Reviews of the Top Spotting Scopes for Wildlife Viewing

Whether you are planning your next trip to any national or safari park, or just getting an immersive experience from a wild forest, spotting scope can substantially improve your enjoyment. A spotting scope is, in fact, a must have item for you during wildlife viewing. If you want to get the best experience out of your visit, don’t consider going with a binocular. Instead, look for a spotting scope.

What to keep in mind?

The number of spotting scope in the market is overwhelming and varied. It’s really easy to get lost in the sheer number of spotting scopes. But there are a few certain things that you always have to keep in mind.

  • Optical Quality: When you decide to get a spotting scope for wildlife viewing, the first thing to hover around your mind is optical quality. The crux of the matter is you need to see the wildlife from a long distance. That’s where the optical quality comes into play. Try to go with spotting scopes that come with a multi-coated optical lens. It’ll definitely be better if you get special coatings like ED (extra-low dispersion). These high-quality optical materials will keep the performance intact even in the low and bright light.
  • Compact Size Vs High Power: You probably have pondered about buying a spotting scope which has greater magnification (10x or more) and larger front lens in term of greater light gathering capacity (80mm or more). But does it mark the end of the story? Well, no. When the size of the front lens increases, the weight of the spotting scope increases geometrically. Although larger objective lens means more light gathering capacity, you cannot compromise with the compactness of your spotters when you need them during tough times. So, you have to trade off carefully prioritizing your need and want.
  • Sturdy Construction: In the heat of battle, you may not be able to take a great care of your scope. It may fall from your hand, or you may need to use them during heavy rain to catch your favorite animals in action. Keep in mind while buying a spotting scope that if the construction of the scope is not up to the standard, you have to regret later on. In fact, well-constructed spotting scope has a longer functional lifetime in comparison with clumsily built one.
  • Price Vs Optical Quality: You already noticed spotting scopes featuring a lot of amazing features. Intriguingly, they don’t break your bank as well. But don’t fall for the trap. Just having a greater magnification and larger front lens doesn’t guarantee superior optical performance. It’s more than that. Simply remember that you should never expect better quality in a cheap spotting scope. Otherwise, you will notice critical performance drop as soon as you want to magnify a little more. You may notice edge distortion and color aberration.

Recommended Products:

To ease your headaches and provide you a one-stop solution, here is a comprehensive list of spotting scope that you can consider for your wildlife viewing experience at any time.

Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope: One of the most popular spotting scopes in the Ultima series, Celestron 52250 80mm refractor spotter offers a larger front lens of 80mm. This front lens is, indeed, 77 percent brighter than the 60mm counterpart. The spotting scope is a great fit for wildlife viewing, bird watching, or simply taking the natural scenery. 

With a variable magnification of 20-60x and BAK4 prism material, Celestron 52250 can take your wildlife viewing to the next level. You will get a multicoated lens along with a close focus distance of 26.2 feet. The eye relief is also generous measuring at 18-15mm. The built-quality of the scope is also great, and the scope is absolutely waterproof. A T-mount adapter comes with the scope, which is a nice thing to have. This product also has its own drawbacks. When you have to zoom over 25x, you may experience some optical performance drop. However, this is a great buy at a reasonable price.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope: Another great product from a great spotting scope line. With a 20-60x variable magnification range and 60mm objective lens, Diamondback is a great choice when you need a heavyweight performer in a compact package.

The fully multicoated optical lens is crafted with built-in sunshade, giving the user a superior light transmission and clear, bright image. The close focus range is 20 ft. You may experience a few uncomfortable situations with the eye relief, which is only 17-14mm. This scope is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, giving an absolute waterproof and fog proof performance. Although some user complained about the focusing problem after a certain distance, most of the users are very satisfied with the performance. The construction stands up to any rough use in the field and delivers an awesome viewing experience.

Gosky 20-60×80 Spotting Scope: Gosky 20-60×80 delivers some amazing features at a reasonable price. It has got a variable magnification of 20-60x along with a large over-sized front lens of 80mm. Another great feature of this spotting scope is dynamic lens focusing system which helps in effective and efficient focusing on any target.

This 45-degree angled spotting scope features a fully multicoated optics and BAK4 prism material together. Thus, it ensures better light gathering capacity and high-contrast image even in low light. Gosky 20-60×80 has a great built-quality, coming with durable Magnalium framework and rubber armor along with the waterproof body. It also has a retractable sunshade. You will get some great accessories for the product. In fact, considering the price, this is a great product to have.

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A 20-60×82: This product is absolutely masterclass in its range. If you can afford it, you should definitely look forward to it. It comes with 20-60x variable magnification and 82mm objective lens.

You get everything you wish with this spotting scope—fully multicoated optics, magnesium-built body, Vanguard waterproof hard case, and Tabletop tripod. The best thing about this spotting scope is ED glass and dual focus mechanism. The focus is smooth and adjusted for fine and coarse adjustment. The long 19mm eye relief is suitable for long duration comfortable viewing. In fact, this can be a great spotter for you if you can cope with the price. You will surely get more than your expectation.

Finally, listed above are some of the most reliable spotting scopes. When it comes to wildlife viewing, you should never compromise the optical quality. Just chose any of the scopes from the list and you are good to go. Enjoy the wildlife viewing with a new, powerful vision.