Best Spotting Scope For Birding – Top 10 in 2020 [Guide & Top Picks]

A spotting scope can be used for many different things. Bird Watching is one of the main reasons why people buy a spotting scope. You can do Birding with any scope. That does not mean they are the best spotting scope for birding.

We are going to talk about that today. Give me some of your time. I promise you won’t regret it. We got so many spotting scopes to talk about. Let’s not waste time anymore and jump straight into it. 

Best Spotting Scope For Birding

1. Roxant Authentic Blackbird 12-36x50mm Scope

Magnification 12 - 36x
Objective Lens 50 mm
Eye Relief Unknown
Exit Pupil 4.1 - 1.4 mm
Linear FOV @1000 yds 170 - 85 ft
Length 9.13"
Weight 17.28 Oz

Today we are doing things a bit differently. The first scope in today’s list is the cheapest. Roxant Blackbird is also one of the most sold spotting scopes. 

The magnification of this scope is 12-36x. As for the objective lens, it’s 50mm. The body of this scope is constructed from plastic. For $80, I won’t complain about it at all. 

For extra protection, Roxant used a rubber armor coating around the scope.

The lenses of this scope are fully multi-coated. Without fully multi-coating I wouldn’t consider a spotting scope to be the best. As the scope is fully multi-coated, it automatically beats most of its competition around this price range. 

Roxant made sure this is the complete package. You don’t need to buy anything extra. They will provide a tripod, lens caps, and a 45° angled eyepiece. 

If you are into digiscoping, then you just need to buy a phone mount. If you aren’t one, then congrats, enjoy Birding to the fullest. 

2. CREATIVE XP 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope

Magnification 20 - 60x
Objective Lens 80 mm
Eye Relief 17 - 12 mm
Focal Distance 32 ft
Prism Type Bak-4
Shock/Waterproof O-ring Sealed
Warranty Lifetime

The next scope is from Creative XP. They don’t have any relation with XP-pen the graphics tablet manufacturer. We have featured their scopes on our website before. Because Creative XP offers an incredible value for the money. 

Creative XP designs its scope in the US. They ship the scope worldwide from there too. Creative XP uses ED/HD glasses on their scopes. I have said it time and time, ED glasses are like the best you can get on a scope. Now, hold on. Don’t go comparing them with a $3000 scope. 

The lenses are fully multi-coated. Together with the ED glass and lenses, the Creative XP spotting scope provides an incredible experience. The color accuracy and contrast are on point. 

To make the scope fogproof. Creative XP used nitrogen purging. Nitrogen purging keeps away any kind of moisture from getting inside the scope. Water can’t get inside the scope either. It’s completely waterproof. 

With 60x magnification, you can birdwatch for days. If you are tired of Birding you can take this bad boy out at night and stargaze for hours. When you buy this scope, Creative XP provides some gifts inside. They are 1. Tripod 2. Protective Case 3. Cell Phone Adapter 4. Photo Clicker. All of these for $200. Sounds like a steal to me. 

3. Kowa TSN-880 Angled Spotting Scope

Magnification 20 - 60x
Objective Lens 88mm
Focus Distance 16.4'
Lens Type Fluorite Crystal
Filter Diameter 96mm
Length 13.5 inches
Weight 53.6 ounces

Kowa TSN-880 series is one of the most expensive spotting scopes on the market. Kowa is the first choice of many professional digiscopers and birdwatchers. People who have been doing Birding for decades won’t hesitate to recommend Kowa to you. 

Kowa TSN-880 has another unique thing about it. When you buy this spotting scope, you are buying the scope only. What does that mean? That means the eyepiece is not included. Now, this seems like something Apple would do. But Kowa has been doing this for years.

The reason is, they produce eyepieces separately. And their spotting scope supports any 1.5″ eyepieces. Of course, Kowa sells them. My recommendation is you should get them from Kowa. The scope body is not made out of carbon fiber. That’s a shame, isn’t it?

But Kowa didn’t cheap out on the safety measures. This scope is JIS Class 7 protection standard certified. That means even if you take out the cap of the eyepiece placeholder, submerge it in water for a good minute. Not even a single drop of water would go inside. 

You don’t need to test that. The inside of the scope is filled with dry nitrogen. It prevents the scope from fogging. We can’t say anything about the eyepiece as it depends on you. No matter what magnification eyepiece you attach to the scope. It won’t bottleneck. 

4. Vortex Razor HD 22-48x65mm Spotting Scope

Magnification 22 - 48x
Objective Lens 65 mm
Eye Relief 16.7 - 17 mm
Close Focus 26.2 ft
Linear FOV @1000 yds 138 - 84 ft
Length 14.8"
Weight 56.8 oz

This is a name that we hear almost daily. Vortex Razor has all types of scopes and binoculars under its banner. Vortex is known for its budget products & they makes excellent quality lenses for their products. 

The scope here is not cheap. It’s meant to provide you world-class experience for a moderate amount of money. The one we are featuring here is the angled 22-48×65. This scope is made out of aluminum with rubber armor coating around it. 

Vortex uses HD lenses for this scope. The inside of the scope is purged with nitrogen. That’s why there won’t be any fogging when you use it in cold weather. 

As for the lens coating, Vortex uses XRPlus fully multi-coating. Which takes the performance of Birding to the next level.

Unlike Kowa, you will get an eyepiece included here. The sealings of the eyepiece and other lenses use O-rings. Making the scope 100% waterproof. All of these nice features, yet the scope costs less than $1000.

5. Swarovski HD-ATS-80 HD Spotting Scope

Magnification 20-60x
Objective Lens 80mm
Eye Relief 17mm
Exit Pupil 3.3 to 1.1mm
FOV @1000yds 108 to 60 feet
Twilight Factor 36.1 to 62.4mm
Weight 9.12 Ounces

The most expensive scope. Swarvoski is known for making some of the best high end spotting scopes on the market. They make their scopes for all kinds of consumers.

Birding is something Swarovski always fascinated. That’s why they always use glasses that will transmit the most amount of light. The picture becomes more clear and vivid with more light to work with. 

Swarovski uses some of the best quality aluminum available on the market. In theory, you can drop it from chest-height multiple times to land a scratch on it. But don’t go on and test the theory on a $3000 scope. 

The lenses are fully multi-coated. HD ATS-80 features some of the best lenses that you will ever find on any kind of scope. The only other scope that can give Swarovski a run for their money is from Zeiss. But that one is riflescope. 

If you want a scope that will last you over 10 years and want the very best Birding experience. This is the one to get. 

6. Vortex Diamondback 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope

Magnification 20-60x
Objective Lens 80mm
Eye Relief 20-16.5 mm
Close Focus 22 ft
Linear FOV @1000yds 105-51 ft
Exit Pupil 4-1.3 mm
Length 15.7 inches

It can’t be the best spotting scope for birding without featuring Vortex Diamondback in it. Vortex Diamondback is a legendary series of products from Vortex.

It’s the smaller version of Razor HD. By smaller, I mean metaphorically not literally.

Diamondback is not constructed from diamonds. A bummer right? It would have cost $100,000 if it was made out of diamonds. Anyway, Diamondback is constructed from durable aircraft-grade aluminum. 

The lenses of this scope are fully multi-coated. The glasses of these lenses are also quite clear and vivid. Making it an excellent 60x scope. 

The magnification experience is also good. There is almost no distortion at maximum magnification. For $500, you can’t expect more than this. It’s an excellent scope for bird watching.

7. Celestron Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope

Magnification 22 - 67x
Objective Lens 100mm
Eye Relief 20mm
Field Of View 100-47 feet @1000yds
Lens Coating Fully Multi-Coated
Prism Bak-4
Close Focus 26.2'

It would be an incomplete article without a Celestron in it. The Celestron we here have is the modern version of M2 65ED. It uses ED glasses inside of an aluminum housing.

The housing is durable and sturdy. The lenses sit quite snuggly inside and won’t move from drops. 

The lenses are fully multi-coated. As the scope uses ED glass. It produces some of the best quality pictures around this price range. That’s exactly what you look for in a spotting scope. If the color accuracy and contrast is not good enough, only magnification would serve no purpose to a birder.

Thankfully, that’s not the case here. This 16-48×65 spotting scope is an amazing choice for bird watching. BaK4 prism and XLT coating take the performance of this scope to the next level. It’s one of the most versatile spotting scopes under $500

Thanks to the ED objective lens, you can also do light stargazing, Birding and astronomy with this scope. If you feel like picking up digiscoping as a side hobby, you can do that too. All of that for $500. More than fair in my book. 

8. Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope

Magnification 20-60x
Objective Lens 80mm
Eye Relief 18mm
Close Focus 26.2 Feet
FOV @1000yds 105 to 53 feet
Prism Bak-4
Lens Coatings Multi-coated

Back to back Celestron. Can’t go wrong with that. Celestron Ultima 80 is the budget offering from the manufacturer. It costs less than half of the money of a Regal M2 65ED & quite good for birding. & That does come with cost-cutting. Thankfully that didn’t affect the lenses of this scope. 

You still get some of the best lenses in this price range. Celestron is in this business for decades now. They know how to attract customers. 

This scope comes in several variants. All of them share the same parent configuration, the only changes are at the eyepiece. The angles of the eyepiece are different than one another. There are a couple of straight variants in between. 

The objective lens on this one is a huge 80mm. It doesn’t include any ED glass. But the multi-coated lens and prism make up for it. 

For digiscoping at cheap, this is still a great option. To save money Celestron didn’t’ use any O-ring sealings on this scope. But it is still waterproof. To prevent fogging the inside of the scope is sealed with nitrogen. I would have loved to see some O-rings involved. But can’t expect a $200 scope to have everything.

9. Svbony Sv28 25-75x70mm Spotting Scope

Magnification 25 - 75x
Objective Lens 70 mm
Eye Relief 16 - 14 mm
Eyepiece Diameter 15 mm
Linear FOV @1000 yds 64 - 43 ft
Prism Type Porro
Lens Coating FMC

Svbony SV28 is another excellent scope at a low price. It was featured in our reviews before. Svbony gained a lot of attention from this spotting scope. It is a complete package for a beginner birder. 

You don’t need to buy an extra tripod or lens caps if you buy this one. To eliminate your problems further. You don’t need to buy a phone mount either. All of these are included with the scope for free.

Do you see the value now? SV28 is something that most people would love to have 10 years ago. With 25-75x magnification, you can see the whole world. Maybe not the whole world but enough of the world you want to see. 

The vast field of view is a blessing to have for Birding. At max magnification, the scope won’t show that much distortion. 

It’s lightweight and you can carry it anywhere. The included tripod is stable enough for a long session of bird watching. You should keep it limited at Birding and some digiscoping. Don’t even think it can do astronomy.

If you want to get the best spotting scope for Birding, but don’t want to spend much on a scope. Svbony SV28 is the perfect choice for you.

10. Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Scope

Magnification 20-60x
Objective Lens 82mm
Close Focus 19.7 ft
Linear FOV @1000m 17.4 - 36.7 m
Prism Bak-4
Length 380 mm
Weight 63.8 oz

Another scope that we featured on our reviews more than once. Endeavor from Vanguard uses ED and HD glasses. A deadly combination. It’s like a dream come true for a birdwatcher.

Most of us don’t want to spend much on their first scope. They just want to get into the scene and get the hang of it. For those people, Endeavor can be a great option. It’s priced under $500. But can easily give $800 scopes a run for their money. 

Fully multi-coated ED glass performs just fabulous. You can do light astronomy with this scope too. The 20-60x magnification does an excellent job too. As the lenses are placed into a nitrogen-purged body. There won’t be any fogging issues present in this scope. 

Endeavor is also fully waterproof. To make it possible Vanguard uses O-ring sealing. Focusing on the object of this scope is also top quality.

That’s why this is an excellent option for birdwatchers. You can focus on the more important object with ease. 

Best Spotting Scope For Birding: Conclusion

That concludes. I did say I will give a good amount of options to choose from. If you decided to skip to the end, sorry to let you know unless you read it full you won’t be able to find the best spotting scope for “you”. What may be the best for someone else won’t be that good for you. 

If you did read the post and want to know more about the scope or something else. Don’t be shy, I don’t bite. You can leave the comments down below. I will see you guys with a new review soon. Till next time. 

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