Buyer’s Guide for Spotting Scopes


A spotting scope is a small telescope that has been modified from an astronomical telescope but is much smaller than the telescope.  It is usually used for low magnification vision.  Most spotting scopes are fog and water proof which astronomical telescopes are not.


Here is a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right spotting scope.

  • Eyepiece design—there are two different eyepiece designs which are angled and straight.  If you are going to share your scope with other people you should chose the angled eyepiece design because it can accommodate people of different heights so you do not have to adjust the tripod as much.  This particular eyepiece design works great for looking at the moon, watching birds high in the trees, or scanning for wildlife in higher elevations.
  • The straight eyepiece design should be used when you are looking downward from an elevated platform like a hillside, deck, etc where you are above the object you are looking at.  Many prefer a straight eyepiece design for the more natural line of sight that this design gives which is especially nice when you are trying to follow moving wildlife.
  • The numbers—when you are purchasing a spotting scope there are usually two numbers.  The first number is the magnification and the second number in millimeters gives the diameter of the objective lens.  An example is the numbers twenty-sixty by sixty which means that it magnifies objects twenty to sixty times and the object lens is sixty millimeters in diameter.
  • Eye relief—this is the distance measured in millimeters from the eyepiece lens, also known as the ocular lens, to the point where your eye is positioned to view the whole image.  It is affected by the field of view, magnification, and the number of lens elements.  If you wear eyeglasses it is recommended that you get those that are designed with long eye relief.  Most of your spotting scopes give you an eight to thirteen millimeter of eye relief but if it is long eye relief it can give you fourteen to twenty millimeters or more.
  • Field of view—this is the description of the area that you can see through your spotting scope.  It is expressed in number of feet per one thousand yards of distance.  One thing to remember is that the higher the magnification the narrower the field of view will be. If you are using a spotting scope for sporting events or looking for game you would want a wide field of view.
  • Resolution—this is how clear or sharp an object appears when you are looking at it.  It is determined by the diameter of the objective lens.  The resolution will be better with a larger diameter of objective lens.

About the author:

The article is penned by Mohit Jain who works as a marketing manager for Procular Australia. Mohit is an online marketer with 6 years of experience and he is also a self proclaimed travel and tech enthusiast. If you are looking for the best spotting scope then he recommends you visit the Procular Australia website.