The GoSky 20-60×80 spotting scope has several features that make it an excellent choice for someone who needs a long range viewing optic.
The best feature of this spotting scope is the adapters. You can connect a smartphone or an SLR camera to the scope. This turns your camera into a long range telephoto.
As a photographer, among all the other stuff I do, this is something I greatly appreciate. Making a spotting scope adapt to a phone or camera is simple and costs little. All spotting scopes should have this feature.
Adapters are included. The camera adapter is for Canon platform SLRs only. Other companies make Nikon-to-other manufacturer adapters. You just have to look around. Find the one you need and this spotting scope will work on your Canon, Leica or other cameras.
Features of the GoSky Spotting Scope
The scope is a 20x-60x zoom. 20x is a lot of zoom to start on a spotting scope. The 60x maximum is a standard. You can get more zoom, but it will cost you a lot more.
At 20x, your field of view (FOV) is 82.9. feet at 1,000 yards. That is about 27 yards at 1,000 yards. The average deer is about 6 feet long. So at minimum zoom, you could see about 4.5 deer lined up nose to tail at 1,000 yards.
Putting this another way, if you are punching paper at 1,000 yards, you can see each bullet hole and accurately tell the distance between each hole. You might even be able to read some of the printing on the paper, if your eyes are good enough.
The adapters are what have me most excited about this scope. Camera gear is expensive and most of that expense is in lenses. To get the same level of zoom in an SLR lens, I’d have to spend at least 5 figures.
It comes with a Nikon SLR adapter. Other companies make adapters for Nikon to whatever camera. Just the fact it has a camera mount is really enough.
Caveat: The camera holder will not hold a heavy Nikon SLR on its own. You may have to also support the camera.
The package also includes a smartphone camera adapter. It will hold a lot of phones, but not all. If your phone does not fit, you probably can order one that will work.
The key part of the camera adapter is how the clamp fits over the eyepiece. Since this part comes off the overall adapter, you may be able to use the eyepiece clamp on a different phone holder.
Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what adapter or order or even what adapters are available. This list is simply too long. GoSky does offer a universal adapter.
3. Objective and Eye
The objective lens, or front bell, is very large at 80mm. Bigger is better in front bells. This lets the optic gather more light and transmit it down the tube.
The eyepiece is 20mm. The same light rule applies here, with this caveat. Your eye can only take in so much light. This is the function of the scope’s edit pupil.
4. Exit pupil
On this GoSky the exit pupil is 3.3-1.22 mm. The 3.3 mm is for the 20 x setting. That is about average. You can get bigger, but it will cost a lot more.
At max zoom, the pupil is 1.22 mm. Again this is in the average range with bigger being better but also costing a lot more.
The exit pupil reduces as zoom increases. This is a matter of physics and applies to every zoom optic made.
Optics experts say a range from 7mm-1mm is best. Anything bigger than 7mm is simply transferring more light than your eye can accept. Anything smaller and your eye is not really getting enough light to make out details.
The scope is made in China. The glass, coming from a Chinese factory, is not close to that from a European or Japanese company. It is acceptable. At the GoSky price, is a downright bargain.
Yes, you can get better and it will cost you around 5-10 times what the GoSky sells for. If you buy one of those scopes, you do not get the accessories that come with the GoSky.
The lenses are coated, which helps a lot. Lens coatings reduce distortion and give you a better view of what you are looking at. At high magnifications uncoated lenses deliver a giant blur.
Again, definitely worthwhile for the money.
This scope sports a BAK-4 Porro prism. The prism is what focuses and directs the light through the scope to your eye.
Porro is the best kind of prism for telescopic optics work and the BAK-4 is considered the best of the varieties. BAK-4 was created by a German optics maker.
Optics experts say the BAK-4 gives you a sharper image and more detail.
Usually a Porro prism is a more expensive option in long range optics and the BAK-4, being the best, also commands a premium. So, this is another reason the GoSky is an exceptional bargain.
The GoSky tips the scales at a hefty 2.41 pounds. It is 17.32 inches long. That is not overly big compared to some other scopes. It is on the large side.
I cannot find a brightness factor for this scope. I do not have a way to accurately measure it either. As I am very light sensitive, I cannot give you an idea of what the average person would see in terms of brightness.
Brightness is how well you can see something in low light conditions.
At high magnification, the brightness factor is low. This is an inherent problem with all high mag devices, no matter who makes the scope. The GoSky will not do well in low light conditions at high magnification.
Yes, you can get a scope with a better brightness factor and you will pay at least 10 times what the GoSky costs. Better tech in the construction just costs more.
8. Other Features
Here are a few other things you need to know about the GoSky:
- Table Tripod – It ships with a table tripod. You will eventually get a full size tripod. Spend a few more bucks and get a sturdy one.
- Carry case – It comes with a soft carry case for the scope. The case has carry straps on it. Get a camera gadget bag to carry everything and your camera.
- Rotation – The scope will turn on the tripod mount axis. You can rotate it so the eyepiece is comfortable for your viewing.
- Adapters – GoSky also sells smart phone adapters and a car window mount for the scope. The window mount will fit any scope with a universal tripod mount.
Spotting scope is a kind of telescope to magnify your view of things far and very far away. It is used by shooters and wildlife watchers.
You can see the moon with a spotting scope. You can see details on the moon as well.
You do not need binoculars with a spotting scope. Many people use both when bird watching because the spotting scope has a higher magnification
Is the GoSky Spotting Scope Worth Buying: Final Verdict
In conclusion, the GoSky 20-60×80 spotting scope is a good scope for the money. The accessories that come with it are a great bonus. This scope will serve you well for many years.
The angled eyepiece is better than a straight scope for most users. The rotating tripod ring lets you set the scope for your viewing needs.
If you check user reviews, the negative reviews have to do with not understanding how a spotting scope works.
The biggest issue is image quality. As the magnification goes higher, the image quality will drop. This is an inherent problem with all long range scopes on the civilian market. Getting top image quality from long range scopes means spending $10,000 or more.
If you are after an inexpensive spotting scope for work at the range or just looking at critters at long distances, you will be pleased with the GoSky.