Best Spotting Scope Reviews [October. 2017] – Buyer’s Guide

Whether you are going for hunting, bird watching or shooting, not having a spotting scope could be your biggest mistake.

So, why not invest in one? But Why…?

A spotting scope enhances your vision and offers a better magnification and clarity. So, if you are a ‘ZOOPHILE’ having the best spotting scope in your arsenal could make the long-distance view much more pleasurable, and if you are hunting or shooting, it can give you a high level of accuracy.

Just before you say, “let me buy one” give yourself a break and allow us to help you find the perfect spotting scope that fulfills your recreational needs. Below we have covered that, and you’ll be delighted to check our top picks for hunting, shooting and bird watching.

Because there are numerous spotting scopes available on the market, we have narrowed down our list to the top rated and best-selling scopes of the year.

Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting

1: Swarovski Spotting Scope HD-STS

Swarovski Spotting Scope HD-STS

The Swarovski Spotting Scope is known for its high-quality features and high definition. The image quality is merely jaw-dropping, and unlike many low-quality scopes where the pixels just scatter and become blurry, Swarovski gives you a focused view, especially on a tripod. Its colors are bright and pure, and you’ll have a fascinating look on the go.

Because you are paying for the features, Swarovski offers some extra luxuries as well. Like there is a lens cap, and the focus wheel is made huge so that it is easy to use. The construction is made durable so even if your Husky pounces on it, it can take the blow quite easily.

Apparently, from its size, it may seem quite heavy, but it weighs a comfortable 4.2 lbs. With all the stuff attached including the eyepiece, balance rail, and the digital camera adapter. It comes with a 20x – 60x magnification eyepiece and a rotating tripod ring for more flexibility when positioning the scope.

Although it all comes down to your preferences, we recommend an angle spotting scope for hunting as it is easier to raise or lower on the tripod stand. Because Swarovski is known for making high-end spotting scopes, you should expect to plop down some extra bucks for this premium tool. There is hardly any unhappy customer of Swarovski, and you can take the risk.


Q. Does, the Swarovski Spotting Scope, comes with a lens Cap?

A. Yes, it comes with a lens cap for the ocular and objective lenses. Its objective lens cap and the rubber made visual cap over the eyepiece helps to protect the lens. However, when using it in the field, get a separate covering case for safeguarding its body and lens from any damage.

Q. Does it comes with a tripod stand?

A. The Swarovski Scope includes a rotating tripod ring that helps you easily position and angle your scope.

2: Vortex 20-60 x 85 Razor HD Spotting Scope

Vortex 20-60 x 85 Razor HD Spotting Scope

Vortex is an American company that is well-known or building exceptional optics since 2004. The Vortex 20-60 x 85 Razor HD Spotting Scope is one of their best products that offer high-quality and clear vision at a very reasonable price.

It comes with a high-density low dispersion glass, a waterproof sealing design, Argon gas filled body, objective lens system and lens protection from fog and smudges. While unboxing, you’ll immediately get the feel of a well-manufactured product. It is quite a sturdy piece, and the body is covered in a rugged dark green armor that serves as an extra layer of protection.

With a 20-60X eyepiece and a minimum of 18mm eye relief, it can quickly adapt individuals who wear and don’t wear glasses. The bright and crisp image will give you high accuracy and a great feeling.

Overall, it is a remarkable piece and a symbol of excellence. You can count on it to survive in the harsh environments and intensive use.

3: Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A is one of the most advanced optical equipment and is considered a hunter’s best friend. We loved its extra-low dispersion glass that gives exact color rendition and also eliminates any color fringing.

The lens is what makes it a great equipment. It is multi-coated and ensures optimum transmission of light for a bright and crisp display. This lens also boasts a coated BAK roof prism. It has an extendable eyecup which is covered by rubber and has an impressive eye relief even if you set it at the highest zoom level.

While the aerial view is great when mounted on a tripod stand, you’ll also love its incredible field of view. There is a built-in sun shield that eliminates any glare when you are under direct sunlight.

The box also includes a padded raincoat that protects your scope and gives the convenience of carrying it around.
With all the options, available, we think that Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A is the best bargain for you in the market. It won’t leave you disappointed and is undoubtedly the best spotting scope for hunting.

Best Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting

Target shooting is something that requires a high level of accuracy. Your scope has to be pin-point accurate with high magnification and clarity. These three are worth considering.

1: Minox 16-30X50mm Spotting Scope

Minox 16-30X50mm Spotting Scope

The Minox 16-30X50mm Spotting Scope comes with a straight and sturdy body. In the very first glance, it appears to be a massive object, but you’ll have a very light feeling upon holding. It is perfect for shooting as the magnification range is incredible and doesn’t sacrifice on the quality of the display.

To prevent, moisture, dust, and debris penetrating the scope, the optics are sealed with O-rings. You can trust them under harsh environmental conditions. While the objective lens is 50mm, you can still enjoy the magnification level from 16X to as much as 30X with a clear crisp in the image. This image is free from chromatic aberration.

Whether it be bird watching or shooting, you can trust this scope for all your needs. Its narrow field of view ranging from 154 feet at 16X from 1000 yards to 105 feet at 30X magnification is simply incredible.


Q. Is it easy to use the scope?

A. It is one of the easiest spotting scopes to use. You can quickly adjust the zoom level by rotating the wheel on the eyepiece and also adjust the focus via the focus wheel. An integrated tripod mount comes along that you can rotate to adjust the viewing angle.

Q. How well are the Optics and Focus?

A. Simply incredible! The rood prism we mentioned earlier has a fantastic refraction, and the phase correction coatings on the prism make the focus even better. Throughout the magnification, the color reproduction, contrast, clarity, and crisp is terrific, and you’ll love it.

2: Swarovski Optik ATX/STX Objective Module

Swarovski Optik ATX/STX Objective Module

The Swarovski Optik ATX/STX is a very advanced and high powered angled scope with cutting-edge lens technology that gives you a great distance view. It features 30X-70X magnification range, and the image quality is simply razor sharp. You won’t see any blurred pixels even with full magnification.

Both the focus and zoom wheels are easy to reach and operate.

You can quickly adjust them as per your needs. You’ll love the clear and crispy optical image produced by its high density, low polarized and multi-coated lens. A rotating tripod ring comes along with your purchase and helps to angle the scope comfortably. However, the scope itself is quite more cumbersome to hold, especially when you need a field view.

3: Celestron 52312 Regal M2 LER 27×80 ED Spotting Scope

Celestron 52312 Regal M2 LER 27x80 ED Spotting Scope

Celestron 52312 Regal M2 comes in a beautiful olive green color with a sophisticated body. We think it is one of the best and most affordable spotting scopes you can invest in. With some advanced features and high-end technological upgrades, you’ll love target shooting more than ever.

The objective lens is 80mm and boasts extra Low Dispersion lens with an XLT optical coating on both the spotting scope and LER eyepiece. This LER eyepiece can also be connected to the camera. The scope body itself is durable enough to withstand the harsh environment and weather conditions along with those bumps in the car trunk.

A smart and convenient carrying case comes along with the product for easy handling and preventing the lens and scope body from scratches.


The Video

Below the jump is a fan video commemorating the delivery of the Firefly and Serenity DVDs to the International Space Station via the Space Shuttle Atlantis. This video premiered on the big screen at the weekly Firefly at the Mission event in the Portland of Oregon on Tuesday, 17 July 2007, and now (of course) is available on YouTube.

Gotta Have Records Of Everything

Everyone has been waiting for this particular moment. In over the email transom this morning, and obviously already making their way around the Web, come three photographs of our intrepid Browncoat astronaut and his precious cargo of DVDs. Click the thumbnails below to open pop-up windows with slightly larger versions.

Hooked On The Show

A couple of things have happened that will be of interest to Browncoats waiting for news about the delivery of Firefly and Serenity DVDs to the International Space Station aboard the shuttle Atlantis. What things? Read on.The most important updates from Maiii (our Browncoat insider at NASA) are below, as posted to the various online discussion threads wher ehe’s been keeping us updated. The first being the email from orbit from Steven R. Swanson, our intrepid Browncoat astronaut.

From: MS2
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 2:01 AM
Cc: Shuttle-Crew
Subject: RE: Hope you had a great spacewalk

The package has been delivered. Pictures were taken (and probably downlinked already) and I’ll have to find how to get them. I’ve got most of the crew hooked on the show and Clay too, so he will enjoy them.

Thanks again and take care,

The second piece of information comes from Maiii. And, seriously, this is the bit you want to make sure you read. And then, of course, tell every Browncoat you know.

I added some photos from the crew return at Ellington today. I had a chance to talk with Swanny after the ceremony he is doing well. turns out when the crew was in quarantine prior to launch they watched 5 episodes and that is how Swanny got them all hooked. Clay was definitely excited about having the set on the ISS since he was hooked. Swanny is going to try and find the photos of him, Clay and Suni on the ISS with the DVD’s as soon as he can. Again sorry I couldn’t get them for the CSTS screening’s this weekend. stay shiny.

You read that right. But in case you want to see the wild bit again: “[T]urns out when the crew was in quarantine prior to launch they watched 5 episodes and that is how Swanny got them all hooked. Clay was definitely excited about having the set on the ISS since he was hooked.”

While the photos of the DVDs in orbit weren’t available in time for this year’s charity Serenity screenings, the above, nonetheless, likely qualifies for the following.

Happy birthday, Joss!

Meet Your Browncoat Astronaut

You should, of course, read all of the crew profiles, but in the end you might want to spend a little extra time on Mission Specialist Steven R. Swanson via his bio and interview. You can see him at the end of this set of pictures. Swanson, as we know now is our intrepid Browncoat astronaut, currently carrying Fireflyand Serenity to the International Space Station aboard the shuttle Atlantis. Addendum (09 June): Here’s a short excerpt from his interview, linked above, that might be of some interest and/or amusement to Browncoats.

We’ve been talking about a lot of work going on on the outside of the station and the shuttle. There’s work inside, too. What are you guys doing, to be doing inside of the station for a week or so?

Well, we’re doing stuff just to help the station crew members themselves; that’s our main job, too, while we’re there. They need supplies, for one, so we’re bringing them some new supplies, from food to all sorts of things, and new computers. So we’ll be giving them as much as we can handle. Our payload being so large has limited our ability to give them a lot. But we will still have some stuff to give them and we will then take some of their stuff away, their trash, whatever, that they want to get rid of or bring back down to Earth, or to Houston. We’ll take that from them and load it into our middeck lockers or wherever we can, and bring that back for them.

Emphasis added.

The Countdown Begins

Last night, the countdown to the launch of STS-117 began. See coverage of the start of countdown via NASA SpaceFlight and Spaceflight Now. Also, the latter site has a handy countdown chart, and NASA provides a real-time clock and a mission clock which “begins 43 hours before launch and mirrors the real clock by pausing during the various built-in holds during the countdown”. Launch is scheduled for 19:38 (7:38 PM) Eastern time on 08 June.

Here’s How It Is…

Simply put: There are Browncoats at NASA. And so, in early June, an astronaut aboard the next-scheduled shuttle mission will carry DVDs of Firefly and Serenity to the crew of the International Space Station. Or, at least, that’s the short version. In order to get everyone up to speed as we launch the Breaking Atmo website in advance of the launch of STS-117 itself, what follows is a tour through how all of this came to happen in the first place. And then, from here on out, check back here for updates — or subscribe to them via feed, so you never miss any news. Because next week, Serenity takes off into the black.There’s a narrative to made of all of this, someday. But for now here are the relevant online postings from Maiii, presented in chronological order. It begins somewhat before the DVDs entered the picture, with altogether something else finding its way to the International Space Station.

14 Jul 2006

Some of us Browncoats are working the current Shuttle and Station Mission and we got the Captain’s quote about love uplinked to the ISS crew in tomorrow morning’s daily summary. Below is the review copy of the daily summary. I dont know if I can get PAO to release the document, but if anyone wants to request it from I think the JSC PAO office the document is

UPLINK ID: 13-0709
USOS Daily Summary
GMT 196, Saturday, 15 July 2006
Docked Ops Ð FD 12

Quote: It’s great to have three crewmembers aboard ISS again! Welcome to your new home, Thomas!

“You know what the first rule of flyin’ is? É Love. You can know all the math in the ‘Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall downÉ tells ya she’s hurtin’ before she keelsÉ makes her a home.”

— Captain Malcolm Reynolds in “Serenity”

15 Jul 2006

now I have our PAO officer intrigued and interested in checking out the Movie.

18 Jul 2006

Fans of the Cult Hit Firefly and Serenity beamed an emotional quote from their fearless Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds to the ISS crew Saturday morning as part of the Crew’s Daily Summary Message. Browncoat Flight Controllers working both station and shuttle were able to convince the ISS Planning Flight Director, a recent convert to Firefly, that the quote would be a great inspiration to the crew as the International Space Station finally returns to three fulltime crew members with the addition of Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter who arrived aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.

23 Jul 2006

Hammer2 over at the SCI-FI board was able to take the print out and hand it to Joss at Comic-con. How shiny is that!

22 Sep 2006

I just go confirmation, the DVD sets are heading to the international space station aboard STS-117.

“Thanks for the DVDs. I’ve been trying to figure what’s the best thing to do with them — here’s my plan. I’ll take them with me and see if the ISS crew wants them, if not I’ll bring them back (after taking a few pictures with them) and give them to you. O.K.?”

I will be sure to post pictures when I get them. I will see if we can’t convince his wife about having the ballad of serenity as his wake up music.

24 Sep 2006

I gave him both firefly and Serenity.

24 Sep 2006

Yeah the crewmember and I talked back during STS-121 and mentioned that I would be willing to provide the dvd’s for him to take up. he was out on training when I dropped them off on his desk, but sent me the email I posted the other day. it’s not the shuttle mission in december but the one following that. so we have a little bit before we break atmo.

28 Sep 2006

I worked with the astronaut on STS-121 we talked about sending the DVD’s up instead of just uplinking them. apparently the station gets movies uplinked on a regular basis but they files are rotating and only stay onboard for about 10 days. we wanted Firefly/Serenity to be a permenant movie in their collection. so the astronaut agreed to take them up on his flight STS-117.

17 Oct 2006

the launch of STS-117 is now scheduled for 3/18/07 according to the latest manifest.

5 Feb 2007

just a quick update on the mission. last week was rollout review and things are looking very well with the ship. New launch date is supposed to be moved up from March 16th to March 15th. I haven’t had a chance to tag up with the astronaut lately, but I will give him a friendly reminder closer to the mission to not forget our precious cargo

15 Feb 2007

got an email today from our browncoat astronaut:

“Thanks and the cargo has already been packed. I talked to Suni and she is looking forward to getting the new entertainment. IÕll make sure to get a few photos.”

27 Feb 2007

well due to hail damage to the external tank, the mission is being delayed until April 22nd so that the stack can be rolled back to the VAB for assessment and repairs.

08 Mar 2007

I still havent heard anything more about a new launch date yet, it has been 3 days since the scaffolding was installed and they started looking at the tank. right now rumors say anywhere from April 19th – May 11 for launch date.

12 Apr 2007

just ran into our intrepid Browncoat astronaut, the DVD items are still packed and ready to go. new launch date is June 8th and he is aware everyone is wishing him well and waiting for photos.

All of which brings you almost up to date. Now we await the launch date of 08 June 2007, and/or any new trickles of information that might come our way. Whenever there’s an update, we will post it here (you can subscribe to this site by email or feed). Over in the sidebar, we’ve added links to the mission page and NASA TV, pages about the STS-117 mission on other space-related websites, and various places online where Maiii has been keeping people aprised of things.