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How to Choose the Right Spotting Scope

Optical aids are quite important for birding. If you have an interest in birds, you will need binoculars quite quickly. For pursuing warblers in the forest or backyard birding, binoculars are all you need. However, for certain types of observation such as studying shorebirds, scanning a waterfowl even the best binoculars may not do the trick.

binocularsThis explains why you need a spotting scope. It can help you identify a lot of birds. Other than being to pin distant birds, its regular use allows you to learn a lot of details that you would have not even noticed. For further information on the specific models, you need to do adequate research. The following are some factors to consider when choosing a spotting scope.

Check Numbers

Usually, binoculars are described by their magnification. However, this is not the case when it comes to spotting scopes as their magnification is determined by choice of eyepieces that you use. The diameter of the objective lens is the one that is used. Usually, the commonly used birding scopes have objective lenses of about 80 mm. The big lenses provide a lot of light but add to the weight and bulk of the scope.


You can find spotting scopes that have eyepieces permanently attached and others have detachable eyepieces. The truth is that you have several options available. If you want to buy a single-power eyepiece or a fixed one, do not assume that if it has higher magnification, it is better than others. For birding activities, you should get an eyepiece of between 25X and 35X. You should note that vibrations and heat shimmer obscure the view of high magnifications.

Glass Quality

scope spottingYou need to check the quality of glass used in the spotting scope. This is because it will have a massive difference in the quality of images produced. Therefore, it is vital to check the specifications of the manufacturer to ensure you get good lenses for the money. The ordinary glass blocks a given amount of light that passes through it. The modern lenses coating improves light transmission.

Straight Vs. Angled

The top spotting scope models are available in two primary configurations: angled and straight. If you like birding alone, you should consider getting a tall, sturdy tripod. It is easy to set the tripod so that your spotting scope is at the eye level. In this way, you can use it for extended periods of scanning.…