Spotting scopes are incredibly useful optical instruments as long as they’re used for the right purpose. As with anything, there isn’t a single best spotting scope, but there are a number of things that one has to consider to determine the most suitable buying option when looking for one. Let’s have a look at these factors.
Magnification – typically the magnification for spotter scopes starts at 20x and goes up to around 60x, though some models support higher figures. Note that the cheaper the product and optics, the worse will the scope’s performance at high power factors be.
Objective lens – the size of the front lens determines how much light goes into the scope and is crucial for its usability in dimmer light or higher magnifications.
Quality of optics – the quality of the glass components differs drastically between budget models and the best scopes on the market. Things like using BaK-4 prisms, lens coatings etc all increase brightness, contrast and sharpness of the image. The quality of the image can be (almost literally) like day and night even when comparing scopes with the same basic numbers.
Price – obviously it would be nice to buy a Swarovski, Leica or Zeiss scope, but few can afford this kind of an investment. Price is a major consideration, but must be weighed carefully against all the other factors, since cheap product tend to be “cheap” in terms of more than just price.
Since picking the top spotter scope is not an easy task, we try to make the job easier by reviewing the best models by type and application and showing you great choices in a wide range of prices.
- Buying a Rangefinder Spotting Scope - What Are Your OptionsWe go through the actual options you have when trying to buy a spotting scope with a rangefinder - there are several solutions to the issue. Read this guide before jumping to any conclusions.
- A Full Guide to Picking the Best Hunting Spotting ScopeYour spotting scope can make or break your hunting trip - it's crucial you understand what you're buying. We make it easy to choose the best tool for the job and your budget and review several top models to consider.
- Picking the Best Spotting Scope for Birding, What You Need to Know (2018)Making the right choice about your new spotting scope will have a tremendous impact on your birding experience. Let's see what you should know about spotting scopes before spending your cash.
- A Target Shooter's Guide to Buying a Great Spotting ScopeYou've got tough choices to make when looking for a great target shooting scope and we'll help you - read this guide and check out these products before spending your money.
- Some of the Best Spotting Scopes under $500 or so for HuntersNeed a spotter scope for your hunting, but you're on a budget? For $500 or less, you can get a really good tool that will fulfill your needs - read this article first.
- Cheap Spotting Scopes vs More Expensive OnesHere we compare some really cheap spotting scopes with higher priced ones.
- How to Use the Reticle on our Spotting ScopeSuppose you buy a spotter scope with a distance measuring reticle. Do you know how to use one? Here we give a brief overview of what's involved.
- Best Brands that Make Great Mid-Range Spotting ScopesYou can get a pretty good spotting for less than $500. Read this article to find out which brands offer optics in this range.
- How to Choose a Good Spotting Scope for a Few Hundred BucksHow do you know a good spotting scope from bad one? Especially if the price is the same? What to look for and how to choose your spotting scope - in this article.
- How to Choose a Spotting Scope with a Range Finding ReticleReticle-equipped spotting scopes are incredibly useful for estimating range during practice shooting or hunting. But how do you choose one? Read this article to know what to pay attention to.
- Your Ultimate Guide to the Top Spotting Scopes under 1000 USDFind out the best optics you can get for your money with our full buying guide. We review several spotting scope models in depth and provide tips on making the best buying decision.
- Uses and Limitations of Really Cheap Spotting ScopesSee what you can expect when buying a low-end spotting scope. They have their applications, but won't fulfill everyone's needs/
- What to Expect from a $500 Spotting Scope500 dollars is a fair amount to buy a decent spotting scope, but it will not be the same as a $2000 one. In this article, we look at what you might expect for your money.
- What's Better: Getting a Low-Cost Spotting Scope vs a Decent Binocular?Sometimes it's not obvious whether you should spend your money on a spotting scope or binoculars. Here we look at some things you should consider when weighing one against the other.
- Spotting Scope with Ranging Reticle vs Laser Rangefinder: Which Should You Go for?There are situations where one would prefer to measure distant through a reticle-equipped spotting scope, but sometimes you need a laser range finder. Read here which to choose.
- Top Budget Spotting Scopes that Cost Less than 100 Dollars Reviewed (2018)Read our reviews and buyer's guide for the best budget spotting scopes that cost $100 or less.
- Tips for Choosing a Cheap Spotting ScopeCheap spotting scopes obviously have some trade-offs and in this article we review which aspects you need to consider when buying a spotting scope on a budget.
- For $500, Should You Get a Binocular or a Spotting Scope?It's not always obvious what sort of optics you should be getting for your budget. Here we compare binoculars and spotting scopes that can be bought for $500 or less.
- Reticle Types on Spotting ScopesWe have a look at the various types of reticles found on modern spotting scopes. If you're a shooter or a hunter, this is a must-read.
- Spotting Scope with Reticle: Review of the Best Models on the MarketA complete buying guide and in-depth reviews of the top spotting scopes with a reticle on the market. Read before buying.
- What are the Best Budget Spotting Scopes on the Market in 2018?Find out the best budget spotting scopes on the market today by reading our detailed buying guide and reviews.
- Top Picks for Spotting Scopes that Cost $500 Or LessReviews of the top spotting scopes that one can usually get for less than $500. We review features to look for and a small selection of the most prominent products.