Top 16 Best Spotting Scopes Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

If you are a bird watcher, hunter, target shooter or photographer looking for best spotting scope reviews then you will find this article helpful. I will be sharing the detailed buying guide and reviews of the top 16 spotting scopes available on the market in 2019.

Now that you have an overall idea of what things to consider while picking a spotting scope it makes sense to have a quick overview and comparison of the best scoping scopes on the market. We have prepared a chart below for a quick comparison of overall features of Spotting Scope available.

Quick comparison of best spotting scopes

Model Magnification Lens Diameter Editor's Rating Best Usage Detail
1. Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope 22x-66x 100 mm 4.5/5 SharpShooting
2. Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope 25-60x 85 mm 4.5 Hunting
3. Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope 20-60x 60 mm 4.4 Hunting
The best spotting scope for the money
4. Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope 15-45x 65 mm 3.6 Long range visibility
5. Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes 22-48x 65 mm 4.5 Hunting
6. Celestron 52304 Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope 16x-48x
7. Meade Instruments 126002 Wilderness Spotting Scope 20-60x 100 mm 4 Hunting
8. Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scopes 15-45x 65 mm 4.3 Hunting
9. Leupold mark 4 12-40x60mm spotting scope 12-40x 60 mm 5/5 SharpShooting
10. Swarvoski 80 mm STS HD Straight Shooting 25-50x 80 mm 4 Hunting
11. Redfield 114651 Rampage 20-60x 60 mm 5 Middle range
12. Bushnell Trophy XLT 20-60x 65mm Waterproof Compact 20-60x 65 mm 5 Best Spotting scope in budget
13. Vanguard Endeavor XF Spotting Scope 15-45x 60 mm 5 Best medium priced under warranty

Top 16 Best Spotting Scope For 2019

  1. Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
  2. Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope
  3. Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope
  4. Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope
  5. Meade Instruments 126002 Wilderness Spotting Scope
  6. Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scopes

1. Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope

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The Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope is one the best shooting device that has a lot in store for all the shooting enthusiasts. Outdoor activities are always memorable, especially when you get to see an outstanding view. Tourists or hunters love to have the best spotting scope to zoom enough to get a perfect view.

Long-distant viewing sometimes hard to check out, and with the Celestron 52252 Spotting Scope, you can observe the nature and also get to see the long distance view. It provides high levels of light transmission all thanks to the multi-coated lenses. When the ambient light is dim, you can even get to see brighter images.

Moreover, it is fog-proof and waterproof as it is filled with nitrogen gas (dry), which allows you to venture in the rainy season and get the best view of the area around.

Pros

  • Multi-coated optics
  • 45 degrees viewing angle
  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Easy to use spotting scope
  • Digiscoping with T-mount adaptor
  • Field of view is 1.8°-1.0°
  • Rugged  construction
  • All-rounder spotting scope
  • Long-distance viewing
  • Comes with an instruction manual

Cons

  • Clarity lost when zooming reach up to 60x
  • Sharpness  limitations

2. Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope

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The Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope is a high-quality angled device known to deliver ultimate resolution. Do you like hunting? All the people, who like to go hunting with a clear view of the target, will surely love this spotting scope as it has all the features and qualities that you need for your purpose.

The ultra-hard-coated armor Tek keeps the exterior lenses protected from the dirt, oil, and scratches. The proprietary XR anti-reflective coating is known to increase the transmission of light, which delivers maximum brightness. It is also coated with a dielectric prism that provides the brightest, clearest, and accurate color images. The Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope has O-ring sealed optics that prevents debris, dust, and moisture. It is waterproof and fog-proof due to the Argon gas that purged to block fogging. Chromatic aberration reduced by the triplet apochromatic lens.

Pros

  • Extra-low dispersion
  • Dielectric prism coatings
  • Accurate color
  • Scratch-proof
  • Prevents dirt and oil
  • Proprietary XR anti-reflective coatings
  • Triplet apochromatic lens
  • O-ring sealed optics
  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Maximum image quality
  • Porro prism
  • Ultra-hard-coated Armor Tek

Cons

  • Heavy tripod
  • It is a bit expensive

3. Emarth 20-60x60AE Angled Spotting Scope

The best cheap spotting scope !!!

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The Emarth 20-60x60AE Angled – best spotting scope for the money

The Emarth 20-60x60AE Angled Spotting Scope is definitely the best device for the hunting and wildlife enthusiasts. Whether you want to go on shooting, explore the wildlife, or enjoy the amazing scenery, this angled spotting scope is the right one to pick as it has all the features that a shooting enthusiast need. It is the best-priced spotting scope you can find in the market.

The Emarth 20-60x60AE Angled Spotting Scope has earned the ‘Best Seller’ tag on Amazon that would not be possible without exceptional quality and awe-inspiring features.

It has a 45-degree angled eyepiece that has an ergonomic design known for comfortable viewing. The field of view it provides is worth appreciating as it brings the nature closer to you all thanks to the 39- 19/1000m. This spotting scope is known for watching wildlife, traveling, spotting moon, camping, hiking, archery, hunting, target shooting, and astronomy.

Pros

  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • High magnification
  • BAK4 roof prism
  • High-contrast, bright, and clear images
  • 45-degree angled eyepiece
  • Durable
  • Fog-proof and waterproof
  • Friendly customer service
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty and lifetime money back guarantee

Cons

  • When zooming at 100 yards or more, the image quality suffers
  • Tripod does not provide stability

4. Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope

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The Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope has all the qualities you may be looking for.  It is known for its performance and tremendous features. It has an extra-low dispersion glass that delivers precise color rendition and minimal fringing. This spotting scope has Bak4 phase-coated prism with multi-coated lenses. The angled eyepiece is soft as well detachable. It has comfortable rubber eyecup that helps you view the beautiful scenery.

Plus, the best part about the Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope is that it is 100% fog-proof and waterproof, which means you can enjoy the perfect view even when it’s raining without experiencing fog.

The body of this spotting scope is made up of rubber armored magnesium with a built-in shield. Moreover, it has dual focus wheel for coarse and fine adjustment. It is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and photographers as it is a budget-friendly spotting scope.

Pros

  • Amazing field of view
  • Premium HD glass
  • Multiguard coatings
  • Anti-reflective compounds
  • Waterproof and for-proof
  • Fine focusing
  • Built-in sunshield
  • Detachable angled eyepiece
  • Comfortable rubber cup
  • Ergonomic

Cons

  • You may experience identical image degradation as you zoom the mid-range

5. Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes

Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes –Spotting Scope With Best Quality Glasses 2019 

When we are discussing the outdoor optical items, we won’t do justice without mentioning this product. It comes from the Vortex brand which has built a reputation by offering quality optical products without the high price tags. One of its new spotting scope that has caught my attention is Razor HD 22-48×65 which is packed with triplet apochromatic lens combined with high Density, extra-low dispersion glass which produces images with amazing clarity. It is built ruggedly to withstand pressure, drop and natural elements. It also comes with the lifetime warranty which makes it an amazing value proposition.  If you’re willing to spend around 1200 USD on a quality scope, I would highly recommend this to any shooter or hunter.

Pros:

  • The low dispersion glass gives amazing resolution, colour and clarity.

6. Celestron 52304 Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope

This lightweight spotting scope with magnesium alloy body is a great steal at this price. It has extra-low dispersion glass which produces images with great clarity, colour and resolution. Birders would really appreciate the 16x – 48x  eyepiece that would really help in “digiscoping” outdoors. A rotating tripod is packed with the purchase of Celestron Regal M2, which offers greater flexibility.

Pros:

  • Exceptional optical combination at this price.

Cons:

  • This product is back end heavy. I found a bit of trouble in keeping the scope in position when it drooped.

7. Meade Instruments 126002 Wilderness Spotting Scope

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The Meade Instruments 126002 Wilderness Spotting Scope provides you all the reason to take it with you on all your outdoor activities no matter where you go and what sceneries you want to see. It provides a clearer, brighter, and precise view that you would surely love.  It is one of the durable spotting scopes you can ever get, and it the one of the best thing that makes it popular among the outdoor enthusiasts.

The Meade Instruments 126002 Wilderness Spotting Scope features precision ground lenses coated with multi-layers of anti-reflection coatings and index Bak-4 prisms. When you are shooting outdoor, you experience rain sometimes even heavy rain, and at that time you can’t stop your tour as it is the time you can take maximum shots of the remarkable destination.

The mead Instruments 126002 Wilderness Spotting Scope is waterproof as well as fog-proof. It is fog-proof as the dry nitrogen purged to block fog. You will get this spotting scope with a camera adapter and soft case.

Pros

  • Zoom Porro prism
  • Brighter and detailed image
  • Fog-proof and waterproof
  • Multi-layers of anti-reflective coatings
  • Bak-4 prism
  • Sliding sunshade to reduce glare
  • Rugged rubber armor

Cons

  • Tripod is not included

8. Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scope

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The Viper HD spotting scope is one of the best products of Vortex Optics, a popular brand known for selling the best spotting scopes and people are very much satisfied by its products.

The Viper HD spotting scope is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who love to go on hunting. The XR anti-reflective coating along with the HD extra-low dispersion glass of this spotting scope provides maximum brightness, color fidelity, and impressive resolution.  You can easily view distant locations without even needing to reach there, and in this way, you can shoot the best pictures of your life. The sunshade shields the objective lens from snow and rain and also reduces glare.

Apart from this, the Vortex Optics Viper HD spotting scope is waterproof and fog-proof. So, whether you are planning to go out for outdoor activities in the rainy season or snowfall, this spotting scope provides high-quality images.

Pros

  • Incredible viewing
  • Bright, sharp, and crisp  images
  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Dual focus wheel
  • Fine adjustment
  • Rotating tripod ring
  • No glare
  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Armor Tek coatings protect the lenses from dirt, scratch, and oil

Cons

  • No cons

9. Leupold mark 4 12-40x60mm spotting scope

Leupold mark 4 12-40x60mm spotting scope w/mil dot 53756

There must be some reason why hunters swear by the Leupold brand and that is why we have put this spotting scope at the top of our list. Leupold mark 4 12-40x60mm spotting scope w/mil dot 53756 is favorite with the American sniper team. With its multi-coated lens and magnification between12-40x60mm magnification, it can easily cover long distances. You can capture images with great clarity using this and so if you’re into digiscoping and not a hunter you will also find great value investing in this. Its close focus distance is 36 ft. Its light weight of 370 oz but its body can withstand any pressure or shock of any kind.  Its water-resistant, fog and snow proof, so you can use it in any weather condition. You have options to choose between Mil Dot or Tactical Mile Reticle in this. The best thing about this is it is protected by a lifetime warranty.

Pros:

  • Multi-coating lens means the images are bright.
  • Image clarity is amazing.
  • Can withstand any weather condition

Cons:

  • The price point is a bit on the higher side, but with the lifetime warranty by Leupold its totally worth it.

10. Swarovski 80 mm STS HD Straight Shooting

Swarovski 80 mm STS HD Straight Shooting – Best Natural Lover Spotting Scope 2019

With a very high-density glass and fully multi-coated lens, you will be glad to have this in your possession if you’re a hunter or natural lover.  It has a very close focus of 16 ft, so it is a birder’s delight. Moreover, the aluminium body makes it lighter and easy to carry. So, it’s an excellent choice if you’re trekking high up. It is perfect for outdoor shooting. With its swaro cleaning coating, it gives extra protection from natural elements. It is not only water and fog proof but also comes with the sunshade to reduce the glare. It has a rotating tripod ring which gives the user the much-needed flexibility. However, the main use of the device is its high-quality optical system which makes every viewing an adventure and gives every picture a high-quality preciseness.

Pros:

  • High-quality optics
  • Weatherproof  and swaro coating
  • HD glass which adds an amazing clarity to every viewing

Cons:

  • Nothing that comes to my mind. This is pure delight to every nature enthusiast like me.

11. Redfield 114651 Rampage 20X – 60X 80mm Spotting Scope


Redfield 114651 Rampage 20X – 60X 80mm Spotting Scope – Best Medium Range Angled Eyepiece

This angled spotting scope is value for money. It offers 20X – 60X magnification with its 80mm objective lens and is perfect for short to long range shootings. It has a close focus of 14 ft which makes it really easy to shoot short distances. Its multi-coated and thus you get quality images with amazing clarity. It offers 19-17mm eye relief that helps to provide a comfortable viewing experience for eyeglass wearers specifically.  The body has armour-tough rubber housing, which lends its outstanding durability. However, its lightweight has been filled with nitrogen.  It has a plastic tripod stand, but it’s made of quality plastic that can last a lifetime.

Pros:

  • Optical performance is very good in the range.
  • It’s on budget. Price is shown at 300+ On Amazon.

Cons:

  • You will be disappointed with the spotting scope if you’re trying to use it at higher power. It’s a good middle range angled eyepiece. If you’re used to or need to use for high powers, then this passes this one.

12. Bushnell Trophy XLT 20-60x 65mm Waterproof Compact Tripod Spotting Scope

Best Affordable Spotting Scope 2019


BestAffordableSpottingScope2019

Bushnell has a name for manufacturing quality outdoor optical devices.  Trophy XLT 20X – 60X, 65mm spotting scope is quite popular among users because it’s durable, compact and waterproof.

With the Bushnell brand product, you won’t be disappointed with the quality of the material used. The optics are of excellent quality and comes with HD clarity.

The scope is lightweight and weighs about 42 ounces. It has a rubber housing which makes this scope waterproof. You get a multi-coated lens which gives images with great clarity. Moreover, you get a compact tripod along with the purchase. Moreover, to buy this, you don’t have to break the bank. This is the most affordable spotting scope you can buy. Moreover, we can’t end by not mentioning the look of the device. It looks pleasing to the eye. With amazing design and the quality optical device, it is the best you can have at this price.

Pros:

  • Excellent product at a low price.
  • Design is really awesome.

Cons:

  • It comes with a compact tripod. However, it has short legs and is not easily adjustable. You could better buy a better tripod.

13. Vanguard Endeavor XF Spotting Scope

Best Medium Priced Spotting Scope Under Warranty

This is a medium priced product having an excellent optical system. It has a multi-coated lens which offers excellent viewing even in low-light conditions. It provides magnification of 45X and users has reported excellent viewing even at 1000 yards. The spotting scope has a rubber-armoured body of magnesium make it robust but very lightweight. It is waterproof and fog-proof. This product is very popular with the masses. It is also very popular with the serious scope user.

Pros:

  • Low pricing. It is undoubtedly the best-angled eyepiece at this price.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty which makes the product an excellent buy.

Cons:

  • They could have done better with better eye relief. I would have loved a bit more space between the eyepiece and my eye.

14. Kowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High-Performance

Kowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High-Performance Spotting Scope with PROMINAR Pure Fluorite Lens-  Best Birding Scope 2019 

The Kowa TSN is the perfect spotting scope for birders because of its excellent lens and design. It has an angled body, dual focus and fluorite crystal lens which brings out images with amazing clarity.  Birders need enhanced features like colour, contrast and resolution and this scope provides them with that. Even at higher magnification level, it maintains amazing, impeccable image quality.  It has a multi-coated lens and Porro prism that allows amazing experience even at low-light conditions. It has a heavy lens, but the body is made of magnesium alloy material to balance the weight. Eyepieces are sold separately.   

Pros:

  • This spotting scope has amazing clarity due to its excellent optical components.
  • Design is quite appealing.

Cons:

  • Nothing, I can think of. If you’re a birder looking for the best spotting scope for bird watching experience, this is the product.

15. Bushnell Sentry 12-36x50mm 789332 Ultra Compact Spottingx

Bushnell Sentry 12-36x50mm 789332 Ultra Compact Spottingx 40mm Green/Waterproof-  Best Compact Spotting Scope For Hikers

It is a great compact scope for someone always on the go. It is a lightweight instrument and thus perfect for hikers. It is fully multi-coated and has a dual focus lens with low dispersion glasses. So, you get quality images. Moreover, since its weatherproof, you can easily carry it outside without any worry.

Pros:

  • Easy for hikers and travellers due to its portability.
  • Amazing Quality Images.

Cons:

  • It is bit difficult to adjust and they could have done better with eye relief adjustments.

16. BARSKA 30-90×90 Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope

BARSKA 30-90×90 Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope –Best and Cheap Spotting Scope 2019

Priced around 150 USD, this gives amazing value for its price. It comes packed with a straight body model. It magnification of 30-60x and comes with fully coated Porro prism. So, it offers amazing brightness and high-quality images even in low light situations.  This is not amazing at the higher range, but then at this price, you don’t even expect one.

Pros:

  • This offers good viewing at low light conditions.

Cons:

  • This product could have done better with a better design and eye relief adjustments.

How To Choose A Spotting Scope

When you’re ready for investing in a spotting scope, you must begin with asking yourself with the purpose of using a spotting scope. Whether you’re going to use it for wildlife photography, birdwatching, target shooting or hunting should be clear in your mind because depending upon your requirement you should choose the suitable spotting scope with the appropriate features.

There are many design, optical characteristics and other features to consider when you’re buying a spotting scope. I will be discussing those very briefly so you have a general idea of what should be appropriate for you. Please read it till the end and let me know if you find it helpful in the comments.

If we talk about the anatomy, then a spotting scope has a fixed power eyepiece, digiscope adaptor, eyecup adjustment, focus wheel, tripod attachment and sunshade components. Now the magnification of the eyepiece or the power of adaptor is not the only factor that differs from one scope to another. They differ in shape, design, material, weight, focus, lens coating and the price. So, let’s look at some of the features and how they differ.

1. Body Shape

There are two types of spotting scope depending on their shape – straight body and angled body. A straight body spotting scope is used to view the body from an elevated position. So, if you’re at the top of a mountain and you want to see below, then a straight spotting is just what you need. They have the eyepiece and body on the same optical plane. Hunters and target shooters prefer it. It can easily be attached to a car mount.

Angled body shooting scope is used for looking up or across flat ground.  So, it is preferred by birdwatchers and photographers. They also have rotational eyepieces, so the user doesn’t have to change their optical. They can rotate the eyepiece. So, it’s more convenient for looking up. But it is usually more expensive than a straight shooting scope.

2. Objective Lens

Objective lens is the most important thing you should look for within a spotting scope. The magnification of the spotting scope will depend on the lens, so choose your lens wisely. It would be best if you ideally chose a bigger lens and of higher quality for a higher range. However, if you can only select one among – bigger size and lens quality, you should go for the higher quality for a bigger lens with low quality will produce an inferior quality image.

3.  Check your Adapter

If you will be taking images, then you must check the compatibility of the adapter with your camera device. You can also buy external adapters that are compatible with your phone or camera device.

4. Magnification

The magnification of your spotting scope depends on your choice of eye-pieces you have. If you’re using a big lens, then it lets in more light but also add to the weight and price. Most of the spotting activity is done within the range of 30x-50x. So, that is something you should keep in mind while you’re considering.

5. Lens Coating

Lens coating improves the quality of vision by increasing the transmission of light. Spotting Scopes are fully-coated, multi-coated and fully-multi coated depending. The more layer it has, brighter the image will be — also, less eye strain.

6. Weatherproof

Most of us buying a spotting scope will be using it outside. So, its best to check whether the spotting scope is built to withstand water, fog or snow. It’s not an absolute must-have feature,  but something significant to consider when you’re planning to buy a spotting scope.

7. Close Focus

This is one of the most overlooked features. Close focus a is simply the minimum distance before the lens goes out of focus. It is important for birders because they also look at objects closer like feather marks and other aspects.

Conclusion

There are many different companies offering many different variants of spotting scopes in the market. But not all scopes are created equally. I created this guide to introduce someone new to shopping spotting scopes. Once a spotter is aware of the important things to consider and their requirement, then it comes down to price. And that is why we selected different spotting scopes at a different price range. I hope this article will help someone looking for the best spotting scope that is best suited for them in 2019.

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