A spotting scope actually looks like a regular telescope, only smaller. Some refer to it as a small telescope. There are wide ranges of selection when it comes to spotting scope so if you knew exactly what you will be using it for, it is best to ask your local dealer directly about it. There are spotting scopes for bird watching, spotting scopes for hunting and stalking a prey and spotting scope for astronomy and for scientists.
Angled vs straight spotting scope
The angle of a spotting scope can either be angled or straight. With a straight scope, the eyepieces are parallel while for angled, the eyepiece is offset to two different degrees, 45 or 90 depending on user’s preference. I prefer straight spotting scopes because it keeps my eye on level with my target. Angled scopes on the other hand are useful if you are looking at a target from a different height.
Waterproof or not?
No one would be using a scope under water hence there is no need to use a waterproof scope right? This is true but the thing is, if you are outdoors a lot, there is a tendency that you get exposed to humid and rain and a waterproof spotting might come handy. Most if not all best spotting scope under 500 are waterproof and fogproof hence you can use it anytime, anywhere.
Is weight important?
Spotting scope is meant to be compact in order to make it more effective. You will be using it from time to time to check on your target hence it is best to have it handy, hanging in your neck perhaps. For this reason, weight can be a deciding factor when choosing for the best spotting scope under 500.
The quality of the lens
According to seasoned shooters and spotters, one of the best qualities of a great spotting scope is a lens coated with magnesium fluoride on the surface. This coating helps light transmission when sighting in a low light condition while at the same time, it can reduce glare reflection if you are in a very bright environment. It is also important to get a scope with large exit pupil for better image result. If you can find a spotting scope with extended eye relief, then it will be your bonus. Remember, you are trying to find a spotting scope below $500 hence you cannot expect a lot from it.
5 best spotting scopes under 500
Let us take a look at some of the spotting scopes that you can get if you have $500 to spare.
What is the best spotting scope under 500? If you have this kind of budget and you are looking for the best spotting scope, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 is indeed a legend worth checking for. This spotting scope has 20x to 60x magnification power with its 80mm objective lens. The lens of this spotting scope is made of End Prime low dispersion glass. This spotting scope comes with a 2 speed dual focus control. The entire spotting scope is water repellant with its Rain Guard coating. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 features a Bak-4 prisms that aims to provide clearer, crispier and better image quality regardless of the current position you are in and your distance from your target. Among the other features of this spotting scope are 18mm eye relief, 4mm exit pupil and interchangeable eyepieces. For the field of view, you can get 110 feet @ 1,000 yards at 20x settings and 51 feet @ 1,000 yards at 60x settings. This best spotting scope under 500 from Bushnell weighs 5.1 pounds.
The next item on our spotting scopes under 500 reviews is the Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope Kit. This spotting scope is 100% fogproof and waterproof inside and out. Internally, the Nitrogen Fill Process made sure that no fog, debris or dust can reach the lens. This spotting scope also offers smooth focusing and comes with a Lens Shade to prevent glare. The Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope Kit is compatible with most brands of digital camera so if you want to take pictures while observing wild animals, you can do with this spotting scope. One good thing about this scope is its twist up eyecups as well. This scope features a 20x to 60xmagnification power on its 80mm objective lens. For this kit, you will get an adjustable compact tripod that features a multi-directional tilting head and non-slip feet. You will also get a hard side carrying case, soft case, neoprene strap and lens covers. This spotting scope weighs 10.2 pounds hence a tripod for free is indeed a bonus.
For the best spotting scope under 500, the Vortex Optics DBK-80S1 is one of the options that I can highly recommend. The Vortex Optics DBK-80S1 features a lens with XR Anti Reflective Coatings and Dielectric Coating. This spotting scope features a 20-60x magnification power with its 80mm lens. This comes with a field of view of 105-51 feet/1000 yards and a close focus at 22 feet. The eye relief of this spotting scope is 20-16.5 medical marijuana while the exit pupil is at 4-1.3 medical marijuana. The Vortex Optics DBK-80S1 has a length of 15.7 inches and weighs 47.1 ounces. This spotting scope is from the great line of Vortex DIAMONDBACK series hence you can expect all the best from this item alone. Rugged, durable, performing even in low light conditions – those are just few of the things that the Vortex Optics DBK-80S1 offers!
The Konus 7122 20x-60x100mm Spotting Scope is one of the best spotting scopes under 500 that I can also recommend for shooters and firearm enthusiasts who are looking for a great scope for investment. This spotting scope is compatible with digital cameras hence if you are into spotting and stalking wildlife animals for observation and educational research purposes; this is the best item to have. This spotting scope kit comes with camera adaptor and carrying case but it doesn’t have a tripod. This features a 20x-60x magnification power on its 100mm objective lens. This spotting scope is one of the spotting scopes that you can find with wide objective lens yet it offers great image quality even from a distance. The Konus 7122 20x-60x100mm Spotting Scope has a field of view of 1000M/YDS: 29m /88FT AT 20x magnification power or 15m/44FT AT 60x magnification power. The exit pupil for this spotting scope is 5mm at 20x power and 1.67mm at 60x power setting. The length of the 1.67mm AT 60x is 480mm or 18.8 inches and it weighs 5.3 pounds. For its price, the manufacturer’s promise and its wide objective lens, this is my personal choice in terms of the best spotting scope under 500.
If you are looking for a good spotting scope to invest your $500 with, you won’t run out of good options. So, what is the best spotting scope under 500? One option that you can seriously consider is the Sig Sauer Oscar 5 Spotting Scope. This spotting scope features a BAK4 Prisms and fully multi-coated lenses for clearer and brighter image even at night. This is one spotting scope that you can depend when it comes to being waterproof and fogproof as well. The Sig Sauer Oscar 5 Spotting Scope features a 15-45x magnification power with its 65mm objective lens. The Sig Sauer Oscar 5 Spotting Scope has hdx optical design, a combination of extra-low dispersion glass with high-light transmittance glass allowing users to see their target with maximum clarity, brightness and contrast. The eyepiece of this spotting scope is a zoom type and with just a knob, you can change its settings until you get the best image for your target. This scope weighs 3.2 pounds.
One of the recommendations by most spotting scopes under 500 reviews is to personally select your spotting scope from an outdoor retailer of scopes, binoculars and sights. Visiting such store will expose you to the different available options around you. In addition, once you are there, you can try the spotting scope of your choice first to check how comfortable you will be in using it. Testing a scope first hand is one of the best ways to tell whether a scope will work for you or not. Personally, this is the best way to tell whether you are buying the best spotting scope under 500 that you have chosen.
What if the store doesn’t have what you want?
No worries, there are a lot of online stores (trusted ones) and you can browse from their unlimited selections of spotting scopes. One of the perks of making purchase online is the possibility of discount so do rush in getting a spotting scope for yourself. Remember, there are a lot of options out there; you just have to know what you need and what you want so you can have the best spotting scope under 500.