Spotting scopes are getting popular nowadays due to the demand of hobbyists and even scientists. It is very similar to a small telescope which is mostly used for target shooting and bird watching. But like other things, buyers are having a hard time determining which one they should really get. So, how do you buy a spotting scope? Easy, choose one that has the appropriate features of what you need in a spotting scope.
Angled or Not?
If you are planning to watch birds straight from your car or you prefer having the scope setting at the same height as you, a straight scope fits the bill. In this type of scope, your eyes and the object you are looking at will stay level with each other.
On the other hand, an angled scope is best if you want to look up or down on things without adjusting its height. Having the eyepiece offset at 45 or 90 degrees from the scope barrel, an angled scope is best for use in different heights.
Waterproof or Not?
This one is easy to decide to. If you can spend extra bucks to have a waterproof spotting scope, then go do it. Most probably, you would be using the scope outdoors a lot so it’s better to play safe and have a waterproof one. If you don’t really see the need for one, then disregard this feature. This website: http://spottingscopereviews.net/ has a very nice guide with waterproof scopes.
More Magnesium Fluoride Coating or Not?
The magnesium fluoride coating prevents light loss and reduces glare from reflection. If you want your image to appear brighter and have lesser eyestrain, then you should opt for one that has more coating on the lens.
More Eye Relief or Not?
Eye relief refers to the distance where you can hold the spotting scope away from your eye and still get a full view. This feature is very useful especially for those who wear glasses. If you are not wearing one and feel like you don’t need an extended eye relief on your spotting scope, then that’s another thing to cross out on the checklist.
Larger Field of View or Not?
If you are planning to use your spotting scope to watch birds and wildlife, a large field of view will give you an advantage. If you have a wider circular viewing field then you could watch sights that move quickly better.
Bigger Lens Size or Not?
Remember to determine where you will use the spotting scope, then determine which magnification or power you would need. A 45 x 60 spotting scope can zoom 45 times than what your naked eye can see. Is that good enough?
You can also determine how big you want your lens. A 45 x 60 spotting scope has a 60mm in diameter lens, a size larger than the average one. This will allow additional light into the scope to produce a brighter image.
Although these are important things to consider in buying a spotting scope, do not forget to consider the budget you have. Spotting scopes can range from $200 to $2000 and the quality between spotting scopes nowadays have huge gaps. You want performance? You will have to pay for it.