Your Best Spotting Scope For 500 Yards
“Where did that hit?”
“I don’t know, the target is 500 yards away”
If you have ever had this conversation, you know the wonderful blessing a good spotting scope can provide on a shooting day. A good spotting scope will allow you to dial in your aim, and check down range to see where your shots are actually hitting.
If you aren’t a shooter, a good spotting scope is a great tool to take with you for animal watching. They are a favorite tool for wildlife enthusiasts that want to get a good view of birds, deer, bears, and more without being so close that you scare them away. Spotting scopes offer more magnification options than a pair of binoculars to get in tight to see an individual bird in a flock of thousands.
The best spotting scope for 500 yards will combine quality optics, a comfortable eyepiece, magnification, lens size, and field of view to provide a clear image of the target or the antlers of a 12-point buck grazing in a meadow.
One of the best performers is the Emarth 20-60×60 spotting scope. Emarth has made a spotting scope that is a well rounded mix of lens size, field of view, and portability. You can take the Emarth almost anywhere, and have a beautiful view whether you are viewing wild-life, hunting, or target shooting.
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Features To Spot In Your New Scope
The optics in a spotting scope refers to the ability of the scope to magnify the apparent size of your target. For example, if a scope has a specification of 20-60X 80, that means that the scope will make your target look 20 to 60 times closer that it would with the naked eye.
According to Bass Pro Shops, “All spotting scopes are either fixed-power or variable-power. Fixed models are permanently set at a given level of magnification, while variables can be adjusted within their set range.” The benefit of the variable scope magnification is that it lets you customize your view range. The best scopes will provide magnification between 12 and 60 times.
After the “X” in the specification is the number that refers to the size of the lens facing the target, called the objective lens. The larger the objective lens, the more light will flow into the scope to give you a brighter image. In general, a lens size of between 50 and 100 millimeters is ideal for spotting scopes.
The downside of larger lenses is that they make the scope larger and heavier, so if you are packing the scope into the wilds for hunting or wildlife viewing, you will have to sacrifice the extra weight.
The position and angle of the eyepiece is another important consideration. There are two typical configurations; a straight on angle, and a 45-degree angle. The 45-degree angle eye-piece offers a more natural view, and is easier to access when using a tripod. You don’t have to bend or squat to look through the scope.
FIELD OF VIEW
The field of view is how much area you can see left to right when looking through the scope. The wider the field of view the better, especially for surveying wildlife that doesn’t sit still. The field of view is measured by the visual field at 1000 yards. The best spotting scopes have a field of view of at least 39 meters at low magnification, and 18 meters at high magnification.
Lining Up The Best Spotting Scopes For 500 Yards
1. Emarth 20-60×60 Spotting Scope Review – TOP PICK
Waterproof, angled with Tripod
Lens Size: 60mm
Field of view: 127-62 feet
The Emarth spotting scope is the best all around scope that I found through my research. At only 1.5 pounds, this scope is easy to pack almost anywhere and everywhere you decide to adventure. The weight also makes it easy to hold steady when in areas where setting up the tripod is less than ideal.
The lens is fully multi-coated with chemical coatings that reduce the amount of glare and distortion from bright lights entering the lens and hitting your eye. The result is a clear image that doesn’t leave out the small details, like scoring on a target, or the size of the bear you are looking to bring home.
The objective lens size is 60mm, which is large enough to let light in, but helps it maintain its light weight.
Terminating in a 45-degree eyepiece, the Emarth spotting scope offers a field of view of 39 meters at 20x magnification, and 19 meters at 60x magnification. At 500 yards out, this field of view is more than enough to spot moving animals with power and detail to pick out individuals in a group, or to easily identify when your shots hit when target shooting.
Dialing in the sights on your rifle is made easier using the Emarth spotting scope, especially when paired with the Caldwell DeadShot bag combo to steady your rifle barrel.
The Best Features
The weight to performance ratio in the Emarth is pleasingly high. Usually when you pick up something this light weight, you expect it to be flimsy and a let-down. However, the bright image, and 60x magnification make reaching 500 yards easy.
The 45-degree eyepiece that allows you to sit comfortably on a chair while the scope sits on its tripod. While the tripod isn’t great, it is stable enough to support the tripod on a flat surface. Using them together, you can comfortably track your shots down range. Out in nature, tracking wildlife is smooth thanks to the wild field of view.
The only issue is with the tripod, while it is good enough for stable use, anytime you try to use it in uneven surfaces, or in windy conditions, it seems to struggle and threatens falling down. The Emarth is designed for portability, but it would have been nice to have a tripod that is more durable, and can extend a little taller as well so you can use the tripod while standing.
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2. Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope Review – Best Seller
Waterproof scope for bird watching and target shooting
Lens Size: 80mm
Field of view: 114-55 feet
The Gosky spotting scope uses fully multi-coated lenses that provide glare and distortion protection for each of the lenses in the scope. This helps the 80mm objective lens stave of glare from bright sunlight that is often a frequent presence when shooting or wildlife viewing. The eyepiece is a 45-degree configuration that you can rotate left or right so you can look into the eyepiece from angles other than the top.
The weight of the Gosky scope is about 2.7 pounds, which still isn’t bad for the size, but it almost guarantees that you have to use a tripod. The weight allows the scope to handle the larger 80mm objective lens that allows more than ample amount of light into the scope, and produce crisp images at the 500 yard range.
The weight of the scope is also found in the Gosky’s waterproof casing that is made from a magnalium frame and covered in thick rubber armor. The covering makes the weight more forgivable, as it provides good protection against bumps and falls while packing this scope out into the forests and across the fields to find remarkable wildlife.
The Best Features
The rubber armor in the body is makes the scope feel indestructible, though I don’t recommend running over it with a car or anything crazy like that. That feel translates well into the use of the scope while out and about. Adjusting the magnification is smooth and easy, which let me maintain acquired targets while zooming.
The Gosky spotting scope is very bright thanks to the 80mm objective lens. When pointed down range, the scope provides a very clear and luminous image. The rotatable eyepiece is a nice touch that allows you to identify what you are looking at with almost no difficulty in identifying your target.
The problem with the Gosky is that the tripod is pretty much guaranteed to need replacement. Even Gosky recommends upgrading to a better tripod in their product documents.
Picking up a standard tripod like the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod will provide an easy to carry, yet effective solution to the tripod weakness.
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3. Landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope Review
Waterproof scope for bird watching and target Shooting
Lens Size: 80mm
Field of view: 88-52 feet
The eyepiece of the Landove spotting scope is adjustable to provide an increased level of clarity and comfort when sighting targets of distances up to and beyond 500 yards. By reducing stray light and adjusting the zoom in the eyepiece you can enhance the clarity of the images in the scope. Plus, the Landove spotting scope comes with a digiscoping adapter that allows you to use a phone to record video or images of your views downrange.
The build of the Landove is designed to make the scope usable in almost any situation due to a body that is waterproof, fogproof, and cable of withstanding drops and falls without causing damage to the lenses of the scope.
The 80mm lens draws in the light you need to create brilliant images with a zoom range of 20X to 80X. The field of view is 27 meters at 20X zoom, and 16 meters at 60x, so not at the top of the range, but still effective enough to provide consistent target acquisition.
The Best Features
One of the best features of the Landove is the digiscoping adapter that allows you to capture and record images. This is useful when wildlife watching, but also while target shooting your are able to use it to record and analyze your shot grouping. This helps dial in the scope of your rifle to quickly increase your long-range accuracy.
You can get the most out of this feature with Landove’s spotting scope camera adapter for DSLR cameras.
The only issue I really found conducting my research was the scope’s lower field of view makes tracking faster moving animals tough to maintain.You can hold on at the lower zoom, but at higher ranges you may have a harder time tracking your targets.
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4. Authentic Roxant Blackbird Spotting Scope Review
High definition + BAK4 Prism
Lens Size: 50mm
Field of view: 170-85 feet
A 50mm objective lens gives the Roxant Blackbird spotting scope the ability to create brilliant light. Even though it is in the bottom of our objective lens threshold, it provides a bright enough image for the 12X-36X magnification range.
The Blackbird is a great option to take out into the field since it is less than 2 pounds in weight. The light is transmitted through a high quality BAK4 prism to maintain image crispness and brightness, even at the higher magnification ranges.
Due to the prism and lower magnification, the Roxant Blackbird has a high field of view that reaches up to 52 meters at 12X zoom, and 26 meters at 36X zoom. You don’t get the high detail at those ranges, but it is much easier to track large flocks of birds or moving animals.
When shooting at long ranges, adding the Splatterburst Target will overcome the lower magnification by giving a bright fluorescent yellow mark where you hit the target.
The Best Features
On the range, tracking game at ranges up to 500 yards is easy and fluid. The lighter weight makes the Blackbird easy to toss into a pack and carry across the expanses of the wild. The 45-degree viewing angle on the scope is comfortable to use, and even on the range the Roxant is able to pick up where you hit the target.
The significant issue when using the Roxant is mostly with the adjustment of the eyepiece. It can be difficult to maintain a target while adjusting the aim and the eyepiece.
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Scoping Out The Options
When it comes to finding the best spotting scope for 500 yards, the combination of a greater than 50mm objective lens, a 45-degree comfortable eyepiece, variable magnification range, and a field of view over 25 meters will give you reliable spotting scope for use on the range or in the wild.
For the best all around option, be sure to check out the Emarth 20-60×60 Spotting Scope. This scope will provide you with the best mix of features in a lightweight, yet powerful scope.