Top 3 Premium Spotting Scopes under $200

Premium Spotting Scopes under $200 in 2019 banner

Spotting scopes are one incredible piece of technology that makes farther objects look closer to the eye. While it can be literally used for anything, the purpose of your spotting scope and budget will determine which model to buy. The premium range spotting scope used to be very expensive in the past but thanks to the evolution in technology, the prices are going down. Today you can buy premium-spotting scopes under $200 but you need to consider a few things.

Product

Name

Product

Price

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens

BARSKA Blackhawk Spotter with Hard Case

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Celestron Ultima 80 20 to 60x80 Straight Spotting Scope

80 mm Refractor Spotting Scope

When buying a spotting scope, one of the first things you need to consider is what you need it for. Do you want the device for watching birds, target shooting, or seeing a musician at the concert? You must also have a budget in your mind that says how much you are willing to spend on the device. With so many different options and models, it can be sometimes difficult to say why a device is four times more expensive than the other.

One of the most important things to consider is whether you need a straight or angled spotting scope. For a straight device, the eyepiece and body lie on the same optical plane allowing you to look in a straight line to the intended subject. In the angled spotting scope, the eyepiece is located at a 45-degree angle to the body. The angled-style works great when you need to use the scope in a sitting or lying position.

The spotting scopes typically have three numbers, the first two refers to the magnification range while the third one indicates the front lens. The larger size lens is capable of providing a more detailed image and the one with higher magnification range will let you use the device for a broader range of subjects. Ultimately, when buying spotting scopes, you can find a plethora of options or ‘scopes’. We have compiled the top 3 premium spotting scopes under $200 in 2019 to make your buying decision easier.

#1. Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Do you want a scope to help you leave no chance at spotting the rarest birds and hitting the target with precision? You need a technically equipped device such as the Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism that comes with a multi-coated 80mm objective lens and eyepiece with a high-quality prism inside. With perfect alignment, this spotting scope aims at making your views brighter, clearer, and crisper.

This spotting scope by Gosky comes with variable magnification and dynamic lens that makes it easier to zoom in the targets. It is designed specifically for watching wildlife, spotting birds, and making the distant objects look clearer. The rubber armor and durable magnalium framework provide tight-fitting protection to make it usable in all weather conditions. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

PROS
  • Made of durable material, the framework is expected to last for long. The rubber armor protection and shock-absorbing quality further add more years to the device.
  • The device boasts a waterproof design with sealing property to ensure that water does not seep inside. You can use it in different weather conditions, which is an added benefit.
  • The product comes with useful accessories such as a cleaning cloth, carrying case, eyepiece and lens covers, and handy straps for easily carrying it.
  • You get a metal table tripod with the product so you can easily keep it on the window base. It also includes a digiscoping adapter to see the distant objects clearly.
  • A happy customer points out that the device costs 1/20th of a top tier scope and the performance is brilliant for the price.
CONS
  • The full zoom quality is poor but if you want to shoot an animal, you can easily locate it. At this price, 100% clarity is an unrealistic demand.
  • There’s a carrying case that comes with the device but it looks poor quality. It can easily tear down with use.
  • The tripod is short and meant for table use. However, it does its job well in helping you adjust the scope to get optimal visibility.
Summary

The Gosky spotting scope is well designed and has everything you need for target shooting, archery, bird watching, and moon observation. The adjustable angle and additional accessories make it a decent choice for people who need a scope better than the beginner level but less than the high-end professional scopes. A good buy.

Barska is a leading brand of precision sports optics, binoculars, riflescopes, and similar products. The company is committed to delivering superior quality products at an affordable rate. BARSKA’s Blackhawk Spotter features a multi-coated optics with a large-sized objective lens and variable magnification. It comes with a well-design sight tube, glare-reducing sunshade for easy viewing, and shock absorbing armor for enhanced protection.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced spotting scope to help you practice for a rifle competition, this is a good option. The product comes with a case but it is too fragile to last long. The tripod is also too lightweight to provide a stable base for viewing. Performance wise, BARSKA Blackhawk Spotter delivers decently and you can easily read bumper stickers at 300-400 yards.

PROS
  • The glare-reducing sunshade is extendable and it provides relief to the eye. Customers have commented that they can use this sighting scope for hours without feeling exhausted.
  • The distant images look bright and clear up to 100 yards and beyond. You can also adjust the focus to further improve the pictures.
  • The magnification works well for shooting targets at rifle competition and even at the lowest magnification, you get decent performance.
  • Many users have confirmed that the eye relief is better for this model. You don’t have to tickle the lenses with your eyelashes to get a better view.
  • The customer support is responsive and friendly. Many customers said that the customer service team was competent enough to immediately resolve their issues.
CONS
  • The devices come with a pretty case but it is too fragile. It usually wears out after some time and you need to buy a case separately.
  • The lens cap at the front is friction fit and falls off easily. The rear end cap, on the other hand, is excellent as it is securely threaded. 
  • The higher magnification powers do not deliver good results. With 60x magnification, you cannot see targets at 300 yards.
Summary

In several aspects, BARSKA Blackhawk delivers better than other spotting scopes in this price range. Like other inexpensive devices, you don’t get eye relief for higher magnification but that is understood. The device does a good job at bird watching, animal sighting, archery, and shooting. Overall, I feel it’s a good scope for those who are happy with lower magnification and good visibility at 300-400 yards.

The professional look of this straight spotting scope from the house of Celestron makes it a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts. The Ultima series is highly praised for its ability to deliver crisp and clear images for long-distance viewing or observing nature. The armored and rugged exterior gives you advanced protection against rough use on the field. With 50% brighter and better images from the 65mm aperture, this 80mm refractor offers multi-coated optics in a portable and durable design.

The Celestron 80 is designed in a way to perform well in a wide range of viewing situations, making it a versatile spotting instrument. As the device is waterproof in nature, you may also use it to observe nature and long distance sights in different weather conditions. Furthermore, the rubber optical tube allows subtle observation in different environments.

PROS
  • The fully multi-coated lenses give you a high level of light transmission to enable you to enjoy brighter and better images even in dim light conditions.
  • The Ultima scope is filled with dry nitrogen gas so you can safely venture out in foggy weather without worrying about damaging your lenses.
  • A large focus dial allows you to bring the subject in razor-sharp focus quickly before it moves away. It is useful in spotting wild animals.
  • With a T-mount adapter, you can attach your DSLR camera to the spotting scope. It lets you take some incredible images.
  • At this price, you get a good bang for your bucks. Although inexpensive, it is made of durable materials and is built to last.
CONS
  • The picture quality decreases dramatically as you increase the magnification. Although the decrease is expected, it’s too rapid in this case.
  • There is no shade on the objective lenses. Customers who have used the device are disappointed by the lack of eye relief. 
  • It comes with a cheap nylon carrying case, however, it is non-padded and cannot provide good protection to your optics in case of a drop.

Summary

Celestron Ultima spotting scope is an all-around optic instrument that you can use for observing nature and long distance spotting. It is a great piece of instrument for both indoor and outdoor sports enthusiasts. The performance may not be at par with the high-end spotting scopes, but nevertheless, it delivers a good performance.

The Final Words

If you are looking for premium range posting scopes, you can expect to find multi-coated and waterproof lenses. Most of them perform well in lower magnification, but as you increase the magnification level, the picture quality decreases considerably.

Take your pick wisely depending on whether you plan to use it for observing nature, spotting wildlife, or shooting the target.

featured photo: Mat Che Griffon vulture
(Last Updated On: November 25, 2021)
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Andrew Garfield
 

Andrew is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He has years of experience in hunting with expert knowledge in hunting tactics, rifle scopes and all types of hunting gear.

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