Digiscoping photography is an activity that allows us to capture life in nature without interrupting it. It’s a fun, pleasant hobby that often let us take pictures of incredible sightings, especially out there in the wild.
Of course, for a successful digiscoping, you’ll need several tools. One of them is a spotting scope. Fortunately, many models are available for us to choose, although narrowing down the options could be tricky.
Worry not! In this article, we’ll help you find the best spotting scope for digiscoping photography. We went through many brands to choose only those that offer high-quality products, and we’ll tell you all about them here.
Since there are so many features to consider, we highly recommend you check out every section of the article. We’ll try to clear as many doubts as possible, talking about the features to consider, and the frequently asked questions before making your purchase.
10 Best Spotting Scope For Digiscoping
The following are the ten spotting scopes that delivered efficiency, reliability, and high durability over long periods.
Of course, we’ve taken into consideration other features such as the lens, the armor design, and the accessories included, to name a few. For more detailed information, make sure to check out the next section after the reviews.
1. Ultra HD Spotting Scope Kit- Waterproof Frogproof Zoom Telecope
The Gosky HD spotting scope is everything you need to capture the moment. Sure enough, it’s a little bit more expensive than most, but investing in this tool does provide satisfying views in the open.
This tool offers variable zoom magnification, which goes from 20X to 60X if needed. Whether you use it for a close target at 20X or far away at 60X, the field of view is clear.
The ultra-wide-angle design of the eyepiece and the BaK-4 prism are some of the other benefits of this spotting scope. Those two features are responsible for creating bright and sharp views to capture anything on your line of sight.
As for the construction, it’s quite good too. The durable framework and rubber armor are capable of resisting against impacts. While working under tough weather, you can expect the tight-fitting protection to withstand the environmental conditions.
The O-ring sealed optics keep moisture, dust, and debris away to maintain the spotting scope’s durability. No longer should rain or fog be a reason for concern because the lens, glass, and housing of this product will hold on pretty well.
- Multi-coated 82mm objective lens
- Ultra-wide angle design for the eyepiece
- BaK-4 Prism for brighter and sharpest views
- Magnification variety from 20X to 60X
- Durable construction with rubber armor
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Includes a digiscoping adapter for your smartphone device
2. HD Spotting Scope with Tripod 20-60x80mm
Perhaps it’s not your go-to brand, but CreativeXP is reliable. As proof, we have the following spotting scope, a modern and innovative tool for anyone that loves nature. Since the company’s base locates in New York, quality parts and quick shipment is something you can expect.
As two of its most useful features, the spotting scope offers adjustable eye relief and ultra-smooth focus.
For eye-relief, the spotting scope offers a 17-12mm range. As for the focus, there are two fine focus knobs that you can use to get a perfect sight of the target you’re observing.
Not only will you be able to get incredibly accurate images, but everyone gets to enjoy the views, even people that wear glasses.
The GlassHawk scope, with a nitrogen-purged design, is another high point of this product. Combined with high-quality sealed O-Rings, no water, fog, or shock damage could interrupt your activities.
Featuring 80mm objective lens, and an outstanding 60X zoom, this spotting scope is a great pick for different activities. Besides the main product, the package includes a tripod, protective case, cell phone adapter, and a photo clicker.
As mentioned earlier, the 20×20-80mm HD Spotting Scope is a clear example of why this brand is reliable.
- Bright images at 60X magnification
- Includes two fine focus knobs for better focusing
- Adjustable 17-12mm eye relief
- Multi-coating to remove reflections
- Nitrogen purged featuring sealed O-rings to withstand weather conditions
- Several accessories included
3. Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod
If you’re looking for a low-budget spotting scope, this one’s it. It’s available at a relatively low price when compared to the rest, meaning that most people have access to it. Even though it’s cheap, the scope provides good performance for naturalists, shooters, birders, and more.
On both sides of this spotting scope, you’ll encounter many layers, whether it’s inside or outside. Thanks to this design, the Emarth 20-60X60AE is capable of eliminating unpleasant light reflections, which naturally means you’ll get to enjoy the view better.
Another side benefit of the multi-layer design is that it doesn’t retain unpleasant marks. If there’s ever fingerprints or scratches, getting rid of them won’t be a hassle.
The performance of the spotting scope is quite remarkable too.
Particularly, the BK-7 glass included provides many benefits. For instance, it’ll help prevent image distortion due to the effective refractive index. While doing what they love to do, birders will have the opportunity to capture the target.
Other features worth mentioning are the dynamically angled lenses, which get rid of blurry views and distortion. These lenses have a durable coating that makes them waterproof. Whether it’s under rain or fog, the spotting scope fulfills its purposes satisfactorily.
Finally, the ergonomic design is yet another reason to love this product. The shock-absorbent properties provide a better grip, reducing the chances of it falling from your hands.
- Highly durable housing withstands rain and fog
- Dynamically angled lenses provide an incredible view
- Multi-layer construction for both outside and inside the spotting scope
- Comfortable grip due to the ergonomic design
4. Spotting Scope with Tripod, Carrying Bag and Smartphone Adapter
If it wasn’t clear that Gosky produces amazing tools, here we’ll review yet another one of their products. The 20 to 60X 80 model from this brand works well for many outdoor activities such as target shooting, bird watching, and digiscoping.
First, as the product description states, the spotting scope offers magnification from 20X to 60X. Once focused, the images are clear, crisp, and precise. The green objective lens is capable of capturing your target to take a closer look at it from far away.
Users will also appreciate the quick, easy zooming system. It takes only a few seconds to isolate your target, and you’ll be able to do it from significant distances with proper optical clarity. For all of those reasons, and more, this product in our list of the best spotting scope for digiscoping.
The rubber armor also adds more value to this product. Issues like water, fog, or shocks won’t mess up the spotting scope. Instead, you can ignore those situations as you continue to focus on your activity.
Additionally, the package includes a carrying case, protective covers for the lens, straps, and cleaning items. Lastly, you also get a phone adapter, which you can use for digiscoping activities.
So, if you’re planning to take photos or videos of your target, this spotting scope offers a lot of features that allow you to do it successfully.
- Variable 20X to 60X magnification
- Dynamic lens focusing system for better zooming
- Multi-coated green film
- BAK4 optics improve light transmission
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Includes a digiscoping adapter for your smartphone
- Contains several accessories like a tabletop tripod and mount
5. 20-60x60mm Zoom 39-19m/1000m Fully Multi Coated Optical Lens
For the ultimate image-capturing experience, this spotting scope features a 60mm objective lens. While you’re out there using this tool, you’ll be able to capture light and high-quality resolution of your target. Since the parts are fog-proof and waterproof, those weather conditions won’t interfere.
This spotting scope delivers a powerful performance, offering zoom magnification from 20X to 60X. Also, the 45-Degree angle, though standard in most models, provides a comfortable viewing field. Whether you use it for shooting or digiscoping, this product is an ideal pick.
The construction is another reason to like this product. It features a rubber armor design, with large focus rings, and a molded grip for more comfort. Additionally, the spotting scope has extendable/retractable eyepiece for you to use with or without glasses.
As extra accessories, you receive a table tripod and a useful phone mount kit. The standard 1/4-20 screw base of the spotting scope is universal, meaning that it’s compatible with most floor tripods. As long as the tripod has that same standard tape hole, the spotting scope should fit well.
Last but not least, the package includes a carrying bag. It’s nothing special, but it does have room to keep your tools and accessories needed to do your preferred outdoor activities.
- High-quality 60mm objective lens for better light-gathering and resolution
- 20X to 60X magnification range with the dynamic lens for accurate focusing
- Aluminum framework with non-slip rubber armor
- Eyepiece protection is stretchable
- Includes several accessories
6. Spotting Scope For Digiscoping, Bird Watching, Hunting and Digiscoping – Dual Focus
For our reviews, we’ve picked several spotting scopes that are available at a reasonably low price. However, this one is not part of those. Instead, the Regal M2 80ED model from Celestron sits at the highest end of spotting scopes. Of course, that means it’s quite expensive.
Alright, so it’s expensive, but is paying the money worth it? For many reasons, the answer is yes.
The extra-low dispersion design for the optical glass, combined with special dispersion properties, reduces chromatic issues. By doing that, the spotting scope is capable of rendering the images with incredible color correction. As you look through it, the other side is bright and beautiful.
For better light transmission, the spotting scope features multi-coated XLT. This coating is similar to what the observatory-class telescopes use, and it delivers a beautiful image of your target.
You can use this product with the 20-60X zoom eyepiece included, or the 1.25” astronomical eyepiece. Thanks to the rotating tripod mount, you should be able to adapt the eyepiece in a position that feels comfortable for you.
The accessories included are great too. For instance, the package offers a padded view-through case, the objective and eyepiece covers, a convenient T-mount adapter, a cloth for cleaning, and an informative manual.
- The optical glass features extra-low dispersion properties for better images
- XLT lens coatings improve light transmission
- Outstanding viewing angles
- Options to use the 20 to 60X zoom eyepiece, or the 1.25” astronomical eyepiece
- Includes many accessories to keep the parts secure
7. Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scopes
Here’s one of the best picks for digiscoping activities, there’s no doubt about that. The Vortex Optics Diamondback is the right tool for naturalists and shooters that love the views at outside locations.
One of its top features is the angled focusing system, which is surprisingly good when compared to others. Its design allows having an easier time focusing on the target. By turning the wheel, users have the freedom needed to adjust the zoom perfectly.
This product is a spotting scope that offers a variable zoom, which goes between 25X and 60X. Regardless of the magnification level, the quality of the resolution is outstanding. So, you’ll be able to zoom in objects both nearby and far away without losing any quality.
You’ll love the XR fully multi-coated lenses while focusing on a long-range target. The lenses are capable of capturing bright and clear images, even when the weather isn’t the most optimum.
The housing of the scope is a rubber armor, delivering high levels of protection to perform well under any circumstances.
Besides durability, this tool offers a ton of convenience due to the comfortable grip. You can attach the grip to the tripod’s thread, allowing you to use it as a handheld device instead.
- The incredible magnification that doesn’t lose quality regardless of the distance
- Incredible lens focusing mechanism for a better image
- Intuitive, easy to use by everyone
- Durable housing is waterproof
- Performs well even in complicated weather conditions
8. Spotting Scope with 45-Degree Viewing Angle – Includes Smartphone Adapter for Digiscoping
Even though it’s far from the best spotting scope for digiscoping, the Ultima 65mm model from Celestron still delivers satisfactory results. The magnification range goes between 18X and 55X, meaning that you’ll have the opportunity to capture your target easily, whether it’s close or far away.
Since your comfort is important, the spotting scope features a 45-Degree viewing angle. You won’t feel tired even after a long period of observing your surroundings through the lens. For those particularly long sessions, the package offers an adjustable tripod that provides more support.
Regardless of how you use the spotting scope, it’ll perform well in most activities. The tripod helps you in a steady position, but the durable body withstands minor bumps if you’re moving around.
Other than having protection from bumps, the optics have plenty of protection to perform well under wet or humid weather.
For digiscoping activities, the spotting scope comes with a smartphone adapter. If you want to capture images or videos almost instantly using the scope, you’ll be able to do it after mounting the adapter and your phone or camera.
Overall, this model is an excellent choice for people looking for a low-budget and user-friendly spotting scope. Figuring out its many features takes almost no time, and before you notice, you’ll be ready to go out there for the digiscoping.
- 18X to 55X magnification range
- 45-Degree viewing angle remains comfortable after many hours
- Includes a smartphone adapter for digiscoping activities
- Adjustable tripod for long sessions
- Durable construction
9. Celestron Landscout 12-36X60MM Spotting Scope
Other than the spotting scope, here’s what this purchase includes: objective and eyepiece lens caps, a tabletop tripod, and a soft carrying case. Now, it’s safe to say that these extra accessories aren’t of the best quality. Even if there are other items, the most important one is the spotting scope, of course.
The question is, does the Celestron Landscout 12–36×60 Spotting Scope meet the expectations? Yes, it does.
By featuring the 60mm objective lens capable of delivering between 12X to 36X magnification, this spotting scope is a versatile tool for many activities. The quality of the image is pretty good, as it has a decent amount of crispness and vibrant colors.
The eye relief of this model goes between 14mm to 18mm. Now, while it may not be the most suitable for people that wear eyeglasses, it’s still comfortable for many.
We also liked the construction and design. For example, the rugged chassis and rubber encasing makes the spotting scope shock-resistant. Due to the O-ring seals, the glass is waterproof and fog proof too.
The reason why you’d want this product is because of how convenient it is. Its small size, lightweight, and compact design make it a spotting scope suitable for different outdoor activities.
- Small, lightweight, compact design
- Easy to use
- 12X to 36X magnification reaches a few hundred yards
- Plenty of accessories included to carry the spotting scope and other items
- 45-Degree viewing angle allows you to observe nature for a longer time
10. BAK4 Prism Spotting Scope-Waterproof Field Scope
We have to dissect the many features of this spotting scope to understand its incredible performance. Let’s start by mentioning the lens.
The lenses of this spotting scope deliver a high magnification range, which can zoom in on targets at a distance of 1000 yards. It varies between 20x to 60x, depending on what you need. Because of the lens, this tool is an ideal pick for outdoor activities such as stargazing or watching nature.
You can use the focus wheel to get better results. The multi-coated glass included offers proper protection for the lenses. However, the lenses are swappable, meaning you can change them if needed.
Also, the addition of an 88mm green film around the lenses, eyepieces, and the inside prism is another advantage. This film prevents damage to the lens, allowing you to have a clear view all the time.
This spotting scope is both fog and waterproof. If there’s any impairment, you can use the accessories included to fix them.
Besides offering outstanding performance, the spotting scope comes with a smartphone holder. You can find it as a built-in feature on the tripod, and it’s capable of holding either your phone or the camera.
- Swappable lenses with a great magnification range
- Included focus wheel responds quickly to our commands
- 80mm film around the lens, eyepiece, and prism offers protection
- Built-in smartphone holder
- Cleaning tools included in the package
- Handheld, adjustable trap to make the spotting scope a handheld device
Things to Consider Before Buying Spotting Scope for Digiscoping
The following information will help you to pick your proper scope for digiscoping. Consider each one of the next features before purchasing.
Spotting scopes are more powerful than traditional tools like the binoculars. Their success relies on the variable zoom offered, which often goes between 15 to 45X and 20 to 60X.
You’ll hardly need anything more than 20 to 60X magnification, partially because the atmospheric conditions wouldn’t allow you to see more than that anyway.
However, larger magnification is suitable for high altitudes or dry climates. If you use it on the opposite conditions, low altitude and humid temperatures, the results may not be as satisfactory as you may expect.
The objective lens is an essential feature of every spotting scope. It determines how well you can see your target. You could follow a simple rule to choose the right objective lens since the bigger they are, the more powerful they are too.
Now, larger lenses usually measure among 60 and 100mm, and they’re capable of gathering more light. Of course, that results in clear, bright images for you to enjoy. Also, larger lenses provide a wider field of view too.
They are not flawless, though. If you go for a large objective lens, you’ll have to deal with a heavier spotting scope inevitably. For stationary activities, then there’s not a problem with the weight. However, if you plan to be moving around, smaller objective lenses would be the better choice.
If you were glasses to improve your sight or even sunglasses, the eye relief provided by the spotting scope is very important. The last thing you want to do is having to take your glasses off every time you reach the scope to see through it.
Eye relief refers to the distance between your eye and the eyepiece of the spotting scope. Ideally, you’d want to have between 14 and 17mm of eye relief.
Long eye relief gives many benefits for people that use glasses while seeing through the spotting scope.
Is the Tripod Necessary?
The short answer is yes.
Spotting scopes work with high magnifications, meaning that a form of support would help you stabilize the scope as you see through. Once set up, the tripod reduces shakiness, which naturally leads to better, high-quality visuals of your target.
It’s worth pointing out that spotting scopes don’t necessarily require a tripod. You can use them without it, but most brands include the tripods either way. If you already have it, why not try it?
If your preferred spotting scope doesn’t come with a tripod, consider buying it separately. However, don’t invest too much money on it.
Most of the time, taking that one perfect photography requires a lot of time spent out there. You’ll most likely face rain or fog, which is why your spotting scope needs to withstand the weather conditions regardless of what they may be.
A durable framework combined with a rubber armor is often the preferred design choice for most brands. This construction guarantees the spotting scope makes it through tough weather conditions without getting any damage.
Naturally, some brands may differ from this construction design. You must look through the technical specifications to make sure the product you pick meets those long-lasting standards.
Other than the spotting scope, most packages include several accessories such as a tripod, cleaning tools, phone adapters, and a carrying bag.
Before making your decision, make sure to check what extra items come with the purchase. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy those things separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What’s a digiscoping adapter?
If you’ve read the reviews thoroughly, you must’ve noticed the mention of a digiscoping adapter. This accessory serves as a mount for your smartphone, which attaches to the spotting scope’s ocular. Then, you can align the camera on the cellphone to take photos or videos.
After attaching the adapter and your phone, you’ll be ready for digiscoping photography.
2. What do the numbers in the spotting scope’s name mean?
Regularly, there are two sets of numbers included in the name of every spotting scope. If you want to know the zooming capability of the model, you have to look at the first pair of numbers. As for the second set, it describes the diameter offered by the objective lens.
3. Should I pick a straight or angled spotting scope?
People have their own arguments as to which one is better, but it’s ultimately your decision to choose the one you like the most.
You’ll encounter previous customers that don’t like angled spotting scope because they are a little harder to use due to the angled design. These models could complicate capturing moving targets.
But that’s not the ultimate truth. So, it’s up to you to decide.
4. What does eye relief mean on a spotting scope?
Eye relief refers to the space between the eyepiece and your eye, often expressed in mm. People need to be careful with eye relief while picking up their spotting scope because not all of them feel comfortable.
5. Are spotting scopes better than the binoculars?
For digiscope photography, the spotting scope is the choice most people prefer.
Whether you have experience or wish to start doing digiscoping photography, looking for the right spotting scope is a task that you can’t miss. These tools offer a ton of features that let you capture the most beautiful sights out there.
Knowing which one is the best spotting scope for digiscoping could be difficult, but we’ve narrowed down the list to only 10 of the top offers currently available. These products met our expectations successfully, and they will most likely meet yours too.
Now, it’s your turn to pick the one you like the most and head out there.