The best spotting scopes
The next time you plan to go hunting, bird watching or hiking, consider taking a spyglass with you. With a higher magnification, this type of monocular is much more powerful than a pair of conventional binoculars. In fact, a spotting scope can be a good compromise between a telescope and binoculars. It is very well suited to observe subjects over a long distance.
Nevertheless, it is not enough to buy the first product that interests you on the market, there are many factors to take into account.
In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about finding the right spotting scope for your situation and budget.
Table of contents
- 1 How to choose the best spotting scopes?
- 1.1 1. The magnification
- 1.2 2. The size of the lenses
- 1.3 3. The ocular clearance
- 1.4 4. The tripod
- 1.5 The different types of spotting scopes
- 1.6 What type of lenses should I choose for my spotting scopes?
- 2 Our best selection
How to choose the best spotting scopes?
Here are the factors you should consider before buying your device.
1. The magnification
When using a spotting scope, it can be difficult to get the right magnification. Many people think that the higher the magnification, the better the long view. To tell the truth, this is still not the case. It all depends on your field of vision! And unfortunately the latter will be more or less narrow on a long view at high magnification.
In general, most spotting scopes have a magnification of 15x to 60x. Beyond this threshold, you fall into the category of telescopes. If you plan to use your camera to look at larger landscapes, opt for lower magnification models.
2. The size of the lenses
As for the magnification, it will be necessary to take care to choose the good size of the objectives. If it is too large, your spotting scope will catch too much light and the images tend to be blurry. If the diameter of the lens is too small, the image is dark. The ideal diameter is between 50 and 80 mm.
You can take larger lenses, but they are not likely to add quality to your image… unless it’s for stargazing.
Just as with a pair of binoculars, remember that larger lenses also mean a heavier spotting scope. If you’re going to take your spotting scope a long way, look for a smaller size.
3. The ocular clearance
Another factor to consider is eye clearance, especially if you wear glasses. It is indeed quite unpleasant to have to constantly remove your glasses every time you intend to look through your telescope. That’s why you should look for a product that offers good eye clearance. We recommend a clearance ofat least 14 mm but ideally 17 mm.
4. The tripod
The high magnification of a spotting scope can cause instability of the observed image, due to the shaking of your hands or a gust of wind. To benefit from a more “stable” vision, it is therefore advisable to always put your camera on a tripod.
If you are using a straight spotting scope, an adjustable tripod may be a solution for you. For an angled spotting scope, choose a compact tripod, because in all cases, you will have to bend over to look into your monocular.
These are usually the most important features to consider before buying. Now we will introduce you to the different types of spotting scopes so that you have another method of choosing.
The different types of spotting scopes
As the name suggests, this is a large model. That said, it also has excellent performance. A giant spyglass has a diameter of more than 10 cm. This type of spotting scope is often used in digiscoping. It is a discipline where you take pictures with a digital camera, but using the spotting scope as a zoom.
Standard spotting scope
With a magnification of about 50x and also a diameter of 8 cm, this type of spotting scope is the most coveted on the market. The results obtained are satisfactory. On the other hand, the transportation of this kind of material is always a problem.
Compact spotting scope
These are spotting scopes with a maximum magnification factor of 40x. In addition, they have a diameter of about 6 – 6.5 cm.
Everything is already said in its name. As far as characteristics are concerned, a dwarf spotting scope never exceeds a magnification of 30x and a diameter of 6 cm.
Astronomical or terrestrial spotting scope?
The difference between these two models is in the prism system. Astronomical telescopes bring out inverted images, but of better quality. Focusing systems are usually located outside. On the other hand, all the mechanisms are inside the device for terrestrial scopes.
Angled or straight spotting scope?
Choosing between these two models poses many problems for spotters. To put it simply, we advise you to choose an angled spotting scope for long term observations. However, a straight spotting scope is perfect if you travel frequently and over a long distance.
What type of lenses should I choose for my spotting scopes?
Currently, most spotting scopes on the market are equipped with special lenses. You will find the mention ED or HD. Be aware that the special lenses really stand out from the regular lenses when zooming in or using the scope in a low light area.
But under normal observation conditions, there is nothing to differentiate between classic and special lenses.
Our best selection
Svbony SV28 25-75×70
We will start with this Svbony 25-75×70. As you can see, this monocular has a magnification of 25x to 75x. This variable magnification allows you to have a wide field of vision. The 70mm lens captures the maximum amount of light to give you crisp, clear images. The lens transmits 99% of the light it captures because the BaK-4 lenses are coated with a multi-layer green film.
You will find the focus wheel on the body of the camera. The focusing distance is about 8 m. This monocular is also filled with nitrogen. This feature makes it effective even in bad weather conditions. Moreover, it is also waterproof.
The Svbony brand also delivers with this model a desktop tripod for your observations over a long distance. Finally, we also deliver a telephone adapter. It is compatible with all smartphones with a width between 55 and 100 mm. You can take as many videos and photos as you want and then share them with your friends.
You can take this Svbony SV 28 anywhere, as it weighs only 905 g with a size of 33 x 13 x 8.3 cm. In addition, it already comes with a case.
ESSLNB Long Range Scopes 25-75X70
This is a perfect spotting scope for bird watching, sport shooting, wildlife observation, etc. Its 70mm lens is equipped with a green multi-layer film. This coating acts as an anti-reflective coating. As a result, it allows a large amount of light to pass through, which means that the images obtained are of excellent quality, even in a low-light environment. In addition, the prisms are made of BaK-4 glass.
The adjustable zoom between 25x and 75x also allows you to see subjects up to 1000 meters away. The angle of inclination of the eyepiece is 45°. You can change the viewing position with an adjustment knob.
The body of this ESSLNB spotting scope is covered with rubber. Therefore, it is shock resistant. The brand delivers with this model a tripod adjustable to 360 ° in horizontal and 180 ° in vertical. You will also benefit from a phone adapter to take pictures or videos.
In short, this spotting scope has a remarkable quality for its price.
Celestron 52223 Zoom 60 mm
The following spotting scope is much more suitable for people who travel from time to time. In fact, it comes in a high quality hard case. The device will never be damaged inside its case. But the spyglass itself is already very robust.
Regarding the technical characteristics, it is first equipped with a variable magnification between 20x and 60x. Its lens is coated with multi-layer film. The folding eyecup allows eyeglass wearers to use the camera with complete peace of mind. Finally, we find on its body a large focusing wheel.
In short, this monocular does not have any particular functionality. Its greatest advantage is its solidity. The brand has developed it for intensive outdoor use.
Here is our favorite, the 20-60 x 80 spotting scope from Uscamel. This monocular is ideal for ornithology, but is also suitable for all outdoor activities.
Its prisms are made of multi-layer BaK glass. The quality of these lenses combined with the 80mm lens diameter provides high contrast images. You also get a dual focus setting for focusing.
The optical system of this monocular is wrapped in a solid structure of high quality. Indeed, its body is equipped with a rubber coating. With these protections, you can use this Uscamel 20-60X80 spotting scope under any weather condition. O-rings prevent moisture from reaching the optical system. The body is also filled with nitrogen to ensure better image quality.
Just like the latest generation of spotting scopes, this model comes with a smart smartphone holder. This adapter is suitable for all current phones. Speaking of accessories, it comes with a tripod and a carrying case.
The last spotting scope we are going to present you is this 20-60×80 from the brand Hutact. It has most of the features of the current scopes. First of all, it is waterproof. The glasses of the prisms are in BaK-4. The quality of the images is breathtaking with its 80 mm lens.
Its optical system is however different from the others. In fact, we find inside the lenses a matte pattern to avoid light interference. The 18 mm eyepiece offers you a great comfort of use. It also has a multi-angle silent rotation. More precisely, you can choose between 3 different positions. This system is very practical for bird watching. This is a professional feature for ornithology.
The tripod is made of light metal. This allows you to set up your telescope anywhere. This tripod is also of professional quality. Finally, this spotting scope also has a phone holder.
The Hutact 20-60×80 monocular is a professional quality product. That’s why we think it deserves its place in our selection of the best products of the moment.