Buying a Spotting Scope—Features to Consider

If you are participating in an activity such as a target shooter or bird watcher where you will need enhanced vision it would be a wise to invest in a spotting score. The one drawback with a spotting scope is that they are made to be used with a tripod, making them less portable. The plus side is that they do offer the best clarity and magnification. You can also attach them to a camera if you want to take a long ranged picture of an animal without putting yourself at risk and without disturbing the animal. A spotting scope can also be put on a gun so the hunter can get a better view of the animal before they take the shot that could miss and spook them.

spotting scope

When purchasing a spotting scope there are some things that you need to take into consideration.

  • Style of body—there are two different bodies, a straight, and an angled Both of these scopes work good in various situations but there are differences. With the straight body it is best used to view things from a high position like on a hike and you want to see the layout of the ground below you. With an angled body this is good for looking across flat ground or up at your target.  It is good for looking from a vehicles window.
  • Magnification—this is designed to let you view images at a distance and generally needs a magnification of 30x to 40x.  As your lens quality increases the image quality increases too.
  • Objective lens—it is important that you have a high quality objective lens that is made of glass that is considered high performance. When buying a spotting scope go for lens quality over size.
  • Eye relief—this would be the distance away from your scope that your eye should be from the scope’s eyepiece without decreasing any of your field of view. This particular feature is useful for anyone who wears glasses because with a eye relief that is large enough even a person who has thick lenses in their glasses can see the entire view without no problems. If you wear glasses you need at least fourteen millimeter of eye relief.
  • Lens coating—this is also an important feature, especially if you are viewing images at a high magnification. You can get the lens multi-coated, fully multi-coated, or fully coated. Each of these lens coating helps to improve the light that is transmitted into the lens. A premium spotting scope is usually fully multi-coated to give the optimal viewing experience.

In addition to these features, you may want to check out the prism type, the eyepieces, and what type of tripod you will need.

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