If you are looking for a spotting scope on a budget of $500 or less, there are plenty of options on the market. This is a good budget to set for a spotting scope and you can easily find something in the mid to high range. Within that budget, you are also likely to find a tripod, a carrying case and various other accessories included with a spotting scope. This is important because it means you do not need to go out looking for these things elsewhere. These are essentials that you will be able to purchase within the price you are spending on the scope.
The following are six of the best spotting scopes under $500 on the market. The reviews of these scopes are followed by a buying guide on how to buy the right kind of spotting scope under $500.
Best Spotting Scope Under $500
Here are our under $500 spotting scope reviews.
1. Celestron – Ultima 100 Angled Spotting Scope
The Celestron Ultima 100 Angled Spotting Scope is the best spotting scope overall in the category of under 500. It is a versatile scope that has a 100 mm objective lens and is great for long-distance viewing. It comes with a two-year warranty and provides customer and technical support unconditionally.
- The scope comes with an extended plate for mounting a tripod, a carrying case, a zoom eyepiece that has a T-adapter integrated for digiscoping, etc.
- The surfaces of all the lens are multi-coated. Some of the layers of the coats are anti-reflective which helps to correct color and contrast.
- It comes with a spacious focus dial that helps you to focus on your subject more clearly and with greater ease.
2. Gosky Spotting Scope with Tripod
This Gosky spotting scope is one of the newer updates on this model and has impressive new features. It is a great spotting scope to use for bird watching, hunting, target shooting, hiking, camping, astronomy, etc. It also has a rubber armor that is shock absorbing and protects the scope.
- The scope has a variable magnification and a dynamic lens focusing system that produces an impressive and sharp image.
- It has a fully multi-coated green film objective lens of 80 mm which offers a field of view of 1,000 yards.
- It is equipped with O-ring seals which gives it a waterproof design, preventing moisture and dust from damaging the lens.
3. Landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope
The Landove Prism Spotting Scope is a great instrument that provides incredible value for money. It has a dynamic lens focusing system that allows you to zoom in to the target with great ease. This is a great spotting scope to use for hunting, target shooting, astronomy and more.
- The spotting scope has a waterproof, fog proof and shockproof design, allowing you to use it in different weather.
- It also comes equipped with a cell phone adapter for digiscoping so you can capture what you see through the scope on photos and videos.
- The scope comes along with a tabletop tripod, a handheld mount, carrying case and protection covers for the eyepiece and lens.
4. Bushnell Trophy XLT 20-60x 65mm Waterproof Compact Tripod Spotting Scope
The Bushnell Trophy Waterproof Compact Tripod Spotting Scope offers impressive high-definition clarity. It has a durable design that will last you a long time. It also comes with a sleek tripod and a hard-side case for easy portability.
- The scope has a variable magnification from 20x to 60x along with an objective lens of 65 mm.
- The lens is fully multi-coated and the image it manages to produce is bright and clear.
- It has a waterproof design and the rugged, rubber armor ensures great durability.
5. Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scopes
The Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope is an angled spotting scope that is lightweight and makes for a great spotting scope for target shooting and hunting. The lenses are fully multi-coated and have a built-in sunshade for protection. This is a compact spotting scope that can be carried around with ease.
- The scope comes with a twist-and-lock collar that makes it possible to move the scope around in different angles and positions.
- The eyecup is adjustable so you can move it around depending on whether you have spectacles and what position suits you the best.
- The scope is O-ring sealed, making it waterproof. The nitrogen-purged quality also makes it fog proof.
6. CREATIVE XP HD Spotting Scope with Tripod
The Creative XP Spotting Scope comes with a tripod and offers excellent magnification even at a higher zoom. This is a great scope to use for astronomy or observe nature. It comes with a host of accessories, including a tripod, a protective case and a cell phone adapter, among other things.
- The scope comes with Fine Focus Knobs that allow you to zoom in smoothly and get an accurate image even at a higher zoom.
- It has an adjustable eye relief that makes the process of using the scope comfortable for everyone, regardless of whether or not they wear glasses.
- The scope is nitrogen purged and has a sealed O-ring that gives it a waterproof, fog proof and shockproof design.
Finding the Right Spotting Scope under $500 for You
If you are looking for a spotting scope on a budget of under $500, it is important to take into consideration certain factors that will ensure the one you are selecting is the right one. If you are paying as much as $500 for a spotting scope, that is not a small amount to pay. The following are some of the factors you may want in your spotting scope if it is $500 or under.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of any spotting scope, no matter what the price is, is important. A spotting scope should ideally be compact and lightweight but that should not stop it from being durable. If a scope is lightweight, it is easy to lift it and use it for longer periods of time. This is especially useful for activities like archery, target shooting, hunting, etc.
A portable spotting scope is one that can be carried around with ease. This is connected to the size and weight of the spotting scope which dictates how easily it can be carried around. If the pack comes with a carry bag of its own, that is even better. Some of the scopes that have been reviewed above also have a hard case covering, which always helps to carry it around.
The durability of the spotting scope is dictated by the material that is used to build it. Most of the spotting scopes mentioned here come with rubber armor. Most of them are also waterproof, fog proof and shockproof thanks to O-ring seals and nitrogen purging. A retractable shade over the eyepiece is also useful for protecting the lens and the instrument. The lens is perhaps the most important piece in the scope and it needs to be protected. These are also important factors in a spotting scope.
Value for Money/Versatility
The value for money of a spotting scope is dictated by how versatile it is or how well you can use it for different activities. A good spotting scope can be used for target shooting, hunting, archery, astronomy, hiking, etc. You should be able to find a use for it in all these activities and more. It is also good value for money if the scope is durable and outperforms beyond its brief. As mentioned before, $500 or less is still a decent price to pay for a spotting scope so it is important that you get your money’s worth.
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