Best Spotting Scopes of 2022

Danielle Abbott
  Dec 2, 2022 8:57 AM

The best spotting scopes are ideal for sports lovers, those who enjoy watching animals and even stargazers. They are also referred to as field scopes or digiscopes and function as a kind of hybrid between a monocular and a telescope, providing high magnifications while remaining lightweight and portable.

Kowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High Performance Spotting Scope with PROMINAR Pure Fluorite Lens, 88 mm Green

Overview

Spotting scopes have not had a very thrilling year. Only a few optics brands have new models, and those that are new for the year are mainly new sizes and magnifications for current models, or product-line extensions.

However, the new spotters for 2022 provide plenty of expertise and options for shooters, hunters, and anybody else interested in up-close encounters with wildlife. Keep reading for the best spotting scopes available and popular on the market.

Kowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High Performance Spotting Scope with PROMINAR Pure Fluorite Lens, 88 mm Green

Top Picks

In-depth Reviews

1. Nikon Fieldscope ED50

Specifications:

  • Brand : Nikon

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50 Millimeters

  • Lens Coating Description: Multi-Coated

  • Dimensions : 9606.28 x 3622.04 x 4370.07 inches

  • Weight: 1.1 pounds

It is not surprising that Nikon, a camera and optical company, makes scopes with the ability to connect a camera and enjoy the art of digiscoping. Nikon does indeed have its own digital camera system. There are several options in this area, but the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 is both reasonably portable and lightweight with a 50mm objective lens (to which a 55mm filter can be fitted if necessary).

It also meets all the standard requirements, including fog-banishing nitrogen-filled construction, built-in waterproofing (it can even be submerged up to a meter for five minutes), multilayered lens coating to ensure excellent light transmission and, ultimately, high-resolution images, and built-in weatherproofing.

Pros:

  • Portable waterproof scope

Cons:

  • More compact objective lens

2. Maven CS.1 15-45X65 Spotting Scope

Specifications:

  • Brand: Maven

  • Magnification Maximum: 15 x

  • Specific Uses For Product: Hunting, birding, wildlife viewing

  • Material: Aluminum, Magnesium

  • Dimensions: 11.4 x 5.6 x 3.1 inches

  • Weight: 2.5 pounds

The mid-level class of glass that Maven utilizes in its C Series binoculars is included in this CS.1.

What the CS.1 offers is tough performance. It pairs well with medium-sized tripods and is just about the ideal size for most bag pockets. Its armor has two walls and is scratch-resistant to protect the glass. It is a terrific combination For hard-working backcountry hunters who don't want to give up optical performance but know that seeing far away will save them several miles and thousands of feet of elevation gain in their boots.

Pros:

  • Bright spotter

  • Versatile eyepiece with a 45-degree angle

  • Outstanding color fidelity

  • Eyecup that is infinitely adjustable

Cons:

  • Tripod foot could be beefier

  • No sunshade

3. Celestron Ultima Spotting Scope

Specifications:

  • Brand: Celestron

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 100 Millimeters

  • Focus Type: Manual Focus

  • Finderscope: Reflex

  • Dimensions: 22"D x 7"W x 7"H

Along with the scope, you will also get a tripod mounting plate, a zoom eyepiece with a T-adapter, and all the tools you need to transport and thoroughly clean it.

The scope itself features multi-coated optics that boost contrast and make colors pop, enabling you to locate your quarry even in thick brush. Even if you're wearing gloves, sighting it in shouldn't take more than a few seconds because the focus dial is so huge.

Pros:

  • Very affordable

  • Includes all required equipment

  • Easily and quickly focused

  • Perfect for medium-range use

Cons:

  • Struggles beyond 200 yards

  • Image suffers from rainbow sheen

4. Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scopes

Specifications:

  • Item Dimensions: 7 x 18.5 x 4.7 inches

  • Brand Name: Vortex

  • Color: ‎Green

  • Material: ‎Composite

You could be tempted by this premium "Viper" scope choice from the Vortex, which features up to 60x magnification and a huge, bright 85mm objective lens. Although it is not inexpensive, this stylish 45° angled scope part is worth the investment because it includes HD glass elements that guarantee stunning color fidelity, excellent light transmission, and edge-to-edge sharpness.

With its rubber armor, which is waterproof and fog proof, it helps with grip, and its ingenious dual-geared focus system allows for quick and accurate adjustments.

Pros:

  • HD glass elements 

  • ‘AmorTek’ coating

Cons:

  • Heavy and big

5. Athlon Optics Argos HD 20-60x85 Spotting Scope

Specifications:

  • Magnification: 20-60X

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 85mm

  • Weight: 70 ounces

  • Length: 16.9 inches

  • 45-degree angled eyepiece

This year, Athlon submitted two full-sized spotters for the test, however the Argos HD model (as opposed to the Argos G2 UHD model) offers the best value for the money.

The Argos HD should be taken into consideration if you're looking for a full-sized spotter and have a tight budget. Although you should make sure the warranty is up to par, we anticipate that this powerful spotter will provide you with years of reliable service.

Pros:

  • Reasonable cost

  • Comparatively lightweight for its size

  • Ships with a nylon cover for protection

Cons:

  • Smudged focus wheel

  • Disposable glass

The Best Spotting Scopes

TOP Choice
1
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    10.0
  • Brand
    Kowa Optimed
TOP Choice
2
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    10.0
  • Brand
    Kowa
TOP Choice
3
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    10.0
  • Brand
    Kowa
Most Saving
4
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    10.0
  • Brand
    Leupold
5
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    10.0
  • Brand
    Kowa
6
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    10.0
  • Brand
    Kowa
7
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    10.0
  • Brand
    Kowa
8
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    9.4
  • Brand
    Vortex
9
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    9.4
  • Brand
    Vortex
10
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    9.4
  • Brand
    Vortex
11
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    8.4
  • Brand
    Leupold
12
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    8.4
  • Brand
    Leupold
13
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    -
  • Brand
    Kowa
14
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    -
  • Brand
    ZEISS

Last update on 2022-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

1. What spotting scope magnification works best?

Depending on how you intend to use the spotting scope, the ideal magnification will vary. Generally, the ideal power range where magnification and image quality meet is in the middle. Imagine you are using an 80mm spotter with a 20–60 power eyepiece. At 20X, the image will be the brightest and of the highest quality, but it will also be the tiniest. The image will be the largest at 60 power, but due to optical rules, it will also appear the darkest and grainiest. In every magnification range, from 9–27 power spotters to 20–60 power eyepieces, the same middle-is-best trade-off holds true.

Kowa TSN-880 Series Angled Body High Performance Spotting Scope with PROMINAR Pure Fluorite Lens, 88 mm Green

2. Which is preferable for a spotting scope, straight or angled?

A straight-body or an angled spotting scope is typically a question of personal preference. Both models will generally produce the same image because they often have the same glass, magnification ranges, and components. Because of their adaptability, angled eyepieces are preferred by some users.

If you're seated next to a friend, you may frame a faraway deer and swivel the eyepiece so your friend can see the deer by simply twisting the barrel. You'd have to switch places with your buddy in order for them to see the deer using a straight-body spotting scope. Although target acquisition happens considerably more quickly with a straight-body spotter, it might be challenging to get your scope on target with an angled eyepiece because the 45-degree angle prevents the eyepiece from pointing directly at your target.