Scope Review: MINOX MD 50 W 16-30x Waterproof Spotting Scope

For a definitively top-notch telescope, look no further than the MINOX MD 50 W 16-30x Waterproof Spotting Scope. This travel-friendly device boasts innovative specifications and unparalleled manufacturing excellence. The cutting-edge design is fine-tuned to suit the lifestyles of nature enthusiasts, bird watchers and campers. To showcase machinery that is truly unsurpassed in its industry, the following review demonstrates the sheer brilliance of this MINOX masterpiece!

The Lens

Minox MDSharpness and clarity are boldly accentuated by the 50mm lens. A generously wide range of vision is enabled by the expansive angle of view. At its base magnification of 16x, the MINOX MD 50 W 16-30x Waterproof Spotting Scope is equipped with a 2.7° angle. At 30x magnification, the angle comfortably reaches 1.9°. The minimum focus distance is 5 meters, and its field of view measures between 33m and 47m. Eye relief spans 11mm to 15mm, and the exit pupil diameter goes between 1.6mm and 3.6mm. These specifications are setting the industry standard for crystalline telescoping!

Meanwhile, here’s how the brand describes their zoom: “Go from just five meters from your subject right through to infinity.” There is nary an exaggeration in this claim, but the focus may lose consistency in the far distance. Still, this is an unprecedented line of vision for any telescope, especially a handheld one!

The Size

Portability is a key part of this scope’s appeal. The product weighs approximately 1.3lb or 615g. The dimensions are meant to fit in your luggage on the move. It conveniently measures 213 x 63 x 123mm. It defies the conventions of mainstream telescopes by being cleverly compact. The lightweight frame provides powerful resistance against regular wear and tear. This structure maintains the machine’s precision for life. For being so tiny, the MD 50 W 16-30x Waterproof Spotting Scope is remarkably robust. The gadget is great for accompanying binoculars. Overall, it is a little powerhouse!

The Structure

MINOX has outfitted this telescope with their trademarked multi-layer M* coating. This preserves an immaculately high rate of light transmission, so brightness is never an issue with your viewing habits. The finish also results in fantastic resolution alongside authentically natural color renditions and a resolutely sharp contrast. With the refined controls, focusing is almost automatic. Adjustments are streamlined with extraordinary efficiency!

It is built with a special angular design that ensures a relaxed posture for the user. The scope also is embedded with a swivel tripod connection, which enshrines maximum pivoting and positioning. To support handheld operation, the units also possess a soft rubber grip that maintains comfort for long durations of use. This system incorporates nitrogen filling to stave off misting within the optics. The threat of condensation can be permanently eliminated, and this protection even works under intense temperatures. Every MD 50 W 16-30x Waterproof Spotting Scope is prepared to handle relatively extreme conditions!

The Features

To ensure lasting enjoyment, this profoundly intuitive product comes with a protective nylon carrying case. It is waterproofed to withstand 5m of depth. The exterior is also weatherproofed and dust-proofed. With these quality assurances in place, there will be no disruptions to your scoping pleasures.

The Price

Upon release, the magnificent machine was listed for $339. This already generous asking rate has been lowered to around $250 at most retailers. Reliable telescopes have never been this affordable before!

Final Note

This MINOX scope can fit anyone’s needs. The craftsmanship caters to a lot of particular spotting preferences, and it is fine-tuned for personalized calibrations. For those who love the outdoors, there is no companion more faithful than the MD 50 W 16-30x Waterproof Spotting Scope!

Vortex Optics Razor HD Angled Spotting Scope Review

Seeing the ground ahead of you is the most important part of the hunt or scouting. Binoculars are heavy, and they can be difficult to carry. A single spotting scope is easy to carry, easy to use and easy to hide when you are in the field. Look over the features of the Vortex Optics Razor HD Angled Spotting Scope before making your purchase.

#1: It Is Small

The small size of the spotting scope helps you manage it in the field. Walking across the forest with the scope in your hand is easy, and you may tuck the scope in your pocket when you are scurrying through the woods.

The scope will be hidden in your hand when you start using it, and the scope will not draw attention to you. Animals in the forest will not take notice of a scope that small, but you can see at great distance with the scope.

#2: Sighting Angle

The angled style of the scope makes sighting much easier. Leaning your head down slightly to look into the glass is more comfortable than craning your neck to move the scope around. The angled scope style makes the resolution clearer.

The HD glass and technology inside the scope helps you get the clearest image possible of your prey. The animals you are tracking must be identifiable, but you cannot identify them if you cannot see them. You will get a good look at every animal you hunt, and you may choose patterns on the animal that make it unique.

#3: Spotting Distance

You can see objects at up to 15 times the original distance of the glass. You may hunt in a particular area, but you may spot animals in an adjoining area with this powerful scope. Keeping your distance from the animals prevents you from startling them, and you can track a pack of animals without fear of being attacked.

Spotting distances are very important if you have a perch that is high up a tree. Your perch increases the distance at which you are viewing your prey, and you must have as much flexibility with your scope as possible.

#4: Guiding Others To A Kill

You may use the spotting scope to guide other hunters to your kills. Staying in the perch to guide others to a kill is a responsible way to look out for others, but you must have a strong scope that will help you see the kill you have just made. You may keep an eye on the people who are still in the field, and you can clearer see what is around them as they move about.

#5: Durability

You bring your scope into the forest for every hunt, and you will encounter changing weather conditions during the hunt. Your scope must hold up to the inclement weather, and you must be able to spot in the rain for hours while you hunt. The sturdy construction of this spotting scope will prevent damage or breakage while you are on the hunt.

Carrying a spotting scope into the woods for your next hunt is wise. You must have a scope on you that allows you to see animals in the woods without drawing attention to yourself. Your spotting scope will give you a clear view of your prey at up to the 15 times the magnification of the original glass, and you will be safer when you can see everything around you. Your journeys into the woods are aided by a spotting scope that helps you see what is coming while you are on the hunt. Consider this excellent offering from Vortex for your spotting scope purchase.

Celestron Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope: Two Reviews

Celestron Regal M2Today we’re lucky enough to have two complete reviews of the same scope, Celestron’s Regal M2 65ED. It overall sounds like a great spotting scope. Here they are:

First Review:

Whether you love bird watching or taking pristine photos of other wildlife in nature, the Celestron 52304 M2 65ED Spotting Scope can help you take the perfect pictures. Celestron is a trusted brand when it comes to creating a multitude of different scopes to give the user the best-quality view possible. This M2 series spotting scope is made from state-of-the-art materials to ensure maximum durability that allows you to use it in any type of weather. The scope also comes with a variety of adjustable options as well as accessory upgrades to make your viewing experience even better.

Celestron Quality Scopes

For years, Celestron has been creating high-quality optics. They make telescopes to view the stars, microscopes for the smallest objects on earth, binoculars and best of all they make spotting scopes. Celestron ensures that that they keep up with the latest technology by creating smartphone and tablet apps for your convenient. Not only can you access different Celestron apps, but they also make accessories that allow you to hook up your smartphone to this M2 series spotting scope. Their goal is to stay on top of innovation and provide the best quality possible for every one of their customers.

Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope Material

Celestrong has created the Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope with a magnesium alloy body. It’s light in weight, extremely strong and durable. Celestron understands that outdoorsman who use their products trudge through some rough terrain, so they ensure that this spotting scope can take a hit if it were to drop. The material is completely waterproof as well, so whether it’s raining or snowing when you’re out spotting wildlife, you won’t have to worry about water damage.

The M2 Spotting Scope Lens

The lens in the M2 65ED Spotting Scope is created with the same proprietary material that Celestron uses for their best telescope that helps astronomers view stars and galaxies millions of miles away. When you purchase this spotting scope, you’ll have the choice of a three different sizes that include 65mm, 80mm and 100mm. The extra-low dispersion glass helps you spot the tiniest of creatures hidden in brush or in the dimmest of light by providing maximum light transmission. No matter what the situation may be, you can rest assured that you’ll have bright, sharp images. The scope also has an easily-accessible dual focus knob so you can quickly spot your subject with crystal-clear quality.

The Comfort of the Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope

Celestron has engineered this spotting scope to provide the maximum amount of comfort for anyone who is using it. The tripod that the spotting scope sits on is completely adjustable. You’ll be able to adjust the height and the angle of the spotting scope with ease to get the perfect angle. The spotting scope also comes with a fully adjustable lens shade and twist-up eyecup.

Accessorizing the Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope

You’ll be able to instantly share the photos you take with the 65ED Spotting Scope with the smartphone adaptor that’s compatible with a variety of iPhone and Android products. This adaptor lets you attach your camera to the twist-up lens to take perfect pictures to save to your phone and easily upload the photos to your social media accounts or email them to friends and family. Another great accessory that Celestron makes for this scope is the stay-on case. This case gives you extra protection from the elements while not hindering the quality of your viewing.

When you want to experience nature and wildlife at its finest, the Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope is one of the best on the market and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Second Review:

For enthusiastic amateur viewers, the Celestron 52304 Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope makes a sound choice. It features many standout components, including an ED objective lens, XLT coatings and a rotating tripod mount. The quality of images is exceptional. The telescope comes in a durable magnesium alloy body, which gives users the confidence to take it out in all types of viewing conditions. This scope also offers uncommonly good features for an average price. This makes astronomers looking for a solid, high-performing telescope at a reasonable price quite happy.

The objective lens, a notable feature, produces a clear and vivid image. It replicates images in a high quality and precise color scheme. The lens has a 16-48x eyepiece with automatic zoon. It also reduces chromatic aberration and shows remarkable contrast. The eyepiece mount measures 1.25 inches — a standard dimension that makes the scope compatible with many types of telescope eyepieces. The eyepiece has a diverse magnification range, a rubber eyecup and a 20mm eye relief, which enables comfortable and accurate viewing for long viewing sessions. In addition to enabling easy adjustments and creating a precise, clear image, the lens has a special coating –Celestron’s own—that enriches color and produces a bright picture. This coating includes BaK-4 prisms and a low-dispersion ED glass piece that reduces chromatic aberration but expertly gathers light to produce a great photo. The Regal M2 boasts a long-rang viewing field of 1,000 yards and has a 16.4 foot, or 5-meter, close focus capacity for clarity and precision.

This telescope has several adjustments and mechanisms to help astronomers customize the scope to their specific viewing needs. The Celestron rests on a rotating tripod, which makes setting up and changing positions a breeze. Rounding out the tripod’s notable features are a ¼-inch mounting socket and sighting aid. A sliding sunshade lets users allow or seal out the correct amount of light for the best viewing, while a dual-focus mechanism makes the scope perfect for looking at objects nearby and afar. Once in position, the tripod locks in place with a special locking system. This gives viewers peace of mind knowing that the scope will stay safely in place.

The Regal M2 comes with a T-adapter ring, which helps astronomers easily mount a DSLR camera to the objective assembly. In less than a minute, viewers can transition from tradition viewing to digital viewing and back again. This feature is one of the scope’s greatest assets, as it makes it perfect for traditional astronomers as well as the more technologically oriented crowd. Users can adjust the scope with a set of coarse and fine adjustments to create a personalized and enjoyable experience.

The Regal M2 weighs in at 46.8 ounces, which makes it a bit heavier than other scopes in its class. This excess weight comes in handy for stabilizing the scope in a prime viewing location, but makes it less transportable. In addition to stability, the Regal M2 is constructed with magnesium alloy, which makes it ideal for withstanding all types of weather conditions. It also resists erosion, thanks to a proprietary addition of nitrogen filling, which protects them from the inside. The nitrogen filling also does double duty by keeping the viewing pieces from fogging up.

Overall, the Celestron 52304 Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope makes a fine instrument for amateur astronomers looking for a high-quality device without spending a fortune. The scope’s rugged design and versatility make it perfect for other outdoor viewing activities too, such as birding and looking at insects. As a bonus, this instrument comes with sturdy carrying cases to transport the components with care and ease.

Bonus Video Review!

Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope User Review

redfield rampageThis attractively-priced spotting scope from Redfield features a huge 60mm objective lens and a powerful 20-60 times magnification capability. Built in solid black, this futuristic and powerful spotting scope will look good when used in conjunction with any hunting rifle or long gun.


The Redfield Rampage ships with its own carrying case and strap, as well as a short tripod. The carrying case features a “view through” feature, allowing users to look through the objective and eyepiece even while the scope remains in the case, protected against rain, snow and other forms of inclement weather.

Other features include:

  • Powerful 20-60x zoom
  • Nitrogen filled housing for fogproof and weatherproof operation
  • Features an advanced BaK-4 prism to maximize light transfer to improve image brightness and clarity
  • Rugged polycarbonate housing to withstand outdoor use
  • Deep knurling on the adjustment knobs for better control and enhanced tacticle fedback
  • A generous 2.2-1 degree angle of view
  • Retractable lens shade

It should be noted that the included tripod also comes with an adaptable mounting foot for use in variable conditions in the field.

Eye Relief

Probably one of the most important parts of any rifle scope or spotting scope is the eye relief. If it’s too short or not protected enough, shooters could inadvertently injure their face or eyes. The Redfield Rampage comes with a long 17-14mm eye relief with a twist-up style rubber eyecup to provide two different layers of protection against recoil.

Using this Scope In the Field

It should be noted that the Redfield Rampage is a spotting scope, meant to be used independently and not attached to a rifle or other long gun. While I loved all the features right out of the box, I knew I needed a bigger tripod so I bought one from a different manufacturer, and was quite pleased to see that it fit the standard attachment on the bottom of the Redfield Rampage.

Once I “zeroed” in the scope, I found that it maintained accuracy wonderfully. The multicoated optics on the scope are superb, and far more than 90% of the light is getting passed through the body of the scope, giving me a crystal clear and detailed image. I practiced dialing in shots as close as 100 yards and as far out as 600 yards, all targeted using the Redfield Rampage, and I was enormously pleased with the results. Not only was I drilling several consecutive bulls-eyes but my accuracy didn’t tail off over time but remained constant using targeting adjustments that I made with the Redfield Rampage.

Out in the fields and bogs of my property, I had no problem with the Redfield Rampage fogging up or any moisture leaking into the durable polycarbonate housing. The protective sleeve and carrying case did a great job of letting me look through the sight without exposing the rest of the scope to driving rain and one freezing ice storm that blew through camp on our last night out. Lens caps snap on super snug when not in use, making the Redfield Rampage perfect in any kinds of weather or atmospheric conditions.


Although there are far cheaper rifle scopes available on the market, the Redfield Rampage simply offers unparalleled quality. With an incredibly powerful 20-60 times magnification, hunters and shooters can accurately place and land even the longest shots. Large game and other big targets can easily be acquired from a safe distance, allowing hunters to improve their marksmanship and shooting accuracy.

Barska 30-90×90 Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope Review

When it’s just you, your prey and Mother Nature quietly waiting for just the right moment to pull the trigger, this is no time to rely upon a spotting scope that’s so lame, your shot is off its mark by an embarrassing distance. Sure, you’re on a tight budget, but didn’t your Dad tell you that you get what you pay for?

Save yourself from the frustration of missing the mark at exactly the moment it counts by choosing a spotting scope that delivers what all of the specs, benefits and features promised by the manufacturer. As you compare and contrast different brands, models and pedigrees, add the Barska 30-90×90 Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope to your list. If it proves exactly what you wanted and more, you’ll never wind up with buyer’s remorse.


Not just another pretty face, the Barska 30-90×90 offers no-nonsense zoom capability that enables you to scan a field area that’s impressively wide and deep. Once you spot your objective, lock down the setting by centering it within the eyepiece and adjust your magnification so the words “high definition” pale in comparison to what you’re actually seeing!

Worried about contrast because you’ve been fooled in the past when your prey simply disappeared into the background? Not with this 90X magnification courtesy of the 90mm multi-coated lens that a seasoned photographer would applaud. If you’re sick of being disappointed by scopes performing badly—because the waterproofing isn’t, fog-proofing proves to be advertising propaganda or you’re tired of products that don’t deliver on their “all-terrain, all-climate and all-weather” claims, the Barska 30-90×90 Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope deserves your attention and perhaps a spot on Santa’s “I’ve been good” list.

Specs and Features

A carrycase comes with the scope so it remains covered and protected, even in the most rugged environments.

  • Enjoy excellent optics that deliver clear and crisp resolution each time you focus.
  • Lightweight construction means you’re not burdened by extra weight when you least desire it.
  • Expect excellent image clarity, even in environments where the light is low.
  • The high-density lens is fully coated, dry nitrogen-purged, O-ring sealed, fog- and water-proof.
  • Minimum magnification is 30X; maximum magnification delivers on its promise of 90X.
  • At just 3.1 pounds and 4.5 x 5 x 21 inches, this scope tucks nicely into carry bags when room is tight.


  • This spotter has exceptional viewing distance according to scope purchasers.
  • Repeated compliments on the waterproofing and extendable glare reduction features.
  • Magnificent quality, multiple buyers enthused.
  • Barska “finally nailed it” said one shopper formerly disappointed with the brand’s optics.
  • A terrific choice for star-gazers, wildlife watchers and hunters.
  • Barska makes the exchange or replacement process easy if a shopper isn’t satisfied.


  • One shopper found the eyepiece so small, he gave up trying to get a bead on his objective; for another, “Barely able to see 338 lapua only 200 yards!!!!!”
  • Some found this scope too powerful and heavy for existing tripods, forcing them to buy new ones.
  • Purchasers taking advantage of Barska’s bundled scope/tripod special say the free tripod isn’t stable or strong and found it badly manufactured.
  • Multiple reviewers complained about disappointing optics.
  • Price point differences distress buyers; discounter prices often higher than Barska retail!


There’s plenty to be said for a company manufacturing products that treat buyers like royalty. Despite unhappy buyers—and there will always be a few given human nature—the Barska 30-90×90 Colorado Spotting Scope appears to have found enthusiastic owners who like the feel, the optics, the sturdy construction and the performance of this handy scope. Be a wise consumer when shopping; we found pricing that ran the gamut from $126 on Amazon to $180 on Overstock, and not all included that free tripod perk. Order directly from the company and if you’re not delighted, we have it on good authority that Barska’s customer service reps are some of the best on the planet.

User Review: Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope

When it comes to why I use a scope, I’m really a jack of all trades (and while my wife would disagree, I’d also say the master of most of those trades). I hunt with my buddies, I shoot at the range with my son, I bird watch with my wife on weekends, and I’ve been a hobby photographer since my college days. Having a spotting scope that is high quality and worth every penny is important to me, and the Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope fits that description to a T, which is why I am taking the time to write this review.

From the onset, the Vanguard Endeavor HD is a must buy. Its set up is simple, and it is one of the most comfortable scopes I have used in my life. The rubber eye cup. The angle positioning, and the built in shield for the sun are luxuries I couldn’t live without having been spoiled by this scope. My eyes strain less, and my wife doesn’t complain about that redness that often arises as a result of using a scope with a rubber eye cup that is neither durable nor suitable for sensitive skin such as my own. My wife actually uses this scope as well when she goes bird watching without me, so for anyone who is smaller in stature, the angled scope makes it so you don’t have to keep it at the sight’s eye level in order to have a clear view.

One of my favorite aspects of this scope is the fact that the internal air is no longer a component. Instead, dry gas prevents the internal glass from getting misty or foggy when the temperature drops or rises suddenly. I’ve had this scope for a while, so I can also say, with confidence, that the fog proof design also prevents corrosion, which makes this scope an even better investment than I had originally thought it was upon purchasing it originally.

The optics are really the most amazing aspect of this scope – as they should be. For starters, this scope is fully multi-coated, meaning it really takes quality optics to a new level. All of the glass surfaces inside and outside of this scope are coated multiple times with multiple layers of anti-reflection properties that improve the transmittance on this scope I would say by nearly fifty percent compared to other scopes I’ve used that were described as just “fully coated.” There’s a difference, and that difference matters as far as I’m concerned.

The only downside to this scope is its weight. Granted, the is uses magnesium chassis rather than plastic, so it is definitely more durable and reliable, but with that reliable durability comes a 63oz weight, which makes it about ten ounces heavier than I’m used to with most of the scopes I’ve used in the past. It’s a small pitfall, but its weight is definitely worth mentioning.

Overall, this is one of the best scopes I’ve ever used for its price point. Obviously, as with most products, higher end equates with a higher price tag, but Vanguard is a reputable brand for a reason. Its field of view and high spectrum magnification serve their purposes well, as I use this scope for hunting and following birds. The zoom alone on this scope makes it worthwhile. Overall, though, the Vanguard Endeavor HD’s  durability and ease of accessibility, combined with its impressive optics, make it quite a bang for your buck.

Review of the Pentax PF-65ED II Spotting Scope

Pentax PF-65ED IIWhen it comes to outdoor viewing, there are several factors to consider in order to get the best experience. A quality scope should be able to offer a clear, magnified image without loss in color or detail, and it must be able to withstand the demands of its environment. The Pentax PF-65ED is lean on price without having to give up key features. Consider it for your next spotting excursion.

While the price nearly summits the $600 mark, this scope is modestly expensive compared to competing models. In order to maintain affordability, the Pentax PF-65ED relies on providing a natural image without unnecessary technology. For outdoor enthusiasts, a spotting scope can be vital and must perform consistently at high levels. Perhaps the most important feature for a spotting scope is clarity. Using porro-prism optics, the Pentax PF-65ED delivers a vibrant and crisp image. Porro-prism is great for image quality, but usually lacks the durability that can be found in roof-prism optics.* This is not the case with this scope, which features a waterproof rubber housing that protects the scope and allows for viewing in wet and hazardous conditions.

The Pentax PF-65ED is also great at reducing glare with coated optics and sliding sunshade that also allow for full color saturation. Essentially, this scope and all quality scopes are looking at the image for you and relaying it back in a way that mirrors how your own eyes work, but at an increased capacity. This scope uses light filtration to make the image look as natural as possible while other the features work to subtly enhance it. The scope is also designed with a built-in aiming ridge which makes acquisition quick and easy.**

Featuring a tripod and a total weight at just over 2 lbs., aiming and carrying this scope are effortless. This scope can be mounted and securely locked onto the subject in just a few short moments while displaying a generous field of view. Pentax is famous for rifle scopes, in which ease of use and clarity are essential. This spotting scope delivers on that platform while also providing broader vision at a 65mm zoom.

While Pentax offers a wide array of quality scopes with impressive features, the Pf-65ED is able to deliver impressive results at a more affordable price. Pentax has products that are built for backyard bird-watching to spotting rare animals in exotic and unforgiving climates. This scope shines brightest by being perfect for hobbyists and professionals alike. Part of what makes this scope so brilliant is that it can’t do everything, and it’s not designed to just do one thing. By allowing itself to fit into several situations, the PF 65-ED can be the only scope you’ll ever need. This is an eyepiece that lends itself to everyone.

Because of the durability and high-performing features that work rain or shine, you can take this scope almost anywhere. No more worrying about the weather, because the PF 65-ED was designed with weather in mind and transitions seamlessly between rain torrents and bright sunshine. Pentax has priced and designed this model to offer something across the spectrum of outdoor optics. The right amount of emphasis is placed on every aspect to ensure that this scope works dependently and that there aren’t any areas of shortcomings. Confidently take this scope on a week-long excursion to an unfamiliar climate, where you may not even know what it is you want to see. When you’re out in nature, you’re surrounded by possibility and opportunity. The Pentax PF 65-ED is the scope you want with you to ensure none of those possibilities or opportunities pass you by.


The Best Spotting Scope Tripod

Tripods are used with a wide variety of optical equipment. These devices are essential accessories not only for supporting spotting scopes, but also for other optical equipment such as telescopes, binoculars and cameras. Tripods play two main important roles namely:

  • They improve the steadiness of the equipment when using sensitive and high-magnification instruments
  • They support the weight of large and heavy instruments that the user would otherwise struggle to support adequately

Tripods have two basic parts: a tripod head that holds the optical product and a tripod leg set. On less expensive tripods (cheaper tripods usually cost less than $100) the tripod head and the leg set are sold together by the manufacturer. Most of these tripods do not allow the user to remove the head and switch it with a different one. For more expensive tripods, however, the heads and leg sets are interchangeable and can be bought separately. For instance, a Bogen tripod only sells the leg set if the customer orders for a ‘‘Tripod.’’ If the customer needs the complete device, they must order for a ‘‘Bogen Kit.’’ Manufacturers of high-end tripods usually mention this in the product specifications.

Heavy instruments require tripods with heavy heads, and these tend to be expensive. It’s important that you buy a tripod that matches your specific needs otherwise you will end up wasting your money. Most cheap tripods feature plastic heads which are prone to cracking and can easily drop your spotting scope on the ground. These types of tripods are often not the best for use with spotting scopes. Some manufacturers specify the correct payloads for their tripods. But, it’s always best to take these figures with a pinch of salt since they are often inflated.

Compact Tripods

Compact tripods are bigger than table-top tripods, but can still be used conveniently when the user is sitting on a chair. These tripods are loved by backpackers and mountain hunters due to their portability. Compact tripods are best for spotting scopes of not more than 70mm but not so good for spotting scopes larger than 80mm.

The Leupold Compact Tripod 56446 is one of the best compact tripods. The device sells for $142 on Amazon. It weighs 2.3 pounds and measures 17 x 9 x 5.2 inches. It is reputed to hold spotting scopes as large as 19 inches and supporting weights of up to 4.5 pounds quite well.

But, for people who prefer larger scopes, it would be better to go for the Bushnell Trophy XLT 20, a heavy-duty and waterproof spotting scope that comes fitted with a good compact tripod. The spotting scope sells for $374.95 on Amazon, though you can get it at an off-price of $185.30. This spotting scope and tripod weigh 7.2 pounds.

Full-Size Tripods

Full-size tripods allow a user of average height to use a spotting scope while in a standing position. Being full size, however, does not automatically mean that the tripod is ideal for heavy loads. The user should make sure to match tripod strength with the weight of the spotting scope. It’s also important to remember that as a general rule of thumb, cheap plastic tripods are only suitable for light weights and cannot be expected to support heavy spotting scopes reliably. The average full size tripod with its head attached extends from 26 inches to 57 inches but can go up to 72 inches with the center column at its highest point.

The Bushnell advanced tripod is one of the best full size tripods. The tripod sells for $166.95 on Amazon and weighs 5.5 pounds. This full-featured tripod can support 11 pounds of instrument and has a minimum height of 18.3 inches and a maximum height of 61 inches (50.3 inches without the column extended). It’s a great device to use where portability is not a primary concern. The universal head fits a wide variety of scopes, range finders and binoculars. The tripod is sturdily built with rugged corrosion-resistant finishes that guarantee years of trouble-free service.

Table Top/Shooter’s Tripods

Table top tripods, or shooter’s tripods as they are commonly referred to, are tripods that are designed for use on a table or a shooting bench. Most of these tripods are between 8 inches and 18 inches in height depending on the model and the manufacturer. Table top tripods mostly do not have telescopic legs. This limits their range of adjustability since many can only be adjusted using an extendable center column, though some models lack this feature. A shooter tripod consists of a table top tripod that has a knob that can be used to make fine adjustments on the evaluation and windage. Their light weight and narrow led span make them ideal for use in limited spaces but they are generally not recommended for use with heavy equipment.

If you feel that a table tripod is good enough for you, the try the Alpen Micro Adjustable tripod. It sells for just $72 on Amazon and weighs a mere 1.2 pounds. The tripod is a real midget and has a maximum standing height of just 13 inches, though it can go to 16 inches when the legs are bunched. The good thing about it is that it is sturdily built and made entirely of metal (with the exception of the adjustment knobs) which makes it a good choice even for heavier loads.

The most important thing to consider when buying a tripod for your spotting scope is how well it can support your scope. The height is also important, though the weight tends to be a secondary concern for many users.