Top Spotting Scopes under 200 Reviewed & Buying Guide
If you are looking for the best spotting scope under 200 but you’ve got no time on your hands, take just a moment to see the information included in this short paragraph. We examined various products, and, according to user reviews, and sales figures, the number one model to consider is the Celestron 52250. The 80mm lens guarantees that the image quality you will get is superior in every way. You will also appreciate that this is a waterproof model that will allow you to hunt in all sorts of weather without a glitch. A soft carrying case is included with your purchase so that you can protect your spotting scope from dirt and debris. Should the Celestron 52250 no longer be available, we want to offer an alternative, the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme, an option with almost the same amount of useful features.
Our Top Choice
The 80mm spotting scope comes with all the latest features an adventurer might need. The optics are multi-coated, which is a sign of high-quality, and it delivers a 45° viewing angle. The device can zoom up to 60 times, and the carrying case is waterproof and soft.
The one thing that bothered buyers the most is that at the maximum zoom, the image starts getting a little blurry, which is normal.
This is a heavy-duty model that won't disappoint in any weather conditions. The piece is ideal for multi-tasking, bird watching or you could take it with you as you're traveling since it is compact and light.
If quality has priority for you, this clever device should make you happy. Its innovative Porro-prism design features premium multi-coated optics, which offer crystal clear images so that viewing will be enjoyable. Plus, it is waterproof.
As a downside, keep in mind that the tripod is a bit slippery when placed on wet surfaces. If you want, you can always replace it.
You also get many accessories with it: a compact tripod, and two cases. The zoom goes up to 45x, and it features a close focus of 25 feet. It is a tool that you must pack whenever you want to go on a new adventure.
The Redfield product checks all the boxes when it comes to an all-purpose scope. It is compact and light, and it also packs many accessories that will save you money - a tripod, a case with a strap and the lens covers. Its magnification power is also impressive.
Some past customers thought the piece could have been more ergonomic, as it is not very comfortable to hold in one hand.
Besides being solidly made, the model is also high-performance. It can be useful for hunting purposes, or for leisure. The lens is scratch-resistant and provides you with both functionality and versatility.
It is not extremely difficult to get a spotting scope that performs beautifully at a decent price. While you may feel tempted to believe that you can get superior image quality and useful features, only if you are willing to shell out a lot of money, this is not true. Find out here how you can identify an affordable model with excellent performance.
Why you need variable magnification
If you read various guides on spotting scopes, you will notice that some come with fixed magnification, while others use variable magnification. A good spotting scope under 200 should come equipped with the latter, for reasons that will be explained right away.
When you go hunting, chances are that you will follow various types of wild game. Some may require you to examine them from a large distance, hence the number one reason why you should prefer a spotting scope to binoculars. Others may come close to you, and you should be able to observe them without giving away your location.
In simple words, you require variable magnification so you can be versatile while hunting. Many affordable models come with a variable magnification between 20x and 60x, which allows you to zoom in, as you see fit.
The eyepiece matters and you need to make sure that you get a good deal for your money. Some models allow you to remove the existent eyepiece and replace it with others, but this is not necessarily the norm. Aim for an eyepiece with good eye relief, if this is something that bothers you, but don’t forget that variable magnification is one of the most important features to have.
Lens diameter and coating
The lens diameter is an important feature because it will give you an idea about the image performance the spotting scope is capable of delivering. It all boils down to light gathering abilities that a larger lens possesses. The lens diameter is expressed in mm and can vary from 50mm to 100mm.
A scope cover could protect the lens against reflection, but a much better choice to avoid glare on sunny days is to pick a model that comes with multi-coated lenses. The chemicals in these coatings will ensure that you will not have to deal with chromatic aberrations. Here, the rule is simple. The more layers are applied to the lens, the better.
You might not expect multi-coated lenses to be a fixture in spotting scopes that are priced under 200. However, if you look closely, you will discover that there are options available, and not all demand a premium price. Bear in mind, however, that if you pick a large lens diameter, you will end up with a bulkier product that might not be easy to carry around.
Should you go for a compact model?
In case you intend to buy a budget monocular, you will notice that many times you can get a pretty good compact model. The same thing happens when you shop for a spotting scope that comes with a decent price tag attached. Compact models tend to be available more in this category than in more expensive price ranges.
There are definite advantages to a compact model that you cannot overlook. For starters, it will be much easier for you to carry one around, place it in your backpack, or even carry it in a coat pocket. At the same time, you will not necessarily need a tripod, as it will be easy to hold. These advantages can justify your choice.
5 Best Spotting Scopes Under 200 (Reviews) in 2019
With so many products available for sale, it can be a challenging task to just settle for one. We provide here a short list of models that have already managed to snatch consumers’ hearts.
1. Celestron 52250 Ultima Spotting Scope 45 Degrees
It is no surprise that this Celestron spotting scope makes it to the top of our list. It is conveniently priced, it comes with a fair share of extras, and its performance is well above average. In other words, you get more than what you pay for if you decide to purchase this one instead of other models.
This spotting scope comes with an 80mm lens diameter, which is ideal, as it does not make the model too bulky and difficult to use without a tripod, but it does not make it too small to be able to offer proper light gathering properties.
If you read the reviews of spotting scopes under 200 provided by various buyers, you will notice that this model name often comes up. With a 45-degree viewing angle, and variable magnification that goes as high as 60x, you will get more than decent performance for the price.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($142)
2. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope
High-quality optics may sound like something that only top of the line spotting scopes can offer, but the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme is one of those exceptions to the rule that offer hunters the possibility to get a high-performance spotting scope at the right price. This model is waterproof, durable, and its optical performance is superior.
You will find in this Bushnell spotting scope all the features that you will expect to see in a more expensive model. For instance, this one is 100% waterproof, and also fog proof, which means that the weather will not stand in your way when you want to go hunting.
The 50mm lens helps keep the model at a decent weight and size, and that means that you will be able to pack and take this spotting scope with you wherever you go. The rubber armor that covers the body provides excellent grip and it also protects the spotting scope against shocks.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($309.43)
3. Redfield Rampage Straight Eyepiece Spotting Scope
The Redfield Rampage comes with a straight eyepiece and it offers outstanding advantages for a model in its price category. The lens size, for instance, is 60mm, and it manages to gather and filter light properly, so that it can provide you with bright images with a high amount of details.
You will be more than pleased with everything you will get in the box with your purchase. Besides the spotting scope, you will also get a tripod – which many manufacturers don’t usually include –, a carrying case, and lens covers that will help keeping dirt and debris at bay when the scope is not in use.
This spotting scope is very portable, and its variable magnification is reliable. You can now aim at high-distance targets, as you will be able to bring everything close to you. The model is waterproof, another great plus, for those times when you want to go hunting in rainy weather.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($188.99)
4. Meade Instruments Wilderness Spotting Scope
If you want a good quality model, you should aim for a Meade Instruments spotting scope, like this one. Its list of specs is enough reason to consider making a purchase. The magnification power goes from 20x to 60x, and the highly reliable Porro prism construction will stand plenty of usage without a glitch.
A simple look at this model will tell you that it is built for durability. The rubber armor will protect the spotting scope from shocks and will provide a good grip to minimize the risk of accidents. Equipped with a large diameter lens, this one is capable of providing you with excellent image quality.
You will get some nice extras with your purchase, as well. The soft case will protect your spotting scope from debris and dirt when you don’t use it, while the camera adapter can turn it from a hunting spotting scope to an aid for photography.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($150.26)
5. Barska Blackhawk Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod
The Barska Blackhawk Spotter is an angled model that will allow you to bring images of the prey you want to hunt closer to your eyes. You will appreciate having multi-coated optics in this spotting scope, as that will provide superior image quality, on par with what you would normally see in more expensive models.
The shock-absorbing rubber armor will prevent any accidents, while the sunshade that is delivered with the product will reduce glare. You will receive a sight tube, as well, which will help you with quick targeting. All these extras only come to complete a product with excellent performance, and this is the one thing you should remember.
The model is waterproof, and it resists fog, as well. Two cases, one hard and one soft, are provided, too, and the nicest part is that you will also get a tripod. If you want a model that comes with all the needed accessories, this one should be included in your list.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($127.79)