Know all about Your Spotting Scope

If you’re getting serious about nature watching or bird watching, you should consider investing in a spotting scope. Scopes can be expensive, but their overall quality and versatility for bird watching or nature observing are unparalleled.

These scopes are perfect for panning open landscapes for birds and observing distant subjects. If you view a target of 15 meters through a spotting scope, you’ll tell the name of that species.


The aperture of a spotting scope is the measurement of its objective lens in millimetres. Because the scopes operate at high magnification, they greatly benefit from having a larger objective lens diameter than binoculars, allowing them to gather more light. Spotting scopes typically range from 60mm to 85mm in objective lens diameter.

Want a larger objective lens for your scope? Expect to pay more and weight more, with cheaper models being more accessible tote but not providing the larger scopes’ brightness and resolution.


Most spotting scopes will come with a variable-magnification eyepiece that holds the ocular lens or have them available separately for purchase. Spotting scopes are designed to work at much higher power, with zoom eyepieces ranging from 15x on the low end to 60x at maximum power. Make sure that when you purchase your spotting scope to ask whether it comes with an eyepiece.

Angled vs Straight

Spotting scopes come in two body styles: angled or straight. Straight presents eyepiece straight off the back of the scope, and angled presents the eyepiece at 45-degree from the body of the scope.

Some may enjoy the straight scope better and easier to use, while others may prefer the angled scope because it allows them to down the eyepiece rather than craning their neck to accommodate the straight scope. Make sure to try out both types before making their purchase.


A high-powered spotting scope will require a high degree of stability if you want to use it effectively. If you invest in a good scope, make sure to invest in a quality tripod equally. A tripod will anchor your scope, making it steady so you can observe your subject without jitters or shakes.

The best tripods for birding scopes fit these characteristics:

  • Study (won’t blow over in moderate winds)
  • Light: make sure to avoid inexpensive, lightweight tripods
  • Quick and easy leg extension and adjustment
  • Solid scope mount
  • Easy to manoeuvre in all directions
  • When mounted, make sure that your scope is tall enough to look through without having to bend over or stoop down

If you’re lucky, some spotting scopes come with a tripod, making it easier, but you’ll want to upgrade when a much better tripod comes along.


Technology has evolved, mainly smartphone camera’s, which has led to the rise of digiscoping. Digiscoping is taking photos through your spotting scope. It has become popular among birders as it allows them to document sightings and collect images of their IDs easily.

Holding a digital camera or smartphone up to your scope’s eyepiece, you can quickly capture quality images. You’ll need to purchase a smartphone or camera adapter that’s for digiscoping.

So the next time you’re looking for a spotting scope, you won’t be lost by all the different terminology.

If you’re looking for the perfect spotting scope, then you’ll find it at Cameraland Sandton

Original article: Celestron.com