The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Spotting Scopes

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Spotting Scopes

Buying a spotting scope is an investment; the right model can make your experience much more enjoyable. Lenses, magnification strength, angle, and digital needs all play a role in decision-making.

Be sure to select a model that is waterproof and fogproof. Even small movements and jitters can cause image instability, so the best spotters will be designed to withstand outdoor conditions.

Optical Quality

When wading through the sea of numbers, abbreviations, and optical terms used in spotting scopes, it’s important to remember that quality makes a good spotter great. A quality spotting scope will deliver clear, bright images at all magnification levels with minimal chromatic aberration and distortion.

The optical glass and coatings in a spotting scope will significantly impact its performance, especially in low-light conditions. Look for a large objective lens that gets bigger with magnification power to help you keep your image bright as you glass distant ridgelines.

Another factor affecting spotting scopes is their ability to withstand harsh weather and sudden temperature changes. Make sure yours is waterproof, fogproof, and has a durable rubber armor coating for protection in the field.


Choosing the right spotting scope is a big investment. You want to ensure the optical glass and coatings match the magnification power you need for your birdwatching, hunting, or outdoor needs. Generally, higher magnification means lower image quality, but there are exceptions to this rule.

You also need to consider if you want to use your scope with a smartphone for digiscoping. The magnification range is determined by the size of the objective lens, which will also determine image brightness at longer distances.

You also have a choice of straight or angled bodies, which are best for different viewing angles. Finally, look for a scope with a comfortable grip and rubberized body to reduce hand fatigue from providers like Swarovski scopes supplier Canada


For target shooters who regularly visit the range, a good spotting scope is necessary for checking shot groupings and vital zones. A spotting scope with powerful magnification will allow you to see your shooting results at distances up to 500 yards or more under ideal conditions.

High-magnification spotting scopes require steady hands or a tripod for image clarity. Humidity, dust, heat mirage, and other atmospheric factors can reduce or even cancel out the image quality. The best spotting scopes are waterproof and sealed against dust, fog, and other elements that can damage the lenses.

They also have ergonomic designs and are easy to use, making them suitable for all ages. These features make them a great choice for birders, wildlife watchers, and hunters who want to check shot results at the range.


Spotting scopes look like small telescopes and have a single eyepiece instead of the two that binoculars contain. They generally require a tripod for stability and can be more cumbersome to transport than binoculars.

A spotting scope with a large objective lens is ideal for digiscoping because it will provide a brighter image to the camera. Other important factors include waterproofing, fogproofing, and armoring to ensure that your spotting scope can handle harsh weather conditions.


There’s a strong correlation between quality and price regarding spotters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find good optics at a reasonable cost. It’s just that higher magnification and outstanding visual results often come with a more substantial price tag.

Aside from the magnification, look at features like an angled body design for greater comfort when using the scope and whether it’s nitrogen-purged to prevent internal fogging when going from cold outdoors to warm indoors. It’s a common problem that can significantly diminish the quality of your viewing experience.