How to Buy the Best Spotting Scope for the Money
Primarily optimized for terrestrial viewing, a spotting scope is an indispensable instrument for many nature observers, shooters, hunters and avid birdwatchers. With the best spotting scope in your hands to assist you, it becomes possible to view across great distances and notice details that would otherwise not be easily viewed with binoculars.
The best spotting scopes for the money are not designed to be one-size-fits-all instruments. A user’s own priorities define what the best instrument ultimately is for them. These priorities could be as simple as the instrument’s weight. People who are more into taking digital photos through their spotting scope, or seriously want to do more hawk watching and sea watching, which are largely sedentary in nature, will benefit from a large and heavy 77 to 88 mm scope.
For people who want to constantly be on the trail, have small builds or are into following flights of birds for observation, will find smaller 60 to 65 mm scopes more practical. A smaller scope will also fit easily into a carry-on luggage.
Chronicling birds in cold climates will require use of a device with a helical ring focus mechanism that is easily operated using a hand in mittens, than one that comes with a split or smaller coarse and fine adjustment system.
To improve their light transmission capability, spotting scopes have lens coating, and all top quality models use special chemical formulas that vary from one maker to another.
A coated spotting scope just has a single layer of coating, while fully-coated scopes boast a single layer on all of the air-to-glass surfaces. Multicoated scopes have multiple layers on at least one lens plus a single coating on all other surfaces. Fully multi-coated spotting scopes have multiple layers on all of their air-to-glass surfaces.
A larger objective lens allows you to view more detail and to get a better image quality especially when magnification is high. However, the quality of your lens is directly proportional to its expected performance, so you may have a small but quality lens that can outperform a much larger but mediocre quality lens any day. Special quality glass, including Fluorite glass, HD glass, APO glass or ED glass, can also make a difference not only in cost but in image quality compared to standard glass. The best combination: high performance glass coupled with a large, quality objective.
The prism system turns an image right side up when it would simply be upside down. Most optical prisms are manufactured from borosilicate glass (BK-7) or barium crown glass (BAK-4). BAK-4 yields brighter images and superb edge sharpness, being of higher quality.
A roof prism system has the prisms closely overlapping, resulting in a slim, streamlined shape. A Porro prism system generally provides a wider field of view and greater depth perception.
What Are the Best Spotting Scopes for the Money?
It can be difficult to decide on the best spotting scopes for the money considering there are so many choices, brands and models to choose from. The buyer is best advised to do a decent amount of research prior to picking out just one product. Here are three spotting scopes worth checking out.
Boasting Multi-Coated Optics, the Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope is capable of delivering images that are significantly brighter and sharper compared to those obtained through a 60mm scope. This refractor style spotting scope is built with an achromatic objective lens that offers consistently smaller spot sizes and superior images. Enjoy superb light transmission thanks to the multi-layer anti-reflection coatings on the objective lens, along with those on the zoom eyepiece and the premium BAK-4 prisms. Get 77% brighter views via the multi-coated 80mm objective lens, which offers a better performance compared to a 60mm spotting scope.
The built-in zoom lens delivers sharp images ranging from 20X all the way to 60X magnification. The smart, waterproof design is complemented by a padded soft case zippered on both ends to ensure protection of the spotting scope even when mounted on a tripod. Weighing about 3.6 pounds and measuring just over 18 inches long, the Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope has a great sight tube that provides quick targeting. The rubber eyecup is detachable, exposing a standard T-thread through which you can attach a camera to do digi-scoping.
With just a few turns of the focus knob, you can adjust the focus from 27 feet to the horizon.
See the world come alive with the Tasco World Class 20-60×60 Zoom Spotting Scope. This remarkable device is built with a fully coated lens that has all the air-to-glass surfaces coated with a single layer of a special chemical formula. View the world clearly with this fog-resistant instrument that delivers sharp images. The waterproof device also ensures use in rugged conditions so you can take it to your outdoor adventures and not worry about missing anything. The Tasco World Class 20-60×60 Zoom Spotting Scope is designed for optimum use by nature-lovers, birdwatchers and hunters, and simply anyone who wants front row seats to nature’s most spectacular visual wonders.
Watch as the world unfolds virtually before your very eyes with this remarkable spotting scope that lets you get closer without scaring away what you see from a great distance. The spotting scope lets you behold the sights at 20X to 60X with a 45-degree eyepiece that lets you do comfortable observation in a more upright position. To help you enjoy remarkable sighting even when everything gets a bit wild, the Tasco World Class 20-60×60 Zoom Spotting Scope comes with a tripod that also mounts on your vehicle.
Be close while actually staying far with this spotting scope that lets you see more and with a better perspective.
With a zoom magnification ranging from 20X to 60X, the Barska Colorado Series Spotting Scope lets you see everything even from a great distance. Made to be 100 percent fog-proof and waterproof, this spotting scope is the perfect companion for outdoor adventures. The smooth focusing knob brings things into sharp and clear focus. The fully-coated optics comes with a single layer of special coating on all the air-to-glass surfaces. Perfect for naturalists, avid birdwatchers and hunters, the Barska Colorado Series Spotting Scope provides excellent brightness and clarity to ensure optimal viewing.
This spotting scope offers variable 20X to 60X magnification so you can lock on your subject and then proceed to zoom in to enjoy enhanced detail. This spotting scope reveals images in prime contrast, sharp color delineation and vivid resolution thanks to the 60mm objective lens. The spotting scope boasts a rubber armor covering that protects it from harsh weather elements. It even ships with an attached lens cover that provides added protection. The soft carrying case offers even more protection plus easy transportability while the pan-head tripod offers stable viewing from a safe distance.
Covered by a lifetime warranty, this spotting scope offers years of use with its durability, fine craftsmanship and superb customer service from the manufacturer.