Sometimes, binoculars can’t give you a close enough view of the wildlife that you’re trying to observe, and that’s where a spotting scope comes in handy. These devices are similar to binoculars, however, they can get you a much closer view of your subjects; close enough that you can see and differentiate even the smallest details.
If you use a spotting scope to observe long distances, properly cleaning and maintaining the device is essential to its proper functioning. Without routine maintenance and cleaning, your spotting scope can become damaged and your views can become distorted.
How to Care for your Spotting Scope
To keep the device in tip-top condition, here’s a look at some helpful maintenance and cleaning tips.
1. Blow Off Dirt and Debris After Each Use
Each time you use your spotting scope, dirt and debris accumulates on the lenses and the various components. Using a compressed air blower will help to remove that dirt and debris, including the most minute particles. Set the blower to low, as to much pressurized air can damage the optics and distort the image.
When blowing off your spotting scope, start at the edges to remove the dirt and debris from the cracks and crevices and work your way inward to the lens.
2. Clean the Lens
Next, you’ll want to clean off the lens. A lens cleaning pen is a really handy device, as it’s specifically designed to offer the delicate cleaning that glass requires. Various manufacturers make lens cleaning pens; however, Nikon, in particular, makes some of the highest quality pens that are comprised of soft materials and prevent damaging the lens.
Gently wipe down the lens of your spotting scope with the lens cleaning pen. Make sure to cover the entire surface and concentrate on the edges, where dirt and debris can become lodged.
3. Use a Lens Cleaning Solution
Once you have wipe down your lens with a lens cleaning pen, you’ll want to apply a specialized cleaning solution to ensure you have a clear view. Like cleaning pens, several manufacturers make cleaning solutions that are specifically designed for lenses. They’re powerful enough to remove dirt, debris, and smudge marks, yet they won’t scratch the surface of the lens. General all-purpose glass cleaners can cause irreparable damage, so avoid using them at all costs.
4. Clean the Inside of the Spotting Scope
While it might seem like the interior parts of your spotting scope are well protected, they aren’t airtight, which means that dust and dirt can collect inside and damage the lenses. To clean the interior lens, you might have to open up the corrector plate. If you aren’t sure how to do this properly, bringing your gear to a professional is highly recommended.
5. Properly Store the Spotting Scope
After each use, be sure to store your spotting scope properly. Replace the lens cover and make sure that all of the components are place in their proper location. Set it in a protective dust bag and place it in a cool, dry area that is free from direct sunlight, as heat and moisture can damage all of the components of a spotting scope.