Love observing nature? Or gazing at the stars in the night sky? Or perhaps indulge in some adventurous hunting? A spotting scope is the best gift you can give yourself or someone with similar interests.

What Are Spotted Scopes?

Spotting scopes are a compact version of high-quality telescopes with special optics that produce erect images. They are much like binoculars but with a longer range except for the fact that they have a single lens whereas binoculars have double. Nevertheless, spotting scopes offer a much higher range of magnifications in the same price range so they are an upgrade.

Who Uses Spotted Scopes?

It is for anyone who has a keen interest in observing far off things like bird watchers, hikers, hunters, target shooters, sailor, wildlife photographers, and celestial photographers, and so on. It can also be used for surveillance and security purposes.

 What Are The Things To Consider While Getting A Spotting Scope?

The first step to buy a spotting scope is to determine your purpose. To choose the one best suited, you would want to go through the features that make sense to you. Below are some of the things you should look up to.

Portability & Stability:

Though spotted scopes are meant to be portable, it can still be a task to carry them around especially if you are passing a rough terrain.  Because they should always be placed on a tripod to provide stable images. Due to high magnification, even the smallest of jerk can disorient your view. Here, focus more on the tripod quality. A smaller pod is easier to carry.

Eye Relief:

This denotes the minimum distance between your eyes and the eyepiece required to get a clear view. Especially if you wear specs, this is an important feature. 14mm is the minimum requirement. Higher the number, better it is.


The body comes in two variants, it is either straight (the body in a straight plane as eyepiece) or angled at 45 degrees. The angled one is built for providing more comfort when the observer is in a resting position. Also, the lens coating is an important factor.  The multi-layer coating is better than a single layer as they efficiently reduce glare and brighten up the image. The price also goes accordingly.

Lens diameter & magnification:

Aim for a bigger objective lens for a better quality of images since they will have a bigger aperture providing higher magnification capability. A 60x magnification with 80mm aperture is a great one. Although magnification can be adjusted to a certain range say 20x to 60x. They also perform well in low light. But the field of view (f.o.v) may reduce which is essential for wildlife spotting.  Also, they add to the weight of the scope.


This comes in 3 variants- the single knob for more precise views but usually slow, a double knob for quick focusing but not as precise as single knob and helical system for quick focus change. Go for the one you prefer. There’s no best of three.

The glass of Objective lens:

There are usually four types- ED, HD, Apochromatic, and Fluorite glass. They notch up the price as they provide precession and sharpness to the image and reduce strain on eyes.

Spotting scopes come in a wide range of prices depending on its functionality and advancement. If you are planning to get it only for a fun activity then you might choose from the lower range although the image quality will greatly differ. They would still be better than a lot of binoculars. Some best spotting scopes are picked up based on user reviews here Go check them out.