Top 7 Spotting Scopes Reviews – For Hunting and Birding 2018

Spotting scopes are best for many purposes including birding, shooting, and hunting. The question is what kind of spotting scope you want. We are going to review the best spotting scopes of 2018. You must know the purpose you want your spotting scope to serve. If ten people are buying a particular spotting scope, it does not mean that you, too, should be following them. If something works for others, it is not right to assume that the same will also work for you. So, take your time and make your mind about the features you want to see in your spotting scope.

We, in this article, will be reviewing different spotting scopes. Here, we are starting off with the best budget scope of 2018.

Best Spotting Scopes

Product NameZoomLens sizeWeight 
Celestron Ultima20-60x80mm5lbs Check Price
Vortex Razor HD20-50x65mm6.6lbs Check Price
Vortex Optics Viper15-45x65mm4.5lbs Check Price
Compact Binoculars20-60x80mm11lbs Check Price
Vanguard Endeavor20-60x82mm4.2lbs Check Price
Bushnell Legend20-60x80mm9.4lbs Check Price
Nikon Prostaff 520-60x82mm4.1lbs Check Price

1. Celestron Ultima

Celestron Ultima

 

Features

  • Waterproof
  • 20-60x zoom
  • Comes with case
  • 80mm refractor

What We Liked

Case: A spotting scope is something you would want to carry around with you on your bird watching or hunting trips. Carrying it in your hand can be inconvenient, and putting it in a bag with other things could damage it. This product comes with its own case which is very useful because it helps you keep it safe.

Waterproof: If you use the Celestron Ultima the way it is meant to be used, you are probably going to take it into some rough terrain. This product is waterproof which can help you use it without worrying about it getting broken. This is especially useful if you want to look for things underwater or want to use it during periods of heavy rain.

Excellent zoom: With a spotting scope like this you would be able to easily spot things that are a hundred yards away. This much zoom can often cause shakiness, but this product manages to give you perfect vision even if you are extremely zoomed in.

Price: If you are trying to get an excellent spotting scope, you would probably expect to pay a lot of money. This product gives you all of the benefits at an extremely affordable price. This will come as a pleasant surprise to people that don’t have that much money they can spend.

Comfortable use: This scope is padded with rubber. This helps your eye stay comfortable while you have it fixed into the scope. It also makes it easier for people with glasses to use this product.

What We Didn’t Like

Weight: This is a pretty hefty scope. This is a problem because you need your scope to be as light as possible so you can easily walk around with it.

2. Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope

Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope

 

Features

  • Angled body
  • 30mm rings
  • T-15 Torx style socket cap screws
  • HD lens

What We Liked

Clear image: A scope that can magnify a lot is useless if you can’t get a clear image from it. This scope gives you a perfectly clear image even if you zoom in a lot. Each detail will be easy to see, and the output will be crisp and pleasant to look at. This can help you get the best possible result from this product.

Highly durable: When you touch this scope you will feel that it has a hard and smooth feel to it. This is because this scope is made of a very durable material. You can treat this product as a long term investment because it probably won’t break down any time soon.

Accessories included: A scope on its own is useful but you will need to use some accessories as well. This product comes with great accessories such as an eyepiece cover, a T-mount ring, a cleaning cloth as well as an instruction manual to help you learn the ropes if you are a beginner. All these accessories help give this product a lot of value for money.

High range: This spotting scope gives you an incredible range of over 1,000 yards which makes it perfect for hunting ranges. It is also good for people that want to take amazing photographs of exotic locales. Such places are difficult to photograph up close so using a scope is important.

What We Didn’t Like

Price: As you have already read above, this product gives you all kinds of amazing benefits that you would have a tough time finding elsewhere. However, it does so at a rather high price. In fact, the price is so high that most people would find this too expensive to buy unless they are hardcore hunting fans.

3. Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scopes

Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scopes

 

Features

  • Anti reflective coating
  • Dual focus wheel
  • Sunshade
  • Argon purged

What We Liked

Crystal clear visuals: This spotting scope comes with a lot of amazing features. These features can help you see the clearest possible image when you look through. The sunshade prevents sunlight from ruining your view. It also helps you use this light to your advantage. You will also notice that this spotting scope manages to keep the image stable even when you are zoomed in.

Argon purged: Using argon to purge this spotting scope helps prevent condensation from forming inside the lens. This helps the lens stay clear, allowing you to get a continuously clear image even if the weather is humid or if there is a lot of rain.

Can withstand the elements: This is a spotting scope that has been crafted with outdoor use in mind. The scope is waterproof and the sunshade protects from snow and rain as well as sunlight. Overall, you can use this product in the great outdoors with ease. You won’t have to worry about it getting damaged because of water or because of extreme weather.

Focus wheel: The focus wheel that comes with this spotting scope lets you adjust both coarse and fine focus. This makes it easier for you to fix your sights on something specific in the foreground of your image. Focus like this is very useful for people that love to hunt. This is because it lets you set your sights on your prey from a great distance and get stunning accuracy.

What We Didn’t Like

Unclear edges: While the center of the image is going to be crystal clear, this spotting scope tends to have hazy edges. This can ruin your peripheral vision while you are looking through the scope.

Not durable enough: While the build is quite solid, this product will get less durable as time goes by. A lot of focus was put into making this spotting scope resistant to the elements. However, it seems they forgot to make it resistant to getting dropped on hard surfaces.

4. Compact Binoculars for Bird Watching

Compact Binoculars for Bird Watching

 

Features

  • Multicoated optics
  • 45 degree eyepiece
  • Includes tripod
  • Weight: 56 ounces

What We Liked

Edge to edge clarity: A lot of spotting scopes on the market offer good clarity but the images they provide often have blurry or fuzzy edges. This product excels at giving you crystal clear images that are clear from edge to edge. This means that you will get beautiful peripheral vision while you are using this scope.

Tripod included: A spotting scope can be used directly from your hand but this would leave it unstable and it might give you a shaky view of what you are looking at. This product comes with an excellent tripod that you can use to get a much steadier image.

Lightweight: At 56 ounces, this product is perfect for people that want a spotting scope they can carry around with them. You can whip it out whenever you want to take a closer look at something.

What We Didn’t Like

Too big: While the tripod is fairly light, it’s quite large in size. This can be a problem for some people. It takes up too much space when it is fully set up. This can be annoying for people that are trying to stay under the radar while taking wildlife pictures.

Uncomfortable to use: The eyepiece has protective rubber around it which protects the lens. However, it is quite uncomfortable and hard. After using it for some time your eye will start feeling tired and sore.

5. Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope

 

Features

  • ED glass
  • Rubber armored magnesium body
  • Detachable eyepiece

What We Liked

Extra low dispersion glass: You will notice that the colors this spotting scope shows you are vibrant and realistic. This is because of the ED glass that comes built into the scope. This ED glass refracts light differently than regular glass, giving you crisper colors that are a lot more fun to look at.

Comfortable eyepiece: If you are a dedicated photographer you will probably have your eye pressed to your scope for long periods of time. You will be surprised at just how comfortable the eyepiece is. You will barely feel like anything is pressing against your eye at all!

Rubber armored magnesium body: If you drop this spotting scope it will bounce a bit and then land rather softly. This is because the body is armored with rubber that protects the sensitive inner parts.

What We Disliked

Lack of clarity at high zoom: The whole purpose of a spotting scope is to have something that can help you see things that are far away, but the image gets so fuzzy when you zoom all the way in that it’s just not worth it.

Price: At a price like this you would expect something that would knock your socks off. Unfortunately, while this spotting scope does give some benefits, it fails to live up to the expectations set by the asking price.

6. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD

 

Features

  • Rain guard
  • Dual focus controls
  • Low dispersion glass

What We Liked

Clarity in rain: Rain can be your enemy while you are using a spotting scope. The worst case scenario is that your scope ends up getting damaged. The best case scenario is that the glass ends up getting foggy. This product preserves your image by being resistant to getting fogged up, which means you can easily use it while it’s raining.

Good magnification: This product gives you up to 60x magnification while maintaining image clarity. This makes it a solid spotting scope for you to invest in.

Dual focus: Whether you are using your spotting scope to hunt, take amazing pictures or just look up at the stars, you will need to fine tune your focus settings rapidly to get the images you are looking for. The dual focus helps you do that easily.

What We Didn’t Like

Weight: Weighing in at a hair over eighty ounces, this is a rather hefty spotting scope. This limits its portability and reduces some of its value when you compare it to other spotting scopes on the market.

Price: Much like the aforementioned Vanguard Endeavor, this product does not live up to the expectations set by its rather high price point.

7. Nikon Prostaff 5 Proscope

Nikon Prostaff 5 Proscope

Features

  • Ergonomic design
  • Sliding sunshade
  • 82m objective lens

What We Liked

Lightweight and ergonomic: This product has been designed to be as ergonomic as possible. You can use it for long periods of time with ease. It is also very lightweight which makes it perfect for carrying around with you while you are trying to capture amazing pictures.

Sliding sunshade: A sunshade is very useful because it prevents the glare from the sun ruining what you are looking it. However, sometimes a sunshade can be slightly inconvenient. This is because it can block light and make your images darker in low light conditions. This product helps you control when and where the sunshade is being used.

What We Didn’t Like

Price: A lot of spotting scopes on the market ask for a high price for rather mediocre results. This is a fine spotting scope and it’s arguably worth the price point. However, there are a few other products that are at a similar if not lower price that give a lot more benefits.

Fragile: Seeing as this is a lightweight spotting scope, you might want to carry it around. After all, you might need suddenly need it. However, this product is kind of fragile. You will have to handle it with care which is inconvenient because it reduces portability. If you want to use your spotting scope for hunting you will need to find something else.

When you look for spotting scopes, you hope to find something that gives you clarity, durability, portability as well as comfort while you are using it. If you check out the list above you will definitely find a product that is worth your while, with the Celestron Ultima standing out as the very best spotting scope that the market has to offer.

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