The Best Spotting Scopes [Updated 2018]


A spotting scope is a must have for many outdoor activities. The traditional binoculars rarely exceed 15-20 magnification and for this reason, those who are passionate about observing nature or sports hunting will sooner or later feel the need of living their outdoor adventures with a reliable optical instrument able to reach at least 60-75 magnification.

On the market, there are dozens of spotting scopes for sale and it is never easy to decide which is the best. We hope this article will help find the best one for you.

Our Recommendation

Vortex Razor HD

If you were to ask us which is the best spotting scope on the market, the answer would be, without a doubt, the Vortex Razor HD.

Vortex is a renowned brand of optical instruments, their products being functional, reliable and incredibly precise. The 27-60X85 model is one of the finest on the market. This terrestrial telescope is equipped with a Premium HD lens multicoated with XR™ coating that delivers distortion-free views, remarkable resolution, clarity, and incredible color accuracy even in low light conditions.

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But if you find this terrestrial scope too expensive, or if you just want to see other models to make an informed decision, read our spotting scope reviews below.

1. Gosky 20-60X80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Gosky 20-60X80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

The Porro Prism by Gosky is a high performing and affordable scope manufactured for the outdoor enthusiasts. This optical device is ideal for numerous activities including bird or wildlife watching.

Optical Performance

Porro Prism features a 20-60X magnification eyepiece with a 45ᵒ viewing angle, made of multiple objective lenses that are fully multicoated with 80mm green film. The dynamic focusing system allows zooming on distant targets with ease.


The delicate lenses are protected by the durable framework made of magnalium and by the high-quality shock-absorbing rubber armor. The construction is 100% waterproof and fog-proof, so you will be able to use this scope in any weather condition. An eyepiece shield protects the outer lens from potentially damaging elements.


According to the users’ opinions, the most popular accessory of this optical instrument is the cell phone adapter that allows taking extremely accurate photos of the distant objects. Other accessories this instrument comes with are a carrying case, protection covers for the eyepiece and lens, a cleaning cloth and a metal table tripod.

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2. Celestron Ultima 52250 Spotting Scope

Celestron Ultima 52250 Spotting Scope

Famous especially for its astronomic telescopes, Celestron has recently introduced on the market a range of high-quality binoculars and scopes designed for terrestrial users. One of the most popular models is the Ultima 52250.

Optical Performance

Ultima 52250’s eyepiece features 20-60X magnification and coated lens. The 80mm aperture offers incredibly bright images and Ultima 52250 can focus on very distant targets with incredible ease. The users are satisfied with Ultima’s performance, but some of them complained about the chromatic aberration that can be noticed at 60X zoom.


Ultima 52250 has a sleek design, it is waterproof and fog-proof. This terrestrial telescope is compact and lightweight, measuring a little over 18 inches in length including the eyepiece and weighing only 3.6 pounds. The eyepiece is protected by a removable rubber eyecup that can be replaced by a camera accessory.


Ultima 52250 comes with a soft carrying case and cleaning cloth but all the other accessories, including the camera accessory and the tripod, are not included in the package.

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3. BARSKA Benchmark 25-125X88 Spotting Scope

BARSKA Benchmark 25-125X88 Spotting Scope

BARSKA Benchmark is considered one of the top spotting scopes available on the market. The manufacturer designed this optic piece for naturalists and shooters, the Benchmark providing incredibly clear images thanks to the 125X zoom.

Optical Performance

The Benchmark provides an outstanding eyepiece for the price, with 25-125X magnification and 88mm aperture. Thanks to these characteristics you will be able to observe extremely distant objects, although the clarity on maximum zoom is not one of the bests.


BARSKA Benchmark is a straight terrestrial telescope that measures 13.2 inches in length and that weighs 1.78 pounds. Compared with the competition, the Benchmark is a fairly compact product and it certainly is one of the most lightweights, being easy to carry around.


The manufacturer included multiple accessories in the purchase price, making the Benchmark a fully-equipped terrestrial telescope. In fact, the scope comes with both hard and soft carrying cases, two different tripods and a cleaning cloth.

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4. Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Spotting Scope

Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Spotting Scope

Vanguard defines themselves as an innovative and reliable manufacturer of sporting optics and sporting and photo-video accessories. Their signature line of sporting optics is the Endeavor series, with Endeavor HD 82A scope as the most representative instrument.

Optical Performance

Endeavor HD 82A features a 45ᵒ angled eyepiece with a 20-60X magnification and 82mm objective lens made of extra-low dispersion glass for a more accurate image. The lenses are fully multicoated with phase correction coating for crystal clear images in all light conditions.


This terrestrial telescope has a sleek and modern design. The body is armored with anti-shock rubber and it has a built-in sunshield that increases the clarity of the image in bright light conditions. The eyepiece is detachable and compatible with other products of the brand.


The Endeavor HD 82A comes with a soft cover with carrying strap, a cleaning cloth and protective caps for the lens and eyepiece.

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5. Emarth 20-60X60AE Spotting Scope

Emarth 20-60X60AE Spotting Scope

Emarth 20-60X60AE is an inexpensive spotting scope ideal for the occasional naturalists. This scope is really popular; the vast majority of the users being extremely satisfied with its performances.

Optical Performances

Emarth is characterized by variable magnification between 20X and 60X and 60mm objective lens that focuses on distant targets with ease thanks to the dynamic focusing system. The lenses are fully multicoated and the images impress with their clarity and brightness.


This terrestrial telescope is completely water and fog proof so you will be able to use it in any weather conditions. The design is ergonomic and for enhanced protection, the scope is covered with a shock-absorbing rubber armor.


Coming with a comfortable carrying bag, tripod and protective lens cap, this terrestrial scope really brings great value for the money.

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