So you have a passion for bird watching. You can improve your bird-watching experience with a spotting scope.
A spotting scope is any day more powerful than binoculars. They are not just used for bird watching, but various other activities such as hiking, hunting, sports, astronomical observation, etc.
With the help of a spotting scope, you can easily magnify an object. However, the magnification is lesser than a telescope.
Buying a spotting scope isn’t that easy. There are quite a few factors to consider. For your convenience, we have shortlisted some of the best spotting scopes for digiscoping. These scopes come with smartphone adapters, so you can connect them with your mobile phone and take videos and pictures. That being said, now let’s walk you through the list.
10 Best Spotting Scope For Digiscoping in 2021 [Reviews]
These are some of the top-rated spotting scopes you will find on the market. Go through the details of the products and pick the one that is most suitable for you.
- Magnification: 27-60x
Our top choice is Vortex Optics Razor HD which is one of the best spotting scopes on the market. Although it comes with a higher price tag, it is worth the price. It is equipped with a triple apochromatic lens to give you clear magnification like no other. You can enjoy a clear view even in low-light situations without compromising on colour clarity.
It also comes with XR plus anti-reflective coatings that enable it to work efficiently in daylight. It can focus on objects that are close to 16.4 feet. Unlike many other spotting scopes, it has an easy to rotate magnification ring. This comes in handy when you need to quickly switch between objects at varying distances.
At the first glance, it may look delicate, but it is durable equipment. It features armor tek coatings that keep dirt, oil, and debris from damaging the internal parts. The rubber armor protects it from sudden shocks and accidental drops. However, you should know that this is bulky and heavy equipment. Also, it has very little padding. Therefore, you should use it carefully.
- Rubber armor protection
- Performs well both in dusk and daylight
- Triple apochromatic lens
- Very pricey
- Magnification: 20-60x
If you want an affordable spotting scope, Celestron Ultima 100 could be a good choice for you. With its powerful magnification feature, it can rival its competitors. Due to the low price tag, it is quite popular among users. The good thing is you are provided with a whole setup. What we mean is that the scope comes with a zoom eyepiece with T-adapter, a tripod-mounting plate, and other gears required to clean and transport it.
It features multi-coated optics that enhance contrast and make colours bright. It is a mid-range spotting scope with a focus range of 26.2 feet. However, you may find it difficult to focus beyond 200 yards. This drawback is balanced out with the fact that the unit can perform well in low-light conditions.
To put it simply, this is not an elite spotting scope. However, it makes a good choice for beginners. You can use this scope for bird watching or at the beach. You can also hand it over to your kids, so they can have some fun too.
- Comes with the entire set up
- Easy to focus
- Mid-range scope
- Can’t focus beyond 200 yards
- Rainbow sheen under low light conditions
- Magnification: 15-65x
This is a mid-budget spotting scope with all the right features you need. However, it is not as good as Razor HD. It comes with extra-low dispersion glass to give you an accurate colour depiction. To increase light transmission, each of the glass is coated with multi-glass covers.
This spotting scope is ideal for beginners. It features a user-friendly design with lightweight construction. The ergonomic design of the scope allows you to hold it easily. The eyepiece is detachable and is protected with a rubber cup, so you can use it comfortably for long hours. It may have a few flaws, but for a beginner’s scope, it is great.
Best of all, it is covered by a lifetime warranty. So even if you break it, no worries, because you can get it repaired free of cost. Overall, this budget-friendly scope is good enough to get the job done. If you are just starting, you will find this unit easy-to-use.
- Best for beginners
- Comfortable to use
- Blurry images around the edges
- Not very durable
- Magnification: 20-60x
Gosky 20-60x Porro Prism is ideal for target shooting. This is an efficient spotting scope with a digiscoping adapter, so you can attach it with your mobile phone. It comes with a universal mount that is compatible with any smartphone model. This allows you to record video and zoom your shots.
There is a legit reason why Gosky is best for target shooting. In comparison to another spotting scope of this price range, it is a bit slow to track fast-moving animals. It comes with a magnification range of 20-60x, which is decent enough for a scope within this budget.
Despite all the good things, there is a little issue with the unit. The 17mm eye relief can be annoying for users who wear glasses. That’s because they may continuously bump against the eyepiece. However, you can use this unit to see beyond 800 yards. But the images can get blurry as you increase the magnification. If you can adjust to these little issues, this scope can be your ideal companion in target shooting.
- Great for target shooting
- Can be paired with smartphones
- Universal phone mount
- Easy to operate
- Poor focusing
- Blurry images at maximum magnification
- Magnification: 20-60x
If you are in search of a premium quality spotting scope, this could be the best option for you. This is a highly portable scope with solid construction. It features a durable build, so you can use it without any worries. Due to the compact design, it can be easily packed in a bag and carried to places. This is a convenient piece of equipment with many useful features.
It comes with an 80mm objective lens up to 60x magnification. With 2-speed dual focus control, you can get sharp images even at a distance or in motion. Not just that, but this scope can also be used under harsh weather conditions. This is possible due to the RainGuard HD coating that protects it from sleet and rain. Best of all, the scope is waterproof, so you can use it without any worries.
It can focus up to 1000 yards, however, you shouldn’t expect it to show you every detail. The scope comes with all the required gear. After learning about the scope, many of you would assume it to be very expensive, but it’s not. It is more of a mid-budget scope for long-to-mid range viewing.
- Can perform well even in harsh weather conditions
- Stable viewing
- RainGuard HD coating
- Annoying lens cover
- Magnification: 30-90x
Barska’s Colorado Spotting Scope is a decent unit, but it comes with a little extra magnification. It is suitable for long-distance observations. It features a magnification range for general observation or up-close spotting. The scope comes with fully-coated optics for better performance and clarity, even at long distances. The best thing about this unit is that it includes a tripod as well.
The tripod included in the kit is lightweight and comes with a carrying case. With the use of this tripod, you will get a steady view at higher magnifications. The unit boasts a powerful 30-90x zoom range to give you a more detailed look. To maintain a sharp view, the scope comes with a collapsible and expandable sunshade. This prevents any sunlight from interfering with the quality of the view. Not just that, but it also maintains the contrast and colour transmission.
This scope is best for longer distances. It comes with a carry case, so you can carry the scope and the tripod easily. In comparison to other scopes, it has a higher magnification and a focusing system with fine adjustments. The side-focusing knob allows you to maintain a visual of your object while enjoying a clearer look.
- High magnification
- Best for longer distances
- Comes with a tripod
- Easy to carry
- Tripod is not good enough
- Less eye relief
- Magnification: 20-60x
This is yet another budget-friendly option. If you are a beginner or don’t want to invest a sizable amount, the Amcrest Spotting Scope could be the best option for you. It features a 60mm objective Lens with a robust zoom magnification range. It is adjustable up to 60x. With a field-of-view 36-19m/1000m, this scope is ideal for astronomical observation, bird watching, travel, hunting, sports, etc.
The lens is fully multi-coated and comes with BK7 Porro Prism for a higher refractive index rate. It also helps improve the image quality and lets you experience a rich depth of field. Given the features of the unit, it is best for target shooting. For convenience, it is provided with a metal tripod with adjustable feet. That’s not all, because you also get a universal smartphone adapter for digiscoping. Using this feature, you can connect your smartphone with the scope and click high-quality videos and photos.
The unit is also provided with a carrying case, so you can carry the unit along with all accessories anywhere you go. High-quality IPX6 waterproof housing provides external protection, while a built-in retractable sunshade reduces glare. The package contains everything you need to use this scope. This includes an Amcrest Spotting Scope, a tripod, a digiscoping adapter, a carrying case, a manual guide, and a cleaning cloth.
- Comes with a tripod stand
- BK7 Porro Prism
- Low-quality tripod
- Smartphone adapter not compatible
- Magnification: 20-80x
The specialty of this scope is that it has three separate objective lenses to provide you the sharpest images. If you are looking for a quality spotting scope, this could be the perfect option for you. It comes with a powerful magnification range from 20X to 60X. This makes it an ideal choice for experienced users. With a high-quality optical system, it can meet your different observation needs.
This unit is not only powerful but is also waterproof and easy to use. It is designed to bring a beautiful view close to you. This scope is great for archery, hunting, target shooting, hiking, sports, etc. It has a 24mm eyepiece that allows you to observe clearly. The multi-layer FMC coating lens helps reduce light reflectivity and also improve light transmission for high-quality imaging.
The prism material is made of Bak4 that effectively eliminates internal light divergence so that you get clear images. It is also made highly waterproof, so you can use it for various occasions such as rain, water splash, etc., without any worries. The durable construction of the scope makes it suitable for long-term use. The lens can focus the light of different wavelengths to the same point to reduce the colour difference caused by telephoto.
- Three objective lens structures
- Suitable for a variety of purposes
- Dual speed focusing
- Magnification: 20-60x
The Landove BAK4 Prism Spotting Scope is much cheaper than other options on the list. It comes with BAK4 Porro optics to give you clear and crisp images. With a high definition fully multi-coated green lens and superior BAK4 prism, you can enjoy greater images. That’s because it reduces the entry of stray light and allows more light transmission.
Coming to magnification, the scope allows you to magnify images up to 60X variable zoom. The dynamic lens focusing system allows for easy zoom-in on the target. These features make the unit suitable for target shooting, hunting, bird watching, camping, scenery, etc. Besides that, it is also quite durable. It is made of high-quality materials to give you an enhanced experience. It comes with a non-slip grip and shock-proof grip. Along with that, you get a built-in retractable sunshade, and eyepiece shield to give you the best product.
It also includes a digiscoping smartphone adapter that enables you to take images and videos in distance. Unlike other adapters, this one fits with most smartphones. Also, it is easy and quick to install and remove. The package includes a carrying bag, a table tripod, a smartphone adapter, two lens covers, a cleaning cloth, a lifetime money-back guarantee, and a warranty.
- Excellent eye relief
- Lifetime warranty
- Sharp images
- Adapter compatible with most smartphones
- None to mention
- Magnification: 20-60x
If you are in search of a package deal, Creative XP HD Spotting Scope would be the right option for you. It includes everything you need to pair with your scope. It comes with a 20-60x magnification power with double fine adjustments. With this spotting scope, you can enjoy bright and clear viewing without any chromatic aberrations.
The two fine focus knobs allow for smooth accurate focusing so that you get a detailed vibrant image. To make things more convenient, it comes with an adjustable eye relief which is very comfortable to use. It can focus beyond 300 yards and features an amazing build quality. It is designed with the most rugged spotting scope. The fully multi-coating lens eliminates reflections and also makes the lenses resistant to scratch.
Unlike many other scopes, this one is tested and developed by optics experts. It is nitrogen purged with a sealed O-Ring to prevent fog, water, or shock damage. Another great feature is the BAK4 Prism that provides a brighter field view. This is a lightweight scope that comes with all the necessary accessories. The package includes a tripod, protective case, a smartphone adapter, and a photo clicker.
- Great magnification
- Includes all accessories
- High-quality build
- Large eye relief
- Not easy to use
When it comes to buying a spotting scope, there are quite a few important factors to consider. To help you out, we have laid down a buyer’s guide below.
Straight or angled
Most of them prefer to use an angled eyepiece as it is more comfortable to use. Not just that, but it also allows you to change heights easily. On the other hand, straight scopes are good, if you don’t move them much. This type of scopes is great for hunters. They can use it from a fixed spot like behind the bushes without moving it. You can also use a straight scope from inside your car.
The weight of the spotting scope matters if you want to carry it with you. In most cases, a scope is set up in a place for long hours. But if you are going to take it out on your hunting or hiking trip, then you need to consider the weight of the scope. It should be lightweight and easy to handle. Scopes with bulky designs feel heavy and can be difficult to use while travelling. Remember that lower sizes of scopes are lighter.
Not all spotting scopes are waterproof. But if you have the budget to buy a waterproof scope, it would be great. That’s because you will be able to use it outdoors without worrying about rain or water splashes. These types of scopes are also more resistant to fogging and dust.
Size of the objective lens
You also need to consider the objective lens size as it determines the brightness of the images. For bird watching or hunting, you should get a 60mm range. But for viewing objects from your deck, an 80 to 100mm should be perfect.
Many of the spotting scopes allow you to mount your mobile phone cameras to take high-quality videos and images. But for this, you need a smartphone adapter. Now the thing is not all spotting scopes have this feature. Before you buy a scope check whether it comes with a mobile phone adapter.
1. When to use a spotting scope?
Spotting scopes can be used anytime you need more magnification than a binocular. It is used for birding, watching wildlife, hunting, surveillance, viewing landscape, and other distant objects.
2. How far can you see with a spotting scope?
Spotting scope magnification is divided into five categories. The most basic ones allow you to see up to 100 yards, while the rest can see over 100, 300, 400, and over 500 respectively.
3. What should you look for in a spotting scope?
A spotting scope should have an objective lens of at least 60 mm in diameter so that you can get brighter images. This is important for people who want to do a lot of digiscoping.
4. What are the advantages of using an angled spotting scope?
Angled scopes can be used with a lower tripod height for better stability. They also offer a better setup for digiscoping.
5. What do numbers mean on a spotting scope?
A spotting scope always has two sets of numbers. For example 20-60×90. The first set of numbers is the magnification, while the second set of numbers is the diameter of its objective lens.
With a spotting scope for digiscoping, you can enhance your viewing experience from a distance. This device can be used for various purposes, especially when you are outdoors. Whether you want to admire the universe or enjoy bird watching, you will find a powerful and efficient spotting scope to be very useful. If you are looking for a quality spotting scope, you can choose from the mentioned products in the list.