10 Best Spotting Scopes in 2020 – Reviews

This spotting scope delivers many of the features that are often only found in higher end scopes. It features a 45-degree angled eyepiece that’s extremely comfortable to use and features a fully-coated optical glass lens that delivers high-definition images. This scope uses a BAK4 prism that also allows for clear viewing, even up to law enforcement standards. The scope has an objective diameter of 50mm, a field of view of 52-26M/1000M, it has an exit pupil diameter of 4.1-1.4mm and a focal length of 8m. All of these features make this scope suitable for all kinds of different applications including bird watching, hunting, stargazing, and wildlife photography.

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Buying The Best Spotting Scope

We’ve thought long and hard about the title of this guide before we decided to entitle it “Buying The Best Spotting Scope.” It took us so long to come up with that title because it does sum up what we’re trying to discuss but maybe, it’s not as accurate as it could be. That’s because what constitutes the best spotting scope may change from one person to the next. For example, a person who needs a scope for tactical spotting is going to need one that’s different from someone who needs a scope for bird watching. That’s why we’ve had to give a general overview of what consumers should look for when buying a scope, and try not to get too specific. With that in mind, below is our finished guide on buying the best spotting scope available.

Step One: Decide Between Straight & Angled Scopes

Spotting scopes come in two basic varieties: angled and straight versions. Angled scopes feature an eyepiece that is offset from the scope barrel from 45-degrees up to 90-degrees. On the other hand, straight scopes have the barrel lined up with the eyepiece. Which one should you purchase? Well, it depends. If you intend on looking at your target head-on, then choose a straight scope. If you need to be able to loop up or down at the target, then choose the angled scope.

Step Two: Consider The Scope’s Weight

Spotting scopes come in a variety of different sizes. There are ones that are smaller and others which can be pretty heavy, so it’s important to choose one that you’re going to be comfortable using. If you need to move quickly with the scope or intend on carrying it around a lot in the field, then you may want to choose a lighter scope. However, if it’s going to be used in a stationary position for applications such as a target practice spot, then you don’t have to worry too much about the weight of the scope.

Step Three: Consider A Waterproof Model

Not all spotting scopes are created equally, especially when it comes to waterproofing. You would think that most scopes would be waterproof, but that’s simply not the case. There are a lot of scopes which have to be protected from the elements because condensation will end up building up in the lens, thereby rendering it useless. So, if you intend on spending a lot of time outdoors in various weather conditions, then you are going to want to make sure that the scope you choose is waterproof.

Step Four: Consider A Lens Coating

Some of the best spotting scopes available have lenses that are coated. Coated lenses are optimal for a number of different reasons. They not only reduce glare and eliminates light loss but they also make the image “pop,” meaning that it makes the image brighter. This can help prevent the operator from experiencing eye strain and help them see the target better. The most common lens coating is magnesium fluoride, but there are other coatings that are used for lenses as well.

Step Five: Choose Your Field Of View

Another consideration that needs to be taken seriously is the Field of View or FOV. With a wider FOV, the user is able to keep track of animals or birds that move quickly more efficiently. Therefore, hunters and bird watchers may want to consider getting a scope with the widest field of view possible for best results.

Step Six: Choose A Magnification Level

When it comes to spotting scopes, a larger magnification isn’t always better. That’s because with an increase in magnification there’s an increased probability that there will be color distortion or a loss of definition, especially if the optics aren’t up to par. What’s more important than choosing the scope with the highest magnification level is choosing one that has the “right” magnification level for your purposes. Most scopes are listed with a magnification number that looks like this: 60 x 60 or something similar. When considering the magnification number, keep in mind that the first number represents the actual magnification level of the scope and the second number represents the diameter of the lens. For example, a 40 x 60 magnification level means that the scope is capable of magnifying up to 40-times and the diameter of the lens is 60mm.

Step Seven: Set A Budget

The final thing to consider is how much you want to spend. Spotting scopes can be anywhere from $100 dollars all the way to $2,500 dollars, so it’s important to choose one that falls within your budget. Although it can be tempting to go all out and buy a scope with a ton of features, if you don’t use them, then it’s just a waste of money. It’s important to keep in mind that sometimes less is more.

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