Best Spotting Scopes on the market of 2020

Spotting Scopes are used for different types of activities, such as astrophotography, surveying, shooting the target, landscape viewing, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and other activities that require viewing subjects from a far distance. You can use your spotting scope for all such adventure activities.

If you’re confused about which is the best spotting scope that is available out there which you can purchase for yourself, we are here with our detailed buyer’s guide to find the right one. You should be clear about your budget and how much you’re comfortable spending on your scope. There are many good quality scopes available at an affordable price point but if you’re looking to take your viewing activities to the next level you can also spend quite a bit of money. You just need to know that you don’t have to spend a large sum of money for a highly functional spotting scope. In this article, we will provide recommendations that range from all types of budgets.

We will be discussing the pros and cons of each Spotting Scope. But before beginning the list of Best Spotting Scopes 2020, we want you to know that what are some features which one should look for in a good quality Spotting Scope.

Spotting Scope Considerations

Magnification

This is one of the most important and obvious features because the main reason we are buying spotting scope is that we can see objects from a distance, so magnification is important. In the case of spotting scopes, you will see a designation 20x65mm or 18-45x65mm. 

A spotting scope with a single number like 30 or 40 means it is a fixed power scope. If the numbers are present in hyphen like 19-46, 21-56 it means the scope is of variable power.

Objective Lens

The size of the lens should be large, larger the size of the lens, the better will be the image as it will allow more light to enter the lens. A Larger lens gives you a wide view. You should keep in mind the quality of the lens too.

Lens Coatings

The lens coating helps in minimizing the glare of the lens, also there are many lens coating available in the market. They help in increasing the ability of the lens to gather more light, as its numerical aperture increases. Multicoating scopes are also available in the market. But these spotting scopes are costlier than single coating spotting scopes.

Straight or Angled Scope

Spotting scopes are available in two variants. The orientation of the eyepiece defines whether the scope is straight or angled.

The main difference between the two is that Straight scopes are a good handheld option but, they need to be mounted at the viewer’s eye level. Whereas angled scopes are mounted lower and provide steadier, better image.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the full field view that can be achieved keeping the scope a certain distance. Eye relief of less than 15 mm will affect having a full view if you wear eyeglass.

Weather Protection

It is also an important feature, as most of the spotting scope will be used for adventures, mostly in wild areas. Thus the weather will also be harsh on you. So it’s better to invest in good weather protection cover for your spotting scope. Most of them are quite costly but it’s worth it. Some spotting scopes come with rubber coating as protection to the lens.

Best Spotting Scope Comparison Table 2019

Here are the top 10 best spotting scopes available in the market right now in 2019. Each review comes with product descriptions and specifications. We will mention the pros and cons of each product. So let’s begin.

Product Magnification Objective Lens Lens Coating Body Type Eye Relief Weather-Proofing
1.Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope 22-66 100 mm Multi-coated Angled 18 mm Water and Fog Proof
2.BARSKA 15-40×50 Colorado Spotting Scope 15-40 50 mm Multi-Coated Straight 13 mm Water and Fog Proof
3.Gosky 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope 20-60 80 mm Multi-coated Angled 17 mm Water and Fog Proof
4.Celestron 52238 C70 Mini Mak Spotting Scope 15-45 65 mm Multi-coated Angled 19.6 mm Water and Fog Proof
5.Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes 60-85 27 mm Multi-coated Angled 16.7 mm Waterproof and fogproof
6.Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 (45 Degree) Spotting Scope 60-80 20 mm Fully multi-coated Angled 18 mm Waterproof and fogproof
7.MINOX MD 50 W Spotting Scope 16-30 50 mm Multi-Coated Angled 17 mm Waterproof
8.Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting scope 39 mm Multi-coated Angled 20 mm
9.Nikon PROSTAFF 5 20-60x (82mm) 20-60 82 mm Multi-coated Angled Waterproof and fogproof
10.BARSKA 20-60x (70mm) Spotting Scope 20-60 70 mm Multi-Coated Angled 14.4 mm Waterproof and Fog-Proof

1.Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope- [Editors Choice]

This is an angled spotting scope that has magnificent viewing nature and landscape from a far distance. The T-mount adapter provided helps you capture clear photos by attaching your camera to the T-ring making it perfect for digiscoping. The subjects appear extremely clear and razor sharp even with high magnifications with this spotting scope. The body of the scope is also waterproof and specially sealed up with dry nitrogen gas so moisture won’t fog your lenses even in rough weather conditions like a rainstorm.

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 22-66x
  • Objective lens diameter: 100mm
  • Weight: 7 lb/3.18 kg
  • Eye relief: 18mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 19 in/48.26 cm
PROS
  • It is great at identifying targets and subjects from long distances as it produces sharp images.
  • The multi-coated optics allow for more light to come through the lens even when present in low light conditions.
  • Images are extremely clear and sharp with very less amount of fuzziness even at high magnification images.
  • Works perfectly well with cameras for digiscoping by mounting the camera on the spotting scope with the help of the T-ring adapter provided along.
  • Great for the price point and for the features that are being offered.
  • Ideal for target shooting, birding, and other activities for getting a clear image from a large distance.
CONS
  • One will need to remove the glasses because Eye relief may not be able to provide a whole field of view.
  • A sturdy and solid tripod is required to use with the spotter because it can get a little unbalanced sometimes thus blurring the view. The scope performs much better on a stable tripod.
  • No sunshade is provided on the objective lens.
  • Includes a carrying case but is not padded for protection.

Our Rating: 4.9/5

2.BARSKA 15-40×50 Colorado Spotting Scope

The Barska 15-40×50 Colorado Spotting Scope is one of the best scopes to get if you want to try out a spotting scope but at the same time want to spend as little money as possible without worrying too much on the important qualities and features.

The eyepiece cover is made of superb quality and protects your gear well. However, the spotting scope is made of plastic material, but this is the main reason for the low price. This is a great affordable spotting scope that you can keep in the back of your car for those last-minute unplanned treks. This incredibly affordable spotting scope works surprising very well!

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 15-40x
  • Objective lens diameter: 50mm
  • Weight: 3 lb/1.36 kg
  • Eye relief: 13mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 9.5 in/24.13 cm
  • A good entry-level and the most affordable option on this list with decent optics!
PROS
  • Extremely affordable and easy to carry.
  • Includes a carrying bag and covers to protect your lenses from bad weather.
  • Compact and easy to use.
  • Lifetime warranty offered by manufacturer.
  • Can be used with a camera and a smartphone without any connectivity issues.
CONS
  • The tripod is made fully of plastic so it wouldn’t support your spotter for long periods of time. we would recommend using another tripod and disregard the one provided with the spotter.
  • Images become blurry beyond 100-130 yards.
  • Magnification, even as low as 20x, can get unclear and blurry sometimes.
  • The eye relief is a little unstable.

Our Rating: 3.9/5

3.Gosky 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope

The Gosky 20-60×80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope comes with a carrying bag, a phone mount, hand straps, a tripod, and an eye cap to protect your lens from damage and harsh weather conditions. It provides a field view of 11.7-58.6 ft/1000 yards. Excellent scope for common activities like birdwatching, wildlife viewings, range and target shooting, and even lunar observation. But, it’s not recommended for hunting as an image may get blurry while motioning.

This is a waterproof and fog proof spotting scope, but there are some issues that are common with this spotter mainly the decrease in the quality of the image at higher magnifications.

However, the excellent affordable price point and the extra accessories make this spotting scope a great spotter to buy! It offers better image clarity. The sunshade is excellent and helps a lot in reducing glare. It’s excellent for a small trek.

One can mount it easily on a tripod. You can also connect it to your camera or smartphone and use it.

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Objective lens diameter: 80mm
  • Weight: 1.76 lb/0.8 kg
  • Eye relief: 17 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 17.7 in/44.96 cm
PROS
  • This spotter provides clear and crisp images upto 210 yards.
  • Waterproof and fogproof body protects the body of the spotting scope from any kind of damage.
  • Great for watching wildlife and birdwatching, hunting not recommended.
  • An excellent affordable spotting scope for the price point concerned.
CONS
  • Phone mount is very flimsy and we don’t recommend using it for activities like digiscoping.
  • Tripod is unstable and I recommend using a better quality tripod rather than using the one which comes along. It can only be used on tabletops.

Our Rating: 4.3/5

4.Celestron 52238 C70 Mini Mak Spotting Scope

The Vortex Optics Viper HD 15-45×65 Angled Spotting Scope features HD lens elements that produce incredibly clear and sharp images due to the ED glass used. It offers a wide focus range and the field of view at 1001yds is 135.5-69.8 ft.

While this spotter is great for carrying along, it’s important to note that it is a little bit on the heavier side and needs some mass to carry it. However, that extra weight makeup for better-focused images produced especially in situations where low light is present. You will not regret buying it.

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 15-45x
  • Objective lens diameter: 65mm
  • Weight: 3.69 lb/1.67 kg
  • Eye relief: 19.6 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 14 in/35.56 cm
  • A highly luxurious spotting scope that produces incredibly smooth and clear images that are ideal for serious hunters, shooters, and backpackers while keeping it extremely lightweight for easy portability.
PROS
  • Great optics are offered at a great price.
  • It comes with an objective lens cover, a fitted case for your spotting scope, and eyepiece cap.
  • Produces great ED glass and the locking collar can be rotated into different directions for viewings without moving the tripod.
  • Vortex company offers a lifetime warranty on this product. You need something more?
CONS
  • A little bit heavy to carry, thus making it not so easy in terms of portability.
  • This spotter is not preferred for newbies.

Our Rating: 4.5/5

5.Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes

The Razor HD 27-60×85 Angled Spotting Scope built with high-end optical technology and ultra-sleek functionality. Triplet Apochromatic lens combined with high density, extra-low dispersion glass delivers unparalleled resolution and color fidelity to make the Razor one of the finest spotting scopes on the market. XR Plus anti-reflective coatings were applied to the lenses to yield maximum brightness in low-light conditions. A multi-position eyecup lets you twist the way you want. Vortex is one of the popular company building scopes for decades. Their scopes are known for their built quality and performance.

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 27-60x
  • Objective lens diameter: 85 mm
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Eye relief: 17 mm
  • Optical coating: Fully Multi-coated
  • Dimensions (length): 15.5 in
PROS
  • Triplet Apochromatic lens, high density, extra-low dispersion glass gives better visibility.
  • Extendable Sunshade.
  • Flexible Viewing Angle.
  • Armortek coatings protect the lenses from oil, scratches, and dirt.
CONS
  • Need for a larger objective lens.
  • Great but expensive.

Our Rating: /5

6.Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 (45 Degree) Spotting Scope

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD is made for tough weather like heavy rain. This spotting scope will not disappoint you with a foggy lens as it has rain guard HD coating which prevents condensation from your breath.

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Objective lens diameter: 80 mm
  • Weight: 7.1 lbs
  • Eye relief: 18 mm
  • Optical coating: Fully Multi-coated
  • Dimension(Lenght): 16.5 in
PROS
  • Fully Multi-coated optics.
  • Waterproof/fog proof (nitrogen or argon purged and O-ring sealed).
  • BaK-4 prisms.
  • ED glass (to eliminate/reduce chromatic aberrations.
CONS
  • Eye relief could have improved.
  • Eye piece moves very rough.

Our Rating: /5

7.MINOX MD 50 W Spotting Scope

MINOX MD 50 W Spotting Scope is best if you are looking for a compact scope. It weighs just 24 ounces. The scope is designed to withstand 16m of underwater pressure and Nitrogen filled housing prevents fogging.

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 16-30x
  • Objective lens diameter: _ mm
  • Weight: 1.52 lbs
  • Eye relief: _ mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
  • Length: 9 in
PROS
  • M-Lens Coating for efficient light transmission.
  • Nitrogen filled housing for non-fogging clarity.
  • Small compact design; weighs just 24 ounces.
CONS
  • Focus ring, pretty stiff to operate.
  • Build quality and optics clarity are both decent.

Our Rating: /5

8.Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting scope

Celestron’s 52268 90mm Maksutov Spotting Scope delivers excellent high power optics in a compact, affordable package. The Celestron 52268 spotting scope comes with a backpack-style soft carrying case, an 8×21 erect image finder scope, a 1.25-inch size correct image 45* prism diagonal, and a fully coated 32mm Plossl eyepiece for a magnification of 39X.

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 39x
  • Objective lens diameter: _ mm
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs
  • Eye relief: 20 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
PROS
  • Erect Image Finderscope.
  • Uses Astronomy Eyepieces for more magnification.
  • Backpack Case Included.
  • Versatile Mounting Options.
CONS
  • Tripod supplied with the Scope could have better.
  • Difficult to focus.

Our Rating: /5

9.Nikon PROSTAFF 5 20-60x (82mm)

The PROSTAFF 5 Fieldscope offers a wide field of view and superb viewing in all conditions. It is engineered for precision and high magnification capability.

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Objective lens diameter: 82 mm
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs
  • Eye relief: _ mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
PROS
  • Multicoated Optics-Provides a bright, high contrast image with true color rendition.
  • Ergonomic, Lightweight Porro Prism DesignInternal Surface Texturing minimizes reflective light loss.
  • Waterproof/Fogproof-Nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed.
CONS
  • Image quality lacks some sharpness.

Our Rating: /5

10.BARSKA 20-60x (70mm) Spotting Scope

Ideal for Bird watching, hunting, astronomy, marine, target shooting and other outdoor activities this BARSKA spotting is fog proof and waterproof.

Specifications

  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Objective lens diameter: 70 mm
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Eye relief: 14.4 mm
  • Optical coating: Multi-coated
PROS
  • Wide diameter objective lens.
  • Fully waterproof and fogproof.
  • Multicoated optics.
CONS
  • Eyepiece not movable.

Our Rating: /5

Conclusions

Spotting scopes are available at a different price range. You can find a $20 scope that may or may not better than a $100 scope. It is always better to research a product online or offline before buying. Also, You can read this guide on choosing the best spotting scope.