Buying a spotting scope: 3 budgets

best spotting scopes

Do you want to buy a spotting scope but only have a bit of money to spend? Do you want to know which scopes adapt better to your pocket?

In this post you will find 3 different purchase budgets, starting from the cheapest and ending with a diamond of the terrestrial optics.

Keep on reading to find your soul-mate scope.


The big optic brands launch more and more spotting scope models onto the market at different prices to fit everyone´s pocket.

Although the perfect optical quality can only be reached paying high prices, nowadays one can to find models at a much reduced price and with an unexpected quality.


What are you going to find in this post?

1.  Comparative table

2.  Budget 1 (less than 500$): cheap spotting scope – I want a spotting scope but I do not have much money to spend​

3.  Budget 2 (1.000$): medium-high quality spotting scope – I want more quality but without emptying my bank account

4.  Budget 3 (2.500-3.000$): I want to have a National Geographic quality spotting scope


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1.   Comparative table

2.  Budget 1 (less than 500$): cheap spotting scope – I want a spotting scope but I do not have much money to spend

○ Vanguard Endeavor HD 82mm 20-60x - A world of possibilities for everyone

Mark this name in your head, because customers have only told wonderful things about it. This scope has the most advanced optic features developed by Vanguard at this very moment.

And you also get a life warranty when you buy a Vanguard scope.

Vanguard Endeavor HD

Did you know that...?

Vanguard Endeavor HD has a low dispersion (ED) system of lenses and BaK4 prisms that increase the transmission of light? The images, contrast and colours produced are incredible, and for only 500$.


Let’s begin step by step:

The spotting scope Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A has an objective lens size of 82 mm and an eyepiece with a standard zoom of 20-60x. This eyepiece is covered by a special rubber to make it more comfortable while looking through it and has an incredible eye relief and field of view.  

This scope combines a nitrogenated lens wrapped in a construction of magnesium. Its fully multicoated lenses makes it a great equipment for spotting far and mid away animals.

As we said before, the Vanguard Endeavor HD has fully multicoated optics. This feature makes this lens a perfect light transmitter. If we add to that its big lens size of 82 mm, we get a perfect and sharp image with bright colours.

This scope has also a Bak-4 prism and uses an ED lens (Extra-low Dispersion), so you can get images without chromatic aberrations. No more colour mixtures!

The quality of the lenses, its construction and disposition are very similar to the high quality spotting scopes. What is the big difference? The price: the Vanguard Endeavor HD cost less than 500$.

Vanguard Endeavor has a lens system of low dispersion (ED) and BaK4 lenses that maximize the light transmission and produce images with an optimal contrast.

This model is also equipped with a focus knob located in the center, facilitating a rapid and precise adjustment. The spotting scope body is protected and covered with rubber for a better handgrip and to avoid scratches.

If you can not wait to take pictures with this scope, you should know that the Vanguard Endeavor HD has its own and specific digiscoping adaptor for less than 40$ at Amazon.

Vanguard Endeavor HD


Tech specifications

• Name: Endeavor HD 65A

• Magnification: 20-60x Lens size: 82 mm

• Size: 320 x 120 mm

• Weight: 1810 g

• Coatings: Fully Multi Coated

• Prism: BaK4

• Optic treatment: ED (Extra Low Dispersion), HD (High Density)

• Body material: magnesium Field of view: 2.1º ~ 1.0°

• Minimum focus: 6.0 ~ 5.5 m Eye relief: 19 ~ 20 mm

• Waterproof and fogproof: 100%

• Twilight factor: 40.4 ~ 70.1

• Warranty: Lifetime



2.  Budget 2 (less than 1.000$): medium-high quality spotting scope – I want more quality but without emptying my bank account

○ Vortex Viper HD 20-60x 80mm- superior quality within a reduced price

 Vortex Viper HD

Most amateurs are willing to pay a little more to get the features and optical levels that they are looking for.

The Vortex Viper HD 20-60x 80 mm is a spotting scope that is unnoticed among the most expensive and top quality ones. The thing is, it is practically one of them but at a lower price.

Simply one of the best scopes you can buy. The Viper HD competes at the highest level of performance among the top brands. Here are some of the most notable features of this model.


The lenses are HD (High Density) and ED (Extra-low Dispersion), providing a better resolution and colour quality in the image.

The Viper model has total and complete coatings (Fully multi coated), in addition to the specific treatment (XR), that avoids light reflections and increases the income of light into the lens. The combination is perfect: versatile magnification and a luminous lens size.

In short, the quality of the lenses is perceived throughout the entire lens: no degradation in resolution or colours is found. Furthermore, the outside of the lens is protected by Armor Tek, a scratch resistant compound that also repels oil, dirt, salts and fingerprints.

Viper construction and virtues

The Vortex model has a 45º angular body construction. This form of design allows greater stability when it is windy and more comfort for extended periods of observation.

Does it rain, is it foggy or humid in the ambience? With this model the adverse weather conditions will no longer be a problem. The argon filling ensures water and humidity sealing. The versatility of this Vortex allows seeing details at different distances with a simple movement of the focus knob. The dual focus offers high accuracy in the image and prevents eyestrain during the observation.

Tech specifications

• Name: Viper HD 20-60x 80

• Magnification power: 20-60x

•Lens size: 80 mm

• weight: 1.7 kg

• Coatings: XR,  Fully Multi Coated

• Optics: ED (Extra Low Dispersion), HD (High Density)

•Minimun focus: 6.7 m

•Eye relief: 18 mm

• Waterproof and fogproof: 100% 

•Warranty: unlimited 




3.  Budget 3 (2.000-2.500$): II want to have a National Geographic quality spotting scope

○ Zeiss Victory Diascope 85 T FL 20-75x: Marry for life with the fluorite lens

If you are not a fan of Zeiss yet, you better start right now because there are often some temporary and succulent offers: prices between 2,250-2,500$ for a complete kit with scope, a case, the eyepiece and sometimes even a tripod. Can you imagine this?

zeiss diascope


Keep on reading to find out about the fabulous features of this Zeiss.

Unprecedented optics. A perfect visual experience.

Meet the perfection in nature observation: I introduce to you the Zeiss Victory Diascope 85mm FL 20-75x.

20-75x?? Yes, exactly.

This eyepiece allows an unimaginable versatility of magnification and field vision. Through the 75x zoom lens you can observe from large groups of birds in wide-angle mode to the details of an unusual animal kilometers away.

But will the image be sharp at 75x? Yes, and a thousand times yes.

This Zeiss keeps its optical quality as it does at 60x. With cheap spotting scopes, as you increase the zoom to 60x, the image stops showing details and becomes blurry. But with this scope the observation remains clear and sharp. Even some tests made by experts indicate that the image with this Zeiss at 75x zoom was more detailed than another top quality scope at 60x.

One word: perfection

But it goes on, because another part of the cake is the fluorite lens. So far this is the best feature that any lens can have (and the most expensive one).

Fluorite lenses provide spectacular images and a maximum performance level of views in the field. This type of lens minimizes chromatic aberrations, the lack of clarity and sharpness of observations, and provides rich and bright colours to the images. With these incredible light observations during low light conditions or twilight time development, nature will show you all its beauty at almost every time of the day.

Furthermore, this Zeiss has a protective layer on the lens called LotuTec, which repels water drops. With this coating of the eyepiece and objective lenses, rain and snow are no longer a problem in the field observations.

In addition to this (yes, there is more), the Diascope also has a special coating that prevents sunlight reflections, called Advanced Straylight Reduction System. This invention prevents dispersions of the light that reduces colour contrast.

More advantages 

· Hawks zoom
Zeiss Victory Diascope

A quick and accurate focus thanks to the DSF - Dual Speed Focus

Another interesting point in this scope is its Dual Speed Focus: an intuitive invention to focus. The two focus come together in a control button, so when turning slowly, the exact mode is working, while if you move the knob quickly, the focus will be calculated approximately. In short, a precise, subtle and comfortable feature.

· Resistance to scratches

The Victory Diascope‘s surface is protected by a rubber armour that is extremely resistant to scratches and bad weather conditions. The waterproof housing protects the high quality optics inside the body and its anti-slip surface makes it easy to grab them, even with gloves.

· Locking mechanism of the eyepiece

This locking mechanism prevents the eyepiece from falling while handling or carrying the scope. When it is placed on the body, the eyepiece fits perfectly with the locking mechanism, which only gets unlocked if you push consciously on a button.

· Awarded

The ZEISS Victory Diascope has been awarded with the "Red Dot Design Award". This is an award that is granted to spotting scopes for its excellence in their innovative designs.


Technical features:

• Name: ZEISS Victory DiaScope 85 T* FL

• Magnification power: 20-75x Lens size: 85 mm

• Weight: 1.5 kg 

•Large: 345 mm

•Height: 105 mm

•Width: 97 mm

•Weight:. 1.480 g  

•Optics: LotuTec

• Type of lens: Fluorite (FL)

•Minimun focus: 5 m

•Eye relief: 18 mm

• Waterproof and fogproof: 100%

Surely you could say, without any risk of mistake, that this Zeiss model is one of the best in the market of spotting scopes. It is a diamond that you can purchase on eBay with great deals from time to time. So if you want to have the "crème de la crème" in your hands, you should take a look now and then to get the best discount possible.

And you, what budget fits you? What spotting scope did you buy recently? Or which one are you craving to have in your hands?

1 reply added

  1. Yonqfum septiembre 10, 2019 Responder

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