Best Spotting Scope Under $500? Here’s Our Top 10

Here’s the top 10 best spotting scopes under $500 in 2023. Let’s dive in!


Best Spotting Scope Under $500 2023: Comparison Table

Here’s our quick list of the top 10 best spotting scopes under $500 in 2023:

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Read on to see each individual product review…

1. BAK4 Prism Spotting Scope (LANDOVE)

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Specifications:

  • Brand: Landove
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 80 Millimeters
  • Magnification Maximum: 3
  • Color: Green
  • Fully multi-coated green lens for high definition viewing
  • BAK4 prism to reduce stray light and improve image clarity
  • Variable 20x-60x magnification with dynamic lens focusing system
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof construction for durability in all weather conditions
  • Comes with a digiscoping cell phone adapter for capturing photos and videos
  • Includes metal table tripod, cleaning cloth, and two lens covers
  • Ideal for shooting, hunting, bird watching, camping, travel, hiking, and other outdoor activities
  • Continuous zoom, FMC lens, waterproof
  • Near focus of 6m and field of view of 82.9-48ft/1000yards
  • Eye relief of 14.5mm-11.5mm and exit pupil of 3.2mm@20X, 1.15mm@60X
  • HD optical glass is fully-multi coated to eliminate chromatic aberration and maintain clear 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!

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

 


2. High Definition Spotting Scope (Roxant)

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Specifications:

  • High definition optical glass with BAK4 prism and fully multi-coated lens.
  • Non-slip armored construction with smooth-glide textured focus ring.
  • Magnifies up to 12x and 36x without losing clarity.
  • 45 degree angled eyepiece for comfortable viewing.
  • Includes spotting scope tripod and handle.
  • Large objective lens for bright wide view.
  • Compact and lightweight design.
  • Package dimensions: 13.1 x 6.1 x 3.5 inches.
  • Weight: 0.95 kilograms.
  • Brand: ROXANT.
  • Model: Roxant Blackbird.
  • Color: Black.
  • Material: Plastic, rubber, glass, metal.

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.

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

 


3. Spotting Scope (Creative XP)

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Specifications:

  • Design & shipped from the USA by Creative XP
  • 80mm objective lens with extra-low dispersion glass
  • 20-60x magnification with 2 fine focus knobs
  • Waterproof and anti-fog with non-reflective, scratch-resistant lenses
  • Includes tripod, phone adapter, protective case, and photo clicker
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 9.25 x 5.1 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 Kilograms
  • Brand: Creative XP
  • Color: Green
  • Style: HD 20-60x80mm

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.

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

 


4. 20-60x60AE Spotting Scope (Emarth)

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Specifications:

  • Magnification range: 20x-60x
  • Field-of-view: 39-19m/1000m
  • Fully multi-coated lens with BAK4 roof prism
  • Dual focus wheel system for fast and fine-tuning focus adjustment
  • High-quality rubber armor for non-slip and shock-proof grip
  • Built-in retractable sunshade and comes with a tripod
  • Waterproof and fog-proof for all weather conditions
  • Dimensions: 13.39 x 5.91 x 3.15 inches
  • Weight: 3.45 pounds
  • Customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with 4,341 ratings
  • Best Sellers Rank: #28,199 in Sports & Outdoors, #6 in Spotting Scopes
  • Manufacturer: Emarthtech
  • VIP customer service with lifetime warranty.

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.

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.

 


5. Diamondback Spotting Scope (Vortex Optics)

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Specifications:

  • XR fully multi-coated lenses and built-in sunshade
  • Twist-and-lock collar and adjustable eyecup
  • O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for waterproof and fogproof performance
  • Close Focus: 20 feet, Dielectric Coating: Multi-layer prism coatings
  • Born into the Diamondback family, this spotter is compact yet powerful
  • Tripod mount attaches easily to most tripods and quick-release plates
  • Adjust the viewing angle, magnification, focus, eyecup, and sunshade
  • Dimensions: 7 x 17.1 x 4.2 inches; Weight: 33.8 ounces
  • Manufacturer warranty: unlimited
  • Model name: Diamondback; Color: Green; Style: 20-60×60 – Angled

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!

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

 


6. Glasshawk HD Spotting Scope (Creative XP)

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another heavy-duty yet lightweight spotting scope is the Glasshawk HD Spotting Scope.

It comes from Creative XP, a trustworthy and high-quality company.

Specifications:

  • Extra-low dispersion glass with 60x magnification for perfect image quality without chromatic aberrations
  • Waterproof and anti-fog with a scratch-resistant, non-reflective and durable design
  • Includes tripod, phone adapter, protective case, and Bluetooth photo clicker
  • BAK4 prisms, 20-60x zoom, and wide objective lens for clear viewing in high magnifications and dim light conditions
  • Fully multi-coated premium ED optic glass for crystal-clear images.

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!

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

 


7. 52268 C90 Mak Spotting Scope (Celestron)

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Specifications:

  • Brand: Celestron
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 90mm
  • Product Dimensions: 16″D x 7″W x 10″H
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Finderscope: Reflex
  • Item Weight: 2.1kg
  • Lens Coating: Multi-Coated
  • Exit Pupil: 2.3mm
  • Focal Length: 32mm
  • Optical Design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
  • Erect Image System for Terrestrial and Astronomical Use
  • Versatile Mounting Options
  • Multiple Accessories Included
  • Includes Nylon Backpack and Lifetime Limited Warranty

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.

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

 


8. 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope (Gosky)

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Specifications:

  • Brand: Gosky
  • Eye Piece Lens Description: Prism
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 60 Millimeters
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6″D x 5.5″W x 5.5″H
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Power Source: Adapter
  • Finderscope: Reflex
  • Item Weight: 2.6 Pounds
  • Focal Length Description: 13 millimeters
  • Powerful magnification: adjustable 20-60x zoom magnification
  • Fully multi-coated lens: 60mm green film objective lens provides a field of view at 50-110ft/1000 yards
  • Durable construction: high-quality rubber armor, shock-proof grip, and durable external protection
  • Waterproof design: O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust, and debris from penetrating the scope
  • Full range of accessories: smartphone digiscoping adapter, tripod, carry case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, cleaning cloth

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!

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

 


9. Spotting Scope (ACC)

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Specifications:

  • Wide view range with 20mm eyepiece and multi-layer FMC coating lens
  • IP65 waterproof for use in various environments
  • High magnification range of 25x to 70x for clear and stable imaging
  • Adjustable tripod with 360-degree horizontal and 90-degree vertical rotation
  • Satisfaction guarantee with refund option
  • Dimensions: 15 x 5.8 x 4.6 inches
  • Package weight: 1.57 kilograms
  • Brand: ACC
  • Color: 20-60×60

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 are stunning.

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

 


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

Last update on 2024-05-28  / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

Specifications:

  • Zoom magnification range of 20x to 60x
  • Fully multi-coated lens and high-quality BAK4 prism for clear images
  • Compact, lightweight, and durable design
  • Comes with stable tripod and carrying bag
  • Universal smartphone adapter included for easy image capturing
  • 45-degree angled eyepiece for comfortable viewing
  • Wide field of view
  • Product dimensions: 11.9″D x 12.2″W x 14.2″H
  • Item weight: 600 grams

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!

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

 


My Pick for the Best Product

So many scopes to pick from, and so little time!

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

If you want my opinion, I think the best spotting scope under $500 from this list is the LANDOVE BAK4 Prism Spotting Scope.

Last update on 2024-05-28  / 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?

Feature Landove 20-60X80 ROXANT Blackbird CREATIVE XP GlassHawk 20-60x80mm Vortex Optics Diamondback 20-60×60 CREATIVE XP GlassHawk ED 20-60x80mm Celestron MAK 90mm
Magnification 20X-60X 12X-36X 20-60X 20-60X 20-60X 39X (with 32mm eyepiece)
Objective Lens 80mm 50mm 80mm 60mm 80mm 90mm
Weight 4.51 pounds 2.09 pounds 5.29 pounds 33.8 ounces (2.11 pounds) 4.96 pounds 4.62 pounds
Waterproof/Fogproof Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes N/A

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.

Feature Landove 20-60X80 ROXANT Blackbird CREATIVE XP GlassHawk 20-60x80mm Vortex Optics Diamondback 20-60×60 CREATIVE XP GlassHawk ED 20-60x80mm Celestron MAK 90mm
Prism Type BAK4 BAK4 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Lens Coating Fully Multi-Coated Green Film Fully Multi-Coated N/A XR Fully Multi-Coated Fully Multi-Coated Multi-Coated
ED Glass No No No No Yes No
Close Focus Distance N/A N/A N/A 20 feet N/A N/A

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!

We’ve compared the accessories below:

Feature Landove 20-60X80 ROXANT Blackbird CREATIVE XP GlassHawk 20-60x80mm Vortex Optics Diamondback 20-60x60 CREATIVE XP GlassHawk ED 20-60x80mm Celestron MAK 90mm
Tripod Included Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Carrying Case Included Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Phone Adapter Included Yes No Yes No Yes No
Warranty Lifetime Warranty and Money Back Guarantee N/A N/A Unlimited N/A N/A
Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.