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NOT SURE WHICH ONE? Click HERE to try our Spotting Scopes Buyer Guide.

Spotting Scope – The Basics

Spotting scopes are smaller and more portable telescopes especially deigned for land viewing. A spotting scope will typically have a 15x to 60x magnification. Most spotting scopes will have a variable zoom feature while others will have a fixed magnification.

Spotting scopes allow you to view your surroundings in great detail and are therefore a popular choice for bird watching, surveillance, nature observation and target shooting. Spotting scopes are also very durable and weather resistant which makes them the perfect companion for hunting and spotting wildlife from long distance.

Most scopes offer two basic design options: a straight eye-piece or an angular one.  With an angled spotting scope you will be peering down the eye-pice while with a straight scope simply looking straight ahead.  Both have advantages and disadvantages, with the advantages of the angled eyepiece outweighing straight for most users.

A spotting scope is always represented by two sets of numbers. For example 20-60×60. The first set of numbers refers to its magnification (or zoom). For example 20x means 20x fixed magnification and 20-60x means 20x to 60x variable zoom. The second number refers to the diameter of its objective lens. A spotting scope will usually have a 50 to 80mm lens.

A spotting scope with a larger lens (60mm to 80mm) will have better light-gathering capability than a smaller 50mm lens spotting scope. This means that the image you see will be brighter and clearer. On the other hand the bigger the lens is the larger and heavier your spotting scope will be. Larger spotting scopes are also more expensive and slightly less portable.

If you are using your spotting scope for extended periods of time or want to get a more stable image then a tripod is recommended. All of our spotting scopes come with a tripod mount built in. Some spotting scopes also come with their own tripod already included in the box. If your spotting scope model does not include a tripod you can always use any standard photographic tripod with it. We also stock some heavy-duty tripods and mounts for spotting scopes. These are a-bit more expensive than standard camera tripods as they are designed to carry heavier weights.

Overall a spotting scope is an incredible tool for enhancing your outdoor activity. It is naturally easy to use and unlike telescopes much easier to carry everywhere. If you are looking to buy your first spotting scope we highly recommend reading our buyer’s guide: How to Choose a Spotting Scope.

NOT SURE WHICH ONE? Click HERE to try our Spotting Scopes Buyer Guide.

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