Best Spotting Scope for the Money

Best Spotting Scope Comperison Chart

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What too consider before buying Spotting Scope on a budget?

Scopes are a great tool for bird watchers, hunters, and nature lovers. These scopes magnify objects from faraway, making it possible to see details that might otherwise be hard to see. Not all scopes are the same. There are some things to consider before you purchase one.


Usually, the spotting scope’s magnification or power level is listed in a range. A spotting scope might have a magnification of 8-32x. This means that an object will appear eight times larger without the use of a spotting scope. At its lowest setting, the object will appear 32x larger.

You need to make sure you choose the right magnification for your needs. A scope with a lower magnification range is best if you intend to use it for bird watching. You may need a magnification range that is higher if you intend to hunt.

Lens Size

The size of the lens is another important consideration when buying a spotting scope. A larger lens will allow you to see more of the world around you. They are also heavier and more costly. For the best of both worlds, it is a good idea for most cases to opt for a medium-sized lens.

Lenses Quality

Another important thing to consider is the quality of your lenses. Poor quality lenses won’t capture as much detail. You also have the risk of your scope losing its clarity over time due to degradation. This is something you don’t want if you intend to pass it down to future generations.

Typically, spotting scope lenses can be made of either glass or plastic. While glass lenses offer better image quality than those made from plastic, they are heavier and more expensive. A spotting scope with glasses lenses is the best option if you want to achieve the best possible image quality. If you don’t care about image quality but prefer a lighter scope, you can opt for one with plastic lenses.

Placement of the Eyepiece

There are two types: straight or angled eyepiece placements. Straight eyepieces attach perpendicularly to the scope. Angled eyepieces attach at an angle.

Straight eyepieces are most popular and best for those who intend to use the scope with their eyes closed. This allows them to see the scope and the surrounding environment through it, which is helpful in locating a shot.

Angled eyepieces work well for those who use the scope only with one eye. Because they allow them to position their head more comfortably, this can prove helpful for those who use the scope for extended periods of time. Angled eyepieces offer a wider field-of-view than straight ones.

Eye Relief

The distance between your eyes and the eyepiece is called the eye relief. It is important to choose a spotting scope that has an eye relief that is comfortable. It can be difficult to see the scope through if the eyepiece is too close, or too far away. For optimal comfort and ease of viewing, choose something with at least 15mm eye relief.

Zooming/Focus Mechanism

You can adjust the magnification and focus of the scope by using the zooming and focusing mechanism. You should choose a spotting scope that is simple to use and suits your needs. If you intend to use the scope in winter, you will need a mechanism that can be used in worm gloves. You should verify that everything is compatible for your left hand.


Spotting scopes can be made of either metal or plastic. Although plastic spotting scopes can be lighter and more affordable than metal ones, they are less durable than metal scopes. While metal spotting scopes can withstand more abuse and are less likely break, they are more costly. A metal spotting scope is best if you intend to use it often. A plastic model is fine if you only use your scope occasionally, and would like to save money.

You should ensure that the scope you choose is weatherproof. Optics can be damaged by rain and snow, so it is better to use weatherproof. You should ensure that the scope is dustproof. If you’ve ever been in Wyoming prairie dog towns, dust proofing is essential. Dust can easily get on anything and everything you own. It is essential to ensure that your scope tube is clean and free of moisture. Internal glass fogging can also occur when the scope tube is moved from cold outdoor temperatures to warm indoor temperatures.

Bottom line

When shopping for spotting scopes, it is important to consider how you will use the scope most often. This will allow you to determine the right magnification, quality, lens size, quality eyepiece placement, eye relief, zooming mechanisms, durability, and other important factors.

Top 5 Cheap Spotting Scopes

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Spotting Scope

The Vortex Diamondback This is the most affordable Vortex scope. You get many of the same features as our top choice, but at a much lower price. It is an angled scope with fully coated lenses that provide high-quality viewing.
The Diamondback can also be used in a variety of situations. The unit’s highly-reinforced rubber exterior is sealed against water and the lenses are protected from fog infiltration.

This scope features a 20-foot focus rating and 14mm of eye relief. It has a field of view of 114 yards. The scope also features an easy to use focus adjustment knob that allows for simple adjustments. Micro-adjustments are possible with the fine focus dial, which allows for ultra-precise viewing.

It is lightweight, too. It is lightweight at only 2 pounds so it’s easy to transport. Higher magnification settings can cause blurred images. Image quality at 20X is excellent, but it becomes more difficult to see the details.

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope

Although it isn’t quite as high-end as the Razor HD HD, the Vanguard Endeavour HD65A still offers comparable capabilities at a fraction the price.

Each lens has advanced MultiGuard coatings to increase light transmission.

The Endeavour’s user-friendliness is where it shines. The Endeavour is lightweight and has an ergonomic grip. Additionally, the stacked controls make it easy to use in the field. It has a 20 mm eye relief and a soft rubber cup, making it very comfortable to use for long periods.

This scope is great for beginners and can even forgive a few mistakes thanks to its magnesium body. It’s protected by a lifetime warranty if you break it.

The Razor is slightly more expensive than the Razor in a few areas, including image quality. Although the Endeavour is a bit soft around the edges, it isone area where the more expensive model is undoubtedly superior. This budget-friendly model should be able do the job for most users. It’s also a great stepping stone to a more advanced model.

Celestron – Ultima 100 Angled Spotting Scope

Go big if you don’t want to spend too much. Although more expensive scopes may improve light transmission through fancy coatings or prism technology, a larger objective lens is still the best option for bringing in more light. Celestron’s Ultima is a heavy scope with an 80-millimeter objective lens. However, it provides much of the same function and quality as mid-tier scopes for a fraction of its price.


Although this glass is not the most expensive, Celestron, a California-based company is well-known for making stargazing telescopes. Although it is not as high-quality as more expensive glass, it has many of the same features and tech, including multi-coated lenses that maximize light and waterproofing. There’s even an adapter included to attach a digiscoping camera if needed.

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Although it is not the best choice for moving, the Gosky 20-60X80 is an excellent choice for stationary pursuits or target shooting.

We love the digiscoping adapter which allows you to attach your smartphone directly to the scope. You can zoom in and record video with the universal mount, which works with all models of phones.

The scope can magnify from 20-60x as you might have guessed by its name. It also claims to have dynamic focusing, but we found that it took only a few seconds to sharpen the image each time. The Gosky is best suited to stationary targets as it is slow enough to track birds and deer.

The eyepiece also provides only 17 mm of relief. Users with glasses might feel frustrated by constantly bumping into the eyepiece.

The Gosky can be used at distances of up to 800 meters. However, it will become blurry if the maximum magnification level is reached. Although you can still see clearly at this distance, it will be difficult to pick up details.

Landove Spotting Scopes - 20-60X80 Spotting Scope BAK4 Prism

This spotting scope is very similar to our top pick. The LandOVE BAK4Prism scope is 10x cheaper. The scope is equipped with BAK-4 Porro optics that provide sharp, clear images at 60x magnification. To ensure the highest structural integrity, they are nitrogen-purged and constructed like tanks.


This scope is what keeps it at the top of the page, other than price. It is not the same class. The scope has only one quick-adjust knob, which limits the fine-tuning capabilities. This might not be a problem for some, since learning how to adjust your scope properly takes time.