Spotting scopes offer more magnification and sharpness views compared to binoculars or rangefinders, making them ideal for sighting objects from long distances. For example, you can use it for hunting, wildlife viewing, bird watching, or various other outdoor activities. It can also be used in precarious weather conditions because high-quality spotting scopes are equipped with protection systems against bad weather.
However, finding the best spotting scopes under $200 is not an easy task. There are different types of spotting scope: day, night and thermal viewer. Some models are ideal for hunting or wildlife viewing and others for observing or bird watching.
Are you ready to find the best spotting scope under $200 that best suits your needs?
In this guide, we will explore some of the best spotting scopes available under $200 in 2023. These models strike a balance between affordability and quality, offering impressive features and performance without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a birdwatcher seeking crisp and clear images, a hunter looking to spot game from afar, or an astronomy enthusiast eager to explore celestial wonders, there’s a spotting scope on this list for you.
Best Spotting Scopes Under $200 [Reviews 2023]
We have considered customer reviews, expert opinions, and market trends to ensure that the options we present are not only affordable but also reliable and highly functional.
Take a look at our comparison table of the best spotting scopes under $200.
|Check On Amazon|
|Check On Amazon|
|Check On Amazon|
|Check On Amazon|
|Check On Amazon|
|Check On Amazon|
|Check On Amazon|
|Check On Amazon|
|Check On Amazon|
|Check On Amazon|
1. Gosky Updated Spotting Scope with Tripod – Top Pick
If you are looking for a device that is designed for watching wildlife and nature, then you’ll absolutely admire the Gosky 3216579075. This is an upgraded spotting scope from Gosky that has been rated as one of the best spotting scopes under $200 for target shooting, Animal & bird watching.
The quality BAK4 Porro prism optics increase transmission light and make the view much more bright and clear. It has variable 20x to 60x magnification and comes with a dynamic lens focusing system which provides a more stable image, even in bad weather conditions.
The glass is high quality and the cellphone attachment works flawlessly. Gosky spotting scope comes with a fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens, which provides a field of view from up to 1000 yards. It has adjustable eye-cups for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
A durable magnalium framework with shock-absorb rubber armor makes it usable in the toughest weather. It will perfectly fit any phone with a back-face camera. The package also includes everything you need. And the included eyepiece and carrying bag are really high quality.
The focus knob is silky smooth and the phone attachment hooks up very easily. This is a versatile device, suitable for hunting, hiking, camping, scenery, and all other outdoor activities.
But that is not all…
Gosky Upgraded spotting scope was designed with waterproofness. The O-ring seals are able to protect the device from moisture, dust and debris. Also, nitrogen gas purging delivers further waterproof performance.
However, we found that at the minimum power, the optics are crisp and clear. But once we started to venture into the higher settings, the picture quality degraded severely. Overall, Gosky spotting scope is good for the price you pay and does not feel cheap in the long run.
- Durable and high-quality framework
- Waterproof, fog proof and shock-proof
- Comes with a full range of accessories
- Very simple to set up and use
- Powerful lens
- Tripod is well built but lacks quality control
- Included adapter doesn’t fit tightly
- Size truly large
2. Landove HD Multi-Coated Spotting Scope – Editor’s Choice
Landove HD model we have considered one of the best spotting scopes under $200 for outdoor shooting or observing natural movements. This device is powerful enough to give you excellent performance.
The high-power setting is rather clear and impressive compared to other spotting scopes at this price tag. With fully multi-coated optics, Landove HD spotting scope comes with a big 80mm objective lens, BAK4 Porro Prism and a 9pcs lens.
It is built with HD 24mm 2 inches big eyepiece (45 degrees angled eyepiece), which provides more comfortable while viewing. It has coaxial coarse and fine focus dials, so you can quickly clarify the image.
Additionally, the package includes a carrying case, lens covers, tripod, and cellphone camera attachment. The tripod interface is suitable for all standard tripod mounts.
This multi-coated spotting scope also has a sunshade. The ring can be pulled out to make the sunshade. The high-quality rubber outer layer ensures long-lasting protection. You can withstand it in the toughest environments because it has been protected against water and debris.
It comes with a New Design Large smartphone digiscoping adapter so that users can take photos and videos. You can also share the moment with your friends and families to post on the social network site. It weighs only 2.5 lbs without a tripod. Landove spotting scope is suitable for target shooting, archery, hunting, bird watching, wildlife watching, and even astronomical observation.
- Lightweight and durable
- Big eyepiece and high magnification
- Completely waterproof and fogproof
- Excellent image quality
- Simple to use focus knobs
- Eyepiece is not removable
- It does not rotate
3. Vanguard Vesta 560A Spotting Scope Package
VANGUARD is a globally well-known company for producing high-quality optics devices such as spotting scopes, binoculars, tripods, travel bags, and other adventure accessories for more than 30 years. The VANGUARD Vesta is their latest edition of the cheapest spotting scopes, ideal for birdwatching, traveling, and nature streaming.
It is made of advanced multi-guard coatings for higher light transmittance and it is so much refined in construction. Heavy-duty design with a matte black rubberized finish looks pretty good.
The focus is easy and refined and the angled eyepiece is much nicer than the previous model Vesta 460A which you can buy for less than $150. The highest magnification is 60x.
It is completely waterproof and fogproof. However, this model is not good for Surveillance. It is compact and lightweight. You can easily carry it with you wherever you travel.
Vesta 560A spotting scope is adaptable for mobile and stationary applications. The ergonomic design, rubber-armored aluminum alloy, and a quick focus adjustments system allow you to acquire your subject with clear focus. The fold-down rubber eye cup allows you to use it with and without glasses.
The fine focus knob you can easily adjust with the tip of your finger. Included table-top tripod is extremely quick to set up and works great off a table or bench.
VANGUARD Vesta spotting scope comes with a beautiful carrying bag and sling compact tripod. VANGUARD also offers a lifetime warranty. Overall, the price of this model is unparalleled for its quality.
- Rubberized knurled for ease of use
- Compact and lightweight
- Modern and ergonomic design
- Performs well in all weather conditions
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Tripod is too small
4. Athlon 315001 Optics Talos 20-60×80
Athlon spotting scope is designed with good optical quality and ease of use for the user’s mind. It features fully multi-coated lenses and K9 prisms which provide clear and bright views. The glass is clear, and the angled eyepiece makes viewing in several shooting positions.
Athlon 315001 spotting scope is fogproof, waterproof, and filled with nitrogen gas so that it can able to prevent internal fogging and promote better thermal stability. It built-in extendable sunshade that will minimize any unwanted flare and reflection and provides better clearer image.
The powerful lens is made to eliminate reflections. Athlon is actually a really decent spotting scope for the money. It is lightweight. The package includes a table-top tripod and soft case to allow you to carry the device in one package. To ensure quality, Athlon offers a lifetime warranty.
The mountable tripod is compatible with all regular camera tripods to have a steady mount that is ideal for long-range observation. You can rotate the whole scope around the tripod because this device has high quality rotating Ring.
Athlon spotting scope has the most requested 20-60x range within which you can see extra clearly thanks to the 80mm objective.
You can use this device for bird watching, observing the sky, traveling, watching competitions and matches, hunting and fishing, concerts, and admiring landscapes. You can also record the view that you are closely watching what is happening.
- Versatile to use and works with all standard tripods
- Great choice at a reasonable cost
- clear glass and crisp images
- Rotating tripod mounting ring
- Extendable Sunshade
- Angled design
- Eyepiece does not rotate
- Tripod is a little bit small
- Magnification level could be better
5. Barska AD12756 Colorado Budget Spotting Scope
Barska AD12756 spotting scope is suitable for all those looking for an outstanding performance device at an affordable price. This model is what we consider among the best spotting scopes of 2023 with the best value for money.
It is equipped with a Porro prism lens and a multilayer optical coating that allows you to have a high refractive index and a very high optical efficiency.
With powerful and versatile 20-60x magnification and 80mm Objective Lens, it will provide you with a close and detailed look. The large Objective Lens and a sun visor system also reduce glare and protect the lens.
This device is made of aluminum alloy with rubber-coated which ensures maximum protection and simplifies adjustment. However, the weight is quite low, so you can easily carry it with your backpack.
Barska AD12756 spotting scope features a focus knob and zoom ring that allow you to adjust it easily. This unit is shockproof and has a straight body design, easier to access for people of different heights. It also comes with a soft carrying bag. You can use this scope in all weather conditions even for long sessions.
- Solid and durable construction
- Convenient to store and carry
- Sharp images even zoomed in
- Compact and portable design
- Waterproof and fogproof
- Included tripod is very small
6. Gosky GOSP001 Spotting Scope for Wildlife View
Gosky GOSP001 spotting scope comes with fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens, eyepiece, and quality prism inside. It will deliver crisp image quality from up to 1000 yards of distance. And with a variable 20x to 60x magnification, you can easily zoom on your target.
This device is durable and you can easily adjust the device from different angles. The quick setup manual is simple to follow up. It is designed for birdwatching, watching wildlife, and even moon observation.
The eye relief is adequate and the adjustable ring keeps the field of view the same no matter the power setting. It is completely waterproof and the super quality sealing property ensures optimal performance against the toughest weather condition. It is compact and handy; you can use it for long observation sessions.
The field of view of this model is very large. It is long enough and the full lens covers are sweet. However, if you use this device against the light, you have a bright background.
The angle adjustment is very useful, especially for bird watching. It works with all smartphone models, using a suitable adapter. However, the power setting knob is stiff but will be better after a little use.
The GOSP001 model comes with a digiscoping adapter and the package includes a lot of accessories such as a carrying Case, Eyepiece and Lens Protection Covers, Cleaning Cloth, and handy Straps. The mall tabletop-type tripod keeps the scope at a low center of gravity which reduces Wind movement.
The most important negative thing is the tripod is remarkably small and looks like only for table use. If this is not a problem for you, or you already have a tripod, you can choose this model.
- Comes with everything you need
- Provides clear and bright view
- Excellent scope for the price
- Functional digiscope accessory
- Focus and zoom absolutely great
- It is not a high-end device
- Not good for action shots
- Carrying case could be better
7. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 20-60×65 Spotting Scope
The Bushnell Trophy Xtreme is one of the best spotting scopes under $200 because of its superior quality and sharp zooming system. It is built with remarkable high-definition glass with fully multi-coating that provides high-contrast images without chromatic aberration.
The outside construction is pretty good, your hand feels very soft when using this device. The durable magnalium framework with rubber armor provides non-slip grip and external protection from shock.
The 65mm large objective lens and high-density BaK-4 prisms ensure a clear view when you put your eyes on the device, even in low light conditions.
Bushnell spotting scope offers powerful variable 20X-60X magnification and is built with sharp zoom eyepiece so that you can view clearly from a long distance with significant details. The images are very clear and bright especially if you are not zoomed in all the way 60X. Even when it is foggy and damp, it will perform well because it is completely weatherproof.
It has a 45-degree tilt with large eye relief and adjustable eyepiece. It is a perfect device for nature enthusiasts and hunters because it helps you see the target from long range. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme model also comes with lifetime hassle-free warranty.
The package comes with a full range of accessories. The multi-purpose tripod sits firmly on surfaces and holds the scope tightly so there is no way to move easily. The cellphone attachment also helps you to take pictures and videos at the same time. And the phone mount will fit most smartphones.
- Built-in quality Sharp Zoom System
- Rainproof and weatherproof
- Includes a lot of accessories
- Comfortable and user-friendly design
- Compact soft-side case
- Lifetime warranty
- Included tripod could be better
8. SVBONY SV46 Spotting Scope for Hunting
SVBONY spotting scope comes with HD 23mm and 45-degree angled large eyepiece, that will bring a more comfortable and professional view for you. The variable magnification levels make this device easy to zoom in on your target.
It is lightweight but very sharp and well-constructed. You can quickly produce clear images from up to 1000 yards. The adjustable eyecups can be easily and rapidly twisted up and down so that you are able to view objects with or without glasses. It is a dual-focus spotting scope that is specially designed for bird watching and hunting.
It looks pretty nice and durable. You can use it for long-range shooting instead of a rangefinder. You can adjust the body to any viewing position by simply loosening the adjustment collar on the center of the body.
SVBONY SV46 spotting scope is IPX7 waterproof rated, which means it can withstand the toughest environments. It is built with high-quality rubber outer layer, making it non-slip and shockproof.
]The functions are easy to manipulate and for the price, it’s hard to really say anything wrong. This device comes with 4 sections special tripod with aluminum alloy and quick-release locks. It can be easily carried on a short to medium hike.
One thing could be better; the included multi-functional tripod isn’t sturdy enough. However, the quick-removable switch allows it to be taken off in 1 second.
- Super bright and tight focus
- Very nice and great clarity
- HD Dual Focus design
- Built-in high quality
- Excellent weather protection
- Eye relief could be better
- Tripod is a bit flimsy
9. ESSLNB 20-60X80mm Updated Spotting Scope
If you are looking for a high-performance spotting scope under 200 dollars for birdwatching or observing activities, then the ESSLNB might be a good option for you. With its rugged body and enhanced optics, the ESSLNB spotting scope was designed for outdoor shooting or observing activities.
It is made of thick barium crown glass with multi-layer achromatic clearing lenses, which provides a super quality image. Whatever you decide to use, it is a spotting scope performed to satisfy your every need in the best way.
It is completely weatherproof. You can use it in all climatic conditions, even extreme ones, and in lighting. This device features 20mm BAK4 prism lens that delivers brightness even in low-light conditions.
The 23mm large eyepiece and 20-60X zoom magnification ensure clearer details of distant targets. And the retractable sunshade keeps from glare and protects the lens from scratch and damage. The package includes a smartphone adapter that enables you to take photos and videos.
The included carrying bag is large enough to carry all accessories wherever you want and making it more convenient to carry and maintain. It is therefore exactly what is right for you for all outdoor observation activities, such as bird watching, wildlife observation, and even for astronomical use.
ESSLNB 20-60X80 spotting scope comes with a height-adjustable aluminum tripod. The 360-degree rotatable spotting scope tube allows you to easily align for different views. The thick aluminum feet with rubber pads make the tripod more stable and solid on the surface.
- Easy to use and setup
- High quality and durable framework
- Comes with a height-adjustable tripod
- Delivers sharpened image
- Waterproof and fog-resistant
- Phone adapter could be better
10. Gosky Newest 20-60×80 Multipurpose Spotting Scope
And last but not least is the Gosky Newest 20-60×80, it is the best spotting scope under $200 for multi-purpose use. For example, you can use this device for bird watching, outdoor activities, concerts and stadium matches, camping, hiking, hunting, and more.
Gosky Newest spotting scope comes with a dual focusing knob, which really helps to create quality photos and see great detail on the object you are viewing from a great distance.
It is equipped with an aspherical BAK 4 Prism lens with a multilayer film that limits distortion. In this way, it guarantees you a clear and defined vision with balanced colors and better brightness and contrast.
The design is ergonomic for a non-slip grip. The adapter allows you to attach your smartphone to the spotting scope to take your photos through the lens. It has all the essential features to allow users better handling. In fact, the Gosky Newest is a compact spotting scope and is very handy to carry.
The visual range is very large. The focus function of the lenses allows you to use this device even in dim light conditions. It has an adjustable zoom from 20 to 60 times. It offers you a 45 ° angle view and brightness and the optics are of excellent quality.
Additionally, the package comes with a soft carrying case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, cleaning cloth, and adjustable eyecup. If you are interested in taking magnified pictures with your smartphone, the Gosky Newest 20-60×80 is a worthy option to consider.
- Design with dual speed focusing
- Widely adjustable
- Very simple to set up
- Strong and solid build
- Lighter than regular spotting scopes
- Seamless design
- Doesn’t come with tripod
- Poor cellphone adapter
How to Choose the Best Spotting Scope Under $200
In this section, we are going to briefly discuss the main features and characteristics of the best spotting scopes under $200 that you need to keep in mind before making the purchase decision.
In most cases, there are two types of spotting scopes you can find on the market; straight spotting scopes and angled spotting scopes.
Straight spotting scopes are better for observing from elevated positions. Downwards and angled spotting scopes are more comfortable for observing on flat ground or for observing from the window of your room.
The greater the magnification power, the closer you will be able to observe an object.
A 20x to 60x magnification is usually the recommended choice to avoid spending a ton of money to get an excellent model. This is because the higher the magnification, the lower the sharpness of the image. However, in order to correct this, very expensive lenses must be used.
Depending on price and brand, the spotting scope magnification starts at 15x and goes up to 60x.
The objective lens
Always prefer the quality of the lens and the size of the objective lens. A large and better quality lens is recommended to achieve good performance. Therefore, you can get better results with a small objective lens.
As previously mentioned, you need to decide the size of the lens you want to buy truly carefully because it will have a significant impact on your experience while using the scope. Usually, the size of the objective lens ranges from 40 mm up to 100 mm.
A large lens such as 80-100mm has a better ability to collect light, even in low light conditions. However, most 50 or 60mm lenses can be used without a tripod.
Obviously, spotting scopes with small objectives are lighter and easier to carry than large ones. To choose the size of the lens, it is necessary to consider the place of use. For example, if you intend to install your scope in a fixed position, then a large lens will give you better images.
On the other hand, if you have to travel a lot and often, it is better to consider a smaller, but lighter lens.
Lens coating is an important factor to consider, to view clearer images from a long distance.
However, there are different types and qualities of coatings, such as the full multilayer ones found in the best spotting scopes. This means that at least one of the optic lenses has been coated with multiple layers of material designed to improve the flow of light through them.
A professional spotting scope with greater eye relief should always be preferred. This is especially important if you are wearing glasses, or if you intend to use sunglasses while using this device.
When you are outside in the summer and the sun becomes blinding, wearing sunglasses can be not only useful but also indispensable for your eyes. For this reason, if you plan to use it in strong light conditions, and therefore wear sunglasses, you should consider a high Eye Relief. This allows you to keep your eye slightly away from the eyepiece, but still see a full field of view.
The eyepiece can be removable or not because it depends on the price. Usually, the preferred eyepieces are the zoom eyepieces that allow you to easily change the magnification. A good spotting scope under 200 dollars must have a minimum focusing distance of less than 6 meters.
You won’t always find yourself using your scope in ideal conditions. When you are out in the outdoor field and encounter adverse weather conditions, having a waterproof spotting scope on hand is the minimum to get the most out of your observation. Because if the scope is waterproof and anti-fog, you will get a clear image in most climates. These features also protect your device from water and corrosion, which are common when using the tool near saltwater.
As for the image quality, you really get what you pay for. But, most mid-range spotting scopes offer ideal image quality for most users’ demands. Hence, it is important to strike a balance between the required image quality and the price you are willing to pay.
You already know that there are several factors that affect image quality. More expensive models are equipped with multilayer lenses, which allow you to collect a greater amount of light.
Each person has his own budget. When it comes to choosing a spotting scope, you mostly get what you pay for. It is possible to buy a model even with a few tens of dollars, but this is not a long-lasting product.
Spotting scope for less than 100 may be the best option for short time use for nature lovers. If you really want to buy a good spotting scope, the price range goes from 200 to 1000 dollars.
It should be noted that the size of the lens tremendously affects the price.
What do the numbers 20-60 × 80 mean on a spotting scope?
These numbers are neither more nor less than the fundamental characteristics of the spotting scope: 20-60x defines the magnification area of the spotting scope. This for example will offer a magnification ranging from 20x to 60x via the use of a zoom eyepiece. The number 80 which follows defines the diameter of the objective which, in this case, will be 80mm.
How much should I pay to have a good spotting scope?
You can start very well with $100 – $200. It will meet a lot of basic needs. However, If you want to achieve a good level of observation with an instrument that will allow you to distinguish the finest shades of color in plumage and the smallest details on a small bird, then it may be wise to invest between $200 and $1,000.
If money is not an issue for you, then do not hesitate to invest $1500-$3000 in a spotting scope: the images it will give you will quickly make you forget the price that you have paid. High-end spotting scope brings you into another dimension of observation. In addition, this kind of instrument provides lifetime service if you take care of it!
Are there any recommended brands for spotting scopes under $200?
Yes, some reputable brands offer quality spotting scopes in this price range, such as Celestron, Vortex Optics, BARSKA, and Bushnell. These brands are known for producing affordable optics without compromising too much on quality.
Can I use my spotting scope without a tripod?
NO! Any optical instrument with a magnification greater than 12x or 15x requires support in order to avoid natural tremors and thus to have a good quality of observation. The spotting scopes all have a base with a 1 / 4-20 thread compatible with photo tripods.
Don’t sacrifice tripod quality to save a few bucks. If your tripod is not the right height or is unstable by its construction or the materials used, the best spotting scope in the world mounted on it will be a poor tool. Also, the use of fluid heads of the “video” type makes it possible to easily follow an animal and make the movements of the scope easy, without manipulation, only with a single joystick in hand.
- We also have reviewed the best spotting scope tripods on a budget.
Spotting scopes added great value, especially when compared to the other optical instruments. And the number of manufacturers has grown significantly in recent years.
We’re seduced by the excellence, compactness, lightness, and the brightness of Gosky Updated Spotting Scope, with its fabulous 20-60 magnification level. It is much more powerful and ideal for bird watchers, wildlife photographers, or anyone who wants to get a close look at things in very fine detail.
We hope this article helped you to pick the best spotting scope under 200 dollars. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.
You might be interested:
- 10 Best Spotting Scopes Under $100
- Spotting Scopes under 300 Dollars Reviews
- Our Favorite Spotting Scopes under $400
- Best Versatile Spotting Scopes Under $1000
- Top 10 Best Binoculars Under $100 — Buyer’s Guide
- Best Binoculars for Hunting —Buyer’s Guide
- Rangefinders Reviews under 100 dollars & Buyer’s Guide
- 10 Best Trail Camera Under $100 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide