There are various spotting scopes out there to make your outdoor activities a memorable and fun-filled one. Whether you are traveling, bird watching, hunting coyotes or deers with scopes or rifles, or taking professional photography on a budget, you need one of the best spotting scopes under 500 with useful features to help you see far-off things. 

They have a higher range of vision and a remarkable ability to gather light, giving you an excellent image quality to cherish for years. The challenge with purchasing a spotting scope is getting the one with excellent features at a great price, and that is why we have listed the best spotting scope under 500 to help you enjoy nature.

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5 Best Spotting Scopes Under 500 Available in 2022

BARSKA 15-40×50

This Barska spotting scope is easily my best spotting scope under 500 and is great for hunters who have lots of experience with rifle or bow hunting and those who just love to watch the moon. Its low profile allows you to lay on the ground and still spot your target even at night. Its image quality is topnotch thanks to the lenses coated with many colors and can attract more light. 

The weight of the Barska scope is 400 grams. The lightweight makes it easy to take from one place to another. It is one of the high quality spotting scopes as its image quality is impressive, especially within 150 yards. Even if the image becomes a little blurry beyond this distance, you won’t notice because it is hardly visible. The low profile that lets you spot your target while laying down helps you hide in the forest without being noticed by your prey. 

Pros

  • The scope has lightweight, which makes it easy to carry
  • It is compact and portable, meaning you can just put it in your backpack
  • Using this scope is simple and straightforward
  • It is sturdy and lasts for long

Cons

  • It has a fragile tripod
  • The images may not be very sharp beyond 150 yards

Takeway

Barska Colorado scope is the best option for those who want portable spotting scope to carry with ease and get excellent image quality, whether during the day or night. Its strong external case protects it from impact.

Roxant Authentic Blackbird HD

This spotting scope is loaded with awesome features to give you the best outdoor, particularly  AR-15 coyote hunting. It has 36X magnification and a 50 mm objective lens. You will enjoy viewing with this scope as it allows you the comfort of viewing at a tilted 45 degrees. There is no chance of this scope falling off your sweaty hand because its surface has texture to ensure you have a firm grip.

The lens is multi-coated against light reflection or distortion of colors. Even if you are stargazing, this scope is great as it has an inbuilt sunshade to protect your eyes and let you view your target clearer. It has a mounting screw made of metal where you can mount a tripod, and it will remain firm. This best budget spotting scope for hunting also comes with a guarantee of lifetime replacement.

Pros

  • This scope is resistant to impacts and pressure
  • It has a rugged build
  • It comes with a lifetime replacement warranty
  • It is straightforward to use

Cons

  • Its focusing ring is too sensitive
  • Images may not be very sharp beyond 75 yards

Takeway

The rugged nature of this spotting scope makes it your best choice if you have durability in mind. It is resistant to high impacts, so it won’t damage even if it falls. It is waterproof and gives a clear image quality amongst other features. This is one of the best spotting scopes under 500 for outdoor fun.

Celestron Ultima 80 Angled

Celestron Ultima has an objective lens that measures 80 mm and can gain light. Its eyepiece is tilted to 45 degrees to give you a comfortable view. It comes with a care kit that contains a case for carriage, an eyepiece pouch, a lens cloth, and an instructional manual that will guide you on the use of this scope even if you’ve never used one.

This scope has a great 60X magnification that can let you zoom and see what is far away or the tiniest detail in small birds. It comes with a T-Mount adapter where you can fix a digital camera and capture memorable times. It also has solid lenses and frames that hardly break, and its large focus ring lets you make some precise corrections.

Pros

  • This scope has a rugged build
  • It is durable as the lenses and frames don’t spoil easily
  • It can resist scratch and high effects
  • The scope is waterproof

Cons

  • The scope is weighty
  • There is no tripod

Takeway

The Celestron Ultima 80 is more like a compact telescope that gives clear images. The lenses are protected to ensure they don’t break even when the scope falls.

Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof

Emarth Waterproof scope is the most adequate scope for spotting or scouting in the rain as it is fully waterproof, and its exterior has a rubber seal making it completely protected. Even in areas with high humidity, the lens still gives maximum visibility because they are fog proof. It has an inbuilt sunshade that protects your eyes from the sun rays, and it comes with a tripod.

Earth has a powerful magnification range and 60 mm objective lens giving up to 39 m at a 1 km range of vision, making it cool for hunting and long-range shooting. Its tripod has a unique rotating handle that lets you adjust the scope’s position. This is one of the best affordable spotting scopes with an advanced focal system and thick O-rings that protect the lenses against high temperatures.

Pros

  • This scope is affordable and fantastic for those on budget
  • It is fully waterproof
  • It has a sturdy build that makes it durable
  • It is lightweight

Cons

  • Its images may be unclear at the highest magnification
  • The focusing ring tends to be inaccurate now and then

Takeway

This scope gives you all the confidence you need for outdoor activities knowing that rain cannot stop it. It is affordable and has an incredible optical system.

Bushnell Spotting Scope

Last but not least on my list of the best varmint scopes is the Bushnell Legend. It has 20-60 times magnification and an 80 mm lens that gives you the best images. The focal length and magnification are adjustable using a dual-speed control system that comes with this scope. It is fog-proof and waterproof, making it great for a rainy environment. The lenses are also water repellent so, nothing can stop the sharpness of your images.

This spotting scope has a professional design and delivers more than its price. It is angled to give you a relaxed viewing and ensure that you don’t strain your eye. It is built to give you a firm grip to avoid it slipping off your hand. You will surely enjoy your outdoor spotting with this scope.

Pros

  • It has a sharp image processor
  • The scope is fog and waterproof
  • The design has a professional look
  • Its lens has an HD coating

Cons

  • It is heavy and may not be convenient to carry
  • The FOV is narrow

Takeway

The Bushnell Legend is an excellent option if you want a professional-looking spotting scope. It has incredible features that will make your outdoor activities worth it. The dual-speed control focus for changing the focal length makes it outstanding.

A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Spotting Scope Under 500 in 2022

Having gone through our review, you already know the best spotting scope under 500 and might be getting ready to purchase one. However, you may want to go through this buying guide to know what to keep in mind when buying any one of the numerous high quality spotting scopes.

Power

The power of the spotting scope lies in the magnification and ability to gather light. You can determine this power from the numbers on the scope. Higher numbers indicate a more powerful scope. If a scope reads 18X, it shows that the target will look 18 times larger than when seen with your ordinary eyes. 20X-80X shows you the lowest and highest magnification range.

The number after X shows the lens diameter in millimeters, and a larger objective lens allows more light to go through its barrel, making the images sharper and brighter. Let your scope’s magnification always match the size of the objective lens.

Eyepiece

Usually, your taste and preference determine the kind of eyepiece you choose. However, looking through an angled eyepiece makes you more comfortable than looking through a straight one that tends to make your neck suffer.

You should also consider if you prefer a fixed eyepiece or the detachable type. Some people go for a fixed eyepiece because it is cheaper, and they believe that a higher magnification makes it great, but you should note that very high magnification may make images lose sharpness. A detachable eyepiece is the best because it is practical and flexible.

Accessories

Accessories are another thing to have in mind when buying a spotting scope because they help you enjoy your scope more. A tripod and a case for carriage are accessories that can always come in handy. Check and be sure that the tripod is strong and that all of its parts are metal because the ones made with plastic don’t usually last long, meaning you have to buy another one. 

The carrying case makes it easy to pack the scope and move it without stress. You can look out for a cleaning kit. A scope’s cleaning kit will help you always to clean the barrel and lenses to avoid scratches.

Coatings

You may like to choose spotting scopes with mirror coatings for more focus. Lenses without coating distort light colors before they get to the focal point, thereby reducing the details available for you to see. Mirrors without coating tend to make brightness reduce by 96%, giving a dark, unclear image.

However, scopes with ED lenses and mirror coatings don’t experience such issues. The ED lenses avoid light splitting, while coated mirrors have glasses that protect them and absorbed very little light.

FAQs 

Why should I use a spotting scope?

The reason to use a spotting scope is to have better visibility to targets that are far off, like more than 200 yards.

What are the best accessories to add to a spotting scope?

The best accessories include carrying cases, tripods, and eyepiece caps.

What do scope numbers mean?

Scope numbers tell the magnification and diameter of the objective lens. The number that comes before an X is the scope’s magnification, while the number that comes after the X is the diameter of the objective lens written in millimeters.

What is the highest range of vision for a 20-60X60 spotting scope?

Well, it depends on the scope’s specification. But, many models that have such features have a 39m at 1000m vision range.

Are spotting scopes more preferable than binoculars?

Yes. The reason is that spotting scopes always have higher magnification and can gather light more than a standard binocular.

What is the meaning of ‘close focus?

Close focus is the lowest distance a spotting scope can focus. It is the least distance that must be there between the spotting scope and the target to produce a perfect image.

How do I maintain my spotting scope?

You can maintain your spotting scope by doing the following:

  • Avoid cleaning the scope with water because that will make the metal parts rust. You can use scope cleaners or alcohol to clean.
  • Clean the spotting scope regularly after each use to avoid dust accumulation, which leads to scratches. Dip a clean cloth in alcohol to clean the lenses and the barrel.
  • Using a Q-tip dipped in alcohol will not only help you to clean the lenses, but it will also enable you to reach the problematic angles close to the movable parts of the spotting scope. 

Summary

Spotting Scopes are one sure way to create more fun during outdoor activities. It’s also great that you don’t have to spend so much as you can buy some of the best spotting scopes under 500 with unique features that allow you to have a great time under any weather condition.