Spotting scopes are small and portable telescopes with added optics for better image resolution and clearer picture. Spotting scopes are mainly used in observing things like birds, prey when hunting and in verifying a marksman’s shot from a distance. Most spotting scopes have a magnification power of 20x to 60x.
Spotting Scope and Tripod
Since spotting scopes are meant to be used from a distance and they are often larger than a regular scope, it is also heavier. It means that a tripod is a necessary part of it. Most spotting scope packages come with a tripod, a bonus that someone should be looking if they are buying for the best spotting scope for the money. Being bigger than a regular scope, spotting scopes are highly recommended when stalking a prey or when hunting. With its bigger optics, spotting scope offer wider and clearer image of the target, an ideal tactical accessory when hunting from a distance.
The Top 8 Best Spotting Scopes for the Money
Let us take a look at some of the best spotting scopes for the money that you might want to consider in the market today.
What is the best spotting scope for the money from a world class optic provider like Nikon? The top of the line spotting scope from Nikon is their ProStaff 20-60x82mm Straight Spotting Scope with a price tag of less than $500.
This spotting scope features a sliding sunshade and a vue thru case to protect it when not in use.
This spotting scope has a 20x to 60x magnification power with its 82mm objective lens.
The eyepiece of the ProStaff 20-60x82mm Straight Spotting Scope is permanent but can be zoomed. For this kit, buyers will get lens cover and an eyepiece travel pouch. As compared to other more expensive spotting scopes, most users who now owns a ProStaff 20-60x82mm Straight Spotting Scope proudly says that they made the right call with their spotting scope. This spotting scope weighs 5 pounds.
What is the best spotting scope for the money from the long list of Leupold’s great spotting scopes? The SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope Kit is just one of the great optical products of Leupold but if you are looking for the best spotting scope for the money, this one will do.
For a price of more than $300, this scope is highly durable after going through a nitrogen fill process. The focusing system of this spotting scope is very smooth and easy. When being used in board daylight, you can comfortably use it with its retractable lens shade hence you can reduce the glare of the sun and still sees clearly.
This spotting scope is compatible with digital camera so for those who want to take great pictures of wildlife animals, they can do so now without disturbing the animals.
The Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope Kit offers 15x to 45x magnification power with its 60mm objective lens. This spotting scope has a dimension of 21 x 14.8 x 6.1 inches and weighs 9.4 pounds.
For the best spotting scope for the money from Celestron, the 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope is a great choice indeed. This spotting scope only costs around $200 so if you in a tight budget but you want to invest on a spotting scope, this one is a practical choice to have.
For the 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope, you can choose to have an angled or straight spotting scope for the same price. The lens of this spotting scope is multi-coated and it comes with a sight tube that allows quick targeting like a red dot sight. For the price, you will also get a soft carrying case.
The eyepiece of this spotting scope is permanent and Celestron added zoom eyepiece to make it easier to use for longer distance viewing.
Celestron also offers a lifetime limited warranty for this spotting scope. This spotting scope has a dimension of 6 x 7 x 20 inches and weighs 4.94 pounds.
What is the best spotting scope for the money if you only have a hundred dollar to spare for a spotting scope?
The Tasco Spotting Scope is my answer to this question. The Tasco Spotting Scope is very affordable yet it offers a lot with its stunning HD clarity optics. The lens of this spotting scope is fully coated and is fogproof and waterproof as well.
A complete kit of this spotting scope comes with a tripod and this tripod can be mounted in cars so you can use it when having a long ride in the country. Tasco’s Spotting Scope feature a 20x60x magnification power with its 60mm lens.
The eyepiece has a 45 degree position and this spotting scope only weighs 1.8 pounds. Tasco’s Spotting Scope is highly recommended for bird watching, nature watching and prey stalking.
What is the best spotting scope for the money from Bushnell? The Bushnell Trophy XLT Spotting Scope is one of the best spotting scopes for the money from Bushnell with its quality HD (high density) optics and stunning HD (high density) clarity.
Bushnell assures potential buyers that like aby other Bushnell optic products, this Bushnell Spotting Scope is made of quality materials, tested and passed. The design of this spotting scope is also great while maintaining durability at the same time.
This spotting scope offers a 20 to 60x magnification power with its 65mm objective lens. For its price of little more than $200, this scope has fully multicoated lens for optimum performance. With this lens, you can now use your spotting scope even in low light conditions because it can still deliver bright images and crystal clear target pictures.
The housing of this spotting scope is made of rubber, rugged and proven to last. A complete set of the Bushnell Spotting Scope comes with a hard case and a tripod. This spotting scope has a length of 13.4 inches and weighs 42.3 ounces.
If you are looking for an investment with a friendly budget spotting scope, the Bushnell Spotting Scope is a great choice.
If you are new in the shooting field and you just want to have a spotting scope that you can use anytime, the best spotting scopes for the money that you can get is the Firefield 20 x 50 Spotting Scope. This is one of the cheapest spotting scopes you can find in the market today but since you are just trying it out, spending $50 for this scope is just practical.
In the end, you might want to just use a red dot sight or a scope than a spotting scope so why spend hundreds of dollars for now? The Firefield 20 x 50 Spotting Scope is still a good buy though despite its low price because this comes with multi-coated optics. The lens is a Bak-4 prism and nitrogen purged to make sure that it remains fog and water free inside.
The body of this spotting scope is highly durable as well and for this price, you would be surprise that it comes with a compact tripod. There is also a shoulder strap so you can easily carry your kit when walking. Who knows, in the long run, a Firefield 20 x 50 Spotting Scope is all you need to take down those varmints because you already have the skill to do so.
This spotting scope has a dimension of 6 x 10 x 14 inches and weighs 1.7 pounds. If you are in a tight budget, this can be the best spotting scope for the money that you can have from the market today.
For the best spotting scope for the money, the Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope is highly recommended by most spotting scope reviews. This spotting scope is available in two sizes, one that offers 20x to 60x magnification power on its 60mm lens and one that offers 20x to 60x magnification power on its 80mm lens.
The price for this spotting scope depends on the size and it ranges from $400 to $800.
This spotting scope has a lens that features Dielectric Prism Coatings and XR Anti-Reflective Lens Coatings. With these coatings, this lens can be trusted to do its job even in low light conditions, producing brighter, clearer and more precise images.
This spotting scope is waterproof and fogproof as well and the ArmorTek exterior was added to make it more durable.
This spotting scope features a straight body. The Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope is one of the lightest spotting scopes you can find in the market today at 2 pounds yet the price is not that heavy for a regular firearm enthusiast.
For the best spotting scope for the money from Simmons, the ProSport Spotting Scope for less than $100 is one of the best recommendation I can give.
This affordable spotting scope comes with quality optics of HD clarity and is made of durable and quality marerials. The ProSport Spotting Scope from Simmons has passed all tests that a spotting scope must go through before reaching the market. This spotting scope offers 20x to 60x magnification power with its 600mm objective lens.
The lens is a BK7 prisms and has been fully coated to provide sharper images. The lens of this spotting scope was embodied in a non-slip rubber armor that is shockproof.
This rubber armor is non-slip as well hence you can hold it firmly even when it is raining. Since this is waterproof and fogproof too, you can use this spotting scope outdoors even when the rain is pouring. For this kit, a tripod and a plastic case comes with the spotting scope for free. This spotting scope has a dimension of 17.3 x 8.9 x 6.1 inches and weighs 1.6 ounces.
Advantages of Spotting Scope
The use of spotting scope is limitless hence it is one of the best investments that a hunter and firearm user can do. Spotting scopes are more powerful than binoculars because where your binocular stop working that is the spot where a spotting scope begins its job. Aside from being used as a hunting and bird watching equipment, there are high end spotting scopes that can be used in taking scenic imagery as well. These high end spotting scopes can be attached to compatible cameras to take picture. People in the photography world who captured great images of wildlife animals are using this technique in order to capture great moments without disturbing the animals. Would you like to be able to observe wild animals without disturbing them or making them hunt you down? Do so with the best spotting scope for the money.
Things to Consider in a Spotting Scope
Spotting scopes can be angled and straight. Both spotting scopes work well with any given situation, the option to choose between an angled or a straight often depends on the personal preference of the user. There are unique situations though that might require a hunter an angled or a straight spotting scope. For example, you want to watch a bird flying above you, an angled scope is a lot easier to use in this situation. If you are on top of a mountain, a straight scope is much advisable in viewing something below you.
The measurement of the objective lens is important in a spotting scope. When choosing the best spotting scope for the money, go for quality rather than the price. Larger lens with poor quality might produce large image but blurry ones while smaller lens with better quality might produce small images but are clearer, brighter and with higher resolution.
Magnification power is the capability of the spotting scope to view the target at a given distance. Most spotting scopes can do 30x to 40x magnification power while the most powerful ones can do up to 80x magnification power. Spotting scopes are designed to do these kind of magnification power without affecting the image of the target despite of different factors around you such as the wind, the atmosphere and the humidity.
There are three types of lens coating such as fully coated, multi-coated, or fully multi-coated and the way a lens is coated affect the performance of a specific lens. Lens coating helps in light transmission, allowing the lens to work best even in low light conditions. For the best spotting scope for the money, go for a fully multi-coated lens which is of course more expensive.
When we say eye relief, it is the distance that the user can do from the eyepiece when sighting. The distance of the eyes from the eyepiece can affect the viewer’s view but for premium spotting scopes, a good eye relief means even those who are wearing glasses can still look at their spotting scope without the need to remove their eye glasses. 14mm eye relief is recommended for people with eye glasses.
There are two types of eyepiece, the removable ones and the permanent ones. Those top of the line spotting scopes have removable eyepieces and interchangeable ones to suit every situation. Of course, these are the pricey ones. As for spotting scopes with permanent eyepiece, they offer zoom eyepiece capability allowing the user to change eyepiece settings as needed depending on the situation around them such as the atmosphere level and the strength of the wind.
Have a different budget?
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- What is the best spotting scope under $200?
In finding the best spotting scope for the money, you have to consider a lot of things like the above mentioned items: body, lens, magnification power, eye relief and eyepiece.
Aside from these, you also have to consider the prism type, the materials it is made of and how durable it is (waterproof, fogproof, shockproof). Since spotting scopes are a bit heavier and bigger than a scope, make sure that your chosen spotting scope comes with a tripod.