Best Bird Watching Spotting Scope Under $300

August 22, 2020 // 7 minute read

Accessories » Birdwatching Scope Under $300

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Prior to taking my birdwatching to the next level, I didn’t even know what a bird spotting scope was. Only after I starting researching how to see birds more clearly, did I come across the need to find a spotting scope, and I set my eye (pun intended) on the best bird watching spotting scope under $300.

Why a spotting scope?

I found it to be a fantastic option over binoculars.

This is mainly due to a scope’s clear magnification capabilities as well as the improved field of vision.

Also…

the right scope has picture taking functionality, allowing you to capture those precious images in a digital format!

Below, I put together a listing of the best bird-watching spotting scope under $300, a list consisting of the best selling scopes on Amazon selling for under $300.

Top 5 Best Selling Bird Watching Spotting Scope Under $300

BirdInformer BESTSELLER # 1
Gosky Updated 20-60x80 Spotting Scopes with Tripod, Carrying Bag and Quick Phone Holder - BAK4 High Definition Waterproof Spotter Scope for Target Shooting Hunting Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery
  • Variable 20x to 60x magnification and dynamic lens focusing system - makes it easy to zoom in on target. Perfect for target shooting, archery, hunting, bird watching, wildlife watching, hiking, camping, scenery, outdoor sporting, astronomical observation etc.
  • Fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens provides a field of view at 82.9-48ft/1000yards. The quality BAK4 Porro prism optics increases light transmission and make your view brighter, clearer and delivers crisp images
  • Nitrogen filled waterproof and fog-proof design enables the scope to withstand the toughest environments. Durable Framework and Rubber Armor provide non-slip grip, shock-proof grip and durable external lasting protection. The eyepiece shield can be stretched out to protect the eyepiece
  • A smartphone digiscoping adapter included enables you to take photos and videos of what you have observed. Bring the nature closer to you and you can explore the distant world easily through the phone screen. A tripod provides you a more stable observation from any angles. A carry case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, cleaning cloth make you more convenient to carry and maintain
  • Includes tabletop full metal tripod and tripod mount for steady observations. The carry case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, cleaning cloth make you more convenient to carry and maintain.
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 2
Gosky 20-60x60 HD Spotting Scope with Tripod, Carrying Bag and Scope Phone Adapter - BAK4 45 Degree Angled Spotter Scope for Target Shooting Hunting Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery
  • 【POWERFUL MAGNIFICATION】: Adjustable powerful 20-60x zoom magnification allows you to lock onto your target and zoom in for more detail. Perfect for target shooting, archery, hunting, bird watching, wildlife watching, hiking, camping, scenery, outdoor sporting, astronomical observation etc
  • 【FULLY MULTI-COATED LENS】: Fully multi-coated 60mm green film objective lens provides a field of view at 50-110ft/1000 yards. The quality BAK4 Porro prism optics increases light transmission, delivers bright, clear, high-contrast images even in low-light conditions. 45 degree angled eyepiece provides more comfortable viewing
  • 【DURABLE CONSTRUCTION】: Durable framework and high-quality rubber armor provide non-slip grip, shock-proof grip and durable external protection, which enables the scope to withstand the toughest weather conditions. The eyepiece shield can be stretched out to protect the eyepiece
  • 【WATERPROOF DESIGN】: O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust and debris from penetrating the scope for reliable performance in all environments. Nitrogen gas purging delivers further waterproof performance
  • 【FULL RANGE OF ACCESSORIES】: A smartphone digiscoping adapter included enables you to take photos and videos of what you have observed. Bring the nature closer to you and you can explore the distant world easily through the phone screen. A tripod provides you a more stable observation from any angles. A carry case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, cleaning cloth make you more convenient to carry and maintain
BirdInformer BESTSELLER # 3
Landove Spotting Scopes - 20-60X80 Spotting Scope BAK4 Prism - Waterproof Field Scope for Birdwatching Target Shooting Archery Hunting - with Tripod Carrying Bag & Digiscoping Adapter
  • FULLY MULTI-COATED GREEN LENS - High definition 80mm fully multi-coated green film objective lens with superior BAK4 prism which reduces stray light from entering the lens and allows light transmission and brightness for more clear and brighter viewing, gets crisp images.
  • HIGH VARIABLE MAGNIFICATION - Magnification 20X-60X continuous variable zoom and dynamic lens focusing system make it easy to zoom in on target. Perfect for target shooting, archery, hunting, bird watching, wildlife watching, hiking, camping, scenery, outdoor sporting, astronomical observation etc.
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION - High quality material brings you better experience. Special design: non-slip grip, shock-proof grip, nitrogen-filled waterproof, fog-proof, built-in retractable sunshade, eyepiece shield...Provide you with the best quality products.
  • CATCH THE NATURE INTO YOUR SCREEN - Comes with a digiscoping cell phone adapter - which enables you to take videos and images in the distant world.The phone adaptor fits most of smart phones with or without cases on the market, which is quicker and easier installation and remove. It is not only suit for spotting scope, but also other optical instruments.
  • ALL IN ONE - You will receive a black oxford carrying bag in a black box, which includes a LANDOVE 20-60X80mm BAK4 Waterproof Angled Prism Spotting Scope, a metal table tripod, a QUICK SET SMARTPHONE ADAPTER, a cleaning cloth, two lens covers and LIFETIME WARRANTY GUARANTEE, LIFETIME MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.
BirdInformer BESTSELLER # 4
Gosky HD Spotting Scope 20-60x 80mm with Tripod and Smartphone Adapter, BAK 4 Prism Spotter Scopes for Bird Watching Target Shooting Hunting Wildlife Scenery
  • VARIABLE 20X to 60x ZOOM MAGNIFICATION----Variable 20x to 60x magnification and dynamic lens focusing system. The benefit of a zoom lens is that you get that versatility automatically. This is great for target shooting, hunting, bird watching wildlife, hiking, camping, archery etc. It also means you won’t need to carry around extra lenses when you’re on the go.
  • FULL MULIT-COATED 80mm GREEN FILM OBJECTIVE LENS---- Multi-coated lenses light transmitting up to an incredible 98% per surface, this means you can get more picture brightness. BAK-4 provide higher quality glass yielding brighter images and high edge sharpness. The 80mm objective lens allow more light enters the spotting scope than 60mm objective lens, so the brighter the image.
  • WATERPROOF and FOGPROOF---- Nitrogen filled waterproof and fog-proof design enables the scope to withstand the toughest environments. Durable Framework and Rubber Armor provide non-slip grip, shock-proof grip and durable external lasting protection. The eyepiece shield can be stretched out to protect the eyepiece
  • WELL DESIGNED PRODUCT----Gosky Spotting scope is designed to last FOREVER with a NON-SLIP Rubber Cover, NITROGEN Filling & Sturdy Eyepiece. 45 degree angled eyepiece ergonomic design allows more comfortable viewing. With the EXTENDABLE Sunshade you don’t worry about the sun.
  • MULTIPLE ACCESSORIES---The GIFT includes 1. A Tripod provides you a more stable observation from any angles. 2. A carry case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, cleaning cloth make you more convenient to carry and maintain 3. A smartphone adapter included enables you to take photos and videos of what you have observed. 4. A Photo Clicker avoid shaking when taking pictures.

Though binoculars are a fine tool for bird watching, a number of serious bird watchers prefer to invest in spotting scopes, finding that the range and precise focus of a scope is more ideal for spotting birds than a standard pair of binoculars.

Best Bird Watching Scopes

The best bird watching spotting scope under $300 comes in a variety of styles and prices. Some scopes are smaller and weigh less making them ideal for hiking, while others are heavy-duty and better for a stationary day of bird watching. These factors are important to consider when choosing your spotting scope

The wide variety of scopes available make finding the right fit easy enough, regardless of your preference. The real challenge when choosing the perfect scope, however, is finding a scope that has all of the features you desire while staying within your price range.

Scopes are generally more expensive than binoculars, even the scopes on the less expensive end of the scale, but there are options that won’t break the bank. If the price is not a concern for you, then you may take your pick from the wide variety of top-rated spotting scopes on the market, but if you are looking to invest in a quality scope for a reasonable price then consider the best bird watching spotting scope under $300 listed above.

Before we dive into which bird watching spotting scopes are best on a budget, let’s break down some of the key differences between binoculars and scopes along with the differences between different styles of scopes on the market.

Differences between scopes and binoculars

Two of the key reasons a bird watcher may choose to invest in a spotting scope over binoculars are distance and field of vision (FOV). If you want to compare pricing, check out our post featuring the best binoculars for birdwatching under $100 here.

Longer distances

Spotting scopes can magnify at a much longer distance, bringing images at extreme distances into crystal clear focus. This capability broadens the potential for spotting and identifying birds at greater distances.

Field of view

Another difference between scopes and binoculars is the field of view (FOV). Scopes have a more precise field of view makes narrowing in one specific target much easier, eliminating the distractions of the surrounding objects that would otherwise have been inside the field of view through binoculars.

Primary Features Found In Spotting Scopes

Now that we have addressed the primary differences between spotting scopes and binoculars, let’s address the features that define different brands and styles of spotting scopes. All spotting scopes are made with the same general features, a strong housing with an adjustable lens for magnifying the desired image. Within this standard framework, there are key differences to note.

Fixed Lens or Zoom

When shopping for your scope be sure to decide ahead of time whether you want your scope to zoom or remain fixed. In most cases, bird watchers prefer a scope that can zoom. This allows the watcher to locate the bird from a wider field of view, then zoom in for a closer look.

Close Focusing

Some scopes have the ability to close focus on an item, enhancing the clarity and overall image. This feature is often sought after by us bird watchers because we are after the details. While close focusing is not necessary, the peace of mind that comes from knowing you won’t miss any of the action makes close focusing worth considering.

Tripods

Due to the intense magnification of scopes, the slightest tremor of a hand can dizzy the image which is why having a tripod is highly recommended for stability when searching for birds with a scope. Tripods come in a number of sizes, and deciding which tripod is best for you is important to consider as you are deciding on a scope.

When searching for the right tripod, consider the type of bird watcher you are, are you more active or stationary? For bird watchers who prefer to sit in one spot, a short sturdy tripod will do fine. For bird watchers who are always on their feet and prefer to chase down their target from a standing position, a long lightweight tripod will be much more ideal.

Stationary vs. Active

Recognizing the type of bird watcher you are is essential when choosing a scope because hiking all day with a heavy scope on your back can make or break the experience. Some scopes are large and heavy, making them difficult to carry for long distances and more ideal for a day spent in one spot scanning for birds. A lighter scope is more ideal for bird watchers who enjoy walking through the wilderness and spying birds on the move.

How To Choose A Spotting Scope

The below video contains good advice on what to look for in choosing a spotting scope and is a good resource for you to consider when buying the best bird watching spotting scope under $300.

Bird Watching Spotting Scope FAQs

Will these scopes fit any tripod?

Generally, yes. Most tripods have a universal mount that matches the mount on most scopes. Always good to double-check before purchasing to make sure that the thread on your tripod will align with your scopes mount.

How do I connect my camera to a birdwatching spotting scope?

Some scopes will come with an adapter but most require you to purchase one separately. Research the different kinds of adapters and make sure you pick one that matches your scope and your camera.

Can I find the best bird watching spotting scope under $300?

Yes, above we list 5 options on Amazon for good quality spotting scopes under $300.

How should I store my scope?

Most scope providers will also provide lenses and coverings for unique scopes. It is always best practice to keep your scope in its case with the lense one whenever it is not in use to protect it from dust and scratching.

What is the best level of zoom for bird watching?

There are a number of zooms that work well for bird watching but 20-40X and 20-60X are consistently effective for quality bird watching.

Which birding scope is better, angled or straight?

This is a matter of preference, but the general answer is that an angled scope will be more comfortable for extended use. The benefit to an angled scope is that you don’t have to crane your neck when looking through the scope.

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Man birdwatching with a spotting scope
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