Best Spotting Scopes Under $200 – 2020 Guide

If you’ve come across this article, chances are you’re somewhat of a hunter, an adventurer, or just a nature-loving out-door enthusiast. In fact, there’s an even greater chance that you’re going through a hard time sorting through different articles and guides to find the best spotting scope in the market for under $200. Right on the money, right? Exactly like the scopes we’re about to recommend.

Finding a good spotting scope that is remarkable in performance and affordable in terms of price is a pickle!

That’s exactly why we’ve formulated this guide, so you don’t have to go back and forth in search of the perfect spotting scope. Just sit back, relax, and read through our guide to find the ultimate scope for your needs.

Comparison Chart of the Best Spotting Scope Under $200

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • T-adapter ideal for digi-scoping
  • Comes with tripod mounting plate
  • Multi-coated optic lenses
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  • Unique 45-degree angled eyepiece
  • Equipped with extendable sunshade
  • Can be used with or without glasses
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  • Multi-coated 80mm lens
  • Magnalium framework and rubber protection
  • Completely waterproof design
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  • Best for the Money
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Quality rubber armor protection
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  • Unique smartphone digi-scoping adapter
  • Offers field of view of 1000 yards
  • Non-slip grip and rubber protection
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Can You Find a Quality Spotting Scope Under $200?

While it is true that the more you pay for a product, the more features and better quality you’re going to receive in return; why else would you pay a hefty amount, right? But the affordability of a product is not always a trade-off for reliability and durability.

Fortunately, we live in an era of extreme competition among rival companies. The fight to attain the biggest market share evidently leads to companies coming up with exclusive products for each customer segment. And so, you can find tons of quality spotting scopes for under $200 from a lot of famous brands nowadays without having to compromise on quality.

The low price does not necessarily equate poor quality, and for this sole reason, we’ve prepared a guide for you to choose among the best spotting scope while staying within a budget of $200.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

Before we give you our insights on some of the best spotting scopes under your budget, you need to know what are your requirements and needs. This will help you in making the best possible decision.

While formulating your decision, you need to be aware of the most important factors that make for a great scope so you can evaluate and make a sound judgment.

Design

Spotting scopes have two variations, Straight and Angled. Straight spotting scopes offer a relatively faster target acquisition while spotting and stalking and are useful for looking at objects that are at the same height as you. They’re also easier to learn for beginners. 

On the other hand, angled spotting scopes are at an advantage because of the use of a lower tripod height to ensure stability and are relatively better at spotting objects at a different height than you without creating chromatic aberration.

Magnification Power & Lens 

Magnification is an important factor to consider while you’re buying a spotting scope. We would recommend choosing one with a magnification of at least 30x or 40x to ensure clear and crisp images. You also need a good tripod to hold the unit still during long-range magnifications if you intend to invest in a scope under the mentioned budget.

Focal lenses vary anywhere from 50mm to 80mm. A focal lens of 60mm to 70mm falls under our recommendation. The better the lens, the better the magnification, and hence the better the quality of the image as seen from afar.

Weather

When going out to buy a spotting scope, you need to ask yourself, ‘What kind of weather will I be using this in?’ 

This is imperative because weather plays a huge role in affecting the magnification of a scope. Humid and rainy areas or low altitudes will drastically lower magnification. On the other hand, dry areas and high altitudes might not have much of an effect.

Lens Coating

A lens can be multi-coated, full-coated, or fully multi-coated. This is an important factor because if you’re using the scope in broad daylight, the coating will reduce the number of light reflections that can distort your picture and make it foggy.

Glass Quality

The better the quality of the glass used in a particular scope model, the better the quality of the picture. Glass quality makes a huge difference in the image that is formulated and presented to you through the scope. Always make sure you check the specifications on the manufacturer’s list to make sure the glass is of high quality.

Quick Take | Best Spotting Scopes Under $200

Just looking for the three best spotting scopes under $200? Here they are:

  1. Celestron Ultima 80 Angled
  2. Roxant Authentic Blackbird High Definition
  3. Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Angled

Review of the Best Spotting Scopes Under $200

Now that you’re well aware of what to look for in spotting scopes, sort through our options below to find the best one for yourself.

Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope – 20 to 60x80mm Zoom Eyepiece – Multi-Coated Optics for Bird Watching, Wildlife, Scenery and Hunting – Waterproof and Fogproof – Includes Soft Carrying Case

PROS

  • T-mount adapter included for digiscoping
  • Sharp zoom eye-piece for fast focus and spotting
  • Angled spotting scope perfect for long-distance viewing
  • Two-year warranty and unlimited access to technical support from the team
  • A multi-coated optic lens with anti-reflective coatings for bright and clear images

CONS

  • Design is a little tippy
  • No sunshade on the objective lens

What Recent Buyers Report

70% of the buyers were happy with their purchase. The decent build quality while of the unit, despite its low cost, was a star feature for them. They also enjoyed the attribute of being able to take out the ocular lens.

Users claimed that this scope is a good value for the money as compared to other scopes in the same price category. The clarity and brightness of the images were quite great. The wide aperture allows for a large amount of light to pass in, creating a bright, detailed picture.

Overall, users seem to be satisfied with the performance, considering the price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Celestron Ultima 80 deserves a shout out because of the quality it offers at such a reasonable price. This angled scope is compact and portable, with a 45-degree angle for superb short as well as a long-range sighting. It gives you the option to attach your DSLR camera with a non-mandatory T-ring through its T-mount adapter.

It further includes additional accessories for better viewing, including extended tripod mounting plate, zoom eyepiece, carrying case, eyepiece lens cap, eye-piece port cover, etc.

The scope is completely waterproof and fog-proof and is further sealed to prevent fogging of the internal lens. It offers both durability and quality.

Bottom Line

If you’re a nature enthusiast on a tight budget, this scope is the way to go. It’s the perfect companion for your sighting and long-distance shooting. It delivers high performance and durability at a low price without compromising on quality. 

Roxant Authentic Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope with Zoom - Rubber Armor, Fully Multi-Coated Optical Glass Lens + BAK4 Prism. Includes Tripod & Case + Lifetime Replacement

PROS

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee
  • Retractable eye-piece can be used with or without glasses
  • Constructed from weatherproof rubber armor for a rugged look and a sturdy grip
  • Comes with a high-definition military-grade optic, ensuring a high-grade crystal-clear view

CONS

  • Size might appear to be too small for some users
  • Might not be the best for people wearing glasses

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers love this device for target shooting, and most were very pleased with the purchase. They also claim that the scope is small and hence extremely portable. The rubber coating feels high-quality, and they’re big fans of the clean black design.

Users were extremely satisfied with the scope's performance and said that it produces crystal clear images when viewed properly. The zoom and focus rings are easy to operate while the eye-piece is easy to manage as well. All in all, they seem to enjoy the product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product is on our recommendation list for a number of reasons. First, the design is engineered to be light yet sturdy, and even though the product is small, everything has been crafted in the best possible way from the big obvious details down to the very minute ones.

Second, the design makes it extremely easy to focus due to the lens's rubberized ring grip. It can be used in both dim lights and sunlight without any compromise on the picture quality. It can also easily be maneuvered into precise positions.

Third, the included accessories and life-time warranty make this scope one of our top favorites!

Bottom Line

To sum up, if you’re looking for a quality scope with excellent features and assistance within $200, we’d highly recommend this scope. The form and function of this particular model are exceptional, and the price just seals the deal!

Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod, 45-Degree Angled Eyepiece, Optics Zoom 39-19m/1000m for Target Shooting Bird Watching Hunting Wildlife Scenery (20-60x60) Green

PROS

  • A comfortable full field of view
  • Fully multi-coated lens guaranteeing clear and high-contrast images
  • Dynamic lens focusing system makes it easy to zoom in on targets with the zoom knob
  • High-quality rubber armor construction ensures durability and a strong & shock-proof grip
  • Powerful magnification adjustable from 20x to 60x with a 45-degree angled eyepiece featuring an ergonomic design for a more comfortable viewing

CONS

  • Eye relief is substandard
  • Eye-piece does not rotate

What Recent Buyers Report

Most consumers who purchased this product said that initially, they didn’t have high hopes for the product, considering the price, but they were pleasantly surprised. From experience and trial, it was deduced that the scope works great for 100, 200, and 300 meters for target shooting. 

Overall, users claim that even though the product has a little ‘wiggle room’ between the area where the image is in focus and the point where you can't see anything at all, the price point is a great trade-off for that and everything else seems to work great, and users couldn’t be happier.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What stands out to us about this scope is the waterproof and fog-proof feature that is advertised among the top features, ensuring extraordinary performance in the most rugged conditions. The lens is designed to allow enough light inside so that the picture produced is of excellent quality without any distortion. 

The scope comes with a built-in retractable sunshade that prevents glare while you’re using it in sunlight and a tripod that allows rotation of the eye-piece, giving you a comfortable viewing angle that is adjustable.

The outer housing design that is present on this device is incredible at holding and adjusting, and the focus knobs allow easy adjusting without having to change the viewing angles.

The ergonomic eye-piece design makes viewing a comfortable experience for all kinds of activities, including target shooting, bird watching, archery, hunting, etc.

Bottom Line

For adventurers and birdwatchers who want an affordable scope but are also value-conscious, the Emarth Angled Scope is a perfect choice. The VIP customer service is an added plus!

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof Scope for Bird Watching Target Shooting Archery Range Outdoor Activities -with Tripod & Digiscoping Adapter

PROS

  • Comes with a Digiscoping adapter
  • BK-7 Prism for exceptional image quality
  • Specially designed for target shooting, bird watching, and archery
  • Lightweight with ergonomic eyepiece design to ease the overall handling process
  • Made from Magnalium Framework and Rubber Armor, guaranteeing robustness and longevity

CONS

  • Loses clarity at high power
  • Tripod is not of the best quality

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers claim to love this scope because they can see their shooting targets at varying distances with great clarity. Whether it’s sunlight or a cloudy day, users can easily view details through the scope for up to 200 yards. They’re especially fond of the phone adapter feature that comes with it and seems to recommend the product to their friends and peers as it’s a good purchase at a great price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The product makes it to our top picks because of the 80mm diameter green film objective lens, which is fully multi-coated. Designed for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers, it’s the perfect scope to observe wildlife, nature, or any other outdoor activity and enjoy the smallest of details.

It’s nicely built and produces clear and vivid images. The images are also found to be outstanding at 60x using a Digiscope adaptor with a cellphone, which is impressive.

Hence, this is one of the best low budget scopes that exist out there in the market.

Bottom Line

The Gosky Porro Prism is usable in all weather conditions, and the BK-7 prism ensures the image quality is always top-notch. This scope delivers the best value for what it’s worth. We highly recommend buying it.

Gosky 2019 Updated 20-60x80 Spotting Scope with Tripod, Carrying Bag and Smartphone Adapter - BAK4 Angled Telescope - Newest Waterproof Scope for Target Shooting Hunting Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery

PROS

  • Includes a Digiscoping adaptor
  • BAK4 Porro Prism ensures bright and crisp image quality
  • Full metal tripod and tripod mount for sturdy viewing and targeting
  • Offers magnification setting ranging from 20x to 60x with a dynamic lens focusing system
  • Specially designed from a durable framework and rubber armor certifying durability and longevity

CONS

  • Tripod is simple and not ideal for serious use
  • Cell phone adaptor is a little complicated to use

What Recent Buyers Report

This scope’s ability to focus on distant objects with great precision has made buyers highly content with their purchase. They claim that the clarity and focus on this scope set it apart from all others in the same price range. Quality and view appear great, and some are of the opinion that it’s a decent beginner scope for the money!

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like this scope because it's lightweight and easy to carry. The advanced 80mm FMC objective lens guarantees great clarity and brightness. The BAK4 Porro Prism is exceptional at light transmissions and for producing a vivid high-contrasting image even in low light conditions.

It’s quick to focus, and the cell-phone adaptor works well for all cellphones. It’s easy to set-up and use.

The scope features a rotatable eye-piece that is not always common in these scopes and, additionally, a retractable sunshade.

All in all, this updated version surely tops its last version owing to an even powerful magnification system, better optical performance, and a more stable focusing system.

Bottom Line

The Gosky 2019 updated scope can survive the toughest conditions due to its durable construction and material. Whether you’re out for an adventure, hunting, or astronomical observation, you’ll definitely put this scope to good use!

What Size of Spotting Scope Do I Need?

The size of the spotting scope makes for an important consideration to remember. 

Talking about the objective lens, as mentioned earlier, we would recommend you to use a spotting scope with an objective lens of around 60mm to 70mm. The lens size is directly proportional to how much light it lets in, ultimately ensuring a better quality of the picture. 

If, however, you plan on using a Digiscope, look for a model with an 85mm objective lens to enable your scope to deliver a clear and vivid image.

In terms of the overall size, you need to purchase a scope that is lightweight and hence easy to carry. Don’t buy anything that’s bulky as it’s going to create problems during tracking because it’s harder to transport. Look for compact options that are easily portable.

What is a Spotting Scope Good For?

Being especially popular among outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, hunters, or just about anyone else who loves nature, it's evident that spotting scopes are good for various outdoor activities. Some of these are:

Traveling

Whether you’re out trekking among the great mountains or traveling in deep valleys, you’ll have an amazing view and scenery all around you. A good quality spotting scope will make sure you don’t miss out on any of the ravishing details that might not be visible to the naked eye. You’ll be able to capture high-quality pictures that will remain as memories for a lifetime!

Magnification

Spotting scopes are an excellent alternative if your binoculars are not providing you with enough magnification that you desire. They’re widely used for bird watching, landscape viewing, and looking at wildlife, ships, and other distant objects.

Unfavorable Weather Conditions

Weather conditions are often unpredictable and can hinder your plans for viewing, trekking, traveling, etc.

This is where spotting scopes come in handy as they guarantee a waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof performance, so you don’t have to cancel your plans. Instead, it enhances your viewing experience.

Portability

Spotting scopes are lightweight, compact, and easy to carry around. This is a big advantage, especially for hunters, as they can easily swap it for their high-powered binoculars without jeopardizing their whole hunting experience because they have to carry bulky instruments. Target procurement has never been this easy.

Surveillance

Spotting scopes are also useful for monitoring and closely observing suspected spies or criminals. It’s widely used for surveillance activities around the globe.

Conclusion

So there you have it! A complete to-the-point guide on how you can acquire a quality spotting scope in the market without breaking the bank. From the different benchmarks to consider before buying to the advantages a spotting scope carries, we hope after reading this article, you're able to make a well-informed decision.

People Also Ask

Spotting scopes are not that simple to understand. Even though they’re relatively simpler than most devices, you still need to know how to go about the basics of one. Read below to get more insights.

Do You Really Need a Spotting Scope?

A spotting scope is, no doubt, extremely useful in conditions like traveling, hunting, bird watching, landscape viewing, surveillance, etc. In addition, if you’re hunting in large open spaces, they prove amazing in setting up and getting a long-distance shot. 

However, if space is more confined and wooded, and the hunting experience demands a lot of movement, binoculars might be more suitable. Depending on how and where you’re hunting, a good-quality spotting scope can give you an edge over binoculars, allowing better magnification and clearly made out details.

How Much Magnification Does a Spotting Scope Need?

Scopes will often come with a range of magnification, e.g., 20x-60x. For us personally, 30x or 40x magnification is ideal; anything higher than that generally obscures the view.

Why Does My Scope Get Blurry When I Zoom In?

A lot of factors can affect the picture clarity of a spotting scope upon zooming in. Weather can play a role in creating a blurry image. This is because humid areas can distort the clarity of the image if you’re zooming in. These weather conditions make you lose magnification, so make sure you put your scope on low magnification if the weather is humid.

Even without the weather conditions, if the images are blurry, try adjusting your scope to a low magnification setting to see if that was the problem.

Mirage is another concept that can cause the mentioned problem. Again, you need to tone down the magnification setting and check for possible corrections.

Maintenance is key! Make sure you clean your scope and the lens properly and regularly to avoid getting a blurry scope.