conditions, on both sunny and rainy days.
10. Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope 20-60X60AE with Tripod by Enkeeo
This medium-level-priced unit offers the magnification varies from 20x to 60x times. The 60-mm objective lens provides the wide field of view of 14 feet at 1,000 yards. The aluminum alloy body with shock-absorbing soft rubber armor is coupled by the BAK-4 prism and fully multi-coated optics. So this is a durable device that delivers the clear and bright image.
This one of the good spotting scopes is user-friendly and very adjustable, as it is fitted with 45-degree angled eyepiece, twist-up sunshade, a wide 19.5mm eye relief, a tripod, and a rotating ring. So you will observe your targets from a stable base, at any angle, adjusting the view easily with the focus knob and a zoom ring. The water- and fog proof construction protects this unit from any weather conditions. Special safety wrap of the body and its lightweight, portable design make this model a good choice for bird watchers, target shooters, and hunters.
Our collection of the best spotting scope reviews will not be comprehensive without a description of main points to look for. First things first, we should mention that concerning spotting scopes, more powerful is not necessarily better, as many beginners believe.
You should keep in mind that the larger the definition claimed, the more loss of definition and color distortion you may have. So choose the level of magnification you truly need and not the biggest available, because a magnification itself, without a decent definition, is useless. That is why the better optics is the key element of an optimal image.
Select the units with the superior quality prisms and lenses, preferably fully multi-coated. The most advanced prisms belong to BAK-4 and BK-7 categories. The coating film promotes the anti-reflective action and a better light transmission. Put some attention on the field of view, which is the width of a horizon seen from 1,000 yards. And, in this case, the more the better, the wider view you will see.
A big, easy-to-operate focus ring and a 45-degree angled eyepiece deliver a more comfortable viewing. Additional benefits you will appreciate are an expandable sunshade for preventing sun glare, a retractable eyepiece for the possibility to use the spotting scope with and without glasses, a foldable tripod for a stable performance, and a digiscoping phone adapter for making videos and images of a distant world. These are features you’ll wish you had.
Obviously, the lasting lifespan of an optical device depends on sturdy case material, reliable sealing, rubber armor, and gas fill. These elements provide living waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof properties, thus, a durability of a device.
When your life is closely linked with outdoor activities, you need only best products to be confident and safe. Knowing what is the best spotting scope, you can pick one that perfectly fits your particular needs and is suitable for your budget. Obtaining such an ideal spotting scope will bring you enjoyment and delight of a quality, convenient viewing in all weather conditions that will last so long. Therefore, do not delay a selection of your best spotting scope and appreciate a truly optimal performance of a decent device.