Best Spotting Scopes 2017- Buyers Guide and Review

Best Spotting Scopes 2017- Buyers Guide and Review

What are the best spotting scopes? Do I even need a spotting scope? Well, without a spotting scope, you will be unable to calculate your maneuvers. Forget that, you will probably miss all the sightings and any chance of getting a good game!

An experienced hunter realizes how very important his trusty spotting scope is.

Best Spotting Scopes 2017

With the advancing technology, and the huge variety available on the market can be confusing. Here are some of the best spotting scopes that have earned the place beside you on your hunt.
Spotting Scope NameWeightMagnificationSizePrice
Emarth 20-60 by 60 AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope640 grams20x - 60x350 x 100 x 75 mm 
BARSKA Benchmark 25-125x88 Waterproof Straight Spotting Scope725 grams25x - 125x400mm x 230mm x 200mm
Celestron 52250 80 mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope2200 grams20x - 60x500mm x 170mm x 200mm
Go sky 20-60x 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope-Waterproof Scope1230 grams20x - 60x450mm x 170mm x 110mm
Leupold Mark 4 12-40-60mm Spotting Scope W/Mil Dot 537561050 grams12x - 40x400mm x 120mm x 100mm
Celestron 52322 Land scout 12-36x60 Spotting scope2000 grams12x - 36x27mm x 13mm x 7mm
Vortex 27-60x85 Razor HD Spotting Scope1800 grams20x - 60x400mm x 200 x 170mm
Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Kit1000 grams20x - 60x400mm x 190mm x 150mm
ALPEN 20-60x 80 w/45 deg Eyepiece Waterproof Fog proof Spotting Scope Kit1600 grams20x - 60x480mm x 180mm x 300mm
Vanguard Endeavor XF Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope1200 grams15x - 45x350mm x 180mm

Emarth 20-60 by 60 AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope– Budget Friendly

For those of you looking for a spotting scope on a budget, this one of the best spotting scopes under 200$ that you can find. The scope itself has an angled body, making it easy to handle and adjust. The magnification of the piece ranges from 20-60 times.

The Emarth 20-60 comes with a tripod, which helps you stabilize the scope and observe for a long time without having to constantly adjust your viewfinder and your body. The great thing about the deal is that it comes with a waterproof case and a lens included, which raises the value of this budget buy the product. With a weight of only 3 lbs. you can easily lug the Emarth wherever your game takes you, making it perfect for long distance hunting.

Where the spotting scope works great at lower magnification, the image does get fuzzy as soon as you shift to higher degrees. However, you can improve results by using the tripod, which is in


The Emarth is great if you want a good scope on a budget. It provides a quality view at the stated price and comes with added accessories that increase the value of the entire package. The spotting scope is lightweight, portable and easy to use, making it an ideal scope for beginners and hunts where a lower magnification can work.


  • Extremely low priced compared to the features and accessories that it comes with.
  • Portable, ideal for long hunts, thanks to the light weight.
  • Tripod and carry bag included in the package which is especially useful during the rainy season for protection


  • May have to compromise on image quality at higher magnification.
  • The Tripod comes in a mediocre quality.

BARSKA Benchmark 25-125×88 Waterproof Straight Spotting Scope– Great Range

Made by the leading optics manufacturer, BARSKA, the Barska Benchmark has a stunning visual system to its credit. The straight scope comes with a magnification power of 25× to 125× both and long distance hunting fairly easy. The flexible range is due to the highly sophisticated 88mm lens with an easy to rotate the lens and a dynamic focus system for maximum clarity. To give you an overview of the power of this lens system, you can easily spot a small deer eating his meal in full detail at a distance of 100 yards with only the 75× magnification on a sunny day.

The scope is also fitted with a rubber encasing which acts as a shock absorber to minimize damage in case of any falls. As a plus to all of these features, the scope is also waterproof making it convenient for use in any weather.

With all these features it is hard to spot any negatives. One thing this noteworthy is the vision of the scope in dim light. The spotting scope has a compromised function in dim highlighting and you may need to opt for a lesser magnification or approach the target at a closer range for a good visual.


The Barska spotting scope is a powerful visualizer. You can achieve high magnifications of up to 125× which is ideal for stalking game for miles. The shock absorbing feature and the protective additions to the case really prolong the life of the spotting scope.


  • Exemplary magnification, which allows highly detailed visuals at long distances.
  • Waterproof, making it hassle free for use in any weather
  • Hard and soft case included to maximize protection and for convenient handling during expeditions.


  • Limited visibility in the dark
  • Complicated focus adjustment, which needs practice and precise skills for manipulation.

Celestron 52250 80 mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope– Best with Low Light

The Celestron Ultima attempts to target the dim light or night hunting due to the inbuilt 100 mm refractor. It also features a multicoated lens that is created to produce a brighter image, enhancing brightness by as much as 77%. The Celestron Ultima is built at a convenient angle to maximize comfort. The 45-degree angle also allows the user to use the smaller tripod where circumstances allow for a broad range of purpose.

It is also equipped with a comfortable eyepiece, designed for prolonged viewing when you are intent on the chase. The piece has a magnification spanning a large area, from 20× to 60×. The ideal feature of this spotting scope is it’s built in view finder which makes it extremely easy to locate and pursue targets and landscapes alike.

The simplified mechanics and technology allows for easy use and makes this spotting scope an ideal tech for beginners.

The only drawback that we find is that the flint aromatic lens of the piece can produce false colors which can be frustrating for some viewers, especially if you are trying to spot game in a thicket. The resultant blue fringing can also pose a problem at higher degrees of magnification.


As a whole, the Celestron Ultima sets new standards when it comes to viewing exceptional quality image. The built in view finder and convenient angle makes it perfect for viewing for extended periods of time. The soft casing also serves to protect the piece, ensuring long term preservation.


  • Lightweight, the scope only weighs 3.6 pounds, ideal for long days of hunting.
  • Removable Eyecup for easy camera attachment. You can view and take magnified pictures at the same time.
  • Padded carrying case, perfect for protection and comfortable carrying.
  • Waterproof to withstand the harshness of any weather.


  • Higher magnification can deteriorate the quality of the image.
  • Not ideal if you wear glasses as the eyepiece interferes with vision.

Go sky 20-60× 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope-Waterproof Scope– Extremely Durable

This beautiful scope is accompanied with a fully coated 80 mm green film objective lens, eyepiece and internal BAK4 prism. The three together set up a stunning visual system for extraordinary viewing. The lens has a dynamic focus, allowing easy manual configuring for near and far viewing. The 20× to 60× is suitable for a range of nature observing and hunting activities. The feature that allows this scope to stand out is its Digi scoping cell phone adapter, which allows for immediate photography or video capturing for the wildlife enthusiasts.

In addition to this, the Go sky Porro Prism comes with a shock absorbing rubber armor to maximize resistance to the harsh conditions in the wild. Plus, the eyepiece should offer some protection to the eyepiece and can be extended to completely cover the eyepiece. Rain or droughts don’t matter for this scope for it is built with a waterproof, rainproof, nitrogen filled frame that prolongs the durability of this scope by several folds.

The metal tripod for the phone can be inconvenient to handle at times. It also seems to be of a cheaper material and is not at all durable. You would do well to arrange another tripod for the scope if you want to make sure your system doesn’t disrupt in the middle of a hunt.


The Go sky Porro Prism is an all-rounder when it comes to durability and image quality. It’s waterproofing, anti-fog mechanism and shock absorbers are exemplary making it a valuable spotting scope to invest in. There are certain problems with the tripod and there can be some difficulties with the optics, but once you figure it out, the spotting scope is a real charmer.


  • 100% water and fog proof so weather conditions are not an issue.
  • Extremely durable, lasting for several hunts with exceptional performance.
  • Digi scoping phone adapter for immediate photography and videos.


  • Poor quality of tripod that fails to serve its purpose and is not durable tall.
  • Optics can be difficult to handle and manipulate at times.

Leupold Mark 4 12-40-60Mm Spotting Scope W/Mil Dot 53756– High End Scope

Different people have different preferences and if you are looking for the perfect no-holds bar with a target milling, this spotting scope is an ideal choice.

Made to be compact and precise, the Leupold Mark 4 is able to bring the bullet holes closer for a clear view of the field. The scope stands out as an exceptional optic aid as well as being extremely portable. Yes, the scope is fitted with a 60 mm lens, which is smaller than its competitors, but the image is bright and clear thanks to its 4 lens system which optimizes light transmission to increase brightness and resolution. The measurements also extend as far as 40× magnification, presenting you with precise measurement for target shooting.

The spotting scope may be small, but at the same time, it also has a significant amount of weight that can offset some hunters. It also means that you need to protect the scope from major falls as the 4 lens system can get damaged.


The portable scope is easy to use and provides a clear image for accurate shooting targets. The device is waterproof and includes a soft side case for protection. The 4 lens system works flawlessly to refine the image and produce a brighter image of greater clarity, despite dim light conditions.


  • High-quality lens system producing fine image
  • Mil Dot for estimation of distance at as much as 40× magnification.
  • Twilight factor or improved resolution and detail.


  • Expensive than similar spotting scopes of different companies.
  • Heavy, weighing 37 ounces, the spotting scope can be heavy at times, such as at the end of a long day.


Celestron 52322 Land scout 12-36×60 Spotting scope– Budget Friendly

The Celestron land scout is built to provide excellent viewing on a budget. The spotting scope is equipped with a 60mm lens giving it a 12× to 36× viewing power. The scope is perfect for spotting wildlife or sighting in your rifle.

The affordable price features decent image quality with vibrant colors. Moving on to the operation, the focus wheel and the magnification ring are both made to be easily manipulated and adjusted. Plus, the angled scope allows for easy viewing, especially when spotting birds as you won’t have to crane your neck at every bird you want to see.

In addition to this, the scope has an adjustable and rotatable tripod mount that makes it easy to fix and adjust according to any spot. The scope itself is purged with nitrogen and has O-ring seals. The exterior is also fitted with rubber as a shock absorber, maximizing protection in all kinds of weather.

The lens system provides exception imaging in bright light, however, dim light can compromise the view. The image quality decreases drastically and we recommend that you don’t use this scope for night time ventures.


The Celestron 52322 is an impressive scope at a reasonable price. It is well equipped for protection and comes with adjustable focus and rotatable tripod for easy viewing. The scope provides excellent image quality till 200 yards of view.


  • Cheap, the scope is relatively cheap as compared to other scopes and still offers a variety of functions.
  • Vibrant colors, thanks to the prism system and the optics.
  • Adjustable large wheel focus for easy manipulation and handling.


  • Lacks proper eye relief, which can be a bother on long days in the grounds.
  • Poor vision in dim light, which can be a down runner for hunters that like to stalk at night.

Vortex 27-60×85 Razor HD Spotting Scope– Editor Choice

This is the elite options in a wide variety of spotting scopes in the market. Created by the Vortex Optics, the Vortex Razor HD really defines what stalking, hunting and being in nature is all about.

The scope is fitted with a triple achromatic lens with high-density glass to produce the exceptional sharpness and vibrant colors, clearly a valuable hunt during hunting where the difference between similar colors is crucial. The wide angle design is made to broaden the field of view and the anti-light reflection coated glasses work to enhance brightness, making this scope ideal for night vision also.

The creators of this scope opted for a compromise when it comes to the design. Hence, the scope is not built too sturdy to be a hassle but also not so flimsy to be easily broken. The slim shape also decreases the weight of the scope making it easy to carry about.

All of these features are a great help while hunting, but the cost is very high. It can be out of reach for some hunters. This can be a setback, considering the magnificent performance of this spotting scope.


The Vortex Razor HD provides exceptional images with vibrant colors and amazing sharpness. The portable scope is fitted with high-performance optics that maximizes brightness, making it an ideal scope for hunting. We recommend this scope for those who can afford to revel in the luxury because it really is an exceptional spotting scope.


  • High definition images, allowing easy distinguishing in the wild.
  • Excellent brightness even in dim light.
  • Light weight but not too flimsy.


  • Expensive, the cost is high, even though the price-performance ratio is perfect.
  • Eyepiece could be a problem for serious hunters and you may need to replace it with a better quality glass to produce even sharper view.

Redfield Rampage 20-60×60mm Spotting Scope Kit– Super Light

This is a lightweight spotting scope which comes with a reasonable price and a great performance.

It has a 20× to the 60× magnification that allows for a range of view in the wild. The scope has a linear field of 114~51 at 1000 yards and an angular field of 2.2~1.0. Clearly, the scope allows you to shoot a variety of angles with good visibility. It also comes with a good eye relief making it easy to use even for people wearing spectacles.

The kit features a tripod adapter, which can be used for a variety of purposes. The best part is that you don’t have to pay a fortune and you still get exemplary features. The creators incorporated fog proof, water proof, multicoated lens and rubber technology to fortify its protection. The polycarbonate body makes the scope incredibly light, but strong, making the scope very portable.

At the same time, however, the image can cloud up and blur when the magnification is set at 60×. This is to be expected as all scopes have reduced imaging power at higher magnification.


All in all, the Redfield Rampage is a great buy for your money. It has great optics and multicoated prism and lenses to maximize performance. The tripod case and coverings that come with it, enhance the internal protection of the spotting scope making it one of the best spotting scopes to buy.


  • Retractable lens shade that allows you to alter the amount of light entering the lens as well as protection.
  • Standard tripod adapter, which maximizes the function of the spotting scope.
  • Good clarity, which makes it easier to identify animals from surroundings.


  • Less quality at higher degrees of magnification.
  • Straps may become lose and can be a potential hazard if not attended to promptly.

ALPEN 20-60× 80 w/45 deg Eyepiece Waterproof Fog proof Spotting Scope Kit– Versatile

This multi-functional spotting scope is equipped with the popular BAK-4 multicoated prism that enhances its optical system to provide good brightness and sharp image.

The waterproof fog proof technology allows the scope to be used in all kinds of weather with no difficulty. The 45-degree eyepiece is what makes it use most comfortable. No craning your neck to spot the skies, no weird positions for visualization, the angle does the trick to provide a convenient position for viewing. The eye piece design is created to view in any position, simply by twiddling the adjustment collar and fixing it in the required position.

Another great fact about this scope is its broad field of view that enhances your vision and provides a view of up to 113 feet at 1000yards. All of these factors contribute to making this spotting scope one of the best spotting scopes to buy in 2017.

You do need to pay attention to the heat though. The Alpen spotting scope is known to get hazy at higher temperatures. Something that makes it unsuitable for long exposures or really hot and humid conditions.


The ALPEN spotting scope really adds value to your hunting gear. It is affordable but still provides a quality image at a range of magnifications. The BAK-4 prism works amazingly to provide vibrant colors and bright image even in dim light.


  • Reasonable price with a variety of functions.
  • Great optics, which provide bright images even in dim light.


  • Smaller eye relief, which may not be compatible with every eye.
  • Hazy images in hot weather.

Vanguard Endeavor XF Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope– Easiest to Use

This spotting scope is one of the best spotting scopes for hunting in dim light. It’s BAK-4 phase coated prism with multi-coated lenses reduce glare and act to capture the maximum light to provide exceptional image even in dim lights. To reinforce all these factors, the spotting scope has a built in sun shield which serves to protect its components and further diminish any glare.

The scope is equipped with a quick adjustment focus wheel to alter the focus at a moment’s notice, handy when stalking the hunt. For protection, this magnesium built scope is reinforced with a rubber armor that allows the camera to be used in all kinds of weather.

The scope is created a little sturdier than others of its kind so that you can easily sling it on your back without having to worry about damages.

On the down side, the image quality can decrease at higher magnification and the scope can be worrisome for the most skilled hunters. However, for the usual game and close proximity viewing the scope works amazing.


The Vanguard can be a little expensive than other scopes but it does have its good lenses and sturdy structure to its credit. The scope enhances the image and allows you to view fine details in vibrant colors thanks to its BAK4 prism system. We recommend the scope for beginners as it is relatively easy to use with fine images.


  • Has a small minimum distance which allows the hunter to view the fine details.
  • Smart looking scope, the Vanguard scores high when it comes to appearance.
  • Bright images even in dim light


  • Low-quality eyepiece that interferes with the quality of image at higher magnification
  • Stay on the case can interfere with the view and can be difficult to adjust.

What to Look for in a Good Spotting Scope?

Now that you know of the best spotting scopes in the market, how do you decide which one is the best for you? All in all, it comes down to your preference and needs. At the same time, there are certain things that you need to pay particular attention to. These features determine the ultimate quality of the spotting scope and ultimately, how long it will last. Let us consider the top features that you should never miss when buying a spotting scope.

Eyepiece magnification As is evident, magnification plays an important role when looking for the best spotting scope for yourself. It all depends on the game. Do you like hunting at close range or are you more of a stalker, stalking down prey for hundreds of yards? These factors come into play when looking for both near and far targets. A small minimum distance allows you to view near objects with clarity while a higher magnification is needed for further viewing. Both of these are important when understanding the amount of light that is entering the eyepiece for a brighter image.

Exit pupil The size of the exit pupil determines how bright the light will be. The power of the image is directly linked to the brightness also and is influenced by the exit pupil. A dimmer image means that the exit pupil is too small, but lowering the power can increase the brightness. However, this will cause the image to blur. Hence, a lot of factors come into play when choosing the ultimate scope.

Eye relief Another thing of importance is the space between the scope and your eye. This is the eye relief. Here again, personal factors make a lot of difference. For one thing, a greater eye relief is needed for people wearing glasses. On average, you should always opt for a scope with good eye relief to maximize comfort.

Optical coating The best spotting scopes have multiple optical coating which is anti-reflective. This is necessary for brightness and good visualization. Without it, most of the light will scatter into the scope and produce a dim or an ill-defined image. With the coating in place, you can maximize light transmission to about 85%. Magnesium fluoride coating is another plus as it can further increase the transmitting power providing excellent viewing even in dim light.

These are some of the important factors that you should keep in mind when looking for the best spotting scope for yourself. Hunting is a sport and it needs the right equipment for the best game. A spotting scope will allow you to spot and distinguish your prey from the surroundings easily. It is also a great choice for bird-watching and enjoying wild life, where it provides exemplary images from distances extending for hundreds of yards. Choose from the best spotting scopes of 2017 and mast your hunting game to perfection.

One thought on “Best Spotting Scopes 2017- Buyers Guide and Review

  1. Scope for travel and travel for scope very essential. Every travel would to have scope. Very good and informative content. I am bookmarking this site and also will refer some of my friend if they like to buy one. Thanks

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