Top 10 Best Spotting scopes for Birding Under 500- Complete Guide 2022

The next time you plan to go best spotting scopes for birding, hunting, bird watching, or hiking, consider bringing a spotting scope with you. Equipped with higher magnification, this type of monocular is much more powerful than a pair of conventional binoculars. In fact, a spotting scope can be a good compromise between telescopes and binoculars. It is very well suited for observing subjects over a long distance.

Nevertheless, it is not enough to buy the first product that interests you on the market, there are many factors to take into account.

In this guide, we explain everything you need to know to find the best spotting scope for your situation and your budget.

Here are the factors you need to consider before purchasing your device.

Best spotting scopes for birding,Hunting Bird Watching under $500

1. Magnification

When it comes to a spotting scope, getting the magnification right can be tricky. Many people think that the higher the magnification, the better a spotting scope is. To tell the truth, this is still not the case. It all depends on your field of vision! And unfortunately the latter will be more or less narrow on a long view at high magnification.

In general, the majority of spotting scopes have a magnification from 15x to 60x. Beyond this threshold, you fall into the category of telescopes. If you plan to use your camera to look at wider landscapes, opt for lower magnification models.

2. The size of the objectives

As with magnification, care must be taken to choose the right size of objectives. If it is too large, your spotting scope will capture too much light and images tend to be blurry. If the lens diameter is too small, the image is dark. The ideal diameter is between 50 and 80mm.

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You can get larger lenses, but they’re not likely to add any extra quality to your image…unless it’s for stargazing.

Just like a pair of binoculars, remember that larger lenses also mean a heavier spotting scope. If you’re going to take your spotting scope a long distance, consider a smaller size instead.

3. Eye Relief

Another factor to consider is eye relief, especially if you wear glasses. It is indeed quite unpleasant to have to constantly take off your glasses each time you intend to look through your telescope. This is why you need to look for a product that provides good eye relief. We recommend a clearance ofat least 14mm but the ideal being 17 mm.

4. The tripod

The high magnification of a spotting scope can cause instability in the observed image, due to the shaking of your hands or a gust of wind. To benefit from a more “stable” vision, it is therefore advisable to always place your device on a tripod.

If you’re using a straight spotting scope, an adjustable tripod might be a solution for you. For an angled spotting scope, choose a compact tripod, because in any case, you will have to bend down to look in your monocular.

These are usually the most important features to consider before buying. Now, we are going to introduce you to the different types of spotting scopes so that you have another method to choose from.

The different types of spotting scopes

Giant telescope

As the name suggests, this is a large model. That said, it also has an excellent performance. A giant telescope has a diameter of more than 10 cm. This type of spotting scope is often used in digiscoping. It is a discipline where you take pictures with a digital camera, but using the telescope as a zoom.

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Standard spotting scope

With a magnification of approx. 50x and also with a diameter of 8cm, this type of spotting scope is the most coveted on the market. The results obtained are satisfactory. On the other hand, the transport of this kind of material always poses a problem.

Compact spotting scope

These are the spotting scopes equipped with a factor of magnification up to 40x. In addition, they have a diameter that is around 6 – 6.5 cm.

Dwarven spyglass

Everything is already said in its name. When it comes to features, a dwarf spotting scope never exceeds 30x magnification and a diameter of 6cm.

Astronomical or terrestrial telescope?

The difference between these two models lies in the prism system. Astronomical telescopes bring out inverted images, but of better quality. Focusing systems are usually found on the outside. On the other hand, all the mechanisms are inside the device for long terrestrial views.

Long sight angled or straight?

Choosing between these two models poses a lot of problems for spotting scope enthusiasts. To put it simply, we advise you to choose an angled spotting scope for long-term observations. On the other hand, a long straight sight is perfect if you move frequently and over a long distance.

What type of lenses should you choose for your spotting scopes?

Currently, most spotting scopes on the market have special lenses. You will find the references Ed Where HD. Be aware that special lenses really stand out from regular lenses when zooming or when using the spotting scope in a low-light location.

But under normal observation conditions, there is nothing that differentiates classic glasses from special glasses.

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Our best selection

Svbony SV28 25-75×70

We’ll start with this Svbony 25-75×70. As you can see, this monocular has a magnification of 25x to 75x. This variable magnification allows you to have a wide field of view. The 70mm lens captures as much light as possible to give you crisp, clear images. The lens transmits 99% of the light it picks up, as the BaK-4 lenses are coated with multi-layered green film.

You will find the focus wheel on the body of the camera. The focusing distance is about 8 m. This monocular is also filled with nitrogen. This feature makes it effective even in bad weather conditions. Moreover, it is also waterproof.

The Svbony brand also delivers with this model a desktop tripod for your observations over a long distance. Finally, we also deliver a telephone adapter. This last one is compatible with all smartphones having a width between 55 and 100 mm. You can take videos and photos as much as you want and then share them with your friends.

You can take this Svbony SV 28 everywhere, because it weighs only 905 g with a size of 33 x 13 x 8.3 cm. In addition, it already comes with a case.Strong points

  • Excellent image quality
  • Spotting scope suitable for sports shooting
  • Good value for money.


  • Phone holder a little flimsy.

ESSLNB Spotting Scope 25-75X70

Here’s a perfect spotting scope for bird watching, sport shooting, wildlife viewing, and more. Its 70mm lens has a multi-coated green film. This coating acts as an antireflection. As a result, it passes a large amount of light, which means that the images obtained are of excellent quality even in a place with low light. In addition, the prisms are in BaK-4 glasses.

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The adjustable zoom between 25x and 75x further allows you to see subjects up to 1000 meters away. The angle of inclination of the eyepiece is 45°. You can change the viewing position using a adjustment button.

The body of this ESSLNB spotting scope is covered with rubber. As a result, it is shock resistant. The brand delivers with this model a tripod adjustable to 360° horizontally and 180° vertically. You will also benefit from a phone adapter to take photos or videos.

In short, this telescope has a remarkable quality compared to its price.


Strong points

  • Bright and sharp images
  • Less expensive compared to other products in the same range

Celestron 52223 60mm Zoom

The following spotting scope is much more suitable for people who travel occasionally. In fact, it comes in a high quality hard case. The device is never in danger of being damaged inside its case. But the spotting scope itself is already very robust.

Regarding the technical characteristics, it is first equipped with a variable magnification between 20x and 60x. Its lens is coated with multi-layer film. The flip-up eyecup allows eyeglass wearers to use the device with peace of mind. Finally, there is a large focusing wheel on its body.

In short, this monocular does not have any particular functionality. Its biggest advantage is its solidity. The brand developed it for a intensive outdoor use.Strong points

  • Armored and rugged exterior
  • Premium hard case
  • Good comfort of use.


  • Simple features
  • Slightly low magnification.

Uscamel 20-60X80

Here is our favourite, the 20-60 x 80 spotting scope from the Uscamel brand. This monocular is ideal for ornithology, but also adapts to all outdoor activities.

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Its prisms are multi-coated BaK glasses. The quality of these glasses combined with the diameter of the 80 mm lens offers high contrast images. You also get a bifocal setting for focus.

The optical system of this monocular is wrapped in a high quality solid structure. Indeed, its body is equipped with a rubber coating. With these protections, you can use this Uscamel 20-60X80 spotting scope under any weather condition. O-rings prevent moisture from reaching the optical system. The body is also filled with nitrogen to ensure better image quality.

Just like the latest generation spotting scopes, this model has a smart smartphone holder. This adapter is suitable for all current telephones. Speaking of accessories, it comes with its tripod and a carrying case.Strong points

  • Price accessible to all
  • Steady, bright, high-contrast images
  • Very close focus distance (5m)
  • Terrestrial long sight, but also adapts to an observation of the sky.


  • Tripod too light
  • Sharpness decreases to 60x

Hutact 20-60×80

The last spotting scope that we are going to present to you is this 20-60×80 from Hutact. It has most of the features of current spotting scopes. It is first waterproof, that is to say impermeable to water. The lenses of the prisms are made of BaK-4. The quality of the images is breathtaking with its 80mm lens.

Its optical system, however, is different from the others. In fact, we find inside the lenses a matte pattern to avoid light interference. The 18 mm eyepiece offers you great comfort of use. She also has a multi-angle mute rotation. Specifically, you have the choice between 3 different positions. This system is very practical for bird watching. It’s about a professional feature for ornithology.

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The tripod on its side is made of light metal. You will be able to install your spotting scope anywhere. This tripod is also professional quality. Finally, this spotting scope also has a phone holder.

The Hutact 20-60×80 monocular is among the professional quality products. That’s why we think it deserves its place in our selection of the best products of the moment.Strong points

  • Professional quality spotting scope
  • High quality pictures
  • Adapts to almost any type of use.

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