Spotting Scope VS Binoculars: Which One Should You Choose?

There are many things/activities which you would like to watch from a little far- and it won’t be possible for your naked eye to detect the small objects or things when they’re at a distance. You would require some assistance. These days, there are two most important instruments which are used to view the far away objects i.e. one is spotting scopes and the other option is binoculars. Now if your question is Spotting Scope VS Binoculars which one should you choose? Then you are the right place. So, Let’s see.

Most of the professionals or hobbyists like the hunters; bird watchers prefer to use these instruments, but there is a constant battle between which is the better option. For people who’re completely new to the concept of optics with long range, it can be a difficult task to choose between both these instruments. If you’re also confused, this is the blog you should read as you can everything about these instruments which can help you make the best choice.

Definition of Spotting Scope and Binoculars


When it comes to spotting scopes, it is preferred by the sniper teams to watch the field targets. This is a kind of optic specifically made to watch through one eye, and you can either use a straight or go for an angled eyepiece to view. It is also called as a great mini telescope (which can exceed a magnification power of 50x) and will help you spot any kind of small objects/tiny things from far.

To make the most of the spotting scope, you need to fix it with a tripod because they have chances to wobble if not fixed in the right way. These days, more and more people prefer using a spotting scope for hunting, bird watching etc.


Binoculars are one of the most popular sighting tools, which can give you a bigger image of the distant things. The optics used in the binoculars is different for both the eyes eye, and so both the outputs are combined to give an ultimate picture. This instrument is mostly preferred by the outdoors men who look for easiness and portability in the sighting optics. The only bad thing is that they have a restricted magnification power (won’t exceed more than 20x and much nearer to 10 x).


One of the major differences between a spotting scope or binoculars is the range. Spotting scopes have a greater magnification limit (and it has been already mentioned in the blog), along with 60 mm+ objective diameter to give you quality images of any distant objects.

If we talk about binoculars, they have a very limited zoom capacity (and most of them are focused on zoom setting) with a diameter either at /under 50 mm. So you can easily view the camouflaged elements up to a particular range. Binoculars are definitely a great option if you want to focus on large targets, for example, hunting, at a moderate distance, but you should always choose a spotting scope to focus on the minute details in the birds, animals or any other kind of species at an extended range.


If compared to the binoculars, a spotting scope have bigger and larger aperture- and it also means that they will give you a detailed image even in low light. Thus, if you’re going for hunting on a rainy day or during sunset, expect to get better clarity with a spotting scope and not the binoculars.

Which Is the Most Convenient Instrument between Spotting Scope VS Binoculars:

If convenience is concerned, binoculars are definitely a great choice (and we’re not lying). All you need to do is just tie the cord & sling it in the neck so that you can easily carry it wherever you want. If you buy the minor ones, they can easily fit into in your coat pockets. Unfortunately, if you go for the other option, they are extremely heavy and you can either carry them in a rucksack pouch or even use a cargo pocket. Choosing the latter one can be a little awkward.

Binoculars have lesser fixed magnification, and therefore can be used despite the fact if you’re moving or even when you’re standing on a specific position. On the other hand, spotting scopes cannot be moved easily, and you have to place it either on a tripod or a rock to make use of it.


For professional hunters who always shoot within 200 yards and move constantly, they should go for binoculars because it’s simple, stable, and 100% portable. And, these are the features which will make it the best choice for them.

However, if you’re someone who’s shooting beyond 200 yards- where you’re focusing on a particular thing, a spotting scope is the instrument you should have since it helps you capture the smaller details through the camouflage. This is one of the major reasons why they have gained a lot of popularity among the sniper teams.


If you’re someone who simply wants to observe the regular behavior of the birds or any other species, then a binocular is great. However, if you’re passionate about birding, for instance, you would like to research the different species of birds by observing their behavior, learn their surroundings and other detailed things, look for strong and powerful optics in the lens in a spotting scope.


Go for binoculars if you’re not too sure about spotting scopes or have very little idea about this instrument. Needless to mention, it can help you observe the constellations, but won’t be effective if you want to observe the other astronomical objects, like the asteroids or any other planet. The reason is that of its limited magnification power and aperture size.

Spotting scopes have long-range optics, and they will win the battle even when you compare them with the most advanced binoculars. You can see the beautiful star clusters, or any other planet (and sometimes the stunning moon if the sky is clear). Keep all these great tips about spotting scope vs binoculars in mind to choose the best instrument for you.

Good luck!

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