Author Options:

How can a choose a spotting scope for my husband when I don't know anything about them.? Answered

I am thinking about getting it for a father's day gift. He would be using it to look out into the fields around our farm spotting wildlife as well as our livestock. I want him to be able to sit and look at the fields using a scope on a tripod. What do I need to know? How do I choose one?


Bushnell reasonably priced and good quality

Simply put, buy the best you can afford that does what you want. I use Opticron with great satisfaction, but my father uses Swarovski (much more expensive, but great after-sales service). However, scopes are best used when looking at a relatively fixed location - if he is likely to be looking at several locations in quick succession, or scanning around the fields, a decent pair of binoculars would be better. In an ideal situation, he would be able to use binoculars to scan around for something interesting to look at, then switch to a scope for a better look. As I already said, budget is everything - my binoculars cost roughly $500, my (second hand) scope is worth twice that new. You could easily spend two or three thousand dollars on a top-end scope.

My uncle in birdwatching is a huge supporter of swarovski scopes - they are a big leader in lense tech I know canon makes top of the line camera lenses - not sure if they make scopes as well.

how much money do you have? how big is your field? are the animals a couple miles away?

do you just want to go get one at the local store? if yes, then the biggest and most expensive one is probably a good one.

ask the person there if you can take one out of the box and use it around the store. Buy a tripod first (really any $30 one will be fine) and try the scope out in the store, can you clearly read signs and text far away? make sure the adjustment knobs are SMOOTH to turn and not hard. even some of the expensive scopes have dials all over them that are hard to turn.

here's some top picks from an online store

here's google search