When selecting a good spotting scope priced at or near $200, the net effect of that product down range will be limited. Why? The cost of the core elements involved in building the scope system. You must pay to play.
As the price gets lower, the range gets shorter. Trust me on this one because I have been looking through spotting scopes longer than some companies have been building them.
Bushnell Spotting Scope
Bushnell Trophy Xtream
1. Celestron 52250 Ultima
This spotting scope is in the affordable price range, but rest assured, you need to know the tasks required of the glass system. This is NOT a long distance, high profile spotting scope. It will do well in terms of indoor air rifle, archery, rimfire, and some outdoor long-range events.
The scope has an 800mm objective glass system and carries multi-coated lenses. Its 45 degree viewing angle means that you can sit and look down versus getting even with the body tube.
The eye piece on this scope carries a T-adapter. The field of view at 1000 yards is 1-5-53 being power adapted.
This scope's prism is manufactured from BaK4 and features a 26.2-foot focus distance.
The folding style eyecup will be a favorite of most shooters.
This waterproof and fog proof scope is built ruggedly to withstand the elements.
This scope produces a clear image that has no “blue fringing.” This is what most of us in the real time field call distortion or off true image at the sides of the reticle circle.
If you find that this scope would work for you, it has some nice features to offer that make it a bit better than the average bargain scope being sold today. This is an entry level scope so don’t expect the world from it.
2. Redfield Rampage
Redfield Rampage 20-60 is an entry-level scope that acts as a good short-range target viewing system and as a general use field scope. Don’t head into the Big Horn mountains in search of elk with this scope however, because you won’t like the end results.
This scope comes complete with a carrying case, tripod, and eyepiece lens cover. This scope includes the better grade BAK4 prism and carries a limited lifetime warranty.
This scope makes use of a detail focus knob (top center) that can be valuable when focusing in on a very detailed subject at a distance.
This scope's fully multi-coated lens provide protection against dirt, dust and grit. The scope has a 2.2-1 degree of viewing angle with a 1714 mm eye relief,
The eye piece is a twist up style and features a retractable sunshade for the lens.
The scope is sold with a tabletop tripod. The tube body is nitrogen filled to protect the inner system from the elements. The scope's tube housing is made from polycarbonate (plastic). This 14-inch scopes weighs in at 37 ounces.
The GoSky spotting scope is a basic bird watching, general use scope and is only workable for close range shooting situations, Archery, air rifle, and handgun would be acceptable range limits. But, even at that, the optical system is basic and would be considered an entry-level system.
This scope's 20-60X magnification is provided by a fully coated lens that protects against foreign matter getting onto the lens' surface. This scope uses an 80mm green film objective lens, which puts it is right in the center of millimeter sizing for this type of scope construction.
The manufacturer suggests that this scope is workable as best spotting scope for target shooting and hunting. If I were buying this scope, it would be used as an entry level unit with thoughts toward purchasing an advanced spotting scope later for my serious shooting/spotting needs.
This waterproof and shockproof scope has a nitrogen-filled main tube for fog and rain protection.
You can use this scope with almost any smartphone. The scope comes with a “digiscoping” cell phone adapter which allows the user to take quality images and videos of distant objects.
This scope features a three piece objective lens with a smooth focusing wheel on the top center.
A universal tripod adapter is included in this system. The scope features a soft rubber housing cover.
The scope's lens coating gives you the brightness and clarity you need to view objects at a distance.
Bushnell builds a sub-compact spotting scope in the under $200 price range on Amazon. This is an almost picket system but will require a pack for carry situations in the field.
I have found that Bushnell products even at a lower price point tend to give a good return in terms of value for the dollar spent. This is a general-purpose hunt spotting scope and made of high-quality materials.
The scope comes with a tripod, window mount for vehicle spotting on the move, soft carrying case, premium hard case, and scope glove.
The scope's magnification is 12 to 36X and is fully adjustable for all points in between. The lens is multi-coated for increased light transmission. The high-quality lens increases image quality even in low light. This Bushnell spotting scope is 100 percent waterproof and fog proof.
This scope carries the Bushnell limited lifetime warranty. If it breaks, they fix it.
It features a close focus range of 12 feet. The field of view is 12X 140 feet at 1000 yards.
This scope has an eye relief of 14 millimeters. The scope weighs 21.5 ounces and is 8.7 inches long.
5. Barska Wp
The Barska 11-33X50 Wp is a tactical angled spotting scope.
Barska builds many levels of spotting scopes for novice shooters who are just getting started. Again, as previously stated, you're going to get the performance level you're paying for. I regard these scopes as entry level. Remember my rule here: 100 yards effective per $100 spent out of pocket.
With that being said, Barska offers some unique concepts in spotting scopes. My eye caught the design of their tactical scope system largely because tactical shooting is very big today--across the country and around the world.
This scope carries 11 to 33X magnification and a 50mm objective lens. The unit has a mil-cross reticle that matches the MOA settings on a paired rifle scope.
With this scope Barska offer a Porro Prism. The angled eyepiece system will make it useful and versatile for all shooters. The exit pupil is 4.5 to 1.5 mm.
The scope's field of view is 191 feet to 89 feet at 100 yards. This 11-inch scope weighs 1.4 pounds.
The accessories that come with this scope system include a mini tripod, a soft case, and a lens cloth.
This Barska scope carries a limited lifetime warranty.
Other Selected Spotting Scopes
When I selected a couple of other scopes for review, I stayed as close to the $200 mark as possible. This gives the manufacture some room to add high-quality core components to the product. This retail price includes a pricing structure that keeps the middleman and retail outlet in the loop.
In country production is tough in terms of an acceptable market price because U.S. goods cost a lot of money to manufacture. Some scopes are imported as is the case with budget scopes most of the time.
So, here are my suggestions if you're looking for the best spotting scope in a low-price range.
6. Gosky 2019
This Gosky scope is a variable 20-60X80 objective unit. The cost is super reasonable for a general purpose close-range spotting system.
The scope uses what they call a “dynamic lens focusing system.” This brings a better optic and more stable images with easier focusing to the user.
This unit features fully multi-coated lens surfaces and provides a field of view measuring 82.9-48 ft/1000 yards. The high-quality BAK4 Porro prism optics enhances light gathering and light transmission and delivers bright, clear and crisp images.
A sturdy “magnalium” frame and a rubber armor outer covering give the scope added protection in rough weather conditions. The eye piece shield stretches out to protect the surface of the eye piece giving it additional protection overall.
The scope's waterproof design features “O” ring seals to fight off water and fog on those not so nice days on a deer hunt or at a local target shooting event.
This scope has a full range of accessories including a cell phone digiscoping adapter for use with smartphones, a T- ring and M42 T-mount for a Nikon camera. The digiscope and camera options enable the shooter to take photos and videos by smartphone or camera.
As a final note, the spotting scope system also includes a tripod that can be set up for any flexible range of presentation. To keep your scope in good condition, you also receive a carry case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, and cleaning cloth.
7. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme
Yes, this scope is $18 and some change over the $200 mark, but I believe it is worth the extra. When it comes to Bushnell backing of the product and this company's general component quality even in a budget base spotting scope unit, I don't think you would be going wrong with this purchase.
This scope carries the Bushnell no questions asked lifetime warranty. So, for now and as long as you own the scope, you are covered!
This scope is a work horse in a budget framed pricing. The scope has the almost standard Porro prism design, features a zoom of 60X magnification, and is 100 % waterproof for tough field applications.
The scope comes with a compact tripod and a vehicle window mount as well. You could say totally designed for the hunter and shooter. (Birding is still on the list, however.)
The multi-coated optics provide increased brightness and a sharp targeted subject image. The Bushnell “Sentry” system allows the scope to be used in any weather conditions. Think of the Bushnell lens protective system “Sentry” as a lifeguard for your scope.
The magnification ranges from 12 to 36X. The scope features an objective lens that is 50mm with a close focus of 12 feet. Its field of view is 12X140 feet at 1000 yards. The eye relief is14mm.
This scope is green in color, so it camouflages easily when hunting. Because the scope is just 8.7 inches and 21.5 ounces, it will be easy to carry with you.
Ask any question you would like through the website. I will be more than happy to assist you any way I can to select the best scope for your needs. My background consists of over 60 years in the field as a hunter, police officer, educator, writer, and business operator. Welcome to the club!