Spotting Scope VS Telescope – What Should I Use?

Most of the time, a spotting scope is used to observe the beauty of nature, especially when you’re trying to see any small objects like birds or any other species. However, there are many people who assume that spotting scope and telescope have similar features. But, this is not entirely true. Let’s try to find the major differences in the spotting scope vs telescope blog.

There’s only one specific feature that is common in spotting scope and telescope, and it’s the magnification with eyepiece lens and an objective lens. This is one of the major reasons why both of them are used to view the objects from a long distance. In this blog, you will learn the differences between these two devices spotting scope or telescope.

The objective of Spotting Scope VS Telescope

Overall, the major objective of a telescope is to study, watch and understand the celestial objects. When it comes to the spotting scope, it is used to study the terrestrial targets. Moreover, a spotting scope is larger if compared to the telescope. Therefore, it is definitely portable.

If compared to a telescope, a spotting scope has a much better ergonomic design. It is both durable and rugged. A spotting scope will also give you a smaller picture and have less magnification. Therefore, they can give you a wider view.

Learn about The Weight

The concept of a telescope or the way it is made by the manufacturer is to be in a stable position. Therefore, it is extremely heavy if compared to a telescope. Another big difference between these devices is that you can easily place the spotting scope on the basic tripod. However, a telescope will need a special mount so that it gets the support.

The kind of mount you need will cost you a lot of money. It is expensive. The image you get from a spotting scope is usually right-side up. In a telescope, it is either inverted or reversed.

The Design Factor 

When it comes to the design, you won’t see any big difference in the spotting scope or telescope. The good thing is that you can both these devices for magnification. They have an objective lens and an eyepiece lens.

Most of the times, people use them so that they can view the long distances shots/pictures more clearly. Both have been made by the manufacturers in a way so that they can easily be placed on the tripod. But you must have known that this is where the major difference lies.

The Images 

As it’s already been mentioned, an astronomical telescope can only give inverted images. This is not really a challenge when you are observing the objects at night. The images are a little bit confusing when you are seeing them straight or anything that appears upside down.

Needless to mention, you get the eyepiece accessories to erect the images although it makes the telescope a little difficult to use. This is not something you will experience with a spotting scope because it is specifically designed to erect the images. That’s exactly why it’s the best choice for you so that you can view the habitats of different species.

Image Orientation 

This is what differentiates between a spotting scope vs telescope. The term “image orientation” means the image which you are receiving from the scope and whether it is going to be front or right way up ( because there are some telescopes which will offer you upside-down images).

For example, a reflector telescope is considered as the best option for astronomy, and they will always give you an upside down image. However, this is not the kind of image which is suitable for land viewing. Additionally, there is yet another telescope which is considered to be great for astronomy i.e. refractor telescope. It gives a backward from left to right image. This is something very confusing for land viewing.

When it comes to a spotting scope, it can produce round images. You will get a clean and clear image for land viewing. For instance, you can easily spot the trees, animals, mountains clearly.

Tips: Here is another best guide on Binoculars vs Spotting Scopes. You may read this guide.

Portability & Sturdiness 

This is one of the best features of spotting scopes if compared to telescopes. A spotting scope is extremely portable and has a very strong exterior which is good for people who use this in hostile environments. It also has a great grip because of its rubber armor and gives protection during any knocks.

This is a perfect device for land viewing. You can easily carry it anywhere you want either in a bag or arms. Use the flexibility feature for land viewing in any spot you want.

There are many telescopes which are extremely fragile and it is very difficult to transport. In fact, they are huge and so unsuitable to move from one place to another. This is the reason why most of the people don’t prefer to bring the scope in a forest or beach for land viewing. Choose the spotting scope for astronomy and not the telescope.

Zoom In, Zoom Out

Inbuilt zoom is yet another feature that differentiates the two products from each other and this is something you should consider before making any purchase. It can zoom in and out on the objects. A telescope has a standard eyepiece with no variable zoom. What this means is that you would need 2 or 3 eyepieces if you want a specific zoom.

If you want to zoom in and zoom out, you have to change the eyepieces and that’s a very difficult process. The only option is to get a variable zoom eyepiece for the telescope but it will be an expensive affair for you. On the other hand, a spotting scope has a variable zoom eyepiece. It has a specific set of numbers.

A spotting scope is definitely a great choice if you want to have a better viewing experience. How annoying is it to change the eyepieces to zoom in and zoom out on a particular object? Sounds bad? Therefore, you should choose a spotting scope, because it’s extremely comfortable and makes land viewing more comfortable and convenient.

Here is our top 10 spotting scopes reviews, you can read this and select the best one for you.

Good luck!

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