If you have one of these hobbies: bird watching, hunting, or astronomy, you can be interested in spotting scopes. There are 2 body types: angled (have a better setup for digiscoping and the lower tripod height for better stability) and straight (spot targets faster while stalking).
Scopes for birding can be mounted on a tripod and carried over the shoulder, for hunting it’s better to carry it in a lightweight backpack.
Why do we need a spotting scope?
A spotting scope is a handheld powerful telescope with additional optics to provide a straight image while viewing overland objects and some close astronomical ones (spotting scope has less powerful magnification than a telescope, and doesn’t have interchangeable eyepieces). The more objective lens diameter (usually from 2.0 to 3.1 in), the more spotting scope light-gathering power and resolution. Spotting scopes have higher magnification than binos, but they have a smaller viewing field, that’s why it’s not easily follow moving targets or objects. So the spotting scope can be a good idea for hunting on a large game in wide-open fields, assisting long-distance shots; whereas the binocular will be effective in wooded and confined areas. You can use the spotting scope with a digital camera or mobile phone if needed, just line up the scope eyepiece with the camera lens.
Table of Contents
- TOP-20 Spotting Scope for The Money
- #1 Vortex Razor HD 27-60×85 Spotting Scope
- #2 Vortex Razor HD 11-33×50 Spotting Scope
- #3 Celestron 90 mm Maksutov with Tripod
- #4 Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Kit
- #5 Vortex Viper HD 15-45x 65mm Spotting Scope
- #6 Celestron Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope
- #7 Celestron Ultima 80 Spotting Scope
- #8 Redfield Rampage 20-60x80mm Full-Size Spotting Scope Kit
- #9 Bushnell Legend T-Series 15-45x60mm Spotting Scope
- #10 Barska 20-60x60mm Blackhawk Waterproof Spotting Scope
- #11 Pentax PF-80ED-A Spotting Scopes
- #12 Meopta Meopro 80 HD 20-60×80 Spotting Scope
- #13 Barska Gladiator 20-60×90 Waterproof Spotting Scope
- #14 Barska 8-24x58mm Bench Mark DFS Waterproof Spotting Scope
- #15 Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A 15-45x65mm Spotting Scope
- #16 Celestron Ultima 100 Spotting Scope
- #17 Celestron LandScout 10-30x50mm Spotting Scope
- #18 Nikon Prostaff 5 20-60x82mm Zoom Spotting Scope
- #19 Celestron TrailSeeker 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope
- #20 Celestron C5 Spotter 5″ 127mm Spotting Scope Schmidt-Cassegrain
TOP-20 Spotting Scope for The Money
#1 Vortex Razor HD 27-60×85 Spotting Scope
Vortex Razor Porro Prism Spotting Scopes have ED Glass XR fully multi-coated. Ultra-sleek green spotting scopes, with variable 27 – 60 x magnification, are available in 2 body type models: angled and straight. Premium precision-ground HD glass lenses, 85 mm objective diameter, provide color accuracy, razor-sharp, true-to-life viewing. Vortex Razor Spotting Scopes are designed with adjustable twist-up eyecups, helical focus (close one -16.4 ft), built-in sunshade, rotating tripod ring, including such accessories as: lens covers, eyepiece cap, and a view-through case for carrying. Vortex Razor Spotting Scopes are appropriate for target and long-range shooting and nature watching and can be a bit heavy for forest hiking or carrying while hunting.
#2 Vortex Razor HD 11-33×50 Spotting Scope
Vortex Razor Porro Prism spotting scope is compact with 50 mm objective lens, 11 – 33 x variable magnification, and linear view field of 96 – 191 feet at 1000 yds. The Vortex has taken care of dust, moisture, or debris not getting inside the spotting scope, and sealed it with O-rings. No matter whether you wear glasses or not, you’ll be able to conveniently adjust eyecups, folding them up or down. The triplet apochromatic lens ensures high-definition images over the entire viewing field without color fringing, resolution worsens, or color fidelity dilution at longer spotting distances.
#3 Celestron 90 mm Maksutov with Tripod
C90 Mak black Spotting Scope, equipped with 90mm objective lens (with 1250mm focal length), erect image finder scope (8×21), video and photographic tripod, gives stable top-grade optics view for terrestrial or celestial targets, and even dim subjects. This spotting scope is suitable for 100-300yd targets viewing and the moon, or even Saturn’s ring observing. Celestron tripod comes with panhandle control, quick release bracket, and horizontal & vertical bubble level. The Celestron package 52268-OP includes a nylon backpack.
#4 Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Kit
The Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope (67600) is filled with nitrogen to make them proof against shock, water, and fog. This BAK4 prism spotting scope is designed with a matte black finishing polycarbonate body, equipped with fully multi-coated lenses (has retractable lens shade), twist-up eyecup, compact tripod adaptable mount. The Redfield Rampage Spotting Scope has 20x fixed magnification, 60 mm objective lens diameter, linear field of view is 51 – 114 feet at 1000 yards.
#5 Vortex Viper HD 15-45x 65mm Spotting Scope
Vortex Viper HD Spotting Scope has 65mm multi-coated HD premium glass lenses and 15 – 45x magnification, providing clarity and accuracy of viewing images. The compact Vortex Viper HD Spotting Scope can be used for long-distance spotting of the large game: helical-style focusing helps quickly catch the target and always capture all details. This dielectric coating Porro Prism Spotting Scope is represented in green color, equipped with adjustable twist-up eyecups, built-in sunshade, and adaptable tripod.
#6 Celestron Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope
The Celestron Ultima series include Spotting Scope with 80mm objective diameter, the aperture from the 65mm, and 20-60x magnification, ensuring brighter images. The green coating color of durable metal refractor optical tubes helps subtly observe in the natural environment.
#7 Celestron Ultima 80 Spotting Scope
The Celestron guarantees that portable multi-coated lenses Spotting Scope has a reliable light gathering ability. 20-60x zoom 45-degree angled eyepiece makes viewing of birds, other targets, and even the moon, comfy. Rubber armored coating provides refactored-design optics with durability. Celestron photographic & video tripod (27 inches folded height) comes with a fast release plate on the 3-way pan head, 2-position bubble level, 90-degree vertical platform, and a column with geared elevator and adjustable tension.
#8 Redfield Rampage 20-60x80mm Full-Size Spotting Scope Kit
The Redfield Rampage BAK-4 Prism 80mm full-size angled Spotting Scope with a magnification range from 20x to 60x and well-balanced field-of-view comes with a tripod, a soft storage view-thru case with a strap, lens covers for objective & eyepiece. The standard 1/4-20 thread tripod adapter port can be installed on any standard window or tripod mount to get more stable long-range spotting.
#9 Bushnell Legend T-Series 15-45x60mm Spotting Scope
A Mil-Hash reticle is joined to a Mil-Base riflescope reticle to speed up the zeroing process in the Bushnell Legend Tactical Spotting Scope. PC3 Phase lens coatings improve resolution and contrast, optics that are fully multi-coated for anti-reflection. This Bushnell Spotting Scope comes with the necessary mounts to fix extra riflescopes, lights, or other accessories. The Spotting Scope body has matte finishing in Flat Dark Earth color, equipped with 60 mm objective lens diameter, giving 15 – 45 x magnification.
#10 Barska 20-60x60mm Blackhawk Waterproof Spotting Scope
Barska offers 3 models of 20-60x60mm Black-Hawk Waterproof Spotting Scopes: the first two comes with a green finishing body and a hard case, they differ by the scope body type and linear view field (one is angled with 45 – 91 ft at 1000 yds, another is straight with 15 – 45 ft at 1000 yds); the third model has Mossy Oak, Break-Up Camo finishing casing with soft and hard cases, it’s straight with linear view field of 15 – 45 ft at 1000 yds. These multi-coated optics Spotting Scopes have a 60 mm objective lens, 20 – 60 x variable zoom magnification, providing bright and crisp clear images in low-light conditions and fixation on the subject in detail.
#11 Pentax PF-80ED-A Spotting Scopes
Angled Spotting Scope black housing is equipped with a brand renowned original Pentax 70509 20X-60X SMC Zoom Eyepiece with 80 mm objective lens. Magnesium-alloy body is sturdy and shock-resistant for internal parts, and not heavy.
#12 Meopta Meopro 80 HD 20-60×80 Spotting Scope
A large fluoride objective lens of Meopta Meopro 80 HD Spotting Scope gives high resolution, vivid colors, excluding any chromatic aberrations or color fringing. The integrated 20x – 60x eyepiece ensures distant objects’ sharp clarity and edge-to-edge sharpness. This spotting scope is compatible with the Meopta MeoPix iScoping Adapter for iPhone (57mm), letting you take quality long-distance photos.
#13 Barska Gladiator 20-60×90 Waterproof Spotting Scope
Barska Gladiator Straight Spotting Scope has multi-coated optics with 20-60x Zoom and 90mm objective, improving light transmission and giving higher-ranking clarity and brightness. This Zoom Spotting Scope is appropriate for big game hunting and spotting at a long distance. O-ring sealed makes spotting scope waterproof and dry nitrogen-purged prevents moisture damage, fogging, and clouding. The Barska Gladiator Spotting Scope is equipped with a micro-adjustable tripod with a standard mount and carrying case.
#14 Barska 8-24x58mm Bench Mark DFS Waterproof Spotting Scope
The Barska Bench Mark DFS Waterproof Spotting Scope AD10786 with fully coated optics, having 8-24x magnification, and 58mm objective lens, will fit nature researchers, hunters, or shooters. Barska has implemented a cutting-edge Dynamic Focusing System that helps the center by turning the objective lens. This Porro Prism Spotting Scope comes with a compact pan-head tripod, including ACCU grip manual mount and protective carrying bag.
#15 Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A 15-45x65mm Spotting Scope
The Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled-Body Spotting Scope is produced with a 65mm objective lens and 15-45x zoom magnification, fully multi-coated lenses (improves light transmission), made of ED glass shows the images without color fringing and gives realistic color rendition. The Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Spotting Scope is equipped with other important parts such as an integral sunshade (excludes glare in direct sunlight), an extendable rubber covered eyecups, the eye relief option even at the highest zoom settings, an aluminum tripod with a universal mounting plate on the tripod head, and a carrying padded raincoat with strap.
#16 Celestron Ultima 100 Spotting Scope
Celestron Ultima 100 is a 100 mm Refractor Spotting Scope with multi-coated optics of 22-66x zoom magnification, 45-degree viewing angle, and function of initial subject location just by having a glance. Rubber armored angled-body in green color is waterproof, is set with a soft carrying case. This scope in its price range is better than others: quite clear images at a short distance, but not sharp on high power.
#17 Celestron LandScout 10-30x50mm Spotting Scope
Celestron LandScout Spotting Scope is a fully coated optics that transforms light transmission for bright and sharp viewing. Celestron LandScout is a portable Spotting Scope that can accompany you to any excursion, nature observing, or to the firing field. Rotating tripod mount allows setting the eyepiece in the most appropriate viewing position. 10-30x Zoom Eyepiece provides general or detailed up-close viewing while this magnification range.
#18 Nikon Prostaff 5 20-60x82mm Zoom Spotting Scope
Nikon declares that Prostaff 5 Spotting Scope is 20% lighter than the current models, and has minimal color aberration at the field view edges. An 82mm objective lens with a zoom eyepiece lens ensures long eye relief and a bright view field. The digiscoping mount is compatible with COOLPIX-series compact digital cameras with an FSB-series Digital Camera Bracket, although, due to two screw mounting holes on the main scope body, the scope can be fixed on the tripod even without this a digiscoping system.
#19 Celestron TrailSeeker 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope
Celestron TrailSeeker Spotting Scope with the 80 mm objective of 20-60x zoom magnification allows to focus quickly on a subject, then fine-tune the image with a dual focus mechanism. Celestron TrailSeeker Spotting Scope is compatible with Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adapter that takes photos and video through the eyepiece. Celestron TrailSeeker Fluid Pan sturdy aluminum Tripod has four-section legs and a tripod case with shoulder strap.
#20 Celestron C5 Spotter 5″ 127mm Spotting Scope Schmidt-Cassegrain
Celestron C5 Spotter 127mm Spotting Scope has 5″ Schmidt-Cassegrain Optical Design with StarBright multi-coating and 25mm (50x) eyepiece of 45° erect image diagonal and 8×20 straight-image finderscope.
Spotting scope magnification can be classified into 5 levels: up to 100 yards, over 100, 300, 400, and over 500 respectively (the last is mostly needed for judging air). The middle level of spotting scopes has a 50mm to 80mm objective lens and magnification from 15x to 60x; more powerful spotting scopes with higher magnification (over 60x) and objective lens to 90mm and up. The better spotting scope quality, including precise clearness and sharp image, the more expensive price for it. Keep in mind that a cheap spotting scope can be less effective than binoculars.
#11 Pentax PF-80ED-A Spotting Scopes – Angled lightweight Spotting Scope has 20X-60X SMC Zoom Eyepiece with 80 mm objective lens. It’s a good choice in its price range and with reliable quality.
#3 Celestron 90 mm Maksutov – Celestron C90 Mak Spotting Scope has 90mm objective, 32mm eyepiece with 39x-magnification. These features make viewing clear at 100-300yards distance, and enough to see the moon and even Saturn’s ring observing.