Buying the best one possible should be the goal of anyone who is looking to buy a spotting scope. It doesn’t matter if they intend on using it for tactical ranging, target shooting, hunting or bird watching, buying the best model available is imperative. After all, no one wants to go out in the wilderness and have to deal with a substandard scope.
Finding the best one available isn’t always an easy task for the consumer, however. There are a lot of brands to consider and an even wider number of features. That’s why we’ve done the work for our readers and have found the best scopes around. The following scopes are designed to give the operator the power and the features they need to succeed.
Best Spotting Scopes – Reviews
10Redfield Rampage 20 Angled Scope
Designed to withstand the elements and to be used primarily outdoors, the Redfield Rampage 20 is a spotting scope that’s ideal for hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. It has a durable nitrogen-filled polycarbonate housing that keeps it extremely lightweight but helps to protect it from the rain. It also has a rubber armor and ridges on it that makes mounting it extremely easy, even in tough winter conditions. Additional features found on this durable scope include a 20 to 60x magnification and an 80mm objective, a 17mm eye relief, retractable lens shade, fully coated optics, a 45-degree angled eyepiece, and a twist-up eyecup.
9Konus 20x-60x80mm 7120 Scope
This scope is designed to be useful for anyone who needs an outdoor scope. It’s useful for shooting wildlife photos, watching birds or for hunting and is built to withstand the elements. This model is not only shock resistant but is also resistant to fog and rain, too. It’s made using high-quality optics and has a 157.2-foot field of view at 1,000 yards. This scope also has a 2.9mm exit pupil, a 20x to 60x magnification level and an 80mm objective lens. This scope is 16.8-inches long and weighs around 54.7-ounces, so it’s pretty easy to carry out in the field where it’s needed.
8Celestron Ultima Zoom Scope
Utilizing a 45-degree viewing angle and equipped with a multi-coated lens, this scope is ideal for a variety of applications. Its sight tube allows for quick targeting of quick moving animals or birds, and it has a 100mm refractor. It’s equipped with a 22x to 66x zoom eyepiece, and the whole scope is waterproof so it can be used in a variety of weather conditions. Other features found on this scope include an 18mm eye relief, a folding eyecup, a 33-foot close focus distance, 94-52 field of view and a T-mount adapter. All of which gives the operator what they need to shoot their favorite game.
7Vortex Optics Diamondback Scope
Unlike other lesser quality scopes, the Vortex Optics Diamondback is ready to be used out in the wild. It’s completely O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, so its’ not only fog-proof but also waterproof as well. It’s also equipped with a rubber armor that makes it extremely durable in all weather conditions and is easier for the operator to grip. Its 20-60×60 magnification gives the user a great way to view the wild game, photographic subjects or anything else they’re watching. It features a twist-and-lock collar that allows it to be scoped in various positions and it has eyecup twists that are easy to use and comfortable.
6Gosky Angled Scope With Tripod
This angled scope is great for just about any hunting or wildlife photography shoot. It has a 20 to 60 magnification level, and it has an 80mm objective lens that’s been multi-coated so that it provides a great view of the target. This lens provides a field of view of 82.9-48-feet @ 1,000 yards and delivers crystal clear images. This scope is designed with a magnalium framework that’s rubber coated and that allows it to withstand tough weather conditions. And since this scope is fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof, there’s no natural environment where it can’t be used with great success.
5Celestron C90 52268 Black Scope
Probably the greatest thing about this spotting scope is that it’s extremely versatile. It has a dovetail rail and a 1/4 threaded mounting port that allows it to be easily mounted on a camera or astronomical tripods. It also features a T-mount adapter that allows DSLR cameras to be connected to it as well. This scope also has a compact design that allows it to be taken just about anywhere it’s needed. Other features found on this scope includes a 32mm eyepiece, a diagonal 8x21mm image finderscope, the ability to accept a variety of 1.25-inch eyepieces to increase magnification levels and a backpack for carrying.
4Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Scope
Not only does this angled scope have a tripod for keeping it steady, but it also has the features that hunters and nature watchers need to get the perfect line of sight. This scope has a field of view of 39-19m/1000m, has a fully-coated lens and a BAK4 roof prism that helps to deliver bright, clear images. It’s capable of delivering high-contrast images to the operator, even when it’s used in lower light conditions. This scope is not only rainproof but also fog proof as well so that the operator can capture their shot no matter what weather they encounter. And since it has a rubber armor, it’s able to hold up to off-grid conditions.
3Vortex Razor HD Scope
Although the price of this scope may keep it out of the reach of many people, it’s high-quality design is likely to make it a preferred choice among professional spotters. That’s because this angled scope has a ton of features which makes it useful just about anywhere. It features a multi-coated lens that delivers the maximum brightness possible and with also the highest level of light transmission. This allows this scope to deliver high-definition images to the operator, even in lower light conditions. Other features found on this product include a Porro prism, a triplet Apochromatic lens, and an objective lens cover.
2Huicocy 20-60x60mm Fogproof Scope
This spotting scope features a 60mm objective lens that’s multi-coated to deliver the best viewing results possible. This scope has a field of view of 39-19m/1000m and has a magnification level of 20x to 60x power. Since it has a 45-degree angled eyepiece, it also allows the operator to view their subject comfortably. This powerful scope is ideal for the shooting range because it’s capable of allowing the user to view bullet holes in the targets at a range of up to 350-yards without a problem. This scope also comes with a table tripod and phone mount kit, so the operator can get the most use out of it as possible.
1Roxant Blackbird HD Scope With Zoom
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.