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Spotting Scopes – The Types and Brands

Mohit Jain

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The designing of spotting scopes, as of all other scopes, is to assist in bringing distant land-based objects seemingly closer. It helps you to see the object so close and clear almost as if at your arm's length. Spotting scopes, used mostly for hunting, have a very stable foundation, (even better than binoculars), and higher magnification power of a telescope. There is a wide range of spotting scopes brands like – Celestron, Bushnell, Zeiss, Vortex, Simmons, Bresser, National Geographic, Leupold, Yukon, Vixen, Tasco, NightForce, Nikon, Barska, etc. to choose. A few spotting scopes that are highly rated are:

Bushnell SpaceMaster 15-45X50 Spotting Scope 5.00/5
Vortex Diamondback 20-60X80 Angled Spotting Scope 5.00/5
National Geographic 20-60X60 Spotting Scope 4.00/5
Vortex Diamondback 20-60X60 Angled Spotting Scope 4.00/5

Spotting scopes, like binoculars is for outdoor activities like - bird spotting, whale spotting, nature observation, and importantly by hunters and armed forces for distance target shooting. Spotting scopes are helpful for hunters and armed force men to hit their target while remaining camouflaged at great distances. Spotting scopes, other than spot, aim, and shoot, are useful to the beginners in astronomy as well as for a covert close watch of surroundings for intruders.

Spotting scopes are comparable to small telescopes, the refractor ones, both in looks and working. The objective lens of a spotting scope is generally of size – 50 mm to 80 mm while their magnifications can range anywhere between 15x to 60x. However, there are much more powerful spotting scope having higher magnification and larger objective lens.

Types or Shapes
Spotting scopes come in two designs - straight and angular.

Straight Spotting Scopes - You need to look ahead to observe your target.
It is mountable on a car or cabin window.
Excellent for spotting game lying on the ground
Its straight alignment allows ‘point and shoot’ while keeping your head low down
Angled Spotting Scopes - Ease of use for prolonged periods
Convenience of sharing with others
You can aim skyward to see birds in a tree, flying hawks, the mountains, and the moon
You can rotate its body, increase or decrease its height and position to look sideways, upwards, or towards the bottom.

Other different features that your spotting scope should have are:
Poro prism is much more common due to its design, making it the most competent optics, easy and reasonably priced prism to produce.
Waterproof/Fog Proof
The waterproof models efficiently keep your spotting scope free from out dust and dirt. Consequently, increases the life of your spotting scope.
Armoring can help prevent scratches and other similar damages.

About the author: The article is penned by Mohit Jain who is a self confessed travel and tech geek. He loves writing content on his travel experiences and the tech gadgets he has used during his travel expiditions. He is currently using 1 infra-red binocular and a spotting scope National Geographic made which is lighter to carry and works exceedingly well even during night.


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