How To Choose The Right Spotting Scope For Bird Watching

Most birders seek a spotting scope with great brightness, crisp images, and magnification. Some will also be interested in the lens’s size and quality, such as whether it has ED glass and advanced fully multi-coatings.

Other factors to consider are the focusing method (either by a grip around the barrel that can be twisted or by a knob on top of the scope) and whether the content is angled.


The higher the magnification power, the more detail you’ll be able to see with the scope. However, you’ll also notice that the image brightness and field of view decrease at higher magnifications. This makes high-powered spotters best used in bright conditions and for stationary birds.

The quality of the telescope’s lens is important because it determines how much light it can gather and deliver to your eye. Look for a scope with high-quality HD (high density) or ED (extra-low dispersion) glass that is fully multi-coated. These lenses produce sharper, more explicit images and are critical for digiscoping.

You’ll also want to consider whether you want a straight or angled lens. Scopes with angled lenses are better when birding from vehicles or in other confined spaces. They’re also easier to use for “digiscoping,” which involves placing a digital camera on top of the scope and capturing the image.


The size of the spotting scopes Canada objective lens, or the end farthest from your eyes, determines how bright the image will be. Areas with larger objective lenses are more extensive and heavier but will deliver a more colorful and precise picture.

When choosing a scope, look for a large objective lens and high magnification. Also, select a model with good eye relief, especially if you wear glasses. The longer the eye relief, the more comfortable it will be.

The spotting scope’s zoom style is another crucial factor. A simple twisting action is preferable to a complex helical focus mechanism. Higher-quality glass with designations, sharper images, and reduced eye strain. Look for a nitrogen-filled and O-ring-sealed scope to prevent moisture, dust, and other contaminants from spoiling your view. You will also need a sturdy tripod to hold the telescope when it is not in use. The legs of the tripod should have flip locks to secure the scope when positioned on a flat surface.


When using the spotting scope, the eyepiece is the lens closest to your eyes. You want to find one that allows you to see clearly at distances, even wearing glasses. You also want the ability to quickly fine-tune your focus from near to far. Most spotting scopes allow you to do this by either gripping around the barrel and twisting or by a knob on top that is turned. Areas with the barrel grip focusing method are easier to use but may take longer to clear and crisp the image.

You’ll also want to consider whether you want an angled or straight scope. Angled scopes are great for birding with other people because they can be set up to be used at different heights. They also allow you to keep the content lower in windy conditions, which can help with stability. However, some people prefer the straight bodies of the scopes.


A quality spotting scope is a heavy piece of equipment and requires a tripod to keep it steady. The good news is that some excellent lightweight, portable bird-watching tripods are available.

The lightweight is a perfect example. This compact, affordable spotting scope is ideal for anyone who wants to try birding but doesn’t want to spend a lot.

Its legs are made of durable aluminum and can be adjusted to fit a wide range of heights. It also features a pan and tilt head that is smooth and easy to use. The best part about this tripod is its warranty, so you can rest assured knowing that your investment is safe. You can learn more about this spotting scope on the website.

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