For $500, Should You Get a Binocular or a Spotting Scope?

The conflict between binoculars and spotting scopes takes place every time we manage to compare these products. Well, this time, I will show you the difference between binoculars and spotting scopes that can be purchased for less than $500. You may need these pieces of information to make a decision if you are on your way to purchase one of them.

Actually, binos and scopes both have a lot of advantages in the field and are useful for various activities but sometimes, you may only need a scope and eliminate the bino or vice-versa. Anyway, let’s first start with general facts about each of them.

Benefits of spotting scopes

When it comes to magnification, spotting scopes definitely win the game since this material was mainly manufactured to zoom in at long distances and that’s what makes hunters love this magical magnifier.

In addition, the capacity of light that enters the scope is also important thanks to the significantly wider lens than the bino’s. For this reason, the scope is way more useful under rough weather conditions and darkness. Besides, it gives brighter and clearer view.

The focusing system is also worth mentioning since the single focus knob on the scope allows you to focus much faster and then get a clear view in a short amount of time while the focus on a bino is either dual which takes time to set up or automatic and does not provide a correct focusing.

Benefits of Binoculars

Everyone likes to go straight to the cost. Well, binoculars do not cost as much as spotting scopes. In fact, the price of a high-end bino can get you a mid-range scope. It is true that a mid-range scope is also great, but a high-end bino is all what you need for a long day out in the wild.

Thanks to their compact size, binoculars offer a comfortable portability since they weigh only 500 grams and usually attached to a neck strap. For spotting scopes, it is not the case due to the uncomfortable size of them.

Now let’s move to the interesting part:

Which is better for $500, a binocular or a spotting scope?

If you are just looking for glass quality and optical performance, $500 will get you the best binocular on the market. For example, a Nikon Monarch 7 10X42 ED as well as plenty of additional tools such as a cleaning kit, a monopod and a smartphone and tripod adapters only costs $500. In other terms, this bino beats all the records and gives you the opportunity to enjoy your hunting or birding experience to the fullest. In this case, a binocular that will last forever is way more convincing than a mid-range scope that will lose its charm after few years.

On the other hand, $500 will only buy you a basic spotting scope that may have some great features but still not really good for a scope. This amount can afford a Nikon Prostaff 5 which has a 60mm wide objective lens and 16-48X magnification power, this item has great optics and is also durable. Therefore, if you are shooting at long ranges, you would rather buy a scope like this for $500 than a bino.