How To Choose a Spotting Scope: Guidelines!


It doesn’t matter whether you are a birder or a hunter, a spotting scope can help both of you. While binoculars are great for birding but they lack high magnification. If you are a binoculars user you will be amazed just how big of a difference spotting scope makes. Now that we have convinced you to purchase a spotting scope let’s give you a guide about how to choose a spotting scope for you.

How To Choose a Spotting Scope

Magnification Is a Main Thing!

If you are someone that searches for birds from miles away, you should look for the highest amount of magnification available. Of course, that going to cost you quite a hefty amount of money. But it is a premium that you should be willing to pay. If you are a hunter you probably don’t need more than 20x magnification. You should look for a variable magnification spotter. 

Lenses Is a Factor That You Should Consider

You are going to look through a small eyepiece for hours. If the lens doesn’t produce accurate coloring or provides too much glaring, you are going to have a rough time spot. For that reason alone you should never buy a spotting scope that doesn’t have an anti-glare coating on their lenses. 

If the lenses are fully multi-coated that would be awesome. If the scope is not coated then it won’t transmit enough light to show accurate image. That is why the lens coating is really important.

Glass Quality

Let’s be real here you don’t want a glass which going to crack from a simple drop. If the glass is not durable then your money will go down the drain. Glass breaks that’s reality. But if your scope is durable and the lenses are well placed and sealed there is a solid chance they won’t break from a simple drop.

Also, there is an ED (extra-low dispersion) glass available for spotting scopes. This type of glass provides excellent performance in low brightness. 

Eyepiece Placement

There are 2 versions of eyepiece available for a spotting scope. Some model comes with angular eyepiece while some straight. Some models come in both versions. While many people especially hunters will prefer the straight version because you can easily move along with your target. But some people prefer the 45 degree angled eyepiece.

If you want to digiscope we suggest the angular eyepiece ones. It’s easier to mount the phone on them.

Eye Relief

This is very important, especially for glasses users. With longer eye relief the optics direct the focal point on farther back so that a glasses user can take advantage of the full field of view. Eye relief is measured in millimeters. You will do just fine with a 12-15 mm eye relief.

Focus Is a Key Thing!

If you are a birder and take lots of photos through the spotting scope then focus is an important part for you. Because depending on the focus mechanism your photos might differ. Most of the spotting scope provides short-focus and a long-range one. Some scope has 2 rings to focus the scope. Just like DSLR camera you need to manually focus the scope.


This is probably the most important part of shopping for a spotting scope. Because depending on your budget your options will narrow. That is why search for some scope reviews (we got plenty on our site). See what you need the most and pull the trigger. Keep that in mind, sometimes it is worth to pay the extra bucks for the better product.

So those are the major things to keep in mind when you gonna choose a spotting scope.

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