What are birdwatching spotting scopes?

Spotting scopes are a type of telescopes with larger lens then the normal ones. Just like the normal telescopes they produce a bright upright image, the only difference being that they have a wider field of view. These scopes possess a magnification in the range 20x-60x in normal conditions during the day time. Birdwatching spotting scopes are generally those whose magnification is in between 20 and 30 times.

These are available in a water proof design with a rubber coating over the instrument. For easy usage these can be mounted on a tripod stand as well. This makes it possible to focus on the birds in flight as well, as the image is steady and cannot be blurred which happens due to shaking when held in hand. As with all the other optical devices the quality of the image depends on the amount of light which enters the scope. This in turn depends on the size of the aperture and hence the diameter of the lens; optimum should lie in the range of 50 – 80 mm diameter.

Classification of these birdwatching spotting scopes can be done based on two parameters. Some of these scopes have optical zoom while others have various lens of different magnification. These can also be either straight-through scopes or angled scopes. These scopes are generally used in combination with photographic instruments.

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