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5 Best Spotting Scopes For [DIGISCOPING]

Digiscoping with Kowa TSN-774

The Best Spotting Scopes For Digiscoping: Complete Guide

Remember that falcon you saw diving from the sky at 60 miles per hour during your last vacation? You tried to snag a picture with your camera, but it was too far away to get a good picture. There has to be away to bring home quality pictures of amazing sights without having to drag around a professional array of photography equipment.

Good news! Thanks to digiscoping technology, you can record the breathtaking vistas and exotic animals you encounter during your many adventures.

Digiscoping is using a spotting scope, typically used in shooting or wildlife observation, and using a specialized attachment that allows a camera to mount to the eyepiece. The advantage of using a spotting scope to capture photos and videos is a light and quick method to get in close to capture amazing photos.

Spotting scopes use a combination of magnification, coated lenses, light and durable materials, and tripod mounting to increase the capabilities of both your digital camera, and your smart phone. This guide reviews the best spotting scopes that can be used for digiscoping. Scopes like the Gosky 20-60X 80 porro prism spotting scope are a great choice to capture your memories.

Our Top Five Spotting Scopes For Digiscoping

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope-...
landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof...
Sale SVBONY Spotting Scope Telescope 25-75x70mm Bird...
Sale Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
Sale Gosky HD 15-45X60 Spotting Scope - Waterproof...

What You Need to Consider When Buying Spotting Scope For Digiscoping?

#1 Magnification

The magnification power of a spotting scope refers to how much closer an animal looks than it actually is. Magnification is generally expressed in a range, and can be either fixer or variable. We have selected scopes that have variable magnification, because it makes them more versatile.

In general, spotting scopes should have a magnification range between 15 and 20 times, and are represented by the marker “number-numberX.” For example, the Gosky has a magnification range of 20-60x, which means it will make the cougar like 20 to 60 times closer than it actually is.

#2 Close Focus Distance

Along with magnification, a good scope should allow to capture pictures of animals that aren’t miles away. Often when spotting smaller animals, like birds or rabbits, you can be a little closer. The close focus distance will allow you to get a beautiful view of closer animals without having a blurry image. Close focus distance for a scope is good if it can give you clarity at less than 20 feet.

Close Focus Disctance On Spotting Scope

#3 Lens Coating

What makes spotting scopes great for photography and digiscoping are the specially coated lenses. The coatings in the lenses allow the scope to transfer more light from what you are looking at to your mounted camera, while simultaneously reducing glare. The result is brighter and more colorful images.

For the best result, you want to look for scopes that have fully multi-coated lenses. The fully multi-coated lenses mean that each lens in the scope has multiple coatings that give consistent performance in both the objective (forward facing) lens, and the eyepiece lens.

Lens Coating For Neutral Light Density Filtration

#4 Objective Lens Size

The front lens on your scope is called the objective lens, and it is one of the most important parts of your scope for digiscoping. A larger objective lens allows the scope to intake more light, and more light equals brighter, naturally colored pictures.

While you sacrifice extra weight with a bigger objective, you want to stick to a lens that is at least 60mm. Any smaller, and you lose too much light through the scope. The little extra weight is a worthwhile sacrifice to ensure you get ample light for your pictures.

Spotting Scope Objective Lens

#5 Tripod Mounting

One of the most important features of a spotting scope it the ability for the scope to rest on a tripod. Novice and experienced photographers alike know how difficult it can be to get a blur-free picture when using magnification.

To be counted among the best for digiscoping, a scope needs to be capable of mounting to a tri-pod to provide perfect stabilization to catch the perfect shots.

Nikon Digiscoping Spotting Scope On Tripod

 

Reviews of Best Spotting Scopes for Digiscoping


1. Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope Review – TOP PICK

Waterproof scope for bird watching and target shooting


Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope
Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism – image credit gosky-optics.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

+ Magnification: 20-60x

+ Lens coating: fully multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 80mm

+ Close focus: 19 feet (6m)

Topping the list of best spotting scopes for digiscoping is the Gosky Porro Prism scope. This scope is one of the best all-around scopes in its class thanks to the combination of features that work in harmony to create an easy to use and consistent piece of hardware.

The Gosky is designed specifically with animal watching in mind, and comes with an included digiscoping adapter that allows you to mount your smartphone quickly. The fully multi-coated lenses ward away glare from bright sunlight, while the 80mm objective lens lets enough light in to bring vivid colors to the photos you take with this scope.

The magnification range of the Gosky is a variable 20 to 60 times, and has a smooth zoom to allow you to get a closer view of your subject without losing them in the lens. Drop this scope onto a tripod to give yourself the best opportunity to catch one-of-a-kind photos.

Related tip — I suggest the Gosky Heavy Duty TripodYou can also pick up a standard tripod like the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod will provide an easy to carry, yet effective solution to the tripod weakness.

Pros:

  • 19 foot (6m) close focus range.
  • Lightweight only 2.7 pounds.
  • Waterproof and rainproof.
  • 365 free exchange warranty.

Cons:

  • You will definitely need a better tripod.

 

 

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope-...
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Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope-...
  • Fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens,...
  • Variable 20x to 60x magnification and dynamic lens...
  • Durable Magnalium Framework and Rubber Armor - Its...

 


2. Landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope Review

Waterproof scope for bird watching and target Shooting


landove 20-60x 80 prism spotting scope
Landove 20-60x 80 Prism Spotting Scope – image credit mokeyinternational.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

+ Magnification: 20-60x

+ Lens coating: fully multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 80mm

+ Close focus: 19 feet (6m)

The Landove spotting scope is a great go-to option if you are looking at getting into digiscoping thanks to the large 80mm objective lens and full multi-coating. The result is crisp and bright images you can easily capture with the included digiscoping smartphone adapter.

Capture close up shots down to 19 feet (6m), and have the ability to go long range with the 20 to 60 times magnification capability.

The body of the Landove scope is built to travel, and perform in all weather conditions. A nitrogen filled solid metal frame is sealed against the elements, and coated in a durable rubber armor to keep this scope safe and ready on perfect sunny days, or even in a downpour.

Related tip — to give the Landove a little more versatility, try picking up the Landove spotting scope camera adapter that will allow you to bring a more powerful camera to the digiscoping game.

Pros:

  • Easy to use smartphone adapter.
  • Strong and durable build.
  • Crisp and bright view.
  • Easy to maintain subject while zooming.

Cons:

  • Only comes with a table top tripod that is flimsy.

 

 

landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof...
56 Reviews
landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof...
  • Fully coated optics; Fully multi-coated 80mm green...
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  • 100-percent waterproof and fogproof; tabletop...

 


3. SVBONY 25-75×70 Bak4 Prism Spotting Scope  Review

Entry level spotting scope


SVBONY Spotting Scope
SVBONY 25-75×70 Bak4 Prism Spotting Scope – image credit svbony.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

+ Magnification: 25-75X

+ Lens coating: fully multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 70mm

+ Close focus: 16 feet (5m)

The SVBONY spotting scope is a great entry level spotting scope for someone new to the hobby that wants to start out with a budget option. You won’t get the same performance as some of the other scopes on the list, but you still will get a solid spotting scope to introduce yourself to digiscoping.

SVBONY has a 75mm fully multi-coated lens that does a good job of allowing light into the scope, while reducing glare and maintaining color. With a 26 foot (8m) close focus, you can’t get the clos in shots with this scope, but it has a wide variable magnification of 25-75X, letting you get even closer to that bear out in the meadow.

Strap on the included smartphone adapter, and you have yourself a memory capturing set-up that is sure to impress your friends and family.

Related tip — Consider upgrading the tripod with the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod.

Pros:

  • Very light weight.
  • Comfortable to hold, and durable construction.
  • Easy to use smartphone adapter.
  • Sunshade to protect from sun and rain.

Cons:

  • Higher magnification isn’t as crisp.
  • Needs a better tripod.

 

Sale
SVBONY Spotting Scope Telescope 25-75x70mm Bird...
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SVBONY Spotting Scope Telescope 25-75x70mm Bird...
  • zoom scope 25-75x variable zoom magnification;the...
  • 70mm large objective lens bird scope for shooting...
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4. Celestron Ultima 52250 Spotting Scope Review

High powered scope


Celestron Ultima 52250 Spotting Scope
Celestron Ultima 52250 Spotting Scope – image credit celestron.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

+ Magnification: 20-60x

+ Lens coating: multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 80mm

+ Close focus: 27 feet (8m)

A 45-degree eyepiece greets you as you step up to the Celestron Ultima. This popular eyepiece angle is a great comfort if you have the scope mounted, because you don’t have to bend or crouch to look into the eyepiece. When digiscoping, the Ultima’s eyepiece makes it easy to see the screen of your camera from a standing position.

An 80mm objective lens is multi-coated to reduce glare, and is large enough to allow ample light flow through the body of the scope. You can quickly dial in on your subject from as close as 27 feet (8m), or as far as your eyes can see. A magnification of 20-60X makes all of the far away beauty feel like it is within arm’s reach.

Related tip — this scope doesn’t come with a digiscoping kit, but you can add the Gosky Universal Cell Phone Mount to turn this high powered scope into a strong and functional scope for taking pictures.

Pros:

  • Bright light transmission.
  • Easy to maintain target while zooming.
  • Brilliant color at 20x magnification.
  • Strong, waterproof casing.

Cons:

  • Lens can add blue color to fringe at high magnification.
  • Doesn’t come with a tripod.

 

Sale
Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
673 Reviews
Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
  • 80 mm Refractor Spotting Scope
  • Multi-Coated optics
  • 45° viewing angle. 20-60x zoom eyepiece

 


5. Moutec 15-45X60 Spotting Scope Review

Single streamlined scope


Sale
Gosky HD 15-45X60 Spotting Scope - Waterproof...
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Gosky HD 15-45X60 Spotting Scope - Waterproof...
  • This compact and powerful spotting scope is fully...
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+ Magnification: 15-45X

+ Lens coating: fully multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 60mm

+ Close focus: 27 feet (8m)

Wrapping up the list is the Moutec spotting scope. This scope is a little different than the other on the list due to its direct eyepiece that makes this scope a single streamlined scope (similar to what you would see on a rifle, but much larger).

The straight on design makes the scope a little easier to aim, since it is aligned with the direction your eye is facing, but it can also be tougher to use with a shorter tripod, since you have to bend and crouch to get a good view through the eyepiece.

Thankfully, this scope is still good for digiscoping that takes some of the bend out of looking through the 60mm objective lens. The lenses are also fully-multi-coated, so you still get the benefit of reduced glare and enhanced color. Getting up close is easy with the 16 foot (5m) close focus distance and the variable 15 to 45 times magnification.

Pros:

  • Durable build.
  • Easy to use smartphone digiscoping adapter.
  • Great for observing wildlife

Cons:

  • Smaller objective lens.
  • Blurry at high magnification.

Digiscoping Adapters

If you already have a quality scope, and are looking into digiscoping you are in luck. While most of the scopes on the list come with an adapter, there are plenty of other options to adapt your current scope. Options such as the Gosky Universal Cell Phone Adapter Mount, will allow you to turn almost any magnification scope into a digiscoping platform for your smart phone. Using one of the cell phone adapters lets you instantly record, and share, all of the amazing sights you encounter while out exploring the wilderness.

For those of you who would prefer to use a camera that is better suited for photography than a cell phone, you can also get your hands on adapters that will allow you to mount digital cameras, DSLR cameras,

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and even the classic film cameras. The Solomark Universal Deluxe Clickstop Slr/dslr Camera Adapter and the Gosky Classical Digiscoping Camera Adapter give you the option to connect just about any type of camera you want to your spotting scope.

These adapters will even allow you to hook in a video camera to capture high definition video of the pod of dolphins leaping through the water on your next cruise.

I recommend going for this style, because the digital camera adapters will also work with your smartphone, making this a one and done option for digiscoping.


Digiscoping awaits you

If you want to take your photography to the next level, then digiscoping is the hobby for you. Getting in close to rare and exotic animals, or capturing the beautiful plumage of the bird in your backyard are within easy reach when you strap your favorite camera to a quality spotting scope.

— More Readings: Best Spotting Scopes for 1000-Yards

Giving close attention to the Gosky porro prism scope will set you on the right path to your new digiscoping lifestyle. My final recommendation would be to upgrade your tripod. Spotting scopes come with table top tripods, but for digiscoping, I would advice to get a collapsible tripod that can reach up to above 50 inches to give you more portability without having to crouch to get your favorite shot.

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