Best Spotting Scopes for Birding and Astronomy

Best Spotting Scopes for Birding and Astronomy

Spotting scopes are outdoor optics that are used to magnify a distant object; they are essentially miniature telescopes.

It outperforms binoculars and monoculars in terms of magnification. The latter rarely get higher than around 10x magnification, and if they do, it’ll be a big one. Compact, light, and powerful magnifiers, on the other hand, are spotting scopes.

Here is our best spotting scopes for birding and astronomy.

Best Spotting Scopes for Birding and Astronomy –Our Top Picks

Celestron Regal M2 100ED Spotting Scope

Celestron Regal M2 100ED Spotting Scope




Extra-low dispersion optical glass with specific dispersion properties in the Celestron Regal M2 100ED Spotting Scope drastically reduces chromatic aberration, resulting in razor-sharp images with excellent color correction. With improved resolution and contrast, you can enjoy true-to-life color.

Celestron’s patented XLT optical coatings – the same coatings used on observatory-class telescopes – are fully multi-coated. For brighter visuals, this coating optimizes light transmission along the optical path. This is a fantastic addition to your field gear.

Use the supplied 22-67x zoom eyepiece or any 1.25″ astronomy eyepiece with your spotting scope. The rotating tripod mount on the Regal M2 ED allows you to adjust the eyepiece to the most comfortable viewing angle.

A padded view-through container, an objective cover, eyepiece cover, storage covers for the eyepiece and eyepiece port, a T-mount adapter for Digiscoping with your DSLR camera, a cleaning cloth, and an instruction booklet are included with the Celestron Regal M2 100ED.


  • Magnification: 22x-67x
  • Field of View (degrees): 1.9°-0.9°
  • Field of View (feet @ 1000yds): 100-47
  • Lens Coatings Fully: Multi-coated & XLT
  • Prism Material: BaK4
  • Close Focus Distance (feet): 26.2
  • Eye Relief (mm): 20
  • Eyecup: Twist
  • Environmental Protection: Waterproof
  • T-mount Adapter: Yes
  • Tripod Mount: Rotating

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope



The Bushnell Trophy Xtreme spotting scope is the brightest Hunter in its field, with best-in-class brightness. It is the most cost-effective option in your cart.

The sturdy ergonomic design of our prize binoculars is carried over to this tough, Xtreme hunting companion. The massive objective lenses are protected by an adjustable sunshade with a built-in objective cover.

An upgraded tripod and the hardest-working spotting scope money can buy are carefully housed in a waterproof hard case and a side-carry soft cover. Bushnell offers a lifetime warranty with no questions asked.

ED Prime Extra-Low Dispersion glass, premium BaK-4 prisms, and fully multi-coated lenses are all part of the HDOS (High Definition Optical System). They produce perfect color fidelity, razor-sharp images, and optimum light transmission when used together.


  • Close Focus (m): 30ft / 9.1m
  • Color: Green
  • Exit Pupil (mm): 3.1 – 1mm
  • Eye Relief (in.): 18mm
  • Eyecups: Twist Up
  • FOV High Power (m @ 1000 m): 35m @ 20X to 17m @ 60X
  • Length (in.): 15in / 381mm
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-coated
  • Magnification x Objective Lens: 20-60x 65mm
  • PC-3 Phase Coating: No
  • Prism Glass : BaK-4
  • Prism Type: Porro
  • Reticle: None
  • Water Resistant: Yes, IPX7
  • Waterproof/Fog proof: Yes, IPX7
  • Weight (g): 36.5oz

CREATIVE XP Spotting Scopes

CREATIVE XP Spotting Scopes


While conventional spotting scopes for target shooting and hunting blur as you zoom in, the CREATIVE XP Spotting Scopes have a 60x magnification with no chromatic aberrations.

With our spotter scope, you can detect nearby planets, track evasive birds, and see your bullet holes from up to 300 yards away! With the two Fine Focus knobs, you can easily zoom in and focus.

These bird-watching spotting scopes are made to withstand the elements. The outside shell is watertight with an O-ring seal, and the inner optical surfaces will not fog.

Every time you use this scope, you’ll get a clear image. The fully multi-coated lenses are scratch-resistant as well as preventing reflections.

A tripod (compatible with Vortex, Leupold, Nikon, and Bushnell tripods), a protective case, a phone adapter, and a photo clicker are included with the CREATIVE XP spotting scope.


  • Size: Mid-Size
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 80 mm
  • Features: Tripod Included, Zoom Lens
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Body Type: Angled
  • Maximum Magnification: 60x
  • 100% waterproof and shock proof
  • Field of view: 114-60 ft. / 1000 yards
  • Exit pupil: 4-1.3 mm

Gosky Updated 20-60×80 Spotting Scope

Gosky Updated 20-60x80 Spotting Scope


The Gosky Updated Spotting Scope boasts a variable magnification range of 20x to 60x and a dynamic lens focusing system, making it simple to zoom in on your target. Target shooting, archery, hunting, bird watching, wildlife viewing, hiking, camping, scenery, outdoor sporting, astronomical observation, and other activities are all possible.

It has a completely multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens with an 82.9-48ft/1000yard field of view. The high-quality BAK4 Porro prism optics boost light transmission, brightening, clarifying, and delivering vivid images.

The scope’s nitrogen-filled waterproof and fog-proof construction allows it to resist even the worst conditions. Non-slip grip, shock-proof grip, and long-lasting external protection are all provided by the sturdy framework and rubber armor. To protect the eyepiece, the eyepiece shield can be stretched out.

A smartphone digiscoping adaptor is also included, allowing you to snap images and movies of what you see. Bring nature closer to you, and use your phone screen to discover the rest of the world.

A tripod allows you to observe from any angle with more stability. Carrying and maintaining your equipment is easier with a carry case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, and a cleaning cloth.


  • Magnification: 20x -60x
  • Objective lens diameter: 80mm
  • Eyepiece diameter: 20mm
  • Prism: BAK4
  • Exit Pupil: 3.3-1.22mm
  • Eye relief: 17.9-15mm
  • Field of View: 82.9-48ft/1000yards
  • Fully multi-coated green film eyepiece lens
  • 45 degree angled eyepiece
  • Durable framework and high-quality rubber armor
  • Waterproof, fog proof, shock-proof
  • The retractable sun shade

Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope

Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope



Our superb all-around spotting scope with an 80mm objective lens and a 45° viewing angle is Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope, which is the outdoor enthusiast’s pick. It’s ideal for long-distance gazing and observing nature.

Anti-reflective coatings are applied to every lens surface many times to increase image color and contrast as well as brightness, allowing you to enjoy brighter and sharper images even in low-light situations.

The wide focus dial on the Ultima 80 Spotting Scope allows you to bring your target into razor-sharp focus before it goes away. The integrated zoom eyepiece allows you to quickly zero in on faraway subjects for detailed views.

A limited lifetime warranty is also included.


  • Magnification: 20x-60x
  • Field of View (degrees): 2.0°-1.0°
  • Field of View (feet @ 1000yds):105-53
  • Lens Coatings: Multi-coated
  • Prism Material: BaK4
  • Close Focus Distance (feet):26.2
  • Eye Relief (mm): 18
  • Eyecup: Folding
  • Environmental Protection: Waterproof
  • T-mount Adapter: Yes
  • Tripod Mount: Fixed

Emarth 20-60x60AE 45 Degree Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod

Emarth 20-60x60AE 45 Degree Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod


This spotting scope has a powerful zoom magnification range of 20x to 60x magnification, as well as a 45 degree tilted eyepiece for more comfortable viewing. The 39-19m/1000m field of view brings nature closer to you than ever before. Ideal for target shooting, hunting, animal observation, spotting the moon, traveling, hiking, camping, archery, and astronomy, among other activities.

The lenses contain a BAK4 roof prism and are fully multi-coated to maximize light transmission and offer bright, clear, high-contrast images even in low-light situations. For long-range vision, a dual focus wheel mechanism provides for quick and fine-tuning focus adjustment, allowing you to lock onto your target and zoom in for additional detail.

The high-quality rubber armor on the spotting scope provides a non-slip grip, shock-proof grip, and long-lasting external protection. The built-in retractable sunshade decreases glare, and the tripod allows the eyepiece to be rotated sideways for different viewing angles.

The waterproof spotting scope performs admirably even in the worst conditions. The spotter scope lenses are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from entering the scope, and the fog proof barrel is filled with nitrogen gas to prevent internal fogging, providing total weather protection.


  • Viewing Configuration: Angled
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: No
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 60 mm
  • Length: 16.9 inches
  • Weight: 81.6 oz
  • Field of View: 2.35-1.2°
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 19.5-18 mm/3.25-1.1 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully multi-coated
  • Glass: BaK-4
  • Focus System: Focus knob/Single
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: Yes

Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scopes

Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scopes



The Viper HD 20-60×85 Angled Spotting Scope is loaded with features to provide superior glassing and optical performance.

The high-definition optical system, which is made up of high-quality components, produces vibrant images. In low-light settings, exterior surfaces with XR anti-reflective coatings aid in achieving brighter perspectives.

The smooth helical focus assists in dialing in your image for ultra-sharp viewing while also maintaining a trim profile for maximum packability. To assist reduce glare, a built-in sunshade slides out.

A locking collar allows the scope to swivel into multiple viewing positions, while a multi-position eyecup gives sufficient eye relief.

The Viper is waterproof and fog proof, with an O-ring seal and argon purged inside. Oil, scratches, and grime are all protected by Armortek coatings. Rubber armor improves the user’s grip and durability.


  • Magnification: 27 to 60x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 85 mm
  • Field of View: -27x: 117.0′ @ 1000 yds. / 39.0 m @ 1000 m
          • -60x: 68.0′ @ 1000 yds. / 23.0 m @ 1000 m
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 16.4′ / 5.0 m
  • Exit Pupil Diameter: -27x: 3.1 mm
            • -60x: 1.4 mm
  • Eye Relief: 17.0 to 16.7 mm
  • Fog proof: Yes, Argon Filled
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof
  • Viewing Angle: Angled
  • Tripod Mounting Thread:1/4″-20 Female
  • Dimensions: L: 15.5″ / L: 39.4 cm
  • Weight:4.1 lb / 1.9 kg

 Nikon Prostaff 5 Proscope 82mm Angled Body with 20-60x Zoom

 Nikon Prostaff 5 Proscope 82mm Angled Body with 20-60x Zoom


The PROSTAFF 5 Fieldscope is made using Nikon’s next-generation technology and is designed for precision and high magnification optical performance.

With exciting optical and mechanical advancements, the PROSTAFF 5 Fieldscope is designed for a new level of high-performance spotting for people who are truly passionate about optical performance. The PROSTAFF 5 Fieldscope produces bright, high contrast images with realistic color rendering in most lighting settings, thanks to classic Nikon optical glass, multicoated lenses, and improved chromatic aberration mitigation.

Internal texturing reduces the amount of reflected light that enters the scope. The new optical advancements work together to allow users to lift subjects out of their native settings and display every detail in bright color and sharp, edge-to-edge resolution.

The PROSTAFF 5 Fieldscope’s redesigned body form is ergonomic and lightweight, making it small and easy to pack.

For faster target acquisition, a new focus knob has been added to the top of the scope, and tactile rubber protection has been added to the objective lens for increased grip and purchase.

In bright settings, Nikon’s innovative built-in sliding sunshade eliminates glare, and in rainy or dusty conditions, it keeps dust and moisture off the objective lens. The new PROSTAFF 5 Fieldscope, like every other PROSTAFF model, is waterproof, fog proof, nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed for legendary endurance.

This redesigned eyepiece also provides improved eye relief thanks to its turn-and-slide eyecup. This is a fantastic feature for people who use glasses. The PROSTAFF 5 Fieldscope eyepiece is digiscope-ready, so users may utilize an optional digital camera bracket to take outstanding high magnification photographs. For customizable viewing, both straight and angled body versions are available.


  • 82mm Objective Lens
  • Minimum magnification: 16x
  • Maximum magnification: 60x
  • Style: Angled body
  • Angle of View: 20x: 2° (Actual)
  • Field of View: 20x: 104.8′ @ 1000 yds. / 34.8 m @ 1000 m
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 20.0′ / 6.1 m
  • Exit Pupil Diameter: -20x: 4.1 mm
            • -60x: 1.4 mm
  • Eye Relief: 16.5 mm
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof
  • Weight: 33.9 oz. / 960.0 g (Without Eyepiece)

Zeiss Conquest Gavia 85 Spotting Scope

Zeiss Conquest Gavia 85 Spotting Scope



Thanks to its remarkable precision, low weight, and sturdy build, the ZEISS Conquest Gavia is a buddy you’ll always want when finding off-the-beaten-path discoveries. Because of its compact size and light weight, the new ZEISS Conquest Gavia 85 spotting scope is the ideal travel companion, allowing you to capture all of nature’s wonders from the best vantage point.

The photographs are transformed into unforgettable images because to the high-resolution lens system and quick focus. The 60x magnification of the Conquest Gavia 85 allows nature observers to appreciate nature to the fullest, guaranteeing that no detail goes ignored, whether photographing individual birds or whole flocks.

A variety of tripods are compatible with the universal tripod plate. The new ZEISS Conquest Gavia is a high-performance spotting scope that is simply fantastic value for money for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Extensive digiscoping attachments go much further in broadening the spectrum of applications.


  • Magnification: 30 to 60x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 85 mm
  • Field of View: -30x: 99.0′ @ 1000 yds. / 33.0 m @ 1000 m
  • -60x: 69.0′ @ 1000 yds. / 23.0 m @ 1000 m
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 10.8′ / 3.3 m
  • Exit Pupil Diameter: 30x: 2.8 mm
  • Fog proof: Yes, Nitrogen Filled
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof
  • Weight: 3.8 lbs. / 1.7 kg (with Eyepiece)
  • Viewing Angle: Angled

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope



With Endeavor HD spotting scopes, you can get up close and personal with nature.

The BAK4 roof prism and Vanguard’s Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass dramatically decrease chromatic aberrations, providing for crisp, sharp vision with outstanding contrast.

Multiple layers of anti-reflective chemicals are used in Vanguard’s MultiGuard coatings, resulting in excellent light transmission and a stunningly clear field of view.

Vanguard’s O-ring completely seals the optics, preventing moisture, dust, and debris from entering. In harsh weather conditions, nitrogen purging prevents fogging.

Fine and coarse focusing wheels are included on the Endeavor HD for quick and precise fine tuning adjustments.


  • Magnification: 20 – 60x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 82 mm
  • Angle of View: 2.1-1.0°
  • Field of View: 330 – 156 ft. at 1000 yds.
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 14.7 ft. (20x); 18 ft. (60x)
  • Eye Relief: 19 – 20 mm
  • Dimensions: 15 x 7″ (38 x 18 cm)
  • Weight: 63.8 oz. (1.8 kg)

Factors to consider when purchasing the best spotting scopes for birding and astronomy


In general, a decent magnification range for a spotting scope for bird watching or astronomy is between 15 and 60x.

The field of view becomes excessively narrow above 60x, and image brightness begins to fade, which is especially problematic in low-light situations.

Quality of glass

The best spotting scopes contain fluorite-coated, high density, or extra-low dispersion glass lenses, which allow all colors to come into focus at the same time, resulting in a brighter, more vivid view. Limiting chromatic aberration is another term for it.

The quality of your spotting scope’s glass impacts how well you can see and how far you can see. Glass quality can make a big difference in scopes with the identical 80mm lenses and magnification ranges. Remember that how much you can enlarge a hazy view doesn’t actually matter.

Eye relief

The distance (in millimeters) that your eye can be behind the focus point to see the whole field of view is referred to as eye relief. Most individuals who wear glasses should be able to get by with 12mm to 15mm of eye relief, but some of the greatest hunting scopes feature eye relief that reaches several inches, allowing hunters to avoid crouching over their scope while waiting for the deer to appear.

You don’t have to squeeze your eye to the eyepiece in order to see out with the greatest spotting scopes. If you wear glasses or wish to avoid irritation from using a scope for an extended amount of time, this is a good option.

Viewing configuration (Angled or straight)

Some spotting scopes feature eye components that are inclined at 45 degrees, similar to binoculars, while others have straight-through viewing setups. Although it may seem counterintuitive, angling the eyepiece is more comfortable when sitting or lying down, and it also works better with tripods because it eliminates the need to stoop.

Furthermore, if you’re bird watching and find yourself looking up frequently, the angled design eliminates the need to bend your neck to focus on the sky.


It’s impossible to predict when that rain cloud will appear out of nowhere.

Look for scopes that say they’re waterproof and fog proof (nitrogen/dry gas filled).

Rubber armoring is a wonderful touch as well. It protects against abrasive materials and corrosion, as well as assisting in the cushioning of the scope against unexpected hits.

Frequently asked questions about best spotting scopes for birding and astronomy

Is an Angled or Straight Spotting Scope Better?

It all relies on your initial intentions for using your spotting scope. For example, if you’ll be looking through your scope to view what’s beyond the horizon, an angled cope will be handier, whereas a straight spotting scope can be used from a higher vantage point or mounted on a car window to detect and track moving objects.

Can spotting scopes be used for astronomy?

Yes, that is conceivable. Spotting scopes have a high magnification, are ideal for digiscoping, are often well-made, and can be carried around. For astronomy, they’re just as good as binoculars and telescopes.

What is a good magnification for a spotting scope?

A magnification of 20-60X zoom is appropriate for a spotting scope with an objective lens of 60 to 80mm.


Variable zooms are included on some of the top spotting scopes, allowing you to adjust the magnification to your preferences. When working with high magnifications, it’s critical to keep a steady hand.

We’ve included models for every budget in our guide, from low-cost entry-level scopes to high-end optical masterpieces.

We hope you find something that you like!