- Top 10 Spotting Scope Reviews
- #1 Celestron 52306 Regal M2 – The Best of The Best
- #2 Konus 7122 20x-60x100mm Spotting Scope – A Bargain
- #3 Vortex Optics Razor HD – A Fantastic High-End Scope
- #4 Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece – Perfect For The Hunter
- #5 Vortex 20-60×85 Razor HD (HIGH-END)
- #6 Leupold SX-1 Ventana
- #7 Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom
- #8 Redfield 114651 Rampage 20-60x80mm Angled Spotting Scope
- #9 Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 Spotting Scope
- #10 Barska Blackhawk Spotting Scope 20-60x 60mm with Tripod
- Tips On How To Choose The Best Spotting Scope
As a hunter or bird watcher, a spotting scope is a fantastic investment. It offers better magnification and clarity than any other optic equipment, thus making it the perfect tool for spotting animals from a long distance.
I bought my first spotting scope 10 years ago, and it is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. As a hunter and bird watcher, it makes my trips a lot more enjoyable. I remember how frustrated I sometimes became when I was hunting and I couldn’t get to see the animal properly before taking a shot. Spotting scopes have also made me enjoy bird watching. Being able to watch birds from such a distance still amazes me to this day. To help you find the best spotting scopes, I have tested and rated models from different brands. I rate them on different factors such as their features, specifications, and price. In my in-depth reviews, you will quickly be able to find perfect spotting scope for you. Below this, I have created a table showcasing the top 5 best spotting scopes. A much more detailed description of each product can be found below the table.
- Celestron 52306 Regal M2
- Magnification: 22-67x
- Lens Diameter: 100mm
- Weight: 8.6lbs
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Price: $$$
- Konus 7122
- Magnification: 20-60x
- Lens Diameter: 100mm
- Weight: 5.2lbs
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Price: $$
- Vortex Optics Razor HD
- Magnification: 16-48x
- Lens Diameter: 65mm
- Weight: 3lbs
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Price: $$$$
- Vortex 20-60×85 Razor
- Magnification: 20-60x
- Lens Diameter: 85mm
- Weight: 4.1lbs
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Price: $$$$$
- Vanguard Endeavor HD
- Magnification: 20-60x
- Lens Diameter: 82mm
- Weight: 4.2lbs
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Price: $$$
Top 10 Spotting Scope Reviews
The Spotting Scope industry offers a variety of spotting scopes today, making it very difficult to decide which one to choose. I have made it easier for you by making a top 10 list that showcases the best spotting scopes based on features, price, and feedback from real users.
#1 Celestron 52306 Regal M2 – The Best of The Best
A series that is considered the next generation of the top performing F-ED spotting scopes from Regal. The Celestron 52306 Regal M2 100ED is great for day or night use, thanks to being optimized to offer some of the sharpest images available today. You will definitely don’t want to miss having this spotting scope with you when you go for long distance viewing, nature observing and bird watching.
The M2 line of spotting scopes from Celestron gives you a great way of enjoying high-end optics from a great company at reasonable prices. Regal 100ED brings forth all features that you can find in the rest of M2 scopes but this time around, it has an added lens diameter which gives better light gathering abilities as compared to the 80 or the 65mm versions. This results in some of the clearest images of the targets, birds and limited astronomy viewings. It completely beats the competition in the same price range because of the affordability, and the quality of the construction, which Celestron is popular for.
The Celestron 52306 Regal M2 100ED also boasts of the specs which in many ways can match those of the rest of the members of the M2 lineup. The features give a better look in what makes this particular series of spotting scopes well reviewed and desirable as far as scopes are concerned. With a bigger lens and improved field of view which promises better images for the serious nature aficionados, you can never go wrong with Celestron 52306 Regal M2 100ED. It was one of the first spotting scopes I ever bought, and I still use it to this date.
#2 Konus 7122 20x-60x100mm Spotting Scope – A Bargain
As far as spotting scopes are concerned, this is a model that has a full 100mm objective lens while still coming at a cheap price. If you’re looking an affordable spotting scope that still works wonders, the Konus 7122 20x-60x100mm Spotting Scope is one the best spotting scopes you can get in this price range. Even though it is in the low price range it still delivers an outstanding performance that you simply cannot find anywhere else.
When in low light, this spotting scope still has the ability to deliver exactly the similar image brightness as that of a full-size binocular. The difference is that you’ll have a much higher magnification. This is simply one of the best spotting scopes under 500.
The new and improved version of the spotting scope features a green exterior, better prisms, and it’s completely waterproof. With a magnification up to 60x, this scope has the ability to reveal fine details that would not be seen when using a standard 60mm spotting scope.
If you are fed up with witnessing how the quality of image disappears every time you zoom in using a small spotting scope, then, you are in for a big surprise. one of the main reasons why this Konus scope is hailed as the best spotting scope for the money is simply because the view is nearly as clear at 60x as when it is at 20x.
With an alloy metal body that is armored for better protection, the Konus 7122 20x-60x100mm Spotting Scope is a cheap spotting scope that’s still delivering a great experience.
#3 Vortex Optics Razor HD – A Fantastic High-End Scope
The Vortex Optics Razor HD Angled Spotting Scope easily exceeds the performance expectations of its users, earning raving reviews among the spotting scope aficionados. You will definitely appreciate the Vortex HD system that comes with a remarkably sophisticated apochromatic lens system which comes with ground HD optical glass for enhancing the resolution of images and eliminates almost all chromatic aberrations. The Vortex Optics Razor has an extremely lightweight, tough body made from magnesium alloy. Combined with fog-and waterproof optics you have one of the best spotting scopes on the market. With the lgifetime warranty, you’ll have this great buddy at your side for a very long time. As it’s such a revolutionary scope, it is certain that this particular model will stay on the market for many years to come. This scope is great for both hunting and bird-viewing.
The high-density glass of Razor helps in enhancing the contrast, color, and resolution of every image. Its fully multi-coated lenses can also increase the light transmission with several anti-reflective coatings on every air to glass surface which comes with broadband lens coatings. It also has baK-4 prisms that optimize the transmission of light through the prisms. The Razor also has a rubber armoring that offers a non-slip grip. The dual focus feature also allows precision with fine and coarse adjustments. The magnesium alloy body is also resistant to corrosion and guaranteed sturdy. If you are looking for a quality spotting scope at medium price, the Vortex Optics Razor HD Angled Spotting Scope should certainly be your go-to choice. I have chosen this scope to be the best scope on the market right now because of the revolutionary specifications of it: the low weight and the fantastic functionality.
This scope is definitely worth the money. When people ask me which all-around scope they should get, I always recommend this bad boy. Since there is a lifetime warranty on almost all spotting scopes, I highly recommend that you go with one of high quality. There’s no worse feeling than buying a scope that doesn’t live up to your needs. And I can promise you that you’ll LOVE this fantastic scope.
#4 Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece – Perfect For The Hunter
Dubbed as the most advanced optical equipment piece that has been produced by Vanguard, the Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope is a must-have for all hunters and game enthusiasts.
This spotting scope’s optical system makes use of extra low dispersion glass t guarantee exact color rendition while virtually eliminating any color fringing. Its lenses are also completely multi-coated to assure optimum transmission of light and it also features a BAK roof prism that is phase-coated.
Vanguard Endeavor HD has been constructed with an extendable eyecup covered by rubber and an impressive eye relief even when used in the highest zoom settings. This also offers a remarkably outstanding field of view. The built-in sun shield has been incorporated for eliminating any glare when you are using this under direct sunlight and this also has a padded raincoat that conveniently comes with a sling both for protection purposes and for easy carrying. Vanguard Endeavor HD has been equipped with coarse and fine focusing wheels for précised and quick fine tuning adjustments. You can mount it directly not only on your Vanguard tripod heads but also on others which have been equipped with a universal mounting plate with no need to use any quick shoe.
Spotting scopes are now gaining more and more popularity among many people. With all the options that are available right now, it is never advisable that you just settle for the first option that you find. The Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope is one of the many good choices that will never leave you disappointed.
#5 Vortex 20-60×85 Razor HD (HIGH-END)
Undoubtedly among the finest and most reliable spotting scopes that you can find in the market today, the top-tier Vortex 20-60×85 Razor HD Spotting Scope can compete at the highest performance level that you cannot expect from the similavorr models that belong to this category. Its sophisticated triplet apochromatic lens system helps in delivering an exceptional high definition view across the whole view field, without any color fringing, dilution of the color fidelity or degradation of the resolution. This results in this bad boy ending at the top of our best spotting scope reviews.
The elements of high density and extra low dispersion glass have been carefully chosen and have been precisely crafted to the exact standards for the true to life images with startling color accuracy, resolution and clarity.
Its exterior lenses are also being protected by ArmorTek, which is a scratch resistant and ultrahard compound that can repel dirt, oil and the fingerprints’ corrosive salts. It also boasts of a fully muli-coated that has scratch-resistant XR coatings for an outstanding light transmission and excellent high resolution. Vortex 20-60×85 Razor HD Spotting Scope also has a die-cast magnesium allow body that comes with the rubber armoring that is strategically placed for ensuring ultimate strength, lightweight performance and durability. This spotting scope also has 100% waterproof, dustproof, fogproof and shockproof construction.
Using Vortex 20-60×85 Razor HD is very easy and simple as well. The eyepiece’s magnification eyepiece is easily adjustable and the unit’s dual focus knob offers fingertip-adjustable fine and coarse focus. Perfect to use on your tripod, you can be sure that this spotting scope will never leave you disappointed.
#6 Leupold SX-1 Ventana
Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope is a special type of long-range scope that features a weather sealed and rubber armored housing with multicoated optical path complete with the BAK4 prisms. The company has yet again improved their Ventana series optics with the use of the proprietary Multicoat 4 lens coating that can reduce the reflected light and help in maximizing the light amount that is being transmitted to its eyepiece. The zoom eyepiece that comes with the unit has a 26-24mm eye relief and the twist-up rubber eyecup that offers a comfortable viewing distance for those users who are wearing eyeglasses. In addition, the BAK4 prism glass also allows the spotting scope in rendering clear images that are all rich with contrast and details.
Apart from the optical performance, Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope has also been equipped with several handling features which provide a user-friendly glassing experience. The knurled ridges that can be found on the focusing dial and the zoom ring offers tactile feedback which is particularly useful, especially when wearing gloves or making some adjustments in the field of view under wet conditions. The integrated sunshade of the scope also comes with a raised gripping surface. It does not matter if you want to get a close-up look at an exotic deer or you want to spot a target downrange because the nitrogen filled fog-proof housing, the built-in tripod mounting socket and the zoom eyepiece all help in making Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope a full-featured type of spotting scope for all glassing tasks.
#7 Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom
Taking great pride in being the bearer of the biggest aperture scope coming from the Ultima line, the Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom provides over 50% brighter images compared with the 80mm that allow better performance even when under low ligh conditions.
It has 100mm refractor that features remarkable multi-coated optics which have been packed to a durable and portable refractor design and this also comes with the standard 22-66x zoom eyepiece. The series has been designed with the purpose of performing well even when under a wide range of viewing situations. This remarkable feature is what makes this is an amazing all-around optical instrument that you will surely love to add to your collection.
You will also love to take it with you every time you engage in long distance spotting or when you are observing nature firsthand. The Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom’s green optical tube is the one that makes it possible to have a subtle observation even when amidst nature environments. This Ultimate spotter is no doubt a wonderful company for all outdoor or nature enthusiasts.
Its sight tube combined with the 100mm aperture are the perfect combination not only for wildlife study but also for shooting targets that move at high speed with such an outstanding efficiency. This spotting scope does not just promise great performance but more importantly, it delivers exactly what it promises. Its 100mm aperture is so far the highest which can be offered by Celestron adnd this sufficient since this can easily handle almost all types of situation.
#8 Redfield 114651 Rampage 20-60x80mm Angled Spotting Scope
For those who are searching for a good and dependable spotting scope that can help you in shooting your target, whether you are at a shooting range or you are out hunting in the wild, the Redfield 114651 Rampage 20-60x80mm Angled Spotting Scope is the one that can suit your needs. A great addition to your personal collection of rifles, you will surely be pleased with the kind of results that you will get while using this scope. Affordable, durable and high-quality scope, this comes with some remarkable features that you will definitely love.
The Redfield 114651Rampage 20-60x80mm has a smooth focus and many users appreciate how the scope has been tailored for the glasses through the eyecups. With its fantastic brightness and great clearness, it is not a big surprise that this is among the most in demand choices in the field of spotting scope these days.
It is full-sized spotting scope that has an oblique eyepiece and comes with a 20x-60x enlargement range. Its point lens is 80mm wide and this is also complete with the multi-coated optic which can give you remarkable light transmission. It has a standard tripod adapter and can fit on all tripods and window mounts. It also comes with the specialized-grade BAK4 prism. Developed with a tough polycarbonate body, this can offer you with extensive view field and its retractable lens shade can help in reducing the glare of light. Backed by Redfield Limited Lifetime Warranty, you can always have the peace of mind knowing that it is a spotting scope that you can use for a long time.
#9 Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 Spotting Scope
Without a doubt, Bushnell is a leader in the industry, thanks to their high-quality scopes and top notch viewfinders. The trusted name in the world, from avid huntsmen to military or recreational users, Bushnell always fit the mold for everything, and the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 (45 degrees) Spotting Scope definitely lives up to expectations and even exceed it at times.
Offering all the things that you can ever ask and look for in a good spotting scope, the Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 from Bushnell, allowing you to spot that rare bird species that you have long been wanting to see up close and personal. Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 comes with three primary ingredients which help it stand out from the rest of the crowd: the fully multicoated optics, ED Prime Extra-Low Dispersion glass and the patented RainGuard HD water-repellent coating from Bushnell.
Thanks to its ED Prime glass, it can provide a high resolution and color-tuned viewing experience, offering the utmost in terms of clarity compete with color fidelity even when in low light and normal situations. Meanwhile, its fully multicoated optics decrease the light loss and the glare from reflection which results into a higher and brighter contrast image with lesser eye strain. Its RainGuard HD coating also serves as a protection for your view when under an inclement weather through decreasing the big drops of water into almost microscopic specks. Created by a company that is dedicated to offering only the most reliable, most affordable and highest quality of sports optics products, you can expect that the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 (45 degree) Spotting Scope is nothing less than the ordinary.
#10 Barska Blackhawk Spotting Scope 20-60x 60mm with Tripod
Easily portable, efficient and remarkably durable, the Barska Blackhawk Spotting Scope 20-60x 60mm is the best tool that you can bring with you during your outdoor adventures. The 600mm objective lens of this Porro prism spotting scope allows optimum transmission of light even when under the low light conditions. Its lens has also been multicoated for bright, clear and high contrast images. This 20-60x 60mm spotting scope has been ergonomically designed to provide maximum comfort. In addition, the model is guaranteed to be totally fog proof and waterproof and this also features a rubber armor that is durable and shockproof. The variable focus of the spotting scope also makes customized viewing possible and the additional sunshade decreases the glare.
There are many other spotting scopes that you can find in the market today but this one from Barska makes itself different from the all the other scopes with its set of remarkable features. Its multicoated optics lessens light transmission to allow superior clarity and brightness. Its massive objective lens can also increase its light gathering ability and can also deliver brighter images when under low light conditions. This also comes with a rubber armor that has been designed for protecting it through absorbing any form of shock.
Portable and convenient, the Barska Blackhawk Spotting Scope 20-60x 60mm boasts an ergonomic design for enhancing overall handling. Complete with a limited lifetime warranty, you can be sure that this is a good buy that will give you more than the value of your money.
Tips On How To Choose The Best Spotting Scope
Whether or not to get a Spotting Scope should be an easy decision for you since there are so many benefits to having one. What’s really important when getting a spotting scope is that it suits your needs, and to identify those you should first consider a few tips before making the final decision. Where it gets really tricky is when figuring out which brand to go with. We have tested out lots of different brands, and by going with our reviews you should be in a perfect spot.
If you’re looking for spotting scope reviews focused on birding then take a look at our comprehensive birding scope reviews.
Consider and identify your priorities
So you are thinking about purchasing your own spotting scope, but what exact features are you looking for in this spotting scope? A great rule of thumb is that a spotting scope is used when you need a magnification greater than what a pair of binoculars can provide you with. There are generally many uses for a spotting scope but they are often used for hunting, birding, archery and spotting wildlife activity. A spotting scope can also be used to magnify a beautiful view. Spotting Scopes can also be attached to very long ranged pictures of a beautiful animal without disturbing it. What’s also really awesome is that you can spy on the animal before you shoot it resulting in fewer shots being missed from you. You can also use it for checking if you hit the animal before closing in on it. As you can clearly see there are tons of possibilities with spotting scopes, and what you should do is to think about what you need.
Style Of The Body
There are two different types of spotting scopes, a straight body scope and an angled one. They both work fantastic in most situations, but one may be preferred in certain situations. The straight body scope is very good for viewing from a high position. This could be on mountain climbing trip where you want to get a glimpse of the valley below. The angled body scope is great for the person that is smaller than average. With the tripod, you can lower it to the preferred viewing height allowing the viewer to rotate the eyepiece for the best viewing position. The angled body scope generally works really well from the window of a vehicle.
An objective lens is the core of a Spotting scope. Therefore, it means a lot for the viewing experience whether the lens is made from high-quality performance glass or not. You should always go for the lens quality over the lens size. This is because the larger lens of poor quality will result in a mediocre view when compared to the smaller lens of high quality.
The magnification levels of the spotting scope are purely designed for viewing at distances that normal binoculars won’t be able to. Most observation carried out with a spotting scope requires a magnification level of 30x – 40x, which results in a scope that is capable of producing good pictures. The higher the lens quality, the higher the quality the image increases also. Some quality will be lost at very high magnifications, but with a high-quality spotting scope, you should have no problems with the image quality.
Eye relief is the distance the viewer’s eye can be from the eyepiece without losing any field of view. This feature is especially important for people who wear glasses. With an eye relief big enough, even people who wear glasses with very thick lenses will be fully able to see the full image without issues. If you require glasses to see, it is highly recommended to have at least 14mm of eye relief on your spotting scope.
Proper lens coating is an important feature of a spotting scope. This especially applies for viewing images at a high magnifications. The lens can be: fully coated, fully multi-coated or multi-coated. All the lens coating are made for improving the light transmission into the lens. However, the quality received depends a lot on the coating chosen for the specific scope. High quality scopes are usually full multi-coated to produce the perfect viewing experience for you.
Waterproof and Fogproof
Proper lens coating is an important feature of a spotting scope. This especially applies for viewing images at high magnification. The lens can be: fully coated, fully multi-coated or multi-coated. All the lens coating are made for improving the light transmission into the lens. However, the quality received depends a lot on the coating chosen for the specific scope. High-quality scopes are usually full multi-coated to produce the perfect viewing experience for you.
For finding the best spotting scope tripod we highly recommend our comprehensive tripod guide.
It is important to note that a lot of Spotting Scopes come with a tripod, so make sure to check that out. But they are generally very important to keep it steady during the viewing process. A car mount can do very well if you view from your vehicle. What’s great about tripods is that all spotting scopes should fit all tripods. There is basically no need for a specialized tripod. Just make sure that the tripod is able to support the weight of the spotting scope and you should be good to go. If you are going for long hiking trips it is highly recommended to get a lightweight tripod.
Set your budget
An important factor to consider when buying a spotting scope is to consider your budget. How much are you prepared to spend for a spotting scope? When you know the price range you are looking for, you can narrow down the list of models. If you have a low budget you should be aiming for cheap brands that are equipped with only the most basic features. A good rule of thumb for spotting scopes, is the higher price you pay, the better quality spotting scope you get. This can clearly be seen from the reviews, and the tests we have concluded on spotting scopes. This is the case for most spotting scopes, however, you can also grab budget Spotting Scope, thus going down on quality. We highly recommend to not go below $300 since the scope you will end up with will not be nearly as good as one above $300. If you, however, are looking for a cheaper spotting scope we highly recommend you to take a look at our “budget” pick.
So how much does a Spotting Scope actually cost? The prices vary from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. As previously said we highly recommend not going below the $300 mark. We have tested several models below the $300 mark, and very few of them actually seems promising. You can however sometimes grab a nice deal on Amazon where you can save some money.
Choose the brand
Choosing the brand can be a rough task. There are many brands to choose from. We highly recommend choosing a recognized brand, as it’s a proof of quality, credibility, and good future customer support.
Where to buy a spotting scope?
It has never been easier to find yourself the best spotting scope for you. You no longer have to check all the stores that sell spotting scopes. You can simply buy it online. We highly recommend Amazon for buying online since they provide high-quality products, their inventory of spotting scope is huge, their prices are good, and they allow you to see real user feedback before you make your purchase. Here you can often find a cheap spotting scope on sale if that is what you are looking for.
For spotting scope reviews you should read the reviews on our website as a tool to aid you in finding the best spotting scope for you. You can however also check out the real user feedback that can be found on Amazon. For each product you can find real reviews from everyday users of the spotting scope, so you can get a clear picture of how good the product is. The feedback from users of the spotting scope is usually a very good indicator of how good the spotting scope is. You are simply not going to make a bad purchase by buying a product that is rated at 4.7/5 stars.
Having a great warranty on your product is part of making sure that you will have an awesome experience with the product. You obviously want a spotting scope that is going to work for a very long time. So check out the manufacturer’s warranty for the spotting scope before you buy it.
Do prior research
Do not just buy the spotting scope because it looks great. Look deeper to ensure that the spotting scope you want to get is actually as good as it looks. Consider the following elements:
- Durability and Design. Of course you want to use your spotting scope for a long time. So check the durability of it. It should be robust and made of sturdy materials. Check if the size of the spotting scope is too big for your bag.
- Features and functions. Make sure that the spotting scope you are looking at has the features you are wanting in your future scope. Does it live up to your needs, or do you need a few more features?
We hope that you enjoyed our spotting scope reviews. We strive to provide high-quality insights so you can find the best spotting scope for you. This site is supposed the best spotting scope based on your priorities and your budget, Therefore, we cover everything from the best budget spotting scope to the best performing spotting scope.