Admittedly, spotting scopes are relatively difficult to understand and wrap one’s mind around – especially when the person is a beginner.
Even the most comprehensive guides may fail to simplify the product. Having said that, novice buyers usually face great confusion when it comes to angled vs straight spotting scope.
We have designed the following guide to give you the answer to all of your questions.
Starting from definition to differentiate between and product recommendations – this guide has it all.
This complete guide will help you make an educated choice between angled scopes and straight scopes.
Angled vs. Straight Spotting Scope Comparison in 2021
Angled Spotting Scope
Angled spotting scopes have an adjustable viewing angle. Each model can be adjusted through a range of angles to get to the viewer’s preferred angle.
Such spotting scopes are very versatile too. Angled scopes are also easier on the neck as the angle makes it easier to look upwards.
When placed on a tripod, people of varying heights can use an angled spotting scope with equal ease as they can easily adjust the viewing angle.
Additionally, this type of scope can be used just as comfortably even when the user is lying down or seated.
Being adjustable makes them great for bird watching, birding, hunting, or casual astronomy.
Admittedly, angled spotting scopes take a bit more experience as the user needs to be swift in changing angles and possibly switching to a straight scope for the best views.
Suggested Guide: FFP vs SFP Riflescopes
Recommended Angled Spotting Scope to Buy
For those looking to purchase angled spotting scopes, we have three of the best models to keep in your list of considerations.
Celestron – Ultima 100 Angled Spotting Scope
We are starting this list off with an incredible multi-coating spotting scope that comes from one of the most popular manufacturers in the game.
With four different levels of adjustment ranging from 22X to 60X, this spotting scope can also be used for activities like stargazing on clear nights. And as you know, we love versatile products!
The scope offers a view that’s sharper, more colorful, and brighter than all other scopes from the same line of products.
This is made possible by coating the lens several times with anti-reflective materials. The coating also makes these optical components more durable.
Performance is also enhanced in low light conditions thanks to the 100 mm objective lens and large aperture, which allows more light in.
As for zooming, the manufacturer’s large focus dial makes it possible to zero in on any object with extreme precision and get an incredibly sharp view.
In addition to all of these features, the spotting scope is also fog proof and waterproof.
Furthermore, an eye relief of 18 mm makes this comfortable to use for everyone, including those who wear prescription glasses.
Your purchase of this scope will also come complete with a tripod-mounted plate, eyepiece lens cap, lens scope, eyepiece pouch, and zoom eyepiece, and so on.
Weighing in at approximately 20 pounds, this angled spotting scope offers great value for money, quality, and functionality.
SVBONY SV46 Spotting Scope
If you are looking for an angled spotting scope that will last you years, through the harshest of weather conditions but does not burn a hole in your pocket, your search ends here.
The next product is completely resistant to extreme temperatures, humidity, rainfall, and snowfall, making it one of the most durable picks you can make.
This spotting scope can even survive being underwater for up to 30 minutes.
It even serves you perfectly well on foggy days as the unit is completely fog proof and equipped to deliver the best image even in the fog.
Multiple layers of green film on the lens help protect it from debris or dust and deliver clear images every time.
Keeping ergonomics in mind, the eyepiece is angled 45 degrees, which is a comfortable viewing angle for most people.
However, the knob can be used to adjust the viewing angle for up to 90 degrees.
Magnification or zoom can be done at increments between 20x and 60x, which is on par with the industry average.
After zooming, you can also use the dual focus feature to improve the image quality.
The quick focus wheel improves image quality as fast as possible, whereas the slow focusing wheel gives you more control and helps make the image more crisp and precise. With this product, you can get great images every time!
This model can also be bought along with the manufacturer’s sturdy, high-quality tripod.
Archery, bird watching, hunting, and several other activities become easy and exciting with this angled spotting scope, which also comes at a very reasonable price!
Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope
The last angled spotting scope on our list is far from being the least. This reasonably priced and budget-friendly model comes with several features that can easily rival high-end spotting scopes.
As the product is 100% fog and waterproof, you can take it outdoors on the roughest of hunting trips completely worry-free.
With a rubber-armored magnesium body, the construction of this spotting scope is incredibly durable.
Additionally, the scope is designed ergonomically, making prolonged use strain-free.
The eyepiece is detachable, and the eyecup is made from soft rubber, making it comfortable and abrasion-free for the sensitive eye area.
Adjustments can be made quickly and efficiently with this angled spotting scope thanks to the dual focus controls.
Coated multiple times with anti-reflective compounds, the lens fights glare and promotes optimal light transmission. As a result, you get a crystal clear view every single time.
This unit also features a built-in sunshade, which ensures that glare and flare from direct sunlight do not hamper the quality of your view.
Additionally, a dual focus feature allows you to fine-tune zoomed images. Two types of wheels, fine and coarse, let you make the image and sharp as you wish for it to be.
Images are also made sharper and clearer with the manufacturer’s extra-low dispersion glass and BAK4 roof prism.
These two features help fight color fringing to make your view perfect. Altogether, this is a great angled scope for beginners.
It offers great features and even better value for money, making it a favorite!
Straight Spotting Scope
As you may already know, spotting scopes also come in straight variants. These scopes do not have any option to adjust the viewing angle, which is the primary distinction from angled spotting scopes.
Straight scopes do not require any fiddling around – they are straightforward and easy to use.
Due to the viewing angle being straight, or at 180 degrees to the rest of the scope, the eyepiece on straight scopes is more likely to stay protected from snowfall or rainfall.
If that is a feature you are actively seeking in your purchase, straight spotting scopes are the way to go.
Straight scopes are also quicker at bringing your target into view. As there is no adjustment needed, it is quite straightforward.
However, since the viewing angle is fixed, you may have to adjust the tripod itself accordingly.
Recommended Straight Spotting Scope to Buy
Here are our top three straight spotting scopes! Let’s take a look at the specs and features that make them our favorites.
Athlon Talos 20-60×80 Spotter Scope
To kick off the list, we are recommending a model that’s suitable for shooting, hunting, birdwatching, sky gazing, and so much more.
What makes this scope special is that it is compatible with regular camera tripods, eliminating the need to purchase additional mounting equipment.
To make long-range observation even better, the mounting ring also rotates, allowing you to view your target at any angle you want.
This way, you do not have to spend time and energy unmounting and remounting the equipment every time you want to switch up your angle.
The optical parts are also multi-coated, ensuring optimum light transmission.
This enhances the brightness and contrast of the image at every magnification and helps prevent color separation as well.
Flare and reflection are also prevented by the extendable sunshade that is inbuilt into the scope.
In terms of durability, the product is completely waterproof. This is made possible by nitrogen purging with keeps the internal portion of the spotting scope completely dry.
As a result, water cannot enter and damage the unit internally. Nitrogen also promoted thermal stability.
A tabletop tripod as well as a soft carry case will be included with your purchase. You do not need to purchase any additional basic equipment.
This is also a very budget-friendly option. Overall, this is a great pick for everyone, regardless of experience and savviness.
Celestron 52333 TrailSeeker 80 – Straight Spotting Scope
When it comes to crisp, high-resolution images, this straight spotting scope is no foreigner.
The same applies when it comes to quality and durability. With the manufacturer’s proprietary multi-coated optical system, you are guaranteed to get great images every time.
Furthermore, the dual focus mechanism lets you fine-tune images further and focus on objects faster.
The unit features both coarse and fine adjustment wheels, which allow you to get the most precise image possible with the least color fringing and blurriness.
The widest field view on this scope is at 20x, and you can zoom up to 60x. As the multi-coated lens ensures efficient light transmission, images remain bright and clear all throughout the 40x range.
With great zoom and adjustment features, outdoor adventures such as hunting, bird watching, and so on become even more fun!
If you are looking for durability in your spotting scope, this model has got you covered.
This nitrogen purged model is completely waterproof, so it can survive outdoor hazards like heavy rainfall.
The scope is protected both internally and externally from damage and deterioration.
But, wait – it gets better. The product comes with a T-mouth adapter which allows you to attach the eye piece to your DSLR camera, allowing you to capture the scope’s image effortlessly.
With so many features that you are most likely to find in high-end spotting scopes, this product is definitely a steal!
Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scopes
Lastly, we have a sleek, aesthetically pleasing straight spotting scope that does not skimp out on features.
It is the perfect pick for those who want great performance from their spotting scope but want the unit to be lightweight and compact.
At 47.1 pounds and 14.8/15.7 inches, this scope is easy to carry and take with on trips.
Despite being lightweight, the construction of the scope is still of very high quality.
Both durability and the user’s grip are enhanced with rubber armor. Since straight scopes are a bit less comfortable to use than angled scopes, it helps to have a build that eliminates as much strain as possible.
Comfort is also maximized by the eyecup, which the user can twist up and down according to preference.
As for the image, the multi-coated lens and built-in sunshade ensure that the image created is clear and sharp.
What’s great is that the quality of the image is not compromised even when zoomed.
Magnification covers a range of 20x to 60x, and images remain crisp and bright at every increment.
A focus dial on the scope also allows you to fine-tune zoomed images for the best possible view and fatigue-free viewing.
The scope is also nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed. These are crucial to the durability of spotting scopes as they allow the unit to be waterproof and fog proof.
Additionally, O-rings prevent debris, dust, and other contaminants from entering the scope, keeping it protected from internal damage at all times.
Angled or Straight Spotting Scope?
Now that we have seen all six spotting scope recommendations let us compare the two types of scopes!
Weight and Dimensions
Since spotting scopes are more likely than not to be taken on trips, it is important to ensure that they are space-efficient and easy to carry.
Luckily, all spotting scopes, regardless of style, have streamlined dimensions and comparable weights.
However, if you are extra cautious about this, straight scopes may be the way to go.
Angled scopes require a bit more space due to the eyepiece being angled, usually at 45 degrees, to the rest of the scope.
Since straight scopes do not have this feature, they are easier to fit into daypacks or carry bags.
If you are using a tripod, it is important that you make your pick carefully. With angled scopes, you do not have to adjust the tripod; rather the eyepiece or viewing angle can be adjusted according to preference.
On the other hand, straight scopes require you to adjust the tripod whenever you wish to change the viewing angle.
Either way, some adjustment will be required. It all boils down to which one you prefer.
If the scope is meant for people of different heights to use at the same time, we recommend opting for the angled variant.
The user can adjust the viewing angle according to their height instead of fiddling with the tripod.
Straight spotting scopes are quicker at target acquisition – this is due to the fact that angled scopes take a few seconds to adjust to each new angle after adjustment. If this sounds too time-consuming, you may enjoy a straight scope more.
However, this is not a death sentence for the angled variant. Angled variants often come with dual focus features that allow you to fine-tune images and adjust the sharpness according to your liking.
It is almost unanimously agreed upon that straight spotting scopes are easier to get a hang of.
If you are completely new to such gadgets, you may want to opt for a straight scope for convenience.
Straight scopes require the user to crane their neck more than angled scopes do.
This is why they are harsher on the neck than angled scopes. If this is a concern for you, we would strongly recommend purchasing an angled variant.
As you may have concluded, the angled vs straight spotting scope debate is a difficult one to settle.
It all comes down to your personal preferences and experience with such tools.
However, we hope this guide helps you make an educated choice so you can enjoy your purchase to the fullest!