Best Spotting Scope Reviews 2018

Spotting scopes are used to capture images that are far away. Due to their wide usage, there are quite a few different types in the market. So, to help you choose the best spotting scope we have searched, found, and reviewed the top 5 brands sporting the best spotting scopes in the market. Though we’ve only featured one product from each brand, these brands have many others you might also want to check out.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Magnification
Lens/Glass
Field of view
Size/Weight
Our Top Choice
Celestron Ultima Spotting Scope
Celestron has, for several decades, distinguished itself as a leader in the optics industry.
This scope is perfect for any outdoor activity at any time of the day. It’s compact and has a bag to carry it around. It’s also quite affordable.
There are a few complaints of it being blurry over 25x zoom.
Straight
22-60x
100mm
94 feet
23x8x8 inches; 4.5 lbs
Best Value
Emarth Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod
Emarth provides top-quality products that makes everyday life easier and better. It differentiates itself by always putting customer satisfaction first.
This scope is very affordable and provides a clear image in any situation. It also has a kit which includes a carrying bag and lens covers for protection.
However, the tripod is not sturdy.
Angled
20-60x
60mm high density
33 feet
13.8x3.9x2.9 inches; 1.4 lbs.
Alpen Optics 20-60x80 Spotting Scope
Since 1997, Alpen Optics has been manufacturing a line of optical equipment and accessories that are of the best quality.
This spotting scope has a decent light gathering, effective eye relief adjustment, and is very easy to use and move around.
However, the tripod is not quite sturdy.
Angled
20-60x
80mm high density
11 feet
19x7x12 inches; 5lbs
Bushnell Trophy XLT Spotting Scope
For more than 65 years, Bushnell has been a leader in high-performance sports optics.
This scope has a great field of view. Its images are always very clear and sharp due to its fully multi-coated optics. .
There have been reports about the tripod not being sturdy.
Angled
20-60x
65mm
110 feet
13.6x5.4x6.6 inches; 2.6 lbs.
ROXANT Authentic Grip Scope
For many years, ROXANT has been manufacturing and distributing efficient optical equipment worldwide.
This spotting scope is small and compact. It’s well-designed and very affordable, and is protected from all weather conditions as it’s waterproof and fog-proof.
However, there have been complaints about the magnification not working.
Straight
6x
30mm
60 feet
5.5x2x2 inches; 3 lbs.

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Spotting Scope?

If you’re into bird watching, hunting, star gazing, or any other activity in which you need to look through a glass because of the distance, you may need a spotting scope. Spotting scopes are portable telescopes, but unlike the telescope, you can use them for both land and sea viewing. Generally, they are easy to use, and they let you see over a very long distance. Even in the night time, some spotting scopes are still very clear, and they capture clear images.

For the occasional bird watcher or gamer, binoculars should be sufficient; but for any serious outdoor activity that involves sighting, then you most definitely will need the spotting scope. The high magnification and stability afforded by the spotting scope allows you to see the details on birds that you normally wouldn’t when using binoculars. The professional hunting gamer can use it to effectively spot, follow, and identify wildlife while the target shooter will be saved several walks down-range with it.

Its great magnifying power is also an invaluable asset to the professional or hobbyist photographer. Most spotting scopes come with camera adapters so you can conveniently mount your camera on them, and take very clear and highly defined pictures of far-away objects or animals.

There are several features and terms you need to understand and consider before investing in a spotting scope including the magnification, type of lens, glass quality, light gathering capacity, eye relief, eyepiece placement, focusing mechanism, and the cost, of course! As you shall see shortly, these features are very important and should inform you of the type of spotting scope you should buy. So, please read on.
Price
Spotting scopes are generally considered a major investment, so you need to carefully check your budget and determine how much you’re willing to spend before purchasing a spotting scope. Like so many products out there, the price of any spotting scope is largely dependent on the type of features it has, many of which are discussed in our review.

But really, trying to skimp or cut corners cost-wise for this particular product won’t be to your advantage because those very cheap spotting scopes will only end up giving you headaches and eye fatigue from hours of struggling to use them. So, we suggest you plan towards spending a moderate amount and make a lifetime investment out of it.

With the price of our reviewed spotting scopes ranging from $150 to $1500, we believe that you’ll find one that suits your requirements. Choosing any one of them will give you your money’s worth.
Features
Choosing the right spotting scope may seem like a herculean task, but having a good knowledge of the important features to look out for and keeping them in mind, will help you conveniently make the right choice. Here are some of the features to look out for:
  • The magnification
  • Optical lens size
  • Light gathering capacity
  • Eye relief
  • Eyepiece placement
  • Glass quality
  • Type of tripod included, if at all
  • Focusing mechanism
Construction and Design
A spotting scope can be classified as a telescope that has a medium range. Its magnification capability can range between fifteen times (written: 15x) and sixty times (written: 60x) which is far higher than what’s obtainable with binoculars. It means you can see in far greater detail from far away by manually adjusting the magnification when viewing. Different spotting scopes come with varying degrees of magnification which might be specified as a range like 20x - 60x or a single number. Whatever be the case, the number before “X” means your target object will appear that many times closer than it actually is.

A spotting scope’s objective lens’ size is very important, but you’d have to decide if you want a clearer image or a lighter scope. This is so because a larger objective lens has more light gathering capacity which translates to a brighter and clearer target image and it also affords a wider field of view. But on the flip side, a larger lens means a bigger, heavier, and more expensive spotting scope. As a rule of thumb, if your work requires you to stay at one location for long and you don’t have to worry about extra weight, then you’re better off with an 80mm to 100mm scope lens, if you can afford it. But if you move around a lot or like to travel light, then you’re better off with a 50mm – 60mm scope.

Spotting scopes come in two basic eyepiece placement designs: a straight-through view and an angled view. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but most professional bird viewers or hunters prefer the angled view type. This type is easier to use by people of different heights when mounted on a tripod, without having to adjust the position of the scope. It also makes viewing above the horizon a lot easier, such as gazing at a bird in flight or up in a tree, mountains, or the moon; they’re also more convenient to use for an extended period of time. The straight-through view type is more or less a point-and-view scope, best suited for looking straight ahead or downwards from an elevated position. So depending on your specific need, you should choose the eyepiece placement that will suit you best.

Another design feature that should interest you is the eye relief which lets you still see a clear image even with your eyes placed further away from the eyepiece. This comes in handy for those that use eyeglasses so they can get a clear and full field of view. The eye relief is measured in millimeters and a 12mm -15mm eye relief is usually the right size for the majority of eyeglass wearers. Some models of spotting scopes come with a collapsible eye relief so that non-eyeglass wearers can also use them easily.

The focusing mechanism is normally operated in two ways: either with the focusing collar or with a small focus knob situated on top of the scope near the eyepiece. The focusing collar works when the whole knurled or rubberized barrel of the scope is twisted until the desired focus is achieved.
Performance and Ease of Use
Top-notch spotting scope lenses are manufactured with ED (extra-low dispersion) or HD (high density) glass that’s coated with fluorite. There’s a whole world of difference in the brightness and image clarity between these high-quality scopes and those made with standard glass, and this is most noticed when used in low-light viewing conditions and high magnification power.

Special chemical coatings are applied to the surface of a lens to reduce glare and minimize the amount of available light lost during transmission from the target to the eye. The quality, number, and position of these coatings greatly determine the performance of the spotting scope lens. A fully multi-coated option in which multiple layers are applied to all air-to-glass surfaces is the best glass coating option and makes for top-notch performance.

A fog and waterproof spotting scope is preferable as this device is meant to be used in harsh conditions. So you need to be sure that your spotting scope is tightly waterproofed and that fog won’t hinder its performance under harsh weather conditions.

You’ll see that some of these scopes are covered in a rubber armor-type protection against bangs and bumps. A great number of them are compact models that will easily fit into a pack and come in a hard or soft carrying case, and sometimes, even a special car window mount for use in a moving vehicle. A top-notch spotting scope will not give a very good and bright image if it’s not mounted on a tripod, or on a shaky and flimsy tripod. So to eliminate image blur, you need a sturdy, rigid tripod with very few leg adjustments. A flip lock is good, as is an easy way to quickly extend, retract, and adjust the legs on uneven grounds.

Spotting scopes are easy to maintain as they don’t need too much cleaning except in rare cases, and the maximum cleaning you need to do is to wipe the lens. They are very easy to set up and use as they don’t require any technical tuning. Anyone can use them.

What is the Best Spotting Scope?

Lots of factors are considered before making the right choice of a spotting scope. Having already taken time to read our buying guide, it shouldn’t be difficult to recognize the spotting scope most ideal for you. In this review, we’ve listed all the features of each scope so when you go through it, you’ll be able to pick one that best suits your needs.
Our Top Choice
The Celestron Ultima Spotting Scope has multi-coated optics which makes it very clear, and it works perfectly in dark light. It’s waterproof, and even has a soft carrying case. If you want something more affordable that comes with complete backpack kits, you can check out the Celestron LandScout 60MM Spotting Scope Backpack Kit.
Celestron Ultima Waterproof Spotting Scope – Available in 6 Styles

Celestron Spotting Scope 52257 - Ultima 100 - Straight


Features
For decades, Celestron has been an optic industry leader. It develops some of the best quality optical equipment, known to be revolutionary. It’s dedicated to preserving and promoting science education and dark-sky preservation. It keeps on expanding and helping to bring new knowledge to different communities.

The Celestron Ultima Spotting scope (Selling for $389.95 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a very versatile spotting scope. It features multi-colored optics which accounts for its high level of clarity. It’s waterproof, and even has a soft carrying case. This spotting scope also performs excellently in low light conditions, which is why it’s perfect for any type of outdoor spotting activity. It is well-designed and made easy to hold and handle.

Here are some other spotting scopes by Celestron:
  • Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope- It has multi-coated optics and a sight tube for easy targeting
  • Celestron 52312 Regal M2 Spotting Scope- It’s waterproof and nitrogen-filled, making it durable
  • Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting Scope (black)- It has multi-coated optics
  • Celestron C5 Spotting Scope,52291- It has star bright XLT coatings
  • Celestron 52332 Trail Seeker 80-45-degree spotting scopes- It has multi-coated optics which helps to deliver high contrast images
Best Value
The Emarth 20-60x60 Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod has a BK-7 prism with multi-coated optics which helps to deliver very bright and clear images. If you want a spotting scope that comes with a camera photography adapter, see the ergonomically-designed Emarth 20-60x60AE Spotting Scope with Tripod.
Emarth Waterproof Spotting Scope with 45-Degree Angled Eyepiece & Optics Zoom 39-19m/1000m - Comes with Tripod

Emarth Spotting Scope SVQOGPICTEXCG


Features
Emarth is a brand that was founded on the background of universal design. It manufactures products of different categories for people, and it differentiates itself by putting customer satisfaction first—always. Its spotting scopes are intricately designed and made to be very reliable.

The Emarth 20-60x60 Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod (Selling for $67.99 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a very efficient spotting scope. It has a variable magnification lens that ranges from 20x to 60x. Its lens has BK-7 prism which contains multi-coated optics; this accounts for the clear view when using it. This spotting scope is both waterproof and fog-proof, which protects it from all kinds of weather conditions. It’s also shock-absorbent as it’s designed with a rubber amour. Fortunately for its buyers, it has a twelve-month warranty and lifetime support guarantee.

Here is one more spotting scope by Emarth:
  • Emarth 20-60x60SE Straight Spotting Scope with Tripod, Optics Zoom 39-19m- It has a straight spotting scope with fully multi-coated optics
The Alpen Optics 20-60X80 Spotting Scope is a scope that is waterproof, fog proof, and even shock-resistant. It also comes with a nylon case for protection and an adjustable table-top tripod. If you want a scope that’s 15-45x60 angled, check out the ALPEN 15-45x60 w\/45 deg. eye piece which is covered by Alpen's No-Fault, No-Problem Lifetime Warranty.
Alpen Optics Waterproof Fog-Proof Spotting Scope with Fully-Multi-Coated or Multi-Coated Optics – Table-top Tripod & Field Carrying Case Included – Available in 5 Types

Alpen Optics Spotting Scope ABSS711 - 20x50


Features
Founded in 1997, Alpen Optics is a brand that has been providing high-quality optical products at affordable prices. It strives to provide feature-rich products and it’s dedicated to customer satisfaction. It has continued to show the confidence it has in all its products with a 100-year warranty.

The Alpen Optics 20-60x80 Spotting Scope (Selling for $489.00 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a durable spotting scope with 20x-60x lens magnification. Its eyepiece is angled at 45 degrees and it has a waterproof, shockproof housing. It weighs only 56 ounces and measures 17 inches, making it easy to carry around and store. It also comes with a nylon case for protection and an adjustable table-top tripod. It also has fully multi-coated optics for cutting-edge clarity.

Here are some other spotting scopes by Alpen Optics:
  • Alpen Outdoor Corp. 452. Spotting Scope- It has fully multi-coated optics
  • Alpen 20-60x80 Waterproof Fog Proof Spotting Scope- It has a nitrogen-filled body design and a lifetime warranty
  • Alpen Rainier ED HD 25-75x86 with 45-degree eyepiece Waterproof Fog Proof Spotting Scope- It’s waterproof and fog-proof, and has ED HD optics
  • Alpen 10x25 Monocular- It has coated optics for bright, clear images and green rubber armor for protection
  • Alpen Rainier 20-60x80 HD ED Straight Eyepiece Waterproof Fog-proof Spotting Scope- It has fully multi-coated UBX
With its fully multi-coated optics and a 20x-60x magnification, the Bushnell Trophy XLT Spotting Scope produces ultra-bright crystal clear images. If you want something premium that comes with extra-low dispersion glass for color-tuned, high-resolution viewing, you can check out the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 45 Degree Spotting Scope.
Bushnell Trophy XLT 20-60x 65mm Waterproof Spotting Scope with Compact Tripod Included

Bushnell Spotting Scope 786520


Features
For more than 65 years, Bushnell has been a leader in sports optics. All its products are of high quality and are very reliable. They are also quite affordable, which is surprising given the nature of the materials used to make them. Its aim is to help everyone enjoy the things that make them happy.

The Bushnell Trophy XLT Spotting Scope (Selling for $238.86 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a spotting scope with a puro prism design. It has fully multi-coated optics and a magnification of up to 60x. It has a beautiful design and is made to be durable, with a 100% waterproof rubber armor construction. It also comes with a tripod (compact) and a premium hard-side case.

Here are some other spotting scopes by Bushnell:
  • Bushnell Trophy Extreme Spotting Scope with 45 degrees Eyepiece- It’s waterproof and has a 20x-60x magnification
  • Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60x80 spotting scope- It has two-speed dual focus control
  • Bushnell Space master 15x45x 60mm Zoom Kit Spotting Scope- It has quality optics which have HD clarity and it’s 100% waterproof and fog-proof
  • Bushnell Elite 15-45x 60mm Roof Prism PC-3 Waterproof or Fog Proof Spotting Scope- It has water repellent rain guard HD lens coating and a rubber armor
  • Bushnell 12-36x50mm Waterproof Ultra Compact Spotting Scope- It’s waterproof and fog-proof
The ROXANT Authentic Grip Scope has a beautiful design and multi-coated optics which reveal an ultra-bright image. It also has a retractable eyecup for use with or without glasses. If you want a more affordable and smaller version, you can check out the ROXANT High Definition Mini Monocular Pocket Scope with a molded grip.
ROXANT High Definition Authentic Grip Scope with Retractable Eyepiece and Fully Multi-Coated Optical Glass Lens – Comes with Cleaning Cloth Case & Neck Strap

ROXANT Spotting Scope Grip Scope-HD-Wide View


Features
For many years, ROXANT has been providing top-quality tools for creative people. Its products are made with the best materials and are highly efficient and reliable. If you’re looking for quality, then check out ROXANT.

The Roxant Authentic Grip Scope (Selling for $39.95 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a top-of-the-line wide-view monocular. It’s compact and durable, and features all glass optics that are high-definition and multi-coated, giving it crystal-clear imagery. This spotting scope also has a retractable cup which is great because it can be used with or without glasses. It comes with a carry pouch which has a belt loop for ease in transportation, and it has a no-slip molded grip which makes it easy to hold with one hand. This spotting scope is very clear and efficient and it has 6x30 viewing.

Get the Best Spotting Scope of 2018!

We’re glad that you have taken the time to go through our reviews and we know you’ll be able to pick out the best spotting scope for yourself now. So go ahead and place that order.

Our Top Choice
Celestron Ultima Spotting Scope
Best Value
Emarth Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod
Alpen Optics 20-60x80 Spotting Scope
Bushnell Trophy XLT Spotting Scope
ROXANT Authentic Grip Scope