Best Spotting Scope for the Money: Most people assume that spotting scopes are expensive. Well, you will be glad to know that you can get a budget spotting scope without compromising on quality. We have reviewed some of the most affordable spotting scopes to help you buy the Best Spotting Scope for the Money. If you are in a hurry:
Now, let us move to our in-depth reviews.
Here is our shortlist of the 7 best spotting scopes for the money:
- Gosky 20-60×80 (WINNER)
- Emarth 20-60×60 (RUNNER UP)
- Celestron 52250 80mm
- BARSKA 20-60×60
- Gosky 15-45×60
- Gskyer 25-75×75
- Visionking 25-75×70
How to Choose a Spotting Scope
When looking at the myriad of budget spotting scopes available in the market, you will notice that they come in varying features. Here are some key factors to consider while selecting the best spotting scope for the money.
Other than getting one that is attractive to the eye, you need to decide whether a straight or angled scope is best for you. To guide you, an angled scope is best if you intend using it with other people as well as if you will be using it from different heights. A straight scope is simple and ideal for beginners.
With a higher magnification, you will be able to view more detail on your images. However, you need to be careful not to exceed magnification, as this will distort image quality. The ability to zoom in or out is also an added feature to ease use and adjustability. Other features that will affect the clarity of images will include the surrounding lighting conditions, fog, as well as moisture.
Quality of Objective Lens
Quality of objective lens goes hand in hand with the magnification to boost functionality. It plays the role of light transmission and the larger the objective lens, the more the light it can transmit. You can also choose whether you prefer fully coated, multi-coated, or fully multi-coated. The fully multi-coated lens is a better preference overall but depending on your scope and application; you can decide which is best for you.
A budget spotting scope is ideal for individuals who intend to use it in bright and clear conditions. Most budget spotting scopes come with inferior optic coatings, which translate to lower light transmission. This may not pose a problem while using your spotting scopes at lower magnifications but as you go higher, low brightness starts impacting image quality.
You need to decide whether to go for detachable eyepieces or not. This is highly dependent on what you intend to use it for. Zooming eyepiece lens is a great option if you intend to use your spotting scope for hunting. Spotting scopes with zooming eyepieces are also comparatively easy to use.
The structure of your spotting scope plays a major role in where and how you can use it. The high-end spotting scopes are designed to waterproof as well as have reinforcement to prevent damage in the event they drop. These features do not usually come with budget spotting scopes.
Learning the Ropes
Budget spotting scopes are a great starting point. Why spend so much just for you to end up damaging your spotting scope? You can, therefore, use a budget spotting scope to perfect your handling before venturing to use a delicate and costly spotting scope.
Watching Wildlife and Birds
With a 20x to 40x zoom, you will be able to view wildlife as long as the lighting is ideal making it ideal for medium-long range hunting. You can also use affordable spotting scopes to watch birds. However, keep in mind that a budget spotting scope will not provide the specific details about the birds. You will be able to view their movement though you may not tell of their color patterns or their specific species.
Digiscoping is a great option for photographers who take photos as a hobby. With a spotting scope and your camera, you will be able to take ideal and memorable photos. However, for budget spotting scopes, long-range photography is not recommended. Many of the budget spotting scopes that we have reviewed come with a digiscoping adapter in the box.
You can use an affordable spotting scope to judge the distance between you and your target object. Though you have limited visual clarity, you will be able to estimate the distance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What are the possible applications for a budget spotting scope?
Answer: You can use your budget spotting scope for hunting, target shooting, bird watching, digiscoping, as well as outdoor sporting activities.
Question: How much magnification power can I get in an affordable spotting scope?
Answer: You can get up to 70x magnification power. You can choose spotting scope that offers magnification options to suit your preferences.
Further Reading: How to Choose a Spotting Scope?
Best Spotting Scope for the Money Reviews
This spotting scope comes with a magnification of between 20x to 60x alongside an 80mm objective diameter. This combination aims at boosting clarity and production of quality images. With this, you will experience clear long-range visuals. It features a fully multi-coated glass, which plays a key role in adequate light transmission for brighter vision. This will allow you to view objects even when it is slightly dim.
The Gosky 20-60×80 spotting scope is made of corrosion resistant magnalium alloy, reinforced by a rubber armor. The rubber armor offers a firm grip to help minimize accidental dropping and in the event it does, it will prevent easy breakage. With such features, it is built for outdoor conditions and environments. This is a fully sealed waterproof spotting scope, which means you don’t need to worry about wet conditions.
This spotting scope also comes with a digiscoping cell phone adapter so you can take photos and video. Digiscoping makes it convenient and efficient considering that many individuals already own a cell phone. Thanks to its outstanding features, it is ideal for wildlife watching, shooting practice, as well as recording record trails.
- Clear and bright long range visual
- Wider field of view for better coverage
- Strong and durable construction for long-term use
- Convenient to use due to the digiscoping adapter
- Easy to maintain
- Eye relief could have been better
Individuals looking for a budget spotting scope will love this model thanks to its variable 20x to 60x magnification and 60mm objective lens. This combination is great for boosting clarity and image quality. It features a BK-7 prism with fully multi-coated optics that serves the purpose of boosting the image clarity. Even better, it comes with a dynamic lens focusing system, which plays a major role in zooming on your target.
In an effort to boost durability and use in different weather conditions, Emarth 20-60×60 is both waterproof as well as fog proof. It does not stop at this. This spotting scope also features a shock-absorbing rubber armor to minimize damage in the event you accidentally drop it. Other than acting as a protective feature, it offers a firm grip to boost handling. Such featured makes this the best budget spotting scope for all kind of outdoor activities.
Emarth 20-60×60 is an angled spotting scope with lightweight and compact dimensions, which make it easy to handle. You can easily carry it around thanks to its portability and an included carrying bag. It also comes with a tripod for boosting stability. This budget spotting scope is feature packed for nature viewing as well as outdoor sporting activities.
- Great image quality and superb magnification
- Variable magnification allows for versatility
- Rubber armor coating for protection and firm grip
- Easy to use even for beginners
- Some image distortion at higher magnification
This is a great spotting scope from Celestron family. Celestron 52250 80mm is an affordable spotting scope which comes with a 20x to 60x magnification and an 80mm objective diameter. Most other affordable spotting scopes come with 60mm objective lens, but this one tops them all. 80mm objective lens combined with multi-layer anti-reflective coating enhances the clarity of images even at higher magnification.
This spotting scope comes with a sight tube, which makes it easier to track and targeting moving objects. You can also use it in varying weather conditions thanks to its waterproofing feature. This affordable spotting scope comes with a focus knob and smooth operating controls so that it is easier to make any adjustments. It remains protected once mounted on a tripod thanks to its padded case.
You can use this affordable spotting scope even if you wear glasses thanks to ample eye relief. Celestron 52250 80mm is the best affordable spotting scope ideal for outdoor activities such as hunting and bird or wildlife watching.
- Better image quality than other scopes in its price range
- Allows you track moving objects
- Can be used for light astronomical observation
- Compact design for easy portability and storage
- Some users have reported blue fringing around 60x magnification
Apart from packing a ton of value, BARSKA 20-60×60 comes with 60mm fully coated optics, which boost visibility up to 60x zoom limit. With sufficient lighting, you will be able to enjoy vivid color and a sharp resolution. This spotting scope has a 20x-60x zoom magnification that creates a great balance between visibility and clarity of your image. Thanks to its smooth focusing knob, it is easier to make adjustments and boost image clarity.
You can use this best value spotting scope in different environments and harsh weather conditions thanks to its waterproof and fog proof features. BARSKA 20-60×60 comes with protective rubber armor housing minimizes the possibility of damage due to accidental drops.
This spotting scope comes complete with a pan-head tripod to help boost stability when it is in use, which in turn boosts accuracy. When it is not in use, it is easy to move about with it as well as store away as it comes with a soft carrying case.
- Lightweight and portable
- Impressive range and magnification
- Easier to adjust and control
- Can be safely used in harsh weather conditions
- Shallow eye relief
If you are looking for a budget spotting scope that comes with a 60mm objective lens and a digiscoping adapter, then Gosky 15-45×60 meets your requirement. This spotting scope comes with variable magnification from 15x to 45x. Accompanied by a 60mm fully multi-coated green film objective lens and a quality prism, Gosky 15-45×60 provides clear and bright images.
Gosky 15-45×60 is a 60mm budget spotting scope that features a magnalium framework with rubber armor. It comes with waterproofing and O-sealing to allow you to use it in toughest of the weather conditions. This spotting scope can withstand wet and dusty environments and also features an eyepiece shield.
This 60mm budget spotting scope also comes with a digiscoping adapter making it an ideal option for photographers. With digiscoping, you can take images as well as videos at a distance. It has a carrying case making portability and storage easier and convenient. Gosky 15-45×60 is best 60mm budget spotting scope recommended for birds, wildlife, and scenery watching.
- Wide magnification range
- Comes with digiscoping adapter
- Easy to use for beginners
- Some users have reported image distortion beyond 30x
This is an affordable spotting scope with 75mm lens and offers variable magnification between 25x and 75x. Gskyer 25-75×75 delivers quality images even at long range thanks to its dynamic lens focusing system. Its 75mm objective lens helps in providing clear and bright images even at higher magnification.
Gskyer 25-75×75 features a BK-7 prism with fully multi-coated optics, which play a major role in delivering clear images. It comes with a portable tripod which ensures stability during use. The tripod is also adjustable to help accommodate different people and their preference.
It is highly recommended for use when traveling hunting, bird watching, as well as target shooting. Its ease of use, variable magnification, and a better objective lens make it the best 75mm budget spotting scope.
- Outstanding magnification range from 25x to 75x
- Comes with adjustable tripod
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Some users have reported issues while focussing at 200 yards o beyond
This spotting scope from Visionking offers a wide range of magnification and a 70mm objective lens at an affordable price. Visionking 25-75×70 comes with a Bak-4 prism, which ensures excellent light transmission for clear and bright images, especially in low lighting. This spotting scope comes with fully multi-coated optics and large eye lens.
Visionking 25-75×70 is both waterproof as well as fog proof so that you can use it even in harsh weather. With this spotting scope, you won’t have to miss any memorable moments due to weather condition. Even for those wearing eyeglasses, it is accommodative thanks to its long eye relief.
This spotting scope is easy to use and handle due to its lightweight and ergonomic design. Thanks to its dimensions, it is comfortable to handle as well as carry. This is spotting scope offers the best value and is ideal for hunting, bird watching, and other outdoor activities.
- Good eye relief
- Wide field of view
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Completely sealed to withstand weather conditions
- Some users have reported image distortion at 75x
Best Spotting Scope for the Money: Conclusion
Again, presenting our list of 7 spotting scopes that we reviewed:
- Gosky 20-60×80 — WINNER
- Emarth 20-60×60 — RUNNER UP
- Celestron 52250 80mm
- BARSKA 20-60×60
- Gosky 15-45×60
- Gskyer 25-75×75
- Visionking 25-75×70
While the market offers a number of budget spotting scope especially for beginners, it is best that you understand your overall needs and preferences. In our article, we have reviewed are some of the best budget spotting scopes out there.
All these spotting scopes offer best value and affordability. While all these spotting scopes are great for the price, Gosky 20-60X80 is well rounded and hence our choice for the best spotting scope for the money.