7 Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

Are you preparing to go for a safari trip and looking for the best spotting scope for wildlife viewing? You have come to the right place.

If you are passionate about wildlife viewing, a spotting scope is an important item to have. A good quality spotting scope will make your wildlife viewing expedition more fun and memorable. It will bring you closer to the distant wildlife and ensure that you get to see more detail of the game you are viewing compared to when you use a pair of binoculars.

Spotting scopes are available in different models and different budgets from entry-level to high-end. But with so many models to choose from, finding the best spotting scope for wildlife viewing can be challenging especially for the first-time buyers. If you are looking for one to carry during your next safari trip, here are some of the best models you can choose from.

Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

1) Gosky Updated 20-60×80 Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

 

The Gosky Updated 20-60×80 Spotting Scope is a high-quality and versatile scope suitable for multiple outdoor activities among the wildlife viewing. It features a variable 20x to 60x magnification which makes it easy for you to zoom in targets at varying distances. It also provides a large field of view for smooth target identification and clear images even at the highest magnification settings.

The scope is very comfortable to use. It features a 45-degree angled eyepiece that minimizes eye fatigue when you are viewing wildlife for long hours. You can also rotate the eyepiece to different positions until you achieve a snug viewing angle. The scope also comes with a retractable sunshade that helps reduce glare in broad daylight.

More importantly, the scope is fully waterproof and fog proof. When it comes to construction, it features a sturdy framework that’s enhances its durability and a high-quality and slip-resistant rubber armor that provides durable external protection. What’s more, this spotting scope boasts an integrated smartphone adapter for Digiscoping.

Overall, the scope offers great features and excellent value for the price.

Features

  • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof
  • Variable 20-60x magnification
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • 45-degrees angled eyepiece
  • Sturdy and durable framework
  • High-quality rubber armor
  • Retractable sunshade
  • Large 80mm objective lens
  • Integrated smartphone adapter
  • Budget friendly

2) Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

 

 

If you are looking for a quality yet budget spotting scope for wildlife viewing, look no further than the Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope. It boasts a wide 80mm objective that provides the much-needed wide field of view and a variable 20x to 60x magnification suitable for viewing wildlife at varying distances.

This spotting scope is made for the outdoor enthusiasts who are always on the go. It’s compact, lightweight and portable. Besides that, it boasts premium fully multi-coated lenses and high-quality BaK-4 prisms which provide bright, clear and more natural images.

The scope has a 45-degrees viewing angle that’s comfortable to use during extended viewing sessions. It also brings to the table a long 18mm eye relief, a close focus distance of 26.2 feet and a built-in T-mount adapter for Digiscoping. To top it all, it’s fully waterproof and fog proof so you can use it in any weather condition.

Features

  • 45-degrees viewing angle
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Waterproof and fog proof construction
  • Sharp zoom eyepiece function
  • Compact, lightweight and portable
  • Integrated T-adapter for Digiscoping
  • 80mm objective lens
  • Long eye relief
  • Durable rubber armor

3) Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

 

 

Vortex makes high-quality and durable optics and the Diamondback spotting scope is no different. This spotter provides excellent performance in a compact and light package. It offers a versatile zoom and a wide field of view that helps you track moving wildlife with ease.

Featuring XR fully multi-coated lenses, this spotting scope facilitates optimum light transmission for bright and clear images even in low light situations. It has a built-in sunshade that minimizes glare and an adjustable eyecup that provides comfortable glassing with or without eyeglasses.

This angled spotting scope is made to last. It’s is crafted from high-quality materials for long-lasting durability. The rugged rubber armor enhances durability and gives you a secure, non-slip grip even in wet conditions. Additionally, this model is sealed with O-rings and nitrogen purged, so it’s completely waterproof and fog proof.

If you are in the hunt for a light, durable and powerful spotting scope, this Diamondback model from Vortex is worth the investment.

Features

  • 20 feet close focus
  • Fully waterproof and fog proof
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • 20-60x magnification
  • Adjustable eyecup
  • Retractable sunshade
  • Zoom eyepiece and custom-fitted case
  • Twist-and-lock collar
  • Durable rubber armor

4) Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

 

 

If you are in the market for a powerful spotting scope that boasts top-in-class optics, you can hardly go wrong with the Vanguard Endeavor HD 20-60×82 spotting scope. It comes with a versatile 20-60x magnification and a wide 82mm objective lens. With these two features, you’ll have an easy time spotting wildlife at any distance.

If you wear eyeglasses, this model suits you. It has a notable 20mm eye relief that accommodates all users with or without eyeglasses. It also boasts a dual focus system which makes fine-tuning a breeze and a detachable eyepiece which provides additional comfort during use.

This product offers excellent optical performance. It boasts high-quality ED glass, high-quality BaK-4 prism and fully multi-coated lens that provide bright, clear and color-accurate image views even in low light settings. In terms of construction, this model has a rubber armored magnesium body that enhances durability without adding extra weight. It’s also sealed with O-rings to prevent entry of dirt and moisture.

Features

  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • MultiGuard coatings
  • Fine and coarse focusing wheels
  • Detachable angled eyepiece
  • 20-60x zoom magnification
  • Long 19-20mm eye relief
  • 82mm objective lens diameter
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Rubber armored magnesium body

5) Vortex Optics Viper HD 20-60×85 Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

 

 

As one of the best spotting scopes for wildlife viewing, the Viper HD 20-60×85 is packed with high-end features at a not so high-end price. It brings far off targets closer so you can enjoy every single detail. Even at the 60x magnification, the scope provides clear image views with impressive color clarity.

This model is O-ring sealed and argon purged to provide waterproof and fog proof performance. The Armortek coatings shield the lenses from scratches and dirt, while the durable rubber armor protects it from weather elements and provides a secure grip for the user.

Another notable feature about the scope is the high-quality optical system. It boasts HD glass that provides high-quality images and XR anti-reflective coatings that provide bright views in any light situations. Moreover, it has an adjustable eyecup that twists up and down for best viewing with or without eyeglasses. Overall, it’s a reliable spotter that offers excellent performance.

Features

  • High-end optical performance
  • XR anti-reflective coatings
  • Multi-position eyecups
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Armortek lens coatings
  • Rubber armor
  • 36 feet close focus
  • Built-in sunshade
  • 20-60x magnification and 85mm objective lens

6) Celestron Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

 

 

Next on our list is the Celestron Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope. It features an ED objective lens that lets you enjoy natural image views with better resolution and contrast. It also features a user-friendly design suitable for all users regardless of their skills and expertise.

With this spotting scope, you get a versatile 16-48x zoom eyepiece that brings distant targets closer. The rotating tripod included helps you position the eyepiece to the most comfortable viewing angle. Besides, a T-mount adapter is included for Digiscoping, so you can capture all the animals that you view. Overall, this model is a great addition to your field gear.

Features

  • 16-48x zoom eyepiece
  • T-mount adapter
  • XLT fully multi-coated lens
  • ED objective lens
  • User-friendly design
  • Rotating tripod mount
  • Compatible with standard 1.25” eyepieces
  • Lightweight and easy to transport

7) Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

 

 

The Legend Ultra HD Spotting Scope delivers excellent field performance at an affordable cost. It features a variable 20-60x magnification and a large 80mm objective lens. Though it’s not the most portable scope on the list, it has a solid construction that enhances its durability. You can subject it to any unforgiving outdoor conditions and it will still perform.

The scope performs well in inclement weather. It’s is fully waterproof and fog proof so you can use it even in rainy weather conditions. Also, it boasts RainGuard HD coatings that shield the lens from dirt, moisture and sleet. This gives you clear views in any weather condition.

Another thing that you’ll love about the scope is the excellent images it produces. Its optics are fully multi-coated to reduce light loss via reflection and increase light transmission. The result is bright and high-quality images even in low-light situations. To top it all, this spotting scope comes with a soft carrying case for convenient portability.

Features

  • RainGuard HD water-repellent coatings
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • ED prime glass
  • Variable 20-60x magnification
  • Soft carrying case included
  • 80mm objective lens
  • 2 speed dual focus control
  • Premium BaK-4 prisms

See Also

How to Choose the Best Spotting Scope for Wildlife Viewing

Lens Quality

This is the first thing that you should consider when shopping for the best spotting scope for wildlife viewing. Ensure that you get the best lens quality that you can afford. This is particularly important if you are a wildlife photographer. With premium lens quality, you’ll get the best image views even in poor light conditions. Look for a spotting scope that has ED glass and good-quality lens coatings.

Objective Lens Size

The objective lens is also known as aperture. It is measured in millimeters. A good spotting scope for wildlife viewing should have an objective size of at least 60mm. Generally, the bigger the objective the better as it collects more light. However, a bigger objective makes the scope bigger, heavier and more expensive.

Straight Body Vs Angled Body

Choosing between a straight or angled spotting scope is largely a matter of personal preference. An angled spotting scope is great for viewing wildlife for long hours. It reduces eye strain and fatigue. Additionally, angled spotting scopes have a collar that you can turn and adjust the eyepiece to the most comfortable viewing angle.

Straight body spotting scopes on the other hand are ideal for viewing targets that are straight ahead. They are the best beginner scope as they simpler to use. Moreover, they are more comfortable when it comes to tracking mobile targets.

Eyepiece

Make sure that you check is the eyepiece is included in the spotting scope. In high-end scopes, you will find that the eyepiece is removable. This way, you can add any other eyepiece of your choice. Also look for a spotting that offers a long eye relief of 14mm or more. A long eye relief reduces eye fatigue during long glassing sessions and accommodates all users with and without eyeglasses.

Durable Construction

Look for a spotting scope that’s made from high-quality materials. This will enhance its durability and give you many years of field use. Before you make that purchase, make sure that the scope has a rubber armor that will shield it from shock, impacts and falls. Also look for a spotting scope that’s both waterproof and fog proof so you’ll be able to use it in any weather condition.

Weight

The weight of the spotting scope is very important if you plane to carry it for long hours or if you are always on the move. It should be light enough to be easy to carry around and compact for easy packability and portability. As you look for a lightweight model, also make sure that it’s doesn’t compromise on it’s quality.

Price

The price of spotting scopes vary greatly. If you take your time and shop around, you can find a great model that doesn’t cost a fortune. But if you are not on a budget, you can find a variety of high-end modes that offer excellent features and great optical performance. Just make sure that you invest is a quality model that will give you great value for your money.

FAQs

  • What do numbers in the scope description mean?

The numbers in the spotting scope represent the magnification power and the size of the objective. For example, a 20-60×80 means that the spotting scope has an adjustable magnification from 20x to 60x and an 80mm objective lens diameter.

  • How far can you see with a spotting scope?

It depends on the spotting scope that you are using, it’s magnification power and the quality of the optics. The higher the magnification and the better the lens quality, the further you will be able to see. Also, the weather condition plays a big role in how far you’ll be able to see.

  • What is the best eye relief to look for?

The eye relief of your spotting scope should be no less than 14mm. If you wear eyeglasses, look for a scope that has an adjustable eyecup. Also make sure that the scope offers a long eye relief that will be comfortable to use even when you are wearing your eyeglasses.

Why Spotting Scopes for Wildlife Viewing

  • Broad magnification that brings faraway targets closer. A spotting scope has the ability to reach long distances where binoculars can’t reach. The high magnification also gives you high-quality and clear detail of the animals you are viewing.
  • Wider field of view that is essential for tracking moving targets.
  • Suitable for Digiscoping. With a spotting you’ll be able to capture the images of the targets that you view and share them with your family members and friends.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this detailed guide has given you the insight into the best spotting scope for wildlife viewing. When viewing wildlife, a well-made spotting scope will make your observation experience worthwhile. By investing in any spotting scope listed above, you are assured of great quality and excellent performance. Pick any model above and use it for other outdoor activities not just wildlife watching.