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Spotting Scopes Buying Guide

Hunting Gear

If you’re considering buying a spotting scope then you’ve come to the right place. Not only will this short article tell you what to look for in a spotting scope, but also you’ll be just a click away from spotting scope reviews to help you make a better buying decision. Up next is our spotting scope buying guide.

Spotting Scopes

Even though many hunters in the East use these scopes for sighting in their rifle, spotting scopes actually serve a bigger role out west where long shots over 500 yards are not unusual. The true use of one of these scopes is for spotting game at great distances and to determine the size of the animal and what caliber of trophy it is or isn’t.

Much like rifle scopes those used for spotting come in both fixed levels of magnification and variable levels of magnification. Also like a rifle scope a variable level of zoom allows you to adjust to the level of magnification your scope needs to see the prey at question.

Tripods For Spotting Scopes

Much like a rifle scope the higher the power the smaller the field of view. Also like a high power rifle scope the more you move when looking through the lens the more movement you’ll get. Most spotting scopes aren’t meant to be handheld. In order to use one properly you should always use a tripod to steady the scope which in turn will steady the picture you see when looking through it.

The field of view is the widest dimension you can see through the scope or put another way how much area you see when you look through the scope. As mentioned above like a rifle scope the higher the power of magnification the less area you will see.

Also like rifle scopes the eye piece plays a critical part in how much field of view you have. A wide angle rifle scope or spotting scope will offer you a larger field of vision as opposed to a smaller eye piece.

The aperture or MM of a spotting scope also matches a regular scope for rifles. That is the aperture of the scope is the size of the further lens. Larger apertures usually mean larger and heavy units. Typically the larger the aperture the more light it will let in resulting in a better lit image assuming the quality is there coupled with a number of other items related to the overall quality of the spotting scope.

Spotting Scope Eyepieces

Regardless of the manufacturer’s hype of the scope itself making sure to choose the correct eyepiece will turn out to be a critical factor for in determining your overall satisfaction. There are several different types of eyepieces on the market today. My general rule of thumb is to choose one that is similar to the rifle scope you use. That is one offering a generous amount of eye relief. Eye relief is how close you have to get to the lens to see the image. I think all of us have made the mistake once or twice of getting a little too close to our rifle scope eyepiece and the result is when the gun recoils it catches you in the eye. Make sure the eyepiece you choose is adjustable both forward and backward to match your particular style of looking through a rifle scope, binoculars and in this case a spotting scope.

Some eyepieces require you to look straight on to see the image, while others are flipped up like a telescope which allow you to look down through the eyepiece. I know people who like both so really this is a matter of personal preference.

Considerations when buying a spotting scope.

Field of view at higher magnifications
Eye Piece

One last piece of advice on these scopes is consider buying one from a reputable brand. You’ll get a quality product while taking the guesswork out of the equation. These companies didn’t get their reputation in optics by putting out shoddy products. Also keep in mind you probably won’t buy more than a couple spotting scopes in your lifetime and for many people the same scope will last them several years if not forever. The slightly higher cost you spend now can be justified by having a better quality scope which should last you several years over buying other scopes during that time period. This concludes Hunting & Fishing Gear Review’s Buying Guide for Spotting Scopes.


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