10 Best Spotting Scopes (Ultimate Review List)

best spotting scope

Spotting Scopes are used for many activities, such as astrophotography, digiscoping, surveillying, target shooting, viewing the landscape, wildlife, birdwatching, and other activities that require viewing subjects from a distance. You can use your spotting scope for all of these activities, but if you're unsure about which is the best spotting scope that you would like to purchase for yourself, you can read our detailed buyer's guide to find the right one. Don't forget to factor in your budget and how much you're comfortable spending on your scope. You can find good quality scopes at an affordable price point but you can also spend quite a bit of money if you're looking to take your viewing activities to the next level. Just know that you don't have to drop a large sum of money for a highly functional spotting scope. In this guide, I will provide recommendations that range from all types of budgets.

Since spotting scopes are commonly supported with a tripod, it's important to make sure that your gear is compatible. You can also read this guide on the top best tripod for spotting scopes if you're new to the world of spotting scopes and don't know which spotting scope tripod would be right for you. It's important to know that spotting scopes can be handheld because of their high magnification, it requires a steady tripod to support your optics. You could also mount your scope on a car window mount provided that it's not too heavy.

Just to make sure, a telescope and a spotting scope are quite different. While telescopes may produce images that are reversed of upside down, spotting scopes produce upright images. Most scopes are much more easier to carry, and can be easily mounted on a tripod. So make sure to get yourself a scope and not a telescope as they don't serve the same features. However, you can use binoculars and spotting interchangeable since the scope provides a greater magnification compared to the latter. Some scopes are built waterproof, but this is not a necessary feature for all types of activities (hunting yes, birding not really). These waterproof scopes also keep the dirt and dust out of your scope!

Regarding the eyepiece, some scopes do not come with the eyepiece however, all of the options mentioned in this guide come with an eyepiece for ease and convenience. You should also be able to attach a camera to your spotting scope for digiscoping. If you require your spotting scope to support up to 100 yards, you don't need a target shooting spotting with large objectives so, any optics with 18x-36x should offer plenty of magnification. As for scoring beyond 100 yards, scopes with 20x-60x should do the job extremely well! If you need to go up to 300 yards, you require a stronger and larger objective of atleast 60x-80x. Anything higher requires to shell out at least 1,000$ or more. In that case, the images won't blur as much in high magnifications compared to the more affordable spotting scopes options.

Types of Spotting Scopes: Straight or Angled?

bet spotting scope

In terms of the body of the spotting scope, you can either get a straight or an angled scope. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. On a straight body spotting scope, you look straight through the eyepiece. However, on an angled-body spotting scope, the eyepiece is placed on an angle of 45 degrees to the body of the scope. Choosing between a straight or angled spotting scope is a personal choice, but I would say that the angled spotting scope is a lot more comfortable to look through and on your neck and while you're sitting. It's a relaxed position to be in. For straight spotting scopes, you would need to extend the height of your tripod which makes it not so comfortable for your neck. As for the angled spotting scope, you can set your spotting scope on a lower height. Straight scopes are excellent for target acquisition and it's easy to switch between your binoculars and your spotting scope. You should also be able to adjust your spotting scope and place it on different angles to accommodate for when you are looking down a mountain or up at your subject.

Specifications: The Basics of Spotting Scopes

Most spotting scopes are assigned 3 different numbers. The first two numbers indicate the magnification range and the third number indicates the size of the front lens. So, let's take an example of a 24-72x70 model. The magnification range is 24-72x and 70mm indicates the front lens diameter. Larger lenses are useful for providing detailed images and a higher magnification range allows you to use your scope for a larger and better view of your subjects. So, spotting scopes provide a better magnification in comparison to binoculars so you can view your subjects closer.

Keep in mind that dusty conditions, humidity, heat waves, and other windy conditions can reduce greatly reduce the image quality. So, your images won't appear as clear in those unfavourable days. It's always recommended to check the weather reports before heading out. You also don't need to get a spotter with an extremely high magnification, anything up to 60x-80x should be just fine! Most observations are taken at a range of 30x-40x and the scopes mentioned in this review list fit these criteria. Larger objective lenses allow for better details and image quality providing for optimal high performance.

Ultimately, the spotting scope that you choose will depend on the type of activity you plan on doing with it. To help you find the best spotting scope, I provide you with a list of the top 10 best spotting scopes in the market! I also state which spotting scopes are best suited for which activities!

Before we continue, I'd like to present you with a comparison table of the top 3 best spotting scope ranked mentioned in this article. If you're in a hurry, you can quickly view these to know which one is the right one for your needs! Or, you can scroll down the list and look at the specification tables to quickly read the specifications of each scope!

Top 3 Best Spotting Scopes

Celestron 52252 Ultima

A powerful, reliable, and durable spotting scope that's well worth it for the money!

Bushnell Sentry 18-36x50

This spotting scope comes with it's own tabletop tripod and performs incredibly well!

Konus 7122B 20x-60x100 Kit

An incredibly affordable spotting scope that does not cut corners on quality in terms of construction and image optics.

Now that we've gone over the top 3 best spotting scopes, let's look at the 10 best spotting scopes in more depth and details.

The Top 10 Best Spotting Scopes (Tested and Reviewed)

Here are the top 10 best spotting scope that have been tried and tested by my review team and I. Each review includes the product specifications and a brief review followed by the pros/cons. You can quickly glance over the product specification tables to absorb all of the necessary information on that tripod. I will, of course, go in greater details in the reviews. With this layout, it should be easy for you to compare and contrasts between models.

Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope


  • Magnification: 22-66x
  • Objective lens diameter: 100mm
  • Weight: 7 lb/3.18 kg
  • Eye relief: 18mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 19 in/48.26 cm
  • Our rating: 4.9/5
  • The largest spotting scope from the Celestron line, designed to provide comfort while viewing and can be used for all types of outdoor viewing activities including digiscoping.

The Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope is an angled spotting scope that is excellent at viewing nature and landscape from a far distance. The T-mount adapter helps you capture clear photos by attaching your camera to the T-ring, perfect for digiscoping. What I like about this spotting scope is that the subjects appear extremely clear and razor sharp even with high magnifications. The body of the scope is also waterproof and sealed up with dry nitrogen gas so moisture won't fog your lenses.

While this is a great spotting scope, it's a little heavy to carry around compared to other models and the angled eyepiece might not be the fit for everyone (although I prefer them personally for the reasons mentioned above). The green rubber optical tube provides a comfortable grip and makes observations of the landscape extremely

The Celestron 52252 includes a zoom eyepiece that can be used to attach your camera to, a sturdy carrying case, an eyepiece lens cap to cover your gear, an extend plate, lens cloth, and an eyepiece pouch to protect your equipment. The close focus distance of this scope is 33 feet and the field of view at 1000yds is 32-16.15m/105-53 ft. This spotting scope is excellent at offering brighter and clearer images, even in situations with dim lights.


  • Great at identifying targets and subjects from long distances.
  • The multi-coated optics allows for more light to come through even in dim lights.
  • Images are extremely clear and sharp with very limited amounts of fuzziness even in high magnifications.
  • Works incredibly well with cameras for digiscoping by mounting the camera on the spotting scope with the help of the T-ring adapter.
  • Great for the price point and for the features that are offered.  
  • Ideal for target shooting, birding, and other activities for getting a clear


  • Eye relief may not be able to provide a whole field of view for individuals with glasses (so glasses must be removed).
  • A sturdy and solid tripod is essential to use with the spotter because it can get a little unbalanced sometimes. The scope performs much better on a stable tripod
  • No sun shade on the objective lens.
  • Includes a carrying case but is not padded.

Bushnell Sentry 18-36x50


  • Magnification: 18-36x
  • Objective lens diameter: 50 mm
  • Weight: 7 lb/3.18 kg
  • Eye relief: 16mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 14.7 in/37 cm
  • Our rating: 4.7/5
  • Comes with a tripod and a waterproof hard case to protect your scope and the waterproof body keeps all moisture out even when submerged in water.

The Bushnell Sentry 18-36x50 is a
compact spotting scope with a straight eyepiece that’s not only an affordable, but also waterproof and fogproof. Since the scope is designed to be air tight, water does not enter the optics and moisture stays out. This compact spotting scopes is easy and lightweight to use. The rubber-coated armor keeps your scope dry and secure even when immersed water. You get really nice focus with this scope. The extendable sun shade can be extended to eliminate some of the glare. The field of view at 1000yds is 38-25m/115-75 ft. It's excellent to use for the shooting range.

What could have improved this already pretty awesome spotting scope is if the company had made the front lens cover feel a little more secure. I would also recommend to buy a separate tripod, while the one provided isn't too bad, it's just a little bit limiting since it's mostly used on tabletops or shooting benches.

This is an excellent value for the spotting scope that doesn't break the bank while providing you with awesome features (such as its ability to withstand water and moisture damage). It's great for taking outdoors. Surprising, it works incredibly well up to 300 yards! The body of the scope is coated with multiple layers of anti-reflective coating that provides for high-quality images. The objective lens provides a clear viewing without any color bleeding or color blending. The rubber armour absorbs shock and vibration, making your optics last a long time. A perfect combination of a lightweight, compact, and sharp scope. This particular scope arrives protected in a fitted and padded case and it includes a hand strap as well as a carrying strap. The tabletop tripod is provided but it leaves a little to be desired in height. It's recommended to use your own sturdy tripod or use the one provided for brief periods at a time.

Here's an in-depth review of the spotting scope with quick demonstrations. You also get to see the extra features included like the cases and accessories.


  • Offers great clarity at maximum magnification.
  • Affordable optics that deliver optimal performance.
  • Very easy to use and good value for the price.
  • The aluminium hard case with the inside padded with foam protects your gear.
  • Ideal for shooting range, hiking, nature viewing, birdwatching, and backpacking.
  • Multi-coated lens creates sharp and clear images.


  • Tripod is not stable and not height adjustable. It’s best to use on a shooting bench or a table.
  • The front lens cover doesn’t stay very secure.

Konus 7122B 20-60x100mm Kit


  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Objective lens diameter: 100mm
  • Weight: 4.6 lb/2.09 kg
  • Eye relief: 20 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 19.6 in/49.78 cm
  • Our rating: 4.6/5
  • An excellent spotting scope that comes with a smartphone adapter and a camera adapter so you can take those perfect and incredibly detailed shots every time.

The Konus 7122B 20-60x100mm Spotting Scope Kit is a great value spotting scope that is lightweight but very durable as a result of its metal allow body that offers optimal protection against shocks. It's one of the best angled spotting scope that offers a comfortable feel while keeping your eye on the eyepiece for a prolonged duration of time.

The scope is great for 100 to 200 yards but may not offer clear views beyond that. Also the tripod may not be ideal for carrying long distances since it's quite heavy to carry along with your tripod. However, it's still a great purchase, especially if you don't mind the bigger size and need something for 100 to 200 yards.
This spotting scope by Konus provides clear brightness and images, especially with higher magnifications. For the price, it's an excellent spotter and provides sharp optics at 20x-60x magnifications with precise details. It also includes a camera and a smartphone adapter, which is excellent for digiscoping. An extendable sunshade protects you against glare and sun rays. Your spotting scope also comes with an eyepiece and an objective lens cap. A zippered carrying case provides protection for your equipment while you're traveling.

The Celestron 52252 Ultimate Spotting Scope and the Konus 7122B 20-60x100mm are quite similar in specifications, so if you're interested in getting one of the two but would like some further explanations and a comparison between the two, you can watch this video below!


  • Made with the same quality materials that are used in higher-end models and it's worth every dollar invested in this scope!
  • Shockproof and provides protection against damages.
  • A great bang for your buck, especially since it offers similar features found in more expensive scopes.
  • Scope comes with a lens cap that offers protection for the front lens from dust, debris, scratches, and damages that can occur while you're transporting or using your spotting scope.
  • Excellent for birdwatching and viewing the landscapes and mountains from a good distance!


  • The eye cap is screwed on tightly so it might be a little bit hard to get it off.
  • Some blur at higher magnifications but that is to be expected with scopes of this price range.
  • While it's excellent that the manufacturer included a carrying case, it is not padded nor do the straps provide that protection that's necessary for protecting important equipment.
  • Spotting Scope can get a little heavy for carrying for some individuals.
  • Extremely clear glass that offers great clarity.

Vortex Optics Viper HD 15-45x65 Angled Spotting Scope


  • Magnification: 15-45x
  • Objective lens diameter: 65mm
  • Weight: 3.69 lb/1.67 kg
  • Eye relief: 19.6 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 14 in/35.56 cm
  • Our rating: 4.5/5
  • A highly luxurious spotting scope that generates incredibly smooth and clear images ideal for serious hunters, shooters, and backpackers while keeping it extremely lightweight for easy portability.

The Vortex Optics Viper HD 15-45x65 Angled Spotting Scope features HD lens elements that deliver incredibly clear and sharp images due to the ED glass. It offers a wide focus range and the field of view at 1000yds is 136.5-67.8 ft.

While this spotter is great for portability, it's important to note that it is a little bit on the heavier side. However, that extra weight does allow for better focused images especially in situations where low light is present.

The Viper HD 15-45x65 Angled Spotting Scope is an excellent option for those looking for a more sophisticated option that's mid-range but offers the advantages of a high-range spotting scope. Sure the price is a little bit more costly, but the features offered on this as just as robust as the very expensive models worth 1000$ plus. It also comes with a sleeve, a detachable eyepiece that can be cleaned easily using the wipes provides, an extendable sunshade, and a comfortable rubber armoured body. This is an excellent spotter for birdwatching and maintains balanced on your tripod.

Here's a quick video on the vortex viper Hd 15-45x65 angled spotting scope if you would like to see the features up close!


  • Great price point for incredible optics.
  • The objective lens is coated to protect the body and lens from scratches, dust, and debris, also waterproof and fogproof.
  • Includes an objective lens cover, a fitted case for your spotting scope, and eyepiece cap.  
  • Produces great glassing and the locking collar can be rotated into different positions for viewings.
  • Vortex offers a lifetime warranty on this product!


  • A little bit heavy to carry, but this is expected with the features offered with this spotting scope! This may or may not be bothersome for some individuals.
  • The price may be a little expensive but its definitely worth the price point.

Gosky 20-60x80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope


  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Objective lens diameter: 80mm
  • Weight: 1.76 lb/0.8 kg
  • Eye relief: 17 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 17.7 in/44.96 cm
  • Our Rating: 4.3/5
  • An affordable option with impressive qualities and features that offers great magnification range.

The Gosky 20-60x80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope includes a carrying bag, a phone mount, hand straps, a tripod, and an eye cap to protect your lens from damage. It provides a field of view of 11.5-57.6 ft/1000 yards. An excellent scope for birdwatching, wildlife viewings, range and target shooting, and lunar observation. But, it's not recommended for hunting.

This is a waterproof and fogproof spotting scope, but some of the issues that are common with this spotter are decrease in the quality of the image at higher magnifications. It's coated with a rubber shock-absorbing to protect you against damages.

However, the excellent price point and the extra accessories make this spotting scope a great buy! It offers better image clarity. The sunshade is excellent at helping reduce glare. It's excellent for a small portable

Here's a video of the Gosky 20-60x80 spotting scope with an iPhone mounted on top of it. You can see how well it captures images and videos!


  • Provides clear and crisp images upto 200 yards.
  • Waterproof and fogproof body doesn't damage the body of the spotting scope.
  • Great for watching wildlife and birdwatching.
  • An excellent spotting scope for the price point,


  • Phone mount is very flimsy and I don't recommend using it for digiscoping.
  • Tripod is unstable and I recommend using a better quality tripod. It can only be used on tabletops.
  • Does not perform well for hunting.

Celestron Hummingbird 9-27x56mm ED Micro Spotting Scope


  • Magnification: 9-27x
  • Objective lens diameter: 56 mm
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs/0.6 kg
  • Eye relief: 15 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 8.4 in/21.37 cm
  • Our Rating: 4.3/5
  • A great small, compact, and travel-friendly spotting scope that is lightweight.

The Celestron Hummingbird 9-27x56mm ED Micro Spotting Scope is easy to transport due to its compact size. It offers great sharp and clear images that's ideal for birders. This spotter provides protection against water damage, humidity, and dirt. This option is better suited for those who need a highly-performant spotting scope that is ideal for traveling. The field of view is 216-98 ft at 1000yrds. It provides an angled view.

Due to its lower magnification (which is one of the limitations), this spotting scope also can be used as binoculars. You can also mount it onto your car window.

This small and powerful scope can easily and comfortably fit the palm of most hands, and can be carried inside a belt bag, carrying bag, or the pockets of a coat. It also mounts smoothly and effortlessly on most tripods. I like to take this spotter with me while I'm traveling since it fits perfectly in my carry-on luggage. A fast and easy to use spotting scope that will definitely make you happy about your purchase. This is definitely a favourite option amongst birdwatchers!

Interested in seeing how compact this spotter is? Check out the video below!


  • A tiny but highly-efficient spotting scope that works incredibly well with birdwatching.
  • Generates clear and bright images.
  • Feels incredibly lightweight.
  • Comes with a carrying case!


  • May not fit all pockets.
  • At higher magnifications, the image quality can feel a little blurred (a tripod can fix this and make it less unstable).

Roxant Authentic Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope


  • Magnification: 12-36x
  • Objective lens diameter: 50mm
  • Weight: 1 lb/0.45 kg
  • Eye relief: 15 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 9 in/22.9 cm
  • Our rating: 4.3/5
  • A durable, compact, and extremely convenient spotting scope at a great price point to keep you happy!

The Roxant Authentic Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope is a durable and rugged spotting scope that is lightweight. The optics are rubber coated so they provide protection against physical damage. The magnification range is wide and the 50 mm objective lens gathers light in all conditions (including situations where minimal light is present).

The eyepiece is angled and can be rotated, making it comfortable to use with and without glasses. This is important because not all eyepieces can be used with glasses and you may need to remove them to look through properly.

What's great about this spotting scope is the front lens cap that is attached with a rubber strap, so you won't lost it! This is a great option that doesn't break the bank! Your spotter comes bundled with a tabletop tripod (nothing too fancy, it's useful for basic needs), a decent carrying bag, and a lens cloth for cleaning. It's powerful and keeps your images clear even with higher magnifications! It's perfect for shooting at 100-200 yards. I'm positive that this spotter will work with your outdoor activities and the high grade optics provides superior quality images.

Here's an unboxing/review of the Roxant Blackbird HD spotting scope! I would say that the 50mm Roxant Blackbird is very similar to the Celestron Hummingbird 9-27x56mm spotting scope, but the choice is yours on whether you're comfortable spending more money for similar features (the Celestron Hummingbird is still a little bit superior compared to the Roxant Blackbird).


  • A reasonably priced spotting scope with excellent quality, great for beginners or those not wanting to spend too much money on a spotter!
  • Includes a very well-made smartphone adapter.
  • Recommended for birding and
  • Excellent customer service, the manufacturer provides a lifetime replacement guarantee.


  • While it's claimed to be waterproof, I wouldn't recommend submerging it under water. It's more water resistant than waterproof.
  • Sun shade may feel a little loose.

Celestron 52306 Regal M2 100ED Spotting Scope


  • Magnification: 22-67x
  • Objective lens diameter: 100mm
  • Weight: 8.6 lb/3.9 kg
  • Eye relief: 20mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 19.2 in/48.77 cm
  • Our Rating: 4.3/5
  • An angled spotting scope that performs well in situations with low lights and generates clear images.

The Celestron 52306 Regal M2 100ED Spotting Scope features a powerful magnification range from 22x-67z. The eyepiece is set on a 45 degree angle to the body of the spotting scope. It's constructed with an aluminium body, making it a stable, sturdy, and durable option.

This spotting scope delivers clear and bright images even when you are placed in situations with minimal lights. The spotter is coated with a rubber coating that provides exceptional protection and offers an anti-shock barrier. It's further secured with nitrogen and it's fully waterproof to prevent it from fogging up and accumulating dirt/dust. A great choice, the Celestron 52306 Regal M2 100ED Spotting Scope offers excellent functionality, great range and offers sharp and detailed images thanks to its bigger objective lens.

This is a impressive scope for serious birders, as you can see in the video below!


  • Comes with a T-ring for digiscoping, an objective lens cover, an ocular eye piece cover and a sliding sunshade that's important for reducing glare.
  • ED glass helps keep the light focused, which improves the quality, sharpness, and clarity of the images.
  • One of the best options for viewing beyond 300 yards.
  • Limited distortion and color bleeding of images even with higher zoom.


  • Price is a little heavy but it's worth the investment (especially for birdwatchers).
  • Recommended to use with a carbon fiber tripod to eliminate shakiness when zooming in and keeps the tripod and spotting scope easy to carry around.

Vanguard Vesta 350A 12-45x50 Angled Spotting Scope


  • Magnification: 12-45x
  • Objective lens diameter: 50mm
  • Weight: 1.3 lb/0.6 kg
  • Eye relief: 11 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 9.3 in/23.62 cm
  • Our Rating: 4.2/5
  • A powerful spotting scope that is easy to carry with you, making it an excellent choice for birdwatching, hunting, target shooting, and wildlife watching.

The Vanguard Vesta 350A 12-45x50 Angled Spotting Scope offers optimal performance, while keeping your scope protection from scratches and other sorts of damages on the lens. This spotter is not only waterproof but also fogproof as it is nitrogen filled to keep all the moisture out. It's designed to be comfortable while viewing through the eyepiece. The aluminium alloy body protects the spotting scope from damage and keeps it lightweight for easy carrying. It performs extremely well, even in unpleasant weathers due to the materials used in the construction of this scope.

The glass quality on this is excellent and extremely clear. It doesn't perform well beyond 200 yards, but that is expected because of the specifications. It's still a very satisfying and easy to use spotting scope and highly recommended for beginners and for those who don't want to shell out a lot of money.

It offers a field of view of 156.6-52.2 ft at 1000 yards. The lens diameter will allow for light to pass through, which is optimal for allowing a good amount of light to pass through. The spotting scope, which can be rotated from side-to-side, is ideal for target shooting while sitting on a bench or from prone position. It's a good optic, especially for the price point.


  • An excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts that's quite compact for easy carrying.
  • Doesn't produce color bleeding.
  • The rubberized coating on the body is durable and protects against damage.
  • A versatile carrying case can provide additional protection and can also be carried with a carrying case.
  • Reasonable price point, it also includes a tripod, eyepiece and lens covers, a sunshade and the carrying bag that's ideal for traveling and the outdoors.


  • Spotting scope works best from a bench or a table, it's not really suited for the fields.
  • Does not offer high power and definition, but ideal for basic needs.

Barska 15-40x50 Colorado Spotting Scope


  • Magnification: 15-40x
  • Objective lens diameter: 50mm
  • Weight: 3 lb/1.36 kg
  • Eye relief: 13mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 9.5 in/24.13 cm
  • Our Rating: 3.9/5
  • A good entry level and the most affordable option on this list with decent optics!

The Barska 15-40x50 Colorado Spotting Scope is the one to get if you want to try out a spotting scope but want to spend as little money as possible without suffering too much on the important qualities and features. The field of view at 1000 yards is 150 ft, although images can start to get blurry at 100 ft.

The eyepiece cover is made very well and protects your gear well. However, the spotting scope is made with plastic, but this is normal especially due to the price. This is a great affordable spotting scope that you can keep in the back of your car for those last-minute plans. Even though the price on this is incredibly affordable, it's works surprising very well! But, obviously, it doesn't provide the same specifications as middle or higher range. Also a great optic for young children to play around with and since it's not too expensive, you don't have to worry about your children damaging your gear.

The video below goes in greater details on the features of this spotting scope!


  • Extremely affordable and portable.
  • Includes a carrying bag and covers to protect your lenses.
  • Compact and easy to use,
  • Lifetime warranty offered.
  • Can be used with a camera and a smartphone without any issues.


  • The tripod is made entirely of plastic so it doesn't support your spotter for long periods of time. I would recommend using another tripod and disregard the one provided.
  • Images become blurry beyond 100-150 yards.
  • Magnification, even at 20x, can get unclear and blurry.
  • The eye relief is a little wonky.

Final Words

best spotting scope

While spotting scopes offer much better magnification than binoculars, it can feel sometimes impossible finding the right option for you and your needs. When researching for a spotting scope, it's important to make sure that you're getting yourself a model that is lightweight and packs a good range of magnification.  

I mainly use my spotting scopes for birdwatching, animal and wildlife watching, and nature viewing. Some of the members on our review team have used these spotting scope for hunting and target shooting and stand by them! One of the members uses his spotting scope to keep an eye on his children while they are playing in their backyard. So, there's definitely many uses to spotting scopes that can be related to outdoor and non-outdoor related activities.

When purchasing a spotting scope, it's important to make sure that you get a tripod that's lightweight but also supports your scope. Regarding angled vs straight spotting scope, this is a personal choice (I found angled spotting scope much more comfortable and so do members of our team), however, straight scopes may be easier for you to work with. Many of the options provided in this guide are fogproof and waterproof (at the bare minimum water-resistant) and are coated with rubber to provide further protection against damages.

If you're still not sure about which spotting scope is right for you, I'd recommend the Celestron 52252 Spotting Scope for its quality construction, a great zoom magnification range, and a great price for the fantastic features offered. The Bushnell Sentry 18-36x50 comes in second for it's compact size, waterproof and fogproof properties, and its abilities to generate clear images. As for the third best option, I would recommend the Konus 7122B 20-60x100mm that is excellent for digiscoping thanks to its high image resolution, but it's a little bit heavy for transporting.

If you're starting in out in birdwatching or hunting, but not sure where to start, here are the 2 national organizations that I recommend for those who want to learn everything about the regulations/laws related to hunting and the types of birds to seek out for birdwatching: