Love Bird Watching? Check Out These Best Spotting Scopes Under 500 Dollars

Believe it or not, but birdwatching is America’s second-favorite hobby.

If you think about it, spotting birds is something almost anyone can do. Young children, middle-aged adults, and even elderly individuals can all partake.

This hobby is safe, intriguing, and educational.

Not to mention, one can make it as complex as they’d like. Some people like spotting birds casually. Others, however, enjoy logging and researching their findings.

If you’re a birdwatching fanatic yourself or want to try the hobby, you’re going to need a good scope. Below are the top birdwatching scopes of 2020.


Best Spotting Scope Under $500 Available Today (2020 Buyers Guide & Reviews)

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


1. High Definition Spotting Scope (Roxant)

Are you looking for a simple but reliable scope that you can buy for a fair and low price? This Roxant spotting scope might be for you!

It features an eyepiece that’s angled at 45 degrees. This provides the most comfortable viewing possible. This allows viewers to use this bad boy for hours at a time easily.

You can also expect to get great clarity. This is thanks to its military-grade optics that allow plenty of light transmissions.

Pros:

  • It includes a tripod and case
  • The small company that sells this product offers a lifetime replacement guarantee
  • It’s weatherproof and features a non-slip grip
  • The price for this scope is fantastic

Cons:

  • If you wear eyeglasses, the eyepiece may be too spot for adequate viewing
  • The field of view is a little small

Summary: For its cost, it’s great for newbies but not for avid birdwatchers and eyeglass wearers.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


2. Spotting Scope (Creative XP)

This next scope features a moderate price. In general, it’s perfect for those who are between an amateur and an avid birdwatcher.

It offers a 60x optical zoom to allow an up-close and personal look at both big and large birds.

This scope also features BAK4-Prism to allow for a bright field of view. Watch the colors just pop every time you use your CREATIVE XP scope! Simply stunning.

Pros:

  • It’s designed and shipped from the United States
  • It has a comfortable adjustable eye relief
  • The zoom and focus features on this scope are quick to use
  • This scope is water, shock, and fog proof
  • With your purchase, you get a protective case, tripod, phone adapter, and photo clicker

Cons:

  • Some people have trouble turning the eyepiece to focus it

Summary: The versatility and freebies of this spotting scope offers are perfect for birdwatching.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


3. BAK4 Prism Spotting Scope (LANDOVE)

If you like the CREATIVE XP Spotting Scope’s aesthetics and features but find it costly, no worries. Consider this LANDOVE scope, which is relatively similar.

Like the CREATIVE XP scope, this scope offers BAK4-Prism. This reduces stray light and provides colorful, crisp images.

Also, like the latter scope, the LANDOVE BAK4 features magnification up to 60x. Its close-up zooming is ideal for spotting both large and small birds.

All in all, it’s one of the closest, affordable scopes you can get for birdwatching!

Pros:

  • It’s water, shock, and fog proof
  • This scope is highly durable in construction
  • The purchase comes with a metal tripod, two lens covers, a cleaning cloth, a smartphone adapter, and a bag 
  • The company offers a lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee if you find a problem

Cons:

  • It’s not the best for long-range

Summary: You get what you pay for: an average but the multiskilled scope that isn’t perfect but gets the job done.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


4. 20-60x60AE Spotting Scope (Emarth)

Sometimes you just don’t want to spend a fortune on a product.

Maybe you’re brand-new to birdwatching, never bought a scope before, or don’t plan on birdwatching much.

If you meet the latter criteria, get a scope that’s affordable yet gets the job done. The Emarth 20-60x60AE Spotting Scope is one great option.

Its durable construction and favorable zooming features make it a great scope.

Pros:

  • The price for this scope is quite affordable
  • It features a BAK4 roof prism for optimal optics
  • This scope is both waterproof and fog proof
  • Enjoy lifetime VIP customer service from Emarth

Cons:

  • The field of view gets a little too small when zoomed in at 60x
  • This scope isn’t ideal to use for long-distance

Summary: It isn’t great if you plan to birdwatch from a long way away, but if you need a cheap scope, this one does the trick.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


5. Diamondback Spotting Scope (Vortex Optics)

Avid or serious birdwatchers will prefer the Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope.

But let me warn you: it does cost quite a bit more than the other items on this list. However, it’s also a more quality scope overall.

Its zoom is pretty powerful at 20-60×80 with a focus wheel that’s easy to use.

Generally, you can count on the Diamondback Spotting Scope to be heavy-duty. Yet, it still manages to be lightweight. Perfect for lugging around on your birdwatching adventures!

Pros:

  • It’s water and fog proof
  • The scope offers rubber armor to allow for a sturdy grip
  • The Vortex Optics Diamondback attaches to both a tripod and window mount
  • It includes a case for storing

Cons:

  • It doesn’t include a tripod or window mount
  • While the magnification is great, zooming in all the way leads to a slightly blurry image

Summary: It performs nicely for a higher-end birdwatching scope, but if on a budget, skip this over.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


6. Glasshawk HD Spotting Scope (Creative XP)

Another heavy-duty yet lightweight spotting scope is the Glasshawk HD Spotting Scope. It comes from Creative XP, a trustworthy and high-quality company.

It’s not super affordable, but it’s not incredibly expensive either. It’s great if you want something in-between: neither too fancy nor too cheaply-made.

Even for its moderate price, you can expect this scope to offer high-quality BAK-4 prisms to present beautiful imaging. It makes watching birds a beautiful sight!

Pros:

  • The company that makes this scope is in the United States
  • It’s water, shock, and fog proof
  • It comes with a tripod, case, Bluetooth photo clicker, and cellphone adapter
  • Customer service is more than happy to help if you aren’t completely happy with this scope

Cons:

  • It can be difficult to focus when this scope
  • The clarity gets poor when using it past 200 yards

Summary: This scope offers great quality, minus declining focus and clarity when zooming.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


7. 52268 C90 Mak Spotting Scope (Celestron)

Aren’t fond of the previous spotting scope designs? No worries! The Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting Scope offers quite different aesthetics.

Its short, sleek, black appearance makes it appear classy and clean. Its smaller size makes it ideal for traveling and storage in small compartments.

While it’s a tiny product, expect big things. From a magnification of 39X to images with vibrant colors, it’s reliable for birdwatching.

Pros:

  • It includes a nylon backpack case
  • Optics are clear even 200 yards out
  • You can upgrade it with 1.25″ eyepieces
  • Its compact size makes it incredibly easy to transport

Cons:

  • It has a narrow field of view
  • It can be difficult to follow moving objects when magnifying
  • This scope isn’t waterproof
  • It doesn’t come with a tripod

Summary: It may not be for avid birdwatchers, but its portable size and features are great for newbies.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


8. 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope (Gosky)

The Gosky 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope is lower cost yet holds a 4.4 out of the 5-star average.

With this scope, you can enjoy powerful magnification and durable construction.

Thanks to its multi-coated lens, the Gosky 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope offers a wide field of view. The field of view ranges from 50 to 110 feet, all the way to 1,000 yards.

That’s not bad for such an affordable scope!

Pros:

  • This scope is waterproof
  • It’s shockproof and features a non-slip grip
  • It comes with a digiscoping adapter, tripod, cleaning cloth, carrying case, and 2 lens caps
  • The company has fantastic customer service if you have problems with this product

Cons:

  • Some complain about the weight distribution of this scope when using the tripod

Summary: Apart from minor cons here and there, this scope is great and worth twice the cost!

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


9. Spotting Scope (ACC)

Wanting great magnification from a cheaper scope? You can get that with the ACC Spotting Scope.

For under $100, this product features 25x to 70x magnification, which is great for its price.

Its multi-layer FMC coating lens is successful in properly bringing light in. This leaves the viewer with as crisp an image as possible.

In general, its clear and bright images will provide instant satisfaction.

Pros:

  • It’s compatible in rainy weather thanks to its waterproof body
  • This scope comes with a 360 degree-rotating tripod
  • ACC has a fantastic customer service team if you fall into any problems with this scope

Cons:

  • Using 75x zoom isn’t great in low light
  • It can be difficult to focus on an object when zooming in if you don’t have a steady hold on the scope

Summary: The ACC Spotting Scope isn’t for pros, but it’s enough for new birdwatchers.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


10. 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope (MaxUSee)

The MaxUSee 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope is similar to the ACC Spotting Scope. This is true when it comes to both scopes’ aesthetics and prices.

Although, it does vary in magnification: 20x to 60x.

You’ll love its FMC optical lens and BAK4 Prism, which allow you to view the highest quality images possible.

Even in low-light conditions, you can count on the MaxUSee 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope to do wonders. You don’t get that with many scopes!

Pros:

  • The body of this scope is durable, yet it’s lightweight
  • It comes with a stable tripod and case for carrying
  • This scope comes with a universal smartphone adapter to beautifully capture images
  • It features a non-slip, shockproof grip
  • It comes with a universal smartphone adapter

Cons:

  • It’s not fog proof like some other scopes are
  • The scope takes a little while to set up

Summary: It has minor cons; however, this scope meets and even exceeds expectations.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


My Pick for the Best Product

So many scopes to pick from, so little time!

Luckily, I’ve helped narrow down some of your many, many options.

If you want my opinion, my favorite scope from this list is the LANDOVE BAK4 Prism Spotting Scope.

Last update on 2021-04-19  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Notice how this particular scope isn’t super cheap. Yet, it’s not high in cost either.

The cost may be moderate, but it brings high-end features.

Unlike many scopes for birdwatching, the LANDOVE Spotting Scope is, in fact, fog proof. This gives users a wider range of conditions to use their scope.

I’m also a big fan of all the freebies it comes with. Even some of the more expensive scopes out there don’t come with a tripod or carrying case, but this guy does.

Its favorable magnification, great construction, and smartphone adapter make it a fantastic buy.

And all for a great price and few cons (other than its difficulty with long-range shoots)? It’s SO worth buying!


Buying Tips

Feedback

One of the main things to look for when finding that perfect scope is customer reviews.

What are others saying about a scope you’re thinking of purchasing? Consider both the pros and cons that customers mention. Do the pros carry more weight than the cons?


Price

Generally, the more you spend, the better quality of scope you’re going to get. However, this isn’t always the case. You can still find high-quality scopes for a doable cost.


Magnification and Field of View

The greater the magnification, the stronger it is than the naked human eye.

As for the field of view, this is the size of the area you can view through your scope at a given time.

The more seriously you take birdwatching, the more you’ll want better magnification. A greater field of view is also a big plus for serious birdwatchers.


Portability

Do you plan on traveling long distances with your scope?

Make sure your scope is lightweight. Likewise, make sure to find a scope that can be folded up and stored for easy transportation.


Freebies

If you want the most bang for your buck, consider a birdwatching scope that comes with gifts. This might include a tripod and/or a carrying case. The more, the merrier!

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