Can you Spot the Best Spotting Scope on this List?

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Can you Spot the Best Spotting Scope on this List?

Spotting scopes are the intimidating cousin to the more familiar binoculars. They have greater magnification, and are usually more expensive, more technical, and more difficult to use. However, having one can make all the difference when you need to examine something that’s out of range of the binoculars. The best spotting scope will be one that supplements binoculars to improve your awareness of the environment.

With so much magnification, you’ll be able to make out greater detail with a spotting scope than you can with a pair of binoculars. With the best spotting scope, you [RV2] can easily count the points on a pair of antlers, see the identifying markings on waterfowl, and locate an animal that’s bedded down. The downside to that extra magnification, though, is that it shrinks your field of view down. Spotting scopes are most effective when used along with binoculars; binoculars let you identify an area of interest, and the spotting scope allows you to really examine what’s there.

The Best Spotting Scope for Hunting

Spotting scopes are part of the standard inventory for most hunters, along with a rangefinder, but they do have a specific purpose – seeing long distances with a relatively narrow field of view. They even need a stand of some sort to be used effectively. They were not designed for on-the-fly usage, but rather as a tool for further investigating areas of interest that you found with binoculars.

Knowing the equipment’s limitations should narrow down your choices. Will you be hunting large, open areas? If so, you’ll probably want to buy the best optics you can afford, because a lower quality spotting scope is no better than a good pair of hunting binoculars. However, if you’re hunting in more densely wooded areas and might only occasionally have the need for a spotting scope, a less expensive one might make more sense for you.

Good optics can drastically change the quality of your hunt; having the ability to see things that were once out of range or out of focus will make you a more informed hunter. Understanding your environment and the little things going on in it will only increase your chances of making a kill at the end of the day, try using a trail cam before your hunt to get a better idea of what animals may be around.

Top 4 Spotting Scopes for Hunting - Table

Product

Specs

Magnification

Field of View

Eye Relief

Our Rating

Buy Here

1. Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope

Length

22"


Weight

7 lbs

22-66x

Degrees

1.8°-1.0°


Feet @ 1000yds

94-52

18-15mm

4.7/5

2. Vortex 20-60 x 85 Razor HD Spotting Scope

Length

15.3"


Weight

4.1 lbs

20x-60x

Degrees

2.2°-1.1°


Feet @ 1000yds

117-60

20-18mm

4.5/5

3. Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope

Length

14.4"


Weight

2.32 lbs

20x-60x

Degrees

2.2°-1.0°


Feet @ 1000yds

114-51

17-14mm

4.1/5

Product Name

Length

13.5"


Weight

3.18 lbs

15x-45x

Degrees

2.7°-1.3°


Feet @ 1000yds

144-68

19-20mm

4/5

The Best Hunting Spotting Scope Reviews


Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope

Outdoor Veteran Rating: Great


Bottom Line: This is a really popular spotting scope and for good reason, it has great specs and works really well for bird watching and hunting, it's completely waterproof and durable so there's no worry of damaging this while using it.


Pros  

  • Offers bright views in dim lighting
  • Rugged, armored exterior for great protection
  • Easy to use focus dial

  Cons

  • It's rather heavy

Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope Review

With a 100mm objective lens, the Celestron Ultima is the largest spotting scope on this list. While an extra 20mm or 30mm might not seem huge, it actually comes out to a 50% larger (and 50% brighter) lens compared to an 80mm. Know that the extra large objective lens also makes this the largest and heaviest (7 lbs.) spotting scope listed here.

While the large objective lens does let in a lot of light and should lead to stellar image quality, this is still a fairly entry-level scope. It doesn’t have the same quality glass or advanced coating as the scopes that cost $1,000 or more. That said, this is a good piece of equipment for hunters who are at the novice or intermediate level with their optics.

If you’d like your spotting scope to do double duty and also serve as a telephoto lens for your DSLR camera, it’s easy to mount one onto this scope with a simple T-adaptor.

The Ultima is surprisingly affordable for how large it is, and it works great in low light conditions by providing a crystal clear image. It’s not a professional-level scope, though, so there will be some chromatic aberrations at maximum zoom. But still, it provides a good image for the price. The Ultima is a good choice for hunters who don’t mind the extra weight and want a premium spotting scope at a mid-range price point.

See it in Action


Vortex 20-60 x 85 Razor HD Spotting Scope

Outdoor Veteran Rating: Great


Bottom Line: This spotting scope is really high quality providing amazing clarity and unparalleled durability. It costs quite a bit so might not be a good first scope, but for seasoned hunters it's a great option. Basically I love this scope and didn't mind the price because the quality is so good


Pros  

  • Amazing clarity
  • Great durability, I dropped mine once and it didn't affect the scope at all
  • Great warranty
  • Probably the best spotting scope on the market

  Cons

  • A bit pricy
  • For serious hunters only

Vortex 20-60 x 85 Razor HD Spotting Scope Review

If you’re ready to take your spotting scope to the next level and money is of no concern, the Vortex Razor is one of the best options out there. It’s priced high, it’s not a good purchase for beginners, but for experienced hunters, you can’t put a price on good optics.

The Razor comes with a 20-60x zoom and an 85mm objective lens, both of which are fairly unremarkable on their own. It’s the details that really separate this scope from the competition. In particular, it features a dielectric prism, which provides more accurate color and a clearer image, even in foggy, smoky, or dusty conditions.

In addition, the extra low dispersion glass prevents light distortion that would be noticeable at long ranges with lesser spotting scopes. It also has an anti-reflective coating that reduces glare and increases light transmission, making the 85mm lens function more like a larger one. Finally, it has the patented Armor-Tek coating, which should prevent scratches, but you’ll still want to be extra careful with optics this nice.

When only the best will do, the Vortex is definitely the right choice. Its clarity and color accuracy are unmatched at any distance. You’ll be counting antler points from a mile or more away with this scope.

See it in Action


Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope

Outdoor Veteran Rating: Good


Bottom Line: This is a really good budget spotting scope, if you are buying your first spotting scope for hunting and aren't sure how much you'll use it then I highly recommend this scope. The price is great, the clarity is truly awesome overall it is a great product


Pros  

  • Great value
  • Completely fogproof and waterproof
  • Great carry case supplied
  • Comes with a nice sturdy tripod

  Cons

  • Gets a little blurry over far distances

Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Review

You may not think you’re familiar with Redfield, but they’re actually a subsidiary of famed optics manufacturer Leupold. Redfield is their budget product line, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t excellent quality.

The first thing to look at is image quality, and with a 60mm objective lens, you wouldn’t expect it to have the brightest picture. The Rampage actually does pretty well though; even in relatively low light, you’re going to get a clear image. In bright sunlight, it has a retractable sunshade that can be used to take some of the glare off.

The scope also comes with a tripod – not an especially nice tripod, but a tripod nonetheless. It’s good enough if you’re only using it occasionally. Also included are a soft storage case and lens covers.

One obvious downside to the Rampage is its focusing ability. Higher-end scopes have both coarse and fine adjustment knobs, while this one has a single focus knob. This makes it more difficult to dial into that perfect focus point, but it’s not a deal breaker.

The Rampage is a good scope for budget-minded hunters, it’s really low in price even with the included accessories. It’s not going to have the very best image quality at maximum zoom, but it’s a great pick for optics novices.

See it in Action


Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope with 15-45x Magnification

Outdoor Veteran Rating: Good


Bottom Line: This is one solidly constructed spotting scope, its armoured magnesium body makes it extremely durable and tough, it has a premium lifetime warranty just in case. The clarity is great and gives everything you'd expect from a top piece of kit


Pros  

  • Armored magnesium body
  • Dual focus controls
  • Built in sunshield
  • Remarkably clear field of view

  Cons

  • Focus can be a bit off

Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Spotting Scope Review

The Vanguard Endeavor has the lowest zoom capability of any scope on this list, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a low-quality scope. Zoom isn’t everything, and many hunters don’t need 60x magnification – in fact, lower magnification can help you scan the environment more effectively.

The objective lens on this scope also seems a bit small, since most higher-end scopes have an 80mm lens. But the smaller lens on the Endeavor keeps it more compact and lighter weight. All else equal, smaller lenses let in less light and produce lower quality images. However, the Endeavor uses extra low dispersion glass, an anti-glare coated lens, and a high-quality prism to make up for its smaller objective lens. Image quality isn’t all about size; quite often, the best spotting scopes for hunting [RV4] are the ones with the best glass.

The Endeavor also sports stacked coarse and fine focus knobs, which are really convenient to adjust. This seemingly minor feature makes a big difference, as it can be challenging to get just the right focus point on scopes with only one knob.

The Endeavor is a solid choice for hunters with an intermediate-level of experience with optics. It’s not too big or too heavy, making it more mobile, but it provides a really clear image at a relatively low price.

See it in Action

The Best Spotting Scope for Hunting

Spotting scopes are part of the standard inventory for most hunters, along with a rangefinder, but they do have a specific purpose – seeing long distances with a relatively narrow field of view. They even need a stand of some sort to be used effectively. They were not designed for on-the-fly usage, but rather as a tool for further investigating areas of interest that you found with binoculars.

Knowing the equipment’s limitations should narrow down your choices. Will you be hunting large, open areas? If so, you’ll probably want to buy the best optics you can afford, because a lower quality spotting scope is no better than a good pair of hunting binoculars. However, if you’re hunting in more densely wooded areas and might only occasionally have the need for a spotting scope, a less expensive one might make more sense for you.

Good optics can drastically change the quality of your hunt; having the ability to see things that were once out of range or out of focus will make you a more informed hunter. Understanding your environment and the little things going on in it will only increase your chances of making a kill at the end of the day, try using a trail cam before your hunt to get a better idea of what animals may be around.

By |2018-04-18T20:53:46+00:00April 18th, 2018|Hunting Gear|0 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Justin Archer a family man with 2 boys and a wife. I'm an outdoorsman who loves hunting, fishing, hiking and lots of other outdoor activities. I love testing new outdoor gear, learning new things and passing on the knowledge I have gained.

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