If you are considering buying a spotting scope, you certainly will want to cross your T’s and dot your I’s.
To eliminate the guesses, we have put together a list of things to consider when buying a spotting scope.
You cannot afford to go wrong at all in your choice of a spotting scope. Your money and time are important.
We know that, and as such have decided to provide you with this guide on buying a spotting scope.
If you look out for these things in your quest to buying a spotting scope, you will not go wrong with your decisions at all.
We trust that if you take the time to look through these factors, you will end up making an intelligent, un-regrettable buying decision as far as spotting scope is concerned.
Here’s the list:
- 1 Buying a Spotting Scope
- 1.1 Angled or Straight eyepiece
- 1.2 Budget
- 1.3 Coatings
- 1.4 Durability
- 1.5 Field of View
- 1.6 Generous Eye Relief
- 1.7 Exit pupil
- 1.8 Light Transmission
- 1.9 Magnification Range
- 1.10 Objective Lens Diameter
- 1.11 Tripod Mount
- 1.12 Waterproof and Fog-proof
- 1.13 Weight
- 1.14 Final word
- 1.15 Related posts:
Buying a Spotting Scope
In buying a spotting scope, consider and look out for the following:
Angled or Straight eyepiece
If you going to be using your scope at eye level, from a vehicle and if you are doing target shooting, a straight eyepiece spotting scope is your best bet.
Straight eyepiece spotting scopes have parallel eyepieces which makes your eyes to stay level with the object you are looking at.
Thus you would need a straight eyepiece scope if you are going to be watching birds or wildlife from a moving vehicle, that way you will need to keep your scope setting at your height.
On the other hand, an angled spotting scope has its eyepiece offset at 45 or 90 degrees from the scope barrel, thus making it ideal for different viewing heights.
With an angled spotting scope, you can look up or down at things without having to adjust the height of the scope.
This is a factor if you must consider when buying a spotting scope
Budget is always an important factor in purchasing decisions.
We must factor it in too in our choice of buying a spotting scope.
There are various price range for spotting scopes; you can get spotting scopes from 250 dollars to as much as 2500 dollars.
At the end, your budget will determine what you get.
By a rule of thumb, the more expensive spotting scopes will outperform the less expensive ones.
So go for a scope that is excellent and of great price.
A fully multi-coated scope with HD (High Definition) ED (extra low dispersion glass) will be a good buy any day of anytime.
Coating is another major factor in your choice of buying a spotting scope.
The degree and level of coatings will ultimately determine the light gathering and transmission of your scope.
The more your scope is coated, the better light transmission you get. This is turn affects the contrast and brightness of your image.
There are different types of coatings.
A scope is said to be coated if it is coated on a single layer on at least one lens.
It is said to be fully coated if it is coated on a single layer on all air-to-glass surfaces.
A scope is multi-coated when it has multiple layers of coatings on at least one lens and all glass surfaces.
A scope is fully multi-coated when it has multiple layers of coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
The best scope to look out for in your choice of buying a spotting scope should be one that is fully multi-coated.
Tips: Read our reviews on the best spotting scope under 500. You will get a feel of spotting scopes that are affordable, angled, straight, fully multi-coated, and of extra low dispersion glass.
Durability must be at the heart of your investment on a spotting scope.
You don’t want to get a spotting that will not last you a few years.
Although durability is relative, yet there are factors that make for it.
What will make your scope durable?
How you handle and maintain you scope will contribute to its being durable.
Fully multi-coated scopes tend to outlast the just coated optics.
Scope that are nitrogen purged and o-ringed are built to last.
Fog, water and weather proof
All these are factors that make for scope durability.
You must not forget to look out for all these in your choice of buying a spotting scope.
Field of View
Your field of view is the area visible in the scope at 100 meter range.
A wider FOV guarantees better results.
Your FOV is also greatly affected by the diameter of your objective lens.
Consider that your spotting scope is ideal if it offers at least 100 feet/1000 yards.
That will make a very good field of view.
Higher field of view can be better.
Generous Eye Relief
Eye relief is important if you wear glasses.
Long eye relief reduces eye strain.
Eye relief of a scope is the shortest possible distance between your eye and the scope lens that allows you to see through the scope as clearly as possible.
Your best spotting scope offers great eye relief at 3 inches and above or at 15mm.
You would need to look out for this too in your choice of buying a spotting scope.
For a brighter image, you need a spotting scope with a larger exit pupil.
The exit pupil is actually the column of light that leaves, exits or comes out of your spotting scope.
For a best buy on spotting scope, the larger the exit pupil, the better.
Light transmission of your scope is very important as this determine the quality, clarity and brightness of image.
The factor that determines light transmission is your glass quality.
Ideally, a spotting scope with extra low dispersion glass (ED) will most deliver on excellent light transmission than the standard scope glasses.
This is the ideal for today.
Spotting scopes with extra-low dispersion glass (ED) are available on the market at affordable prices.
This factor is perhaps the most important thing you need to consider when buying a spotting scope.
Tips: Read our reviews on the best spotting scope under 1000. You will get a feel of spotting scopes that are of great light transmission, great magnification range and objective lens diameter and ones that are lightweight and waterproof.
Ideally, spotting scopes have large magnification range. An excellent spotting scope should be 20-60x in magnification range. And more can be better.
Thus, in your quest to buying a spotting scope, you should get one that has at least 20-60x magnification.
Nevertheless, spotting scopes with lesser magnification work well also depending on what it is used for.
A 10-30x magnification range of a spotting scope is not bad for shooting or hunting.
Objective Lens Diameter
The higher the objective lens diameter of a scope, the wider and larger the field of view.
Ideally, great spotting scopes will have an objective lens diameter of 60mm and above.
That size of objective lens diameter is really needed if you are going to be watching birds at high altitudes.
For partial astronomical viewing, an elaborate objective lens diameter will be the ideal.
So don’t forget to look out for large objective lens diameter when buying a spotting scope.
Because spotting scopes are heavier than most scopes, like rifle and night vision scopes and since it must be used in stationary position for effectiveness, then you need to consider the choice of a tripod.
Interestingly, most spotting scopes come with a tripod. That in itself saves you of extra cost of buying a tripod.
But in all, you need a good tripod to mount your scope on.
So you have to consider the place and use of tripod in your choice of buying a spotting scope.
Waterproof and Fog-proof
Most users of spotting scopes are outdoor men and women. So, it would be in your best interest to get a spotting scope that is weather, fog and waterproof if your investment of a scope will last.
You don’t want to risk you scope to fog, damp and rainy weather conditions.
Most best spotting scopes are nitrogen purged and o-ringed, thus making them water, fog and weather proof.
Although spotting scopes tends to be weightier than the ordinary (rifle) scopes, yet weight can be a factor to consider in buying one.
Well, if you are into outdoors, you will most likely want a scope that can pack easily into your bag and one that will not weight and slow down your movement in the field.
A 4 to 5 pounds weight spotting scope will be easy to carry in the field even if it mounted on tripod.
Tips: Read our reviews on the best spotting scope under 500 and go enjoy your outdoor moments with your well informed purchased spotting scope.
And don’t forget to go with your diary and or smart phones to record all your outdoor moments. You certainly have story to tell when you return.
The above mentioned are the most important things to consider when buying a spotting scope.
They are the basics and really all you need to look out for in your choice.
So in your choice of a spotting scope, no matter the price range you are looking at, these factors and points are things you must consider before you bet your money on any.
You will most likely not go wrong in your choice with this list of things to consider when buying a spotting scope.
All the best!